Best Dust Collectors for a Small Shop 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

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a dust-collection-system suited for a small shopDust collectors aren’t always the first thing on our mind since a lot of power tools come with built-in dust collection. There is absolutely no fun in buying or even researching dust collectors, so we often forget they even exist.

We have done the research and put in countless hours to prepare this list of the best dust collectors in 2020. We understand that it can be hard to get what you want and not pay a very high price, but that’s why we have made this list for you: to make purchasing your dust collector a lot easier.


Our Favorite Picks of 2020 Summarized:

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Jet DC-1100VX-5M
Jet DC-1100VX-5M
(Best Overall)

Check Price
130 lbs4.9/5
Festool 583492
Festool 583492
(Most Portable)

Check Price
32 lbs4.7/5
SHOP FOX W1685
SHOP FOX W1685
(Best Value)

Check Price
108 lbs4.5/5
Grizzly G1028Z2
Grizzly G1028Z2

Check Price
108 lbs4.3/5
Grizzly G8027 1 HP
Grizzly G8027 1 HP

Check Price
56 lbs4.0/5

The 5 Best Dust Collectors:

1. Jet DC-1100VX-5M Dust Collector – Best Overall

Jet DC-1100VX-5M

In terms of the best woodworking dust collector, you want something that isn’t too loud but cleans up even the smallest of debris that is in your small shop. The Jet DC-1100VX-5M may make some noise but it is certainly a great dust collector with many great qualities such as the fact that it has 1.5 horse-power and is fan-cooled so that it never gets overheated. It has special Vortex Cone technology too which eliminates any filter clogging and allows the dust collector to be easily used and cleaned, it also strengthens the performance and lifespan of the machine. There is no need to change the bag on this dust collector regularly as it has reduced violent airflow which effectively packs the dust in the bag rather than filling it up quickly. It only weighs just over 8lbs too so it’s easy to move about and change if it’s needed which is convenient to the user. This model is extremely powerful and collects around twice as much as a normal dust collector of the same price!

Pros
  • Powerful
  • Lightweight and Compact
  • Cleans Even Small Debris
  • Convenient
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Makes Noise

2. Festool 583492 Dust Collector – Best Portable

Festool 583492

The bulk and heaviness of some dust collectors can often be annoying if you want to carry it around and get in hard to reach areas like underneath cupboards or large cabinets. The Festool 583492 is the best portable dust collector and will satisfy all your dusting needs with just a simple step – turning it on! It has an adjustable suction with an on-off switch and a variety of suction options. This model is supplied with an 11-foot long anti-static hose that is flexible and minimizes any static cling that normally occurs during the process of collecting dust. The large wheels allow the body of the model stay near the floor and thus allows for extra space and doesn’t take up countless amounts of room in your storage space. The way it is designed also easily allows you to move about and move the machine with you around where you are completing the job. It is, however, a lot more expensive than what a lot of smaller businesses would want to pay. Despite its convenience and sleek, modern look, there is a price to pay and if you’re not willing to pay out for a good quality dust collector then you might want to keep looking for other models. It is expensive, but you must think of it as more of an investment for your small business rather than a one-time payout.

Pros
  • Modern and Sleek Design
  • Small and Compact
  • Large Moveable Wheels
  • Convenient
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Limited Features

3. SHOP FOX W1685 Dust Collector – Best Value

SHOP FOX W1685

For any shop owner or person who wants to save some money and buy more of an affordable and budget dust collector then this one is a great choice. It is modest and portable meaning that you can move it about and work with it wherever you want. Budget products often have a bad reputation as people think that a low price goes hand in hand with bad quality but that isn’t the case at all! This model does have it’s problems (as does every model) but it is an effective machine with a first-class filter and a 1.5 horsepower motor which is high for a budget dust collector. However, to get a new micron-bag or switch it costs a lot of money so even though you’re spending less on the product initially you may end up spending a lot more in maintenance costs. Despite this, it has a good performance rate and is perfect for smaller stores that are trying to save money but realize that health hazards are prominent in the workplace.

Pros
  • Good Performance
  • Practical
  • Affordable and Low Priced
Cons
  • Lower Quality
  • Expensive Re-Fills
  • Hard to Move

4. Grizzly G1028Z2 Dust Collector Machine

Grizzly G1028Z2

This flexibly designed dust collector is a lot bigger than most models but claims that its suction and power is better than the average. Despite it having a large micron-bag for filtration, this model isn’t great. For the money, you pay you could get another better-quality dust collector. Having said this too does have the horsepower of 1.5 and portable wheels which make this machine easier to transport. However, due to its size and weight when it’s even half full you would have difficulty transporting it and because it is bigger than some newer and more compact models, you can’t get in smaller areas. It is also harder to store when you don’t want to use it, the benefit of having a smaller dust collector is that it doesn’t take up a lot of room in your small store as we would image you don’t have a lot of space anyway! Yet, the paint that the model is coated in is scratch-resistant and erosion free which is a huge bonus.

Pros
  • Scratch-Resistant Paint and Erosion-Free
  • Portable
Cons
  • Lacks Quality
  • Heavy and Bulky
  • Hard to Transport
  • High Price Point

5. Grizzly G8027 1 HP Dust Collector System

Grizzly G8027 1 HP

Perhaps you’ve come to this article wondering if this model is the best for you? Well, we would recommend it if you’re planning on wasting your money! It has so many negative reviews online and we’re yet to find someone who has something slightly positive to say about it other than that it does the job – when it feels like it. The Grizzly G8027 1 HP claims to be perfect for sanders and shapers or any workshop that produces a lot of small dust and debris, but it doesn’t do even that. It isn’t durable or portable due to its heavyweight and small wheels, a machine of this size definitely needs larger sized wheels to be reliable. The shipping weight is a huge 67lbs which are the heaviest dust collector on this list, it is very hard to move so if you want something you need to move about and get to various places or swap location then this isn’t the product you should buy. It’s lower price point may seem like a good thing but when you look into the cons of this product you will realize that it’s not even worth the small price and that people would rather pay more for a better quality – it simply lacks what typical Grizzly products have and that’s durability, reliability, and affordability.

Pros
  • Low Price Point
Cons
  • Unreliable
  • Large and Bulky
  • Heavy Weight
  • Hard to Transport
  • Small Wheels

Buyer’s Guide

Tips on Buying a Dust-Collection System

If you’re considering buying a dust collector, then you want to make sure you’re purchasing a quality product especially if you’re using your hard-earned cash from the profits of your business. Wasting money isn’t an option in today’s society as it’s so precious so you’ve got to make sure that the dust collector you buy is good quality and will last a while. We know our stuff and that’s why we have put together a list of the best tips we can help you with whilst you’re buying a dust collector. You might have already thought of them or seen them before but they’re great pieces of information to think about before you dive head first and buy the first dust collector you see.

  • Consider all your options – you might have a budget or a certain brand you want to go with and that’s fine but make sure you think about all of your options. You may have to change your mind on the brand you go for but generally, you may just find a better model for a similar price. Research is your best friend whenever you’re making a big purchase for your small store and you’ve got to ensure you think of all the possible things you can. If you’re a small enough store, then you could try a normal home hoover but if you find that doesn’t work you will have to look at dust collectors instead.
  • Go with a model that is small and compact – if you’re the owner of a small store then you will know that storage is precious, and you don’t want to be wasting any with a bulky dust collector if it’s not going to be out all the time. If you want to spend less money, then you’re probably going to get a bigger and bulkier model whereas if you want to invest a little more you could get a smaller designed one.
  • Try a two-stage system rather than a one-stage– dust collectors have a range of systems and normally single-stage will be cheaper than two-stage but typically the one-stage isn’t as efficient and effective and may not filter properly. Whereas with two-stages you’re better off as you will know it will do the job properly. Two-stage systems work great in workshops as they can filter bigger chips and don’t clog the filters whereas you may have a problem with one-stage if you’re going to have to filter larger pieces of debris.

Things to Consider Before Buying

Considerations are also important to think about before you buy your dust collector, whether that’s the style of filtration you want or how much suction you’re going to need the collector to collect. By making sure you have considered everything you’re more likely to get a better-quality product.

  • Size of the filter – this is an important aspect as the filter size determines how much the dust collector collects. Typical one-stage systems in collectors have 30-micron bags that don’t effectively filter small dust particles (which are the ones we should be worried about as they’re very harmful). If you’re looking for a dust collection, then you don’t want to go anything smaller than 10 microns to effectively remove all the particles. It is possible to get particles as small as 0.3 microns these days but most dust collectors won’t go anything below 0.5 which is still pretty good. We need to be aware that cheaper models of collectors will have a higher micron’s level which means they may look like they’re effective but they’re not picking up the small pieces of debris and dust. Ensure before buying your collector that you consider what sort of dust and debris is going to be on the floor or sides of your store or workshop.
  • Know the terminology – this is often confusing to those who don’t really know what certain words mean such as static pressure resistance, cubic feet per minute (also referred to as CFM) and drop. All of these words may have completely different meanings in the real world but when it comes to purchasing a dust collector you must be aware of what they mean in terms of the workshop. Micron is another word many people get confused with and this is the unit of measure for dust particles and how much the dust collectors will collect.
  • The price you’re paying and the quality of the product – you don’t want to be paying a high price for something that won’t last more than 5 minutes when you take it home. Consider the price and weigh up the reviews it gets for quality and see if it’s worth your purchase. Whilst we know that budget collectors have a bad reputation there are a few (like the SHOP FOX W1685 we suggested!) that can be good quality too. Remember that it is the safety and health of your employees that you’re risking if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
  • Its portability and ease of use – if you’re looking for something that will move easily and be super portable then you’re not going to get that with a big bulky dust collector that weighs over 50lbs, you would get that with something that is a lot lighter and more portable. Also, look for models with bigger wheels as that often means they’re easier to move. You don’t want to buy a machine and it makes your life harder, you want it to make your life easier so make sure you consider this before buying it.

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Conclusion

To conclude we would suggest that the best dust collector has got to be the Jet DC-1100VX-5M, it’s not only lightweight and compact but the various customer reviews have stated that there are so many positive elements of this machine. It isn’t the least expensive model on the list, but it is great for the money you pay and has a good quality which we would expect for such a good brand name.

We hope that reading this article has helped you in your purchasing journey to getting a dust collector and that you now have more of an idea of what you want and what is best. Your needs and requirements are the most important thing so as long as they are met then you should be totally fine! Buying a dust collector and finding the right one for your small store or workshop isn’t so difficult when you know what to look out for and to definitely avoid.

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!