im looking for a quiet, yet powerful and compact dust collection. what do you recommend?

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Forum topic by michaelsgarage posted 01-22-2014 05:12 AM 2297 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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71 posts in 1922 days

01-22-2014 05:12 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw milling

hello everyone! Im looking for a quiet, yet powerful and compact dust collection. what do you recommend? is this too much to ask for? haha it will be mainly on my table saw and my soon to come bandsaw (wishful thinking)

Id love to hear all of your suggestion!

10 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10380 posts in 3643 days

#1 posted 01-22-2014 06:12 AM

The more suction the louder. Air turbulence at the blower.

They aren’t as annoying as shop vacs, lacking the high
frequency whine. Still loud. You can put in in a closet
or outside the shop but I just use earmuffs.

View realcowtown_eric's profile


608 posts in 1932 days

#2 posted 01-22-2014 06:55 AM

Dust collection is a curious thing.

I got a buddy who swears by shop vac, me I cannot stand the noise, nor can I get the whimpy hard low-efficiency hoses to deal with shavings from my planer.

I used to have a bag up, bag down collector but was not pleased with it…It took up too much floor space and was inefficient.

Now I have a little one like this…

Attached to the side of the TS. It handles some of the debris from the table saw (not it’s falult, poor internal construction in the TS) handles the 16” planer and the 16-32 thickness sander no sweat (although some woods on the planer do jam it up)

The bonus is the price, and for me, sometimes I have to have dust collection on site, and this suits that need quite well.

I also have two fine dust collectors in the assembly area, and another over the TS to collect the fine dust, and if I really want to deal with errant dust, I can turn on the elephant….a massive electrostatic air cleaner.

My ROS can be connected to the dust collection system, not so for the portable belt sanders.

And even with all that, there is still a fine layer of what the OHSA folks call “comdust” which escapes all that collection apparatus. So every chance I get, I open up the overhead doors and use my leaf blower to get into the nooks and crannies and use the exhaust fan to blow it out the door.

I think the beauty of the system I url’d is that ONE it is reasonably priced, TWO it is functional and can be tucked in underneath tools. and THREE, it is site portable. AS WELL if you ever want to resell it cause you found a better system, you will recoup most of your investment.

I have used it with one of those cyclonic separators that fit on garbage cans with pleasing results. , so there is marginal expandability if you need it.

There iare also and small shop effeciencies to consider with the smaller size as well.

One bag means you have to empty it regularly, into the household trash, instead of having to figure out what the heck yer gonna do with a 50 kilos of sawdust when yer wife/kids just filled up the garbage cans.

Secondly, and this happens to me about every two or three months. Yer cutting on the TS, there is a stone or metal piece in the MCP yer cutting, you hit a massive silica inclusion in some teak and the sparks start flying or the sandpaper on your thickness sander overlaps and suddenly you smell the smoke and see the charred wood coming out the other end, and you wonder if it ever got hot enuf to burn and got sucked into the DCwhere it’s fed with forced air…Even if it’s smouldering, the forced air is enuf to fan it to flame….maybe not immediately, or maybe so. Why take a chance.

More than once I have taken the DC bag home and tossed it in the driveway just in case. To me this kind of prudency is so much easier with the smaller bag.

Thems just my thoughts.

Buy one, try it and if it don’t work to yer expectations, return it. I would buy a second unit like it if I ever got the time to figure out how to fit in!

I may be wrong, but I don’t think any single dust collector will be capable of solving all the problems from dust,

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2002 days

#3 posted 01-22-2014 02:42 PM

For QUIET and COMPACT, get these…

Want POWERFUL? Eat this…

Sorry, I got nothing, but figured a bit of laughter never hurt nobody :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2437 days

#4 posted 01-22-2014 04:16 PM

The things you ask for are all kind of in opposition with each other, well at least two of the things.

As power goes up, so does noise and size. You’re not gonna find any 3 hp dust collector that’s gonna be as quiet as 1/2 hp unit, you just can’t. The 3hp unit will suck the paint off the 1/2 hp unit though.

First thing to ask is shop vac / dust extractor or dust collector? Shop vacs and their very-closely related dust extractor cousins are designed to move low volumes of air at high static pressures and usually have much smaller motors than dust collectors. Dust collectors are designed to move large volumes of air and low static pressures. Are the dust ports on your machines 4”? Then you’ll need a dust collector. If they’ve got 2.5” ports, you can use a shop vac but I’m of the opinion that you’re not gonna get good dust collection on those kinds of machines with just a 2.5” port. There’s just not enough air volume.

Regarding volume the loudest machines you can get are likely to be the cheap-o shop vacs you can pick up at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Some of them are quieter than others, but in general, these things scream. If you’re going for the shop vac route, check out the Festool or Fein dust extractors. They’re significantly quieter (20-25db, which is up to 2 orders of magnitude quieter) than standard shop vacs, but they’re also several times more expensive. Figure to spend in the $400-$500 range for one of those guys vs $100 for a decent shop vac.

Most dust collectors are pretty loud as well, but there’s a big difference in the kind of noise they make. Vs a shop vac, it’s a much lower pitched noise and is a lot less fatiguing. At about 10ft, my 3hp dust collector is about 85db or so. That’s in the same range as a shop vac, however, because it’s a much lower pitch, more of a groan than a scream, I find that I can tolerate it for much longer periods of time. You’re not going to want to use either without hearing protection honestly. The Festool and Fein dust extractors can be used at low speeds without hearing protection, but I wear it all the time regardless just to make it a habit.

As far as size goes, shop vac = smallest, dust collector = largest. Most shop vacs are gonna be about the same size, so unless you’re really hurting for every last cubic inch, I’d get the one that suits your other needs best before being concerned with size of this. With dust collectors, there many different configurations available that trade off height for footprint.


View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#5 posted 01-22-2014 04:34 PM

If you can put your DC unit out side it’s much quieter plus you don’t have to worry about fine dust particals .
I have several HF units outside and they do a great job.
Hears another post on the subject.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3581 days

#6 posted 01-22-2014 05:00 PM

jim obviously you have had to build a structure outside to hold them is that really efficient?Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#7 posted 01-22-2014 05:34 PM

Hi Alistair
I think it is efficient enough , plus you don’t take up floor space in your shop,it is much quieter and you don’t have to be concerned with fancy attachments to you DC unit to keep the dust hazard down. Building the out side little lean-to might cost $75 or less in material and a few hours to build and gain all of the benefits of not having your DC unit inside.
There have been others that say there’s a big heat loss by having your dust collection out side but for the small amount of time a person uses their dust collector I don’t think it’s a big issue for me,plus you get all the health benefits ,less noise and no dust particles.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Mike67's profile


97 posts in 3332 days

#8 posted 01-22-2014 05:42 PM

High end shop vac/dust extractors like the ones from Fein are very quiet but I’m not sure they have enough suck for the larger machines. I have the HFDC and it really isn’t any louder than the machines I use it with. My dad uses the 1hp Grizzly and moves it from machine to machine. It works great with a short flex hose.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5112 posts in 1716 days

#9 posted 01-22-2014 05:58 PM

Depending on whether or not you’re looking for a full dust collection system or if your saw happens to have a blade case with an outlet sized for a shop vac hose, you don’t have a lot of options. IF your saw does have a blade case with an outlet for a shop vac, you could use a powerful but inexpensive vacuum and build your own enclosure around it to contain the noise, combined with a short shop vac hose you can do very well capturing the dust. If you have a cabinet saw with a 4” outlet toward the bottom a smallish vacuum won’t have the airflow capacity to do a good job of collecting the dust.

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3044 days

#10 posted 01-23-2014 05:14 PM

All your requirements are contradictory to each other.
High efficiency= high flow= high power=very loud= very expensive.
I have a Clear View= very efficient=very expensive+very loud.

-- Bert

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