Best Power Tool Dust Extractor
Best power tool dust extractor on the market in the UK (August 2020).
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Dust Extractors: A Buyer’s Guide
Working with any kind of power tool carries its potential hazards. It is always worth wearing protective eyewear, for example, if you are using drills or saws. If you are a keen DIYer or if you run your own workshop, you will probably already know how to manage your own health and safety. But what happens if you are working with hazardous dust? In these circumstances, you are going to need to invest in a dust extractor for use while you are working.
But what is hazardous dust? Believe it or not, there are dust particles which can actually cause a lot of damage. Some building and construction materials can disperse tiny particles of dust which can cause lung damage when breathed in. These particles split into various size classes, which is also useful to bear in mind when buying the best extractor for your projects. Asbestos, for example, can settle in your lungs and may cause cell necrosis if breathed in. Therefore, it makes sense to remove dust at the source wherever possible.
But where do you start when it comes to buying the best dust extractor for your needs. Your needs and wants will, of course, depend on the material you are working with and the tools you are using. However, things can get a little more in-depth than this, which means it’s worth exploring some of the various features and factors of dust extractors which separate the more expensive options from the cheaper models.
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know. What’s more, we will offer you a few frequently asked questions to help you on your way while shopping. Read on to learn more!
Why Buy a Dust Extractor?
As mentioned, some material, from wood to stone, can generate very fine dust. When breathed in, this can settle in your lungs and can cause breathing problems. The more you breathe in over time, the worse the problems could get. It is a good start to wear goggles and face masks when working with any power tools. However, simply ventilating your surroundings and protecting your face often isn’t going to be enough. It is often better to be safe than to be sorry!
Dust extractors can also help to clean up. One of the biggest aggravations of working with power tools is that dust and debris dispersal can be a real pain to get rid of. A dust extractor will remove debris on-sight, which means less clean-up for you at the end of the project. This, of course, also means that you will get through tasks and projects quicker. There’s also the benefit of being able to see more clearly. Dust can really get in the way of your vision, which is of course going make things even less safe when you are midway through your project.
You may feel that a dust extractor is just another piece of kit which isn’t always going to be necessary. However, when it comes to your health, it stands to reason that you should never take any risks or chances.
Things to Consider and Compare
There are various classes of dust extractor available, and what’s more, they all come fitted with a variety of different functions and features. Before diving right in and buying a generic extractor or vacuum, make sure to read the following tips to narrow down your choice.
Dust Extractor Classes
Hazardous dust splits up into three classes – L, M and H. L extractors are suitable for the largest particles and are generally useful when working with softer woods. These tend to be entry-level choices for most people.
However, it is generally recommended that you look for an M system if you are unsure. M class dust can disperse from most concrete and woods, and these vacuums and extractors will help to remove mid-range particles.
H systems, however, will work hardest. These systems suck up and remove the most dangerous dust in the air – that is, those particles which are microscopic, and which can settle deeply into your lungs. This means if you are working with any metals or anything likely to generate bacteria or spores, you should head straight for an H-class system.
Bag or No Bag
Another similarity that dust extractors share with vacuum cleaners is, of course, the presence of a bag. However, some systems are bagless, which can make things easier to manage and manoeuvre. However, the more advanced the technology you handle, the more likely you are going to need to invest extra cash.
Noise, of course, is going to be a factor if you are working from home. You don’t want to upset the neighbours too much if you need to extract a lot of dust when working regularly! However, don’t always be so ready to trust product marketing. You are going to need to check buyer reviews, whether written or, even better, in video form. If you can see a dust extractor working, you should be able to get a feel for how loud it can be. Otherwise, check the decibel ratings provided.
The purpose of a dust extractor is not only to remove dust on-sight, but to retain it so that it can be safely disposed of. Therefore, you should look for systems with large capacities, if you are opting for a bagged system. This may vary, however, depending on the scale of job you are likely to undertake. It’s worth comparing different systems, and, of course, to read what other buyers have had to say.
Filters and Cleaning
All dust extractors, much like vacuum cleaners, have filters. Some of the cheapest models will have filters that will need cleaning regularly. If you are willing to invest a little more money, you can find extractors which will clean their filters as they go along. This can be hugely beneficial, as it means you won’t have to keep stopping and starting as you go along. This feature is often referred to as autoclean, so make sure to look out for it when you are shopping around.
Most dust extractors will also come with a variety of different tools and accessories. The accessories that appeal to you, of course, will be those which are relevant to your work. For example, you could benefit from extension arms, shaped nozzles or brushes. You won’t generally need to pay more for these accessories; however, it is always worth keeping an open mind. You may find that you can get a bargain extractor with lots of tools and features attached!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you work with power tools a lot but are unsure what to look for in terms of dust extraction, don’t worry. The market can be quite tricky to navigate at first! Here are a few commonly asked queries that people buying dust extractors are likely to pose while shopping.
How Do I Know Which Dust Class Extractor I Need?
It is never a good idea to just guess which dust class you’ll be working with. Therefore, always make sure to consult online guides based on the materials you are using. Do check product marketing and descriptions, too, as well as what people have to say about various products. If all else fails, do make sure to contact a seller or manufacturer you are set to buy from. It pays to make sure that you are buying a product which is guaranteed to be safe for you to use.
Can Dust Extractors Be Fitted to Power Tools?
In some cases, yes. Some power tools can fit to dust extractors, which will of course help to make clearing up more efficient and precise. However, there are plenty of standalone models which are easy to move around, and which can often be more powerful in sucking up stacks of dust.
Can Dust Really Harm Me?
Yes. The smaller the dust particles, the more harmful they can be to your health. Even sawing or drilling into wood can disperse harmful particles which, when breathed in, can settle in your lungs. When this happens, you are at risk of developing long term conditions and even chronic diseases. It is always best never to risk such things in the first place!
How Much Do Dust Extractors Cost?
The price of dust extraction will vary, of course, depending on how much flexibility and power you need. You can pay as little as £60-£80 for some extraction units, however, you may need to pay more than £100-£200 for the best models, and for those which are most likely to capture the finest particles. There shouldn’t ever be a price limit on your own health and safety!
Dust extraction is no longer just an add-on for most power tools. It is always a good idea to have some form of dust extraction to hand for safety purposes. Take a careful look through what is available online, and always be ready to ask an expert for help and advice on the best choices for your needs!