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RZ Dust Mask Review

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  • #603437
    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    I first saw this dust mask on Instagram – a bunch of people were getting to try them out and share some of their thoughts about them, so I asked and was sent two to try myself. Before this, I have been using an MSA brand half face cartridge mask I bought years ago (MSA Advantage 200 Half Mask, Large http://us.msasafety.com/Air-Purifying-Respirators-(APR)/Half-Masks/Advantage%26reg%3B-200-LS-Half-Mask-Respirator/p/000100000200001120). My main problems with the MSA was that it is a bear to put on and take off (two sets of elastic bands secure it to your head) and it collects condensation in the bottom of the mask that you have to wipe out every time you use it.

    Reviews I had seen indicated that the RZ would be a revolution in dust mask technology and super comfortable, not to mention much more fashionable than standard masks, so I was intrigued.

    I was sent two masks, one of the M1 style and one of the M2. They came with F1 filters, and a handy little zippered bag to store the masks in (https://rzmask.com/).

    What I like about the masks:

    They are very easy to put on and take off – there is just one strap with micro hook and loop velcro that secures tightly and doesn’t seem to clog up with fuzz or dust. The RZ mask doesn’t hold condensation like the MSA either – there is a little build up in the plastic valve, and that can drip a little, but I’ve had the same issue with my previous mask too, and must be a function of that kind of diaphragm valve. I like that the filter (which seems like a cloth version of the paper masks) can be removed from the cloth body material and valve so that the cloth can be washed and the filter can be replaced. They are also very comfortable to wear. Depending on how you position the strap, the metal nose band (a bit beefier version of what all the paper masks have to form to the bridge of your nose) can dig in a little, but it’s got some padding there so it doesn’t leave much of a mark or hurt after wearing it for a long time. That’s another benefit – no red marks from the edges of the mask being suctioned to your face. The fit is comfortable, but adequate, as long as you’re not creating really fine dust. It’s also much warmer than rubber masks. I’ve been working in my shop on these cold cold mornings, and cloth is much easier to want on your skin when it’s cold out than rubber.

    What I don’t like:

    They say the filters are good down to .1 Microns, but I wouldn’t trust this for anything beyond general dust/ saw dust etc. The filter could be spectacular, and I haven’t noticed any irritation in my nose/ throat/ lungs after wearing it and sanding or cutting a bunch of wood (and once a couple pieces of hardy plank), but the seal around the edge of the mask is not very tight, and with just one strap holding it on, the mask can move around a bit, so I’m sure it’s not maintaining a NIOSH approved seal. They have their own testing posted on their site, but they’re not NIOSH approved (it’s pending apparently)

    Another downside of only one strap is that it creates a pressure point on my nose where all the tension that holds the mask to my face has to center. It’s not bad, and the little bit of padding there helps a little, but I wish that either the strap was a little wider so that it cupped the back of my head or that there were two straps.
    One last thought is that I’ve noticed I still get my safety glasses all fogged up wearing this respirator. It’s another seal issue, but not any more of an issue than other face masks I’ve used. I noticed this aspect of masks specifically addressed in another review done of a 3M mask just recently (https://bethepro.com/forums/topic/btp-review-3m-7500-series-half-mask-respirator/), so I’d love to check that one out some time because that is the main problem for me with wearing safety glasses along with dust masks – if I can’t see I’m not going to be safe, and so I often make the choice to forgo eye protection in favor of dust protection, since I’m usually using tools in the shop that have some measure of dust control/ direction that keeps most of the debris from my eyes. But that’s not ideal.

    Overall, I really like these masks. It’s such an upgrade in comfort and so easy to put on and take off in comparison that I think I’ve used it much more often than I ever used my MSA mask.

    Charlie
    __________________

    Instagram

    #603447
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    I agree, i just got the 3m 6800 and if you pull the mask super tight you might be able to use your regular glasses, but for it to be comfortable, you may need the glasses insert for the full face mask. I am going to see how much it’ll cost all together before I order one for myself as the one I just got is for my wife.

    Otherwise, great review, i like to see more innovative stuff like the rz mask.

    #603483
    madman_us
    Pro
    Palm Springs, CA

    Very nice review charlie, thanks for taking the time.
    I purchase a 3M 7500 last week myself. great mask
    protecting the lungs is very important in a shop

    "If you're going to do something, do it right the first time"
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    Palm Springs, CA

    #603498
    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    Thanks for the review, it’s nice to see dust collection and protection being taken seriously.

    #603524
    58Chev
    Pro
    Etobicoke, ON

    They say the filters are good down to .1 Microns, but I wouldn’t trust this for anything beyond general dust/ saw dust etc. The filter could be spectacular, and I haven’t noticed any irritation in my nose/ throat/ lungs after wearing it and sanding or cutting a bunch of wood (and once a couple pieces of hardy plank), but the seal around the edge of the mask is not very tight, and with just one strap holding it on, the mask can move around a bit, so I’m sure it’s not maintaining a NIOSH approved seal. They have their own testing posted on their site, but they’re not NIOSH approved (it’s pending apparently)

    ThanX for the review. I had contemplated getting a RZ Mask but if they are not rating their filters to standards IE: N95 or better not sure I would want to wear one.

    I have one of the rubber half masks that I can change out filters to match what I was working on, be it dust or chemicals.

    “If you don’t pass on the knowledge you have to others, it dies with you”
    — Glenn Botting

    #603533
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Great review Charlie. Myself, I’ve always wanted a full face mask made by Trend. But the Trend Airshield Pro is still only made with NiCad batteries to power the air circulation. Besides, it’s over $500 now and is a bit pricey for how often I would use it.

    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0045U9XH2/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_2?pf_rd_p=1977604522&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B002Q0Y5IU&pf_rd_m=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&pf_rd_r=W724FRWZ6EMM9SNDC3EY

    #603535
    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    @58chev that’s my concern too. But I did speak with a rep for their site online, and they said they’re in the process of getting a NIOSH rating, but that it can take a few months…I’m sure that if the paper masks can get a rating, then these will too. But I’ll be really interested to see what they get if/when that happens.



    @doobie
    a full face mask with fan would solve all the problems – now we just need to get someone who can make that in a quality mask for under $50, lol.



    @kswiss
    , @r-ice @madman_us thanks fellas.

    Charlie
    __________________

    Instagram

    #603539

    Great review! Im happy with mine (the 3M 7500) but am glad to see that dust collection is becoming more and more of a priority

    And seeing those new dust collection guidelines going into place, looks like we are ahead of the curve on here!

    #617140
    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    Just a heads up RZ Industries just released the new m2.5 with double straps. My main (really, only) issue with the other two models is the fit seemed a little less than air tight depending on someone’s face shape so I’m really interested to see how the new model addresses that issue and if there is anything else they added as far as new features.

    Charlie
    __________________

    Instagram

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    #617175
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    Just a heads up RZ Industries just released the new m2.5 with double straps. My main (really, only) issue with the other two models is the fit seemed a little less than air tight depending on someone’s face shape so I’m really interested to see how the new model addresses that issue and if there is anything else they added as far as new features.

    I’ve been eyeing this and haven’t bought in because of the issue you raised, if they fix this. I’d be up for getting one that isn’t as bulky as my other masks.

    #617188
    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    @r-ice I’ll be sure to let you know. I use my old one every day and haven’t had any problems, but with the straps re-engineered I’m hoping it fits even better. I’m also hoping that the new design holds with their tradition of comfort and easy release, but we’ll see.

    Charlie
    __________________

    Instagram

    #617234
    58Chev
    Pro
    Etobicoke, ON

    Just a heads up RZ Industries just released the new m2.5 with double straps. My main (really, only) issue with the other two models is the fit seemed a little less than air tight depending on someone’s face shape so I’m really interested to see how the new model addresses that issue and if there is anything else they added as far as new features.

    I ended up with a traditional 3M half mask 7500 series. With this mask there is a large variety of filters that will connect to it and are compliant with today’s standards.

    “If you don’t pass on the knowledge you have to others, it dies with you”
    — Glenn Botting

    #617255
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Thanks for the great review, That red one looks like it could be used by the fashion gang.

    #622510
    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    Got the new mask in the mail. I’ll be trying it out and then I’ll let you know how it compares 🙂

    Charlie
    __________________

    Instagram

    Attachments:
    #622538

    Got the new mask in the mail. I’ll be trying it out and then I’ll let you know how it compares 🙂

    Whats the filtration level on that?

    #622576
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    Thanks for the review!

    Thanks for the review, it’s nice to see dust collection and protection being taken seriously.

    True that! I just bought the new 3M Rugged respirator but these RZ masks could be good for when sweeping and stuff.

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #622593
    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    @montreal_woodworks the filters are they same as they were, the only thing I can tell that’s different is the strap design. These have two thin, elastic bands that clip to the mask instead of one thick band that Velcros together.

    Here’s the filtration tests they run on their masks. I’m not sure if it’s to a typical NIOSH standard or not, maybe someone here can let me know.

    https://www.rzmask.com/pages/filter-test-results

    Charlie
    __________________

    Instagram

    #626537
    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    So it’s been less than a month, but I already know enough about the m2.5 to let you all know – it’s not an upgrade. I was really dissappponted because I wanted RZ to have come out with a version that fixes hat was lacking in their previous design, but this isn’t it. The straps have a coulle of problems – they need to be snapped together before you put the mask on and can’t be easily adjusted once they’re on, and the way they fit, in order to hold the mask securely over my face anyway, puts the straps directly across my ears…not comfortable or sensible, especially when wearing ear protection.

    One of the main draws to this dust mask is how easy it is to put on and take off. The thick, velcroed band was the key (in my mind) to the main features of the design, but instead of adding to that, they completely scrapped it and made something new, and, IMHO, much less user friendly.

    Charlie
    __________________

    Instagram

    #649349
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    Placed an order for one of the M2 RZ. It may be good for sweeping up and such.? Decided to give it a try since they have a free mask, just pay shipping promotion.

    here’s the link for those wanting to try it out

    woodworking.rzmask.com/free

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #649360

    Placed an order for one of the M2 RZ. It may be good for sweeping up and such.? Decided to give it a try since they have a free mask, just pay shipping promotion.

    here’s the link for those wanting to try it out

    woodworking.rzmask.com/free

    Sorry Chris, can’t see any links
    I would like to try one out for sure.

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