When contractors engage in grinding and polishing the floor or wood and metalworking projects such as carpentry and auto mechanic work can produce a reasonable amount of mess that can be created by cutting, grinding, and sanding these materials. While the mess can be cleaned up after the project is complete, the dust can get everywhere, even obscuring the material while you work. It is not only messy, it is hazardous to health. The answer usually to contain such dusty situation is vacuum dust extractors, what are they? That is the essence of this article.
Vacuum dust extractors are devices connect to the power tools in order to provide consistent suction, pulling in any dust and debris that is created while working on the project. The best dust collector for your workshop depends on the size of the space, the amount of dust that is typically produced, and whether a portable or fixed dust collector would be better. Take a look at the top products listed here to get a better idea of possible options, then keep reading to learn about important product factors that can help you choose the best saw dust collector to keep the workshop clean.
Types of vacuum Dust extractors
We have several different types of dust collectors that are typically grouped based on dust collection capacity, portability, and power. These types include standard shop vacuums, dust extractors, single-stage bag dust collectors, canister dust collectors, and cyclonic dust collectors.
- Standard shop vacuums come with hoses that can attach to dust collection outlets on some power tools, though adding a dust separator to these devices helps to improve the dust collection suction and reduce clogging.
- Dust extractors are essentially a specialized type of shop vacuum that is only made for use with small hand tools.
- Bag dust collectors are a step up from shop vacuums. They have a higher power output and can connect to multiple tools, making them ideal for small yet busy workshops.
- Canister dust collectors are similar to bag dust collectors in that they can connect to multiple tools, but these dust collectors have a cartridge system that is better at capturing 1- and 2-micron dust particles.
- Cyclonic dust collectors can also be referred to as two-stage dust collectors because they use cyclonic action to separate smaller dust particles from larger pieces of debris. The larger pieces fall into a central collection chamber, while the smaller particles are pulled through a fine filter to help capture as much dust as possible.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Dust Collector
With the various dust collector types in mind, it’s easier to understand the important factors that can affect your choice of dust collector for the workshop. Before deciding on the best dust collector, consider the size of the workshop, dust collection capacity, motor power, suction, and whether a fixed or portable dust collector is better for keeping the workshop clean, in addition to several additional elements that are outlined below.
Size of Workshop
Before selecting a dust collector based entirely on power, it’s necessary to consider the size of the workshop. Some dust collectors, like standard shop vacuums and dust extractors, can be used in just about any workshop because they are small and portable. However, these products may be ineffective options for a workshop that has multiple users because they can only connect to one tool at a time.
Larger workshops benefit from bag and canister dust collectors because they can be set up in a central location in order to collect the dust from multiple tools at the same time. These systems, however, aren’t the best choice for smaller workshops because they take up too much floor space. A wall-mounted bag dust collector may be the best option for a busy yet small workshop because it doesn’t take up any floor space, yet it can still connect to more than one tool.
Dust Collection Capacity
The amount of dust that is regularly collected, as well as the frequency with which the dust collector is emptied, are two factors that affect your decision when it comes to dust collectors because while these tools are made for collecting dust, they still have a finite amount of debris that the bag or canister can hold. This is referred to as the dust collection capacity.
For large workshops that regularly produce a high amount of dust and debris, it is best to opt for a dust collector with a dust collection capacity of at least 5 cubic feet. Smaller workshops or small hand tools can use smaller bags or canisters, though they will need to be emptied more frequently.
Motor Power and Suction
The power output and air suction potential are determined by the horsepower of the motor, as well as the volume of air that the dust collector can move, which is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM. Motor power is measured in horsepower (HP) and dust collector motors will typically fall between 0.5 and 1.5 HP, though there are some products with motors that exceed 3 HP.
The air volume or suction ability of the dust collector can be about 100 to 150 CFM for shop vacs and dust extractors, but typically a dust collector will have about 400 to 500 CFM. However, busy workshops may require a dust collector with an air suction power rating of 1,000 CFM or higher to adequately provide suction power to multiple tools at once.
Fixed vs. Portable
Dust collectors come in several different types based on motor power, suction ability, and dust collection system, but these tools can also be separated by their portability. Typically, a dust collector is a portable tool that is either light enough to carry or it has a wheeled base or frame that can be used to move the tool around the workshop. However, this style of dust collector takes up floor space and can become a tripping hazard.
Mounted or fixed dust collectors are installed on the wall or ceiling to help save space in a crowded workshop. Just connect the hoses to the dust collector and turn it on to start cleaning up the work space. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the longer the hose, the less suction power the dust collector will have, so it’s a good idea to mount the dust collector in a central location.
The filter efficiency refers to the ability of the dust collector’s filter to stop dust and other contaminants from passing through. By trapping large debris and dust particles in the filter, the dust collector can continue to work at a high level of suction power without the user having to worry about clogs.
Filter efficiency is typically measured by the minimum size of particle the filter can capture, or the absolute micron rating. For instance, a high-efficiency filter may have an absolute micron rating of 1 micron, indicating that it will stop particles and debris larger than 1 micron at least 95 percent of the time. The average dust collector filter will have an absolute micron rating of about 2.5 microns.
Many manufacturers include features that are not strictly necessary for the dust collector to function, but they help to increase product efficacy and improve on the dust collector design. Some examples include remote controls, noise-reducing insulation, handles, wheels, and hose storage spaces.
- Remote controls are ideal for fixed or mounted dust collectors because the user doesn’t need to walk across the workshop to turn on or turn off the device.
- Noise-reducing insulation helps to reduce the amount of sound that the motor makes while the dust collector is in operation.
- Handles and wheels are both used to help increase the portability of a dust collector. They make it easier to move the dust collector around on a flat surface and also easier to pick it up.
Hose and hose attachment storage spaces help to keep the workshop neat and tidy after the dust has been cleaned up. These are typically located on the side or top of the dust collector.
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