Dust collector help

I need to get a dust collector for my work shop.  I have seen them with 1 micron bags all the way to 30 microns.  I have no idea as to what I need.  My work shop is in my basement and saw dust is finding it's way to all parts of the house.



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RE: Dust collector help

the important factor of basement workshops are they are usually not finished areas.  Before you invest in a costly air cleaner, you will need to seal the area off from the rest of the house. Drywall on the ceiling and walls and every crack needs attention. I would also recommend getting some cabinets for storage. sawdust can fill areas and stirs quite easily. this is important in the finishing period, to decrease the fine stuff from landing on your work. good luck.

RE: Dust collector help


Here are some way´s to get the dust in cheap way from instructables THey will not tell you what is best 1 or 30 microns but maybe will help you fight the dust or just 4 fun looking at them :)






RE: Dust collector help

After trashing out my unfinished basement with my first build I cleaned up and moved all the non-woodworking stuff to another area. Then I invested in one of these...


I hook it up to my RO sander and bandsaw and it has made all the difference. It wasn't cheap, but saves lots of clean up time. Not to mention that it's real quite and has a current sensing outlet on it that you plug your tool into


RE: Dust collector help


RE: Dust collector help

Thanks for the reply's

I guess my question is,  how good is a 30 micron filter ?  I will hook this dust collector to all my power tools. My table saw, bead and cove mill and my sander.

Will a 30 micron filter be good enough ?  Is a 5 micron filter an over kill ?

A dust collector with a 1 micron filter is about $250 more than the same collector with a 30 micron filter.

Thanks again.


RE: Dust collector help

I have a one horse power collector just for the table saw.  alot depends on the distance of your runs.   use the rule of thumb...buy the largest you can afford. table saw, mill,sander is alot.

RE: Dust collector help

I would recommend the 1 micron filters as the smaller paticles are the most hazardous to your health.

RE: Dust collector help

Hi natebr.  Could you clarify?  Is using a workshop dust collector with 30 micron filter hazardous to health?

RE: Dust collector help

The smallest particles (respirable dust) say less than 10 microns, are not filtered out by your lungs and are able to reach the deep portions of your lungs. Those smaller particles also stay suspended in the air much longer.   So a one micron filter is  preferable as a 30 micron filter could be putting more of the smaller particles into the air. 

Another thing to consider is how much woodworking you do, as the occupational exposure limits are based on 8 hours a day 40 hour work weeks and long term exposure.  Its a good idea to wear a respirator with a p95 or p100 filter when sanding as both epoxy and red cedar are sensitizers.

I hope this helps, dust collection and ventilation can get quite complicated so its hard to generalize. There is a lot of information on the web if youre interested.  


RE: Dust collector help

As a practical matter, a 30 micron filter is not much of a filter for sanding dust.  It may catch some of the bigger saw dust and chip generated by woodworking machines, but not the fine dust.  Even a 5 micron filter will let sanding dust escape which will then settle on every surface in the room.  A 1 micron or HEPA filter is about minimal for protection from sanding dust. 

RE: Dust collector help

 I use a Shop-Vac hooked up to my sanders for dust extraction.  The cardboard filter that comes standard with the unit does very little to help with sanding dust, so I also use Shop-Vac filter bags in mine.  I use the ones they make for drywall sanding, and they work very well for me.  For safety, I also wear a respirator and gloves, but I see no dust in the air and find no dust on flat surfaces after I sand with this set up.  Hand sanding, though, makes a mess and leaves dust everywhere...


 I don't know what micron level the Shop-Vac drywall sanding dust bags are rated for.



RE: Dust collector help

Being in health care for over 30 years, i can't stress how important some type of protection is needed in the workshop/ the lungs are not forgiving and alittle takes it's toll over a period of time. An open garage door to let fresh air in does so much to help. Dust , we are talking microscopic, is deadly. alittle prevention goes a long way.

RE: Dust collector help

home depot sells a hepa filter for shop vac for about 25 dollers

RE: Dust collector help

A very in depth report on dust collection can be found at 


It's what you don't see that'll get ya. 

RE: Dust collector help

A word of caution--unfortunately on this forum you will often see posts which claim to give factual information about serious health risks, but with no citation of any science to back up their claims.

This is irresponsible, and such warnings should be taken for what they are worth--generally, less than nothing. I am sure that the posters are well-intentioned, but I wish they would realize that they are only doing harm by spreading misinformation or uninformed speculation presented as fact and about a serious subject: your health.

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