As The Shop Turns #4: Dust Collection What do I really need?

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Blog entry by Natalie posted 05-30-2013 04:32 AM 1431 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: I'm actually making a bit of progress. Part 4 of As The Shop Turns series Part 5: Revised Dust Collection Question »

This is not a question of what brand to buy, and I already know that I want a cyclone with the micron filter canisters. My question is about how much power do I need for my shop. I don’t want to get something that is good enough but not great. I want great performance without overkill.

My shop is just shy of 500 sq ft and I will have the typical tools. I don’t expect too many times when there will be anyone else but me in the shop, so essentially I will be using one tool at a time. I have a dedicated 220 outlet for the DC and I have 100 amps going to my shop. I am thinking that 2.5hp will be powerful enough. I have also considered 3.5 and 5hp systems. The ratings say that a 2.5hp is adequate for a 2500sq ft shop. So really, do I need anything more than that with all things considered?

Thanks Natalie

-- Natalie - My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I don't like to go there alone.

4 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4498 days

#1 posted 05-30-2013 09:02 AM

My shop uses one 16 amp breaker switch. All electric in Norway is 220DC. This works for my 2hp bandsaw while running my 2hp DC. Like you. You need enough to power your vacuum system, your highest HP tool, and your lighting/heating with a little safety margin. Soft start tools help too since they do not switch on to full power all at once and they don’t use their top rating while running. I know zilch about electrics, so this is just from my personal experience. An electrician can give you the best advice.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4468 days

#2 posted 05-30-2013 01:04 PM

good morning, if you dont get anyone with know how to weigh in, ask topamax, he is a good electrician..i hope your doing well…are you now able to move on with shop work ?

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3968 days

#3 posted 06-02-2013 12:55 PM

Many things to consider. Duct-work vs. roll-a-bout collector. It works both ways. If you got enough space I’d stay with a roll-about. That’s my .02

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3592 days

#4 posted 06-03-2013 01:47 AM

When designing my dust collector I came to the filter question and pondered this fact, dust is particles from extremely fine to chunks and everything in between. The finer the filter the finer the dust particles I get to breathe into my precious lungs, they are getting old and do not work as well as they used to. I seems that the more money (finer filter) the finer the dust that gets through, resulting in and ever escalting no-win situation.

My solution – put the filtered air outside my shop.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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