Best rated dust extractors for 2021

Construction creates an awful amount of dust which can be hazardous to our health.

The buildup of dust up can cause cardiovascular and respiratory health problems. In addition, they can irritate your skin, throat, and eyes. That’s why it’s important to have regular dust collection and maintain a relatively dust-free environment.

A dust extraction tool in this case can be extremely useful to make sure your working area doesn’t have lingering dust particles. In this review, we’ll cover the details of what to look for to buy a premium dust extractor and reviews of the best ones in the market today.

What is a Dust Extractor and How Does It Work

A dust extractor is a type of machine that connects to various tools used in shops or job sites. The purpose of these vacs is to collect dust in the machine. It removes airborne particles and fine debris using a tube which goes into the chamber and the air is screened with a filter. The goal of these cleaners is to prevent dust from accumulating in your workspace.

An electric motor powers an intake fan that sucks air in and moves it rapidly. These vacuums are designed to be used anytime you’re using a sawing, sanding, or grinding tool. Even if your work area is well ventilated, you should always use these extractors to help keep your work environment clean and dust-free.

Things to Consider When Buying a Dust Extractor

Finding the best dust extractor can quite difficult without knowing what features to look for. Take note of these factors to help you narrow down your search and find an extractor with the best specs.

Portability

The scope of your work and your workshop size can determine what type of extractor you get. Industrial or medium-sized extractors have the ability to attach several tools simultaneously for higher efficiency. However, a bigger extractor means that it’ll also take up a lot of space in your workshop. We personally like portable extractors because they work more efficiently with handheld tools. This results in a cleaner workspace. Larger vacuums are designed to have better performance for larger instruments such as table saws and planers.

Bag Volume Capacity

Portable extractors usually vary between 8 to 14 gallons. If you prefer the portability of moving your extractor around your workshop, then you probably want a smaller machine. However, if you hate to empty the extractor every day, consider a larger extractor—a larger storage results in fewer bags to empty.

If you run a workshop that tends to generate more dust than others, you can consider a higher bag volume capacity. This is especially useful for individuals that do heavy sawing, sanding, grinding or drilling including with concrete. But if you primarily work with assembly, a portable vacuum may provide you with better performance.

Build Quality

These vacs are machines that should be able to run several hours per day unattended. There’s much more to choosing extractors than just the brand name. Some models consistently have better performance and durability due to their overall build quality. Always make sure to read through reviews to understand the experiences that other customers have had.

HEPA Filter

HEPA is a specialized filter that stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. The HEPA filtration is designed to trap 9.7 percent of the particles that are 0.3 microns.

Although you may not always need a high level of filtration for your workshop, it can provide good protection from harmful dust particles. In certain environments, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would require you to have HEPA filters in your dust extractors. It’s always good to be prepared if OSHA does require it, and these are also the highest level of filters when it comes to performance. This system also doesn’t cost a lot and can easily be replaced as needed. Its job is to purify the air and capture all of the microscopic allergen, particles, and odorous gases that may be in your environment.

This also has to do with the filtration capacity, which determines the performance and efficiency of eliminating dust particles from the air.

Auto Tool Activation

Some of the most premium dust extractors will come with an automatic tool activation feature. However, the amount of power and performance in these power tools will vary greatly.

This means your dust extractor will automatically be powered by your tool. Some dust extractors have an outlet that you can connect to your power tool. The extractor will turn on when the power on your tool is turned on. Likewise, the extractor will turn off when your power tool isn’t running anymore.

In addition, some will have Bluetooth connectivity where your cordless power tools can connect to the dust extractor. With this tool activation system, you won’t have to worry about experiencing any power loss since these instruments will run on batteries.

Variable Power Dial

When it comes to plugging your power tool into the dust extractor, you’ll need to check the variable power dial. This is very dependent on how many amps that the breaker has. For example, if you’re running a 20-amp breaker, and your motor runs at approximately 11 amps at the max, you can use a 9-amp tool.

The variable power dial comes in handy, especially when you’re looking to use high-power tools such as a drill. With the dial, you can lessen the power, which allows you to use a tool with a higher amp rating.

Wet-Dry Use

Depending on your needs, you may need a wet-dry vac extractor or one that specifically performs either wet or dry extraction. This will influence your decision on the type of dust extractor you need to use.

With a wet-dry vac feature in your dust extractor, it will be able to manage both functions more easily. For example, your sensor will shut off in an attempt to protect your motor from the rising tide caused by wet extraction. This ensures that your motor won’t suffer from water damage. The last thing you’d want is to have your 10 gallons of water negatively impact the function of the 9-gallon dry dust extraction.

Auto Filter Cleaning

Not all vacs will have automatic filter cleaning, but it’s certainly a luxury to have. Even with the best filter cleaning features in your dust extractors, you will lose between about 1% to 7.5% of their performance once you’ve sucked up some of the dust from your power tool. If your dust extractor doesn’t have any auto filter cleaning or HEPA filter, you’ll notice the power performance of your appliance may begin to decline.

Filter cleaning is an important aspect to ensure you can continue automatically using your dust extractor. Usually, a dust extractor will utilize reverse airflow for filter cleaning. Instead, we recommend finding an electro-mechanical system, which works by vibrating the filter. This is an effective method to keep dust from escaping your power tool and extend the filter life.

Some dust extractors have a feature that allows you to turn this feature off during use automatically. This is important because you would lose a lot of suction power during its cleaning cycle, which happens every 15 seconds.

Air Volume

The power of air suction is a way to determine the airflow rate of your appliance. Airflow is usually defined in terms of cubic feet per minute, otherwise known as CFM.

When you’re looking for dust extractors, you’ll notice the term “CFM ratings” being used. CRM ratings are used to measure the exact amount of air volume that is pulled through the filter. Some portable vacs have as much as 150 CFM range, while on the lower end, you’ll see about 50 CFM on many wireless units. Some of the premium brands will even pull around a 300 CFM range using a twin-turbine design. However, with industrial models, you may see a CFM power of about 1,500.

The CFM allows your materials to continue moving once the dust extractor is going. The larger the CFM, the bigger area that your dust extractor can suck up. Obviously, the higher the CFM value, the better. However, instead of finding vacuums with the highest CFM number, you want one that has an optimal balance between CFM and water lift. Having a balance between these two values is better than having one rating incredibly high and the other low.

Suction Power and Water Lift

Most people confuse water lift with CFM. However, these are two completely different things. The water lift or suction power measures what the vacuum can lift or pull out, which is determined using water. The CFM refers to the amount of air that the motor can move. The stronger the pull from your water lift, the larger the debris that your dust extractor will be able to collect. The water lift allows your dust extractor to collect debris when it’s further out. However, it’s best to place your nozzle closer to the dust. The lighter or smaller the particle, the easier time you’ll have with containing it. Also, the closer the proximity of the particle, the easier it’ll be to collect every little piece of debris.

Noise

The more suction and power a machine has, the more likely it is to produce very loud noises. Unfortunately, this can be very distracting to other people who are around you while you’re working. Each dust extractor will have its own noise level, so check to see what it is. OSHA requires that anything with 85 decibels should require a person to use hearing protection. We recommend finding machines under 85 dB.

OSHA Compliance

OSHA compliance means that workers adhere to any regulations to keep their workplace safe and limit the number of injuries to workers. When it comes to dust extractors, one of the main requirements is to ensure that filters are OSHA compliant. That means that your filtration system must be able to capture at least 99.97% of any hazardous particles that are 0.3 microns. Typically, many HEPA filtration systems will meet the OSHA regulations. OSHA also requires that the extractor has a system for automatic filter cleaning. This is because a full filter will allow the dust to escape and become a hazard to the work environment.

Other Features

There are other accessories and features that models may have to make your life easier when keeping your job site clean. When using the dust extractor for your floors, consider looking at your onboard accessory storage. This storage solution has stand-up slots and points to hold specific accessories to store or has loose storage on top.

In addition, you should consider the hose length. Unfortunately, with most brands, the longer the hose is, the greater the performance decline you’ll experience at the nozzle.

You also want to make sure that the cords aren’t tangled. Ideally, having accessories like a bungee-style strap is convenient to prevent entanglement.

General Features that Dust Extractors Need

Here’s a quick list of the features and details you should look for in a solid tool.

  • A HEPA filter to allow you to trap small dust particles and even smoke.
  • A flexible and long hose allowing you to vacuum and collect dust exactly where you need it without having to roll or lift your machine around your work environment.
  • Steel impellers for durability and easy maintenance
  • Durable wheels and caster so you can easily move the vac from one place to another.
  • An automatic tool start feature, enabling the dust extractor to immediately start as soon as you start using your power tool.

Our Top Recommendations for Dust Extractors

Festool CT 15 Hepa Dust Extractor

The Festool CT 15 Hepa Dust Extractor is a portable machine that is designed for painters and remodelers who need a vacuum cleaner with powerful suction to get rid of dust while working. Portability is the main focus of this vacuum cleaner since it is maneuverable and ergonomic. The Festool CT 15 can be used in all types of applications, such as your job site and workshop.

We like that this tool comes with a HEPA filter for additional protection and a self-clean bag that gives users consistent extraction all the way through as the dust fills up to its 95% capacity. The purpose of the HEPA filter is to trap these pollutants and prevent them from escaping into the air.

The beauty of a HEPA filter is that the filter cleaning only needs to be done about once every six months and change every two to three years. Of course, if the HEPA filter happens to be heavily soiled, you’ll have to replace it sooner. This flat filter ensures that you have the best utilization of the container space for your vacuum cleaner. As a user, you’ll be able to fill up the bag to nearly full capacity and spend less time changing it.

With about a 4-gal filter bag capacity, the extractor is designed to be used for long periods without changing the filter bag every few hours continuously.

For convenience, the Festool CT15 comes with a 27m hose used for suction and cleaning. At the top of the tool, there is a compartment to store your cords and a cleaning kit to keep your vacuum cleaner well-maintained.

On the front of this extractor tool, there’s are a few buttons to turn the power on and off and increase or decrease the suction. In addition, there are accessories such as the wet pickup filter to do the cleaning in wet areas.

Pros:

  • Compact design and lightweight for portability
  • Includes a hose attachment for easy cleanup
  • A low sound pressure level of 67 dB ensures quiet operation
  • Powerful suction performance of 1000 watt turbine
  • Easily accessible main filter for fast replacement

Cons:

  • It doesn’t come with wheels or a shoulder strap, which can be awkward to carry around.

 

Dewalt Dust Extractor – 10 Gallon

Many concrete jobs require an extractor or dust collector with two features: HEPA filters and filter cleaning. Luckily the Dewalt 10-gallon extractor covers them both. By having these two features, this machine is OSHA compliant. This machine will clean its filters on an automatic basis every 15 minutes or when the sensors detect the need to clean. These frequent cleanings allow the vacuum to run more efficiently and increase its performance.

One of the best advantages of these models is that they can power on automatically. The power tool activation system will power up as soon as you power up your tool. This ensures your workspace is clean throughout the day. It also matches other brands such as Bosch in terms of amp rating and power. This model has a 15-amp motor allowing you to plug higher-powered gadgets into this device.

Compared to the Bosch-related extractors, this one pulls a 155 CFM of airflow compared to 150 for Bosch. This excellent capacity of airflow and performance makes this extractor ideal for woodworking, concrete, and paint.

In addition to its performance and suction power, the machine also has a few nice features to go along with it. It comes with an ergonomic metal telescopic handle allowing you to move it around on the job site or shop. There are also multiple tie-down and lift points to secure the vac to scaffolding while transporting. Not to mention this unit comes fully assembled, so you won’t have to worry about complicated assembly.

This dust extractor has a premium and robust build that will last you for many years. The front wheels will rotate freely to move easily, and the rear wheels are larger, making them capable of maneuvering in areas with irregular terrain.

Pros:

  • Auto filter cleaning features that pulse every 30 seconds to cleanse the filter
  • It comes with an ergonomic telescoping handle allowing you to roll the machine easily around
  • 140 CFM rating and 15-amp motor ensures maximum suction power and performance in your vacuum
  • Variable suction controls the amount of suction and vacuum power consumption
  • Includes filter to trap harmful particles

Cons:

  • Bags are sold separately from the vac

Bosch 9 Gallon Dust Extractor

The Bosch 9 gallon extractor is one of the best vacs in terms of performance and durability. This Bosch model works in both wet and dry conditions, including when you’re working with concrete.

The Bosch extractor has an impressive 150 CFM rating, meaning it can handle up to 150 cubic meters of air every minute. The best part is that it can run on auto-pilot without you having to do any work.

Everything you would need is included, such as the extractor, flat filter, fleece filter bag, bend nozzle, vacuum hose, and the power tool adapter nozzle.

This dust extractor comes with wheels allowing you to roll it around to different places, which is handy for those with larger work areas. When you’re not cleaning, you can have the casters locked to prevent them from moving around.

We like that Bosch offers a 1-year warranty to protect you from any type of malfunction that may occur. You can also test the Bosch vacuum and have 180 days to return it if you don’t like it. We always recommend reading the customer reviews to understand the pros and cons of any product.

Pros:

  • Auto tool activation’s feature that turns on the vacuum based on your power tool
  • Includes a fleece filter bag to contain any dry debris from concrete
  • The HEPA filter will trap 99.97% of the particles when cleaning
  • OSHA compliance allowing users to work on an OSHA silica table
  • Has a power broker dial to connect to any tool
  • Optimal for concrete work

Cons:

  • It doesn’t come with a built-in drain

Dewalt Dust Extractor – 8 Gallon

The Dewalt 8 Gallon Extractor is one of the best portable and lightweight cleaning solutions in the industry. It’s a complete suction system that can be used in both wet and dry applications. If you work in a dusty shop, you won’t have to worry about the extractor clogging because it contains a self filter cleaning system. Once every 30 seconds, the unit blows out one of the filters so that there won’t be any clogging that will affect the lift, suction, and performance.

One thing that stands out from other models is that this model uses an anti-static hose. This type of hose is ideal for cleaning in areas that may be damp. It is designed to prevent possible ignition that is caused by electrostatic charges.

This dust extractor has been thoroughly tested and meets the EPA Lead Related Renovations Repair and Painting standards. There’s also a variable speed dial, meaning you can control the exact amount of power that you want to apply when cleaning.

Pros:

  • It uses an anti-static hose which prevents the danger of potential ignition through electrostatic charges.
  • The model comes fully assembled.
  • It comes with an 8-gallon bag for large capacity
  • Auto filter cleaning feature than pulses constantly every 30 seconds
  • Very lightweight Dewalt vacuum that only weighs about 27 pounds

Cons:

  • This Dewalt model could be a little noisy

Dewalt Flexvolt 60V Max Dust Extractor Kit

The Dewalt Flexvolt takes portability to the next level with its wireless tool control feature. This feature allows you to activate your vacuum without even needing to touch the extractor. For example, you could be performing other construction tasks but need the previous drilling area to be clean. With a tap of a few buttons, you can let this dust extractor do its job.

Unlike other extractors, this one is cordless, so you won’t be limited by how far your cord can extend. You can freely move the Dewalt Flexvolt into any room and won’t need an outlet.

The Dewalt Flexboat is compliant with OSHA Table 1, meaning you can use it with concrete grinding and drill work. This ensures that silica dust won’t be respirable and airborne. This cleaner puts in a HEPA filter and a double filter system to capture even the tiniest of particles. The hose is 8 feet long, and there’s a latch on the top where you secure your hose once you’re finished using it.

Pros:

  • Able to clean with both damp and dry applications
  • This model comes with HEPA filters
  • Uses dual filters and an auto filter cleaning feature for easy maintenance.
  • OSHA compliant
  • It weighs 18 pounds and is easy to transport
  • Able to wirelessly control this Dewalt vacuum

Cons:

  • May need to purchase other Dewalt connections and adapters

Bosch 14 Gallon Dust Extractor

For those that spend their entire day cutting, sawing, sanding, or drilling, you may want to get something with a high bag capacity and CFM rating. The Bosch dust extractor has a 14-gallon bag which results in having more storage to hold a lot of debris without having to change bags all the time. Not to mention the CFM is at 150, which is on the high-end of the spectrum compared to their competitors.

The reason why most dust collectors have weak performance is due to their suction loss. This happens because the filter can get clogged or jammed up easily. Bosch aims to solve that problem by having an automatic filter cleaning system to clean the filter every 15 seconds. Other filter cleaning systems will have a longer wait time between each cycle.

Also, considering its suction power and airflow performance, this normally results in a loud machine. But in reality, this model is deceptively quiet compared to other extractors. It has a 70 dB level in noise, which is quite low. This means you won’t be exposed to the risk of hearing loss or needing some sort of hearing protection while using this dust extractor.

In addition, there are other features that we love about this dust extractor. First, the filter has a flat design which takes up less canister space. Also, there is a push handle for easy transport and a vacuum hose wrap to ensure the hose is under control.

Pros:

  • Bosch model is OSHA compliant
  • Rated at 150 CFM, which is a powerful airflow for the suction
  • Vac has an auto filter cleaning that cleans every 15 seconds
  • The model comes with a fleece filter bag to protect against the filter

Cons:

  • Price feels a little high

Vacmaster M Class Dust Extractor

The beauty of using the Vacmaster is that you’re able to switch between using a vacuum system and a hose. The vacuum style cleaner has a wider diameter than the hose, which allows you to clean up after your drill work much faster. However, the hose will be able to reach into small crevices of your work environment to prevent hazardous particles from building up.

Cleaning out the filter is an important part of ensuring efficient performance and CFM power for long-term use. The appliance has a push-clean filtering system that prevents clogging up the filters. Suction performance can drop and it can lose a significant portion of its lift and effectiveness when the filter isn’t properly maintained.

This appliance also meets the UK Health and Safety Executive guidelines meaning it’s safe to use in the category of portable electrical equipment. We found the Vacmaster gets the job done efficiently, whether it is a drill, saw, or sand work, and it is available at a relatively low price.

Pros:

  • It has a two-stage dust collection to trap hazardous dust and ensure it doesn’t become airborne.
  • Includes a push clean filter system to prevent that could affect max performance such as clogged filters.
  • Meets the UK Health and Safety guidelines
  • Able to safely extract 99.9% of medium hazardous dust
  • It comes with a handle and two large wheels to easily transport around
  • Able to the vacuum cleaner or the hose for cleaning

Cons:

  • It may not be ideal for damp conditions

Festool CT 22 E 5.8 Gallon Dust Extractor

Upon review, we found the CT 22 E extractor to be one of the best ones in the market. Similar to other extractors mentioned, the CT22 is equipped with a convenient auto start functionality so that users can easily plug their tool into the supplied outlet socket. This ensures that the appliances maximize performance and efficiency by reducing energy consumption. There’s also a variable suction force feature, which enables the user to regulate the amount of suction based on the tasks you’re performing. For example, you won’t need the 137 CRM performance for sucking up a small detailed sander. However, when cleaning up dust from a router, you’ll need to turn up to the high-powered CFM setting.

The CT 22 E comes with two HEPA main filters to trap over 99% of all dangerous allergens and particles. These HEPA filters are positioned flat with a compact design to ensure your bag can collect at a maximum capacity.

What stands out about this appliance is that you get high performance of 134 CFM with little noise of 62 dB. This works great for individuals who like to do some of their woodwork at home so you don’t disturb your neighbors or other household members.

This CT 22 has an integrated center handle, operates on a low center of gravity, and has extra-large wheel casters that make it easy to navigate your workplace.

For liquid clean-up tasks, the CT 22 shuts off automatically whenever the bag is full, thanks to the Level Stop technology. It has an industrial design made for heavy use to maximize performance.

Pros:

  • This tool operates quietly on both low and high settings
  • The hose is 11-1/2 feet long and is anti-static to prevent and shock hazards while cleaning
  • Includes two HEPA filters to trap particles
  • Excellent tool for sand, grinding, and drill work
  • Automatic tool start to pair with any power-related devices that you have
  • Storage for accessories at the top

Cons:

  • Low bag capacity compared to other extractors

Festool 203153 Dust Extractor Boom Arm Bundle Set

The CT boom arm set is unique in that it is designed to keep your cord and hose out of the way to make for efficiency and cleaning up much simpler. With the boom arm set, it extends the hose above your head so that you can lift any cords off the ground. This also eliminates the potential of a tripping hazard and protects your workpiece from damage.

However, the boom arm is only one component of the entire appliance. It has a 12.7 gallon engineered to capture a high volume of dust to maintain a spotless workplace. It’s the ideal appliance for those who work with concrete, drywall, and wood. It is fully OSHA Table 1 compliant and uses HEPA filtration to ensure any category of dangerous particles is kept away.

This equipment also has an airflow performance of 137 CFM and uses a 36 32mm hose. This high CFM airflow allows you to clear up many particles in your work environment in a short amount of time.

The extractor is equipped with a nice set of swiveling large rear and front casters. There’s a locking break to ensure that the appliance stays in one place while you’re working or for storage.

Pros:

  • Boom arm keeps the hose and cords out of the way, allowing you to efficiently saw, sand, drill, and perform other tool work.
  • Has a range of motion of 140 degrees and a height of 7 feet
  • Made with steel tubing for durability
  • Back wheels allowing easy transport

Cons:

  • Relatively high price

Pulse-Bac 550H Dust Extractor

Although the price of the Pulse-Bac 550H may come at a shock, its performance fully justifies the expense. This appliance is centered around an 8-gal steel drum tank. The CFM is 150 and has an 87″ lift. When we tested the product, we found that it could vacuum up a 60-lb bag of concrete in a little over 2 minutes and a 25-lb of drywall compound in about 90 seconds. This puts its performance on the same level as the premium brands.

Another unique aspect about the PB-550H is that it has three filters instead of the normal one or two. It has two HEPA filters rated at 100% efficiency and a third HEPA filter inside the motor housing rated at 99.99% efficiency.

Upon review, we believe that the PB-550H is the perfect fit for those who work in job sites where fine-dust production occurs frequently and will need a cleanup every day.

Pros:

  • It comes with two HEPA filters
  • This machine is OSHA compliant
  • Ideal for drill, floor and hand grinders, saws, routers, sanders, and concrete use
  • Made with durable ABS construction and powder-coated steel
  • Auto self-cleaning technology to keep suction consistent and filters clean

Cons:

  • It doesn’t have wheels

The Verdict

After thorough research of the available dust extractors in the industry, we shortlisted the top six choices and provided reviews on each of these models. For those in search of a low-cost dust extractor that you can leave unattended while you work on something else and eliminate debris, we recommend the Dewalt Flexvolt for hand-free operation. If you want something powerful, we suggest the Dewalt 10 Gallon Extractor for its high CFM rating and lift.

These vacuum models have great performance, use incredibly durable and highly efficient filters, and are very portable.

Make sure to read through the buyer’s guide and note down the features to understand what to look out for when deciding on the best extractors to keep your work area clear of dust.