Best Dust Collectors: Keep Your Air Clean and Your Lungs Healthy
Inhale cleaner air by eliminating dust particles.
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON June 27, 2021
If you're working on a project that produces a lot of dust, it can be tough on your respiratory system. When you're exposed to high dust levels during a prolonged period, it can be particularly damaging. Dust is produced when you work with wood, metal, and other elements in your garage or shop. In addition to health complications, it can create a messy environment, which can be a hassle to clean.
The good news is that you can use a dust collector to safeguard your health and keep your surroundings from getting too messy. They are available in a variety of forms, from an entire machine to a simple dust cover. Our buying guide will help you decide which type and brand are best for your needs.
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
- Bag isn’t designed for collecting metal dust
- A bit on the expensive side
- Somewhat heavy
Technically not a "dust collector," this cordless, handheld vacuum is an affordable option that's good for around-the-house use, with a translucent dust bowl that has a capacity of 11 ounces.
- 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 by a two-year warranty
- 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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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
Dust collectors with single-stage technology feature a removable filter that catches airborne dust particles. These types of dust collectors don't typically have a strong motor and are generally best for use in smaller spaces. A couple of downsides are that they can easily clog, and you need to frequently change the filter for the best results.
Two-Stage Filtration System
This type of filtration system captures both small and big particles. The first stage includes a filter that's designed to trap large-sized debris. When the air moves to stage two, a second filter that is more tightly constructed stops much smaller particles—it can trap debris that is 2.5 microns in size. Dust collectors with two-stage filtration systems are typically pricier and common in industrial areas.
Alonzo G. Decker founded Black + Decker in 1910, and the company is located in Towson, Md. This well-known brand makes a ton of power tools and accessories for various industries, including construction and automotive. Its products are also great for woodworking. The Black + Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum is a great cordless dust collector.
Robert Bosch created Bosch in Germany in 1886. The company produces a range of products, including automotive components, power tools, and appliances. It also has several brands under its control, including Dremel. We recommend the Bosch 9 Gallon Dust Extractor.
WEN, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, was founded in 1951 by a man named Nick Anton. It's known for its reliable power tools and was the first company to use random orbital technology in its products. You can purchase a wide variety of WEN items online and in stores, including dust collectors, chainsaws, rotary tools, and generators. One popular option is the WEN 7.4-Amp Rolling Dust Collector.
Makita is based in California and Japan and has been producing power tools for over a century. The company is known for its motor-driven tools, including dust extractors and grinders, sanders, saws, and hammers. Check out the Makita Cordless Dust Extractor.
Dust Collector Pricing
- Under $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.
Dust collectors come in a variety of sizes. If you plan to work in an industrial environment, you need a machine that can handle heavy-duty dust collection to be on the larger size. However, a small garage may only require a compact dust collector that isn't as powerful and takes up less space.
- 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. Dust collectors and extractors can be noisy depending on their size and purpose. If loud noises bother you, look for a machine that is on the quieter side. One way to determine how much noise a dust collector produces is by looking at the decibel rating: those with less than 50 decibels are easier to tolerate.
- 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 Collectors 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.
Q. What is a dust collector used for?
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.
Q. Which dust collector is the best?
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.
Q. How do you make a homemade dust collector?
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.
Q. How much is a dust collector?
Dust collectors are typically priced between $30 and $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. For a more budget-friendly option,, consider the Black + Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum.