The importance of a good dust collection system for your CNC router cannot be understated. Harmful dust and fibers are easily spread into the air when your CNC machine is not set up properly.
Find the best dust collector for your CNC will not only save you time and money in the long run, but will also help keep you healthy.
Why You Need a Dust Collection System
Let’s face it: CNC routers produce a lot of dust and debris.
Depending on the material you’re working with, by operating a CNC without a proper dust collection mechanism, you could be creating an unhealthy work environment by generating organic dust from wood materials, mineral debris, and/or particles from different plastics and polymers.
Even with an enclosure system, or even if you vent your CNC system outside, fine particulate still gets suspended in the air and can spread beyond the confines of your workshop, into your home or office.
These airborne particulates are often very fine, even less than 1 micron, and can cause breathing problems, allergic reactions, skin irritation, lower work productivity, and long-term respiratory conditions.
Also, if you operate a messy shop with an inadequate dust removal system, the dust and debris will quickly pile up, making the floor slippery and even becoming a fire hazard.
Never mind the damage that dust and debris can do to your CNC components over time. Maintenance and replacement costs can add up quickly.
Problem Solved: Finding the Best CNC Dust Collection System
Ok, so it’s clear that excessive dust, debris, fumes, etc. will create a hazardous working environment.
The good news is that, with a well-designed dust collection setup, you can reduce dust, minimize exposure, and keep a clean shop environment, often with a small initial investment in equipment.
In fact, if you operate a small shop (i.e. in your basement or garage), you can clean up your workspace with a few basic parts and accessories, including a dust shoe, hose and shop vac.
If you work in a commercial machine shop or have a larger CNC shop at home, you might want to look into more advanced dust collection systems.
Often, you can combine a dust collection unit with an air purifier, HEPA filter, and larger collection bin (i.e 55 gallon vs a 5 gallon pail). It all depends on your CNC machine size, space, materials, volume, etc.
Let’s take a look at some of the best dust collection systems and parts for different use cases.
Best CNC Router Dust Shoes
Dust shoes are one of the first steps in creating a clean, dust-free work environment for your CNC machine. A dust shoe attaches directly to your CNC spindle or router, collecting immediate dust produced at the project’s surface.
You’ll need to find a boot that fits your router/spindle, and provides enough clearance for your end mill and clamps. It will create suction and remove dust via a hose that’s connected to your shop vac, dust separator, or dust collection system.
Here are a couple of our top picks for CNC dust shoes:
1. Powermatic PM-DS CNC Dust Boot
This Powermatic dust shoe is one of the most popular dust shoes currently available in the market. The best thing about this dust shoe is that it comes with 4 ports to connect the collection hose.
Apart from this, it also has detachable bristles that make it easy to maintain.
Another great thing that makes it different from others is that it hooks up to a dust collector very conveniently. This saves you a lot of time and also provides amazing cleaning.
Powermatic is a very reputed company and it provides a 1-year warranty on its products. So if you face any issues with this product, then you can easily get in touch with them.
This dust collection shoe works well with most DIY and hobbyist CNC Routers.
- Comes with 4 ports
- Features detachable bristles
- No batteries required
- Lightweight design
- Made of good quality materials
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Strong design
- Slightly expensive
2. HYYKJ 65mm Spindle Dust Shoe
This dust shoe from HYYKJ is made of sheet material, which makes it very durable and long-lasting.
The best thing about this dust shoe is that it is dustproof and waterproof. It features a fixed brush that provides good cleaning.
Unlike others, this brush doesn’t fall off and you can also easily replace the brush without putting a lot of effort. It is a genuine nylon bush that comes with a strong vacuum, which makes the cleaning more convenient.
- Convenient buckle design
- Fixed brush design
- Real nylon bush
- The brush is easy to replace
- Strong vacuum
- The brush stays in place perfectly
- Average design
3. RICH Spindle Dust Shoe
This RICH dust shoe cover is well known for its convenient clasp design, which makes it very easy to change the brush.
The best thing about this dust shoe is that it is also rustproof. The thickened version provides a better anti-dust effect and the 3-line suture makes sure that it does not run wool.
Apart from this, the shell is made from high-quality nylon materials, which makes it very durable.
- Thickened nylon brush
- Strong canvas suture
- High durability nylon shell
- Made of high-quality material
- The brush is easy to change
- Slightly heavier
Best Dust Collector Hoses
A high-quality dust collection hose is an essential part of any well-designed dust collection system.
Whether you use it along with a simple shop vac, or connected to your CNC machine, the hose needs to be long enough to collect dust at its source.
Your hose should also be durable, sturdy, and flexible.
Look for tough materials like PVC for more durability, or flexible materials like EVA plastic if you need more precision and maneuverability in your shop.
Here are some of our top picks for dust hoses:
1- POWERTEC 70111 PVC Dust Collection Hose
This dust hose from Powertech is made of high-quality PVS, which improves its strength and makes it more durable.
The best thing about this dust hose is that it is very easy to install. It is an extra-flexible hose that is reinforced with spring steel, which provides more toughness.
- Flexible versatility
- Innovative design
- Heavy duty
- Highly durable
- Fully transparent for better monitoring
- Easy to install
- Smaller in size
2- FULTON 4″ x 20′ Ultra Flex Clear
This is one of the most durable dust hoses that is loved by hundreds of people. The best thing about this dust hose is that it comes with amazing tear resistance capabilities and with little care it can stay with you for a long time. It also provides good abrasion and is extremely flexible.
This dust hose is also chemical resistant, which makes it strong enough to survive different conditions.
- Excellent tear resistance
- Ultra flexible
- Wire reinforced
- Highly durable
- Puncture resistant
- Translucent hose
3. Peachtree Woodworking Tools Dust Collection Hose
If your main priority is durability, then you should consider this dust collection hose.
It is a PVC hose that is wrapped with a steel wire, which makes it strong and durable. It features the tight bending radius that enables you to install the hose wherever you want. It is a heavy-duty hose and can easily take a lot of pressure.
- Transparent design
- Fully flexible
- Strong design
- Can easily survive the high pressure
- Very easy to spot obstruction
- A bit pricey
Best Dust Separators for CNC Machines
Dust separators are a budget-friendly DIY solution for creating your own dust collection system in your shop.
Most of us already have a wet/dry vac for our shop. And, when you add a dust separator, you can now filter out up to 99% of dust and debris using this vacuum.
You’ll need to connect the separator to your vac (most come with universal attachments and wet/dry adaptors), add a hose for dust suction, and a bucket to collect the filtered dust or debris.
Once it’s set up, you’ll have an efficient dust collection unit that preserves the life of your vacuum filter.
Some of these units come with hose and bucket accessories, while others include only a cyclone dust separator.
Here are our top picks:
1. Mullet Tools M5 Dust Cyclone
The Mullet tools M5 is a more robust dust and debris separator than others we’ve tested. This is due to the integrated design, which includes an air-tight, single-piece unit with suction, hose, and dump bin all included.
This unit works universally with wet/dry shop vacs and comes with separate wet/dry adaptors to make connection a breeze. Plus, the Mullet comes with casters, so you can easily move the entire unit around your shop.
The Mullet is more expensive than your average dust separator, but it gives you more suction and higher performance, removing 99% of dust and debris from your shop. It’s very close to a full dust collection system. If you look at it that way, it’s actually a bargain.
Plus, this type of dust separator (along with the very popular Cyclone featured below) will make your shop vac’s filter last much longer.
- High-quality dust separation system
- Integrated dump bin
- Solid unit with PVC Pipe
- Removes 99% of dust and debris
- Air tight unit easily connects to most wet/dry shop vacs
- Made in the USA
- More expensive than other dust separation units
2. Oneida Air Systems Anti-Static Cyclone Separator
This dust separator is one of the most powerful dust separators that eliminates 99% of the dirt and dust. It’s a popular design, especially if you’re looking for a simple and effective DIY solution.
You just need to attach a hose, 5-gallon bucket for collection, and connect to your shop vac.
The best thing about this separator is that it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. It features a simple design and you can use it with almost all materials.
Also, this separator prevents the dust from reaching your vacuum filter, which increases its lifetime and also saves you from costly replacements.
- Eliminate suction loss
- Longer filter lifespan
- Cleaner water disposal
- Comes with a longer life
- Removes 99% dust
- Can be difficult to operate for beginners
3. NeatiEase Cyclone Dust Separator
If you are looking for a good quality dust separator at a budget-friendly cost, then this NeatiEase separator is the best choice for you. It is made of premium PP material that can easily withstand high temperatures. It is also blockage-free, which makes it last longer.
This separator is highly-efficient and greatly improve the efficacy of your shop vac. It can easily collect dust particles and can be used with most brands.
- High-quality dust separator
- Provides better efficiency
- High-temperature resistant
- It comes at a cost-effective price
- Made of high-quality materials
- Increases productivity
- Average design concept
Best Dust Collectors for CNC Router
When you’re ready to take some serious action against the dust and debris in your workspace, it’s time to consider a full dust collection system.
Dust collection systems come in single or two-stage designs, and feature bag or drum (canister) collection units, motors of varying horsepower (1 hp is common for small shops, but larger systems go up to 10 hp), and other features depending on the unit and cost, like cyclone chambers, canister filters, remote operation, and more.
As DIY makers, we like to find economical units with quiet and efficient operation.
Here are a few of my top picks:
1. Jet DC-650 Dust Collector
The Jet 650 is a popular and economical dust collection system designed for small CNC shops. It features a quick-install collection bag, with a 30-micron filter, and a 1 hp motor. Basically, it’s a small unit that gets the job done.
As a single-stage dust collector, the dust and debris get sucked directly into the unit’s fan. The heavier chips and debris settle in the collection bag, and finer dust particles rise to the bag filter.
The airflow of 650 CFM, with a 4″ hose diameter, will help remove most dust and debris from your workspace. Plus, with its single-stage design, you don’t have to worry about excessive noise due to its quiet operation, with a DB range of 65-70.
The Jet 650 also comes with 4 casters for easy maneuverability around your shop. If you want a central workhorse dust collection unit that can hook up to 1-3 different machines, this is a good choice. With
- Quick collection bags for easy installation
- Single-stage design
- Fully enclosed, fan-cooled motor
- Vortex cone technology
- Produces less noise than others
- Captures dirt and dust very efficiently
- Require less bag replacement
- It is easy to operate
- The cost is relatively high
2. BUCKTOOL 1HP 6.5AMP Wall-mount Dust Collector
This dust collector from Bucktool comes with a powerful induction motor, which provides amazing performance. The best thing about this dust collector is that it produces more suction than most of the other brands out there.
It comes with two Micron dust bag and if you want to get a better experience, then you should consider Bucktool’s micron filter bags. This dust collector comes with 550 CFM capacity, which makes it more versatile than others. Another great thing about this dust collector is that it features a safety cap that protects your hand from the fan blades.
- Wall-mount design
- Features wheels with brakes
- High-quality hose
- 2-micron bag
- Very mobile
- Equipped with many premium features
- Wall mount design won’t work for some DIYers, especially if you need something portable
3. Powermatic PM1300TX-CK Dust Collector
This Powermatic dust collector is made of high-quality metal, which not only increases rigidity but also improves airflow.
It comes with turbo cone technology that makes the chip separation better and also improves the bag packing efficiency.
Apart from this, the cone removes premature filter blockage, which provides sustained performance. It comes with a remote-controlled timer that you can program as per your needs.
- 6-times more filtering surface area
- Remote-controlled digital timer
- Turbo cone technology
- Metal duct construction
- Comes with a five-year warranty
- Features a strong design
- It offers quick installation
- Heavy-duty casters
- Occupies more space
Having the best dust collection system for a CNC Router is a great way to protect you and your family or coworkers from harmful dust particles. They eliminate all the dust particles very efficiently and provide you with cleaner air. Apart from this, dust and dirt can also damage your machines and decrease their power.
Dust collecting systems prevent the harmful particles from reaching your machines’ inner parts, which increases their life-span. The only suggestion is that before making any decision, you should research properly.
This way you will be able to get the best deal. Hope this article will solve some of your doubts and provide you with some valuable information.