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SR-500 PAPR Vs. 3M Versaflo

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Roger Chandler, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. Rob Price

    Rob Price

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    There's a polycarbonate impact resistant shield available for it. I'm also 99% sure it's a rebadged Uvex Bionic shield with a hose attachment and face shroud added on.

    EDIT: I reached out to Peke- they do have the polycarbonate version despite what their website says. I do see where the powercap is not rated as high as the PAPRs as well. I think if I’m going to go down this road I might as well get the best protection I can get. I’m chatting with one of the Zlink people tomorrow. Right now I’m leaning towards the Malina setup. Replacement filters are reasonable as well- as long as Peke carries them. That’s the other concern, Peke is the only US distributor that I can find for the Malina system. It’s a European company.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  2. Rob Price

    Rob Price

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    I was about to order the Malina unit when I got an alert that one of my eBay watched items was expiring. I made an offer on a new versaflo 305n package and the seller accepted my offer (should have gone lower). Combined with a m-107 helmet and hose from Amazon I'm coming in less than $700. I'm pretty happy about it.
     
  3. Rob Price

    Rob Price

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    So I tried out the Versaflo unit today, it’s fantastic. I‘m very happy with it. I was torn about the Malina- better battery life and multiple speeds but I fell back on the idea that I’m not depending on a single vendor for parts/filters/support down the road. I was a little concerned the airflow would be too much- that it would dry my eyes out but it did not, and with the summer coming up I‘m sure I will enjoy it even more. I turned some walnut today which always leaves me stuffy and coughing, even with a dust mask. Not today. I was pleasantly surprised at not smelling anything, zip, zero, zilch. It was weird- I’m so used to a Velcro dust mask, glasses, and bionic visor. I felt a little exposed at first just wearing the Versaflo, but so much more comfortable.

    I did grab a used Trend air shield as well off the classifieds here. I need to replace the face seal and filter but my son tried it today and it seems to work well enough, I’ll wear it once it’s refreshed and see how I like it compared to the Versaflo but I think the Versaflo will be my main go-to unit.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  4. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Mar 19, 2016
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    Location (City & State):
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    The three choices I looked at are the Trend Air Shield Pro, JSP Powercap, and a PAPR system. I was unaware of Zlink and would have looked at that. Late February a brand new 3M Versaflo PAPR on Amazon is in the $1500 - $2000 range. The Trend is around $450 and the Powercap is around $500. This is with the shield protectors and spare filters. I ended up spending around $550 including 40 shield protectors and 4 sets of filters for my PAPR system. A new 3M Versaflo was beyond my pocketbook, so I got a new military surplus 3M Breathe Easy PAPR (predecessor to the 3M Versaflo) from Ebay for $250, less the shield. I bought new Versaflo face shield from Amazon for $200, and 3 sets of filters from Ebay. That being said, the Ebay source for reasonable priced 3M Breathe Easy turbo units is way high at this time because of COVID-19 I suspect. I compared specifications based on internet information.
    The Trend and Powercap both carry a ANSI Z87.1+ (high impact ) where the rating for the Versaflo M107 is ANSI Z87.1 (impact). I would prefer the high impact rating, but have accepted the impact rating. For dust protection, the Trend and PAPR both have a TH2P rating. The Powercap has a TH1P rating. The PAPR uses P3 rated filters and the Powercap uses P2 rated filters. Couldn’t find a rating on the Trend filters. Max air flow of the PAPR is about 9 CFM while the Trend and Powercap are 7 CFM. All list the minimum airflow required at 6 CFM. The PAPR has a flow meter to check the airflow, but I’m not sure on the others. The weight of Versaflo helmet is 1.4 lbs., the Powercap is 1.8 lbs. and the Trend is 2.2 lbs. A PAPR hood rated at TH2P is 5 times better at keeping contaminants away from the user than one rated at TH1P. However, there are two factors that need to be accounted for before choosing a mask. One is the toxicity of the airborne particulate (wood dust can be pretty nasty) and the density (unit per volume) actually in the air. So saying that one mask is rated for MDF dust while another isn’t is not quite the whole story. It really depends on how much dust is present. So in an open shop with good airflow and an ambient air dust collector running, the TH2P unit may not offer a significant factor of protection over the lower rated TH1P mask given the low density of dust in the air. On the other hand, a closed shop with no ambient dust collection would pose a much greater risk.
    A P3 filter is rated at 99.97% filtering out contaminants while a P2 filter is 98%.
    I’m not recommending any one system. Each user needs to determine what is right for them.
    My final decision was based on air flow and face shield weight. Yes, it is somewhat a PIA to put on, but not bad once “suited up”. I am using it religiously and do notice a difference. However I think all of the systems will provide good protection.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  5. Ernst-Jan Eijlers

    Ernst-Jan Eijlers

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    Mar 24, 2019
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    Hi Doug, Many thanks for the details you provided. I consider to buy a TR315kit which has the TR-3712E P filter. I know mentioned the TR600 variant, but could you please give me an indication of the lifespan of your filter? Very much appreciated!
     
  6. Paul Grenier

    Paul Grenier

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    I bought the 3M Versaflo and I am absolutely satisfied with it in terms of air flow, HEPA filtration (nose blowing test results) head and face protection,, lithium battery, comfort factor and reliability. I bought a never used kit with all of the pieces in absolutely as new off of EBay from a seller with a 99% rating for about $800 and consider it to be a great deal and a great investment in my health and safety.
     
  7. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    I have had it ~1-1/2 yrs I think and still using the original filter. I use the thin foam prefilter as well. I usually run my dc when turning, and always when sanding. With the blower/intake behind you it actually doesnt pull in a great deal of dust. Much different than if the whole room was full of dust. I dont know yet how long a filter could last. Depends on the environment its used in.
     
  8. Ernst-Jan Eijlers

    Ernst-Jan Eijlers

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    Hi Doug, Many thanks for your swift and detailed response! This was very helpful. I am not an active user of forums, but your response proofs the value!
     

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