Elipse P100 Respirator: First Impressions

ElipseP100I’ve been in the shop for about two hours this morning and the first task I faced was clearing out a jammed dust-collection pipe above the jointer. A dirty, dusty job, but it had to be done. So it was a good test of the Elipse P100 Respirator I recently bought from Highland Woodworking ($30 plus shipping). Then, I had some 3/4″ plywood to cut up for one last kitchen cabinet (a tall, shallow one for storing extra paper towels, canned goods and the like), dados and rabbets to cut on the table saw (it’s plywood – not going touch it with my planes) and shelf-pin holes to drill.

So I had the mask on for about two hours straight (except for the few times I removed it to have a sip of Diet Coke). It is latex and silicon free (not an issue for me, but I know some people experience reactions to those), low profile around the nose so it doesn’t obstruct vision, and it moulds to the contours of my face for a good seal with no leaks (I assume it will do the same to yours). The two adjustable elastic straps kept the mask appropriately tight to my face; not once after my initial fitting did it slip or need adjusting. The upper strap has a thin, slick rubber strip over it that keeps it from grabbing at my hair; I wish the lower one did, too (the ponytail issue probably doesn’t affect too many of you, though). But other than getting my hair pulled a few times when I turned my head, the P100 is remarkably comfortable. And not once did my glasses fog.

According to the manufacturer, the NIOSH P100 filters (replaceable) are rated to capture 99.97 percent of airborne particles, and it weighs just 4.8 ounces – more than a paper mask, but more effective, too (and the no fogged glasses thing is huge).

Typically, I’ll have at best a slight sore throat after a couple of hours in the shop with power tools (not to mention cleaning the dust-collection). But today, I feel fine. If you’re looking for a good 3/4 face mask, I recommend you give the Elipse P100 a try. So far, I’m quite pleased with it.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

p.s. Also, it’s quite the fashion statement, no?

23 thoughts on “Elipse P100 Respirator: First Impressions

  1. bmayfield001@centurytel.net

    I bought one for myself to use in the wood shop. I then took it to my cousin’s farm. They loved it because it does not fog up their glasses! There is a lot of dust when picking corn. Needless to say, I had to buy 2 more for them with extra filters.

  2. Bill

    My issue with respirators is heart disease. I’ve had three heart attacks and triple bypass surgery twice (can’t have it again). Proper oxygen intake is a big consideration for me. I’ve not found a mask yet that will give me access to enough oxygen that I can wear more than a minute or two. All respirator manufacturers seem to design their masks so there is not enough of a pocket for air (oxygen) to be freely available. One always has to gasp and suck air through the mask material that’s right up on the nose, or ones’ nose is pinched so that you can’t breathe if there’s room for a number nine wash tub in there. I have one of these Elipse P100 Respirators in my “Cart” for purchase, but have not “checked out” with it yet. Does anyone else relate to this “available air” and can anyone already familiar with this respirator voice an opinion of the issue?

  3. rbill

    I am happy to learn of a respirator which plays nice with prescription glasses!

    Now any recommendations for safety glasses which play well with prescription glasses?
    I have yet to find anything which works for me. The ones I currently have are like the chem lab goggles I used in college. Unfortunately, the plastic’s optical qualities leave a lot to be desired and gets really annoying quickly.

  4. mariorb

    Here in south Texas its just too hot to wear a respirator, ditto for ear muffs. What I do instead is just put a big shop fan behind me and let it blow all that dust out the other end of my shop. For ear protection we have custom molded latex ear plugs that are typically used for shooting. The shop fan I already had and the ear plugs cost $35.00 and are great for all the dove hunts as well. No more sweaty face or ears.

  5. Periodcraftsmen

    Megan,

    Thank you for your recommendation. I went ahead and purchased one, and I must say I LOVE IT. The mask is perfect size, and works awesome. Thank you for your review/post.

    FR

    1. JAWS

      The ONE thing that I always hated about dust masks was that because they were small I suppose, it got pretty warm and humid inside the mask and hard for me to breathe causing me to take it off and do without. I would rather protect myself better than just using fans and relying on the dust collection at the machine but this isn’t really sufficient.
      What are your comments relating to this issue?

      1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

        I’ve had that happen, too, but not with this mask…yet. It’s hard to give what feels like a fair answer, because it’s been pretty cool (and now cold) since I bought it, so I’ve not yet used it in conditions where the temp would exacerbate the problem. That said, I had it on for maybe an hour straight the first weekend I got it, and an hour this weekend, with no “swamp effect.”

  6. Amos

    Hi Megan,
    I have used respirators since the black rubber and metal buckles days. Always had foggy glasses until the new style half face ones came out a few years ago. Much better seal.

    I have a 3M 7500 and a couple of earlier models, all with P100 filters also and never a foggy glass the last 7 years. I have several masks scattered around the shop. Also have one I wear when mowing .

    You can find the 3M masks on the net for less than $20 sometimes; regular net prices run in the mid twenties usually. Filters range from cheap to fairly expensive if you are looking for acid vapor ones or the like.

    I have a full mustache and usually have a beard or several days of facial hair growth without any seal problems. Just be sure you pull the mask down from above onto your beard so the hair will lie mostly in one direction. The beard will need a bit more tension also. I can’t smell ammonia with mine done that way with proper filters.

  7. bobbollin

    Thanks Megan. That glasses-fogging issue is one that really annoys me and keeps me away from wearing a mask. I always figured that being able to breathe well in the shop wasn’t of much use if I couldn’t see. Glad to see that there are alternatives.

  8. Bob Miller

    Have you ever tried the half face version of a 3M 7500? I find mine super comfortable, you can get p100 filters and better still you can get other filters for things like finishing fumes. I was wondering how it compared to the eclipse comfort wise.

    1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

      I’m afraid I’ve not. I’ll poke around the shop and see if we have one, though I don’t recall having run across it. But perhaps I’ll get one and compare.

    1. grindel

      Megan, you touched on two of my complaints about respirator. 1) Fogged glasses and 2) Air tight seal around the face. I have facial hair that usually prevents a good seal. I’m very interested and would like to give them
      a try. Do you know of anyone with facial hair (Mustache and beard) that tried them ? $30 is a good price if
      they work.

      1. Megan FitzpatrickMegan Fitzpatrick Post author

        I don’t; I’m sorry. The info on Highland’s site mentions the performance “may be less if you have facial hair” but that’s the extent of my knowledge thereupon.

        1. toolman71

          You can have a mustach if it trimmed inside the mask. A beard is out of the the mask and will leak.

      2. gumpbelly

        Facial hair under the masks sealing surface always causes a leak. It will just depend on how tightly you smash down the hair as to how bad the leak is. For simple dust you may do best wearing a paper P 95 or P 100 mask, and using a handkerchief inside to fill the gap, and act as a dust baffle. A heavily bearded friend swears it helps him, me I’m dubious, but then I do fit testing for industry. If you are talking about being around harmful elements, you need to shave.

        For giggles anyone using a respirator should do an actual fit self test, either negative, or positive to make sure they do have a good fit. A good description of how to do them is found below. I will point out trying to do a positive test on a full face respirator with a re-breather cup (little mask inside of the big mask) is awful hard to do, so jump to the negative test. Safety isn’t an accident 🙂

        https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=9781

        1. sjbarry

          I’d take that good advice a step further and recommend that at least for an initial fit, or if you are indeed dealing with facial hair, that you consult a certified industrial hygienist for a quantitative fit test.* That’s especially true if you need a mask that will filter out toxic fumes, but it’s still true of any filtration system such as HEPA. It’s the only way you can be sure that the mask will protect you under virtually all conditions (not just standing straight, no talking, looking straight ahead). It’s also the best way to know if your mask that used to protect you is now failing to. Cost? Cheap compared with the cost of improper respiratory protection.
          Sean Barry

          *the CIH may recommend or even insist that you first obtain clearance to use a respirator from an occupational health physician–respirator use by folks with high blood pressure, heart or respiratory disease, and some other disorders comes with a number of caveats best explained by the physician. That clearance is also an OSHA requirement for folks who need to use a respirator on the job.

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