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How To Select the Best Portable Welding Fume Extractor For Your Needs

Published: June 12, 2020

A Welder Welding A Metal Plate

Fume extractors are extremely important for making sure workers are kept safe and that OSHA requirements are met. These systems come in different form factors, including portable, benchtop, and mounted units.

Portable units are excellent for many shops, and if you’re in the market for a portable welding fume extractor, you’re going to want to know how to choose one to fit your needs.

So how should you make the decision to choose a welding fume extractor?

Key Considerations for Choosing a Welding Fume Extractor

Flexibility

Flexibility is the reason you chose a portable unit in the first place. But just being able to move it around doesn’t make a unit completely flexible.

The best portable fume extractors are all-in-one, meaning they can change the way fumes are captured depending on the application. Some jobs need a fume arm capture system, and others need a worktable with backdraft capture. The best portable fume extractors can be adjusted to fit your needs.

Durability

Your unit is going to be taking the occasional hit. It’s also likely going to be moving around a fair bit. If you provide mobile services, going from place to place and setting up a station where you go, your unit is going to take even more abuse.

A durable unit will have 100% welded seams, and the cabinet should be made of heavy-duty stainless steel. The wheels and the casters should also be strong enough to handle a great deal of movement over time.

Safety

Since your portable fume extractor was purchased to increase workplace safety, it’s important that the system be safe to use. A malfunctioning portable unit could be a fire hazard due to sparks.

A good unit will use spark-suppression technology to prevent this from happening. Spark suppression is where sparks get extinguished in the system before it has the time to reach the filter media, which is made of a flammable material, and ignite dust in the dust collector.

Longevity

Similar to durability, longevity is a key factor in choosing a unit. If your business or shop is going to be open for a long time (which you should always assume it will), you’ll want a unit known to last. Factors affecting longevity include how easy it is to move, how often the unit will be used, and how long before it starts to leak.

Performance

A good portable fume extractor will have strong airflow. Depending on the size of your work area and the current airflow situation due to window and vent placement, you may need a fume extractor with a higher CFM.

The reason airflow is so important is because stronger airflow can capture more toxic compounds into the system, allowing for cleaner air.

In Summary