The 3 Best Dust Collectors
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.
Check out the best dust collectors on Amazon.
1. The Overall Best Dust Collector System
The JET DC-1100VX-CK Dust Collector has a suction power of 1,200 CFM and a horsepower of 1.5 with a sound rating of 70 to 80 decibels; this is the quietest unit in this roundup. It boasts single-stage design — which means the particles are sucked through the filter and then dumped into the lower bag — and it also features Vortex Cone technology, which allows it to eliminate 98% of 2-micron sized particles and 86% of 1-micron particles without clogging the filter. Choosing a dust collector that separates chips from dust particles cuts down on the likelihood that your machine will become clogged, which should ultimately make it run better and last longer.
This unit has a 4-inch dust port and a collection capacity of 5.3 cubic feet. It measures 37 by 22.5 by 39 inches and weighs 172 pounds; but it has swivel wheels to make it easier to move around your garage, shop, or home. The kit comes with replacement bags and Amazon shoppers say they can be used multiple times; but replacement bags are available on Amazon as well.
2. The Best Budget Dust Collector System
The SHOP FOX W1727 1 HP Dust Collector has a standard bag filtration of 2.5 microns and separates dust particles from chips and stores the debris in two separate bags. It has a 4-inch intake hole with a bag capacity is 2.1 cubic feet, and it weighs 55 pounds and measures 16.5 by 28.1 by 19.6 inches. It also has wheels, though they do not swivel, and it features a safety switch with a removable key — so it’s a great option for those with curious little ones or pets who always seem to get into everything.
It boasts a suction power of 800 CFM and a horsepower of 1; and while Amazon shoppers say the bags are sturdy and can be reused, replacement bags are available on Amazon if needed. Lastly, this pick has a sound rating of 79 to 81 decibels, so this pick is quieter than a lawnmower.
3. The Best Large-Capacity Dust Collector With Remote Control
The Powermatic PM1300TX-CK Dust Collector captures 98% of 2-micron particles and the Turbo Cone filtration system prevents clogging and works to separate bigger chips (think wood and drywall chunks) from dust, thus helping the waste be packed more efficiently. It's definitely a splurge, but this 2-micron canister kit has a collection capacity of 10 cubic feet, making it the largest capacity dust collector in this roundup. It also boasts a remote-controlled digital timer that can be programmed for up to 99 minutes. Just know you need a direct line of contact for the remote to work though.
This pick has a suction power of 1,300 CFM, a horsepower of 1.75, and a sound rating of 75 to 90 decibels; that range basically means this unit is louder than a normal conversation, but no louder than a lawn mower, but does have the highest decibel capacity in this roundup; and it weighs 154 pounds and measures 37 by 29 by 79 inches. It also has a 4-inch dust port and swivel wheels to make mobility less of an issue. Amazon shoppers say the bags are reusable, but these replacement bags should do the trick if needed.
Also Nice: A Budget Dust Separator That Works With Most Wet/Dry Vacuums
The Oneida Air Systems Dust Deputy weighs under 2 pounds and measures 15.5 by 9.3 by 7.4 inches with an intake port of 2.5 inches; and it uses centrifugal force to capture 99% of dust and debris. You can attach this to large or small wet/dry vacuums depending on your needs. Since it’s customizable, this pick is probably the most versatile. It can be used to clean up messes at home (think pet hair, grass, leaves, and even baking flour spills), DIY project sites (think wood dust and drywall dust), or anywhere else you might need a dust collector.
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