Best Air Filtration System Reviews

Here on Miter Saw Judge, we strive to bring you detailed guides on all of the power tools you need for a thriving home or commercial workshop.

What else is essential, though?

Controlling the large volumes of dust created by this equipment. Whether you’re cutting, sanding or perhaps even breaking out the angle grinder, sawdust and debris are a constant menace.

There are several different routes you could take if you want to keep woodchips and finer particles in check…

Shop vacs have great suction but a very weak airflow so they are certainly not the best option for dealing with the mess generated by your band saw. The other drawback to shop vacs is that they do a solid job of cleaning up after you’ve finished working but you should also focus on maintaining a clean, clear environment as you are beavering away. The last thing you need is to keep breaking your workflow to give the shop vac a quick blast.

Dust collectors undeniably work well and we recently produced a detailed guide to buying the best dust collector to help you choose the most suitable model. We looked at both portable units and those more suited for commercial use. While these deal admirably with larger chips and much of the dust created, it’s inevitable that some of these finer particles slip the net.

How, then, can you ramp up dust protection without spending a king’s ransom?

Today, we’ll walk you through another ideal way to get rid of all those fine particles and airborne contaminants in almost maintenance-free fashion with our air filtration system reviews.

Editor's Choice

  • 1/6 HP motor
  • Remote control
  • 3 speeds (300, 350 and 400 CFM)
  • 2 filters
  • Noise rating: 50-60 decibels
  • Carrying handle
  • Hooks, chains and screws for hanging
Rated as
4/5
Budget Friendly

  • 1/5 HP motor
  • Remote control
  • 3 speeds (556, 702 and 1004 CFM)
  • 2 filters including electrostatic pre-filter
  • Programmable timer
  • Accessories for hanging provided
  • Optional extra filter
Rated as
4/5
Amazon's Choice

  • 1/8 HP motor
  • 120 volts
  • 3 speeds (1200, 1400 and 1750 RPM)
  • Remote control
  • Airflow adjustable up to maximum of 409 CFM
  • 2 filters including electrostatic pre-filter
  • Clear control panel / Programmable timer
  • CSA certified
Rated as
5/5

The Best Air Filtration System Reviews 2021 – Comparison Chart By Mitersawjudge.com

With a varied selection of air filtration systems on the market, choosing the best one can often feel overwhelming.

Luckily, we’re here to strip away that confusion and point you in the direction of the very best air filtration systems at your disposal.

Table of Contents

Main Features
  • 1/6 HP motor
  • Remote control
  • 3 speeds (300, 350 and 400 CFM)
  • 2 filters
  • Noise rating: 50-60 decibels
  • Carrying handle
  • Hooks, chains and screws for hanging
Rated as
4/5

First up in our best air filtration system reviews is a budget-friendly appliance from WEN. This manufacturer produces more than serviceable power tools and equipment at cost-effective prices without compromising build quality or performance so you’re in safe hands.

Take a glimpse at the main features then we’ll look at this capable unit in more depth…

If you thought that air filtration systems were expensive, think again. For no more than the price of a power tool, you can take up the slack in your workshop where your dust collector left off…

The pair of filters on this WEN are very simple to clean using either water or compressed air. You’ll also be able to cheaply and easily get hold of replacements so reducing your ongoing running costs and eliminating the hassle factor of painstakingly trying to source spare filters.

The pre-filter sees off more substantial matter down to 5 microns. The inner filter is optimized to make light work of the finer and damaging dust that can otherwise create mayhem in the workshop and inside your lungs. Although it might not be HEPA-rated, this second filter neutralizes particles as small as 1 micron. According to WEN, this accounts for 99% of all airborne contaminants so you’ve got the lion’s share of the dust battle won.

With a 1/6 HP motor, you can adjust the speeds on this 3-speed unit according to the work you’re carrying out. While 300 CFM of air flow at the lower end and 350 CFM as the mid-setting are more than acceptable rates, the top speed of 400 CFM leaves something to be desired for larger spaces. That said, if your workshop is 400 square feet or less, all air will be filtered 7 ½ times an hour which is bang in the middle of recommended guidelines.

Hanging the unit on the wall couldn’t be much easier. Although you get man-sized performance, the box tips the scales at just a fraction over 30 pounds so it’s easily manageable and you won’t need to worry about a bulky weight suspended from the ceiling. All hooks and mounting gear comes in the package so you’ll be good to get going straight out the box.

Since the air filtration system is hung up on high, the remote control is invaluable. You’ll be able to toggle between the speed settings and initiate the automatic shut-down feature from over 25 feet away without interrupting your work flow.

That auto shut-off is a nice touch. It makes good sense to keep your filtration running after you’ve left the workshop but the last thing you want is for it to run all day in your absence sucking down power needlessly. Opt for a 1, 2 or 4 hour stint before it turns itself off and saves your electricity bills from spiraling out of control.

The level of noise generated polarizes opinion somewhat. WEN likens the 50 to 60 decibel claimed rating to roughly comparable with an office setting. We would say it’s in line with a hectic, busy office so don’t expect silence in operation. Some users have complained that the noise grates somewhat. What we would add is that by definition, when you’re using the air filtration system, you’ll also have at least one power tool in commission so, compared to the racket kicked out by your circular saw, the sound issuing from your air filtration pales into insignificance really.

Have a quick look at the chief advantages and couple of minor niggles with this inexpensive air filtration system before we serve up our verdict…

Why we like it

  • Variable speeds (300, 350 and 400 CFM) mean you can tweak the settings in line with the type of work you’re carrying out for maximum efficiency
  • Heavyweight performance but unit weighs just over 30 pounds so easy and safe to hang from the ceiling
  • Remote control effective at distances up to 26 feet allowing you to fine-tune speed or activate time delay
  • Outer filter deals with larger debris to 5 microns while inner filter takes care of fine particles down to 1 micron covering all bases
  • Both filters easy to clean and replace for your convenience
  • Mounting hooks and all attachments included so hang from the roof of your workshop with the minimum of fanfare
  • Only kicks out 50 to 60 decibels of noise which is roughly the same as a quiet office environment
  • Automatically shuts down after 1, 2 or 4 hours if programmed using remote so save money on your power bill
  • Great value for money and currently available at a discount online

Conclusion

If you’re on the trail of a budget-conscious air filtration system but you’re not prepared to take a hit on performance, the WEN is well worth your further investigation.

This unit works best in more compact workshops which, let’s face it, accounts for the majority of home set-ups. If you have a sprawling warehouse or commercial shop, you clearly wouldn’t be looking at systems in this price range.

Aside from a slight droning sound and a lack of power for larger spaces, there really is very little else we can say to knock the WEN and a great deal we can recommend it for. Check out this great air filtration system today and do your health a favor.

Main Features
  • 1/5 HP motor
  • Remote control
  • 3 speeds (556, 702 and 1004 CFM)
  • 2 filters including electrostatic pre-filter
  • Programmable timer
  • Accessories for hanging provided
  • Optional extra filter
Rated as
4/5

Next up in our best air filtration system reviews is a substantially pricier model from the industry heavyweight JET. From ruthlessly expensive, high end commercial band saws through to regular workshop equipment like this neat filtration unit, JET is a brand you can rely on to deliver results every time.

Whether you have a roomier workshop at home with fairly ambitious projects lined up or a smaller commercial premises you need to keep dust-free, the JET 3-speed is a handy ally in that endless fight against airborne pathogens and contaminants.

Here’s a summary of the leading features before we outline where this hard-hitting air filtration system really excels…

Compared to the other ceiling-hanging air filtration systems on our list, the JET is not much bigger when it comes to overall dimensions. Measuring up at just 14 x 32 x 26 inches, it’s roughly the same size as its competitors but packs a little more weight at 57 pounds. The ultra-durable design and extra power in reserve accounts for this added poundage.

The 1/5 HP motor is a real workhorse. It’s recommended that any air filtration system should get through a complete cycle of cleaning the air anywhere from 6 to 9 times in an hour. With the JET, this nudges 20 times hourly which is more than adequate even if you have a fairly big workshop. The completely enclosed ball bearing motor extends the lifespan of the unit while also extracting the very best performance from it.

The speed of the JET also sets it apart from much of the competition. With the usual 3 speeds to choose from, the low end at 556 CFM trumps the maximum air flow of many comparable air filtration systems. The middle setting ratchets things up to 702 CFM and at the upper limit, you’ll breach 1000 CFM meaning there’s a great deal of power on tap, perfect if you’re really churning out sawdust with challenging applications and hardcore power tools.

The filters are first-rate along with all other components on this air filtering system. The electrostatic outer filter acts as an attractor for dust and makes light work of bulkier debris. This is disposable and you’ll be able to use it a good number of times before replacing it. Filters are cheap and easy to come by. The inner filter comes out so you can clean that as required. This sucks away those fine particles to 1 micron in size. The air diffuser means that all outgoing air is fired out in a wide pattern for best effect.

Hanging the unit up on the ceiling is a cakewalk. You’ve got 4 eye bolts included to make light work of this. If you choose to set it down on a work surface instead, JET has designed the feet to be non-marring so you won’t end up scuffing everything about in the quest for clean air.

The remote makes controlling the system super-simple. There’s a timer so you can encourage the JET to switch itself off after 2, 4 or 8 hours. This gives you the latitude to let it continue filtering the air once you’ve powered down without draining electricity all night long.

The crowning glory is a thundering 5-year warranty which shows just how much faith JET place in their products. After all, the last thing a manufacturer expects is to dip out on the deal. Look after your system well and it should repay you with many years of reliable service.

Check out this breakdown of the pros and cons before we offer up our verdict on this superb air filtration system…

Why we like it

  • Goes through an extremely impressive 20 cycles per hour which is far higher than average
  • Fantastic air flow with 3 speeds topping out at over 1000 CFM so suitable for larger and busier workshops
  • Disposable outer filter is electrostatic to maximize the dust particles it attracts and reduce maintenance
  • Removable inner filter is highly effective and a cinch to clean
  • Control the timer via remote to shut off after 2, 4 or 8 hours
  • Outer filter deals with particles to 5 microns and inner filter to 1 micron making an effective tag team against all dust and debris
  • Simple to suspend from the ceiling using the 4 eye bolts
  • Nifty rubberized feet mean the unit won’t scratch up your work surfaces if you choose to mount it down low
  • Class-leading 5-year limited warranty provides you with total peace of min

Conclusion

Not everyone is looking for the cheapest air filtration system since, if you regularly undertake more demanding applications, a lightweight entry-level model will simply not cur the ice. That said, budget is always a factor in every purchasing decision and JET bridge the gap nicely between affordability and far-reaching air filtration that wicks away even fine particles at an outstanding rate of knots.

If you’re on the hunt for a system that’s capable of maxing out at over 1000 CFM and will clean the air in a bigger space without limping and wheezing, we’d strongly recommend the JET. While the relatively small footprint might deceive you, be under no illusion that this is a heavyweight unit in terms of performance.

Add the JET to your workshop at home or on the job today and breather freer and easier tomorrow.

Main Features
  • 1/8 HP motor
  • 120 volts
  • 3 speeds (1200, 1400 and 1750 RPM)
  • Remote control
  • Airflow adjustable up to maximum of 409 CFM
  • 2 filters including electrostatic pre-filter
  • Clear control panel / Programmable timer
  • CSA certified
Rated as
5/5

As we hit the mid-point of our air filtration system reviews, we’ve got another eminently affordable model up our sleeve, the Shop Fox W1830.

This is priced pretty much in line with the WEN we reviewed earlier so if you’re looking for a budget air filtration system with elevated functionality and more than adequate performance for a small home workshop with a dust collection system in place, read on to see if the Shop Fox fits the bill…

First up, don’t be sucked in by the speed figures boldly proclaiming 1200, 1400 and 1750. These relate to the RPM rather than CFM so don’t expect a system that will outflank the JET above at a third the price. That being said, air flow is on a par with most comparable air filtration systems. The capacity is 260 CFM at low speed, 362 when you notch it up a gear and the top speed translates to an air flow of 409 CFM. While this won’t be up to the job of filtering the air in a massive commercial shop, it’s ample for a regular home set-up.

When it comes to air filtration systems for smaller workshops, the filters are almost without exception roughly the same. The outer filter, as with the above models, works for bigger bits of material down to a size of 5 microns. The smaller and finer dust is accounted for by the inner filter which is good for particles to 1 micron. All you need to do is tap off the dust from the outer filter directly into a garbage bag to clean it. Remove the inner filter and douse it with water before leaving it to air dry. Replacement are available online and they’re priced competitively so you won’t have any nasty ongoing costs to bear.

All the air in a smaller space will be filtered efficiently up to 8 times an hour which is all you can hope for in a cheaper filtration system. This falls well within the stated minimum so there are no grounds for complaint here. With less expensive units, you can expect boxes to be ticked rather than over-performance.

The infrared remote can be awkward to use from a distance but you’ll benefit from a control panel from where you can easily make any tweaks you need.

As with all these hanging variety of air filtration systems, everything you need comes in the box so you won’t be scurrying off for fitments. Installation is rudimentary so you can start enjoying fresher, cleaner air right from the get-go.

Where the bulk of these units are roughly similar, it’s always wise to look for any key differences…

One way the Shop Fox differentiates itself is how quiet it is when in use. As we outlined above, this is not so critical when you are in the shop with power tools on the go. When you leave, though, your family or neighbors will appreciate the distinct lack of noise emanating from the system. You can program it to switch off after 1, 2 or 4 hours. This is a smart way of getting rid of all lingering dust without being faced with a stiff monthly utility bill.

We’ll walk you through a breakdown of the pros and cons of the Shop Fox before moving on to a more expensive model from POWERTEC…

Why we like it

  • 120-volt single phase motor develops 1/8 HP and comes CSA certified for your peace of mind
  • 3 speed settings maxing out at 409 CFM at a speed of 1750 RPM means the Shop Fox is best suited for smaller home workshops
  • Timer also packs 3 settings so you can program this unit to switch itself off after 1, 2 or 4 hours using the provided remote
  • Both filters (1 micron and 5 micron) can be cleaned without any ceremony and replacements are not costly so your ongoing expenses will be minimized
  • In a 20 x 20 x 8 feet space, the air will be circulated approximately 8 times an hour which falls in the recommended range
  • Access the unit either using the remote supplied or through the user-friendly control panel
  • All equipment needed to suspend your air filtration system from the roof of your shop is thrown in and installation is a breeze
  • Designed for use as a table top unit if hanging it from the ceiling is impractical so highly adaptable
  • Particularly quite in operation which is a pleasant surprise with a cheaper model

Conclusion

Not everyone wants or needs a full-bore commercial air filtration system nor wants to pay the premium necessary to get one. If you have a regulation home workshop and you are a hobbyist woodworker looking for a cleaner environment with improved air quality, the Shop Fox is an affordable entry point.

All you need to do is examine the state of the filters when you clean them to see just how effective this equipment really is and how much harm you’re exposing yourself to if you don’t take proper precautions.

For a first-class filtration system with a third-class price tag, you really can’t go far wrong with the Shop Fox W1830.

Main Features
  • 1/5 HP motor
  • Remote control
  • 3 speeds (556, 702 and 1044 CFM)
  • 2 filters (5 micron, 1 micron)
  • Noise rating: 62-69 decibels
  • Mounting hardware
  • 3 timer setting
Rated as
3/5

Before we finish up with a commercial air filtration system, we’ll polish off our look at home systems with another relatively expensive but highly practical dust solution from POWERTEC.

As we detail in our buying guide below, getting the most fitting filtration system for your workshop hinges on intended usage. If you frequently undertake projects where lots of dust is generated and you have a roomy workshop, you’re well advised to consider this type of mid-level system offering you the power and performance you need.

We’ll highlight the main features before showing you where the POWERTEC really hits home…

With many power tools and much equipment, products vary quite considerably in terms of their functionality. Air filtration systems are all very much cut from the same cloth and the POWERTEC doesn’t offer anything radically different from the JET, the unit occupying the same price point.

Air flow is in line with the JET system. The 3 speeds are slightly lower in terms of RPM (750, 960 and 1200) but the all-important CFM comes out at the same 556, 702 and 1044 rate of air flow which is perfect even if you have a slightly larger home workshop.

Filters are the same pair found in most systems like these 3-speeders suitable for small home shops or scaled-down commercial enterprises. The outer filter, as usual, does the trick with debris to 5 microns in size. The inner filter will filter fine dust to 1 micron. You won’t need any tools to replace these filters and they can be cleaned stress-free.

Rather like the JET, the POWERTEC is not exactly a featherweight. This is to be expected considering the poky motor and overall build quality. After all, once the unit is suspended, weight is not really an issue at all. Since it comes in at over 70 pounds, you might want to consider calling in assistance to get it hanging up on the ceiling. Everything you need for mounting is chucked in.

The remote control allows you to program in a shut down after 1, 2 or 4 hours which is very much like other similar units. As mentioned, there’s really very little to choose between most air filtration systems in terms of core functionality.

For anyone out there with sensitivities, allergies or asthma, this unit works well to reduce the irritation brought about by dust. Often, cheaper units really have their work cut out in a bigger shop space and this is where you score by upping the ante and investing in a brisker system like the POWERTEC.

Have a quick glimpse at the advantages and drawbacks of this air filtration system then we’ll round out with our final review before dispensing some handy hints to help you get the best equipment for your shop…

Why we like it

  • Brisk air flow rate from 556 CFM up through 1044 CFM at the upper end
  • Build quality is first rate with 73 pound unit rugged and good for years of reliable service
  • Reasonably quiet for such a capable air filtration system kicking out just 69 decibels at full clip
  • Understated design which although highly functional doesn’t look like an eyesore
  • Opt for 1, 2 or 4 hour auto shut-off to give your workshop a final blast of clean air when you’ve downed tools
  • Remote control and all necessary mounting hardware bundled up
  • Pair of filters offering the standard 1 micron and 5 micron capability meaning that all debris, large and small, is effectively filtered out of your workspace
  • Buy into a rock-solid brand without needing to spend four figures
  • Although not HEPA-rated, an excellent unit for anyone with allergies or asthma

Conclusion

POWERTEC products have a hard-won reputation for stellar quality without forcing you into a bank loan to buy into the brand.

While you can certainly get cheaper air filtration systems – we review a couple of these – for larger home workshops or small businesses, it’s necessary to step things up a gear if you want really worthwhile filtration. Also, it’s false economy to overwork and overload a less capable unit in a larger space. It will just end up letting you down while not even performing the duty you need it to in the first place.

With the option to use a wide range of filters and a generous air flow, the POWERTEC is a dependable air filtration solution from a brand you can trust. Check one out today and you are extremely unlikely to be disappointed.

Main Features
  • Negative air pressure
  • MERV 9 primary and secondary filter
  • MERV 15 bag filter
  • 2 speed: 1000 CFM and 2000 CFM
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Hospital grade casters
  • Outlet ring for flex duct
Rated as
0/5

To finish up our best air filtration system reviews, we’ve got something in a slightly different vein to the 4 regular units above.

While one of the core purposes of this HEPA-filtration unit is to remove mold, asbestos and silica dust from the air in renovation projects, it’s also a fantastic air purifier and filtration system that would grace any workshop.

Glance at the chief features of the OmniAire before we detail why it makes sense to consider this system even for home workshops…

As you’d expect from an air filtration system at this price point, build quality is second to none. Everything from the aircraft grade aluminum used for the housing through to the closed end rivets and seams sealed with silicone indicates clearly that this heavy-duty beast won’t let you down in a hurry.

While it’s particularly heavy at 138 pounds, the casters down below mitigate this weight and allow for easy transportation whether at home, in the shop or out on site. These casters are non-marking so you won’t scratch up your floor and the overall dimensions of the unit are surprisingly small given its titanic performance.

A negative air machine, we’ll gloss over the extra mile this system goes on abatement and renovation projects since the average woodworker will not have much interest in this. Suffice to say, whatever toxic airborne pathogens are kicked up, the OmniAire sees them off in fine style.

For our intended user with power tools, there’s a bag filter which allows for even industrial quantities of dust to be collected. This acts as a kind of final filter on an already highly effective system.

Air flow trumps the other air filtration systems we reviewed which is no more than you’d demand from a rugged commercial unit. You can flick from 1000 CFM which is where most regular systems max out right up to 2000 CFM giving you all the air flow you need whatever project you have in mind.

 

Perhaps you carry out work in your shop that creates unpleasant fumes? If so, one of the many optional add-ons at your disposal is a wonderful carbon filter that will control and neutralize these foul odors leaving your environment blissfully clean.

Even by the standards of negative air machines, the OmniAire is not cheap but it performs so admirably that we wanted to serve you up with the strongest example of this type of multi-purpose air filtration system so you can decide whether or not you can justify such a piece of equipment.

Because that’s the bottom line…

The OmniAire is absolutely not for everyone but that’s precisely why we included it here. While we’ve tried to give you a pair of cheaper standard air filtration systems partnered with a couple of slightly more expensive home models, we always want to show you the full extent of options at your disposal. Ask yourself whether or not you truly need such a punch-packing air filtration system and, if so, the OmniAire will deliver fully.

Take the time to study where it stands and falls before we give you our verdict and press on with our air filtration system buying guide…

Why we like it

  • HEPA-rated filtration system with full sized filter 12 inches deep that you can replace with a bag filter for the effective removal of dust from woodworking or construction
  • Negative air machine packing 2 speeds that’s man enough for even the harshest on-site conditions and a real boon in any workshop with high volumes of dust
  • Cabinet is built to exacting standards using aircraft grade aluminum with silicone-sealed seams and closed end rivets to give you years of unbroken service
  • Unparalleled air flow with 2 speeds (1000 and 2000 CFM) so up to whatever you throw its way
  • 2 rigid and 2 wheeled casters simplify transportation and allow you to move the unit with ease
  • 12-amp running on standard 120 volts so ideal for any set-up at work or home
  • Although it weighs 138 pounds, at 28 x 32  x 36, the size of this air filtration system is manageable even for home workshops
  • Wide assortment of optional extras including carbon filter, air purification module and intake manifold so suitable for an enormous spread of filtration and purification duties

Conclusion

Clearly, the OmniAire negative air filtration system is not the kind of unit you’d pick up if you’re a casual hobbyist workshop with a couple of tools in the garage.

Although it’s core purpose is for removing toxic airborne contaminants from the air on abatement and renovation projects or industrial facilities, don’t overlook this top-notch system if you have a larger home workshop or a small commercial shop.

With the bag filter in place, you’ll really struggle to find a more effective method of sucking away and filtering the large and small particles kicked up while woodworking or using an angle grinder.

While it’s designed firmly with a range of commercial applications in mind and it’s an amazingly flexible piece of kit, don’t overlook the OmniAire if you’re a committed home woodworker with a large space to keep debris-free and a more fluid budget. There’s little we can say to knock this fantastic air filtration system except try one out today!

best air filtration system: Looking for more information?

Interested to learn more in-depth details about selecting the right tool for your needs? Read our Informational Buyer Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections on this topic for more details.

Final Words...

Hopefully, you’ll now be in a far stronger position to understand the difference between shop vacs, dust collectors and air filtration systems when it comes down to how they perform in the workshop, how they differ and the extent of their limitations.

If you are resistant to spending out on what seems like yet another accessory for your shop, ask yourself what price you put on health and safety. When you start thinking about air filtration systems in relation to these key issues, suddenly they don’t seem quite so expensive.

Drop us a line any time if you have any queries at all. Also, please let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to cover here at Miter Saw Judge. After all, the core purpose of this site is to give you the information you want and need so don’t be shy, get in touch!

Before closing, here is a snapshot of 10 of the most frequently asked questions that crop up when you’re thinking about air filtration…

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