Taming the relentless dance of swirling sawdust and reclaiming your woodworking haven from the clutches of airborne particles requires a trusty companion by your side: a shop dust collector. In this article, we are going to be exploring the top 5 dust collectors for routers. These shop dust extractors come in various capacities, horsepower, and styles, such as wall mounted, portable, industrial, etc. We will be looking at the best options for each sub-category and also reveal the best overall option for your shop. So are you ready to find out more about the best dust collector for your router and other woodworking tools? Let’s go.
What To Look for in the Best Shop Dust Collector For Your Router
Most dust collectors will come with 4” hoses that will fit all standard routers and router tables. If you don’t already have an attachment for your router table, you will need to buy one that fits your tool. Once you have that, any dust collector on this list will be a good fit for you. So now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s take a quick look at the major factors of what to look for in dust collectors and extractors.
Airflow and suction power: A dust collector’s ability to effectively capture and remove dust depends on its airflow and suction power. This depends on the design and the motor power, which is usually expressed in HP (horsepower). The more powerful the motor, the stronger the suction and airflow.
Filtration system: The filtration system is essential for removing fine particles and maintaining clean air in your shop. Consider a dust collector with a two-stage filtration system consisting of a primary filter to capture large particles and a secondary filter (such as a high-quality pleated filter or a HEPA filter) to capture smaller particles. A cyclone separator such as this popular model will also be a good addition to your setup.
Dust collection capacity: The dust collector’s storage capacity should match your woodworking needs. Consider the size of your shop, the frequency of woodworking activities, and the amount of dust generated to determine the right capacity.
Noise level: Woodworking can be a noisy activity, so selecting a dust collector with a low noise level is beneficial for a more comfortable working environment. There are DIY hacks for this also. Let us know in the comments if you want us to cover this topic.
Ease of maintenance: You need to clean the tool that cleans your shop. So look for one that is easy to clean and maintain. Features like quick-release mechanisms, accessible filter compartments, and clear collection bags or canisters make maintenance more convenient.
Safety features: Ensure the dust collector has safety features such as spark arrestors or fire-resistant construction to minimize the risk of fire or explosion in the presence of wood dust.
Portability and space requirements: Consider the portability of the dust collector if you have a small shop or need to move it around. Having a wall-mounted model may also be a good option for some.
Now that you know more about what to look for in a Dust Collector, let’s look at the top 5 dust collector models in the market right now.
Best Overall Shop Dust Collector:
WEN DC3401 5.7-Amp 660 CFM Rolling Dust Collector with 12-Gallon Bag and Optional Wall Mount
This one has it all. The WEN DC3401 Dust Collector comes with a 5.7-amp brushed motor and 6-inch impeller, effortlessly moving up to 660 cubic feet of air per minute. The 4-inch dust port provides seamless connectivity to all your woodworking tools. Its compact design, measuring 34.25 x 13 x 14.2 inches and weighing only 17 pounds, is complemented by an onboard carrying handle, making storage and transportation a breeze. This versatile dust collector offers lockable swivel casters for mobility, an optional wall mount for space-saving convenience, and a 12-gallon 5-micron zippered collection bag for efficient debris containment. Backed by a reliable two-year warranty, the WEN DC3401 is an exceptional choice for any woodworking enthusiast.
The price is extremely affordable, making it the most frequently bought dust collector at the moment. It is ideal for smaller shops with lighter loads.
Best Midrange Shop Dust Collector:
Shop Fox W1727-1 HP Dust Collector
This is one for those with a higher budget for better performance. The Shop Fox W1727 comes with an aluminum-finned TEFC 1HP motor for greater efficiency and lifespan and features an 800 CFM suction capacity. It can maintain a static pressure of 5.67inches, which is enough for most shops. The 2.1 cubic feet storage bag has a quick release for easy removal and is coupled with a 2.5 micron fine filter and a 9inch impeller. It has caster wheels for portability and a total height with the bags inflated of 54-1/2 inches. There are no wall mounting options on this one.
This is a great middle ground between the smaller compact units and the larger 1200 CFM units that take up a lot of space.
Best Compact Wall Mounted Dust Collector:
POWERTEC DC5370 Wall Mounted Dust Collector
The POWERTEC DC5370 is a compact dust extractor that is ideal for small shops where space it at a premium. Rated at just 537 CFM, this is not the most powerful dust collector but this extractor is designed to be the most compact model possible without losing functionality. This is definitely smallest model on this list. Measuring at just 44 inches with the bag inflated, it will fit in almost anywhere. It comes with a reusable 2.5-micron dust bag and a 1-micron filter.
It can also be a great option as an additional extractor for larger shops where there is need for a dedicated dust collector for a tool that is frequently in use. It is affordable and compact enough to fit this role perfectly.
Best HEPA Compliant Dust Collector:
Festool 574837 Ct Midi
As we move up the budget range, we start to get options with a lot of additional bells and whistles. The Festool 574837 has a convenient touch feature for ease of use. It is Bluetooth enabled, allowing automatic activation via Bluetooth battery packs or a remote control, so you won’t have to start it manually. The unit includes a Sys-dock with T-Loc for quick connection of sustainers. Transporting the smooth suction hose is safe and clean, thanks to the internal hose holder. With its conical design, the suction hose ensures high suction power and smooth operation. The dust extractor has a container capacity of 3.9 gallons, which is a lot smaller than some of the other popular options. It also has only 130 CFM of suction.
However, the HEPA compliance and smart features definitely make up for the few shortcomings there are. This is ideal for shops that need a very clean environment and seamless operation.
Best High Capacity Dust Collector:
JET DC-1100VX-CK Vortex Cone Dust Collector
The JET DC-1100VX-CK is a 1100 CFM capacity dust extractor that is fit for larger shops that are looking for an affordable option to keep their floors and air clean. It is rated for continuous operation, the permanently lubricated, fan-cooled motors ensure this. It comes with easy to use quick-connect collection bags with elastic bands. The unit emits just 70-80 dB of noise, which is pretty quite given its power. Its Vortex Cone Technology enhances chip separation and optimizes collector bag packing efficiency. Portability is easy with four casters. Furthermore, JET stands behind their product with the Red Assurance Guarantee, offering an impressive five-year warranty.
This one is great for professional shops with higher workloads and longer duty hours.
We hope this article helped you find the best dust collector for your router and other tools. If you liked any of the tools here, you can click the links provided to make your purchase. You still get the best deal online while we get a small commission that helps us create more free content like this.