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6 Best Dust Extractors (2021 Review)

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The best dust extractor should have a powerful motor that can generate plenty of suction power. Mains-powered dust extractors should come with at least a 1,000 Watt motor and produce at least 50 litres/second of suction power. Cordless dust extractors are more versatile but less powerful and typically generate 20-30 litres/second of suction power.

A filter that can extract the finest dust particles is obviously a very important dust extractor feature – one that can trap a 0.5 micron particle is the standard to aim for.

The length of the hose can make a big difference when you are working with a dust extractor. Hose lengths can vary in size from less than 2 metres on a cordless machine to 3.5 metres on some mains-powered extractors. Check that there is a flexible hose storage solution.

Dust collection bins can also vary a lot in size  – from 10 litres on cordless models right up to 50 litres. Clear bins let you know exactly when to empty them.

Having a dust extractor that can deal with both wet and dry debris is obviously a big advantage. Spills and wet dust can be cleaned up in seconds.

If you are going to use a dust extractor in conjunction with a power tool make sure the extractor has a power tool adaptor. More sophisticated dust extractors feature a power take off function, where you can plug your power tool into the extractor, and it automatically turns it on when you’re cutting or sanding.

Don’t forget the accessories. These should include a selection of adaptors, tubes and nozzles, ideally stored “on-board”.

Fine dust particles aren’t just dirty, they can be harmful to your lungs as well. Combat the dust in your shop with the best dust extractor you can afford. Whether you go for a battery powered portable or a large shop vac, I’ve found the best ones available right now. Come and see what I’ve discovered…

What is the Best Dust Extractor For You?

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Comparing the Best Dust Extractors

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Motor Power
  • Capacity
  • Suction Power
  • Hose Length
  • Hose Width
  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Our score
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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Dust Extractors

Bosch Professional GAS 18V 10 L Cordless Wet/Dry Dust ExtractorBosch Professional GAS 18V 10 L Cordless Wet/Dry Dust Extractor

Best cordless dust extractor

Build Quality
Performance
Value For Money
Overall
5
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Bosch Professional GAS 18V 10 L Cordless Wet/Dry Dust Extractor Review

Specifications

  • Motor Power: Battery - 18V
  • Capacity: 10 ltrs
  • Suction Power: 34 ltrs/sec
  • Hose Length: 1.6m
  • Hose Width: 35mm
  • Weight: 4.7kg (excl battery)

Undoubtably one of the most trusted tool brands around, Bosch make some serious kit. Making up part of Bosch’s “Blue” line of professional level tools, the GAS 18V-10 L cordless dust extractor is nothing less than spectacular! It’s lightweight, has clever design features and packs a punch for a cordless extractor.

Weighing in at less than 5 kg and with a capacity of 10 litres, this is the sort of dust extractor that’s perfect for taking on the jobsite with you. There’s a handle on top for easy carrying, and I love the fact that you can store all the accessories onboard. There are no extra bits that don’t have a home and get lost in seconds.

The suction capability of this bagless dust extractor is impressive for a battery powered tool. It can produce up to 34 litres/second, which isn’t going to rival a corded extractor, but makes up for it with convenience. Bosch have included three separate extendable tubes, a crevice nozzle, and a floor nozzle to deal with dirt wherever you find it.

It’s a seriously robust and quality-feeling dust extraction kit. You could plug it into most tools using the non-proprietary shaped nozzle or attach the accessories and tidy up once you’re finished. I think this is one of the best dust extractor kits for the jobsite you can get.

Pros

  • This must be the most portable and user-friendly dust extractor on the market. You can carry it about in one hand and take it to where you need it. It’s easy to use as well.
  • Thanks to the wet and dry extraction capability, you can use this tool wherever you need it. It’s ideal for spills, or for dealing with wet dust that other vacuum systems can’t cope with.
  • The clear plastic dust collection bin means you can see exactly how much space is left to fill, and what you’ve just sucked up. It’s handy for a quick check of the filter condition as well.
  • There’s a handy elastic strap that keeps the flexible hose in place. It’s only a small feature but being able to keep the unit packed together saves a lot of time and effort in the long run.
  • Seeing as it’s lightweight, has a decent hose length and comes with a crevice tool, this is an ideal tool for your car. It’s going to be much easier to use than running cables out there!

Cons

  • Emptying this dust extractor is a messy process. There’s no bag to contain the dirt, so you need to be careful when getting rid of the waste.
  • Several users have complained that the filters get clogged too easily. They’re not too cheap either, so make sure you clean them regularly. It can become costly over time.
  • Don’t expect your batteries to last for a long time if you want to vacuum a carpet with this machine. Even with a 5.0 Ah battery installed, it’s going to run out of juice within 20 mins.
  • You need to bear in mind that this is a “naked” tool. It’s sold without a battery or charging station. Also, the Bosch Professional range of batteries aren’t compatible with their “green” DIY tools either.
BUY HERE →

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Ryobi R18PV-0 Cordless 18V Project VacRyobi R18PV-0 Cordless 18V Project Vac

Best lightweight dust extractor

Build Quality
Performance
Value For Money
Overall
4
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Ryobi R18PV-0 Cordless 18V Project Vac Review

Specifications

  • Motor Power: Battery - 18V
  • Capacity: 11 ltrs
  • Suction Power: 23 ltrs/sec
  • Hose Length: 1.8m
  • Hose Width: 40mm
  • Weight: 4.1kg (excl battery)

Famous for their excellent power sharing ONE+ technology, Japanese tool titans Ryobi know how to make one of the best cordless dust extractors on the market today. The R18PV-0 Cordless Project Vac is powered by the same 18V batteries that can run a Ryobi drill or even a lawnmower.

It’s a compact, square tool that is lightweight and easy to carry thanks to the large top handle. There’s onboard storage for a crevice tool and utility nozzle, and the flexible hose stows neatly away on top of the unit. It’s extremely lightweight for a dust extractor and can easily be carried with one hand to where it’s needed.

The hose length of 1.8 m is great. It’s long enough to reach a power tool on a bench like a mitre saw, but you can leave the extractor on the floor. It’s also transparent, so you can locate any blockages quickly and easily.

Opening the 11 litre bagless dust box is easy thanks to two tension latches. There’s a heavy duty gasket on the inside which helps to improve suction and makes this a useful wet and dry vacuum system. The filter inside the collection box is washable and replaceable, and there’s an automatic cut-off float in case you overfill the extractor.

This is a serious bit of kit that’s ideal if you’ve already bought in to Ryobi’s ONE+ battery system.

Pros

  • This is the best lightweight dust extractor I’ve come across. Compared with the Bosch 18V-10L, it’s nearly a kilogram lighter without a battery installed.
  • Ryobi have included a clever blower function. You simply turn around the utility nozzle in its holder and attach the flexible hose. You can now dust off as well as suck up!
  • If you use on of Ryobi’s huge 6.0 Ah batteries, you can expect to get around 25 minutes run time. That’s impressive compared with the Bosch 18V-10L’s maximum 20 minutes.
  • This is a wet and dry dust extractor. You don’t need to swap out filters to deal with either type of mess either. Just make sure it’s dried out before going from wet to dry.

Cons

  • The accessory holding clips are flimsy, and don’t hold the nozzles tight enough. For a dust extractor that’s designed to be on the move, it’s too easy to lose the nozzles!
  • Compared with the Bosch 18V-10L, you don’t get a rigid set of tubes for turning it into a standard vacuum cleaner. You’ll need to get on your hands and knees for every cleaning job.
  • The air flow is low, even for a battery operated dust extractor. With just 23 litres/second, it’s not going to pick up big chunks of dirt.
  • When you don’t have a battery installed, the port is open to the elements. It doesn’t have a dust cover, which is quite important when dealing with dirty environments.
  • There’s nowhere to stow away the accessory adapter! It’s a vital bit of kit that you wouldn’t want to lose, so it’s annoying that the machine lacks a clip or holder.
BUY HERE →

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Makita VC2012L L Class Wet and Dry 20L Dust Extractor Makita VC2012L L Class Wet and Dry 20L Dust Extractor

Best for use with power tools

Build Quality
Performance
Value For Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
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Makita VC2012L L Class Wet and Dry 20L Dust Extractor Review

Specifications

  • Motor Power: Mains - 1,000W
  • Capacity: 20 ltrs
  • Suction Power: 60 ltrs/sec
  • Hose Length: 3.5m
  • Hose Width: 35mm
  • Weight: 8.0kg

My personal favourite tool brand, Makita, have been making top notch tools since 1915. They’ve also produced one of the best shop vacs, the VC2012L 20 litre dust extractor. It’s powerful, easy to maintain, and has a power take off function as well.

Firstly, the build quality is what you’d expect from Makita. It’s a sturdy dust extractor that sits on a pair of large wheels at the back and swivelling casters on the front. It makes it easy to move around and can bump over floor debris without any issues.

The extremely long 3.5 m hose is ideal and means you can drill over your head and still reach up with the extractor. The 1,000 Watt motor is powerful and produces up to 60 litres/second of suction power at the business end. It’s also rated to deal with wet and dry mess, without needing to change the filter.

You get a floor nozzle and crevice nozzle included with the set, as well as three adaptors for fitting it to a wide range of equipment. It’s here that the power take off (PTO) feature comes into its own. You can plug your power tool into the extractor, and it automatically turns it on when you’re cutting or sanding. Brilliant!

Pros

  • There’s an awesome amount of suction that comes from the big 1,000 Watt motor. Compared with the Lumberjack BDE1200, you get more power with a smaller motor!
  • It’s the best lightweight corded dust extractor that I’ve tried out. Weighing just 8 kg, it’s easy to move around and compared with the Festool 574830 it’s 3.2 kg lighter.
  • This extractor comes with a heavy duty PET filter. It features a clever Push and Clean semi-automatic filter cleaning system. Removing dust from the filter is a piece of cake.
  • The stainless steel dust collection tank is robust and ready for hard work. Compared with the plastic collection box on the Ryobi R18PV-0, it’s going to last for a lot longer.

Cons

  • Several users have complained about the quality of the accessories. They’re made of a slightly brittle plastic that is prone to snapping if you’re not careful. It’s a shame.
  • This is a Class L extractor. It’s only designed for dust > 1 mg/m³. It’s not meant to pick up fine particles like MDF or other tiny airborne debris.
  • Be aware that the PTO function won’t work with cordless power tools. You need to run a power cable into the dust extractor for it to know when to switch on.
  • You can’t retract the long power cord into the body of the dust extractor. It sits on top of the unit and is secured by a strap. It’s not the ideal way to store a cord if you ask me.
BUY HERE →

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Lumberjack BDE1200 Dust Extractor Collector 50L Bucket Shape Lumberjack BDE1200 Dust Extractor Collector 50L Bucket Shape

Best for capacity

Build Quality
Performance
Value For Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
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Lumberjack BDE1200 Dust Extractor Collector 50L Bucket Shape Review

Specifications

  • Motor Power: Mains - 1,200W
  • Capacity: 50 ltrs
  • Suction Power: 51 ltrs/sec
  • Hose Length: 2.0m
  • Hose Width: 100mm
  • Weight: 10.5kg

The good people at Wolverhampton’s Lumberjack make all sorts of useful woodworking tools. Their BDE1200 bucket shape dust extractor is a heavy duty and powerful shop vac. It’s ideal for DIYers as well as professional woodworkers. It’s got a massive motor and a high volume extendable hose.

It’s designed to sit comfortably under a workbench or in the corner of your shed without taking up too much space. The big 50 litre capacity steel collection bin is big enough for most jobs without having to empty it every ten minutes and comes with a big filter cartridge.

The powerful 1,200 Watt motor pairs up with the large 100 mm diameter dust extraction hose to create a formidable vacuum system for your power tools. There’s a terrific amount of suction created, up to 51 litres/second, that should get rid of all the dust you can create!

Weighing in at a mere 10.5 kg, it’s not too heavy to move around when you need to, but there aren’t any wheels to make it easier. One thing I really like is the five different diameter adapters that come with it. It means you can fit this dust extractor to almost any power tool or accessory available.

Pros

  • The BDE1200 has a simple and effective design. It’s easy to empty out, clean the filter, and attach to different tools. Compared with the Makita VC2012L/2, it’s a lot cheaper too!
  • The adaptor set included with the vacuum makes this an incredibly versatile bit of kit. It will fit to most brands of power tool and other vacuum cleaner accessories.
  • The huge 100 mm diameter vacuum hose is tough enough for use in a busy workshop. It’s heavy duty but still flexible enough to get to where you need it.
  • The 2.5 m power cable length is generous. When you add the length of the flexible hose, you get an impressive 4.5 m of stretch. More than enough for most jobs.

Cons

  • Compared with the Makita VC2012L/2, this dust extractor doesn’t come with power take off. You need to manually switch it on and off when using with a power tool.
  • The 1,200 Watt motor is powerful, but it’s also very loud. If noise levels are an issue, then it might be too noisy for you.
  • There’s no fill level indicator on the extraction drum. Checking the fill level often can be a pain, and if left to fill up it can block the entire vacuum hose as well as the drum.
  • The metal band that creates a tight seal around the top of the drum can be a pain to fit. It’s not the easiest to get into place, and if it gets damaged it won’t seal properly.
BUY HERE →

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Record Power DX1000 Fine Filter 45L Dust ExtractorRecord Power DX1000 Fine Filter 45L Dust Extractor

Best for fine dust extraction

Build Quality
Performance
Value For Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
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Record Power DX1000 Fine Filter 45L Dust Extractor Review

Specifications

  • Motor Power: Mains - 1,200W
  • Capacity: 45 ltrs
  • Suction Power: 53 ltrs/sec
  • Hose Length: 2.0m
  • Hose Width: 100mm
  • Weight: 11.0kg

One of the better known names in British woodworking tools, Record Power have a fine reputation for making solid tools and accessories. They’ve also got more than a century of experience, so they should know how to make one of the best dust extractors in the business. I’m glad to say the DX1000 doesn’t disappoint.

First off, this is a powerful machine. There’s a 1,200 Watt motor under the bonnet that pulls up to 53 litres/second through the wide gauge 100 mm flexible hose. It’s the perfect dust extractor setup for a home workshop. You can easily stow it under a workbench but it’s still light enough to carry around at just 11 kg in weight.

You get 2 m of flexible hose that clamps onto the dust extractor with a jubilee clip, and another one for attaching to the dust port on a power tool. There aren’t any vacuum cleaner accessories included, but this is designed to keep the dust out of your shop, not to clean it up afterwards.

Pros

  • You get a serious amount of suction from the combination of a powerful 1,200 Watt motor and wide 100 mm extractor hose. It’ll keep the dust from settling in your workshop.
  • The filter is designed to filter all the way down to 0.5 microns. Compared with the Makita VC2012L, it can deal with much finer dust.
  • The 45 litre collection tank is a good size for most DIYers and even professional woodworkers. You shouldn’t need to empty it too often.

Cons

  • Several users have complained about the noise this extractor makes. It’s not a quiet machine, so make sure you have a good relationship with your neighbours!
  • You don’t get any accessories or adapters to fit on the end of the hose. You get jubilee clips, but nothing to reduce the size of the hose to fit power tools.
  • Some users have complained that this dust extractor gets hot during use. If you plan on using a dust extractor for long periods of time, make sure it’s not overheating.
BUY HERE →

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Festool CLEANTEC CT 15 E Mobile Dust Extractor Festool CLEANTEC CT 15 E Mobile Dust Extractor

Best wet and dry dust extractor

Build Quality
Performance
Value For Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
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Festool CLEANTEC CT 15 E Mobile Dust Extractor Review

Specifications

  • Motor Power: Mains - 1,200W
  • Capacity: 15 ltrs
  • Suction Power: 62 ltrs/sec
  • Hose Length: 3.5m
  • Hose Width: 32mm
  • Weight: 11.2kg

High end German tool brand Festool are famous for their woodworking tools and have been making some of the best ones for close to a century. The CT 15 E Mobile Dust Extractor is one of the best performing jobsite extractors with power throw off. It’ll impress your woodworking friends as well.

This is a feature-packed dust extractor that can be rolled to precisely where you need it. The fixed rear wheels can bump over debris on the floor, and the front casters make it easy to drag around in “normal” vacuuming mode. Thanks to a super long 3.5 m flexible hose, you can reach to just about anywhere without lifting the unit it.

It comes with a pair of accessories, an upholstery nozzle and a crevice nozzle for those hard-to-hit spots. Seeing as the 15 litre capacity dust collection box is wet and dry dust compatible, you can use it to pick up all sorts of stuff on the jobsite.

The real standout feature of this dust extractor is the power take off capability. If you plug in a power tool like a jigsaw or chop saw, the extractor automatically turns on with the tool. That way you can save your ears and a bit of electricity at the same time.

Pros

  • You can change up the power settings with the handy touchscreen controls. There are five power levels to choose from, as well as manual mode to stop the PTO kicking in.
  • The big 1,200 Watt motor puts out an incredibly 62 litres/second of suction power. Compared with the Lumberjack BDE1200, it’s more portable and incredibly strong.
  • The filter pulls out directly from the body of the extractor. You don’t even need to open the dust collection box to inspect, clean or replace it. It’ll save time and effort in the long run.
  • The top of the dust extractor is flat and comes with space to store all the accessories out of the way. There’s also space for the cord, which is great compared with the Makita VC2012L.
  • You can switch round this vacuum to turn it into an effective and powerful dust blower.

Cons

  • Even though this is an entry level Festool dust extractor, it’s still more expensive than most of the tools on my list. Unless you’re a serious DIYer, it’s hard to justify this sort of spend.
  • The 15 litre capacity is nothing compared with the huge drums of the Lumberjack BDE1200 or Record Power DX1000. Be prepared to empty the dust bag often.
  • This is a bagged dust extractor. It will keep the filter clean, but you need to factor in the cost of replacements. Being Festool, the dust bags aren’t exactly cheap either.
  • If you want to use this extractor with any cordless tools, you can’t use the PTO function. Festool have a range of Bluetooth enabled tools and an extractor to get round this though.
BUY HERE →

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Things to Know Before Buying a Dust Extractor

Motor Capacity

The motor capacity, normally measured in watts, affects the performance of your dust extractor. The higher the capacity the more efficient and effective your dust extractor will be.

Sometimes high powered dust extraction systems come with different speed settings. This can be useful if you don’t always need full power as you can run the machine on a lower setting to reduce noise and electricity consumption.

Dust Box Capacity

The larger the dust box capacity the longer you will be able to use you dust extractor without having to empty it. This means you can keep working and not have to stop to empty the dust box midway through a task, saving you time and energy.

The speed at which the dust box fills up depends on the type of machinery you are using. A sander that creates fine particles will not fill up the dust extractor box as fast as, for example, a planer thicknesser that produces larger wood chips.

HEPA or PET Filter Extractor for Fine Dust Collection

If your dust extractor is fitted with a HEPA or PET filter it will catch most air borne micro particles that might be produced by your machine. These fine-tuned filters can catch incredibly small particles saving you from breathing them in. They do however require more maintenance as they must be cleaned more often, but the added filtration is a definite benefit for your health, so it is surely worth it!

Low Noise Levels

The workshop is already a noisy place so you don’t want to add excessive noise with your dust extractor. It’s well worth investing in a quieter home workshop dust extraction system if you can.

Dust extractors with auto settings also reduce overall noise levels produced in the workshop because they only work when your machines are powered on.

Portability

If you intend to use your dust extractor with multiple machines, it helps to have a lightweight, portable dust extractor as this makes the task of repositioning your dust extractor much easier.

Hose Length & Diameter

The hose length you require depends on your home workshop needs. Some machines have the dust extractor outlet quite high up from the floor, so you need enough length to reach those ports. Hose diameter is also a consideration although dust extractors often come with converters to ensure they fit multiple outlets. If they don’t, these can be purchased separately.

However, the longer and wider the pipe the more suction will be lost, so don’t buy a hose that is longer than your requirements.

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Dust Extractor FAQ's

Why do I need a dust extractor?

Dust extractors are an important machine in the workshop. Workshop dust extractors help maintain your own health and the health of your machinery. When cutting or sanding, fine particles will be produced. If you don’t extract these particles efficiently and you are a regular workshop user, breathing them in will damage your health. They will also degrade your machines by infiltrating their mechanical and electronic components and negatively affect their performance.

A dust extraction system also helps to keep your workshop clean and tidy, making it an easier, safer and more pleasant place to work. When you come to the finishing touches of your project, like oiling or varnishing wood, having a clean dust free environment is going to greatly improve the finish of your workpiece.

How does a dust extractor work?

Dust extractors work by creating a high-pressure airflow that travels at low velocity. This extracts particles from the air. The particles are then stored in a dust box inside the machine for later disposal. The more sophisticated dust extraction systems contain filters that trap even the finest particles and prevent them from escaping into the air.

Dust extractors can be attached to ports on power tools or machinery, or positioned with flexible hoses to collect dust as it is created.

What size dust extractor do I need?

The size of dust extractor you need depends on a few factors. If you are going to pipe your dust extractor to multiple machines you will need a large extractor that can cope with the loss of suction that extended pipe lengths create.

A more common approach is to simply move your dust extractor between machines so you won’t need to spend so much on your workshop dust extractor and piping solution.

Positioning the dust extractor as close to the machine as possible will ensure suction is not lost as the air flow passes through piping and bends.

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