Buying Guide for Dust Collection Systems
Why buy a dust collection system?
A dust collection system is key for people working in woodshops that kick up a lot of dust and debris from power tools like saws and sanders. An accumulation of dust particles and debris on industrial equipment can interfere with overall production and safety. A dust collection system can collect the dust before it compromises your health and the performance of your manufacturing equipment.
What should you consider in a dust collection system?
- Motor Power and Workshop Size: Dust collection systems come with motors of different horsepowers, so consider the size of your workshop and how much debris there is to collect. Many have 0.5- to 1.5-horsepower motors. If your shop is large and busy, go for a more powerful motor.
- Filtration: Different dust collectors will have different micron filtration ratings, but the standard is 2.5 microns. This means that the device will stop debris larger than 2.5 microns at least 95% of the time.
- Portability: You’ll ideally want to find a dust collection system that’s on wheels so that you can move it around to clean up different areas easily.
What’s the difference between a shop vacuum and a dust collection system?
A shop vacuum is another common cleaning appliance that can be found in woodshops. Shop vacs are not as powerful or official as dust collection systems, but it’s not a bad idea to have one on hand as well. Shop vacs will have to be emptied much more frequently than a dust collection system, but they are less of an investment and are good for quick cleanups or smaller woodshops that aren’t used as frequently. If you are a professional woodworker, you’ll want a true dust collection system to keep your shop dust under control more efficiently.
Our Picks for the Best Dust Collection Systems
Shop Fox W1826 Wall Dust Collector, 2.5 Micron Filtration,White
A dust collection system that is easy to use and has a window to show how much dust is in the bag.
Pros: This wall-mounted dust collector is an impressive choice. It can cover a large surface area with its 1-horsepower motor with a 2.5-micron pleated filter and internal paddle brushes. The bag has a 2-cubic-foot capacity and features a window to gauge how must dust is in the bag. A bottom zipper provides easy dust disposal. This system is 44 inches in height with the bag inflated. For storage, simply mount it on the wall with the included bracket.
Cons: This system is on the lower horsepower side, so it is probably not the best choice for larger workspaces.
Bottom Line: This easy-to-use dust collector will capture the dust at the source. Just a couple of turns of the handle rotate the paddle brushes against the inside of the filter to drop the fine dust into the plastic collection bag.
Wen Rolling Dust Collector
Mount this dust collector on the wall or carry it around your shop.
Pros: Keep your work area clean and organized with the WEN 15-Gallon Dust Collector. It has the power to move up to 600 cubic feet of air per minute, and the design features a 9-inch impeller and a 7.4-amp induction motor for quieter, maintenance-free operation. The 4-inch dust port inlet lets you connect to your favorite woodworking tools. The four 2-inch swivel casters combined with the carrying handle make for easy storage and transport between jobs.
Cons: The dustbin has a large capacity, so it can be hard to empty without making a mess. It’s not industrial-grade, so don’t expect it to suck up every particle of dust.
Bottom Line: Wheel this affordable dust collector around or take it off the wheels and mount it to your shop’s wall for dust collection whenever you need it.
Shop Fox W1685-1-1/2 HP Dust Collector
A powerful dust collection system that is powder-coated to resist scratches and wear. It can be used as a stationary unit or mobile.
Pros: This powerful dust collector has 2.5-micron filtration, a 1.5-horsepower motor, and a 12-inch steel impeller to be used with woodworking machines only. The motor operates at 3.45 revolutions per minute to keep your workshop free of dust and debris. This machine has a powder-coated finish to resist scratches, chipping, and other wear. You can use it as a stationary central dust collector or a mobile unit.
Cons: This device is on the pricier side and is an investment piece.
Bottom Line: This powerful dust collector is ready for an official workshop. It includes a well-designed safety switch for peace of mind.
Grizzly Dust Collector
You can't beat the price for this portable workhorse.
Pros: This dust collection system is a good value for the price. This machine is great for sanders, router tables, shapers, and other work. It’s also very portable, so you can take it to the job site where it can handle the big jobs a regular shop vacuum can’t handle.
Cons: This dust collector isn’t ideal for large shops.
Bottom Line: This dust collection system will get the job done, especially if you need something that’s easy to move around.
The purchase of a dust collection system will help clean your shop with ease while also helping to create a safer environment for respiratory health. Check out our top picks to get started.