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The 5 Best Dust Extractors [Ranked]

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Powerful woodworking machines and tools create enormous amounts of dust- dust extractors can dramatically reduce or even eliminate dust from your work area (Source). 

Dust extractors are essential tools to protect your personal health, ensuring that your woodworking and shop machinery remains in top condition, saving you cleanup time, and generally creating a better and safer work environment for you (Source).

Many of the hardwoods that you work with are actually pretty bad for your health, especially as compared with soft woods. This is probably because hardwoods contain tannins and also because when they are processed or machined they produce finer particles (Source).

How They Compare

The Bosch, the Festool and the Fein extractors are specifically designed to be wet/dry vacs.

As well, except for the Dust Deputy, they all provide automatic filter cleaning- this means that, when activated, the extractor self-cleans the filters every 15 or 30 seconds to guarantee optimized suction power (Source). 

​They all provide power tool actuation, which means you can trigger the dust extractor vacuum on & off through the power tool itself (Source).

Overall, reviewers we spoke with endorsed the Bosch and the Festool as the best-rated options. 

The Bosch wet/dry dust extractor is a German-made tool that features automatic filter cleaning, a power tool activation functionality, and a 9-gallon canister.

Buyers endorse its powerful suction, the non-clogging hose, and its effectiveness for a variety of materials, including wood chips, sawdust, and old brick mortar.

One thing to be aware of- the black rubber rear wheels can mark up floors if you drag it sideways.

As well, some reviewers complained that the self-cleaning feature could be mildly loud.

Comparing Dust Extractors

Remember, a quality dust extractor will help to reduce dust in your workshop and help your protective equipment work more efficiently as well.

Another overlooked benefit of robust dust extraction in your tool shop is that if you are running machinery without adequate dust extraction it can actually damage your machine and void your warranty!

Besides that, professional contractors save time (and make more money) by using a mobile dust extractor on the job site- helping satisfy the current customer before quickly moving on to the next. 

Best Dust Extractors For 2019

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The 8-Gallon, DWWALT with an 15 Amp motor is an effective dust extractor that has automatic filter cleaning. Its users have praised the Automatic Filter Clean feature of the product that pulses every 30 seconds and enables continuous cleaning without having to stop the work in order to clean the filter. However, keep in mind that it isn’t effective if used in cleaning a wet area.

 

It has an 8-ft long power cord, a variable speed dial, and runs at 76dB. This HEPA Dust Extractor is an affordable option if you’re looking for something that is effective and lightweight to carry around.

 

One of the reviewers who used the Automatic Filter Cleaning Dust Extractor praised it for being able to clean his small woodworking shop. While he did say that it could do with more power he was happy for not having to clean it due to its being self-cleaning. Another buyer of the DWV010 HEPA Dust Extractor used it to clean up after the construction of his house was complete.

 

It was able to meet all of his cleaning requirements, and he was satisfied by the performance. A minority of the users didn’t like the DEWALT 8-Gallon Automatic Filter Cleaning Dust Extractor for not having enough suction power for cleaning purposes.

 

However, the overall consensus regarding the 8-Gallon HEPA DW010 Extractor is that it is an effective tool for cleaning around the house and workshops.

Working With The DeWalt Dust Extractor

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Lightweight
  • Effective HEPA Filter
  • Self-Cleaning filter

Cons

  • Weak suction
  • Not effective in cleaning wet areas

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The 9-Gallon VAC090A with Auto Filter Clean Bosch Dust Extractor is a well-designed vacuum that ensures optimum suction by automatically cleaning the filters after every 15 seconds.

 

This ensures continuous cleaning. Its users are delighted by the fact that it has a low set-up time and requires few extension cords. However, take note that it doesn’t come with a HEPA filter, though one can be attached to it. If offers a power tool activation feature and the wet vacuuming water level sensor shuts down the vacuum when maximum height is achieved during cleaning.

 

The Bosch VAC090A Dust Extractor is a good option to go for if you are looking for something well-designed and effective.

 

The majority of the 9-Gallon Auto Filter Clean Extractor users say that it offers a lot of suction for cleaning purposes. The performance does makes it stand out a bit from the other dust extractors. 

 

The self-cleaning feature of the Bosch 9-Gallon Dust Extractor has also been praised by many users. One buyer of the VAC090 Extractor shared advice that in order to dampen the noise a person should use a shorter hose or one of a large diameter. One buyer of the Dust Extractor VAC090 voiced the complaint that the auto clean filter system broke after end of warranty.

Working With Bosch Dust Extractor

Pros

  • Automatic Filter Cleaning
  • L-BOXX integration
  • High Suction Force
  • Flat Filter Design
  • Wet Vacuuming water level sensor
  • Rubber wheels and locking caster

Cons

  • Minor faults with Tool Activation
  • Reverts back to default whenever it is unplugged, or switched off and back on

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The light weight and portable Festool CT Mini HEPA Dust Extractor offers users increased extracting capacity that makes it effective for heavier cleaning.

 

Its users love the unit’s ability to easily maneuver around obstacles present at jobsites due to the large wheels and double casters. However, the small size of the unit makes a person unable to attach a sander to it.

 

It comes with a variable suction force system, a self-cleaning filter bag, an anti-static hose, and HEPA filtration. The Mini HEPA Festool Dust Extractor is a solid product for any person who doesn’t want to clutter the job site with heavy machines. but still wants good power.

 

One buyer of the Dust Extractor 584156 CT Mini said that it was very easy to move around the job site for all his cleaning tasks. Another buyer of the Mini HEPA Festool Extractor complimented the unit for providing effective suction force and good filtration during cleaning.

 

The general consensus of people who have bought and used the Festool Mini HEPA Extractor is that it is easy to carry around and provides the user with high-quality performance. However, some buyers of the Festool Mini Dust Extractor have said that it costs too much for the features offered, and is too small to be used for bigger cleaning jobs.

Working With The Festool Dust Extractor

Pros

  • Integrated foot break
  • Compact and light weight
  • Quiet during use
  • HEPA filtration
  • A self-cleaning filter bag

Cons

  • Too small for bigger cleaning jobs
  • Not enough cord storage space
  • Fixed ‘rear’ wheels that are only meant to go straight

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The auto-starting, 5.8-Gallon tank Fein Turbo 1 Vacuum is well-equipped to take care of any vacuuming needs around the job site or house.

 

It makes sure that the extractor begins to function after a power tool has been activated through the integrated power tool socket. Buyers who have used the unit are impressed by the high air flow. Keep in mind that the unit doesn’t come with any extra work attachments. The Turbo 1 Vacuum Fein 9-20-27 Turbo is a good machine to use due to its compact size and rotating wheel for easy navigation.

 

The general user consensus regarding the Vacuum 5.8 gallon Fein Turbo is that it is lightweight, and easy to carry around. One of the buyers of the Fein Turbo 1 Vacuum said that he was able to move the unit up and down the stairs with relative ease. He was also able to place the unit inside his truck as well as take it out without hassle.

 

Some of the buyers who have used the Fein Vacuum Turbo 1 have said that they don’t appreciate the extra attachments not being included with this dust extractor. Another user of the Fein 5.8 Gallon Tank Turbo extractor said that the auto-feature of the unit stopped working a month after he made the purchase.

Working With The Fein Dust Extractor

Pros

  • Powerful Suction
  • Wet and Dry Vacuuming
  • Quiet when in-use
  • Two fans ensure longer life and cleaner operation
  • Compact Design

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with extra attachments
  • The hose is a little stiff
  • Locks on casters don’t always work

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The highly efficient Dust Deputy extractor is constructed with heavy-gauge steel which has been assembled with continuous welded seams. The finishing is done by a coat of durable powder. It is designed to stop dust from accumulating in a vacuum and allowing the device to last longer.

 

However, it should be noted that it is not to be used for highly explosive dust, and it doesn’t come with a vacuum. The Dust Deputy Kit is a good investment to make in order to allow shop or house vacuums to last longer, and not to spoil their filters.

 

Buyers of the Deluxe Dust Deputy have liked the fact that kit comes with two plastic buckets. It also includes one plastic lid that is where the cyclone device mounts on. One buyer also liked how he didn’t have to use a dust mask while using the Dust Deputy Deluxe. The device worked efficiently for the buyers and didn’t let dust accumulate in the vacuum unit that they were using.

 

One buyer of the Deputy Deluxe shared a story about how the dust was so bad when he was grinding concrete floors. This dust extractor was able to collect all of the dust and stop it from covering the whole house. One buyer of the Deluxe Kit Dust Deputy complained that the extractor was not supported properly when mounted on the lid.

Working With The Dust Deputy

Pros

  • Filters 99% of sanding dust
  • Extends the life of vacuum filters

Cons

  • Not for use with highly explosive dust
  • Thin lid for cyclone mount

What Are Buyers Saying?


The DeWalt Automatic Dust Extractor

The first dust extractor we examined was the Dewalt automatic filter cleaning option- it ships with a 15 amp motor that provides 130 CFM air flow. Weighing only 27 pounds, it's a relatively powerful option that boasts a self-cleaning capability so that the filter remains automatically clean so you don't have to stop it to clean out the filter.

  • Buyers say that it's intended for concrete or drywall dust, generally fine dust that would have a tendency to junk up and clog traditional shop vacuum filters.
  • Some buyers wondered what the difference was between a dust extractor and a traditional vacuum- reviewers have told us that to their mind, while this is a vacuum, the filters means it meets the standard legal requirements for lead-based paint projects and can also connect via an adapter to a table saw or a miter saw's dust port.
  • The way that would work, once the two are connected, you'll hit the trigger to cut wood and the vacuum will then automatically be triggered, capturing most of the sawdust you kick up.
  • As well, all the reviewers told us that you can connect this to an orbital sander- this is an effective way to collect dust, even on concrete grinders.
  • Buyers say that overall it is a powerful and compact option, though reviewers have criticized it for whiny noisiness and the fact that two of the four caster wheels are immobile and don't swivel.
  • Another reviewer who employs it as part of an integrated dust collection system with table saws, miter saws, and random orbital palm sanders, says that they dramatically reduce the amount of dust that collects on his basement tool shop work surfaces.
  • Indeed it almost completely eliminates all of the visible airborne dust that can dangerously clog your nostrils and your eyes if you are not wearing protective goggles or a dust mask.
  • Another professional contractor purchased a bunch of these dust extractors, primarily because they exceed HEPA level filtration.

The Bosch Dust Extractor

The second dust extractor we examined is the Bosch model- it is a nine-gallon option that features automatic filter cleaning and a power tool activation capability so that the power tool's switch will actually trigger the vacuum to turn off and on.

Another handy feature is that it has a wet vac water level sensor- this means it will automatically turn off the dust extractor whenever water poses a threat to the motor. Bosch has written extensively about the danger posed by silicosis. Commonly known as quartz- it's a common mineral that you will frequently find in sand, soil, granite, rock, masonry, on construction sites, and in landscaping materials.

Whenever you drill, grind cut into these materials these crystalline particles are released- they are incredibly small and when you inhale them it can have serious effects on your health, particularly to your lungs. Silicosis is considered an irreversible an incredibly disabling long disease that happens when the lungs react to crystalline silica by producing hard nodules that can impair breathing.

This is a German-manufactured dust extractor- with one buyer using it to suck up the dust while they are grinding mortar joint.

  • Buyers were overall impressed by his performance, saying that as well the self-cleaning feature is effective, the buyers have pointed out that whenever the suction is restricted the self-cleaning begins to actuate with a somewhat annoying thumping sound.
  • Another reviewer uses paper filtration bags, saying that it provides excellent suction, particularly for wood chips, motor, and dust.
  • Another reviewer who works in a Boston home that is over 130 years old says that the basement area is completely caked in dust and coal residue- this means that it's imperative to employ a high-performance dust extractor- while a somewhat pricey investment, the paper replacement filters are relatively inexpensive, and this buyer has peace of mind that the air he breathes is less noxious.

The Festool Professional Dust Extractor

The third miniature dust extractor we examined is manufactured by Festool. This is a wet and dry combo dust extractor with tool triggered technology and ships with a 11 1/2 foot hose that is pretty flexible and kink resistant so that it can easily fold into the top of the unit for transportation.

It's pretty simple to use- a dial helps modify the variable suction force and the self-cleaning filter bag has a collapsible design which helps eliminate the problem of dust caking between cycles. Besides helping to eliminate dangerous dust particles from the air, Festool advertises this dust extractor as a timesaver- you no longer have to clean up your workspace because it's coated in an inch of sawdust.

As a professional-quality tool, contractors often spend a good deal of time cleaning up after themselves- time that could be better spent servicing another client request.

One professional remodeler was highly impressed- he told us that it is the linchpin in his dust management system, performing quietly and powerfully while providing superior filtration.

The Fein Wheeled Dust Extractor

The fourth dust extractor we examined is the Fein- it includes an integrated storage compartment for the cord which measures 18 feet. It is a wet dry vacuum that has a 1,100 W motor design to integrate with power tools to suck and extract dust and keep work area is clean.

It features a 5.8-gallon container with its 13-foot hose providing ample reach, the manufacturer says. As well, it weighs under 18 pounds and is built to be a relatively compact and miniature option with 360° rotating wheels for enhanced maneuverability.

  • One buyer wondered whether this dust extractor could be used as a blower, utilizing an air outlet hose- reviewers told us that this was not possible with this particular model.
  • One professional carpenter who frequently works on carpets and cabinets says that it is a low volume option that's relatively inexpensive, easy to move around because of how lightweight it is, though other buyers have also criticized the hose for being too long and a bit too stiff for their purposes.
  • A more troubling concern is that the auto start stop malfunctioned for several buyers- so there are some quality control concerns that you should be aware of.

The Dust Deputy Dust Extractor

The last dust extractor we examined is the Dust Deputy- they boast that their extractor system is capable of separating out 99% of the materials before it actually enters into the vacuum, this means that your filters would be kept cleaner for longer, meaning you won't have to buy replacements as often.

One hobbyist woodworker told us that he had been using his shop vacuum for a long time as his primary means of dust collection, but it became messy and wasn't the most efficient way of extracting dust in his basement- so he opted for the Dust Deputy for a cleaner work environment.

The Dangers Of Airborne Dust

While our bodies are designed to prevent dangerous contaminants from entering it, using mucus in your nose and nasal passages, as well as fine hairs, very fine particulate dust can still access your lungs, overcoming your body's natural defenses.

These contaminants can cause all sorts of health issues including dermatitis, asthma, silicosis and rhinitis (Source).

The folks over at getwoodworking.com have noted some of the woods that are most dangerous to work with- some of them include Oak, Oleander, Western red Cedar, Greenheart, Ebony, Teak and Yew. It's crucial to note that dust extraction will not replace personal protective equipment- it is just a supplement to it.

Dust Extraction Tips

When deciding on purchasing a dust extractor important to understand that the airflow rates are calculated with clean filters.

As you probably can intuit, those filters will quickly become covered in dust and so the workflow rates are actually a lot less than what the manufacturer has stated. It's important to treat these manufacturers specifications is only a preliminary guideline.

In general it's most efficient to do extraction right at the source- this is the most effective way of producing the air hazard of wood dust in the air. In addition you can also wear a respirator while you were working.

If you're curious about just how much dust is in the air of your workshop, or if you are trying to assess how well a particular dust extractor is working, one solid means of testing the efficiency is to cast a beam of sunlight cast across your woodworking shop to see how much wood particulate is suspended in the air after you have done some machining.

Another thing that you can do to really drill down on how well your dust extractor is working is to shine a flashlight on it as it is operating- this will give you a quick sense of how much does this actually getting through to the filters.

Final thoughts

Choosing a quality dust extractor will depend greatly on your workshop setting and what it is that you wanted to do. Do your research and consider whether you're looking to connect it to a table saw, whether you want to connect it with your jointer- these are important considerations that you will need to make.

One other safety hazards that many people overlook when they consider dust extraction units for their woodworking shop is the danger of a static electric buildup in the machines themselves.

It is very rare for dust extraction systems to explode, but since there is a risk of that happening, some people decide to install a grounding kit that fits to the dust extractor's hose to help minimize the chances of static in the dust extraction system.

  • Updated September 26, 2019
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