Reviews Radar

Best Dust Extractor

There’s nothing worse than having sawdust all over your workshop or job site. It’s not merely annoying, it’s downright hazardous, and reduces air quality.

And if you work with wood dust and other construction dust then your standard vacuum cleaner isn’t going to cut it.

But if you’ve found this article, you know there is an easy solution.

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There’s an array of dust extractors out on the market today, and we’ve handpicked our Top 5 for you, and provided honest reviews, coming up below.

Then we have a buying guide for you which outlines the different things you might like to think about before you buy.

To top that off, we also have a section where we attempt to answer your most frequently asked questions.

In a hurry? This is our winner!

Our rating:
Bosch Professional 18V System GAS 18V-10 L Cordless Wet/Dry Dust Extractor (excl. rec. bat.+charger, incl.1.6m Hose, Elbow pipe, 3-pc. extra Pipe Set, 250mm Crevice Noz., fl. Noz.+Flat-Pleated Filter)
  • Persistent, uninterrupted suction power: Rotational airflow technology prevents the filters from clogging
  • Versatile: Its bagless design and numerous accessories make the GAS 18V-10 L ideal for a variety of both dry and wet applications
  • Easy transportation: Thanks to the low weight and compact design

Best Dust Extractor – Comparison Table

Best Dust Extractor – Reviews

Our Winner

Bosch Professional 18V System GAS 18V-10 L Cordless Wet/Dry Dust Extractor (excl. rec. bat.+charger, incl.1.6m Hose, Elbow pipe, 3-pc. extra Pipe Set, 250mm Crevice Noz., fl. Noz.+Flat-Pleated Filter)

Bosch Professional 18V System GAS 18V-10 L Cordless Wet/Dry Dust Extractor (excl. rec. bat.+charger, incl.1.6m Hose, Elbow pipe, 3-pc. extra Pipe Set, 250mm Crevice Noz., fl. Noz.+Flat-Pleated Filter)
Our rating:

When you buy from Bosch, you know you’re going to get good quality. And it seems like a lot of Amazon customers have thought so too – with about a thousand customer ratings the average rating still comes in at 4 and half stars!

This baby has a powerful motor, which generates a maximum vacuum of 90 mbar and a maximum airflow of 24 l/s. And it can sustain this level of suction for long periods, thanks to it’s special technology.

It comes equipped with a specialised HEPA filter, which can capture more than 99.99% of all dust.

It’s really convenient for moving from site to site, it’s lightweight, at just 4.7kg, with a carrying handle, and onboard accessory storage. What really makes it portable though is that it’s 100% cordless, so you can really get about the place with it.

You get a load of accessories thrown in with the price, including a crevice nozzle, a elbow pipe, a floor nozzle and three extension pipes. All of which can be stored on board.

But it’s versatility doesn’t end there – it’s designed for both wet and dry applications! But don’t worry, if you need to use it in wet conditions, it’s waterproof to IPX4 standard, so won’t break down if splashed.

A really handy feature is the dust container being see through, so you can see exactly when you need to empty it.

We love that there’s a choice of different and useful Bosch batteries you can use, simply pick the one that best suits your needs. Bosch batteries can be charged unusually quickly.

It’s compatible with all the power tools across the Bosch 18 V Li-ion range.

Pros
  • Well established brand
  • Big hit with customers
  • Surprisingly affordable
  • High suction power
  • Highly efficient HEPA filter
  • Lightweight 100% cordless
  • Load of different accessories
  • Designed for wet applications too
  • Waterproof to IPX4 standard
  • Dust container is see through
  • Compatible with tools across the Bosch range
Cons
  • Battery sold separately, several batteries to choose from

Festool 574835 Mobile Dust Extractor, 240 V, Multi-Colour

Festool 574835 Mobile Dust Extractor, 240 V, Multi-Colour
Our rating:

This dust extractor is just amazing – if you have a large enough budget, this would definitely be the one to go for!

It’s stand out feature is the integrated bluetooth technology, whereby you can automatically switch it off or on via remote control, removing any need for retrofitting.

It’s designed for use on the go, being lightweight and with compact dimensions and robust casing. If you want you can buy a longer handle for it too, and simply roll it along.

It has a user friendly interface with intuitive touch operation, which allows you to change the machine’s speed.

It’s an L class dust extractor, which means that it’s suitable for dust from gypsum in plasterboard, graphite and soft wood dusts such as spruce, fir and pine.

It has a 10 litre capacity which should be plenty.

It’s hose has a good length to it, and we like how the unit has a hose holder to keep it housed out of the way when not in use.

You don’t have to take the machine apart to change the main filter, you can replace it from the outside and you won’t have to go digging any tools out to do so.

Pros
  • Integrated bluetooth technology
  • Lightweight
  • Compact dimensions
  • Robust casing
  • User friendly interface
  • Change the machine’s speed
  • L class dust extractor
  • 10 litre capacity
  • Long hose
  • Hose holder
  • Replace filter from outside
Cons
  • Premium product at a premium price

DEWALT DCV580H 20V MAX Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuum

DEWALT DCV580H 20V MAX Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuum
Our rating:

This machine from Dewalt is one of Amazon’s bestsellers and comes highly rated by customers.

Although it has “vacuum” in the title it is also a dust extractor as well as a vacuum. It comes with a highly efficient HEPA filter (see buying guide) which can trap 99.97% of dust as fine as 0.3 microns. This makes it an L class unit, which means that it’s suitable for dust from gypsum in plasterboard, graphite and soft wood dusts such as spruce, fir and pine.

The filter is both washable and replaceable, and you can reuse it several times before you need to buy new.

What makes this dust extractor different from others is that you can use it as a wet vacuum, which is really handy if you ever need to deal with spillages. And you won’t even have to change the filter to do so.

Not only that but it can also double as a blower too!

You can either run it off the mains via the cord, or you can go cordless and use a battery pack.

It has a decent sized capacity, coming in at 7.5 litres.

It comes with both a wide nozzle and with a crevice tool, for more awkward spots.

The hose wraps neatly around the machine for easy storage, along with the accessories, and is really compact and easy to transport between sites if needed.

Pros
  • One of Amazon’s bestsellers
  • Highly rated by customers
  • Highly efficient HEPA filter
  • L class unit
  • Filter is washable and replaceable
  • Use it as a wet vacuum
  • Doubles as a blower
  • Run it off the mains, or go cordless
  • Comes with a handy crevice tool
  • Compact and easy to transport
Cons
  • The battery pack is not rechargeable

Makita DVC350Z 18V Cordless Li-Ion Vacuum Cleaner/ Dust Extractor/ Blower

Makita DVC350Z 18V Cordless Li-Ion Vacuum Cleaner/ Dust Extractor/ Blower
Our rating:

Here’s another Amazon bestseller, and it comes from Makita, a leading manufacturer of professional power tools. And this model has proved to be a big hit with customers.

It has a 3 in one function you can use it as a Dust Extractor, a Vacuum Cleaner or a Blower, to make the switch over, you can simply swap the nozzles over.

It’s completely battery powered, so you don’t have to worry about an annoying cord in your way, or a cord that doesn’t stretch far enough.

It’s super portable too, weighing less than 4kg, and it comes with an adjustable shoulder strap for super easy transportation.

We love it’s variable speed switch to provide high or low air volume settings to suit whatever you’re using it for. This facility also enables the soft start function, for smoother start ups.

In addition to the main nozzle, they also throw in a couple of adapters for compatible tools.

As for the specs, you’ve got a maximum air velocity of 90 m/sec, and a maximum sealed suction of 5.5 kPa.

Makita is so confident in their product, they offer a whopping 3 year warranty!

Pros
  • Amazon bestseller
  • From a leading manufacturer
  • Big hit with customers
  • Doubles as a blower
  • Completely battery powered
  • Super portable, comes with a shoulder strap
  • Variable speed switch
  • Soft start function
  • Compatible with different tools
  • 3 year warranty
Cons
  • Dust bag capacity is only 3 litres
  • Battery to be paid for separately
  • HEPA filter to be paid for separately

Makita VC2012L 240 V L Class Dust Extractor

Makita VC2012L 240 V L Class Dust Extractor
Our rating:

Here’s another great dust extractor, and this model from Makita has gone down really well with customers.

It’s an L class dust extractor, designed to remove 99% of dust. Really good for dealing with gypsum from plasterboard. And it will work in both wet and dry conditions, thanks to it’s waterproofing protection which comes in at IP24.

It uses a PET cartridge filter, included in the price, which you can just push out and clean.

The hose is nice and long, and easily stored using it’s flexible rubber strap.

It’s light enough to carry around, and this is made easier still with it’s integrated carry handle.

It’s not too loud either, coming in at just 72 decibels.

Also included in the price are a Dust bag, a Disposal bag, a Universal nozzle, a Floor nozzle, a Crevice nozzle, and an Adapter.

Makita is so confident in their product, they offer a whopping 3 year warranty!

Pros
  • Popular with customers
  • L class dust extractor
  • Will work in wet conditions too
  • Uses a PET cartridge filter
  • Hose is long, and easily stored
  • Lightweight
  • Not too loud
  • Several accessories included
  • 3 year warranty!
Cons
  • Only runs on electricity, so it’s corded

Best Dust Extractor – Buyer’s Guide

There’s a lot to think about when buying a dust extractor, but we’ll go through each point step by step.

Dust extractor categories

Dust extractors fall into three main categories: L, for low dust class, M for medium dust class, and H for high dust class. An L class unit is only suitable for lower toxicity dusts like gypsum in plasterboard, or for soft woods such as spruce, fir, or pine, or small amounts of graphite. An M class unit can be used for other wood dusts such as beech and oak, and for concrete. If you wanted to remove carcinogenic dusts however, or germs, then you will need a H class unit.

Suction Power

The suction power of a dust extractor is measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. The higher the CFM the faster the dust gets cleared up. Models with ratings from 50 CFM up to 150 CFM are considered only appropriate for light duty works. Industrial dust extractors have much stronger suction power, going up to as much as 300 CFM or sometimes higher.

On some models you’re able to adjust the suction according to what job you’re using it for.

Capacity of the extractor

Dust extractors can vary quite considerably in their dust collection capacity, ranging from as little as 3 litres and going up to as much as 50 litres. If you regularly have a lot of dust to clear up then having a dust extractor with a large collection capacity will save you having to constantly stop to empty it out.

Filters

Please don’t overlook this aspect of your dust extractor, as it’s this which will directly affect the air quality in the vicinity.

The majority of dust extractors on the market will use either the Microfilter or the HEPA filter. Both are very effective, but the HEPA filter does have some advantages over the Microfilter. Namely, that they are really good at trapping the allergens and microbes that can cause respiratory problems. They are also less likely to clog up.

Some dust extractors have an automatic filter cleaning function which is a great feature, but if you buy one that does not, then it’s best to get a dust extractor with filters that can be washed and recycled.

Hose and attachments

The hose of the dust extractor needs to be able to withstand some wear and tear, so needs to be composed of adequately strong yet flexible material. The longer the hose, the better it’s reach and the better able you are to reach areas that would be missed with a shorter hose. Also the dust extractor can often come with handy attachments which can help remove dust from awkward nooks and crannies.

Maneuverability

Just as the hose needs to be of good quality, so do the wheels. Castor wheels are ideal.

Sometimes dust extractors can be rather bulky, and if you’re only going to use it in your workshop, and you have plenty of room for it, this is fine. However if you need to transport the dust extractor from site to site, something more compact and lightweight might suit you better.

Noise Level

Some dust extractors can throw out a lot of noise which isn’t always favourable, and doesn’t always fair well with neighbours. Machines with a sound level ranging between 60 to 85 decibels are manageable enough but anything 95 decibels or higher and you’ll need ear protection.

Brand

The main benefit that you get from using a branded dust extractor is just how compatible it is across the brand’s range of products. We can highly recommend the Bosch Professional GAS 18V-10L Dust Extractor (our Number 1) for example, which is compatible with the whole Bosch 18 V Li-ion range.

Price

OK, we’re going to level with you here. Getting a good dust extractor is going to cost money, and you’re not going to get a good one for under £100 (unless you’re specifically looking for a handheld one). You can get ones that have all the bells and whistles you can imagine, but for most jobs you needn’t spend much more than, say £300. Although this goes up considerably for more commercial and industrial jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a vacuum cleaner for dust extraction?

Vacuums are made to vacuum and extractors are made to extract. A vacuum cleaner is not designed to clean or enhance air quality following the release of dust from drilling. A lot of particulate is suspended in the air after machining, and protecting yourself from it’s hidden dangers is a must.

Some people have tried converting their vacuum cleaners for dust extraction, but this process can be very tricky and hard to get done right. Our advice is to always go for a dust extractor wherever possible.

How dangerous is wood dust to health?

Exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects. The respiratory effects alone include asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and chronic bronchitis. Other symptoms include dermatitis, eye irritation, mucosal and nonallergic respiratory effects, and, worse again, cancer.

The OSHA permissible exposure limit for nuisance dust is 15 mg/m3. But don’t worry, dust extractors represent a real solution. You’ll see a real benefit from any one of the dust extractors in our Top 5.

What is the difference between a dust extractor and a shop vac?

A shop vac is a dust collection system rather than an extractor. It’s basically a vacuum that’s designed to work best on small-sized debris, using low air volume and a narrow hose. The debris then goes into the collection tank unfiltered. Down the road this could cause the shop vac’s motor to play up and cause trouble.

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