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I recently tested a large selection of masks and respirators, and had the editors at Fine Woodworking do the same. After all of our testing, it’s clear that there are a few key features that make for a great mask. An exhaust valve is an indispensable feature. You also should look for a mask that is made from face-friendly material. The interior of the 3M 8511, for example, is soft and fleece-like. An adjustable nosepiece is important and adjustable straps are a big plus.
Because they have nearly all of these features, two masks really stood out from the rest in our tests: the 3M 8511 and the Willson Saf-T-Fit.
The 3M 8511 is a great mask, even though it doesn’t have adjustable straps. It has an exhaust valve, the inner lining is soft, and the nosepiece is adjustable. Two testers picked this as their favorite.
This dust mask is available at www.labsafety.com, (item #38025).
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