Woodworking pros and DIY dabblers alike need the best dust collectors to rid homes, garages, shops, or even construction or renovation projects from dust and debris. I’ve selected systems to meet a range of budgets and projects. Here's what you need to know:
First, you'll want to consider filtration level, or the particle size (measured in microns, a tiny unit of measurement, equivalent to one-millionth of a meter) your dust collector can suction and store. Most standard collectors filter a high percentage of 2 to 2.5 microns; but I’ve included one that even filters 86% of 1-micron dust particles. All of my picks separate dust particles from wood chips for more efficient debris packing and a clog-free filter.
Next, look at capacity. Below you'll find dust collector bags ranging in capacity from 2.1 cubic feet to 10 cubic feet. Smaller-capacity machines have smaller physical footprints — best for occasional use or limited storage space. For larger-capacity machines, units' physical footprints range from 16.5 by 28.1 by 19.6 inches to 37 by 29 by 79 inches.
Suction power and horsepower determine a collector's power; For dust collectors, suction power is measured by CFM — cubic feet per minute, which measures air flow's velocity. For home use, look for at least 700 CFM. For more commercial use, you’ll want a CFM of 1,100 or higher. Then you'll want to consider the total power the unit you're considering has. The motors below range in power from 1 horsepower to 1.75 — generally, the lower end of the horsepower spectrum, but unless you’re working in a massive space, these should be powerful enough. But I've also got one pick that attaches to a wet/dry vacuum, which may be more efficient space-wise and save you quite a bit of money.