Choosing the Right Dust Collection System

Keep a clean and safe workspace by installing a debris and air filtration unit

Dust Collection System - Choosing the Right Dust Collection System

Stationary and bench-top power tools quickly produce a large amount of sawdust and wood chunks that can coat the floor of your shop, impair visibility and cause damage to blades and machinery. Dust particles also enter the air you breathe, which can be hazardous to your health. This guide will help you choose the type of dust collection you should invest in to protect your workspace and yourself from long-term damage.


Dust collection systems capture sawdust, as well as shavings, chips and other debris, right at their point of origin, before dust even has a chance to enter the air. Most shop dust collection systems are fairly large, freestanding units that use a special fan called an impeller to pull in dust and push clean air back out through a filter.

Depending on the number of tools you have and their placement in your shop, you may have to construct a piping system that connects all your items to the main collection unit. You should also consider the benefits of a standalone air filtration system as a complement to a bag collection system.

Air Filtration Systems

  • Removes airborne particles as small as 1 to 5 microns
  • Compact, usually hangs from the ceiling, so you won't lose any bench or floor space
  • Captures fine particles that may escape from a single-stage or dual-stage system
  • Should not be used as an alternative to point-of-origin collection systems

Dual-Stage Collection Systems

  • Cyclonic action separates heavier chips and debris, removing them before they reach the impeller
  • Available with higher horsepower and airflow for demanding applications
  • Higher initial cost and takes up more floor space
  • High voltage and amperage requirements may exceed the electrical capabilities of some small shops
  • More powerful and efficient

Single-Stage Collection Systems

  • Compact, space-saving design, some models available with rollers for easy transportation
  • Lower initial cost
  • All of the debris is directed through the impeller, increasing impeller wear
  • Pull dust, shavings, chips and other debris through the impeller and deposit them in a collection area

Safety: A nail or screw hitting the steel impeller could spark and result in a fire or explosion


Make dust collection even easier with special features such as a TEFC motor and micron bags.

A totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) motor delivers long-lasting performance with reduced motor wear.

If your unit comes with 5-micron or 30-micron bags, consider upgrading to a bag that will capture dangerous 1-micron particles. You can also get a compact air filtration system that captures 1- to 5-micron particles.

Look for a collection bag system that makes frequent emptying of the contents a fast and simple task. Also, make sure the attachment system creates a tight seal, leaving no room for dust to escape.