6 Best Dust Collectors - Reviews & Buyers Guides
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Dust collectors are an essential piece of equipment for woodworkers. They help protect your eyes and airways from sawdust and other waste materials floating in the air.
The best dust collectors are also a great tool for keeping the workshop clean. If you have done carpentry before then you know that the workspace can get messy really quick.
What type of dust collector is best for your workshop depends on the space and type of woodworking that you do. Scroll down for our dust collector buying guide to help you choose the best option for you.
First, here is our top 6 for the best dust collectors available in 2020.
Table of Contents
Dust collectors are not the most affordable examples of workshop equipment but the Shop Fox W1685 is great value. It has a powerful 1.5 HP motor paired with a 12-inch steel impeller that can move up to 1280 cubic feet of air per minute.
This dust collector is a smart investment for your workshop because of its durable design. The parts are made of steel and it also features a powder coated paint to slow down regular wear and tear.
You can connect two machines at the same time thanks to the y-fitting. Plus, you get the flexibility of using it as both a mobile or stationary unit.
If you are running a professional workshop then you may want to invest in this Powermatic dust collector. It is the most powerful dust collector on our list and it also has the greatest capacity.
One of its biggest selling points is its TurboCone technology which significantly improves chip separation. You will notice less clogging of the filter which means less downtime on the job.
In fact, the entire design is built around efficiency. It even has a remote controlled timer so you can operate it from a distance.
No dust collector is truly quiet but this Jet model does not run as noisily as some of its competitors. Its noise rating is between 70 – 80 decibels which is about 10 – 20 decibels quieter than most other dust collectors.
Another advantage of this design is that it has a 4-inch dual port inlet, letting you connect two machine simultaneously. At the same time, you won’t have to replace the bag as often thanks to the more efficient air flow.
There is a see-through strip on the side of the bag so you can tell exactly when it is time to replace it. The bags connect with a snap ring making it a simple task.
If you are not sure which dust collector best matches your shop vacuum then the Dust Deputy Deluxe is one of the safer bets. It is designed with a universal connection and also includes a conversion kit so that nearly any shop vacuum fits.
Unlike most dust collectors, this is a bucket not a bag. The collection bucket comes with non-marking caster wheels so you can place it anywhere you need in the workshop.
This addition is great for extending the lifespan of your shop vacuum. It is capable of collecting up to 99% of the dust in the air stream, before it ever reaches your shop vacuum.
WEN is a fantastic brand when you are looking for affordable but good quality tools. It is not the most powerful dust collector on this list but it is still sufficient for most DIY work.
It features a 6-inch impeller capable of moving up to 660 cubic feet of air. This is on the smaller side but the overall design is meant to be compact and portable.
This smaller size dust collector comes complete with a wall mount and 4 swivel casters. That means that you can choose whether you want to keep it as a stationary or mobile unit.
Is your workshop space limited? Then the Shop Fox W1826 may be the right choice for you.
This is a smaller alternative to the Shop Fox W1685 but it still gets the job done. Made from the same durable materials as its larger companion, this design easily hides away in a corner of your workshop with its wall mount.
Another interesting feature is its paddle switch safety key. It also comes with a quick release bag clamp for easy bag replacements.
Dust Collector Buying Guide
The two most important factors when choosing a dust collector are your workshop and shop vacuum. The dust collector must be an appropriate size for your workspace and how much dust is produced but it should also be compatible with your shop vacuum.
These are the specifications you need to look at before buying a dust collector for your workshop.
Collection Bag Capacity
The first question to ask yourself is how must sawdust and other debris gets spread around your workshop on any given day. You will want a dust collection bag that is large enough to minimize the number of times you have to empty it out.
Most recommended a collection capacity of over 5 cubic feet. This is enough for most home woodworking workshops.
If possible, choose a bag with a see-through strip so you can check the content levels. This reminds you of when it is time to empty it and it gives you a hint of why the shop vacuum might not be working as hard.
Dimensions and Setup
The next thing to think about is the size of your workshop. The larger the workshop, the bigger the dust collector can be.
If you only have limited space available, a wall-mounted stationary unit might be more appropriate. This way it won’t get in the way while you are working.
Larger workshops might benefit from a mobile setup. This lets you move the dust collector to wherever it is that you need it.
A mobile setup usually comes with swivel casters. Check what type of material these are made of because certain designs can leave a mark on your floor.
There are two clues as to how much power a dust collector has. These are the size of its motor and the amount of air it can move in a minute.
A 1.5 horsepower motor is quite standard for dust collectors. The more compact designs will have smaller motors and the industrial dust collectors should have larger motors.
The horsepower does not always say much, though. Make sure to also check how fast it moves air, the higher the CFM rating, the more suitable it is for professional work.
Single Stage vs Two-Stage Dust Collectors
Finally, you have to make a choice between single stage and two-stage dust collectors. Let’s take a look at the difference between them.
In a single stage dust collector, all the collected content goes directly into the bag. There is no filtration stage.
In a two-stage dust collector, there are two chambers inside the bag. The first chamber collects all the large particles while a filter separates the smaller particles.
Suction tends to be better in a two-stage dust collector which is why professionals will prefer the two-stage models. For most DIY use and smaller workshops, a single stage dust collector is generally sufficient.