Jun 08, 2023

The 8 Best Dust

Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. Why Trust Us?

Keep your workspace clean and reduce the chances of inhaling dust and debris.

Woodworking projects can generate a lot of sawdust, which is not only difficult to clean up, but according to OSHA, it’s potentially harmful to your respiratory health. A dedicated dust collection system captures and collects the majority of wood and dust particles as you work, saving you hours of cleanup time and ensuring that you’re not exposing yourself or others to unnecessary airborne hazards. In fact, if you have employees, a dust collection system may be required in order to comply with regulatory standards.

Dust collection systems come in a wide range of sizes and types, so we made sure to include a variety of options in our recommendations below. Whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty unit that’s powerful enough to handle a busy table saw, or a portable version to connect to a miter saw, you’ll find an option that’s compatible with your specific situation, making your workshop, garage, or toolshed a safer place to work.

If you have more than one or two tools that create lots of dust, consider a system that can connect to multiple machines at once. It’s possible to reconnect the system hose to each machine as you go, but that can be inconvenient for some, and impractical if you have a busy workshop. Though they are more expensive, a system that works with multiple tools can save you a lot of time.

Make sure the hose of the dust collection system fits the tool you plan on using it with, too. The hose diameter can vary from 1.5 to as large as eight inches, so reference the dust port on your tool to make sure it’s compatible before you buy.

Take some time to think about your workload and the amount of dust storage you need. Calculating your dust output isn’t an exact science, and depends on both the size and quantity of your tools, as well as how frequently you use them.

If you have a large shop with multiple machines that you use often, opt for system that provides at least five cubic feet of dust storage. DIYers with just a few tools that they use on the weekends can choose a lower capacity model.

A single hand tool can usually be connected to your shop vac for quick and easy dust collection, which is a great option if you only ever use one tool at a time.

The system’s motor strength is measured in horsepower (HP), and dust collector motors range from 0.5 to 3 HP. One- or 1.5-HP models are sufficient for most power tools, but if you plan on connecting your system to duct work or multiple tools, go with 2 HP or more.

The dust collection system’s suction ability is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute), and ranges from 400 to up to 2,000 CFM. The higher the CFM, the more air suction it provides, and the more tools you can connect at the same time.

Consider the size of your workspace when choosing a dust collection system. Larger units provide more power and storage capacity, but if you don’t have the space, they’ll be a bulky inconvenience. Smaller, wheeled units can roll from tool to tool, but may lack the power to handle your workload.

If you’re on a budget, or don’t require the power of a self-contained system, a model that uses your existing shop vac is a great option. These portable, affordable units collect dust without ever putting the dust inside your vacuum bag, so you won’t have to bother with cleaning out dust filters. They also have hard-bodied storage containers that make them more durable than soft bags, and they can be used on a wider range of dust types.

Proper dust collection was paramount during my time working in woodshops, and I have extensive experience using and maintaining a variety of models and sizes. I've used this experience to put together this list of options, making sure to include a good range of units that would be useful to the residential woodworker. I decided to exclude any extra-large commercial options because of their high price point and their impracticality for folks working out of their home garage or workshops. I also kept storage capacity, power, and suction capacity in mind when deciding on these final seven picks, so regardless of your dust output or workshop needs, you’ll find a compatible option.

If you’re a productive woodworker and have more projects than the average DIY-er, this Shop Fox system and its two-horsepower motor is the perfect fit. The removable Y-fitting on the intake port makes it so you can attach two four-inch hoses, and have a pair of machines connected at the same time.

It’s more expensive than our other recommendations, but if you have the budget for it, this system could be worth it in terms of cleanup time, which can be substantial in busy shops.

This WEN tool is a great fit for those who don’t have a large budget, but still want a reliable, powerful dust collection system. For less than $200, you’re getting an impressive 537 CFM capacity, as well as 5.7 AMP motor, all at a low 18.5 pound weight.

We’re big fans of the portability of this model as well, as it features four rolling casters and a carrying handle, making it easy to wheel around or simply carry it from one place to another. Or, if you prefer a fixed version, you can remove the base and mount it to the wall.

While WEN does not list the horsepower of this unit, the 660 CFM is a good indicator of its capability.

The four casters and large steering handle make this model more portable than similar-sized options, and the 20 foot hose—reinforced with steel wire—safely moves around without risk of damage.

Its impressive 800 CFM suction capacity handles most projects without issue, and though the 2.1 cubic feet of storage isn’t the most spacious, it does contribute to the relatively compact size of this unit. We appreciate the transparent bag as well, so you can easily monitor your dust level and separation, a task that is less convenient with most other bags.

This model is a good choice for those who want the convenience of a self-powered system but don’t have a ton of space for it.

It’s just 44 inches high when fully inflated, but still provides a decent amount of power with 537 CFM suction capacity and 1-HP motor. It includes a bracket that makes it easy to mount it directly to the wall, and it comes with all the hardware needed to set it up.

The collection bag has a storage capacity of 2 cu. ft., and also features a transparent window so you can always see when it’s time to empty it out.

If you have a large workshop with multiple machines that require dust collection, this powerful Powermatic model is a great choice. Its three, four-inch intake ports quickly connect your table saws and planers, or you can adjust it to a single eight-inch port for your bigger machines.

The twin, 10-cu.-ft. collection bags are well-suited for busy workshops, and give you a significant amount of time between emptying. A handy remote control also programs the unit for up to 99 minutes at a time.

Anyone who does a lot of routing work knows that these machines create a lot of dust. This system attaches to your router table, and uses two intakes to capture dust from above and below the tool, keeping your work area clear and reducing the chances of making costly errors due to low visibility.

It can be used with or without your router fence, and is easy to use as either a temporary or permanent system. Velcro mounting pads allow for a nice clean fit, and at just $30, could be great for those on a tight budget.

You need to provide your own suction system for this option–like a shop vac–but if you already have one on hand, this affordable option is a perfect options for the casual woodworker.

Its tapered ports are compatible with a range of vacuum hose sizes, and in addition to sawdust, is also useful for other materials like water, metal shavings, pet hair, or ash and soot.

Plus, by capturing these materials before they reach your vacuum, you increase your machine’s lifespan and save yourself time and energy cleaning its dust filter.

This system is designed to be used with a miter saw, and acts as a tent on the rear of the machine to capture dust and expel it through an exit port. You need to supply your own shop vac, but if you already have one, this is an effective, low-cost alternative to more expensive options.

It also includes a carrying bag, making it convenient to transport, and reduce the chances of damage when you’re not using it. This would also be a great choice for anyone short on shop space, like those with a small tool shed or corner of the garage.

Alex Rennie is a freelance writer who specializes in the Home Improvement, DIY, and Tool space. As a former residential and commercial carpenter, Alex uses his hands-on experience to write practical buying guides, how-to articles, and product reviews. His work has also appeared in Business Insider's Insider Picks, and before his writing career, he was a full-time carpenter living in New York City. There, he worked as part of a team designing, building, and installing large furniture pieces, as well as performing a variety of home repair and maintenance projects. Alex currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, and spends his free time exploring the beaches and mountains with his fiancé and their dog Louie.

How to Safely Use a Circular Saw

The 7 Best Tool Belts

The Best Drywall Sanders for House Flips and Renos

The Best Miter Saws for Woodwork Projects

The Best Leaf Rakes for an Enviable Lawn

Are You Sure You Know How to Use a Screwdriver?

The Best Cordless Drills for DIY Projects

The Best Paint Sprayers for Projects of Any Size

The 11 Best Pocket Knives to Buy Now

Chopping Metal is Fun With a Cold Chisel

The Best Tool Gifts for DIY Dads

The Best Stud Finders for Home and Commercial Use

Best Overall: Best Budget: Most Lightweight: Best Midsized: Biggest Capacity: