You can invest between thirty or forty dollars and upwards of several thousand dollars or more when purchasing your new saw dust collector. At the lower end, you’re likely to find a basic, single-stage model with an inflatable air bag. These aren’t generally suited for the more detailed home environment. Further, at this point in time, they just don’t produce as much vacuum because of the air bags. At the higher end of the spectrum, you’ll find vacuum models with two stages, high powered vacuums, dust collection grids and dust pans that are capable of producing thousands of gallons of fresh air. And, while these may be more expensive upfront, ultimately the cost savings far outweighs the initial investment.
For most home shops, the goal is to purchase a saw dust collector that is able to meet the specific needs of the working condition or project at hand. If you’re looking to purchase a saw dust catcher for a professional contractor or woodturner, there are quite a few options available. Most commonly, a contractor will choose a dust collector that features either a dust pan or chamber. It’s designed to work in conjunction with their turner or table saw. The chamber is fitted with a hopper that collects the dust. When turning the wood, the operator manually adds the dust to the hopper and removes it as needed.
As far as the best saw dust catchers go, the best ones I’ve found are from the Czech Republic. They feature dual chambers and are designed to work with either a table saw or circular saw. The dual chambers provide additional air support and an increased dust collection capacity for project specific needs. Another company that offers dust catchers that perform well is Miele. Their ducted design provides exceptional dust collection and airflow.
The dust collector needed in my shop was a simple, inexpensive unit that sat on my lathe. I chose one with an adjustable air supply and filtration and a filter that worked easily. I also purchased a hopper and a dust collection bag. The whole unit weighed in at just over two pounds and was able to stand on its own. The assembly took a little time but I had no trouble assembling it.
cyclone dust collectors are another option for saw dust collectors. The dust collection is achieved through a forced air system that circulates the air throughout the dust collectors’ filters. These units are a little more expensive than most wall-mounted units and must be supported by metal framing or shelving. The benefits of cyclone collectors are the ability to keep dust out of the air and the ability to filter out small particles.
I decided to purchase a portable dust collector that had both a filtration and an airflow setting. The airflow setting allows the air to be cycled through the collection bag and back into the room. The dust bag can be reused several times before emptying. I found this set up to be quite convenient. It allows me to change the airflow and filtration settings from any room in the workshop without needing to open and clean the dust bag. The only downside to this dust collection and filtration combo is the size, I needed a wall mounted unit to accommodate the full size of the dust bag.
The most important part of my saw dust collectors is to have a good dust collection vacuum hose and a good dust collection brush. The brushes are important because they remove small particles from the air while the vacuum hose sucks large particles into the dust collector bag. Both of these items should be purchased new and properly cleaned whenever needed. If the dust collectors and vacuums become too dirty or clogged, I replace them instead of the dusting repeatedly.
My first dust collector was a hepa dust extractor and suction filter combination. This system was very effective at drawing in small particles from the air, but it also caused some problems. The filter would occasionally not completely close or completely release the impurities. The suction ring would also become clogged with dirt or hair. All of these issues were easily fixed by changing the filters or cleaning the suction pump or power switch key.
Over time I changed my air cleaner to a two-stage collectors and dust bin. The first step to maintaining a two-stage collector is making sure it is clean. The air must pass through a filter to catch the larger particles and the second stage would be an air compressor which would blast the particles into the air. The filter and air compressors need to be regularly maintained to operate efficiently.
A woodshop or wood grinding shop has many hazards. It’s easy to add saw dust to the environment by using an air collection system for these facilities. A woodshop can contain many types of debris such as saw dust, splintered wood, chip dust, rubber chips, paper chips, and other hazardous waste materials.
The size of the particle collector is directly related to how much debris can be collected. An indoor collector will generally take less debris than a collection system that is located outdoors. You can usually find a dust deputy for a little fee to come to your shop to collect the debris. However, I’ve found that it is often better financially to pay the fee and have the dust collector come out to dispose of the debris for me. The cost of a complete cleaning and removal can be quite high.
An outdoor woodshop can benefit from a large, two horsepower motor that will help the collector push the debris in bulk into a collection bag. The cost of the bag is dependent on the size of the particles and will vary based on the manufacturer. Two horsepower motors are quite efficient and should be more than adequate to move most small particles.
The size of the air collection system is very important and will determine the price of the unit. Suction-side collectors require a larger tank size than the counter-sucking side. Suction-side cyclones also utilize a larger counter-sucking unit to power the suction.
Some of the best dust collectors feature an air filter that can trap particles while they are being removed. This feature is especially helpful if you have pets at your wood shop. Most dust collectors also have filters that can be cleaned and reused repeatedly. They usually have a hose with a collection basket so you can easily transfer the debris to the collection system. The number of wheels on the dust collectors can determine how fast the debris goes through the canister.