Mesh Vs Micron – What is the difference?

When talking about paint filters there are two terms that are thrown around quite often that are important to understand – Mesh and Micron. Both terms can ultimately do the job in telling you how fine a paint filter is; however both terms are quite different from one another.

So what exactly is a micron? Essentially it is a unit of measurement used in determining particle size. Typically the term micron is thrown around for describing extremely small items. To get a better sense of just how small we are talking about, some linear equivalents below will tell the story.

  • 1 micron = .0000394 inches
  • 1,000 microns = 1 millimeter
  • 25,400 microns = 1 inch

So then what does mesh size mean? The way in which to figure out the mesh size of a paint filter is quite simple. If you took the time, all you have to do is count the number of openings in one inch of screen. The total number of openings becomes the mesh size. With that being said, a 30 mesh screen has 30 openings, 100 mesh screen has 100 openings, and so on. Therefore, a high number represents a finer filter.

Bottom line when discussing mesh and micron for paint filters is that they are both talking about how fine the filter truly is. In addition, referencing the mesh to micron conversion chart below, you will see that there is an inverse relationship between each other. The higher the mesh size of something, the lower the number of microns that filter will be.

Mesh to Micron Conversion Chart