Dust collection options. Help

So, I have a 6hp shop vacuum and a HarborFreight dust collector. I have my Journeyman and a mobile table with saws in it. Which system do yall recommend I use for which tool set?

Should I use the shop vac with the CNC a,d the dust collector on my mobile cart/table for all the other saws? Or should i dedicate the Dust collector to the CNC and use the shop vac on the mobile cart/table for tools?

Is one system better at collecting dust for a specific type of tool?

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For me, the deciding factor would come down to noise due to the location of my cnc. I would probably put the less obnoxious system on the cnc as it’s likely to be the one running lengthy jobs and use the shop vac, which itself is mobile, with the mobile table.

I’m also biased. I’d give the onefinity the best and let the other tools have what’s left.

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Generally dust collectors are better designed for running long durations and may employ a brushless motor with a longer service life than a shop vac… Without knowing the specifics of what shop vac you have it is something to consider.

Dust collectors work more on volume of air moved so having the least amount of restriction in the hoses and dust shoe will be more important than a shop vac which usually works on speed of the air flow.

The other thing I’d think about is the storage capacity of each option, I have no issue filling up a 55 gallon drum of chips from the Onefinity in a weekend. If you plan for long carves with a smaller-ish capacity shop vac you might consider a cyclone separator and a external can.

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If possible, Plumb it so you can use the dust collector for both. Shop vacs are obnoxiously loud for any extended period of time and aren’t meant for that.

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That shop vac will drive you nuts. If you’re wanting something of similar size get the Fein turbo which is only 67 decibels.

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I have my Onefinity hooked up to a Festool extractor with a Dust Deputy in between. Great combo! The Festool is much quieter than my 1 1/2 hp dust collector. This also allows me to keep full suction on the dust collector for my other tools.

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Throw some MDF in there.

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Hey Auntjemimma,

right, but that’s not fair :slight_smile:. With MDF, the wood has already been plucked into splinters before it is even made! :slight_smile:

Paul @paulmcevoy75 is so right, if you produce shavings, then you know that you have adjusted your cutter speed very well.

Hey Paul,

you are so right, if you produce shavings, then you know that you have adjusted your cutter speed very well.

However there is still wood dust produced, even if it is not the mass and especially because it may not visible, I would be careful, over time, it is harmful, I would use a dust collector in every case.

A solution for noise could be to put it into another room. That’s what I intend to do.

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This is proof that an Oneida cyclone and a 2.5 micron bag will not contain mdf dust. This accumulated just from flattening my spoilboard and 1 small carving job

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Hey Max,

Thanks for sharing! Yes, that is clear. From what I learned early on, a dust bag filter is never suitable for filtering out fine wood dust. It is also not only relevant how fine in µm (“micron”) the holes in the filter are, but much more how large the amount of dust per air volume, and in contrast, how large the filter area is.

If you have too much dust per air volume, for which the total area of the holes in the filter is too small, then the indication of microns is not much use to you, the filter must also pass the amount of air and at the same time retain the existing large amount of dust. Of course, this does not work well with a dust bag filter which has a small area, when there is a large amount of dust per air volume, because in no time, it is clogged, and if the motor is strong enough, it will push the air through the holes anyway, thereby enlarging the holes of the canvas.

Dust classes

Here where I live the dust bag filters are always classified as dust class “L” (I’m attaching a table below that lists the dust classes).

A cartridge with pleated filter has a much larger filtering area and that’s why it clogs up much later. They usually have dust class “M” not only because of the finer filter material structure, but also because of the larger surface area that can filter out larger amounts of dust per air volume before they are clogged. Also they often provide a manual mechanism to clean the filter when it’s clogged (that works like shown here).

When one plans to mill wood (and especially MDF), I would never say you’re fine with a dust bag filter, at least not for longer time.

Is this your dust collector? Does it allow for a pleated cartridge (canister) filter? I didn’t see that model with one attached, just on some other models, would they fit? You said it’s expensive, which is true. But I think if you stand regularly where your dust collector is working and you mill wood with its large amount of fine wood dust, I think it’s necessary in matters of health (and to prevent the shop to be covered with dust everywhere). You can also see in the table below, wood dust requires always class “M”, even if dust collectors are sold with dust bag filters with just class “L”.

Interesting how you managed to reduce the amount of fine dust to be catched! Does it work well? Would you mind to show the entire frame/enclosure you made?


What dust classes are there?

Type approval Degree of separation filter system Suitability
 Dust class L1) > 99% Dusts that are hazardous to health with limit values​​3) > 1 mg/m³ For simple and harmless dusts, e.g. B. House dust, soil and lime.
 Dust class M1) > 99.9% Harmful dusts with limit values​3) > 0.1 mg/m³ For all wood dust and dust originating from repair compound, filler and clear coats, plaster, cement, concrete, tile cement and paints such as latex and oil-based paints or quartziferous materials such as sand and pebbles. .
 Dust class H1) > 99.995% Harmful dusts with limit values​​3) ≤ 0.1 mg/m³ For carcinogenic and pathogenic dusts, e.g. asbestos and mould.
Vacuum cleaner type B222) depending on the dust class Flammable dusts of explosion class ST1, ST2 and ST3 in zone 22
For non-hazardous and dry, flammable dust, such as aluminium or carbon fibre.

1) Source: EN 60335-2-69 and IEC 60335-2-69 Annex AA
2) Source: EN 60335-2-69 and IEC 60335-2-69 Annex CC
3) The relevant national regulations must be observed for limit values, eg in Germany the TRGS 900.
Since the beginning of 2012, the AGW have replaced the MAK and TRK values.

– Source:

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Ok, now i am a bit concerned. I was planning on using my Oneida cyclone as a first line dust collector and then run that into a Laguna BFlux that I ordered about a month back (and still waiting for backlog).

I was hoping that the Oneida would capture most of the dust and then just the smaller particles would get filtered out by the cannister so that i didnt have to clean/replace the cannister filters very often. Seeing that picture now makes me wonder…

Also, will the Bflux be capable of filtering out all that MDF dust so as to not be a problem, or do I need to start looking at other options?

Hey Blackhawk,

the B|Flux obviously has a pleated filter cartridge, like I mentioned one here, and it says on product page:

providing filtration of 99.97% of particles between 0.2 ~ 2 microns & features 17.2 square feet of polyester spun bond pleated filter to ensure maximum airflow. Hand crank cleaning prevents clogging of the filter

unlike Max’ dust collector, that just has a dust bag filter. The pleated polyester filter of the Laguna B|Flux is not as big as a big one or as the Felder, but I think it’s much better than a class “L” potato sack :slight_smile:, regarding the ability to filter fine wood dust.

Also one should be aware that a cyclone separates particles the better the more they weigh, so it will always tend to let the finest dust through. It is mainly to catch the chips. Also, one should be aware that an upstream dust separator, like any system that extends the air path, will reduce airflow, so this should be taken into account when choosing power.

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Aiph5u,

Thank you for posting the details on the different classes. That was hugely helpful, and the reason why I asked if the bflux would sufficiently filter out dust from MDF.

My workshop is temporarily going to be in my basement, not completely isolated and not far from my forced air furnace, including the return air duct. I went with the bflux because it was a cannister filter and thought i could use the Oneida to reduce maintenance and cleaning. But seeing the pictures posted here and knowing that the bflux filters down to .2 to 2 microns onstead of being Class M, now i am beginning to wonder if i need to get something even better

Given the nastiness of MDF, my bflux choice and my furnace being so close, should I be concerned?

Hey Blackhawk,

I don’t know what exactly your furnace is, how it produces heat, so I cannot say something about this, but as for the rest I think it’s also a matter of cost (at least with me it is). I had a look at the Laguna B|Flux and at lot of dust collectors offered, and I found the B|Flux is a little small, I mean from CFM capability, since I plan to collect chips not only from Onefinity but from a thicknesser too, but I think for the Onefinity alone maybe it would be enough. I think you should ask people who tested it and especially who compared it to other collectors!

I have not yet bought one, but I think as soon as the money will be filled up I will buy a Felder AF 22 which is a Modular System which can be either movable, stationary or wall mounted, with a Dust Class “M” pleated filter cartridge, mainly because

  1. they are on the same continent where I live and they often have discount offers
  2. they have different motor sizes available from 2 hp to 4 hp.
  3. they offer three-phase motors which are induction motors (like spindles) which I can slow down if necessary by hooking them to a VFD
  4. with the AF 22 I can exchange dust receptacle bags during operation as shown here since it has two bags and a dust bag selector
  5. as said above, I plan to attach a thicknesser too, with air valves, and I think with its 3100 m³/h (1824 CFM) air flow capacity with a 120 mm (4.75") diameter inlet and a 80 mm (3.125") inlet the AF 22 would be the right thing (expandable for even more tools).

However I still can decide! I would still welcome suggestions. But I would be reluctant to buy something overseas because of the shipping costs. The shipping costs for the Onefinity were hard already :frowning:.

If I could afford it now, maybe I would buy a clean air dust extractor like the Felder RL series (class “H”). Such machines are of heavy weight but let out very clean air.

PS: Also, I believe that due to the design of its pleated polyester filter cartridge, the Laguna B|Flux may well be largely class M. These dust classes according to IEC / EN 60335-2-69 do not specify the dust particle size, but only specify

  • the type and hazard of a dust, and
  • the Threshold limit value (TLV) for the class, i.e. what exposure may be present at a workplace after filtration.
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I built a frame covered with window film around my dust collector and then installed good furnace filters in it. Hookey but it works