The worst nightmare for a person who loves woodworking is not just a disastrous project but the inability to woodwork itself. Why? When a woodworker becomes allergic to dust, the case becomes similar to those aspirant sportsmen who have to give up their passion because of an injury.
Well, safety is necessary and it’s always taken against serious injuries like cuts and breaks. However, it’s not always that people realize what exposure to harmful substances like dust can to do to health and wellbeing. A woodworker for the love of his work at least won’t want to keep sneezing or have allergic reactions due to dust.
So, yes, dust is a much more serious opponent and a cause of diseases than people think. Therefore, it is essential that adequate precaution is taken against it while doing tasks like woodworking. What aids in this matter is a best dust collector? There are various kinds of many features that will perfectly fulfill your needs.
However, just the right features and the type is not enough. There are many other factors you need to consider to find the best dust collector for your shop. Our Best duct collector buying guide and reviews should help you know all the factors you need to take into consideration.
Top 10 Best Dust Collector Reviews: What to Buy
Let’s have a quick look at the top 10 dust collectors that we think will work best for you.
Making it to our first place on the best dust collector list is the W1685 by Shop Fox. Not only is it perfect for handling the dust from a home workshop, it also takes up minimum space for itself. Furthermore, you get it at a price you won’t expect such a quality product at.
Apparently, it features a single phase 1-1/2 horsepower motor which gives it a speed of 3450 RPM. Therefore, it is quite the powerful collector for your home workshop. Moreover, it can suck in 1280 cubic feet of air per minute which is definitely a really high capacity. To your surprise, it won’t even require much to be this powerful but just 110 volts. You will be able to attach it to multiple units through its six-inch inlet. Apparently, you can use the whole inlet for one unit or use the detachable y-fitting to attach more than one unit. The process is very easy, of course.
It also comes with a dust bag that can hold over five cubic feet of dust. The bag can filter the least size of 2.5 microns. So, you do not have to keep emptying the bag to collect more dust. Moreover, it features a safety switch that makes its operation safer and protects against unauthorized use. It resembles an oversized paddle with a lockout key. The W1685 is not only made of quality, durable materials but also has a powder coated paint which makes it resistant to scratches.
While our first choice offered great performance demanding a cheap price or second choice offers greater performance but at an expensive price. So, the Festool 583492 CT 26 E is a great choice for people who can spare a few extra bucks to get higher capacity and better performance. The first thing we would like to mention is its ability to deal with particles as mini as 0.3 microns. Although its CFM might seem low at 138 it will amaze you with its efficiency. Apparently, the CFM is variable and the collector features a dial to let you adjust it. Furthermore, the two-stage design which filtrates the particles in two separate ways also increases the efficiency. The HEPA filtration system makes it functional enough to trap 99.9% dust inside the self-cleaning filter bag. Yes, apparently, the bag cleans itself between cycles making the dust collector require minimum maintenance by you.
So, you can be sure that you will get the best performance from this collector as all of its parts are very efficient in what they do. Not to mention, effective as well. Now, it also features an 11.5 feet long hose that not only gives you the freedom to use it in any way you want but also is resistant to tangles. Furthermore, it stops static and thus reduces the chances of shocks. You will find it very easy to operate because once you connect it to the unit form which it will collect dust, it just starts the moment the unit starts. Its high-quality build is not just durable but also very compact and thus portable.
Powermatic is another collector on our list that comes at a price but is entirely worth it. If you want a cleaner and safer environment for your somewhat large workshop, this is a collector that will fit your needs. With a 1-3/4 Horsepower motor, you can expect from it what you will expect from such a powerful motor. Incredible performance and speed! Furthermore, it features a TurboCone which only improves its efficiency.
Apparently, the turbo cone helps to separate the chips from the smaller specks of dust better so that there is no chance of clogging. It can handle down to 2 microns size of particles. Apart from that, it also comes with a remote as it is remote-controlled. So, you can control it from a distance and relax while you are not working. Furthermore, you can also set a timer of up to 99 minutes to enjoy a duty-free leisure. You can connect it to two units easily as it features two 4-inch inputs.
As for operation and maintenance, the operation is very easy with the remote, of course. The 10 cubic feet capacity of the canister filter bag it comes with lets you keep maintenance off your mind for a while. You don’t have to rush to clean the bag every once in a few minutes to make sure nothing explodes. All you have to is wait a considerable amount of time without worry or maybe not worry at all for emptying the bag. The build of the unit is really rigid thanks to the good quality materials used. Furthermore, the unit is not the most portable but does have wheels at its bottom to help portability.
If you want to keep the air of your 400-foot woodworking workshop clean and safe, the Wen 3410 will be a great choice. Apparently, you don’t do much of anything except buying it for the cheap price it comes at, set it up and set the timer. Yes, it, in fact, features a timer and also comes with a remote. So, you can just leave the workshop after your work is done, turn the collector on and set the timer so you don’t have to come back and turn it off. Because it will turn itself off when the time is up. Furthermore, you can vary its CFM from 300 to 350 to a highest of 400.
With these three operating speeds, you can get just the efficient performance you need for your workshop. Apart from that, you will also be amazed at the amount and size of dust particles it can collect. In fact, it separates big and small particles. While the outer filter separates particles of down to 5 microns size, the inner one separates down to 1 micron of the smaller ones. It is a very efficient procedure of keeping your workshop air clean.
Setting it up is quite easy too. You have the option to mount it somewhere with the hooks it features or keep it anywhere using the handle. Furthermore, the operation is also easy thank to the remote control feature it has. You can control it from 26 feet away and with a remote, you will find it easier to decipher its functions. With a horsepower of 1/6, it is not very powerful and also makes less noise of around 50-60 decibels.
In case of dust collectors, you get what you pay for and our reviews are probably proving that best. Yes, this is another great dust collector that probably won’t leave you disappointed but comes at a great price too. As you may expect from a 2.2 horsepower motor, this dust collector is very powerful and can handle larger shops very well. Furthermore, it has a two-stage separation design which makes its CFM work even more efficiently and better.
As the chips and the dust particles get separated by a filter, there are fewer chances of clogging and inefficiency. Apparently, with a CFM of 1100, it sucks in quite a good volume of air and also provides constant suction. As the heavy debris gets pulled down to collection drum first, the particles of up to 1 microns are easily separated and dealt with next. You can control it with the help of the remote it comes with easily. The filter is directly mounted so there is no trouble about hose flexibility and corners or bends. Also, it features four casters that make it easy to move.
You do not have to worry about cleaning the bag or drum as well. Because it not only has a capacity to hold 30 gallons of heavy debris but also has a quick release button which makes the emptying process incredibly easy for you. A downside to this collector is its difficulty of assembly. Most customers found it difficult to set initially even with instructions. Lastly, its material and build quality is something you will expect from a collector this pricy. It is very durable and well-built but that is something you are ought to enjoy for the price you pay.
Powermatic makes it to our list a second time! So, you are already familiar with the quality of the products this brand makes. You can expect nothing less than a durable, sturdy and well-functional unit from this brand. Since it has made it to our list twice, we will leave you to deal with the brand reputation yourself. This collector is basically everything the PM1300TX had offered but much more and with a higher price.
Apparently, with a Horsepower of 3, it is far more capable than the Powermatic 1300TX. You can use it for much larger and more professional fields. Furthermore, it is a larger version with two canisters connected to each other. In fact, it also features the Turbo Cone-like the PM1300TX which does not fail to separate the chips and prevent from clogging while increasing the efficiency. The dust will enter through three of the 4-inch inlets situated at the front bottom of this collector. Apparently, this collector can collect particles of down to 2 microns.
Emptying the clear collector bags is no big deal as you don’t have to do it very often. That is because they have much larger capacities than other bags. Furthermore, you can collect dust and debris of any kind of woodworking work with the help of this collector. In fact, this collector can be controlled by a remote and you can set timers for up to 99 minutes of operation without even bothering to check or stop it. The manufacturer as we mentioned earlier is so confident about the quality of their product that they offer you a five-year warranty with this collector.
Here on our list, we have another great and powerful industrial dust collector that can meet your greater needs. First of all, obligatory to mention is its great motor power of 2 HP. This is perfect for handling the industrial amount of dust. Furthermore, it has a CFM well above the minimum CFM we had suggested which is 1550 CFM. With this much airflow, it can easily suck in the dust around it at great speed and fulfill the needs of the larger workspace.
Apparently, this collector comes with two dust collection bags which is something you might not have expected from an industrial collector of this price. Furthermore, in order to make things easier for you, it features a see-through bottom so that you can easily know when to empty the bags. Both the outlet and inlet are of 4-inch diameters which will adhere to the needs well. It can also collect all types of dust, from debris to fine particles easily.
Although it has somewhat of a heavyweight of 100 pounds, you can move it around quite easily thanks to the four lockable swivel casters it comes with. However, there are a few reasons why it has not made it to our top list despite its capacity. The quality of the build and material is not as great as its performance. Well, the cheap price should speak for that. What else could you expect from an industrial collector so cheap? Furthermore, it would be better to check the box for all the items it’s supposed to have as many customers complained of missing parts as well as faulty ones. So, for the performance and the price, it’s durability you have to pay for.
Before we get to anything else, just take a quick glance at this dust collector! It’s nothing fancy but the Delta logo and the color combination and shapes everything gives it such a professional and sturdy look. So, it has won hearts with its sleek design and look but has it won minds? Of course, especially for the price, it definitely has. First of all, with a motor of horsepower 1.5, it has a CFM of 1500.
This is a power you can usually not expect from a dust collector of this price. Furthermore, it has a 6-inch inlet which can easily attach itself to the unit. Moreover, you can attach two units to it with the help of a Y attachment through two 4-inch inlets. Isn’t that convenient? This dust collector can apparently suck in fine dust particles or even 1 micron. So, you do not have to worry about allergies or any kind of diseases from your workshop at least. The collector bag it comes with is also transparent so you will know easily when it needs emptying. Apart from that, it is very easy to set as the bag has a snap-in feature to aid easy attachment.
When it comes to durability and design, this dust collector won’t fail you. In fact, the motor is a TEFC induction motor which is highly durable and the build is of high-quality as well. So, when you buy it at the much cheaper price than others of the same quality, you just will know that you are not going to need replacing it anytime soon. Lastly, despite its long structure, the swivel casters make it considerably easier to move. The only downside is that the assembly is a bit more difficult to achieve than what the instruction says.
While most of our reviews were on expensive but high-performing ones, Grizzly is a great collector that comes at a price that buyers with a budget will be delighted about. You can even consider it the cheapest among the single bag list. The motor power is nothing appraisable being 1 horsepower but if it’s enough for your shop, it performs well within its capacity. Apparently, this collector is suited for small, home workshops that neither produces a lot of dust nor has too much space. It has a maximum of 500 CFM which is above what we suggested as the minimum but still not very high. But, depending on your shop’s requirement, it might be good enough. Apparently.
It features one 4-inch hole as the inlet. You cannot, unfortunately, deal with fine dust particles as good as other collectors mentioned here. Because it has a 30-micron filter bag and the air will still be filled with harmful particles of smaller sizes.
When it comes to quality and durability, this dust collector will amaze you. It will last much longer than you can even guess and the sturdy and quality build won’t falter under pressure. Apparently, it is fairly easy to assemble and very compact in size. Although many customers were not happy with its small size, the size does make it easily portable. So, you can shift it to any place you want and let it do its job. The main trouble with this collector is that its low capacity. Unless it is perfect for the size of your shop and the volume of the dust of it, it’s best to buy more expensive ones with higher capacities. But, its price justifies its capacity.
Well, well, well, look who has made it here again. So, Shop Fox made it to our list again. Therefore, it is unnecessary to mention its brand reputation and quality of the build its products have. So, the W1727 is a dust collector that can meet the dust collecting needs of a small woodworking workshop. First of all, it features a 1 horsepower motor which is not the most powerful but is still able to efficiently produce 800 CFM.
Therefore, with such a high CFM, it can easily suck in fine dust particles along with larger debris. It features a single 4-inch intake hole which is enough for a small shop. The 2.5-micron bag it comes with is what helps the collector to suck in the smaller and finer dust particles and make the air safer. It features a dust bag that is not very large in size so it gets filled up quickly. You will have to empty it frequently.
Being lightweight and compact in structure, the W1727 is very easy to move. The workmanship and quality of this dust collector are not the best. Many customers complained about its build-quality, clogs, etc. While many found it suitable for their small shops, a few others thought it was too underpowered. But, for the price it comes at, it’s worth a try.
Best Dust Collector: Buying Guide
Before we learn about the ten best dust collector available, let us first know the factors that we need to look into to judge them and determine the best.
The size of the place you will keep it in:
If you have a small shop, the woodworking will require almost all of it or more. Therefore, you need to consider a dust collector that won’t cause more trouble in case of space. A portable or a small one with enough capacity to handle the dust of your shop will be perfect for such a shop.
On the other hand, if you have a large shop with ample space for a high-capacity larger dust collector, there are no reasons you should not buy it. Except for the price of course.
If your shop is neither too big to need more power nor too small to cause space troubles, you should opt for a medium sized one that is well capable for you shop.
The Amount of Dust Produced:
You can’t basically measure the amount of dust produced but you can estimate it. It apparently depends on the kind of work you do. If you saw and sand then the amount of dust produced is definitely a lot. Therefore, you need more powerful and capable dust collectors that can collect such fine mini dust particles easily. Again, if you chip or cut, the amount will be much less and there will be larger wastes than fine particles. So, a less capable dust collector like a single stage one would do.
The Types of Dust Collector:
As we already mentioned there are various types of dust collectors with various features. However, the main basis of woodworking dust collectors’ classification is the capacity. There are basically two types:
- Single Stage Dust Collector: This is the best choice for small shops with a small quantity of dust production. Apparently, the single stage dust collectors are smaller in size and thus more portable. Furthermore, you can easily connect it to any unit and it will collect the dust for you. So, it’s great for collecting the dust created from sawing and sanding. Although they have a small capacity, they do their job well and more accurately. Apparently, it sucks in the dust with the help of an impeller or fan. In fact, they will feature one or many intake ports, a filtration system and a dust bag. However, you have to empty the dust bag manually.
- Dual Stage Dust Collector: You can already guess what these collectors are for. Yes, they have greater capacities and are suitable for bigger shops or industries where the dust is well-spread and more in quantity. Furthermore, this kind of dust collectors separates the larger and the smaller specks of dust. While the chippings or wisp-like cuts will enter through the hose and get settled at the bottom through the separator, the smaller dust particles will be stored elsewhere. After that, the filter only receives the smaller dust particles.
So, this design with the separator makes the collector easy to clean and also difficult to clog. So, they, in turn, become more durable and efficient. Among a few variations in this type of collector, the cyclone is the best with a funnel-shaped drum as a separator. But that also makes it very expensive. So, if you can spare quite a number of bucks then it’s best to buy the most efficient cyclone type for a bigger shop.
Another way to classify dust collectors would be:
- Portable: It somewhat falls under the single stage category. They are small and lightweight so portable and good for a small shop. Usually, they have a motor of ¾ Horsepower and 650 CFM. But, as they will also have smaller bags and small capacities, you will have to empty the bags more often. Moreover, they won’t collect smaller particles that well.
- Medium: With a horsepower of around 1 and a 700 CFM, these collectors are suitable for bigger shops. Apparently, they can collect more dust and much smaller ones as well. They are also quite efficient for the more expensive price tag.
III. Industrial: You can already guess from the name that these collectors have the highest capacity and are suitable for industrial use. They may have the horsepower of 1.5 and CFM of 1100-1200. Apparently, they can collect even the smallest dust particles.
Since you will need suction power to collect the dust, your dust collector must have enough energy and power to generate appropriate suction power. Generally, the motor power of dust collectors is measured in horsepower units. So, more the horsepower, the better the suction power and performance. If you have a big shop, you should avoid the collectors with less motor power.
Furthermore, the motor power also determines how well the collector will perform with a long hose. The longer the hose the more space of the room you can easily make dust free. But, the longer hoses require more power to suck and transmit the dust. Therefore, the higher the power, the better.
Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM):
This basically determines how fast the dust collector will collect the dust for you. The more CFM, the faster the dust collector is. So, it will suck more air with more dust really fast and keep your shop clean. You should choose collectors with CFMs from 300-900. You can choose more from this range but never go below 300 CFM.
What the micron filtration indicates is the size of the particle that the dust collector will easily collect. Apparently. The less the micron filtration number the better. Because lesser micron number means that the collector can collect dust of really small size. On the contrary, the more micron number means that it can only collect larger particles well while the smaller ones will invisibly float around. So, the bottom line is that you should prefer a micron number of 1 rather than 20. Because collecting smaller dust is your main aim for a dust collector.
- Ease of use: You do not need a dust collector that takes half your time to set it up. So, the dust collector should be easy to set. Furthermore, it should get displaced easily while in use. What is the point of a dust collector if it’s hard to set and then gets displaced easily to let out the dust? So, the dust collector should be a hard puzzle to solve but really easy to use.
- Clogging and cleaning: You may as well remove dust manually if your dust collector needs frequent emptying and gets clogged easily. Clogging something that not only hampers the workflow and takes up more time for clearance but also reduces the durability of the collector. Therefore, you should choose a dust collector that reduces your responsibilities of maintenance rather than increasing it.
- Noise: Obviously, quieter the collector, better the environment. So, if the manufacturer mentions the decibels of sound its collector produces, go for the ones with lower decibels.
- Portability: Although this was mentioned in the discussion of types, the factor is here for a different reason. You do not want a collector that is not portable and only connected to one or a few fixed machines. In fact, with dust collectors, you should have enough freedom to attach it to anything you are working with. Therefore it should be portable enough to let you collect dust from anywhere.
- Price: The ones with higher capacity and more features definitely come at a higher price but they are really worth it. Then again, you will also find a few collectors that offer much more than what they demand. So, it is basically about choosing the best within your budget with the right capacity for your shop.
Benefits of an Awesome Dust Collector
Two main of the benefits are:
Safety: Dust contains more germs and harmful viruses and bacteria than you can imagine. Exposure to them for a long time can cause you to have diseases that you never expected. So, when dust is taken care of with a dust collector, you can feel completely safe with the work you do.
Reduced Tasks: You don’t have to clean your shop with a broomstick or anything too soon after finishing your work. Because the dust collector will have done it for you very easily dealing with even the most arrogant dust you could not have tracked normally.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How will I know that my bag house filters need replacing?
Answer: These filters normally last 1-3 years base on the price and quality of the dust collector you are buying. You will know that the filter needs replacing when it can no longer be cleaned. Like, even if you clean it thoroughly, it just does not look like it’s clean. Or, it might increase the temperature around it for other reasons.
Finding the best dust collector can not only make your shop safer but also make you feel more relaxed. You do not have to clean the shop triple hard to find the fine particles as the dust collector will have already found it.
But, choosing the collector for your shop that meets your specifications can be hard. Consider each of the points we mentioned in our buying guide and you will have the perfect one for your shop. Check the quality as well so that it lasts long enough. Best of luck with your new dust collector!