Everything that you need to know about dust collectors

Everything that you need to know about dust collectors
Photo: Baloncici, Bigstock

If we go back a little in history, wood dust was always considered a messy issue, but in 2002, it was officially designated as a health risk. Dust from woodwork has been related to a number of cancers of the throat, nose, and lung. It is also known to cause a lot of other health issues, such as respiratory problems, lung infection, asphyxiation, pneumonia, etc. People who work with wood, however, have not really woken up to this fact and do not place top priority on dust collection.

The best way to get rid of dust is to collect and dispose it of at the source itself before it reaches the people who are working. This is the reason why some tools like disk sander or table saws have exhaust ports or hoods. Dust collector is one such equipment that can be installed in a place where a lot of dust is created on a regular basis. Now, let us delve a little more detail into the world of dust collectors.

A look at dust collectors and how they function

Typically, dust collectors are attachments that come with different modern woodwork tools and machines. Their function is to collect the dust that these machines and tools produce. How it does this is by drawing in or removing the sawdust or other debris in the air into its chamber which has a filter. This keeps the work area clean and free of any dust and debris.

Mostly, the dust collectors work like vacuum cleaners and are driven by an electric motor that runs an intake fan to move air at top speed. It is quite like the vacuum cleaners we use at home, but much more powerful.

Every time you need to work using a grinding or bladed woodworking, we recommend that you always attach it to a dust collector if the tool has support for it. That way, you can ensure that your work environment is not risky for your health and safety.

The types of dust collectors available 

Capacity is the most important aspect when we talk about a dust collector. Going by capacity, you will find three main types of dust collectors that you can buy from the market. They are as follows:

  • Portable dust collectors
  • Medium-sized dust collectors
  • Industrial dust collectors

Based on the number of collection bags, there are also two classifications of dust collectors:

  • Single stage dust collectors – with just one bag for dust collection
  • Dual stage dust collectors – with a median separate chamber before the filtering stage 

Things to consider before buying dust collectors 

If we have managed to convince you about the importance of having a dust collector in your work area, are you thinking about getting one soon? Then, you can refer to these two key considerations before you go out and buy one:

Consider your dust collection needs 

All dust is not the same and can be anything like welding fumes, wood dust, wood chips, or soybeans.  You need to first understand what kind of dust you are producing and the processes that are creating this dust. Do an analysis and ask yourself the period of dust production, how many processes produce dust, and whether you do it concurrently, and other similar things.

Once you have all the details in place, it will help you to identify correctly all your dust collection requirements and purchase the right type of dust collectors.

Consider what the dust collection supplier can give you 

Off the shelf dust collectors may not meet the individual needs of each customer. You need to find out if the supplier you want to go is able to get you the necessary features you want. You should be able to customize the dust collector accordingly. There may be space constraints to which the collector must conform, and be able to include monitoring devices, discharge device, or even explosion and fire extinguishers. Will the supplier be able to make these modifications? Can they advise you about such features and add-ons?

There are other considerations of course like budget and after sales support that you should think about. Buying a dust collector is a long-term decision and you should take your time to finalise one. Once you have it installed, you can rest easy while it gets rid of all the annoying dust.