Are you on the hunt for an easier and more effective way to clear your home or shop of dust?
You know how frustrating dust can be to clean. It seems that the more you attempt to get rid of it, the more it flies around and seems to multiply before your eyes!
Dust Collector - Comparison Guide
Rousseau 5000 Dust Solution for Miter Saws
The Dust Deputy
BLACK&DECKER CHV1410L Cordless Hand Vac
18" Professional Microfiber Mop
The Dust Deputy DIY Standalone Anti-Static Cyclone Separator
Vibrawipe Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
O-Cedar Dual-Action Microfiber Duster Set
Where Can You Use a Dust Collector?
Power tools are known for creating excess dust throughout the shop.
Many woodworkers will commonly use items such as drillers, band saws and other tools without giving thought to the dust that is occurring from their usage.
Dust collectors are an essential piece of equipment for anyone working in a small shop or with woodworking. If you do a lot of painting, you may require the use of a dust collector as well since you will be sanding the surfaces.
In addition, anyone who is refinishing furniture might find that having a dust collector around will help keep a neater environment.
Anywhere that people are working continually among dust particles would be an essential place to put a dust collector. Even when using the proper protection such as goggles and masks, dust can still end up inside the human body.
This dust leads to respiratory issues and can eventually cause life-threatening damage to the lungs. In addition, dust inside the human eye can cause damage to eyesight.
Dust collectors also have a way of collecting harmful gasses. These gasses also have the ability to cause health issues for workers and can be avoided with the proper protection.
Dust Collector Features Explained
There are three main types of dust collectors: air filtration systems, single stage collection systems and dual stage collection systems.
Air Filtration Systems
Whole unit air filtration systems will clean the air and then release it back into the same space. Other air filtration systems exhaust the air and are used on smaller scales.
Another kind of air filtration system can be with a built-in HEPA filter. This will trap allergens and is used for extreme air filtration.
Single Stage Collection Systems
These operate much like a larger-scale vacuum. It traps dust with the help of air pressure. Most smaller industries will use these if they don’t produce an excess of dust.
They are portable units that can easily be maneuvered around as needed. The system will include a filtration unit, intake ports and a collection bag or canister. Then, when the unit is full, it gets emptied.
Some of these units can be connected directly to the dust source. This is useful when there is a piece of machinery causing a large amount of dust.
Dual Stage Filtration System
This simply adds an additional stage to the single stage filtration system. Not only will these systems eliminate more dust but they keep the machinery running for longer periods of time.
Dual-stage systems collect large particles in a separate can from the fine microscopic dust. All the smaller particles will be trapped inside a filter. These generally hold the most amount of dust.
What to Look For In the Best Dust Collector Systems?
Choosing the right dust collector system will vary depending on your needs. Here are some things to gauge which system is right for you.
Size of Your Area
Determine the space that needs to be cleaned. Once you are aware of the space you are working with, you’ll be able to find a dust collector that is right for that room.
Portable vs. Fixed Unit
Larger-scale industries are going to need multiple fixed units for the best amount of dust collection. Most people don’t have the budget for this, nor do they need such a sophisticated system. For those in smaller industries, a portable dust collector will work just as well and save you money.
Amount of Dust Released
You need a collector that will handle the capacity of dust released in your situation. Determine how much dust you produce and then, you’ll be able to determine the machine that will best suit your needs.
While the expensive units have automatic dust disposal systems, many regular users cannot afford that. When using a lower-scale system you’ll have to determine how and where you want to dispose the dust. This will make an impact on the type of machine you choose.
Type of Dust
Different types of dust will require specialized collectors. Knowing what type of dust you are producing and the size of the particles will help to narrow down your choices. Some systems can collect sticky or abrasive materials while others won’t hold up to this kind of abuse.
Cyclone Dust Collectors Explained
Cyclonic-type collectors are larger than the single stage system. They are usually fixed units and come with a powerful suction.
Many of them will require a 220-volt service to operate. Wood chips and dust will be sucked into a funnel-shaped chamber. The heavier particles are going to fall into a separate drum from the finer particles.
Debris gets separated before it passes through the impeller which provides for a longer life.
Most cyclonic systems feature bigger impellers and motors. This creates greater airflow so it can be used for multiple machines without sacrificing performance.
Most small-scale users will not find that the investment in a cyclonic system is right for them. In addition, most smaller shops aren’t going to have the room for installation of a system with this magnitude.
Top 9 Dust Collectors Reviewed
You’ll find a list of the 9 best dust collectors below; these are the products that will do the job quickly, efficiently, and easily, and come highly recommended by happy clients.
1. Jet DC 1100VX-CK Dust Collector
- Vortex cone improves chip separation and...
- Eliminates premature filter clogging for...
- Single stage design for economical and quiet...
- Industrial controls designed for years of...
First and foremost on our list is the Jet DC-1100 Dust Collector by Jet. This beauty of a machine is a workhorse to improve conditions and cleanliness in your shop without any loud or abrasive noises.
It separates chip sizes for a better and more compact fill of its collection bags, which are easy to remove and replace. The clear canister lets you know when it has reached capacity. Easy to set up and will be a feature in your shop for years to come!
2. WEN 3410 3 Speed Air Filtration System
- Circulate the air in a 400 square foot room...
- Three-speed operation flows air at a rate of...
- Includes a 1-micron filter and a 5-micron...
- Programmable timer automatically shuts unit...
It might not be immediately obvious, but the WEN 3410 has a solid spot on our dust extraction list for its ability to pull the contaminants right from the air without you having to lift a finger!
You don’t have to worry about noise; at a reasonable 50 to 60 dB it’s got a hum without any disturbing racket, making it ok to use any time of day. The WEN is easy to set up, and won’t require a lot of know how to get it started right away. It handles particles from 1 to 5 microns, meaning that it’ll take care of sawdust, pollen and other air pollutants so you can breathe easier.
It comes with a remote control and a handy timer, which means you can have it automatically shut down after 1 hour, 2 hours or 4 hours – possibly the least work at dust collecting you’ll ever do!
3. Rousseau 5000 Dust Solution for Mitre Saws
- Hood Captures Dust And Directs Airflow To 4"...
- Interior Baffles Prevent Escape Of Fine Dust
- Use With Shop Vass, Dust Collectors Or...
- Hood Folds Into Heavy Duty Carry Bag For...
Last but not least on our best dust collection systems list is the dust hood for your shop. One fabulous way to reduce and collect dust in your shop is to keep it contained with the Rousseau 5000 Dust Solution for Mitre Saws by Rousseau.
Even without the dust collector turned on, the hood itself has been designed in such a way to help contain dust in an easy to clean area instead of floating all over your shop, creating a huge mess.
If you simply propped the hood over your mitre saw the sawdust tends to fall along the sides of the hood and then collect at the bottom (where you’d normally attach your shop vac). With the dust collector attached to a shop vac, it’s a heavy duty contender when it comes to clean up time.
It conveniently fits all mitre saws, and comes with a carry bag so if you’re doing work away from home it’s easily portable. Made of high density nylon, this is a durable product that will last for years.
4. The Dust Deputy - Complete Kit
- INCREASED SUCTION POWER - Now 20% more...
- LONGER LIFESPAN – Prevents fine dust and...
- WET OR DRY – This simple and efficient...
- MADE IN AMERICA – Comes with everything you...
Do you own or work in a small shop which creates a lot of wood, plastic or metal dust? Highly recommended by numerous happy customers as the best dust collector for small shops is the Oneida Dust Deputy.
This kit comes with everything you’ll need to attach to your shop vac and will separate and then easily deal with the dust that accumulates, extending the life of your shop vac in the process! By using centrifugal force, dust gets spun right out of the air stream and trapped inside the bucket.
Your vacuum filters will last longer and eliminate the need for so many bag replacements, and the Dust Deputy can handle whatever your shop vac can; debris of a variety of sizes, either wet or dry. Hands down, this is the best dust extractor vacuum on the market.
5. 16V Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac
- Lithium Ion for long battery life and...
- Long life, Lightweight, and no memory...
- Smart Charge Technology uses upto 50 percent...
- Cyclonic action helps to keep the filter...
Next on our dust collector review list due to it’s popularity and efficiency is this sleekly designed dust buster. You’ll love the ease and simplicity of this dust buster by Black and Decker.
The 16V lithium battery has a long life – holding a charge for up to 18 months – and the unit itself is lightweight and effortlessly portable. The transparent casing will allow you to keep tabs on how full the unit is, and the rotating nozzle allows for even better cleaning of those hard to access or awkward places.
If you’re looking for something on the small side but want the power of a full sized vacuum, you can’t go wrong with a brand name like Black and Decker.
6. 18" Professional Microfiber Mop
- Professional quality, great for cleaning the...
- Included: (2) Microfiber Wet Mop Pads, (1)...
- Our microfiber mops clean more thoroughly and...
- Use the Microfiber Dust Mop to collect larger...
You might be surprised to see “just a mop” on this list of best dust collectors, but don’t dismiss the cleaning power of a reusable, washable and easy to use microfiber mop. A regular mop just swishes dust and dirt around, leaving it to dry and recollect under those cupboards or your table.
A microfiber mop, used dry, (and unlike a broom, which lifts dust and sends it swirling into the air, requiring repeated sweeping for one small area) will actually act like a magnet to all of those dust bunnies lurking in your home.
Once you’ve done a dry run, use it wet to clean the floors to a streak free shine.
7. The Dust Deputy DIY Standalone Anti-Static Cyclone Separator
- INCREASED SUCTION POWER - Now 20% more...
- LONGER LIFESPAN - Prevents fine dust and...
- WET OR DRY – This simple and efficient...
- MADE IN AMERICA – Our Dust Deputy DIY...
If you’re looking for the benefits of the Dust Deputy but feel you can build your own connection and collection system, Oneida delivers with the Standalone Cyclone.
It’s the renowned cannister without the connections and buckets so you can customize a set up that works best for you. It’s everything you need to start cleaning your shop of debris and dust and adding years to the life of your shop vac and to your filters as well!
8. Vibrawipe Microfibre Cloth
- MAKE A CLEAN SWEEP of household chores with...
- 8-PACK SET includes green color and use these...
- HOLD UP TO 5X their weight in liquid so they...
- ANTI-FRAY STITCHING and rounded corners...
Dust be gone!
Use these multipurpose cloths all over your house for a dust free environment. This is a great way to get your kids involved in household chores – there’s no learning curve when they’ve got this microfiber cloth by Vibrawipe. They’re super absorbent, and best of all, leave a lint free and streak free shine every time.
If you’re worried about quality and the common problem of stitches coming loose in your cleaning cloths, Vibrawipe has come to the rescue with their unique rounded corners with uninterrupted stitches.
These will provide a gentle clean along with your favorite household cleaner or dust spray, and even come in a variety pack of 4 different colours so that you can colour code individual chores!
9. Dual Action Microfiber Duster Set with Extendable Handle
- Features an adjustable handle that extends...
- Microfiber technology with microscopic fibers...
- Includes a fluffy duster to easily remove...
- Includes a bendable chenille and microfiber...
Dust wands can be a fabulous way to clean in your home and shop. Wipe down any flat or curved surface easily and without the need for a step stool (especially in those tricky to see and reach places like the top of cupboards and the fridge or even your light fixtures).
Loose dust and debris will be picked up easily and trapped inside of the fingers of fibers all along the length of the wand.
The Microfiber Duster by O-Cedar is especially handy with its extendable wand and 2 individual and interchangeable dusters; one is a fluffy duster for those times when a quick polish will do the trick and the other is a flexible chenille for deeper cleaning that is wonderful either wet or dry.
Health Effects/Hazards of Dust
Most of us know that daily dust is made primarily of dead skin cells. What you may not know is that dust is created in nature, industrial areas, and even in the production of electricity. Large particles don’t travel too far and are usually what you see accumulated on your furniture and in your home. They are relatively harmless.
Smaller particles that can’t be seen can travel long distances and be embedded deep into your lung tissue. Microscopic particles can even find themselves directly absorbed into your bloodstream.
These dust particles can cause inflammation, sneezing, and coughing, as well as trigger asthma attacks and irritate your eyes, nose, or throat.
Single Stage vs Dual Stage Dust Collectors
As I discussed earlier, there are two types of dust collectors, single-stage and dual-stage. Both are effective at removing large dust particles from working, sanding, or power tools.
Dual-stage collectors, though, have a second stage of filtration designed to capture even smaller particles and prevent most of the health hazards of the dust. Dual-stage collectors are better, but they are also more expensive.
If you need to remove dust from woodworking, sanding, or painting, a single-stage collector will work just fine. However, if you have asthma, allergies, or are exposed to dust for prolonged periods often, a dual-stage dust collector is in order.
Different Designs Of Dust Collectors
If you have a shop it’s very likely that you own a shop vacuum already. They’re handy for cleaning up the messes that you wouldn’t want your more light duty house vacuum to tackle. Metal, wood and plastic chips and dust particles are fairly easily handled by a good quality vacuum.
In the home, the right vacuum can be the difference between a nice clean environment and one in which dust settles the moment you turn your back. Some may think that vacuums are necessary in the home only when floors are carpeted, but a vacuum pulls dust and dirt from hardwood just as well and a lot faster than a broom will.
Always invest in a good quality machine specific to the job you want to get done; a variety of vacuums on hand is convenient; a shop vacuum for the work you’re doing, a lightweight but powerful all over home vacuum, and a smaller hand held vacuum for minimal or spot specific jobs. If you have pets you’ll want to think about getting a vacuum that can easily handle pair hair and dander.
A good quality dust buster will have similar power to a regular sized vacuum, but be handier to carry around for smaller or more concentrated messes.
They’re great to keep close to a living room area where they’re easily accessed for a quick clean up of couches, chairs (some are powerful enough to suck pet hair and dander from your furniture) or the dust bunnies that can collect underneath.
Since they’re so compact, a dust buster is also a great tool for a smaller home or apartment where a vacuum might be overkill, and it’s super simple to store.
Tool Hoods & Bags
Even though your shop might boast at least one good vacuum for clean up, it’s best to avoid the mess in the first place. Many tools come with or have the option to purchase a dust collecting and mess minimizing hood or bag.
These ensure that the dust is being filtered into a convenient to empty bag or bucket, or at the very least being blocked from floating into the rest of the room. Hoods can be a great way to minimize mess on your larger tools; it typically will direct dust towards the base of the machine or into a vessel of some type.
A bag attaches directly to your tool and enables you to simply empty it out when it’s full. Hoods and bags shouldn’t interfere with the proper operation of your tool, but used properly and consistently, will greatly minimize your shop chores.
A good quality dust wand can help you to access those hard to reach places in your home, or to dust awkwardly shaped objects like your blinds. It cleans the top of your fridge and cupboards (both magnets for dust) with an easy swipe, allowing you to get the mess without having to drag over a stepladder.
Not all dust wands are created equal, but a good one will trap the dust and not just brush it back into your environment. It will have enough fibre “fingers” to trap dust and debris, and be soft and pliable, so it conforms to the shape of whatever it is that needs cleaning. A good one will have a head that you can clean and reuse and a good, solid handle.
A cloth is a simple way to clean and has stood the test of time, having been used for centuries, but they’ve come a long way.
A good cloth won’t scratch surfaces, can be used wet or dry, and will dry quickly before the next use to the same soft consistency you got the first time.
They come in a variety of materials, but a good one will have a great absorbency and not hold onto bad smells once washed. Look for cloths that can be tossed into the washer and dryer and be reused time and again!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth buying a more expensive dust collector?
When your health is concerned, it is always worth it to spend a little more for a better dust collector. However, as in most cases, more expensive doesn’t always mean better. You need to check the ratings, find out what the expensive models do that the cheaper ones do not, and make your decision based on your reaction to dust, how long you are exposed and the area size you are working in.
What’s a cyclone system?
A cyclone system uses physics to help separate smaller particles from the air. As air travels through a conical device, the larger particles hit the walls, and gravity pulls them to the bottom. Smaller particles are pulled with the air through the inverted cone to create a cyclone effect until the particles lose friction and collide with the cone walls and get trapped at the bottom or in a filter.
What do CFM ratings mean in dust collectors?
The CFM rating is the amount of airflow, in cubic feet per minute, that passes through the filter material. Higher CFM ratings can filter more dust and more air in a shorter amount of time.
What other equipment do I need together with a dust collector? Other items that you need are determined by the type of dust collector you purchase. Some are all-inclusive systems that don’t require any extra equipment. Others will require a power source to move the air, such as a ShopVac, which they are mounted to and filter the air pulled in by the vacuum.
And there you have it! Our dust collector review in a nutshell. Try out a few of these systems for yourself and see how much easier cleaning and keeping a dust free environment becomes.
Depending on your location and the use your shop and home sees, it can be tough to keep things up to your standards, but with the help of these hard working products, you’ll be on your way to ditching the dust mask and having more time for the things you enjoy.