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