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Which Dust Mask for Which Job?


One of the first jobs I ever required a dust mask for was removing some Lead Paint, and boy was I confused about dust masks! They're not clearly labelled for beginners or DIYers and unless you do heaps of research beforehand, you could easily end up picking up the wrong mask for the job!

I'm no dust mask expert and I only know what I have discovered through my research.. so don't take my word as God, but here's some general advice on which dust mask for which job:

FFP1, FFP2, FFP3?

I never go for anything other than FFP3. This gives the highest level of protection against tiny particles and is suitable for sanding wood and filler, using aerosols, carrying out demolition, welding and working in general dusty conditions. They also protect against mould and are used within hospitals to protect against respiratory viruses. The lower numbers (P1 and P2) offer a lower amount of protection. For a DIYer whose job-list varies week-on-week, I prefer to purchase P3's knowing that whatever my job is, I will certainly be protected. Price-wise they're not usually too dis-similar either, so maximum protection to me, makes the most sense.

If you're only going to be using a mask for one particular job then here's a summary to help you pick:


For a more in-depth full list and range of jobs, click here.


In addition, all dust masks must be marked with CE to show they are tested and recognised by the EU standard!

Disposable or Non-Disposable?

Really this depends on how often you intend on using said mask. In the beginning of our DIY journey we always used disposable masks. They're much cheaper in price and come in large packs so you're covered for some time. However, they never seemed to fit very well! In fact, they were awful. No matter what job, no matter how tight and well I thought I had the mask on, every time I took the mask off my nose would be covered in dust. It just seemed to slip and slide as I worked, and the bending nose mechanism just didn't seem to bend perfectly enough around my nose! So after purchasing our twentieth (or so) pack and spending a small fortune on crappy disposable masks, we decided to invest in something more long-term!

After now having used both options I can confirm that non-disposable masks are vastly superior to disposables! It fits MUCH better, has a proper seal around the mouth and nose, feels more comfortable to use, the straps can be pulled much tighter, and all in all, I would never go back. For long-term usage, this is definitely the only option I would recommend. The filters need to replaced every so often, but the actual mask itself is fault-less.

The mask I use is this one from Screwfix (as photoed above) and I can definitely recommend it! It was quite a pricier option at £30, but a small price knowing my lungs are properly protected!

Which dust masks do you use?

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