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Choosing the Best Safety Mask for Woodworking

Safety comes first in my woodworking shop. Everyone talks about keeping their digits away from the many dangerous tools we use, but I’m also concerned about keeping my lungs free of wood dust. It’s very important to find the best protection, especially over a long career as a woodworker. I choose to wear protective masks as often as possible. I also use a dust collection system with all my tools inside my shop.

Every woodworker must choose when to use a mask and what type is most comfortable for them. I’ve tried lots of different companies over the years but I’ve found Parcil Safety provides the best mask options for me.

I have been using the PD-100 Full Face Respirator (top item) and the AG-100 Half Face Respirator Mask (lower right item) for a while, @parcilsafety has been gracious enough send me the T-61 Half Face Respirator Gas Mask to test as well.

Major Dust Projects

One of my messiest projects which causes the most dust is leveling slabs. I own a leveling sled setup constructed and sold by Clean Cut Woodworking @cleancutwoodworking / @ccwroutersleds. (You can find a video using the sled here and use discount code BCW-LS5 for a 5% discount.) It’s a great tool, but when I’m done, I’m covered from head to toe with wood chips, dust and debris. I needed a mask that could handle the intensity of dust and was comfortable to wear for hours.

PD-100 Full Face Respirator

Back to the subject at hand – while using this level sled I discovered that the PD-100 Full Face Respirator Gas Mask with Organic Vapor and Particulate Filtration does a great job.

Statement below is from Parcil’s website –
Parcil Safety’s premier PD-100 Full Face Respirator Gas Mask is a comprehensive solution for
users seeking protection for their eyes, face, nose, mouth, and airways. Designed to safeguard
the wearer during a variety of activities from home improvement to industrial occupations, the
PD-100 is dependable for strong protection against organic vapors and 95% of particulates
down to 0.3 microns.

Complete Protection with this Mask

While I could use dust collection with the sled, I find it easier to use outside, undercover of a tent but that also means it throws a lot of dust and chips. Being a full face mask this mask protects my eyes as well as my lungs and sinus’s. With multiple layers of filters, I find this catches that fine dust that can cause damage. In the picture below I find the Electrostatic Filter is totally brown when working with walnut so I know it’s working.

This mask also uses ParticulatePro P-3-P filter has a 99.97% particulate rating against oil and non-oil based airborne particulates. This filter protects against aerosols, particles, mist, fumes and dust.

T-61 Half Face Respirator

When the need for full face coverage is not necessary and dust is somewhat minimized, then I turn to the T-61 Half Face Respirator Gas Mask with Organic Vapor and Particulate Filtration.

Statement from website
The T-61 offers industrial-level function in an agile package. It is manufactured to be lightweight and tough enough to withstand severe conditions and continuous use. It helps provide its wearer with powerful respiratory protection against airborne contaminants when used with the P-A-3 carbon-activated filters, or industry-standard bayonet cartridges. It is designed to pair well with prescription glasses, sunglasses, or safety goggles.

Everyday Use Mask

This is the mask that I use for day to day normal work such as sanding, running the table saw, router
table, etc….Its not bulky, handles my safety glasses and is not hot.

This mask handles TWO (2) P-A-3 Filters (ASTM Tested Activated Carbon Filtration) as well as the ParticulatePro P-3-P filter has a 99.97% particulate rating against oil and non-oil based airborne
particulates. This filter protects against aerosols, particles, mist, fumes and dust.

AG-100 Half Face Respirator Mask

Let’s step out of the shop for a minute and look at the AG-100 Half Face Respirator Mask

Known for its sleek and minimalist design, the AG-100 particulate mask is a popular choice for a variety
of activities – from staying safe while running errands and preventing allergy flair-ups while mowing the
lawn, to providing excellent respiratory protection against dust and other particulates during woodworking or construction activities. Crafted with high-quality, natural silicone, the AG-100 creates a
strong, airtight seal without compromising user comfort

Mowing the Lawn

While I love the smell of fresh cut grass, sometimes I feel the grass pollen effects my breathing after mowing. I have found this little mask does make a difference for me.

Using the A-G-1 Replacement Filters this mask is comfortable and allows me to wear safety glasses as

Fits Well Even with a Full Beard

I have tried almost every mask out there, but I found these masks to be the most economical protection for me. They are all comfortable and from my personal experience a great source of dust protection.

Something else to consider is that I have a full beard which I keep trimmed close during the summer
months but allow it to grow quite thick during the fall into Christmas because my grand children enjoy the Santa look. Even when my beard is very thick, all of these masks work and seal well.

Try Parcil Safety Products: DISCOUNT CODE

If you’d like to try one of these mask, use code BCW-Safety to automatically get a 20% discount on all Parcil Safety products.

Full disclosure, I have agreed to write this blog post for the manufacturer after they noticed I was using their masks. I did receive a T-61 mask in compensation.

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 Roger Bayne

  (52 articles)

Husband, father and grandfather - Roger has been developing his woodworking skills for over 30 years. He enjoys the challenge of recycling trees into furniture and toys.


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