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Vacuum/dust extractor for power tools

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Matt Pitts

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I guys, I'm fairly new to woodworking and I'm quickly realising that having some sort of dust collection is a good idea. I've found the subject somewhat overwhelming. Like everything else days, there too much information out there.

I'm after something small and powerful for a pretty small workshop, that I can also move around for smaller hand tools. I cannot afford or justify the really fancy high-end festool type kit but it's my understanding the really Titan type cheap vac's blowback out most of the really fine dust.

Are people able to recommend something decent in between cheap and high end that doesn't take up too much space? My other question is about using a cyclone with a cheap vac, does this help reduce the dust being blown back into the air, or do you really need to get the higher end with the fancy filters?
 

Sideways

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There are several threads here discussing but I'll give a view on your specific questions:
In a small shop I would want something decent, quiet and small. If budget matters I'd suggest a numatic henry or another slightly larger one of that family.
They are small, durable, relatively cheap, versatile, easy to get spares for and relatively quiet. They are very transportable and could be connected to power tools with the right hose. You might need to buy another hose for that but the hoses sold by Mirka for example are good value, flexible, antistatic and great for hooking up to powertools.
If you make enough dust and get tired of emptying it all the time, add a plastic cyclone on top of some second hand container. Those really do separate out the bigger heavier dust leaving the really fine stuff to be stopped by the filter inside the Henry.
Even a Bosch / Festool / Nilfisk professional extractor costing £££ at heart is just a 1000 to 1200W vacuum cleaner motor worth about £60. You pay a lot for fancier filters, design and extra features. A Henry is a small commercial cleaner and quite decent.
I hate the big cheap workshop vacuums myself because they are offensively noisy and everything about them feels cheap. A Henry is not fancy but it's basic, honest and better value.
The other option is to buy a second hand (small) commercial type vacuum from someone like Nilfisk or Karcher. The sort of thing used for cleaning offices. Basically a Henery only bigger. You can get v good value that way.
Cheers
 

Pedropete

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Had the Titan for five years, and while it is deafeningly loud, with a hepa filter fitted and the heavy duty fabric bag (modded to allow emptying and re-use) it’s pretty effective. Bung a cyclone in front of it and it’s even better... still loud though. Did I mention it’s loud?

EDIT: Should also mention that I’ve treated mine really horribly and it’s not gone bang yet. While it spends most of its time connected to a plunge saw or various routers and sanders, it’s been used to drain a sump, hoover up rubble when I had to chase out a slab to find a broken pipe and to clear up sand when I was in a hurry. Also frequently gets used to hoover patios when clearing up after working outside. If it died tomorrow I’d get another.
 

AES

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I must agree with the post above. I have 2 shop vacs, a Kaercher which is portable (castors) and an Aldi/Lidl fireplace ash vacuum which is more or less permanently dedicated to my scroll saw. Both do the job quite well, especially with a cyclone added, but in both cases, with either vac running, I can't hear the radio. Each one is "not quite" equivalent to standing beside the runway while Concorde is taking off!

I keep meaning to mount them in boxes with sound baffles (there are several designs out there) but it's a question of "aroundtoit".

I've heard (on here) that the Henry vacs are much quieter but haven't tried myself.

Peter Millard (of this Forum) has an excellent weekly Youtube "10 Minute Workshop" which some time back did cover such vacs, ranging from an Aldi/Lidl cheapo version of the Festool up to the Festool itself. Well worth a watch (and he covers many other subjects too, in similar detail and with a very fair approach to every tool he "reviews".

Edit for P.S. Neither of the above capture ALL dust, so I also have a Record 400 hanging from the ceiling which does a pretty good job of capturing airborne dust. It has a remote control which can be set up to run in several ways - in my case I start it running whenever I'm doing any sanding or cutting and it runs for 1 hour after I leave the shop. That machine is remarkably quiet.

HJTH
 

Spence

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I use a Record DX1000 as it does the fine dust. It is louder than my planer thicknesser though!

Ideally I'd have a much larger extractor in the corner with some ducting on the wall so I could use it with the bandsaw, lathe, sanders etc. All vacuums are loud but some are just silly. If you are able to then try and have it away from your main workspace and get some ear defenders with a radio built it. That's my ideal!

I'm just waiting for someone to invent an all in one facemask with air, ear and bluetooth for podcasts and I'd never leave the shed.
 

Matt Pitts

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Sideways":3jefs8z1 said:
There are several threads here discussing but I'll give a view on your specific questions:
In a small shop I would want something decent, quiet and small. If budget matters I'd suggest a numatic henry or another slightly larger one of that family.
They are small, durable, relatively cheap, versatile, easy to get spares for and relatively quiet. They are very transportable and could be connected to power tools with the right hose. You might need to buy another hose for that but the hoses sold by Mirka for example are good value, flexible, antistatic and great for hooking up to powertools.
If you make enough dust and get tired of emptying it all the time, add a plastic cyclone on top of some second hand container. Those really do separate out the bigger heavier dust leaving the really fine stuff to be stopped by the filter inside the Henry.
Even a Bosch / Festool / Nilfisk professional extractor costing £££ at heart is just a 1000 to 1200W vacuum cleaner motor worth about £60. You pay a lot for fancier filters, design and extra features. A Henry is a small commercial cleaner and quite decent.
I hate the big cheap workshop vacuums myself because they are offensively noisy and everything about them feels cheap. A Henry is not fancy but it's basic, honest and better value.
The other option is to buy a second hand (small) commercial type vacuum from someone like Nilfisk or Karcher. The sort of thing used for cleaning offices. Basically a Henery only bigger. You can get v good value that way.
Cheers
I really like the idea of using a Henry, as I'm aware they are pretty quiet and robust compared to the other budget options, but I need something that can collect from my thicknesser too, and I assume a Henry won't be up to the job? Some people seem to be using the cheap Scheppach HA1000 or Record or Rutland type vacs, but I understand these are really noisy?
 

Brandlin

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Matt Pitts":38n1k92u said:
I really like the idea of using a Henry, as I'm aware they are pretty quiet and robust compared to the other budget options, but I need something that can collect from my thicknesser too, and I assume a Henry won't be up to the job? Some people seem to be using the cheap Scheppach HA1000 or Record or Rutland type vacs, but I understand these are really noisy?
Now you're beginning to change your requirement.

Small power tools send to make dust rather than chips. Larger tools such as a thicknesser produce chips rather than dust.

In broad terms there are two variables when it comes to suction. Pressure difference and volume of air moved. So dust collection systems tend to be rated HVLP or HPLV (High volume low pressure or High pressure Low volume). Although pressure and flow are related, they are not the same and are affected by things like the size of the pipe used.

To deal with dust you need high volume (to catch all the dust) to deal with chips you need High pressure (to have enough force to carry the heavier chips in the airflow).

If you want to have proper chip collection then you're looking at a much bigger extractor using a 4" hose simply to have the cross sectional area to deal with the amount of chips but maintain the pressure differential across that hose to move the chips.

You can improve the dust collection of most systems by ensuring that you have a fine filter attached to your extractor. The smallest dust particles can travel all the way through your system and pass through some filters and be exhausted back into the air. No point gathering all that air in and then not filtering out the dust you've already caught. So you can often improve a system by adding a finer filter. You'll often see this referred to as a HEPA filter.

In a small shop I think you might be better off focusing on dust having good collection for your power tools and supplement that with an air scrubber. (The air scrubbers are also usually designed for a longer duty cycle and to run quieter)

In a small DIY shop, I worry about the dust way more than the chips, and for my thicknesser - I bought a broom.
 

Matt Pitts

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Brandlin":207r54lb said:
Matt Pitts":207r54lb said:
I really like the idea of using a Henry, as I'm aware they are pretty quiet and robust compared to the other budget options, but I need something that can collect from my thicknesser too, and I assume a Henry won't be up to the job? Some people seem to be using the cheap Scheppach HA1000 or Record or Rutland type vacs, but I understand these are really noisy?
Now you're beginning to change your requirement.

Small power tools send to make dust rather than chips. Larger tools such as a thicknesser produce chips rather than dust.

In broad terms there are two variables when it comes to suction. Pressure difference and volume of air moved. So dust collection systems tend to be rated HVLP or HPLV (High volume low pressure or High pressure Low volume). Although pressure and flow are related, they are not the same and are affected by things like the size of the pipe used.

To deal with dust you need high volume (to catch all the dust) to deal with chips you need High pressure (to have enough force to carry the heavier chips in the airflow).

If you want to have proper chip collection then you're looking at a much bigger extractor using a 4" hose simply to have the cross sectional area to deal with the amount of chips but maintain the pressure differential across that hose to move the chips.

You can improve the dust collection of most systems by ensuring that you have a fine filter attached to your extractor. The smallest dust particles can travel all the way through your system and pass through some filters and be exhausted back into the air. No point gathering all that air in and then not filtering out the dust you've already caught. So you can often improve a system by adding a finer filter. You'll often see this referred to as a HEPA filter.

In a small shop I think you might be better off focusing on dust having good collection for your power tools and supplement that with an air scrubber. (The air scrubbers are also usually designed for a longer duty cycle and to run quieter)

In a small DIY shop, I worry about the dust way more than the chips, and for my thicknesser - I bought a broom.
Fair point, I had naively thought that I could get a single vac that would collect both fine dust and big chips from the Thicknesser!

But take the point that finer dust in the bigger issue.
 

Lonsdale73

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I've seen a few mentions re:noise of late and maybe it's years of attending concerts but I don't have much of an issue with noise, even within the confines of a small garage workshop. In the house we have a Dyson for vacuuming and something called a Vitamix for grinding up food items. I find both of them horrendously loud. I'll stay out of the kitchen when she's using the Vitamix and I leave the house when the Dyson's on!

I have two Titans and a Record Power DX100, they all work well. I started with a basic model Titan and connected it to a cyclone and it worked fine. I added a second with power uptake and that's proved great. It's linked to a cyclone via a dust hub, serving mitresaw, router and tools. I did for a while have a swanky Festool one which, to be honest, didn't offer a whole lot more than the Titans, even though it cost more than all three remaining vacs combined.

Biggest factor I've found is connecting them to power tools, even expensive ones from Festool. One hose fits perfectly to my Domino and RO90 sander but oddly not to the RO150 or TS55 Tracksaw!?! Same was true of the Festool hose.


I was going to mention thicnesser's but Branlin has covered that perfectly.
 

Sideways

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Brandlin explained it.
Put a big hose, open ended, on a vacuum cleaner and you hardly feel the wind because the vacuum can make suction but can't move much air.
Put a narrow hose to a powertool on one of those bag type extractors and you choke it because those move air but can't make much suction. They need full width pipe as short as possible with as few sharp bends as possible.
Machines tend to need big airflow, especially planer thicknessers which make masses of chips and need a wide hose.
There are machines like a "camvac" with 2 or 3 vacuum cleaner motors inside that try to do both jobs but they still don't move enough air for (say) a 10x8" planer thicknesser.
Be wary. 2 motors are enough to operate a 50mm hose properly. 3 motors will pull a decent airflow through a 63mm hose. 100mm hose is too wide for either of them.
 

Robbo3

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The one thing that a 'shop vac' tends to have that Henrys don't, is a power take off switch which starts & stops the cleaner at the same time as the power tool. Some also allow the cleaner to run longer so as the clear the hose.
 

Lons

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Robbo3":1fuk4d3o said:
The one thing that a 'shop vac' tends to have that Henrys don't, is a power take off switch which starts & stops the cleaner at the same time as the power tool. Some also allow the cleaner to run longer so as the clear the hose.
+1 to the above.
The old Aldi vac I use for power tools and general cleaning up around the lathes and workbench has a power take off socket which allows the vac to run on for several seconds and when it dies eventually I won't buy anything without that feature.

I have a Record 1000 connected to my table saw and an ancient ( 35year old ) Vax wet and dry vac connected to my bandsaw, both controlled via remote sockets, all are noisy!
 

AES

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I suggest you have a look at Peter Millard's (of this Forum) "10 Minute Workshop" series on YouTube. Search around his list of videos and you'll find he's covered shop vacs (with and without power take offs) from a range of vendors from Aldi/Lidl up to Festool. One of the things I like about his videos (apart from their general value overall) is that when he "reviews" tools he seems to do so completely objectively and without bias. Highly recommended.

BTW, Peter has fairly often shown the internals of various vacs and they do not seem to me to vary much as far as build quality/ thickness of wires, etc, etc, goes.

I would therefore suggest that nev's post above about low quality is not a reflection of the real circumstances, particularly remembering that the UK is a "civilised" country with all sorts of health and safety rules and regulations which retailers do have to comply with when sourcing their products from "Asia" - or anywhere else.

I BELIEVE I'm right in saying that either Lidl or Aldi have over 800 branches in the UK alone ,not counting all their branches in other "civilised" countries with rules and regs such as Germany) so I don't for one moment believe that such retailers would knowingly sell any electrical product which is unsafe - lacking longevity, and with lower quality components such as switches - when compared with big name brands - most probably. But unsafe? Nah!

Also BTW, both my Kaercher shop vac and my Aldi/Lidl cheapo fireplace ashes vac lack power take off and I really do miss it. There have been numerous times when AFTER starting to cut, sand, whatever, I've realised that I've forgotten to turn the vac on first!
 

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A keyfob style radio remote controled power outlet is a great alternative to a master slave power socket on a vacuum. Plug the vac in and set it's switch to on, then just turn it on and off from the remote that you keep to hand or in a pocket whenever you want it. Takes just a second...
Thse devices are very cheap and add a whole extra convenience when you tuck the vac in an usused space and use a long hose that reaches to most of your shop. They are good with big bag extractors too.

I live with constant tinnitus despite not spending my working life in a noisy environment. There's no cure for it.
10dB even 20dB+ difference in noise emitted between a quiet and a noisy vacuum is huge.
My favorite vacuum is just rated 62dB. Quiet tools are good for everyone :)
 

Jacob

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Robbo3":38lk6ohz said:
The one thing that a 'shop vac' tends to have that Henrys don't, is a power take off switch which starts & stops the cleaner at the same time as the power tool. Some also allow the cleaner to run longer so as the clear the hose.
My Trend T30 does that. It keeps the noise level down just switching itself on/off on demand.
Also doubles as ordinary wet/dry vac cleaner but with extra long hose and flex. The 2 filters are washable but you have to buy bags - they are quite big and last some time. So thats 3 levels of filter, very efficient and you get no dust coming out.
You can buy hose connectors to match different sizes, or make your own with bits of plastic pipe, duct tape etc.
Seems good to me, I'd recommend it.
I've got an Axminster ADE2200 for bigger machines.
 

Raymond UK

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As mentioned before you'll probably want two different extractors. I started out with one but now run four dust extractors. I use a Fox F50-800 vac (with power take off) with my sanders, circular saw and jigsaw etc and it's brilliant. It even copes with my electric hand planer when needed.

I don't have a planer/thicknesser but my router table produces 320 litres of chips/dust a month and for that I have a Fox F50-842 and it does a great job.

Both of these machines are relatively cheap too.
 

Lons

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AES":31t53jx1 said:
BTW, Peter has fairly often shown the internals of various vacs and they do not seem to me to vary much as far as build quality/ thickness of wires, etc, etc, goes.

I would therefore suggest that nev's post above about low quality is not a reflection of the real circumstances, particularly remembering that the UK is a "civilised" country with all sorts of health and safety rules and regulations which retailers do have to comply with when sourcing their products from "Asia" - or anywhere else.

I BELIEVE I'm right in saying that either Lidl or Aldi have over 800 branches in the UK alone ,not counting all their branches in other "civilised" countries with rules and regs such as Germany) so I don't for one moment believe that such retailers would knowingly sell any electrical product which is unsafe - lacking longevity, and with lower quality components such as switches - when compared with big name brands - most probably. But unsafe? Nah!
Lidl and Aldi I believe are OK but I posted the following link on another thread, worth a read! https://www.ybw.com/vhf-marine-radio-gu ... -mark-4607
 

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Robbo3":pag8uk3w said:
The one thing that a 'shop vac' tends to have that Henrys don't, is a power take off switch which starts & stops the cleaner at the same time as the power tool. Some also allow the cleaner to run longer so as the clear the hose.
Hi Robbo,
I have a Henry and it's a super little vac and has some pretty decent suck for such a little guy.
Just today I received an Intelliplug (bought on ebay) which Peter Millard showed in one of his many fantastic videos. It's basically a three outlet. Just plug your power tool into the "Master" socket and your vacuum into the "peripheral" socket.
Turn your vacuum to "on" and it will be in standby mode. Then, when you turn your power tool on, after 4 seconds the vac will come on. When you turn the power tool off, after 4 seconds, the vac turns off. It's great ! No more stretching over, around and under the table to switch Henry on.
Now I just pull the trigger on my mitre saw and Henry obeys my command : )
Plus, it frees up two sockets. More tools can be added : )
You can get the plug on Amazon, although it's not exactly the same as the one Peter showed and the one I bought but, it does have "e.on" on the box and that name is on the one I bought. So, I can only assume that e.on bought over Intelliplug.
Here's a link for Intelliplug
Considering that you'd have to pay at least £70 for a vacuum or dust extractor with power take off, £7 is a real steal :p
 

gregmcateer

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Hi Gogsi,
Do you know what the max power you can put through the master and slave on this plug?
Thanks in advance
Greg

Gogsi":292xod6q said:
Hi Robbo,
I have a Henry and it's a super little vac and has some pretty decent suck for such a little guy.
Just today I received an Intelliplug (bought on ebay) which Peter Millard showed in one of his many fantastic videos. It's basically a three outlet. Just plug your power tool into the "Master" socket and your vacuum into the "peripheral" socket.
Turn your vacuum to "on" and it will be in standby mode. Then, when you turn your power tool on, after 4 seconds the vac will come on. When you turn the power tool off, after 4 seconds, the vac turns off. It's great ! No more stretching over, around and under the table to switch Henry on.
Now I just pull the trigger on my mitre saw and Henry obeys my command : )
Plus, it frees up two sockets. More tools can be added : )
You can get the plug on Amazon, although it's not exactly the same as the one Peter showed and the one I bought but, it does have "e.on" on the box and that name is on the one I bought. So, I can only assume that e.on bought over Intelliplug.
Here's a link for Intelliplug
Considering that you'd have to pay at least £70 for a vacuum or dust extractor with power take off, £7 is a real steal :p
 
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