Dust Collector Buying Guide (2020)

Here at DustCollectorGeeks.com, our goal is to provide you with up-to-date and in-depth dust collector reviews and the best prices available to make your purchasing decisions easier. You can browse a comparison of all dust collectors in our handy comparison chart. To make it easier for you, we’ve listed the top 5 below for 2020!

Our reviews cover all major brands such as Shop Fox, Delta, Grizzly, and Jet.  If there is a specific dust collector you’ve come across and looking to purchase or if you saw a price and unsure if it is a good deal, send us an email and we’ll take a look.

What are Dust Collectors?

Dust collectors are specially designed systems and devices that are used to filter the air by collecting any impurities or dust particles that are known to pollute the air surrounding us. These range from compact and portable collectors used in small shops for the collection of particles from woodworking activities or cement work to much larger systems. The big sized dust collectors clear the polluted air in large industrial areas to purify the air, providing the workers with a healthy atmosphere.

The Issue with Dust

It is human nature to ignore the unseen. But, what if you come to know that the invisible is disposing you to health hazards. This is the usual case with the minute dust particles that exist in the air in our environment, but are hidden from the naked eyes. Every day, be it in your house or your enclosed area of occupation, none of us are safe from the overexposure of these infinite dust particles.  That is, unless some effective measures are taken.

These particles are not only harmful for individuals with respiratory diseases.  Dust can also affect healthy individuals as they can cause respiratory tract illnesses like severe allergies and asthma. These diseases can thereafter prevail for the rest of your life. You can often appreciate these dust particles in the stream of sunlight entering your house via your windowpane.

Here the concern of every individual arises about the permanent ways to sort out this issue. Worry no more; the miracle machine that filters the air clean from all such foreign particles is here to save the day for all those workers tolerating this problem.

Buying Tips

Common Terms

Before reading the buying tips and our reviews, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with common terms used for dust collection.

  • Micron: Unit of measurement for dust particles. 397 microns equals 1/64th of an inch.
  • Static pressure resistance: The air already moving through the duct needs to be pushed away by the suction.  This produces static pressure resistance that is measured in inches.
  • CFM: Stands for Cubic Feet per Minute.  It is used to measure air intake.

Filter Size

Filter fabric technology has changed significantly over the last 20 years. Back then, a machine was likely a single-stage collector equipped with a 30-micro bag. These bags almost did more harm than good. They poorly filtered the small dust particles, which are sometimes the most harmful ones.

Particles smaller than 10 microns are most dangerous as they can penetrate deep into your lungs and your body does a poor job at filtering them out.  As filtration technology developed, new dust collectors are now equipped with pleaded filters which can filter particles as small as 0.3 microns. When purchasing a dust collector, ensure that it can filter down to at least 2.5 microns.

Suction Power

cfm performance curve
CFM Performance Curve

The last thing you want to do is purchase a dust collector that does not provide enough suction for your needs. Suction is measured by CFM.  Your suction needs are dependent on the tools you use in your workshop.  Keep in mind that every foot of pipe will add resistance to the suction so you will need to calculate the amount of static-pressure loss that will occur between your dust collector and where your tools are setup.  As each manufacturer is different, you should check their websites for performance curves (such as the one to the right).

Single Stage or Two Stage?

Single stage are cheaper than two stage systems. Does that mean that they are worst and not as effective? It is likely so. A two stage collector will first draw air into a separator that filters out the larger pieces.  From there, the smaller pieces reach a filter.  The benefit is that the largest particles (including chips) don’t clog the filter and ensure that the filter suction is always working with no hiccups.

So yes, while you will notice that a two stage collector is generally more expensive than a one stage collector, its system design will ensure that it always runs smoothly and sucks out all harmful particles out of the air.

Brands

Our website lists dust collector reviews for the following brands.

grizzly industrial Being one of the largest and the most trusted machinery company in the US, Grizzly came into existence in the year 1983 and has been providing quality products to its customers ever since. A wide variety of products available at Grizzly caters to the needs of the large industries and also the owners and craftsmen at small shops and cabins, performing woodwork or anything of the sort. Read more about Grizzly.

Delta-Power-Corporation Dust Collector Delta Power Corporation manufacturers a wide range of dust collectors from small ones for your home workshop to large ones for an industrial workshop.  You can’t go wrong with a Delta dust collector for your home.  Read more about Delta.

jet dust Jet manufacturers all types of woodworking tools with a focus on quality dust collectors. It engineers both cyclone dust collectors and its exclusive Vortex technology which can filter the finest particles.  Read more about Jet.

rikon-dust Rikon manufacturers small dust collectors which are preferred for home use. Its systems are on the low end of the price range compared to others featured on our website.  However, just because they are cheaper, they are still one of the premier collectors for home workshops. Read more about Rikon.

Shop Fox Woodstock manufacturers the Shop Fox series.  They are a leader in the industry, producing some of the most sought after dust collectors on the market. They are preferred due to their quality, effectiveness, and price point.  Perfect for home workshops to small industrial shops. Read more about Shop Fox.

Powermatic-LogoPowermatic is the gold standard in woodworking equipment.  They manufacturer a number of high quality dust collectors. Read more about Powermatic.

WenWEN is a leader in woodworking tools, a partner to hundreds of thousands artisan and professional woodworkers. Their dust collector systems are known to be affordable. Read more about WEN.