Best Dust Collector Reviews

Woodworking is an incredibly rewarding pursuit.

Above most other hobbies, both health and safety are absolutely key. Workshops are filled with potentially dangerous tools. They can also kick out large volumes of sawdust.

Perhaps you might feel that wearing safety goggles and a mask is adequate but it’s not. Dust can work its way through some masks and it also tends to linger in the air for a long time.

There really is no substitute for the best dust collector if you want to place both your health and safety uppermost.

Dust can be pretty harmful if you are in contact with it for prolonged periods.

Today, we’ll explore 5 dust collector reviews so you can keep your working environment free of debris without spending a fortune.

If you have a shop vac handy, you might think that a separate dust collector is not necessary. It is. Shop vacs are usually designed with high suction but low airflow. They are no use whatsoever if you are breaking out the power saw. A dust collector, on the other hand, deals with a greater volume of air at a higher velocity.

We’ll get started with a quick rundown of the 3 main types of dust collector before reviewing the leading products to help you along the way. After that, we’ll take you through a brief dust collector buying guide so you should have all you need to get the best equipment for your requirements.

  • Portable
  • Medium-Size
  • Industrial

Do you have a larger shop and plan to install a duct system so you can hook up multiple tools in one go?

If so, you’ll want a large industrial dust collector with a 1 ½ HP motor and a CFM rating of around 1100-1200.

They come equipped with filters that trap dust down to particles as tiny as 1 micron.

The only real drawback of these dust collectors is their high price tag and ongoing running costs. If you’ve got a substantial shop and you want it kept clean, though, investing in the best dust collector really is a must. It’s just a question of which size works best.

The Best Dust Collector Reviews 2017 – Comparison Chart By Mitersawjudge.com

When it comes to getting the best dust collector, you are spoiled for choice.

We outline 5 of the very best products so you can keep your workshop squeaky clean and prevent any visibility-related accidents from happening…

Products

Images

Type

Our Rating

Festool 583492 CT 26 E

Festool 583492 CT

Portable

SHOP FOX W1685

SHOP FOX W1685

Medium-size

Jet DC-1100-CK Cyclone

Jet DC-1100VX-CK

Industrial

Powermatic PM1300TX-CK

Powermatic PM1300TX-CK

Industrial

Central Machinery Industrial CM45378

Central Machinery 2 HP Dust Collector

Industrial

Detailed Dust Collector Reviews

1. Festool 583492 CT 26 E

First up in our look at the best dust collectors is an outstanding HEPA-rated extractor. The Festool CT 26 E is not cheap but you’ll get a great deal of bang for your buck.

This German company has been manufacturing top-tier tools for almost a century now. Their products are the go-to choice for woodworkers and tradesmen alike.

Main Features

  • Variable CFM up to 137
  • Extremely portable unit
  • Rollers
  • Automatic Tool Start
  • HEPA filter
  • 11 ½ foot flexible hose

If you want a real powerhouse of a dust collector that’s still relatively compact, this wheeled extractor delivers fully.

This is a highly versatile dust collecting solution you can use wet or dry. There’s a nifty dial so that you can vary the CFM and the amount of power consumed.

HEPA-filtration is the gold standard when it comes to filters. 99.9% of dust is trapped inside. The Festool can cope with particles as small as 0.3 microns.

There’s a lengthy hose that gives you plenty of freedom. It’s designed to stop static and lessen the chance of shock. The hose is flexible and won’t get tangled up or kinked.

The machine fires up automatically with a tool-triggered start. Maintenance is absolutely minimal. Between cycles, the cleaning bags will self-clean. The last thing you want is to attack a dust problem then be faced with a messy clean-up.

Although the Festool is capable of eliminating all sawdust and debris like a much larger unit, it’s highly portable thanks to its fairly compact nature and wheels. Whether you want to keep the Festool at home or press it into action on the job site, you get performance without a hulking, unwieldy extractor.

Pros

  • Tool-triggered auto-start for your complete convenience
  • Ultra-portable unit with handy rollers
  • First-class HEPA filter keeps all fine particles locked away
  • Lengthy 11 ½ foot hose gives you freedom of movement
  • Parking brake to prevent any drifting about
  • Great for the workshop or the job site

Cons

  • Expensive, although still great value

Conclusion

If you want a real powerhouse of a dust collector that will give you many years of service, you should definitely look into the Festool CT 26 E. With a striking design, exceptional HEPA-rated performance and rugged build quality, this extractor really has it all.

Look beyond the bottom line at the overall value this dust collector represents. It really is hard to beat.

2. SHOP FOX W1685

Next up in our look at the best dust collectors is a superb medium-sized unit from Woodstock International’s SHOP FOX brand.

The W1685 has a striking, minimalist design and should provide sufficient suction to clean up after most woodworking jobs. Although it’s not strictly an industrial-grade piece of kit, it should suck up most debris that a home workshop kicks out.

Main Features

  • Rugged 1.5 HP motor
  • Single phase 3450 RPM
  • Energy-efficient
  • Powder-coated finish
  • Large capacity bag can hold over 5 cubic feet of dust
  • Steel impeller

The motor is more than able developing 1.5 HP and maxing out at 3450 RPM. This should be ample for the average home workshop, even if it’s packed with power tools. You don’t just get power, though. The single-phase motor runs on 110 volts and uses comparatively little electricity.

There’s a handy safety switch which should put paid to the machine being powered up prematurely. All you need to do is hit a large, ergonomic paddle and you’re good to go. There is also a removable lockout key.

A 6-inch inlet lets you hook up your tools with ease. There is a detachable Y fitting that has a pair of 4-inch openings.

Suction is first-rate at 1280 cubic feet per minute. Particles down to 2.5 microns will be dealt with fuss-free.

Emptying dust collectors can be tiresome. Fortunately, the bag on this SHOP FOX holds 5.4 cubic feet so you won’t be permanently running to the trash can.

Pros

  • Outstanding air suction rated at 1280 CFM
  • Extremely powerful 1.5 HP motor
  • Durable and built to last with superb build quality and rugged steel
  • impeller that won’t let you down
  • Safety switch stops any accidental firing up
  • Single-phase motor runs at 3450 RPM and delivers raw performance without consuming too much electricity
  • Bag will hold over 5 cubic feet so you won’t need to empty it constantly

Cons

  • Some users report problems using with a joiner planer

Conclusion

If you want a dust collector that’s powerful enough for the workshop or the job site without spending a fortune, SHOP FOX’s W1685 is well worth popping on your shortlist.

You’ll get a very cost-efficient and capable extractor which will help you to work safely and without any irritation to your eyes, nose or throat. Although it’s not the cheapest possible option, it represents fantastic value for money.

3. Jet DC-1100-CK cyclone

Next in our dust collector reviews is a more expensive piece of kit from the highly reputable Jet. They offer a very wide range of extraction solutions and the DC-1100VX-CK is an incredible and highly versatile way to combat dust in the workshop.

Running on either 110V or 230V, the Jet is a versatile piece of kit. It’s not cheap but the best things in life rarely are.

Main Features

  • 1.5 HP single-phase motor
  • Runs on 110V or 230V
  • 29 pounds
  • 2 micron canister kit
  • 1100 CFM airflow
  • 4 casters

Although the DC-1100VX-CK is man enough to suck away all the dust from your workshop, it’s nimble enough to move around without straining yourself. It only weighs 29 pounds. There are 4 handy casters so you can push it around with absolute ease.

The airflow is rated at 1100 CFM. You can see off particles as fine as 2 microns.

Jet’s patented cyclone system has 2-stage separation which delivers superior CFM to single-phase alternatives. The ultra-fine dust is filtered out through a pleated material so that particles as small as 2 microns are wicked away.

There’s a remote control so you can operate your dust collector from a distance without a hitch. It’s little extras like this that you appreciate when you have paid out good money.

The dust drum holds 30 gallons and you can simply hit the quick release levers when it’s time to empty it then you’re all set.

Pros

  • Traps even smaller debris down to 2 microns so enjoy a truly dust-free workshop
  • Powerful but portable with 4 casters so you can easily move this 29 pound beast around the shop or job site
  • Highly flexible operating on either 110 or 230 volts
  • Single-phase motor kicks out 1.5 HP and is powerful enough for most regular woodworking needs
  • Cyclone system with 2-stage separation for maximum efficiency
  • Direct-mounted filter to eliminate weak points and improve extraction

Cons

  • Very expensive but think of this in terms of a one-off investment for your workshop

Conclusion

The price tag might seem steep but when you factor in what kind of dust collector you are getting for your money, the Jet doesn’t seem such bad value after all. It’s tough to put a price on your health and safety.

If you want a hard-hitting extraction system that punches above its weight, put your trust in Jet’s DC-1100VX-CK and you can focus on your woodworking projects without worrying about menacing dust and debris.

4. Powermatic PM1300TX-CK

As we near the end of our dust collector reviews, we look at another pricey but highly effective extractor from Powermatic.

This American family-owned company has been going strong since 1921 and offer a full range of woodworking machinery and accessories. You can buy into this brand heritage with the PM1300TX-CK and take care of all your dust extraction without needing to lift a finger.

Main Features

  • Turbo cone dust collection
  • 1.75 HP motor
  • Remote control
  • Canister filter
  • 115 or 230 volts
  • Traps particles down to 2 microns

The PM1300TX-CK packs a potent 1.75 HP motor leading to incredibly strong air pull. Not only that, it doesn’t put out too much noise either.

If you want to give your dust collector a burst of up to 99 minutes, just hit the remote control and the job’s done.

The conical filter is super-efficient. The design of this also goes some way towards reducing clogging.

Constructed from metal alloy, the build quality on the Powermatic is first-rate. Although it’s not cheap, it really will last for years.

Generally, any manufacturer that offers up a strong guarantee shows clearly how much they believe in their product. You’re covered for 5 years by Powermatic which really takes the uncertainty out of your purchase.

Pros

  • Supremely powerful 1.75 HP motor is also very quiet at 75-90 decibels so suck away the dust without hurting your ears
  • Time up to 99 minutes with nifty remote control for total ease of use
  • Perfect for both 115V and 230V so a very versatile unit
  • 5-year limited warranty so buy in complete confidence
  • Pair of 4-inch dust ports so use 2 machines at the same time
  • Filter in canister form up to 6 times as effective as regular bags

Cons

  • Not the cheapest option at your disposal
  • Design is not particularly appealing

Conclusion

The Powermatic is another example of an expensive dust collector that actually translates to excellent overall value.

You can operate more than one machine simultaneously and see off even tiny particles of bothersome dust. If you are looking to keep your workshop meticulously clean and don’t mind spending a little for top-tier equipment, think long and hard about the Powermatic PM1300TX-CK. It will not disappoint.

5. Central Machinery Industrial CM45378

Last on our list of the best dust collectors is an industrial powerhouse from Central Machinery at an incredibly keen price point.

While it won’t win any prizes as an ornament, that’s not its intended purpose. If you want a workhorse that will get the job done without costing the earth, Central Machinery deliver in fine style with the CM45378.

Main Features

  • 2 HP motor
  • 1550 CFM airflow
  • 103 pounds
  • 2 collection bags
  • 110 volts
  • 4 casters

The CM45378 boasts a single phase, 2 HP motor which tops out at 3450 RPM so you have an incredibly powerful extractor that’s equally at home in the shop or out on site.

Although it’s not lightweight at over 100 pounds, when you need to relocate your machine, simply roll it along making use of the casters underneath.

You’ll get 2 collection bags thrown in which is a nice touch for a budget model. These have see-through bottoms so you can see when they need emptying at a glance.

The airflow is quoted as 1550 CFM so this is well above the 1100 CFM benchmark for commercial dust collectors. Whether it’s being used in a busy shop or a small home woodworking studio, the CM45378 gets rid of everything in style. From fine dust right on up to more substantial bits and pieces, this quiet and capable extractor sucks it all up without fanfare.

Pros

  • Incredible value for money costing one-fifth the price of many inferior models
  • Exceptional airflow rated at 1550 CFM for maximum extraction efficiency
  • Maxes out at 3450 RPM so more than fast enough for even heavy requirements
  • Bulky, durable unit but easy to move around on its 4 casters
  • Transparent bag so you can monitor proceedings without breaking your stride
  • Gets rid of all debris from very fine sawdust through to much bigger pieces

Cons

  • Check contents upon arrival as some reported issues with missing components

Conclusion

Not everyone wants to drop four figures on a dust collector and this industrial model from Central Machinery comes in at an impressively affordable price with no compromise on quality.

For a no-nonsense utilitarian dust collector that is ideal for the home workshop or the job site, the CM45378 takes some beating.

Who Needs Dust Collectors?

man-with-mitersaw

Anyone with a workshop and power tools would benefit from having a dust collector.

 Whether it’s a miter saw or a table saw, a jigsaw or a band saw, cutting down and working with wood creates clouds of sawdust and debris. Relying on a mask and the occasional blast with a shop vac is just not good enough.

 In the overall scheme of a complete tool kit, a dust collector is not expensive. For a small investment you can guarantee that your working environment will be safe and won’t cause you any health problems.

 It might be tempting to think of a dust collector as something that will not give you same enjoyment as a circular saw or anything else you will use for plenty of rewarding projects. Don’t make this mistake. If you are a keen woodworker with your own workshop, you need a dust collector to operate efficiently.

Buying Guide

We’ll walk you through some of the things to think about when you’re on the hunt for the best dust collector.

 Although you can easily spend thousands on commercial dust collectors, for most home woodworkers an adequate model is not so expensive. Think about how much you have to spend. This will simplify your buying decision from the start.

 Take your time and research the products on your shortlist. There are plenty of comparison sites and the reviews sections of e-commerce sites provide very useful information.

 Think long and hard about the type of work you do and the amount of use your workshop gets.

 Once you have an idea about price and your needs, there are a few common elements that will crop up when you’re looking at dust collectors…

buying miter saw

 

  • Airflow
    Probably the most important factor to take into account when buying a dust collector is the airflow. This air volume is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). This rating is useful as a rough benchmark although static resistance is not factored in. Portable machines deliver 650 CFM. More substantial extractors fit for most home workshops step it up to 700 CFM. The really heavyweight commercial dust collectors are rated at 1100 CFM and above.
  • Noise
    Woodworking with power tools is noisy. There’s no escaping that and it’s what ear defenders were made for! The thing is, most craftsmen want the quietest equipment they can find as long as it doesn’t compromise performance. Some manufacturers quote the decibel rating of their dust collectors. The lower the number, the quieter the machine. Think about how much of an issue excessive noise is to you and buy accordingly.
  • Amount of Dust To Be Collected
    Although it might seem a statement of the obvious, a dust collector is restricted by how great a volume of dust it can process. Rather than only thinking about the dimensions of your workshop, you should also consider the amount of work you’ll be doing with power tools… For a smaller shop with a limited amount of cutting going on, a portable unit will be perfectly adequate. There’s no sense in scrimping if you have a space with multiple power tools on the go. For higher volume areas, a much more substantial dust collector will be more suitable. As with most aspects of any buying decision, being honest about your requirements will lead to you purchasing the most appropriate product.
  • Single-Stage Filters
  • These dust collection systems feature filter bags and a blower. The smaller particles and dust gets trapped by a woven cloth at the top. Larger pieces of debris find their way into a collection bag. It’s the tiny particles of dust that are the most harmful. This kind of filtration was once extremely expensive. As technology has improved and they have been produced on a bigger scale, so the prices have dropped to affordable levels.

  • Two-Stage Filters
    Two-stage filters are normally only seen on the more heavyweight, industrial dust collection systems. They operate using a 3-stage system that starts off by capturing the bigger bits of debris. These filters are much more expensive but deliver outstanding results.
  • Overall Filter Efficiency
    Although all filters are designed to perform the same job, they do not manage to do this equally. It’s absolutely crucial that the fine dust is dealt with effectively. It’s this rather than a larger bit of wood that’s going to irritate your eyes and your airways. In general, the finer the weave on the cloth of the filter, the better it will trap these miniature particles. If you’re going to get a dust collector, you might as well get the best one you can find that’s on budget.
  • Size and Functionality
    Make certain that any dust collection system you’re considering is man enough for the needs of your workshop. As a rule, the larger the shop, the beefier dust collector you’ll need. It’s all about getting a system that’s fit for purpose rather than expecting there is a right or wrong answer.
  • Portability
    You can opt for a portable or a fixed dust collector. If you have a spacious commercial shop, a fixed system makes sense. For anyone who moves around or those with smaller home workshops, a portable is often the smart option. When it comes to getting the right size dust collector, it’s all about getting what works best for you.

 Usage and Maintenance Tips

safety

 

Using a dust collector is straightforward.

 Once you’ve got the right size unit for the job, everything falls into place. If you have adequate airflow and a motor in line with your needs, it really is plug and play.

 Luckily, maintenance is just as simple. Aside from keeping things clean on the outside and emptying it frequently, your dust collector should run for years without giving you a headache or a tedious maintenance routine. This is just as well… The last thing you need is a cleaning solution that ends up requiring even more work!

CLOSING WORD

We hope that you have enjoyed these dust collector reviews.

Accessories make all the difference when it comes to woodworking. Buying a few tools alone is not enough.

By properly analyzing your needs and taking your time, it’s really not rocket science to get the best dust collector. You will keep your workshop spotless while avoiding any irritating sawdust in your face. Not only can this be uncomfortable and bad for your health, it can be potentially lethal as well.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or feedback at all. We love to hear from our readers and are ready to help in any way we can.

Now make sure you get the best dust collector you can afford and make sure it’s the right one for the size and scope of your workshop.

FAQ:

 You could. The problem is that you also need to keep the air clean and dust-free while you are working. Stopping continually to see off sawdust and debris with a shop vac is tiresome for a home woodworker and impractical for a professional. Investing in the best dust collector is putting your health and safety first. 
 Just because you can’t see the tiny particles doesn’t mean they can’t potentially harm you. Keeping the air free of all debris is essential in terms of maintaining a safe working environment. When it comes to your health, dust is particularly menacing for anyone with respiratory diseases or  asthma. Dust can also bring on allergies and sensitivities. You need a dust collector! 
 All dust collectors come with a CFM rating. This means cubic feet per minute. The measurement is used for the air intake and airflow. 
 Some upper-end models like the Festool come with a delayed shut-off. This simply lets the extractor run after the machine comes to a halt to suck up any lingering particles. It’s not necessary but it’s useful. 
 A single-stage dust collector simply has a cartridge filter or bag. It will trap particles down to 2 microns. They are cheaper and not the most efficient. 
 This is a 2-stage dust collection system. First of all, the dust is sucked into the cyclone. It then spins around a drum meaning the larger stuff can settle while the finer dust is drawn down and filtered. These are more expensive but offer by far the most effective and efficient method of dust extraction. .
 You could but there is a varied body of opinion on just how safe these ambient filters really are. Some argue that they take the dust past your breathing zone thus pose more of a risk than a benefit. If you must use an air filter, do your due diligence and make sure you are happy with the way they operate.
 When there is air in the duct, it needs to be pushed aside with suction. The result is static pressure resistance. This is described in inches. 
All dust collectors will have a CFM rating so you can see precisely what suction power will be offered up. Portable dust collectors generally have an airflow of 650 CFM. Once you start getting over 700 CFM, this should be enough for most home workshops. At 1100 CFM and above, you’re set for  commercial use as well. 
 This is a unit of measurement for particles of dust. There are 397 microns in 1/64 inch. Most dust collectors are rated in microns according to the smallest particles they will filter. 
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