Can I use a shop vac with my table saw?

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Forum topic by DTrak posted 11-09-2015 01:34 PM 4450 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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58 posts in 1063 days

11-09-2015 01:34 PM

I have cabinet maker grade Sawstop table saw with a 4” dust collection port. I also have a shop vac with a 1 1/4” hose. I havent used the table saw yet. Two questions:
-Can my shop vac handle the output from the table saw, or do I need to buy something else?
-If yes, what is the best way to go from 4” to 1 1/4” hose? I have only seen adapter that go down to 2 1/4”.


24 replies so far

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1142 days

#1 posted 11-09-2015 01:46 PM

I have never tried to do what you are asking, but my thought is that the shop vac will not have enough power to adequately move the chips. It will get some but not as many as a dust collector will.

The items to consider is suction measured in static pressure and amount of air moved measured in cfm (cubic feet per minute).

Many hobbyists buy the Harbor Freight dust collector. It regularly goes on sale for around $160 then there are 20% off coupons that reduce it even more.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View johnstoneb's profile


2868 posts in 2138 days

#2 posted 11-09-2015 02:41 PM

Your vac will pull the sawdust off your saw just fine. You just need to get down to you vac hose.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4903 posts in 3926 days

#3 posted 11-09-2015 02:57 PM

Reducers are readily available. I bought one a HD (shudder).


View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8164 posts in 2542 days

#4 posted 11-09-2015 03:05 PM

View builtinbkyn's profile


2200 posts in 906 days

#5 posted 11-09-2015 03:10 PM

I plan on doing the same, however I think a 2 1/2” hose is needed along with a shop vac that has a rating of 5+ HP and the highest CFM you can find. A separator will also help. I used a Ridgid 16g shop vac attached to the dust port on a Bosch 4100 and it certainly made a difference. However I didn’t have a separator attached, which I think will further improve the performance. So I wouldn’t reduce the size of the collection hose.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2926 days

#6 posted 11-09-2015 03:52 PM

I have a DD on my TS and it works OK. It throws some sawdust forward from the blade. You should do OK. Beats sweeping up a barrel of sawdust.

View alittleoff's profile


539 posts in 1242 days

#7 posted 11-09-2015 04:02 PM

I have a 16 gal. Rigid vac. That I use on my table saw with a 2.5 inch hose and it does fine.I even hooked it up to my 13 in. Dewalt planner and it kept up with it. The planner really through the chips out. I thought it would clog the vac. But it didn’t. I don’t use it on the planner any more but a vac. Should work on your saw.

View TheFridge's profile


9249 posts in 1451 days

#8 posted 11-09-2015 04:07 PM

A vac is better than nothing at all and well worth it if you already have a vac.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Redoak49's profile


3196 posts in 1954 days

#9 posted 11-09-2015 04:18 PM

The answers are interesting. IMHO a vacuum with a 1.25” hose will likely not work well. You need about 4000 fpm to move the chips and dust.

I looked up a 6 hp shop vac with 2.5” hose. The spec shows 179 cfm or about 5264 fpm with that hose. Hooking it up to 4” pipe reduces it to just over 2000 fpm and too low.

Of course any vacuum will help but …..

View TinWhiskers's profile


179 posts in 918 days

#10 posted 11-09-2015 04:35 PM

I cut a hole in the top of a 55 gal drum and inserted my shop vac. Works good for my planer and sander.

View Brouss's profile


10 posts in 908 days

#11 posted 11-09-2015 04:50 PM

I’m with TheFridge on that one.

A vac is better than nothing at all and well worth it if you already have a vac.

- TheFridge

View Karamba's profile


116 posts in 902 days

#12 posted 11-09-2015 06:55 PM

Some saws are designed to work with shopvacs. For example Bosch 4100 has 2” port. Delta 36-725 has 2-1/2” dust port and shrouded blade with very air little volume to move. Shopvacs work really well with them.
If you go to an enclosed cabinet saw with a lot of ventilation openings you need a high volume dust collection, which shopvac is not.

View bearkatwood's profile (online now)


1543 posts in 977 days

#13 posted 11-09-2015 07:49 PM

This should work just fine as long as you can adapt the fittings to work. Just remember to always use it when you are cutting, if you don’t sawdust will build up in the bottom and when you go to use it again it won’t be able to pull through the clog of dust. (ask me how I know) ;)

-- Brian Noel

View DTrak's profile


58 posts in 1063 days

#14 posted 11-09-2015 08:27 PM

Thank you all so much for the feedback. After reading through these and digging more online, I decided that my little shop vac was probably not up to the task. I ordered this instead:

It is pretty cheap for a dust extractor and probably something I needed anyway.

View HarveyM's profile


106 posts in 1988 days

#15 posted 11-09-2015 10:28 PM

Hi Dan:

The Sawstop (PCS) has a 1.25” vacuum port on the blade guard, so you can still use your shop vac for that. In fact that’s how I use mine- a 1hp dust collector on the 4” cabinet port in with a cheapy shop vac attached to the blade guard.

-- Just a Duffer

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