LAST UPDATED: November 3, 2020
The Best Dust Collectors (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Inhale cleaner air by eliminating dust particles
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PUBLISHED ON November 3, 2020
When you work with materials from wood to enamel to keratin, dust is bound to enter the air. While it might seem like a small-scale nuisance, it has consequences. In terms of maintenance, dust coupled with humidity can create a sticky mess that’s hard to clean. Also, excess dust in the air can be harmful to your health.
Too much dust in your surroundings, especially over long periods, can cause respiratory issues. This is precisely why dust collectors exist. Whether as a cover, a standalone machine, or an add-on bag, the best dust collectors keep your air quality high. We have done the legwork for you and have come up with some of the best dust collectors for cars, homes, garages, and workshops.
This motor-operated dust collector has a filter that removes up to 2.6 microns of dust in the air. The dust settles in a 15-gallon collection bag.
- Fairly easy to assemble
- Compact and portable
- Operates quietly
- Features rust-resistant, powder-coated frames
- Neatly detaches from the machine
- The bag isn’t designed for collecting metal dust
- A bit on the expensive side
- Somewhat heavy
This is a cordless, handheld vacuum with a translucent dust bowl that has a capacity of 11 ounces. The dust collection bowl is washable.
- Effectively collects small and large particles
- Can be used to clean dust and pet fur on car seats
- Comes with a crevice tool that helps to clean tight, hard-to-reach areas
- Too small for industrial use
- Comparatively low suction power
This air filtration system works by circulating the air in the room at a rate of at least 300 cubic feet per minute to rid it of about 99 percent of airborne contaminants.
- Comes with a remote control for ease-of-use
- Can be programmed to shut off after a specific period
- Air circulation speed can be increased or reduced
- Backed with a two-year warranty
- The remote control has to be pointed directly at the receiver
- Might ship with some quality issues such as a loose wire
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Dust Collectors
- Prevent respiratory problems. If you spend most of your day woodworking, you need to find an efficient way to get rid of the sawdust to keep it from getting in your airways. Wood dust can cause asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory problems.
- Improve air quality. Dust collectors can also be used in homes or offices to help keep the air clean. Fine dust particles can be easily trapped, which also helps to keep the furniture clean.
- Keep your workshop clean. If you leave large wood chips and fine wood dust to settle on your workbench, you may have a “mountain” of dust piling up on or under your worktable. Having an efficient dust collector is the best way to keep that from happening.
- Makes it easier to use a vacuum cleaner. Large vacuum cleaners aren’t the best for collecting fine dust particles. They tend to clog up, and you have to stop to unclog them. On the other hand, dust collectors are better at collecting dust from surfaces or from the ambient air, and later, you can use a vacuum to collect the larger particles without experiencing clogging issues.
Types of Dust Collectors
Single-Stage Filtration System
A single-stage dust collector has a single, removable filter media that traps dust particles from the air that passes through it. Most don’t have a powerful motor and are mostly used to clean the air in a limited space. However, they tend to get clogged easily, and the filter needs to be replaced as often as possible.
Two-Stage Filtration System
A two-stage or dual-stage filtration system is designed to trap both small and large particles. The first stage typically contains a filter that can trap large particles. The air continues to flow to the second stage, which has an additional filter that traps the finer particles through the first filter. The second filter is more closely woven than the first one to trap particles that are as small as 2.5 microns. Dust collectors featuring this type of technology are more expensive and mostly used in commercial workshops that produce a lot of dust.
Black+Decker is popularly known for making some of the best power tools and accessories used in the woodwork, construction, metalwork, and automotive industry. It was founded by Alonzo G. Decker in 1910 and is headquartered in Towson, Md. If you are looking for a portable, cordless dust collector, check out the Black + Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum.
Bosch is a German-based manufacturer of power tools, home appliances, and automotive parts. It was founded by Robert Bosch in 1886 and has a few popular subsidiary brands under its umbrella, including Dremel. If you are looking for a suitable replacement for your dust collection bag, consider the Bosch TS1004 Table Saw Dust Collector Bag.
Nick Anton founded WEN back in 1951 as a manufacturer of high-quality and reliable power tools. It’s headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., and was the first company to introduce random orbital technology in making buffers, sanders, and waxers. Its product line includes chainsaws, sanders, rotary tools, snow blowers, generators, and dust collectors. If you are looking for a dust collector for your workshop, check out the WEN Air Filtration System.
Makita has more than 100 years of experience in making power tools. It has its head office in California, and headquarters in Aichi, Japan. It designs a wider-range of motor-driven power tools, including angle grinders, saws, belt sanders, rotary hammers, drills, and dust extractors. One of its top-rated dust extractors is the Makita Cordless Dust Extractor.
Dust Collector Pricing
- Below $100: Budget this much for a small-scale dust collector used in a small workshop or garage with limited space. The dust collectors here include handheld vacuums, nail dust extractors for nail salons, and single-stage air filtration systems.
- $100 to $150: This is the price range to expect if you are looking for a heavy-duty dust cleaner for a larger room. Most of the dust collectors here have powerful motors that increase airflow speed and have larger dust collection bags than the lower-priced options. You can also find a compact, dual-stage dust extractor with replaceable dust filters.
- $150 and up: Expect to spend this much on a commercial-grade dust extractor or a heavy-duty dust filtration system that comes with a large dust collection bucket or bag. Most use dual-stage filtration technology to help get rid of the finest particles of dust. The higher-priced options come with extra filters or dust collection bags.
It's important to check the cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating of the dust collector. The CFM is a measure of the volume of air it can clean within a specific period. This information will come in handy when trying to find the best dust collector for your trade. Most portable dust collectors deliver about 650 CFM. If you need an efficient air cleaning system for a home workshop, then choose a machine that’s over 700 CFM. For commercial workshops, choose machines with a 1,100 CFM rating and above.
Not all dust collectors come with the same type of filters. Some filters can only trap large particles, leaving fine dust to float around your room. Your best bet would be to get a machine that has a finely woven filter, which can trap dust particles that are smaller than five microns. This way, both small and large particles of dust won’t get into your eyes or airways.
You need to consider the size of your garage or workspace so that you can get a dust collector that’s large enough to clean the entire room. You can use a small handheld dust collector in a small garage, but in an industrial setting, you need a larger unit that doesn't need to be emptied frequently.
- Portable vs. Fixed. Portable dust collectors can be easily transported and are often used in small workspaces. Fixed dust collectors are typically large and are mostly used in large industries aware of how much dust they produce. They are fixed at strategic points and programmed to collect dust at specific intervals.
- Noise. If you don’t like working with noisy machinery, then consider buying the quietest dust collector you can find. Most manufacturers will indicate the decibel rating, and machines under 50 decibels are unlikely to cause a huge distraction.
- Type of Particles. Not all dust collectors are designed to collect all kinds of dust particles. Some dust types, such as metal dust, can stick on the dust collecting unit, and it can be challenging to get rid of it. Be sure to get the right dust collector for the type of dust you produce.
Best Dust Collector Reviews & Recommendations 2021
If you're looking for a powerful way to remove dust from the air, the Shop Fox W1727 Dust Collector is a popular option. Ideal for situations where you do a lot of woodworking, this tool quickly cleans your air. It features a motor capable of producing one horsepower, so it won't be too loud, but it's still effective. The wired design lets you attach it to any standard wall outlet. It sucks in the air quickly and uses a in-built filtration system to catch dust as small as two-and-a-half microns. This means that even the finest particulate gets caught.
After it’s done working, the replaceable bag catches the dust. From there, you remove the bag and dispose of it accordingly. The tight seal prevents leaks while improving efficiency. While it may be heavy and not suitable for collecting metal dust, it’s portable and takes up less space in your workshop than a shop vac.
Dust particles, pet fur, and other types of dirt are easy to remove with this hand vacuum. It's a cordless vacuum that runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The battery can last for about an hour of continuous use, and it comes with a wall-mountable charger. It also has a small and lightweight profile to allow for easy one-handed operation. The unit comes with an 11-ounce, bagless dust bowl that can be removed and cleaned. Also, the dust bowl is translucent, so that you can easily tell when it's time to empty it.
While not ideal for heavy-duty cleaning, the built-in crevice tool makes it easy to clean tight spaces or hard-to-reach areas. Also, it's affordable and works efficiently, which gives you great value for your money.
If you want a way to preserve your home’s air quality without overspending then you should check out the Dust Deputy Anti-Static Cyclone Separator. It's made in America and efficiently reduces the dust in your home or garage’s air. Quick to assemble, you can set it up in a matter of minutes. In between uses, the machine requires little maintenance. While it doesn’t have a built-in motor, you can attach it to any standard shop vac.
The tight seal creates optimal suction, and the main pipe catches dust through the vacuum’s pull. This draws the dust inwards, where gravity compels it downwards into a catch of your choice. Especially appealing to those who like to DIY their projects, this dust collector's versatility adds a lot of value.
If you have an existing vacuum for sucking in dust but need a reliable bag, try the Bosch TS1004 Table Saw Dust Collector Bag. While the design is optimally suited to table saws made by Bosch, you can also use it on other 10-inch models. The bag attaches easily to the table tool. From there, it uses the existing airflow and forces of gravity to draw dust into the bag.
Since it’s reusable, all you need to do is empty the sack after you’re finished. The zipper helps you get rid of the dust easily, and it doesn’t require any cleaning. The tough textile won’t let dust slip through the cracks. Designed to eliminate as much as 70 percent of dust particles, this bag is a low-tech solution built to last.
The Markartt Nail Dust Collector is a great way to keep your air clean. It works in both a residential and commercial setting. The compact structure means you can take it with you wherever you go. It touts a simple design. Just press the button to activate the vacuum. It powers strong suction that draws in the dust during nail removal and filing. It’s quiet enough to enable conversations yet tough enough to make your job easier.
Instead of featuring a bag, the device has a filter that you can use multiple times. Dust collects at the base, enabling you to empty it in between uses. The tough, steel structure adds durability. While it may not be a heavy-duty air cleaner, its compact design is a great addition to any small workspace.
If you spend a lot of time in the shop, the Rousseau 5000 Dust Solution for Miter Saws can help keep dust under control. It’s designed to go on the side of your miter saw. Unlike other options that feature a tight seal and draw the dust in, this bag catches ambient dust. It’s made out of high-grade nylon that prevents dust from slipping out in addition to catching small particles.
In between uses, fold down the bag and place it into the included container. It is a wide catch, which is easy to place. The large size also means you don’t have to worry about compatibility. You can use this dust collector on the side of most tabletop tools. While it’s a bit expensive, its versatility and effectiveness make this collector a solid choice.
If you are looking for an easy way to eliminate nearly all airborne contaminants, consider using WEN's air filtration system. It's a remote-controlled system that removes contaminants by circulating the air in a room at least seven times in an hour. With the remote's help, this machine can be programmed to operate at three different speeds, including 300, 350, or 400 cubic feet per minute.
In addition, the unit is designed with two replaceable filters: a one-micron filter (fine dust) and a five-micron filter (larger particles). If you need it to work for only a few hours, you can program it to shut down after the time has lapsed. While the remote needs to be pointed directly at the machine for it to work, you can use it even if you are 26-feet away.
You can trap up to 99.97 percent of particulates on surfaces with Makita’s cordless dust vacuum with the help of an efficient HEPA filter that can capture particles that are three microns and larger. The unit is designed with a brushless motor that helps it run cool and efficiently throughout its service life. Aside from that, the motor delivers a suction rate of 57 cubic feet per minute.
It runs on a rechargeable, 18-volt, lithium-ion battery that can run for up to an hour on a single charge. It also has an LED battery indicator that shows you the battery level. While it doesn’t come with wheels, the unit weighs only 10.1 pounds and comes with a carry handle for easy transportation.
If you are looking for a small-scale dust collector that you can mount on the wall or hang on a bench, consider Powertec’s dust collector. It comes with wall-mounting brackets and features a compact profile so that you can easily hang it on a wall. The unit has a reusable filter bag that can remove 2.5-micron particles, and the bag has a translucent window so that you can see the dust level.
At the bottom of the bag is a zipper for easy dust disposal, and around its neck is a drawstring that you can hold on to as you connect it to the filter. The filter is powered with a one horsepower motor with a 537 cubic feet per minute air suction capacity. Though this model leans on the expensive side, it’s a great purchase for keeping your workshop dust-free.
Shop Fox has a wall-mounted dust collector that comes with a wall bracket for a quick and neat set up. The bag can hold 1.5 cubic feet of debris and has a zipper at the bottom to make it easier to dispose of the dust. It's also about 46 inches tall when fully inflated, showing that it can hold a large volume of dust. The bag's side has a transparent strip that allows you to see when the bag is full.
At the top of the dust collection bag is a powder-coated canister that houses a filtering medium with a 2.5-micron filter grade. This makes it ideal for improving the quality of air in-home projects. The 537 CFM air suction capacity is somewhat low, but it makes up for it with a powerful one horsepower motor that speeds up the airflow.
- Keep your dust collector clean by emptying it frequently, or at the end of the day, even if it’s not full. Leaving dirt to pile in the collection bag for weeks or months can stretch out the fabric and make it weak.
- If you have an efficient dust collector that doesn’t clog up easily, it’s better to attach it on your workbench instead of mounting it on a wall. It will absorb more dust at a lower position and prevent it from getting into the surroundings.
- If you are using a dust extractor, clean out the filters at the end of the day to maintain their efficiency and replace them every few weeks.
- Even if you have a dust collector, you should always wear a respirator and safety glasses to protect yourself from large dust particles.
What is a dust collector used for?
A: A dust collector is a device used for trapping large and small dust particles in the ambient air. It does so by circulating the air in the room, while the built-in filters trap dust and deposit it in a removable dust collection bag or container.
Which dust collector is the best?
A: Most of the dust collectors on our list are some of the best for the roles that they play. The Shop Fox W1727 Dust Collector, however, is the overall best because it's suitable for all types of workshops regardless of the kind of power tools you use.
How do you make a homemade dust collector?
A: Several online tutorials will give you a step-by-step guide on making your own dust collector. You will need a dust collection bucket or bag for most of these exercises, a powerful motor, reusable filters, and a suction tube.
How much is a dust collector?
A: Dust collectors are typically priced between $30 to $250. The lower-priced options can be used at home, while the higher-priced dust collectors are best used in a professional setting since they are designed to collect more dust by filtering a larger mass of air.
We chose the Shop Fox W1727 Dust Collector as our top pick because it’s reliable in trapping both small and large dust particles, and runs quietly. If you are looking for a more pocket-friendly dust cleaner for your home or garage, consider the Black + Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum.