Fine Woodworking’s Jeff Miller, a professional woodworker and writer, just completed and evaluation of dust masks including reusable masks with replaceable filters and powered respirators. Jeff highlights the convenience and economy features of the North CFR-1 reusable mask as a good alternative to disposable masks. For serious task, when the chips are flying he reviewed powered respirator offerings. Among top brands tested, Triton’s Powered Respirator and Trend’s Airshield and Airshield Pro earned high marks. Jeff weighed a number of factors in his evaluation and selected Trend Airshield and Airshield Pro as the favorites, “The Trend Airshield and Airshield Pro distinguished themselves for comfort, clarity of vision, and overall user-friendliness”.
North CFR11 Dust Mask nicely fills the gap between flimsy disposable dust masks and more serious respiratory protection like the Dustfoe 88. Replaceable filters (NIOSH rating N95) offer excellent dust protection. The low-profile mask body is made of very soft rubber, and is held in place with a double elastic strap. An exhalation valve vents the warm, moist air you exhale downwardhelping the filter medium last longer and leaving safety glasses unfogged. All masks are size medium. Also available as a mask with 21 filters kit.
Trend Airshield, Fine Woodworking says is “…distinguished for comfort, clarity of vision and overall user friendliness”.
The more we learn about long term exposure to airborne wood dust, the more important powered respirators become. Even with the best dust collection setups, certain operations create unrecoverable dust, which gets into the air and eventually ends up in your lungs. The Trend Airshield helps protect you by providing 4 hours of respiratory protection (to BS EN 146 THP2) with a 4.9 to 6.3 cfm flow of freshly filtered air passing through 2 filters, which you experience as a cool breeze. It’s light weight (1.6 lbs) and has room for a second battery to bring run time up to 8 hours with a full charge. The respirator’s face shield is rated to withstand low-energy impacts, and replaceable overlays protect it from scratches. The Airshield suspension system changes sizes in place with the twist of a single knob.
A great defense against this nuisance dust is Trend’s Airshield Pro personal dust filtration respirator. Its dual filters provide a 98% efficiency factor and a flow 5.6 cfm to 7 cfm of freshly-filtered air. A comfortable face seal cradles the sides of your face and beneath your chin to seal out dust. The on board battery and motor sit further back on your head than in the original Airshield model, providing for greater balance and comfort as you work all day on a the 8 hour run-time battery. A clear plastic face shield provides low impact protection (ANSI Z87.1 rated) and replaceable visor overlays keep the view clear. Accepts optional clip-on hearing protectors. Headband adjusts from 20-1/2″ to 24-1/2″. Low battery audible alarm. Includes battery charger, 1 NI-MH battery, 1 visor overlay and carrying bag. Weight 2.2 lbs