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?

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.


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.


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


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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Just a note. There’s way less dust in general than I anticipated. Ideally you’re note making dust, you’re making shavings. My previous understanding of a router was something that was vaporizing large amounts of wood, but ideally I don’t think that’s how the CNC works…it makes shavings. I’m doing pretty well with a Dewalt 14g “quiet vac” and a dust deputy. It is a bit louder than ideal but not too bad and working well. But I can run it without dust collection and it’s a whole whole lot better than my bandsaw.

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Throw some MDF in there.


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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I’m doing everything I can to get MDF out of my life. I’m using plywood fixture boards on top of my wasteboard to keep from cutting up my wasteboard. MDF is just gross.

I’m not saying there isn’t some amount of dust from cutting wood on the CNC but it is really minimal compared to what I was expecting.

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