Dust Collection for Beginners
I have started covering commonly asked questions in IGTV posts and videos. Its hard to cover everything you want to know in a video! Not to mention I cant add links to items I am talking about or that I think will work great for the topic if you are a beginner. Sooo, I decided to start the blog portion to go along with each video. That way you have links and a little more info.
Lets start with the basics!!
WHAT IS DUST COLLECTION?
Its basically a glorified vacuum meant specifically for wood and lumber sawdust and chips.
I'M A BEGINNER, OR A HOBBYIST, DO I REALLY NEED DUST COLLECTION?
Well if you value your lung capacity and a clean space then YES!! Honestly I didn't have much of a dust collection in the beginning and when I got one I wondered why I waited so long.
If you sand, cut, or drill wood then you NEED a dust collection. BUT it can be a simple set up or an easy process and it doesn't have to cost a million dollars.
So ones dust collection needs do vary though. A lot depends on what kind of tools you are running in your shop. I like to split things up into 2 different categories:
Large Machine Tools
Each category of tool needs a slightly different kind of dust collection, the Hand Tools require a wet/dry vac style system and the Large Machine Tools need a larger 1-2 HP dust collection machine. I am going to list my recommendations for both beginners and intermediate set ups. I have used a bunch of systems for both and I these are some great options for you.
This is the Ridgid Wet/Dry Vac - https://amzn.to/3lVq3tF
Make sure your vac is on wheels and is easy to move around your shop.
It runs about $165
Make sure the one you buy has the orange flex hose if you go this direction. I love the vacuum but the black hose is stiff.
For Larger machines
This is the Grizzly 1hp extractor. Its between $250-350 plus accessories.
This is the machine I started with and it was pretty powerful. Did a great job with the tools I had. It is a little harder to change the bag out and the filter needs cleaned fairly often but does a good job. They make different filters to attach to the top as well and I think its a great started option. Really any 1hp machine that works with your set up would be great.
You will need PVC or something similar to run around your shop and be able to hook up different tools when needed. As a beginner I would imagine space is of the issue. I think having your large tools on casters and wheeling them out when you use them is super helpful and with that I recommend a quick connect for each tool (like talked about in my video), I will add a link below.
4" clear hose
These allow for 4 tools with a few different size ports.
For intermediate all the above tools work just fine and you will start to really understand what you need in your shop the more you work.
I love the wet/dry vacs but I also decided to try to reduce the fine dust particles and more and upgraded to a Festool CT48E.
They have come out with a more budget friendly and still awesome model called the CT 15 so I am going to link that here.
I love that they are trying to find ways to make good tools accessible for the masses.
When deciding which dust collection system to use I found a bunch that would have worked really well. My top two were the Grizzly and the Laguna. I am going to link both here. I love how easy it is to empty out. The laguna is pretty quiet and very powerful. It was THE WORST to assemble though. These both come with 6" ports to run multiple connections and have HEPPA filters integrated into the machines. They both have removable dust hoppers on wheels to make it easy to dump and keep working which I love.
This is the Laguna P Flux 1 and it is 1.5 hp
It starts at $2200
I have loved it had had mimal problems after I got it all assembled (took 5 hours).
This is the Grizzly 1.5 hp Cyclone Dust extractor and runs about $1300
I haven't used it but have heard it works wonderful. It doesn't have the filter encasing and Ive heard its a bit louder when it runs but still very powerful.
I used the same accessories for these as with the other beginner system because I still pull my tools in and out when using them, so it works well for me. Just think about how you use your tools and would be most convenient for your shop. I would say just remember the space you create is ever changing and evolving just like our craft haha. You got this! I am so glad you decided to stop off and check out my tips and suggestions. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments on DM me on any of my socials.