Updated: November 2017
Dust Collector Reviews:Anyone who runs a professional shop or just does home improvement projects with woodworking power tools knows that having a dust collector system is essential to keeping sawdust and other dust particles to a minimum. Those of us who run table saws, sanders, and jointers know that dust can build up and really cause health issues unless we use a dust collector. The types of tools you use on a regular basis will ultimately guide you in your decision when it comes to buying a dust collection system. The dust collection air flow that each power tool requires is based in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. Most manuals for tools like miter saws, circular saws, and routers will have the CFM listed in it. Along with the CFM you'll need to measure the diameter of the built in dust collection port on each tool. By taking the duct sizes and air flow #'s you can come up with a number that points you towards the right dust collector for the jobs you will be doing.
Buying Guide - Another reason to get a quality dust collection system in your shop is to protect your equipment. With wood chunks and sawdust flying around you could end up with damaged machinery. Blades are one of the first pieces of equipment to get ruined but eliminating the wood chips and dust will help keep things in good running condition. Most of the dust collection systems you find are freestanding and they pull in the dust while pushing out clean air by using a filter system. Some of the more powerful dust collectors are able to run multiple machines at once and still do the job just fine. The dual stage systems help separate heavier debris from finer dust particles and they will help prolong the life of the impeller compared to single stage dust collectors. You will get superior performance and power on a dual stage unit but there will be a larger investment cost up front. Most home woodworkers with a shop do just fine with a 1 or 2 HP (horsepower) system. If you plan on having multiple users running 2 tools at once into your system, it should be closer to 5 HP to handle the added load. Some people add an air filtration system to get those dust particles not caught by bag collection system. Many models have 5 micron bags but you will want to capture the 1 micron particles which are considered more dangerous. The top brands are Delta, Shop Fox, Grizzly, Jet, JDS, Powermatic, and Laguna. We found dust collector reviews posted online at websites like Newwoodworker.com, Sawdustshavings.com, Woodweb.com, Sawmillcreek.com, and Wood Magazine did a nice head to head review of dust collectors priced under $300. American Woodworker is another helpful site with lots of woodworking tool reviews including some on dust collection systems. Where can you buy a dust collector at? Home Depot and Lowes do carry these products as well as specific woodworking stores online. You can browse the top selling dust collectors online here.