Dust collector recommendation

Hi all,

I’m looking for a dust collector recommendation. I’m using my DeWalt shop vac but i’ve noticed it isn’t super effective with my simple jobs so far and I’ve heard a dust collector is quieter…

Ideally I need something that I can push under my work bench when it’s not being used…

Recommendations appreciated.



I think Winston Moy picked up a Fein shop vac as they are one of the quietest options out there.

Home Despot says it comes in at 66dB which is actually pretty impressive.
I’m not sure if a dust collector is quieter than a shop vac. If you have the shop space though you can put it in a corner and try and sound isolate that area which may be helpful.

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Based on size, you probably want a vacuum. Dust collectors are generally too large to pushed under a workbench. My dad has a few of the Fein vacuums in his shop (older models) and they are indeed very quiet. Festool has a fancy one that is also supposedly quiet.

If you’re a creative person, you can probably rig something up with a collector that is relatively compact. I use a harbor freight collector on a DIY wall mount with a cyclone and cart filter that is pretty compact, but it was a project to design and build. I also think a few companies offer a small wall mount collector (Woodcraft and Grizzly come to mind) that might work. Just note that the bag filters a lot of dust collectors come with suck for fine dust filtering.

What are you using for a dust boot? One thing with collectors is they are designed to move a large amount of air but don’t actually pull a large amount of vacuum, so they tend to be ineffective if the hose is necked down too far. If you’re running smaller than a 2.5" port you probably want to stick with a vacuum.

I switched to a Festool CT Midi from an incredibly noisy (but really inexpensive) “Bucket Head” shop vac — it’s a sea change in terms of quiet, and makes using the machine far more pleasant.

I did add an Oneida Ultimate Dust Deputy which adds a lot to the height of the unit, but I use it enough that the savings on bags and filters is worth it.

The other consideration is it’s HEPA rated (for what the dust shoe captures), and I use my machine in an interior finished space.

Festool just came out with a very expensive (even for Festool) dust separator too. Or you could use a Dust Deputy.

My understanding is the Festool cyclone is oriented towards contractor use — there’s been a lot of discussion of it on the Festool Owner’s Group forums.

I’m using a Dewalt DWV012 10 Gallon HEPA Dust Extractor, which I think is comparable. What I am wondering is if a Dust collector, is a better option. I don’t really get the physics behind it but the larger volume of air appears to be a better option for a bunch of woodworking jobs. They also are apparently quieter.

This one, for example:


This is what I got and works great. I use it with a 2 phase cyclone. It’s very quiet compared to a regular shop vac. It is also compact for smaller shops. Dust collectors are usually larger systems. A little pricey but, worth it IMO, I wish I had gotten it earlier.

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It looks like the Fein I looked at has a higher CFM, 151 vs 140 and slightly quieter 66 decibels vs 77 (my reading at 3ft distance). But I don’t know if I could justify $300 odd on a 2nd one just to get a slightly quieter one…

Anyway, sounds like people are using Shop Vacs, not Dust Collectors in general, so I’ll stick with my current setup :slight_smile:


This also depends a bit on what you cut. If you cut a lot of MDF, carbon fiber…the more toxic stuff…then being able to control the fine dust is a bigger deal, which the shop vac’s just don’t do a great job at.

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