My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1812: Elipse Low-Profile Dust Mask Review

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-12-2017 01:12 PM 2181 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1811: The Comfort of Routine Part 1812 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1813: Finished Sloth Pastel Drawing »

(I want to note that I am was in no way compensated for this review. I researched and purchased this mask on my own.)

In today's blog post, I am going to talk about something that I think is rather important. It is something that I have been lax on myself, but I made a vow with my woodworking friend (Leldon) that we are going to change things and try to do a bit better about it. 

What I am referring to is wearing a dust mask when doing our woodworking and cutting wood. 

Now I am not going to get all 'preachy' over this subject. I have been scroll sawing and doing woodworking for years and while I occasionally wear a mask when I do large orders, I found them to be hot and uncomfortable, and because they tend to fog up my glasses which I need to wear while working, sometimes even dangerous. 

But lately, I have noticed that after a cutting session there has been a slight tingling and burning in the back of my nose and throat. The intelligent side of me knows that this isn't good. With all the wood orders that I have had in the past year, it was high time I did some footwork and gather some information as to how to best protect myself and my lungs from the poisonous particles that I was breathing in each time I was in my shop. I knew there must be someone who made a mask that was not only functional but also comfortable. 

I watched a video by "The Wood Whisperer" about this subject and I was convinced more than ever that I needed to address this issue before I made myself sick. (You can watch the short video I saw here:

Everything he said made sense. I would be foolish not to protect myself. 

Just about that time, I received an email from LeeValley Tools. It was their bi-weekly ad that came to my email box, and in it, they featured an Elipse P100 Dust mask. I know that they are sometimes a little more expensive than other places, but not having many shopping options where I live and their excellent customer service added to the fact that they stand behind what they sell, I thought I would give it a try. I looked for reviews on this mask and found several. In every one of them, the mask had high marks. Here is one of the reviews that I watched:

The general consensus was that this was a good choice for a mask for my usage. One of the most important factors was that it didn't fog up your glasses like most masks did, yet sealed tightly against your face as well as comfortably. 

I went to the LeeValley site and saw the mask was only $35 CDN and the replacement filters were only $15. (,42207,43647) The filters were rated for one month of "continuous industrial use" which meant that with my using them only one or two days per week, they would last probably half a year. I thought I would give it a try. 

I received my order on Monday, and yesterday I had some shop work to do. It would be a good opportunity to test this out for myself and see how tolerable it would be. 

The mask was a bit smaller than I thought it would be. 

It came in a 'regular' size as well as a 'large'. I took a shot in the dark and figured my face was 'regular' so I went with that. 

It was compact and lightweight and seemed very well made. I was a bit surprised at the nice quality for the relatively small price. In the past, I had spent nearly $10 on three paper masks that lasted anywhere from five minutes (the cheap elastics broke) to an hour or two. They were hot, uncomfortable and pretty much useless, as there were always gaps between them and my face, defeating the purpose of wearing a mask altogether. I liked that this mask had an exhale port on the front, as it directed the air much lower than the sides of the mask and I am sure contributed to the fact that your glasses were kept clear. 

I also purchased a set of replacement filters. They are multi-layered and were also inexpensive given the lifetime that they profess. 

I tried it on and it was indeed comfortable. I didn't feel like I was suffocating at all or that my breathing was restricted. I usually work with cordless, sound-cancelling headphones and play my favorite music while protecting my ears (it amazes me that I don't have to play the music loud at all to block out the noise of my saw, sander and shop vac!) I also wear reading glasses for all the close work that I do. This was where the real problem came in with using a mask. My glasses would always fog up from breathing and I would have trouble seeing what I was doing.  That could be quite a hazard when working with power tools! 

I donned my gear and headed into the shop for a nice cutting session. After the first few minutes, I was totally unaware of the mask and the gear that I was wearing. It just seemed a part of me. The smaller, low-profile mask did not get into my field of vision when I looked down to scroll saw or sand. That is something that I found the larger masks sometimes did. The side ports protruded a great deal and they would block me from seeing what I was doing. 

I noticed that even when cutting lots of MDF, I couldn't smell it at all. Not only was this mask rated for wood particles and dust, but airborne sprays as well. Not only was it effective, but it was surprisingly comfortable as well. I think I have a winner here. 

As I said, I am not trying to preach or shame others into following suit. I am rather embarrassed in telling you how little I have worn masks in the 20+ years of me doing woodworking. I always used the usual excuses that I hear – "It is uncomfortable." "It is hot."  "It fogs up my glasses."  "I use a fan or dust collecting system to get the dust out of the air." 

But what many don't realize is that it isn't the particles that we SEE that are the most dangerous, it is the tiny, microscopic particles that we don't that can hurt our lungs the most. While some may not want to be 'uncomfortable' when doing their woodworking, I would think that cancer is far more troublesome than wearing a mask would be. Especially when we have some really good choices such as this one. 

People are going to do what they will. I realize that. But I feel that it is important for me to set an example to others in the woodworking field to at least consider wearing a mask while woodworking. With all the toxic chemicals used in MDF and plywood and all the toxic dust from hardwood, it is a wise decision to try my best to protect myself the best that I can. I hope you all think so as well. 

I am glad that I started this practice. When I finished my cutting and sanding, I felt so much better about things. I didn't have to clear my nose and throat and felt much cleaner and I know I am ultimately healthier than if I didn't use a mask. It is a win/win all around. 

I hope to see many of you join me. 

Have a great Thursday! 

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

8 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3717 days

#1 posted 01-12-2017 08:46 PM

:) :) :) ho ho ho
now that is a buty in the shop :)
realy glad you finely are taking your health seriusly
that mask realy looks good
just be aware of when the filters are glogging up
or if you are using filters for paintjob then they have limit lifespan after they have been exposed to air
and most be aware off how long time you are using them every time
do to it craves a little more off your lunges to breath through a mask
just something the so called smartbrained people have found out off just like if you work proffessionel
on a latter every day here in this country you can only do it 20 minuts every day …... ?
taking care of your self is not a dum thing to do but is very wisely of you
every time I use any maschinery as minimum I use ear protection . have learned it the hard way I lost
some off my hearing in the army on the shooting range back then
have a very nice day in the shop :)


View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 2675 days

#2 posted 01-13-2017 03:53 AM

Thank you for the review Sheila and bringing to our attention the need for dust masks. I do forget to wear one myself most times. I usually use a “dust-b-gone” mask if I’m sawing some of the exotic woods but I must get into the habit of wearing one regularly. Thanks for the reminder.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Druid's profile


2161 posts in 3397 days

#3 posted 01-13-2017 05:16 AM

Well Sheila, you’ve just posted a really informative and thorough review of exactly the same mask and filters that my lovely wife gave me as part of my Yule gifts. Obviously, she made a great choice, and I’m impressed with the fit (even with my fuzzy face). I’m curious to see how long I will get from a set of filters.
Thanks for the review.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3522 days

#4 posted 01-13-2017 12:41 PM

Thank you all for your comments. Yes – it is something I should have addressed years ago. This is one case where we can apply the term “better late than never”. So far I haven’t felt the result of any damage I may have done. I hope it isn’t much.

With all the orders I have been doing for wood pieces, this just made sense to me. I would go up to the shop for maybe 6-8 hours at a time, cutting and sanding all the while. No matter which type of ventilation or dust collection system, there is always small particles left in the air that our lungs take in. Those are the most dangerous. I feel good about making this decision. Yesterday (Thursday) I spent a couple of hours cutting with my new mask on and I actually forgot I was wearing it. That was a good sign. I think it is a habit I need to stick with. :)

Thanks for your comments. :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View bushmaster's profile


3765 posts in 2884 days

#5 posted 01-13-2017 10:43 PM

Nice make up, I would hardly recognize you. Makes you look so much younger.. HaHa. What we all desire, I had my 70th birthday Monday. I have several dust masks from Lee Valley, yours is different. One of mine has two straps so one can be unhooked or slid down so one doesn’t need to take it right off. Works well. Not as grand as yours though.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3522 days

#6 posted 01-13-2017 10:49 PM

It is really not that expensive, Brian. But it sure is effective. I have used it twice now this week and both times it worked great. Not stifling like some of them can be. So far, so good. :) I am happy with it.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3406 days

#7 posted 01-22-2017 01:16 PM

Thnx for your review of this very needed safety accessory for us all. I’ve been thinking of getting one of these also. I believe I will in the near future.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3522 days

#8 posted 01-23-2017 02:09 PM

I can’t believe I waited this long, Roger. I should have done it a long time ago. This mask is FABULOUS. I forget it is on! (REALLY!) Get one! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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