The Best Dust Collectors (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Inhale cleaner air by eliminating dust particles
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED 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
Why Trust Us
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
- 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.