Shop Vac

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Forum topic by Matt posted 03-05-2009 06:02 AM 4619 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Matt 's profile


212 posts in 3717 days

03-05-2009 06:02 AM

Hows everyone doing? I’m looking for a shop vac to use as a dust collection for my garage. I have very and I mean VERY little room in my garage, (10 foot wall with a bench that extends almost two feet) So a dust collection is out of the question, plus money being so tight. I need one somewhat fast also cause my father is tired of having sawdust everywhere.

I was looking at this one. But it looks a little cheap to me. I want to spend around 50 to 100 dollars on a vac also. I’m completely dumb when it comes to vacs, can anyone point me in the right direction? I kinda want a hose thats 2.5D also so I can connect it to dust ports.

Thanks guys!

-- Hold on! Let me get the board stretcher!

13 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3616 days

#1 posted 03-05-2009 07:30 AM

I’d go with the 16 Gallon 6.5HP models – larger capacity = less times to empty the vac, higher HP = better suction (especially important if you want to use longer hoses or duct work). on top of the shop vac itself, I’d recommend getting a HEPA filter for it – for your health and safety, and also filter bags – these will do 2 things: one – they’ll make it easier for you to empty the vac – you simply take the filter bag out , and trash it with everything in it, while not having to spread the dust back in the air, and two – it’ll prolong and protect your HEPA filter.

you’re on the right track ;) keep going

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3958 days

#2 posted 03-05-2009 10:50 AM

Ditto with PurpLev. That Rigid you’re looking at only develops 2.5HP…very weak. Go to Sears and get yourself a craftsman 6.5HP with 16 gallon capacity. The Craftsman also converts to a 170mph leaf blower which is great for getting those cobwebs on the ceiling! Besides, the Craftsman is easy to get supplies for too!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Rob1's profile


26 posts in 3366 days

#3 posted 03-05-2009 02:53 PM

I too suffer from a small garage shop. Look into this unit 5 Hp, wall mounted, long hose, add a dust deputy and you are in business. $99

I recommend the dust deputy, and a clean stream filter for the vac.

-- Regards, Rob

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3712 days

#4 posted 03-05-2009 03:06 PM

I have a 5 gallon ShopVac, hooked up to a Dust Deputy, that I use for collecting sanding dust and general clean up. The ShopVac’s aren’t any better made than the rest, but the customer service is great. Mine had a motor go out, and when I called about replacement cost, they told me their motors don’t burn out, and sent me a free motor.

View Pie's profile


187 posts in 3373 days

#5 posted 03-05-2009 03:11 PM

I bought this one and it works well. I built my own dust collectorfrom a metal trashcan ($19) I bought at Lowes. Here are the plans for it and it works well. I have even seen the same DC without the bottom round piece (check out this link and youwill see what I am talking about.) and it seems to be working well.

So for under $150 or maybe less you can have a decent DC. You can build a cabinet out of a few 2×4’s and stack the vac over the dc like I did.

Hope this helps.

-- Pie

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3732 days

#6 posted 03-05-2009 03:59 PM

Useing a vacuum for dust collection on a table saw, jointer, surface planer, etc. is like useing a hand saw to cut a large tree down. You can probably find a used 1 hp dust collector ( with a little patience ) for around $100 and be alot better off.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3691 days

#7 posted 03-05-2009 07:03 PM

Woodchuck, I have to somewhat disagree. I use my shop vac for all of my dust collection in my garage shop. I intend to purchase a full blown dust collecting system, but I won’t do it at this time. I know a vacuum in not the best thing to use, but to liken it to cutting down a tree with a handsaw is a bit excessive. The only true down size of using a shop vac as your dust collection system would be that you can only use it on one tool at a time, and if the tool is equipped correctly, a shop vac provides sufficient suction to collect all the dust the tool can make.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3732 days

#8 posted 03-05-2009 07:22 PM

Brian, most of us are one man shops and thats about all we can use is one machine at a time. I understand that people can’t afford everything, I certainly can’t either, but I wouldn’t say that a shop vac is equal to a dust collector, the CFM isn’t there, and also a larger hose means less clogs. I’ll admit that in my smaller shop in the basement I have a fairly large older Craftsman vacuum hooked up to a Contractor’s saw that I have designed dust collection for, it works fairly well with the vacuum, but I know it’s not the ideal setup like I have out in the main shop / double car garage with basically the same saw setup and a dust collector. I wish I had a video cam, I’d clear this up in a heartbeat.

View Pie's profile


187 posts in 3373 days

#9 posted 03-05-2009 08:20 PM

I have a small shop, 12×16 or so and I have a shop vac and homemade DC. Before that, I had nada with sawdust, chips etc all over everything and inside my lungs as well I am sure. Now when I look at my small shop after cutting I have about 99% less sawdust etc. I wouldn’t try and compare my DC to one you can purchase for a lot more $$$ because what I have works really well.

Buuuuut, if I had a larger shop and was making some $$$$ with my hobby I am sure I would have gone with a DC that can handle the amount of sawdust etc and can pull in more air cuz my ducting would be longer etc… and yes I would have eith 4” – 6” ducting instead of a single 2.5” hose, although I can now use 2 hoses at a time.

Anyway, it is hard to compare something that cost $$$$ and is machine made and engineered way better than a shop vac with a home built DC. I haven’t used my DC on my planer yet but I plan to and will see how well it works.

-- Pie

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3733 days

#10 posted 03-06-2009 12:28 AM

Well…... I have to agree with Woodchuck1957….. and everyone else. Anything is better than nothing when it comes to your lungs. So do what you can now and when you can, get a better DC. The Shop Vac is better than letting the chips fly out everywhere but I just don’t think it will be able to keep up with a planer.
- JJ

View Walt's profile


246 posts in 2806 days

#11 posted 10-08-2010 02:56 PM

Check Sears Holiday 2010 catalog Page 234 Is a Sheppach shop vac that come with adaptors for all types of wood working tool. The sale price is $99.00. The only thing I would do to it is put it on a wheeled base so you could move it from tool to tool.
I should store under a workbench without any problem

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware,

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3160 days

#12 posted 10-08-2010 10:08 PM

Anything is better than nothing when it comes to your lungs

Well, that’s not really true. The thing that damages the lungs is the super-fine particles. A shop vac probably doesn’t generate enough airflow to capture this stuff. So it’s probably the same as nothing, from that perspective.

If you did get enough airflow, however, a shop vac just spews this material right back into the air. In that case, a shop vac might be worse for your lungs. You can get a HEPA filter, but I’m guessing it would clog so quickly it would be a real pain.

Now, in terms of keeping things clean, yeah, that’s a good thing. I had to restrict my stepson from using my shop anymore because of (among other things) his chronic inability to clean up after himself.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View Walt's profile


246 posts in 2806 days

#13 posted 10-09-2010 04:08 AM

Shop vac or a complete ducted system you need a respirator to complete the protection. That cost less than 40.00 and is cheap protection

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware,

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