What Type Of Dust Collector Is Best?

Dust collectors do precisely what it sounds like – collect and filter dust and debris. But not all dust collectors are created equally, and they work in a variety of ways, with advantages and disadvantages depending on design. 

At Lapp Millwright, we build central dust and particulate collection systems that are commonly deployed in mid- and large-size manufacturing environments. 

A dust collector can pull dust and debris directly from the source, like a large vacuum tube attached to a table saw, or it can function by pulling fine dust from the air and environment. Generally speaking, we consider small dust collection systems that live right at the machine, like a shop vacuum hooked to a saw, a dust extractor.

If you’re considering a dust collector, here are some basics to get you started.

Types of Dust Collectors

All of our projects begin with an assessment of what you manufacture, the size of your operation, and whether the dust collector and dust storage system will live inside your building or outside. Where the primary components are located is generally a matter of available space and system size. We build immense dust collection systems that stand over two stories high, which are generally located outdoors. 

Before we discuss types of dust collectors, it’s also helpful to understand that dust collector size and capability are measured in Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM), or the volume of air that they can move and filter in one minute.

Smaller indoor systems for one to ten-person manufacturing teams (say, a small wood shop) might be fine with a 2,500-5,000 CFM indoor unit. 

For larger operations, we’ve built industrial dust collectors as large as 70,000 CFM. 

For perspective, most household vacuum cleaners operate at 50 to 100 CFM. These are truly large, highly effective dust collection systems.

Baghouse Dust Collectors

Baghouse dust collectors are great for larger dust particles and debris, commonly used in woodworking shops or manufacturing with plastic or metal millings.

A baghouse consists of multiple tubular filters that are suspended inside a large box and maintain their shape with a metal cage that is slid inside each filter. Air is pulled or pushed through the filter, which can be made from a variety of materials depending on particulate to be removed. The filters are typically self-cleaned with the baghouse’s cleaning system and can usually go a few years without needing to be replaced.

Cartridge Collectors

Cartridge dust collectors are ideal for much smaller particles and smoke or vapor removal, commonly used in manufacturing, fabrication, pharmaceutical, food processing (flour mills that make flour are a good example), sanding, and similar.

Cartridge collectors generally consist of a series of replaceable cartridges housed inside a heavy duty fabricated housing. Cartridge filters use a much smaller filtration material to capture minute particles, including chemical vapors and fumes. They’re commonly used in more hazardous environments to pull from ambient air or at work-space hoods.

Cyclone Dust Collectors

Cyclone dust collectors are ideal for larger or bulkier & stringy debris, like at sawmills, and they’re often used in conjunction with a bag filter system. 

Cyclone systems include a large cone-shaped chamber. As air is pulled through the chamber from one side, a cyclone inside the chamber throws larger dust and debris to the outside of the cone, where it falls down the side of the cone and escapes into a debris bin. Clean air is pulled up through the center of the cyclone and is either vented to the outdoors or returned through a finer filter. 

With no moving parts and a passive filtration process, cyclone dust collectors are great for reducing burden on filters, replacement frequency, and overall wear-and-tear, as they can pull 95-98%+ of bulk material out of the air with virtually no recurring maintenance.

Which Dust Collector Is Right For You?

The right dust collector for your operation really depends on your operation! A good dust collector company will work closely with you to build a system that will remove dust effectively and be sized for your business. 

At Lapp Millwright, most of our projects are custom, meaning that we’re building a dust collector from scratch – no cookie-cutter solutions. We built our approach after years of experience with off-the-shelf systems that simply don’t work as well as they should, waste energy and time on unnecessary or too much maintenance, and simply don’t filter well. We lean on decades of experience and a strong engineering team to build a dust collection system that will properly handle the needs of your operation, which often includes a combination of the dust collectors above.

For example, a large sawmill will benefit from a sizable dust collection system that includes a cyclone filter. 

A smaller fabrication shop might do just fine with a properly-sized cartridge filter system. 

Whatever your business, Lapp Millwright begins with a comprehensive review of what you’re filtering and why:

  • What’s your business, and what are your top concerns?
  • What kind of particles do you need to be filtering?
  • Is there bulk debris to remove right at the machinery, or are you more concerned about environmental air quality?
  • How many machines are creating particulates?
  • How large is your space?
  • How fast and how much air should we be moving through your filter system?
  • How many employees are in your space?
  • Should air be returned to the facility or vented outdoors?
  • Does it make sense to house your system indoors or outdoors?
  • Do you expect to expand your operation, and if so, by how much?

We’re particular when it comes to creating a safe and efficient environment for your employees, customers, products, and business. In fact, you might say we’re particular about particulates.

Save 10% On Basic Dust Collectors!

For the month of February, take advantage of BIG savings with 10% off our basic dust collectors!

Promotion expires 2/29/24. 10% off is for product only and does not include installation labor. Other terms & conditions may apply.