In my blog on Peter Jurrjen’s Mini-Cyclone, I made a passing reference to the Triton Air Respirator.
The Triton Air Respirator takes some getting used to. I don’t wear it for all my woodworking, but I do wear it whenever sanding, turning, routing, and using the table saw. When you think about it, that almost covers almost all of my woodworking activities.
The Air Respirator does more than its name implies. Not only does it protect the lungs, it also protects the head against knocks, the eyes against chips and dust, and the hearing against noise.
The concept is a simple one. Attached to a AS/NZS 1801 approved hard hat is the AS/NZS 1270 approved ear protection, AS/NZS 1337 approved safety shield that protects the face and allows the user to wear eye glasses, and a neck shroud to create an enclosed environment.
Running into the back of the shroud is an air-hose that pumps fresh filtered air from a waist belt attached filter-pack. The filter-pack houses the five rechargeable batteries, and two internal air filters rated to the Australian standard as P2 (Equivalent to the American N95 class). These filters allow 1% of the particles below 1 micron to pass and will remove 95% of particulates down to 0.3 micron. There is also an externally mounted filter which is intended to catch larger particles. The supplied recharger plugs into this unit with a red LED indicating charging. There is an on/off toggle to turn the power on and off.
Triton supplies a flow-meter with the Air Respirator that measures the amount of air pressure created by the filter fans. The principal of the air respirator is to create positive air pressure within the ‘head capsule’. This prevents the invasion of dust and allows the wearer to breath fresh filtered dust-free air. The flow of fresh air down the inside of the face shield prevents it from fogging up from breath condensation.The flow meter is a simple clear plastic tube with a floating ball trapped within the tube. If there is sufficient charge in the batteries, the ball floats within a target area printed on the clear plastic tube. It there is insufficient flow, the ball falls below the target area which indicates that the batteries need charging.
I own two different brands of air respirators, and the Triton is definitely my preference. It is relatively comfortable to wear, so much so that I quickly forget I’m wearing it. I soon remember when I reach my hand to my face to relieve an itch and am stopped from doing so by the face shield. By the way, the face shield has three indent positions; fully closed, partly open, and fully open. However, the head unit does cut down a little on the peripheral vision.
Although I’ve never worn it for a full eight hours, the charge is sufficient for between seven and eight hours use. I tend to recharge it every night, or after four or five hours of use.
The slight embarrassment of looking like an astronaut is quickly put aside when after a vigorous day of dust creation you still feel as fresh as a daisy. I give this safety kit a strong recommendation.
For a detailed review of the Triton Air Respirator read this review by Bill Esposito. By the way, the reviewer is wrong about the number of batteries in the powered filter-pack (unless Triton have changed this since I purchased mine).
-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/