The Best Dust Collector for a Small Shop

No matter what type of woodworking you do or whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, installing a dust collector is an absolute requirement. Why might you ask? The answer (and most important reason) is to preserve the health of your respiratory system.

Long term exposure to dust and particles can cause harmful consequences if left uncontrolled. The second reason is to keep your shop clean of dust and debris that spreads everywhere when working with wood.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

What is a Dust Collector?

As the name suggests, a dust collector will rid the air of particles ejected from projects as you cut and sand wood in your workshop. That said, even the best dust collector in a small shop won’t get rid of every last bit of sawdust.

A small shop may be located in a garage, a small shed, or even a small room in the basement of your house. Since this is a small shop for hobby work, it may be difficult to install a large, more permanent dust collecting system for bigger areas. The best way to collect dust in a small shop is to utilize a vacuum (such as a shop vac) that most will already have and add an attachment to it. Let’s take a closer look at a very simple but elegant solution for people that don’t have the space for a large dust collector.

How Do Dust Collectors Work?

There are two ways that dust collectors work. The first is using filters to mechanically separate the dust from the air stream. The problem and main issue is that you have to clean the filters often. The more dust you collect the shorter the interval between filter cleaning. This means less time for you working on your projects and more time cleaning air filters. In addition, increased resistance and reduced airflow can strain motors on shop vacs.

The second way to separate particles from air is through the centrifugal force. Did you ever ride a motorbike or a go-cart as a kid? They all had a centrifugal clutch which engages the faster the clutch spins. The same principal can be applied to dust collection believe it or not! The Dust Deputy is engineered to create a centrifugal vortex similar to a cyclone. When the air spins in a vortex, the dust is expelled to the bottom and not in your vacuum. These types of system are used in large industrial applications but the technology has also made its way to household applications.

Check Price on Amazon

What Should You Look For When Buying a Dust Collector?

You will need to consider various factors before you settle on the best dust collector for your small shop. After all, you don’t want to waste your money!

If you go with an air filter system, one important feature is to look at the air volume rating of your shop vac in cubic feet per minute or CFM. This is the main figure that will give you a rough idea as to whether the collector you are looking at will work for you. You’ll optimally want a collector that will have a greater CFM capacity than your shop vac. You don’t want the vacuum to strain.

Next, take note of the filtration efficiency. With air filters, two-stage filtration is the best of the best! What does this mean? Basically, it will capture the larger bits of the debris before it goes into the second filter to protect the longevity of the system.

Arguably, before you consider the above, you need to know what type of debris you will be creating because not all dust collectors can pick up everything. In your small shop, you’ll probably just be generating sawdust.

Will you need the ability to move the collector? Depending on the type of work you do, you may not need a unit that is portable. However, it is an aspect that is necessary to think about before purchasing anything!

Features and Benefits of The Dust Deputy

  • Made in the USA
  • Removes 99% of dust and debris from the stream before it touches the vacuum filter
  • Increased suction power
  • Longer lifespan since it stops large debris from reaching the vacuum filter
  • Discreet design so it won’t hinder the beauty or organisation of your workshop
  • Can be used with almost any wet or dry vacuum
  • Fits securely on a variety of collection hoses
  • Suitable for use with wood dust, concrete dust, clay dust, blasting soda, cooled ash, water, baking flour, metal shavings, drywall dust, animal hair, agricultural waste, bakery dust, leaves, silica dust, soot, grass and loads more
  • Made from anti-static resin and includes a sloped inlet and outlet which allows for an easy fit over different diameters of hose
  • Fits into various vacuum carts (you could even make your own as a fun DIY project!)
  • Made of durable polypropylene material
  • Provides easier waste disposal as you do not need to open up the entire vacuum to empty it
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Wonderful portability
Check Price on Amazon

Special Features

The versatility of this handy device is certainly one of the main benefits of acquiring The Dust Deputy to fit onto your current one stage vacuum filter. However, the number one feature is that it prolongs the life of your filtration system by removing 99% of debris and dust before it hits your filter. 

Not only does this mean you don’t need to clean it as often, but you will not have to change it out for a long-time — durability is everything!

What is Cyclonic Separation?

Have you used a Dyson vacuum or know someone that has one? James Dyson is the inventor of this vacuum which utilizes cyclonic separation to eliminate the need for vacuum bags. The Oneida The Dust Deputy uses the same concept but applied for use in workshops.

Rotation and gravity are the two forces that separate the particles out of the air stream or even from water when the concept is applied to other industries. The air travels in a helical, circular motion from wide at the top to narrow at the bottom. Any particles in the air can not maintain the same inertia as the air stream so they exit the vortex and fall to the bottom.

You can also see this method is large sawmills, gas refineries, cement manufacturing. It’s an interesting effect that has applications in many industries.

Demonstration of the Dust Deputy

Company Profile

Oneida Air Systems are the leaders in their industry. This is probably due to the fact that they focus on dust collection and nothing else! The company was started right next to the Oneida River in New York, in 1993.

Over the years, they have enhanced their technologies to produce increasingly effective, top-class dust collection systems that keep their customers safe and healthy. 

Now, Oneida Air Systems is a globally recognized best in class provider for workshop hygiene products and filtration systems. This is down to their continuous hard work and their open, honest and informative approach to customer service.

Curated Independent Reviews

Got tired of cleaning the Shop-Vac filter every 20 minutes while working on a project. This is like a whole new world!

mailerdeemon on reddit

If you get water in your basement these make a huge difference, too. Easy bucket swaps and way easier to empty than a shop vac.

aprosbro on reddit

I’ve been rocking this same set up for 2 years, I’ve dumped out the bucket a dozen times and the vac is still totally empty. Filter still clean.

BreeStephany on reddit

In Conclusion

We absolutely love The Dust Deputy as an addition to your vacuum filtration system. While we encourage you to shop around and check the specifics, for your small shop, this will work brilliantly. Not to mention that it is incredibly affordable — how can you go wrong?