The Difference Between Dust Masks And Respirators, And When To Use Them

If you’re working in a shop, you should have a respirator and a few dust masks sitting around. You should also know when to use them. Tested walks your through when to use which and some good practices for doing so.

While this might seem pretty self explanatory, especially considering the names, a lot of people seem to mix these two up. As the name suggests, dust masks should only be used for filtering out particulates. That means when you’re sanding, grinding, cutting wood or anything similar. If there’s physical dust in the air, use a dust mask. Do not use a dust mask to filter out anything chemical, including spray paint. For that, use a respirator. That’s it. It’s simple and easy to remember, but definitely worth knowing. Check out the video above for a few more little tips, including the proper way to wear both.

Shop Tips: Respirators vs. Dust Masks [YouTube]

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  • 3 words, Paftec CleanSpace Respirator.
    IMO, it is one of the most innovative items of protective gear in the last 5 years.

    I’ve actively been pushing for these to be regular items in any business with risk of particulates and vapours.
    Only downside is they don’t have a “k” filter yet, but the new full face mask is fantastic.

    *im not affiliated with the company in any shape or form, just a very big fan.

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