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Top Best 5 Welding Respirator for Welding Fumes – Review 2018

Welding Respirator

Welding Respirator

If you are a person who prefers to invest in safety welding respirators rather than becoming ill, you’ve come to the right place.

First of all, this article contains a list of top welding respirators for welding gases.

Moreover, there is a summary of the types of welding respirators.

Additionally, learn why you should consider a welding respirator for welding fumes and gases.

Now, let’s move on and take a look at the chapter overview below:

Welding Respirator – Table of Contents

3M half facepiece – reusable respirator 6100

The 3M 6100 welding respirator is compact and lightweight. In combination with an additional 3M 2097 or 3M 2297 filter cartridge (not included in the 6100 package), the 3M 6100 is well suited for welding applications.

Of course, the 3M 2097 and the 2297 both have a P100 rating (see more about the ratings below). But the 2297 has enhanced durability and allows more comfortable breathing.

Because of the more advanced filtering technology, the 2297 filter is also a little bit more expensive.

Please take a look at the following review video to learn more about 3M half facepieces with reusable respirators.

3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6100/07024(AAD), Respiratory Protection, Small (Pack of 1)

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$9.19 $13.99
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Miller Electric LPR-100 ML00895 half mask welding respirator

This affordable package made by the famous company Miller Electric includes the LPR-100 half mask respirator and 2 P100 filters.

According to the supplier, this half-mask is ideal for most welding applications because it protects from the following hazardous fumes:

  • Hexavalent Chromium (Stainless Steel)
  • Zinc Oxide (Galvanized Steel)
  • Manganese
  • Aluminum
  • Nickel
  • Iron Oxide
  • Copper
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • and Beryllium fumes

Half Mask Respirator Size Small/Medium

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$29.95 $47.99
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Jackson Safety Airmax Elite PAPR with BH3 air headpiece

Protect your health from toxic fumes with the Jackson Safety Airmax Elite PAPR with BH3 air headpiece.

The Airmax Elite auto-darkening welding helmet provides an optical rating of 1/1/1/1, which means it is top rated in visual clarity, angular dependence, optical homogeneity and light scattering.

Now, please take a short look at the following video below for an in-depth explanation:

JACKSON SAFETY 40839 AIRMAX ELITE PAPR with BH3 Air Headpiece, One-Size

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3M Speedglas 9100 MP Fresh-Air III Supplied Air System (SAR)

The 3M Speedglas 9100MP is a hardhat respirator system that supplies you with fresh air.

On the downside, this package does not come with an ADF filter but features the V-100SR cool-air valve with Schrader fitting.

Overall, the 3M 9100 MP welding helmet is ideal for welders working in hot environments, because the belt-mounted valve makes it possible to lower the temperature of the supplied air up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, the integrated flip-up functionality lets you flip up the helmet to do your preparation works.

According to 3M, this device meets ANSI Z87.1-2010 safety standards.

Please take a short glance at the 3M promo video below, to get a deeper understanding of the functionality:

3M Speedglas Fresh-Air III Supplied Air System with V-100SR Vortex Cooling Valve and 3M Speedglas Welding Helmet 9100 MP, 27-5702,...

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3M Powerflow 6900PF: face-mounted powered air purifying respirator (PAPR)

The 3M 6900PF Powerflow PAPR gives the wearer an OSHA APF rating up to 1000 when used correctly according to supplier specification.

Typical applications this device is being used for include abatement, smelting, lead reclamation and other hazardous environments.

Overall, this package includes the full facepiece, the power-flow motor, the battery pack with charger, HEPA filter, and the 520-01-21 Powerflow airflow indicator.

I’d also like to mention, that one battery charge will last up to 8 hours of use.

3M Powerflow Face-Mounted Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR), Respiratory Protection 6900PF, NiCd Rechargeable Battery, Large Size

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What welding fumes and gases are there?

Welding fume is a complex mixture of small particles, mostly metals. Besides that, vapor and gases are omnipresent.

Unlike the welding fume, gases and vapors cannot be removed by particle filters. Thus, gases and vapors must be removed by adsorption in activated carbon cartridges.

Depending on the process gases, rod materials, base material, metallic coatings, welding process or ventilation, different welding fumes and vapor and gases are produced during welding.

In detail, physical and chemical processes in the welding arc such as evaporation, condensation, oxidation, pyrolysis or decomposition occur and produce those substances.

Furthermore, the image below shows a selection of chemicals a welder can breathe in during welding.

Weld fume composition

Besides fluorides, silicates, paint, rust inhibitor, solvents, coatings, ozone, oil vapor,  additional metallic particles like Chromium, Thorium, Lead and Nickel can get into your lung and cause serious health problems.

Moreover, you need to make sure to clean the welding surface of any coating like paint or solvent that could potentially create toxic fumes. [Source: OSHA Fact Sheet]

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Why should you consider a welding respirator for welding fumes?

Nowadays, every metalworker should know that welding fumes are harmful.

A significant amount of the particles are fine and ultra-fine particles.Fine particles are deposited in your lung and hinder the gas exchange from air into the blood. Furthermore, the ultra-fine particles are even able to enter the bloodstream through cell membranes.

Moreover, according to this article on EHSToday.com, a welder was awarded $20.5 million in a lawsuit. He received the payment because he got ill from toxic weld fumes.

To sum it up, chronic damage to your respiratory tract, the risk of cancer, damage to the central nervous system and allergic reactions to metal vapor are some health problems that can occur.

Effective welding respirator masks protect welders from those harmful welding fumes.

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Different types of respiratory masks

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration article here, you can categorize masks according the following classes. Items in the list below are arranged with increasing protection factor (PF).

  • Single strap dust mask
  • Approved filtering facepieces (dust masks)
  • Half-face respirators
  • Full-face respirators
  • Loose-fitting powered air respirators (PAPR)
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)


In the following section we will go into details and describe the differences between the protection mask types:

Single strap dust mask

This simple protection is typically not approved for work safety.

Approved filtering facepieces

Filtering facepieces are typically used for dust, mists or welding fumes. A filtering facepiece does not protect from gases and vapors.

Half-mask respirator

Can protect against welding fumes, gases and vapors. Must match the hazardous process.

In detail, the half-mask respirator is a tight-fitting respirator that covers the space from your nose down to the chin and needs to sit tight to work correctly.

  • N: Not resistant to oil
  • R: Resistant to oil
  • P: Oil proof

Filters are classified based on their filtering efficiency 95, 99 and 100%.

Example: P100 means Oil proof very close to 100%.

Welders usually use P100 filters because they filter out 99,97% of oil aerosols. Half-mask respirators usually give you an assigned protection factor (APF) of 10.

Please keep in mind, particle filters must be replaced periodically and when they are damaged or difficult to breathe through.

Full-face respirators

In addition to the half-mask, full-face respirators also cover eyes and other skin of your face to protect against toxic fumes and gases.

Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)

A PAPR is an air-purifying respirator that uses a blower to force ambient air through an air-purifying element and a hose to the users’ hood or helmet. [Source]

A PAPR combined with a welding helmet gives you an APF rating of 25. PAPRs sometimes include HEPA filters that filter out 99,97 % of 0,3 µm sized particles and larger.

Supplied-Air Respirator (SAR)

A SAR is a special type of PAPR respirator that supplies the wearer with uncontaminated clean air, starting at an APF rating of 25.

Also, the Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA) provides you with further information about which respirator to choose for your work environment.

Image Credits: Pixabay / creades

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