FAQ: best dust collector

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.

best dust collector: 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.