Weld Fume Management Guide: Choosing the Best Portable Weld Fume Extractor

March 21, 2016

How to Choose the Best Portable Weld Fume Extractor

Armed with a knowledge of the dangers of weld fumes, you know it's important to capture toxic particulate at the source before it has a chance to enter the respiratory zone. The trouble is, you or the welders you oversee are constantly on the move, and they cannot be tied to a single, stationary unit. Or, the necessary budget to implement a whole-plant system is prohibitive. Maybe a cumbersome system seems like overkill.

When space is at a premium, budgets are restrictive or welding tasks don't require large extraction units, portable weld fume extractors are a great solution. This weld fume management guide, Choosing the Best Portable Weld Fume Extractor, will focus on a handful of topics to think about as you decide on a portable extraction unit.

4 Considerations to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Portable Fume Extractor

You don't have to sacrifice the ability to capture fume in the name of portability when it comes to extraction. To make sure the implemented unit doesn't underperform and cause more harm than good, keep the following four considerations in mind.


One of the main benefits of a portable weld fume extractor is the ability to move it around your facility or weld site with ease. This increases the likelihood of dings and dents, so it's imperative that the unit be built to last. Look for an extractor with heavy-duty stainless steel cabinet construction featuring 100% welded seams. Welded seams and a durable cabinet will prevent against leaks, and leaks are the enemy of clean air.

If the unit features casters or wheels, look for heavy-duty commercial grade ones that won't need to be changed out every few months. Additionally, locking functionality may come in handy if you want the mobile until to remain stationary as you work on uneven floors.


Often times, those who are researching portable fume extraction units – such as weld training facilities, small-scale project welders and mobile service people – could benefit from a variety of source capture units to match the diverse nature of the work they perform.

The highest end portable fume extractors are all-in-one units with quick-change capability allowing the welder to quickly transition the unit from a fume arm capture system to a worktable with down or back draft capture built in. Whatever method of source capture best fits the current welding application, flexible weld fume captures units are as adaptable as the welder who uses them, increasing budget efficiency.


Just because the unit is portable doesn't mean performance should be sacrificed. While features should be scaled to an appropriate degree, they should not be removed altogether. High-performance blowers and pulse cleaning filters are features you should look for in top-of-the-line portable weld fume extractors.

High-performance blowers create ample airflow to ensure as much toxic particulate as possible is captured, and it's important the machine can handle your output. Keep outside factors, like open windows and doors, in mind as even a light breeze can quickly increase the necessary airflow to capture weld fume. An Airflow Calculator can assist in determining how many CFM a system will need to generate.

Pulse cleaning filters, often left out of portable extractors, shed particulate from filter media, eliminating re-entrainment. This feature increases both the effectiveness and lifespan of the filters meaning less necessary budget for future consumables.


Welding processes, aside from creating toxic fumes, generate a lot of sparks as well. Portable weld fume extractors should incorporate spark arrestance technology to prevent sparks from turning into full blown fires during the ventilation process. This process is most effectively employed by extinguishing sparks before they have a chance to reach the dust collector and filter media.

Controlling Weld Fumes with RoboVent

RoboVent, the leaders in clean air technology, have decades of experience providing a variety of industrial ventilation solutions including portable weld fume extraction. Furthermore, RoboVent is more than a supplier – they are a team of engineering professionals committed to delivering systems and products that improve the environment, process systems, and the health and safety of your workers.

RoboVent assumes total project responsibility for the systems it delivers meaning there is a single source of responsibility for you to rely on. While quality and construction and continued technological innovative are vital to the service RoboVent provides, it is the personalized customer care that sets our solutions apart.

Contact RoboVent today to learn more about our innovative systems, processes and approach.