Dust Boot Bake Off

I finally got around to benchmarking the performance of some of the top dust boots. I often see people ask “What’s the best dust boot?”. It’s not perfect, or exhaustive, but it does a fair comparison of the performance of three.


Bravo Adam! I admire your work, both designing and testing. Not many others would go into such detail.

1 Like

Well done! I’m really glad someone finally undertook this type of testing.

All I would like to see is a Nighthawk that utilizes Z-Axis-Independent (Suckit) arms instead of mounting directly to the spindle. Ideally, it would be a front-mounted, Suckit-style dust boot that accepts a 4" hose and allows an 80mm spindle to pass through.

1 Like

Thank you for the encouragement.

Why do you prefer a front mount dust boot? I’ve only considered the drawbacks of interfering with accessory mount on the front of the spindle mount and possibly crashing into the G3 when in the home position. What are the positives?

Adam, I have tried several dust boots for my Onefinity Woodworker Elite (and BB version before upgrade). After my upgrade to Elite, I moved to the V10 of PwnCNC’s dustboots. I like it well enough; but, was very frustrated that I had to pull it off every time I wanted to use my laser.

I finally found one that I think is worth crowing about.

I recently purchased a dust boot from Cavalierdesignand3D on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/listing/1676573659/80-mm-spindle-dust-boot-the-80-gadouble?ref=yr_purchases). Casey has, IMHO, knocked the ball out of the park. His design is mounted to the spindle to ensure proper height during use, moves the hose connection to the top to get it out of the way, and most importantly allows me to still connect my JTech laser in front…something I’ve not been able to do before.

You should add this one to your review.


1 Like

I have a prototype of a boot like that also. I’m not in love with it yet though. I think it needs to be a fixed Z boot. Variable Z boots can be problematic when you’re cutting thick stock, and if you’re just engraving, you don’t need variable height for a single job anyway. I do see how it can be save some adjustment if you’re just engraving, but you often engrave stock of different heights. It’s definitely a front mount design that overcomes the accessory interference issue. I don’t see how it’s possible that it could have the suction power of the Big Suck or the Nighthawk though.

Hey Adam,

this is not the first time that I see someone trying to measure a dust collector’s air flow and/or trying to compare dust collection systems with an anemometer. But this is not the right tool for that. Neither it measures the air flow and pressure inside the system (it only measures the so-called ‘short-circuit’ air flow at the open end of a hose), nor is it free of being an obstacle itself, therefore falsifying the result.

What you would need, is a → pitot tube.

In industry, the flow velocities being measured are often those flowing in ducts and tubing where measurements by an anemometer would be difficult to obtain. In these kinds of measurements, the most practical instrument to use is the pitot tube. The pitot tube can be inserted through a small hole in the duct with the pitot connected to a U-tube water gauge or some other differential pressure gauge for determining the flow velocity inside the ducted wind tunnel. One use of this technique is to determine the volume of air that is being delivered to a conditioned space.

Source: Pitot tube – Wikipedia

Image: A pitot tube. Its use is demonstrated by this friendly gentleman.
Video: Measuring Dust Collection Airflow – Woodworkers Journal

Really like your 3D printing projects!


Because a large portion of the carvings that I make are done on stock that is in the range of 2-3 inches thick, I cannot use a Big Suck or v9 boot on any sort of regular basis because I simply need every inch of Z-axis clearance I can get. Granted, both your boot and the v9 only take up about an inch of space, but when you add the length of the brushes, this is just too much for me to give up.

I understand there is at least one (paid) option to increase Onefinity Z-axis height, but without that product being made out of metal, just as the factory mounts are made from, I do not want to compromise the rigidity of the machine.

As silly as it sounds, one of the reasons I purchased a Onefinity is because of the Z-axis independent dust boot. Having started with a 3020 CNC which has a spindle-mounted dust boot, I was constantly having the brushes collapse into the bit, and causing significant resistive force during carving. I think the whole independent dust boot system is such a brilliant idea.

And, with the stock Suckit dust boot having too much restrictive airflow (which I can get into the details if needed), all I have ever been looking for is a simple dust boot that accepts a 4" hose and does not restrict airflow with sloped or angled throats like the stock boot. I have even been considering, out of frustration, just going out to Etsy and paying someone skilled enough with 3D modeling to redesign the stock Suckit boot to these specs.

I understand front-loaded dust boots interfere with accessories (e.g., laser), but not only do I not have, and probably won’t have, these accessories, but simply switching to something like the v9 or Big Suck would obviously be simple enough and more than warranted.

1 Like

Which machine do you have? Which holes are you mounting your Z slider on? I regularly cut 2-3" stock with this setup and no issues with clearance. I’m on a Foreman and I use the bottom holes, so I have the max clearance. The only time I run into z clearance issues is when I’m using the rotary.

If you want someone to make you a custom dust boot, I’m interested in doing that. I’d just charge what I’d charge for a that boot, and I’d sell it to others as well. PM me if you’re interested.

I appreciate the feedback and the education!

How are you suggesting using this method of measuring airflow for this application? Measuring from inside the flex hose doesn’t work in this case. If we did that, it would include the air pulled in from above the boot in the case of the v9 or Big Suck. That would favor those boots unfairly since that airflow isn’t working to lift chips.

Hey Adam,

what you can measure and compare with a pitot tube is the extent with which different bust boots influence the airflow (and much more reliably than measuring the short-circuit air flow at the open end of a hose with an anemometer). It can also serve to measure and compare different dust collection systems and different hoses / tubes systems.

I think if you want to measure what you and all of us are interested in, namely how well a dust boot captures all wood dust, more factors influence the result, but if you want to compare dust boots, it would be important here, that the conditions are all the same. Just as household vacuum cleaners are subjected to standardized tests, the parameters should be the same for all dust boots to be tested: The size, quantity, and the composition of the wood dust and shavings, the distance between the material to be vacuumed, and the amount of outside air that is sucked in between (and of course the vacuum system itself and its hose should be the same for all tests). This is difficult simply because Dust Boots are designed very differently. In addition, depending on whether the dust boot remains stationary when the height of the toolpath changes, or moves up and down with the spindle, this would result in completely different amounts of foreign air intake.

You can also simply build a Dust Boot in such a way that certain negative effects are avoided, such as sucking in external air. That is what you have done. In this case, the Dust Boot is no longer really comparable with a Dust Boot that is designed completely differently, because you may not be able to set up the same test conditions, simply because the Dust Boot is designed differently.

I think that in order to compare Dust Boots, one should conceive a series of standardizable test setups, with a defined amount and composition of wood dust and chips, and an arrangement of dust boot, material to be sucked in and workpiece surface, in which the foreign air intake that are similar to conditions that occur practically in everyday life.

The results of such tests would then be obtained by analyzing the test material that was not aspirated.

1 Like

I have an X35 Woodworker. As shown, I also have the slider mounted on the bottom holes as well as the spindle somewhat abnormally higher in the bracket for when using a 1/4" or 3/8" bit. In fact I have the spindle so high up in the bracket that I can’t zero off the machine bed when using anything less than a 1/4" end mill (or an 1/8" bit sticking out a lot), because of the soft limits, and I’m using a 0.6-inch tall probing block.

From the photos, my latest project is x3 surface glued pieces reaching just a tad over 3 inches and the brush strip is nowhere near clearing. The test piece in the foreground is a jewelry box that is about 1.5-1.75 inches tall and is about the max for comfortably fitting the v9 boot.

Let me gather my thoughts and will ping you soon.



Thanks for that. Will you be providing STL files or plans for your BigSuck?

Absolutely. Here’s a link to that listing: Big Suck Dust Boot (MAKER FILES) – Ugly Dog Woodshop

1 Like

Just out of curiosity why did you install the brushes backwards on the nighthawk? 3:44 mark shows it backwards should be flush other than that nice video

That was a mistake. I wish that brush would only go on one way, to prevent that from happening.

1 Like

I’m in the process of upgrading from a Makita router to an 80mm spindle. Once I get it installed I will be redesigning my 4" front mount dust boot that attaches separately from the spindle.