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The Best Lung and Hearing Protection for Woodworkers

Posted on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 by Justin McCarter

For serious woodworkers looking to upgrade their personal protective equipment and make safety a bit more comfortable, there are several quality options. Typically woodworkers are dealing with dust, loud noises, and occasionally vapors from paints and solvents. Basic protection generally means three separate types of protection – a dust mask, goggles or protective eyewear, and ear muffs or earplugs.

But there are some good options for full-face protection that not only provide a wide, clear field of vision, but are also designed to cut down on fogging. The Moldex 9000 series full face respirator is a great option. Not only is it incredibly lightweight and comfortable, but it also PVC-free.

Woodworker Personal Protection

The Moldex mask is designed so the fresh air that is breathed into the mask flows over the inside of the face shield. This helps keep the heat down and therefore is one of the most effective design elements for the prevention of mask fogging. A full-face mask not only combines two pieces of protective gear into one, but it also creates a larger field of vision compared to goggles or safety glasses. Definitely an upgrade.

Respiratory protection attaches easily to the mask. A Moldex combo pack includes the mask, a pair of multi-gas vapor smart cartridges, a pair of P100 HEPA-rated filter disks, and the piggyback adapters to hold it all together.

Ear protection is another area where there have been some big improvements. Most woodworkers are looking for simple, comfortable ear muffs instead of earplugs simply because the earplugs take more time to put in, and they are often not needed for an extended duration. Generally speaking, the earplugs provide greater protection. Comfortable foam earplugs like the Moldex Pura-Fit 6800 have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 33. That’s pretty significant. A heavy-duty ear muff like the Bilsom Thunder T3 Dielectric has an NRR rating of 30.

Depending on the job at hand, the ear muffs might be just fine. Some of our customers really like the music option ear muffs like the Howard Leight Sync Stereo Earmuffs offer. With an NRR rating of 25, they don’t offer the highest level of protection, but they do meet the safety standards for medium noise environments.