Dust is the bane of any woodworker’s existence and can even go as far as to make your favorite hobby considerably less enjoyable.
The problem is of course saw dust. When you’re sanding down a piece of wood, sawing it or otherwise cutting it in some way, then the material being removed does not simply ‘evaporate’. Cutting essentially means removing a tiny strip of material that connects to parts and that strip of material – wood in this case – has to go somewhere. And where is somewhere? It’s on the floor, it’s all over your workbench, it’s in the teeth of your saw and it’s in the air where you breathe it in.
Not only does this create a lot of mess for you to clean up, thereby meaning you have less time to enjoy doing what you love; it can also prevent you from making clean cuts and can even be very bad for your health if you inhale large amounts of scratchy wood chippings that end up causing inflammation in your throat and lungs and dryness in your eyes.
So what do you do? The SHOP FOX W1685 1.5-Horsepower 1,20 CFM Dust Collector poses one solution.
A Powerful Way to Collect Dust
The SHOP FOX W1685 1.5-Horsepower 1,20 CFM Dust Collector is designed to collect dust from any tool that is prone to getting messy over time. It does this using a very potent 1.5 horsepower motor, which is capable of drawing in a very impressive 1,280 cubic feet of air every minute. That’s a lot of air and it should mean you get a lot of circulation and a lot of turnover to solve the problem quickly.
Once that dust is removed from the air, it is then deposited into a large 5.4 cubic bag, which will keep it out of your way until you’re ready to dispose of it. There’s also a steel impeller which should last for a while and has two plug adaptors.
The unit is 49kg and should be easy enough to store in the corner of a room.
Pros and Cons: An Effective Product That Does What it Says on the Tin
As a dust collector, the SHOP FOX W1685 1.5-Horsepower 1,20 CFM does exactly what you expect it to. It is very powerful and will extract a lot of air quickly to clean your tools. You can simply dust them off by the powerful motor and know that the dust isn’t going to be floating around in the air or gathering on the floor.
But while this machine is very effective, it’s not going to be for everyone. This is an alternative to an air filter and in many ways, it isn’t quite as useful. The device is expensive at $384.99 and is designed for removing dust from tools. It’s not as effective at extracting it from the air and the filtration is only 30 micron. That means that the very small bits of dust that can damage your airways will still be able to escape. One user review found this and had to place the entire machine into a separate cabinet to keep the dust sealed.
And it also means that you need to actively keep cleaning your saw by the device. For many readers, a more logical solution will be to use tools that have built in dust ports and bags and to install a separate air filter to remove smaller particles.
But as a third option that can help to keep your workspaces a little cleaner and save you some time, this does have its uses, even if it is a little unattractive and not the most powerful option on the market.
Conclusions: A Useful Machine for Some
With machines like this, the question is really whether it fits into your workflow. This isn’t going to clean your air as well as a filter and it won’t collect dust as well as having a dust bag built into your tools. But if you use a lot of tools like saws and you want to simply brush them off without worrying about dust piling up, then this may have a home in your workshop.