Portable Fume Extractors are an excellent source capture solution for welding shops. They are affordable and can be easily moved to the places in the shop where they are needed the most.
Deciding whether a portable is the best fit for your application depends on the application itself. One advantage of the portable is that it is source-capture and can travel between workstations. One downside of the portable is that (by the nature of it being portable) the amount of filter media we can fit in the unit is limited.
You should ask yourself if the portability benefit is worth the reduction in filter life. Sometimes this is unavoidable, especially if you are welding on large pieces, in many different spots, etc.
If you are welding on small items, or in a very consistent location all the time, you may want to consider one of our more fixed solutions.
Portables have gotten a bad name, but we're trying to fix that. There are a few primary reasons for this, and what we plan to do about them:
A major issue is a mismatch in product selection and application. Portables are one of the most affordable fume extraction methods. It is for this reason that most people buy them outright without considering whether they are a proper fit for their use.
The second reason is that most portables on the market are cheaply made and not welder-friendly. Typical units are small and plastic with limited arm-reach. Therefore, we have made our portables out of thick/durable steel with a higher arm-mount position.
Filter life and capacity is another issue. By being portable, there is not much room in those small/cheap portables for filter media. We have not only maximized the filter media with the largest filter capacity in the industry, but have added a pulsing feature that extends that filter life even further.
Another inherent issue with small units is suction distance. Suction distance is probably the number one reason welders do not like portables. Weak suction distance means that the arm needs to be substantially closer to the source to properly remove the fumes. If the arm needs to be close, it means that the arm obstructs the welders' view and mobility. This is why we have doubled the suction distance on our portables. The arm effectively removes the welding fumes while allowing the welder full access to their work.