|Review by Elizabeth||posted 09-11-2010 10:03 PM||2541 views||0 times favorited||13 comments|
I had read about various enclosed-air systems while setting up my shop. I knew I wanted one because I haven’t yet got a proper dust collection system in place and didn’t want to wait to do anything until I had one.
I liked the look of the Triton Tools Power Respirator and read some positive reviews so I decided to get one. That was easier said than done. Many reviews are a few years old and the companies mentioned in them no longer sell the unit. One place I saw online has it listed as available at the end of the month (at that time it was July) and I placed an order – then I got an email telling me that they’d been waiting for 18 months so far and didn’t know when it would actually be in stock.
I emailed back and canceled my order.
I eventually found a listing for it at Lowes.com – item number 20978. They offered it for $229 and could deliver it to my local store, which is what I did. It took a little over a week to get it in.
I hadn’t had a chance to use it much until this weekend. Yesterday and today I’ve been using it while turning pens and I am really pleased with it. I have a clean air supply and don’t have to worry about wood chips in the face. I was startled after my first pen when I took the helmet off and saw streaks of padauk dust all over the face mask – that stuff would have been in my lungs otherwise.
The only problem I have had is with the ratcheting system which sizes the helmet to your head. It was very loose and wouldn’t keep its position when I first got it. However, there is a screw in the center of the dial and I tried tightening it a bit. It’s better now and has not come loose while I’ve worn it but I think if I tugged on it too hard while putting the helmet on it might loosen by a couple of notches. Not a big deal and it may just be a problem with my unit and not the overall design.
I haven’t found the helmet too heavy, as some have commented. The belt pack is a little bit awkward sometimes but once I am working I don’t really notice it. The attached ear protection works well as far as I can tell – I haven’t got any really noisy machines yet though. Based on what I can and can’t hear with the radio playing I’d say they are not as effective as some other really good separate ear protection might be…but also they’re integrated really well into the dust system, which you can’t get anywhere else. I’ll probably get some other ear protection as well for when I’m working with the planer or other loud tools that aren’t directly in my face.
I’d definitely recommend getting one if you have any concerns about dust getting into your face and lungs.