I"m looking for a shop vac and was wondering if anyone could recommend
one they were using and/or one they were displeased with.
I'll be using it mainly to clean up dry messes. Dirt, sawdust.
Also, I have a ?sawdust? collector that connects to my table saw ( I
inherited it so I don't know anything about it.)
I was wondering if there was something that one could put in line to
collect larger pieces of sawdust or wood CHIPS. It makes a lot of
noise sometimes when it sucks up larger pieces of wood. I've also
been using it to clean up my work areas.....one of the reasons I
thought maybe I'd better buy a shop vac then mess this thing up.
(I'll still need a shop vac regardless.)
All help appreciated.
I have used an old circa 1971 Sears
central vac in my old house as a shop
vac (and for the whole house too) for
all those years. I got really spoiled.
Every shop-type vac that I have tried
to use in my new house has been a dismal
failure. The filters plug up almost
instantly when picking up fine sawdust
and the suction goes way down. Cleaning
the filters is not fun. I and the tree
that I beat it against, get covered in
dust. I know fine dust is not good when
going through a bagless central unit,
however, my experiences show no
problems. I am looking for a bagless
central unit for my basement area. I
will also extend it to the upstairs
living quarters. BTW, most of the
bagless central vacs today have a self
cleaning filter. Apparently, when the
power is on, the filter pops inward.
When the suction turns off, it pops
towards the dirt container releasing any
trapped fine dirt. BTW, the one I am
looking at is
It's available at many different
places. All this said, if you are a
really serious woodworker, a real dust
removal system is a necessity. In may
case, woodworking is a necessity for the
other things I do, so I will go with the
For a shop vac, I use a Shop Vac brand, one of the larger models. Quiet for
a vac and works for me. The best is Fein, but very expensive.
For the dust collector, yes you can put a cyclone in line with the inlet.
Take a look here for a simple setup
You can get more sophisticated and spend a lot of money for industrial grade
equipment that can be well over $1500.
*Not what you are looking for, but the other day I was on a job where the
contractor had a little Bucket Head vac by Emerson Tools for clean up. It
uses a regular five gallon bucket for the collection of dirt. I thought it
was nice and compact, but it had a short hose. Home Depot sells them online
On Sun, 25 Apr 2010 01:26:41 -0400, B_ email@example.com wrote:
Since you have a dust collector, you can use that for cleanups around the
shop. Don't suck big stuff directly into the impeller, though (see below).
Yes, you can get a cyclone separator to go inline with your dust collector.
It's basically a lid for a 30gal metal garbage can that attaches in series
with the 4" line to the collector. They cost $20, or so, in addition to the
metal garbage can. They work great for taking wood chips out of the line
before the dust collector. They also keep 75% of the sawdust out of the
collector and make it easier to clean (just dump the garbage can).
You can also get a floor sweep for the DC, and a pickup wand.
Separator: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 15
Floor sweep: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 964
Pickup wand: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 375
Though I don't usually buy from Rockler, they have one-item-only 20% off sale
The brands are pretty much all the same. I don't trust the specs, so can't
help much there.
I have a Rigid WD1450 vac I bought from Home Depot that I've been happy
with. It is relatively quiet, as least as quiet as shop vacs get, and has
good suction. It compares favorably with my old Shop Vac brand "quiet"
No matter which shop vac you end up using, the best investment you can
make is a "fine filter" bag. These fit inside the shop vac canister (in
addition to the stock filter) and offer a much larger filter area.
Without the bag, the stock filter will clog up in a day or two of
vaccuuming fine sawdust, and finer particles like drywall dust can blow
right through. You'll constantly be pulling the filter out trying to bang
off the dust. The filter bag catches all the smaller particles, keeps the
main filter clean, and will maintain suction until the bag gets full.
I use my shop vac with my orbital sander and my router table. The higher
suction works better for catching the small particles these produce, not
to mention the smaller hose is just more convenient for hand held tools.
I have a JDS "Dust Force" dust collector I use with my table saw, planer,
and bandsaw. I just wheel it to whatever machine I'm using and connect
it with a short hose, rather than run ductwork throughout the garage.
The dust collector works better for larger particles, planer shavings,
and whatnot. A shop vac would fill up too quickly (I can easily fill a
40 gallon bag in a couple of hours of planing boards).
One disctinction to note, the shop vac filters BEFORE the airflow reaches
the impellers. This means it's better suited for general cleanup where
you might be sucking up rocks, nails, wood or metal scraps, etc. Dust
collectors generally filter AFTER the impeller which means any debris you
pick up could hit the impeller and damage it.
What you need is one of these:
It is a centrifugal separator that mounts in the place of the lid of a
garbage can. You run tubing from the bottom of the tool to one side of
the lid and then another length of tubing from the separator to the dust
collector. All the bigger pieces of crap fall into the garbage can
before they have a chance to chew up the impeller of your dust
collector. They also allow you to go much longer between emptying the
dust collector since the garbage can will also get a lot of saw dust as
For the money, they can't be beat.
Yeah, I've considered buying one of those, especially since large planer
shavings often clog up the grate on the port of my dust collector. But, I'm
already tight on space in my garage and that would complicate the mobility
of my collector. In my two-car garage/shop, everything is on wheels to
bring it out when I need it, and roll it away when I'm done.
One thing to consider is one that has a built in pump-may cost a bit more
but its worth every penny. During the recent episodes of water in the
basement etc. my wet/dry Vac picked up the water and pumped it out at the
same time--no need to carry/push the Vac and then lift and empty. 12 Gal
Shop Vac picks up at the rate of 10 GPM and pumps out at 5 GPM. So when
working a full capacity would fill up in about 2 min and then it took approx
2 min to empty. Otherwise, for the majority of the time it just sucked and
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