In a day and age when air pollution rules our lives, it is impossible to imagine dust lying around any space from our homes to offices. But if you have a workshop where dust particles are regularly collected, you need an efficient way to clean it.
And, in the middle of a busy schedule, it is difficult to make time for elaborate dusting routines. Does that mean you let the particles pile up? Obviously not.
A dust collector is one of those fine inventions that has proved to be invaluable in the 21st century. If you haven’t got one yet, we’ll help you decide how to pick the best dust collector.
How It Works
This isn’t the kind of complicated science that will have you leap towards a dictionary. You probably know that dust collectors have a wide hose that is used to absorb lots of dust quickly and with minimum effort.
The thing that sets each product apart is its suction capacity. Every dust collector has an impeller which is the rotating part of the machine and it sucks in the dust and sends it to a bag.
Meanwhile, the air makes its way to the filter bag which is usually on top. With the use of low pressure and a lot of air, dust is extracted through the hose and the surface you are targeting gets cleaned. All you need to do after that is clean the dust bags and place them back on the machine.
Dust collectors are very useful in cleaning waste materials from heavy-duty work spaces. It not only keeps a workshop clean but avoids machines from malfunctioning by keeping the functional parts clean. And a lot of the newer models are see through so that you can tell how much of it is filled.
What to Look for in a Dust Collector
While the science on the subject is quite simple, it takes more than a couple of things to decide which dust collector is best for your needs. Here’s what you should look for when you read the specifications and features of a product.
All dust collectors have a cubic feet per minute rating. This is how the volume of air a certain product can absorb in a certain time period is measured.
If you’re looking at portable models, you are likely to find 650 CFM as the standard. But if you want one for a small workshop, you must aim for something above 700 CFM.
Commercial workshops, on the other end of the spectrum, deal with a lot more dust. So, a rating of 1,100 CFM or more is recommended.
This one is easy to figure out. If you’re aiming to clean a small space, a portable handheld dust collector might do the trick. But if you want to clean an industrial setting, you need something big. That’s the obvious part.
But here’s something else to consider. The logic isn’t just about space but also the amount of cleaning up you need to do. If the project you’re working on leads to a lot of dust, you might want a higher capacity dust collector even if the size is small.
Here’s where it gets specific. Dust collectors come with a variety of filters depending on the dust you are targeting. Some of them work for large particles while the others do a fantastic job with fine dust particles.
If you get a dust collector with a woven filter, you can do a bit of both. And by a bit we mean particles that are tinier than five microns. So, you’ll be good to go.
Our Top 5 Suggestions for Best Dust Collectors
Here are our top picks for the best dust collectors in the market. Take a look.
This is a high-performing product from a reliable brand. It is built to meet expectations and just in case something goes wrong, they have good customer service options waiting for your call. Bucktool is very enthusiastic about bringing genuine products to its customers and this one is the result of that spirit.
For starters, this dust collector auto-starts and has a really powerful induction motor. All you need to do is plug it in. You can use it with all kinds of workshop tools that need to be cleaned so that your work space is hygienic and your tools are spic and span.
It is also good with different materials from wood to plastic. From sanding and grinding to polishing and deburring, this dust collector can do a lot. It has great capacity which means it can take care of a lot of debris in one go. All the parts are made of metal which give it a long life.
- Motor Power: 1.2 horsepower; 120 volt
- Maximum Suction: 3,450 RPM
- Rating: 750 CFM
- Certification: CSA listed
- Full Load: 6.5 amps
- Item Weight: 55.9 pounds
- Package Dimensions: 29 x 19 x 18 inches
- Maximum Static Pressure: 8.5 inches
- Standard Bag Filtration: 2.5 microns
- Bag Volume: 5.4 cubic feet
- Comes with an auto-start function which can be connected with machine 7 A Max.
- Has a well-designed PET bag clasp that makes attaching and removing the dust bag easy.
- Has a portable base that is 16 and a ½ x 26 and ⅜ inches with caster wheels.
- In the Box: 5 pieces reducer, flexible dust extraction hose, a plastic and a cloth lower collection bag, 2.5-micron cloth upper collection bag and a PET bag clamp
- Comes with auto-start function
- Works as a stationary and mobile unit
- No need to buy accessories separately
- Compact and powerful
- Suction isn’t that great even at its capacity
The second brand of our choice is the highly popular WEN. But that is not why we chose it. This 12-gallon dust collector is an excellent way to keep your woodshop clean and free from sawdust.
It has a strong motor with an excellent CFM rating. For once, saying that a product sucks is a good thing and this WEN dust collector is a good example of that. The impeller of this dust collector is combined with a dust port inlet that can be connected to the tools that you need to clean.
It has four swivel casters that can be used to lock the dust collector in place so that it doesn’t accidentally move when you’re in deep cleaning mode.
This product is compact enough for you to move it around between jobs. Once you take off the wheels, you can mount it on the wall and access it when you need it.
- Has a 5.7-amp motor that moves more than 660 CFM.
- Comes with four swivel casters that prevent unwanted movement while in use.
- Has a compact design to allow easy transportation and storage.
- Can be mounted on the wall when needed.
- Item Weight: 18.6 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 12.25 x 12.5 x 14.25 inches
- Voltage: 120 volts
- Wattage: 684 watts
- Compatibility: WEN 10-Foot Dust Hose (model 28200), WEN 20-Foot Dust Hose (model 28221).
- Warranty: Two years
- Comes with a wall mounting option
- Easy to move and store
- Lightweight and compact
- Does not have high-airflow capacity
- Does not have as strong a motor as some competitor models
Our third choice is a portable dust collector from Rikon. This is a 60-105 model that is compact (as it should be) and great for small business operations. It has a good motor for its size and can be mounted on the wall or with built-in casters depending on your storage availability.
It can be moved easily, of course, but it also has great suction that can take down big-ticket items like jointers and planers. There is an adjustable pipe extension that is helpful when being used with drill presses and workbenches that need higher positioning of the collecting funnel.
- Has a 1-horsepower motor.
- Works very well for small shops.
- Comes with a 2-micron cloth bag for dust collection.
- Contains a 9 feet 4 inches hose.
- Comes with an adjustable pipe and a funnel attachment system (9 and ¼ x 5 inches).
- Can be mounted on the wall.
- Comes with the required mounting hardware.
- Item Weight: 54.4 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 19.5 x 17 inches
- Compact and easy to store
- Flexible usage
- Has a strong motor for a portable model
- Comes with good suction
- Can be a bit noisy
- Not so lightweight for a portable model
This is another compact wall-hanging dust collector from Powertec that is a great way to keep clutter off the floor. From collecting fine sawdust to clearing wood chips, this dust collector can handle a range of particles.
It is wall mounted and can move pretty easily in the shop collecting the pollutants. Attach the hose to the tool you want to clean and the machine takes care of the rest.
- A wall-hanging dust collector that comes with a mounting bracket.
- Comes with one 2.5-micron filter bag.
- Can be used in small shops from collection of sawdust particles on tables to extracting wood chips at the source.
- Comes with a reusable micron bag that has a window and a zipper so that you can see dust levels in the bag and dispose them off accordingly.
- Has an on/off switch for safety
- Motor: 1 horsepower with 120V/240V
- Power: 7 amps at 120V, 3.5 amps at 240V
- Motor Speed: 3,450 RPM
- Airflow Capacity: 537 CFM
- Intake Hole Size: 4 inches
- Item Weight: 40.8 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 19 x 18.5 x 16 inches
- Size: 44 inches high with bag inflated
- Easy to use
- Can clean particles on a wall
- Dust bag comes with a visual indicator so you know when to empty it
- Does not have very good airflow capacity
- Manufacturer does not offer as much warranty as competitors
Our last recommendation is from Shop Fox which is also a popular brand for this product. Shop Fox is well known for making premium-quality dust collectors that capture dust right at the source no matter which tool you are using.
This model has an efficient duct system and has good suction. Every woodworker ends up owning one of these at some point. This dust collector ensures minimal static pressure loss and it can be mounted on a wall when not in use.
- Has a 2.5-micron Dust bag with 2 cubic feet capacity and a window so that you can check dust levels.
- It has a zipper at the bottom to make disposal easy.
- Comes with a white powder‐coated finish.
- Has a steel base plate that mounts easily on most walls.
- Intake Hole Size: 4 inches
- Motor: 1 HP, pre-wired at 120V
- Amp: 7 amp at 110 volts, 3.5 amp at 240 volts
- Air Suction Capacity: 537 CFM
- Static pressure: 7.2 inches
- Filter Rating: 1 micron
- Impeller: 10 inches balanced cast aluminum radial finish
- Canister Filter Size (diameter x length): 15 x 16 and 3/16 inches
- Height with Bag Inflated: 46 inches
- Has a long warranty period (which has to be requested from customer service)
- Has really great airflow capacity
- Dust bag has a window and a zipper
- Not as lightweight as you’d like
- Refills can be expensive
The Final Word
There are many reasons to get a dust collector. And that right there is why the model that your friend absolutely loved for their workshop might not work for you. We’ve given you the factors to keep in mind while choosing one. After a careful look at that, you should be able to pick one from our recommendations with ease. Hopefully, you already have. Happy shopping!