Whether you’re a DIYer or a PRO tool user, you need to protect your body.
Every tool user should make a conscious effort to use the proper PPE, or personal protective gear. If you’re not sure what you need for a particular task or work, consult an expert.
If you work for a company, you might have access to a professional safety consultant or expert. If you’re a DIYer, do your proper research.
I am not an expert. What follows here is not expert advice but my personal opinion.
Additionally, PPE can very depending on the task and environment. A roofing professional might need a helmet and safety harness, while a tradesman on a commercial jobsite might need a reflective vest and hard hat.
Here, I’m only going to touch upon basic (core) PPE recommendations. If you want this roundup expanded to included additional gear, please let me know. And, as always, your PPE opinions and recommendations are always welcome and appreciated as well!
One more thing to keep in mind is that every one has different preferences, and people come in all different sizes and proportions. Safety gear that comfortably fits one person might not work well for someone else.
With safety gear, you’re more likely to wear protective equipment if it’s comfortable, so feel free to try different brands or styles until you find something that fits.
Table of Contents
Safety Glasses and Goggles
Respirators and Dust Masks
Safety Glasses and Goggles
You don’t want to cheap out on safety glasses.
There are two criteria to look for – first you want safety eyewear to have an ANSI Z87 rating. Second, you want your safety glasses to be comfortable.
Let’s say you’ve done the same task 100 times without incident. Your safety glasses might not be comfortable, so you stop wearing them. Nothing happens. You get in the habit of not wearing them. Then, task number 125, and a nail, staple, or other projectile ricochets towards your face.
Wear your safety glasses.
3M is a good standard brand. The model shown here is the Solus 1000 series with Scotchguard anti-fog coating, priced at $8.25 at the time of this posting.
Kleenguard’s Maverick (49309) style safety glasses are also popular, and feature a clear anti-fog coating, comfort touch points, side shields, and a “browguard.”
You could spend a little less or more, just make sure of that ANSI safety rating.
Buy Now: 3M via Amazon
Buy Now: Kleenguard via Amazon
Since I’m nearsighted, I wear corrective glasses and need an OTG (over the glasses) solution, which usually means goggles.
Safety goggles are also a good idea for all users who might be working with chemicals.
You can find very inexpensive high school lab-style safety goggles that offer splash protection, but for frequent use find something more comfortable.
I recommend Dewalt’s Concealer glasses, and Uvex Flex Seal. The Uvex Flex Seal goggles are a little larger and more comfortable, and you can find them with different headband strap materials.
Buy Now: Dewalt via Amazon
Buy Now: Uvex Flex Seal (Fabric Band) via Amazon
Buy Now: Uvex Flex Seal (Neoprene Band) via Amazon
Hearing loss is cumulative.
Prolonged exposure to loud noises can damage your hearing. While you might not notice the minor damage right away, it adds up, and is irreversible.
In other words, hearing loss is usually gradual and permanent.
While some health consequences are unavoidable, the type of hearing loss caused by repeated prolonged exposure to loud noises is often preventable.
This is where hearing protection comes in, serving to reduce the noise level that enters your ears.
Hearing protection earmuffs are about the easiest way to protect your ears. Adjust the headband, place them over your ears, make sure you have a perfect fit, and you’re dine/
You have to clean earmuffs on occasion and replace them when they’re worn, but other than that they’re pretty east to work with.
Until recently, I was a “maximum protection” kind of person, but my preferences have switched a little bit.
I will wear earmuffs with maximum NRR (noise reduction rating) when needed, and other times I will wear smaller and lighter earmuffs with slightly lower NRR.
3M is one of the most reputable brands, and I’ve tried a couple of others with great results.
My favorites right now are the 3M X4A, which have an NRR of 27 dB, and the 3M/Peltor H10A, which has a 30 dB NRR.
What I like about the X4A is that it’s compact and light, and without too much of a noise reduction rating compromise. It’s more comfortable than the H10A, but the H10A is still a comfortable size and weight, not to mention durable.
Buy Now: 3M X4A via Amazon
Buy Now: 3M Peltor H10A via Amazon
Buy Now: 3M Peltor H10A via Amazon – Alternate Link
See Also: 3M Pro via Amazon, ToolGuyd Review
Foam earplugs are a completely different approach, as they fit inside your ear canal rather than over your ears.
Although intended to be disposable, users can sometimes reuse foam earplugs if only used for short sessions and if they’re kept clean. (Again, this is not professional advice, always follow expert or manufacturer guidelines.)
The tricky thing about foam earplugs is that they require practice to be inserted properly, and you have to learn proper practices.
On occasion I will wear foam earplugs with earmuffs when I need or want a higher level of protection. One thing to keep in mind is that NRR isn’t additive, meaning earplugs with a 30 dB NRR and earmuffs with a 30 dB NRR will not provide you with 60 dB NRR.
If properly worn, using foam earplugs with earmuffs will provide stronger protection than either individual product worn alone.
With foam hearing protection earplugs, the general guidelines are to roll them between your fingertips to compress the foam, reach over your head with your opposite hand, gently pull your outer ear upwards, and insert the earplug into your ear canal.
Once inserted, gently keep the earplug in place as it expands and seals your ear canal, and check for proper positioning.
If you need help, there are plenty of videos online that show proper safety earplug insertion practices.
Reusable earplugs work in a similar manner, and can be easier to insert than foam earplugs.
Foam earplugs tend to have a higher NRR than reusable earplugs.
Buy Now: Howard Leight Earplugs via Amazon
Buy Now: 3M Foam Earplugs via Amazon
I tend to prefer individually wrapped foam earplugs, but sometimes larger dispenser boxes can be more economical depending on the brand.
Buy Now: Peltor Tri-Flange via Amazon
Buy Now: 3M Corded Earplugs via Amazon
Respirators and Dust Masks
N95 masks are in short supply these days, as priority is given to healthcare workers due to the COVID pandemic.
If there are particulates you don’t want to breath in, such as when sanding wood, paint, or drywall, you need to wear a respirator of some kind.
Disposable-type NIOSH-rated N95 masks are most common, and are available in many different styles.
For tool and work-related PPE needs, an exhalation valve tends to increase user comfort by keeping your face cooler under the mask.
There are also reusable and durable solutions where you pair replaceable filters with a common half-face or full-face mask.
N95 masks are typically one-size-fits-all. Reusable face masks are different, and typically must be fit to the user, or sizes can sometimes be approximated by measuring your facial dimensions.
You can often find reusable respirator kits at home centers or hardware stores, and can also piece-together a respirator from separate parts.
To start off, you need an appropriately-sized face mask. This is 3M’s 6000-series.
Next, you need to choose your filter, and this depends on what you’re looking to protect against.
For example, you need different protection if you’re sanding wood than if you’re spray painting.
Sometimes there might be a particulate prefilter assembly, other times the cartridges are one-piece assemblies. Shown here is 3M’s organic vapor and acid gas filter cartridge attached to a 6000-series mask.
Professional environments often have requirements when it comes to respirator use, such as to ensure proper fitment and that the user is healthy enough to wear one.
With respirators especially, consult an expert and manufacturer guidelines as to their proper use and safe practices.
Buy Now: 3M Medium Mask via Amazon
Buy Now: 3M Large Mask via Amazon
Buy Now: 3M P100 Filters via Amazon
Readers have recommended the GVS Elipse P100 respirator face mask in the past. I bought one for testing, but have not used it yet. it’s NIOSH-approved, and I find the design and simplicity to be highly appealing. There are two sizes – S/M and M/L – and a simple measurement chart helps to simplify the selection process.
GVS has other types of filters, as well as replacement P100 filters, although they’re a bit pricey.
Buy Now: GVS Elipse via Amazon
Buy Now: Replacement Filters via Amazon
In a work environment, disposable gloves help to keep your hands clean from dirt, oil, grease, and grime.
I tend to prefer Kimberly-Clark and Kleenguard nitrile gloves, and also use several styles of Microflex gloves.
Nitrile gloves are suited for general purpose work, but you will need to refer to a compatibility chart whenever you’re working with chemicals. For instance, neoprene gloves are usually recommended over nitrile gloves when working with acetone. If in doubt, consult an expert.
I tend to prefer powder-free gloves.
COVID has impacted the availability of disposable nitrile gloves, and so my typical recommendations have become difficult to find unless you shop at industrial suppliers.
Some brands are usually willing to provide samples for fit evaluation, although abuse of the system have made some brands like Microflex/Ansell very stingy.
- Kleenguard G10
- Microflex Supreno
- Microflex Midknight
What about work gloves? That’s the subject of a future guide. Generally, unless you know you need specific protective features, start out with a pair of basic work gloves and work from there. Recommendation: Mechanix Original (~$16 via Amazon)
See Also: Recommend Your Favorite Work Gloves!
What brands or products would you recommend when it comes to personal protective gear?
Do you agree or disagree with any of my recommendations?
What other core PPE categories should be included in the next revision?
I love the triple flange 3m ear plugs, that are softer and thus easier to insert than the model pictured. I cannot live without them. For extended cutting, sawing, milling etc. I double up ear plugs with hearing protectors. Nice and quiet. Easy to concentrate on the task and practice job safety.
Tried the goggles, based on recommendations by TG. Like a good number of other people, they did not at all fit my face below my eyes and around the nose. Huge gaps. So, I’m sticking with 3M full face shield + respirator combo when I’m going to be bathing in dust.
I’m going to say you should add bluetooth hearing protection options. 3M makes a pair that are near industry-standard but I also picked up a pair from ISOtunes as a second for my shop. Not only do they work great, but if you have music or a podcast playing you’re much more likely to wear them all the time which is just good overall for your hearing.
I concur. I use my worktunes connected to my phone pretty much the entire time I’m in the shop. I really want to try out the isotunes link since I prefer over ear protection.
I use worktunes during my weekend projects. The battery lasts what seems like several days
Koko The Talking Ape
Excellent point, and a great excuse to buy more earbuds. 🙂
Yep, another vote for noise canceling ear plugs. I’ve gone the Apple way, Airpod Pros are extremely effective. Way better than I dared hope.
Ok dumb question. I also wear glasses. I hail from Florida. Hot sweat and foggy safety wear. I have the same Dewalt glasses over my eyeglasses. They suck due to fog and increase the risk so I don’t wesr anything now. Is there any product that addresses seeating-fog? Or is that an impossible thing?
Not a dumb question. I am in Orlando, wear glasses, and have the Dewalt goggles (dark lenses for working outside around the house). Same problem, they fog up. I switched to the fitover safety glasses from NoCry from Amazon. They also make regular safety glasses. Link below, hope it helps.
Take your prescription and have some safety glasses made with side shields. Many employers may pay whole or part of the cost. If your self employed it may count as a deduction. I’m lucky I only need 1.5 cheaters so I have a pair of Bolle safety glasses with 1.5 bifocals. They do the job when I’m inspecting jet engines. Safetyglasses .com is a great place to shop.
Another option is to use stick-on bifocal lenses. I put a pair of Optx lenses on my Uvex Stealth goggles — it took me a couple attempts to apply, but they work perfectly! I got mine at safetyglassesusa.com:
I haven’t found a solution that works.
The Flex Seal are larger and easier to remove and wipe down with a clean towel.
There are coatings and treatments, but I haven’t found anything to work very well.
During the summer I rotate between two pairs of goggles, and that seems to get me through longer projects.
I was wondering about the Trend airshield pro helmet. The faceshield is Ansi Z87 rated. Is this considered quality safety gear? Would it address some of the heat. fogging problems in hot weather?
You could wear a N95 mask & Ansiz87 safety glasses under it, for added protection?
I’ve been aware of these helmets for quite some time. But i never looked at them very closely. It looks like they might be made in the UK. Just noticed a new upgraded model, features hard hat protection & upgraded battery’s. Not sure if they are for sale yet in the US.
I had prescription safety glasses made from Zenni, by the way. Rated for ansi z87.1, and they should be as legit as any of the basic safety glasses sold in stores.
a consideration if you’re ok with just safety glasses and don’t need goggles.
Not to try and steer Amazon purchases away, but I find Lee Valley and Woodcraft have the GVS Elipse filters for much less. If inappropriate, please let me know.
Beat me to it! I just checked, last time I bought GVS filters about two years ago from Amazon, it was just over $13 for a single pair. The $22 currently being charged is a bit crazy.
Thanks! Will keep that in mind.
We do controlled burns and fight grass fires. Goggles like you pictured fog up badly in warm weather when you are dragging a hose around in hot weather.
What works and doesn’t fog, are fire goggles.
The above are a decent low cost solution and seem to have a very good anti fog lens coating or treatment. After they age enough, they will start to fog but usually by then the lenses are pretty scratched up. Read the reviews where users say they can breathe directly on the lens and they won’t fog. They do get warm though because they aren’t vented, so keep that in mind in hot weather.
Far pricier, but better in hot weather because they are vented and more durable would be the ones below. They will actually fog a little in real hot weather if you stand still and there is no wind. Walking a little seems to be enough to get them to vent well enough to unfog most of the time.
FWIW I recommend the cheaper ones first and only go with the pricier ones if the others are too hot.
The GVS Eclipse filters are much cheaper from industrial suppliers, if you can find any in stock, the $22 a pair is definitely a COVID and Brexit price. That said, I tried to order a new GVS Integra mask, it was back ordered for several months and then cancelled, I’m sure like everyone else GVS’s supplies and distribution have been severely impacted.
That said, I really like that I can get individual replacement parts for the GVS. Filter retaining clip broke? No problem. Headband strap clip broke? Same thing. Miller (the welding equipment brand) rebrands GVS masks and filters, and particularly at the moment, I can find “Miller” replacement filters for cheaper than the official ones. Again depends on where you’re buying from, Amazon is not the best right now for anything PPE since it’s full of resellers that aren’t quite scalping but are pushing the prices.
I bought those Dewalt concealer goggles because I wanted better protection when chainsawing- they have a really nice fit and they’re comfortable, but they tend to hold heat in when it’s humid outside. My standard Dewalt glasses are among the most comfortable as well. Magid makes some glasses similar to the Kleengard that are well-reviewed that I’ve been thinking about getting. I also like my Peltor earmuffs.
I’d be curious to know if you have experience with any Isotunes- their Bluetooth sets seem to be well-priced and I’d like a better option than stock earbuds under my Peltors.
I use a full face respirator for Alaskan chainsaw milling. Vision protection, full face dust protection and VOCs with the right filter. I don’t smell the exhaust or the dust and it keeps my lungs clean. Not cheap but very effective, much better than eye, and lung pro separately. https://www.amazon.com/3M-Facepiece-Respirator-Respiratory-Protection/dp/B009POIWAC
I have a similar mask from 3M that is used regularly around power equipment, where ordinary glasses and safety glasses will and have failed, since goggles are one size fit all and don‘t protect my eyes fully ( gaps around nose ).
I had one metal working eye injury, a few too many saw dust issues, … and have seen a wood chip bounce off my face under my safety glasses. I have prescription safety glasses, for indoor and outdoor … but can’t see well up close and they don’t shield well up top and below.
So I now have safety glasses from 3m that have the extra little dust clip on top and bottom, for next to no extra cost.
Back to full face protection.
I had to work upside down etc inside some cabinets the other week. Mask up. Zero worries.
Had to cut a bunch of construction lumber outside while the wind was blowing it any which way from one minute to the next. Mask up. Zero worries.
People may think it is overkill, but hey, it is my eyes and lungs. Nothing is macho when you get 100% avoidable injuries, and need to go to the ER with something in your eye.
The best anti-fog goggles that I have found are the 3M Goggle Gear 500 series. I have 3 of the Dewalt goggles but they just hang on a hook now. I do a lot of work in goggles and the 3M are far superior for anti-fog than anything else I’ve used. Only about $20.
I also use the GVS Elipse mask and really like it over a lot of other masks I’ve tried. Easy to breathe through and easy to disassemble to clean.
Im a big fan of the Howard leight banded ear plugs. I wear them eveyday all day
I also wear the 3m am / fm headphones that I bought a couple years back but their protection is not as good and when I’m riding the zero turn or the tractor (this is what i bought them for) I struggle to hear my prefered talk radio station and default to music where it doesent matter if I can’t make out everthing.
(Any suggestions on that would be great)
As for disposable gloves I really like the venom black heavyduty nitrile gloves. I was getting from menards untill the pandemic hit and then I havent seen them since.
I almost forgot my most frequently used piece of ppe , I have worn nemesis safety glasses exclusively for about 10 years now .
For safety glasses I really like hexarmor. Particularly the variomatic lenses. When I’m going from indoor to outdoor a lot it helps that I can pop a pair on at the start of the day and then not think about them. I’ve literally driven home with them still on because they are so light, comfortable, and the transition is so smooth.
They are definitely more expensive than a standard pair but are worth it imo because the best safety glasses are the ones I’ll actually wear and don’t forget to put back on.
thanks for the input on Hexarmor they are a local company to me and I was wanting to try some of their products.
For ear pro my shooting muffs do double duty. Howard Leight impact sport electronic. They cut out and filter above a certain sound level and amplify below so I don’t have to constantly take them on and off. They’re also relatively compact and comfortable
Koko The Talking Ape
I have both the GVS Elipse and a 3M 6501QL half mask.
The 3M mask is actually lighter and has a nicer head strap system, with a flexible plastic cradle that spreads the pressure and makes a more secure fit. The QL stands for “Quick Latch,” which is a clever system that lets you flip a lever and drop the mask so you can eat or talk to people, and leave it on your head. Flip the lever back and the mask snugs up again. Also, it has many different filter options. It’s very comfortable. The only downside is that you can’t talk through it. The filters attach to two intake holes that make your voice sound muffled and quacky.
The GVS Elipse is also comfortable, and it’s easier to talk through. And it has a slightly more streamlined profile. But the straps don’t work as well, and it doesn’t have that quick latch feature. I think it was somewhat more expensive too.
My brother, who’s a doctor, gave me an “Envomask,” which he also uses at work. It has a rigid plastic shell, but with a very soft gel seal. It doesn’t fit me well, because I have a low nose bridge and very broad cheekbones. And the straps are thin and not very secure. Replacing the filter is finicky. And it costs $80! But doesn’t look intimidating and it’s easy to talk through. I wear it for grocery shopping and such.
I’d love to see an article on hard hat brands face off, as well as one about hard hat with (and without) chin strap vs helmet (w/wo) chin strap. I just bought a new Klein 60400 and it’s the best one I’ve ever had. I was going for milwaukee but it had a 1 star review! I check here daily for any new tool news and I rarely see stuff for PPE. Hard hats, gloves, boots, face shields. Earbuds vs earplugs for hearing protection. Just some ideas maybe. I’m just a reader lol.
When it comes to nitrile and neoprene gloves it is hard to beat Harbor Freight. I get my thin gloves at Walmart but HF has 5, 7, and 9 mil gloves that are cheap and work well.
The Harbor Freight in my area of PA decided to jack up the prices of their gloves. Pre-covid you could grab a box for $5.99. Last time I checked which was several weeks ago, they were $18.99 a box for the blue ones.
They’re $17.99 in my part of Ohio right now at HF as well, with a note saying that they’re not making extra profit plastered all over the shelf. I’m glad I have enough left to keep me going for a while in the shop.
If/when you can find them (which for me is ~1/3 of the time in recent weeks, though I now have enough stock to last me a while), Walmart has nitrile gloves at prices that aren’t too too much higher than they were pre-COVID.
HF nitrile gloves used to be my go-to, but I haven’t been to an HF in probably a year.
Latex gloves in my experience just don’t fit well on my hands; I usually tear 1 or 2 gloves every time I try to put latex gloves on.
so at home and at work I keep those Solus 1000 glasses. very good, useful and not crazy spendy. I keep 3 in my garage at the moment.
When I scratch one up it gets moved to lawn care duty. Example I managed to get a line across the LH lens so it’s annoying when measuring out and doing woodwork, and annoying when doing car work (seriously cover your eyes if you are under a car no matter what).
But not an issue for string trimming or riding the mower. So I use those if I don’t need sunshdes on.
For ears I use Peltor muffs that I use for my shooting sports. Just to keep in the same brand/system etc. In case I need a spare – I have a spare. Very comfortable for long use though I don’ tkeep them on when I work. 31 db knockdown. but I can hear though then when someone sneeks up on me in the garage.
also +1 on the 3m respirator. Can’t say enough about how good the 6000 is or the better 7000. which is slighly more comfortable if you are going to wear it for hours at a time.
I do actually need serious advice on how to proceed with hearing protection. I have an inherited hearing defect that makes my ears, and my hearing, remarkably different than normal. It’s Genetic and I get this condition from my Mother’s side, and it only affects the Males in the family. I got hit with it, but my older Brother didn’t. Yet I also have two cousins who wear hearing aids. I think, but I’m not sure, if I’m headed toward the hearing aid direction myself.
I’ve never been one to use hearing protection because… honestly the hearing defect has a built-in hearing protection of sorts, and it makes ear plugs and earmuffs difficult to judge. What is also difficult to judge, is hearing damage. No matter how much I am tested, I am able to hear things at a different set of frequencies than is normal, so asking a DOCTOR doesn’t help. I have gone my entire life without having used hearing protection, because it seems impossible to figure out what works, and what is just the hearing defect. I already have Tinnitus developing, I’m 39, and I am UTTERLY frozen in making decisions about what to do to protect my hearing.
Similarly, Eye protection… My eyes aren’t TOO bad, but I do wear glasses. I also run a little warm in general, physically, so fogging is always a problem. It always has been, since I was a baby. There are a dozen different safety goggles I have tried, safety glasses, safety eyewear… Even with “Anti-Fog”… They Fog… and I can’t see… I have tried Edge Eyewear sunglasses, both because they look amazing, and because they seem to be the only safety glasses I can wear outdoors, in the sun, and not get a headache. But… Still Fog.
About the only thing on this guide here that I am POSITIVE about… are the Ansel/Microflex Midknight and Midknight+ gloves. They are in short supply during Covid, and I’m down to my last pair… but they are my perfect gloves. The + series have thicker palm density, and also have a longer cuff. It all comes down to finding a supply now. Ansel themselves (Who now OWN Microflex.) have said, and I quote, “We are reserving all our gloves for Front-Line Workers only at this time. We’re happy you love our product, but we have to focus on the Front Line so you can go back to your life safely.” Which… Frankly is the best answer I’ve ever heard from ANY company I’ve dealt with since 2019. No marketing BS, straight up “You don’t need them as badly as others do. But thanks for liking our products!” The fact that they denied me the way they did? Just makes me EVEN MORE Loyal to them.
And… Just to clarify on something… I don’t feel any shame or stigma to the fact that I have a hearing defect. We need to stop making people feel ashamed about something so common, so natural in all its forms, that it doesn’t feel weird to anyone to walk into a hearing aid retailer, and ask advice or look into getting help. We don’t feel the stigma for glasses, it should follow that Hearing Aids should be the same. And I refuse to stigmatize hearing issues. So… If you have some advice, or something you want to say to me about my hearing, say so. Don’t be shy. I won’t be.
Joe, I would highly recommend you wear hearing protection. Sound is damaging your ears right now, especially the cochlea. You may not be able to hear it, but it is damaging your ears regardless. It’s not dissimilar to being shot, without hearing the gun fire or bullet strike. Wear the same hearing protection anyone else would, likely an over ear model. Tinnitus is permanent, unfortunately, but you can stop it before it gets any worse. Please recognize this is not official medical advice, but I recommend you apply it if at all possible. For the fogging, try a more open pair of glasses. Wraparounds tend to fog more, since it traps the vapor. Hope this helps!
Well, Leo, it helps to know that you think an over-ear model would be preferred, that’s for sure.
As to the rest… It’s not that I don’t WANT Hearing Protection. Far from it. It’s that I’m frozen as to what ones to get. I’ve tried both ear plugs (which push wax deeper into my ear, nearly shutting off my hearing all together somehow, which doesn’t help me tell if the hearing protection is right for me or not.) and earmuffs, and the world sounds basically the same. I can hear straight through them, so, from an audio point of view, I know they’re blocking a large chunk of the sound. But from my personal perspective inside them… They aren’t doing anything, so I do worry that I need to find something that blocks, and this sounds insane, but the different frequencies I still hear because of the hearing defect.
Earmuffs do sound (no pun intended) like the direction I’ll go though… with your recommendation, and because I am likely to go the hearing aid direction as well. Hard to wear both earplugs, AND hearing aids.
But, I will probably check out the 3M series listed above… Then we’ll see how many stabs it takes at the task to find something that works.
And I’m to the point of trying an old science trick for the fogging. Wax/Beeswax or Soap, rubbed on the lenses and polished in place. Provides no grip to condensation at any size, so… in theory… should remove the fog… But, that’ll be an ongoing experiment, I think.
Your audiologist should be able to provide you with suitable recommendations.
Some hearing aids are inserted and meant for daily removal – your audiologist could advise as to if/when/how they should be removed to allow for hearing protection in loud noise environments.
For implants, there are some custom molded earplugs that might work.
If earwax, hereditary conditions, or other factors complicate the use of hearing protection, an audiologist or occupational health and safety specialist can help you find proper PPE solutions. If your audiologist cannot help, they might know who to direct you to.
“It’s too complicated to figure out” is not a good excuse to avoid wearing PPE.
As for earmuffs, turn on the radio. Put on the earmuffs. Is the apparent volume of the radio reduced? From what you’re saying, you hear things a little differently, but you should still hear a reduction in loudness.
Count me as another fan of the GVS dust mask. Cheap and comfortable.
Has anyone found a good solution for condensation building up in the GVS masks, though?
Normally I just try to take a break every 30-45 minutes and wipe the inside of the mask down with a clean dry towel, but I still get condensation dripping down my chin and onto my shirt or shop apron. Not a big deal, just annoying.
Koko The Talking Ape
I haven’t found a solution. When it’s cold out, the mask stays colder than your breath, so the moisture condenses out.
It’s a little weird that the moisture drips down your chin though. The mask has a deep lip or flange around the inside that catches the condensation. At least it does for me. Could it just be your sweat from where the mask touches your face? That wouldn’t be caught by that lip.
I suppose you could get two masks so you can let one dry while you wear the other one.
The flange does catch some condensation, and some of the moisture may be sweat, but I seem to get a decent fit around my chin.
Usually in less than an hour of use (even indoors, but especially outdoors in more humid months or in colder weather) I’ll have the mask + filters so saturated with condensation that I can hold my hand a few inches from the mask, breathe out, and feel a light mist escape from the vent and/or filters. Not a huge deal, just annoying.
I think you’re right; for another $25 or so each I should probably just get another mask or two and (optionally) buy or rig up a small (heat free) blower system, similar to those used to dry out boots, in order to help dry out the masks.
Truly amazingly strong disposable gloves from Amazon (below). I wear XL gloves and these fit my hands fine (though I have thin fingers). These are really strong and tear-resistant.
Venom Steel VEN6145N Nitrile Gloves, 6 mil Disposable Latex Free Black Gloves, 2 Layer Rip Resistant Gloves, One Size Fits Most
I have found the tiger grip nitrile glove to have the best grip which makes up for some of the loss of dexterity any glove gives. When using them to change oil I can still grip the filter enough to turn it where I can’t with others. I think there worth a shot if you use them with grease and oils much.
I’ve learned to go with a size bigger on the nitriles (XXL instead of XL,..). I like the black Raven ones but they are now hard to find…again.
For eye protection, I have sets of DeWalt with magnification lying in various work bags. I am getting older and the presbyopia is kicking in so…cheaters as they say. Up to 1.5x now. But wow, the tape measure is so much useful again, and work less frustrating.
I got a set of the IsoTunes Link (heavy, but pair well and sound protection—jury still out as I want to see how hot my ears get (sweat) when summer outdoor work starts.