Single-stage blower-and-bag units are the next step up in price and performance. These units can handle large quantities of dust and chips. The more powerful models can be used to run a central dust-collection system when coupled with ductwork connected to all of your major machinery.

stage dust


eatures to consider


If you aren't planning to set up a permanent network of PVC or metal ducts, you'll want a roll-around collector that you can attach to each machine with a flexible hose as needed. Many portable models may be used as central dust collectors when you're ready to run the ductwork. (For more on designing a central dust-collection system, see AW #37.)


Dust collectors are rated by the volume of air (cubic ft. per minute, or cfm) they can move at a given static, or constant, pressure (sp>—the resistance to airflow measured in "inches of water." The key to a realistic rating is the symbol If a collector is rated "500 cfm @ 8 in. sp," that's what it will deliver under real load conditions. Buy a unit with enough cfm to handle your biggest dust-producing machine. (See box, below.) If you'll use more than one machine at a time, buy a collector with enough cfm to handle these machines simultaneously.

Filter-Bag Efficiency

Filter bags vary in their ability to capture the tiniest, most hazardous dust particles—those under 10 microns in size. Typical bags trap particles down to about 50 microns, while super-efficient bags with a very fine weave can capture particles as small as 1 micron.

how dust collectors work

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