SawStop Cabinet Saw with 2 1/2" Dust Collection System?

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Forum topic by Dan Thomas posted 03-18-2019 01:36 AM 1516 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan Thomas

160 posts in 678 days

03-18-2019 01:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw sawstop cabinet saw dust collection

First, PLEASE don’t answer if all you’re going to do is tell me I should upgrade to a 4”/6”/whatever dust collection system. I’m tired of these discussions, and I really don’t want to get involved in another one.

My question is, do you think I can use my 2 1/2” shop vac-based dust collection system with a SawStop Cabinet saw, with an adapter? I can make or buy the adapter, that’s no problem. I won’t be getting the overarm dust collection system, nor will I get the blade guard dust collector – just the body dust port.


-- Newbie Dan,

20 replies so far

View Steve's profile (online now)


1843 posts in 1264 days

#1 posted 03-18-2019 01:57 AM

You can, but it probably won’t catch as must dust as the larger systems would.

View ArtMann's profile


1472 posts in 1497 days

#2 posted 03-18-2019 02:27 AM

Of course the vacuum will recover at least part of the sawdust. It might actually work fairly well if you aren’t trying to get the fine dust that requires a large air volume. I have a 4 inch to 2.5 inch adapter in my shop right now that I used to use on a portable planer. It didn’t work well but the volume of material is much greater than what a table saw produces.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


2702 posts in 2176 days

#3 posted 03-18-2019 02:34 AM

2.5” port supports less than 200cfm, even at high static pressures.
Typical shop vacuum I have seen pulls less than ~180CFM. many less than 150CFM.
Leading woodworking magazines and equipment mfg recommend 300+ CFM for table saw.
The engineering numbers say your 2.5” hose on a shop vac will not met recommended air flow?

But then what do I know, I am only another idiot engineer with some numbers.
Have no direct experience with table saw and 2.5 inch hose.
But, If you tool requires 300+ CFM; then anything less will result in poor dust collection of fines and large particles.


-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View WoodenDreams's profile


970 posts in 592 days

#4 posted 03-18-2019 02:45 AM

On my 4” outlet on my edge sander and my table saw, I have a 2 1/2” hose adapter going to my HF 660cfm dust collector. I feel the table saw dust collection is good. I did cover the open slot in front of the table saw cabinet to help seal the cabinet from a open air slot. On my edge sander the 2 1/2” line catches 99% of the dust. doesn’t hurt to hook it up to check your results.

View clin's profile


1100 posts in 1677 days

#5 posted 03-18-2019 03:07 AM

I have a SawStop PCS cabinet saw, I use a shop vac with a whatever a shop vac hose is 2+ something inches. I use it with a Dust deputy. And it works much better than you would think.

I’m under no illusion that it is as good as a true dust collector or that it collects the more dangerous fine dust. I wear a respirator and run a Jet room filter. I use a Dylos particle counter so I know what is going on.

The dust counter shows that the levels stay lowish in the room when cutting, but I’m sure they are quite high in my face right in front of the saw while cutting. But, running an orbital sander is much worse than the table saw.

A few things I have done. As mentioned I used a Dust Deputy cyclone. That’s gets 99% of whatever gets sucked up. I also use a bag in the shop vac. That get’s whatever gets through the Dusty Deputy. There’s table spoons of dust in the bag after I’ve emptied the Dust Deputy many many times over. Finally I have a HEPA filter on the shop vac. The HEPA filter pretty much just looks clean. This way the shop vac is not a dust pump. It may not suck in everything, but whatever it does collect, doesn’t make it through.

Another data point, is the inside of the saw doesn’t have a lot of dust in it. I don’t have anything to compare it too. So I’m not saying the inside won’t have less dust with a true DC, but there’s not an unusual amount of dust. I vacuum the inside of the saw out occasionally. Anyway, it points to the fact that even a shop vac is useful, if not ideal.

Again I wear a respirator when cutting and for 10-15 minutes after until my room filter brings the dust level down.

Bottom line, a shop vac is very useful on my table saw and at this point I plan to continue with this setup.

-- Clin

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Dan Thomas

160 posts in 678 days

#6 posted 03-18-2019 09:51 AM

Thanks guys for not devolving this thread. You have no idea how much I appreciate it, and you all took great care in wording things so I could tell you weren’t starting a fight. I’m actually a little choked up at how nice you’ve all been, because I dreaded the usual fight.

I’m not ignoring anything anyone said, but naturally I’ll address the person with actual experience with the saw I’m talking about, and the kind of dust collection system I have:

clin – Perfect, and thanks. I have a DD also, and a WEN air filtration system. I also wear a respirator, virtually anytime I cut anything, and oftentimes for a while afterwards. I’ve noticed a big difference in my respiratory health. Oh, and I have a portable downdraft table I use when sanding, and although it’s not perfect, it does help.

Tell me about the HEPA filter in the shop vac. Is this something that I should consider – do you think it’s cutting down on small particles, or can’t you really tell?

PS: Man, you guys, I’m still choked up that you cared enough to word things so well. It’s so unexpected, considering the number of times I’ve experienced the opposite. I think I’ve got something in my eye…

-- Newbie Dan,

View Redoak49's profile


4527 posts in 2670 days

#7 posted 03-18-2019 10:57 AM

The HEPA filter will help especially with sanders.

View HackFabrication's profile


167 posts in 393 days

#8 posted 03-18-2019 11:22 AM

As of now, I’m using my shop vac to aid in dust removal generated by my C’man 10” TS. I have fabricated a box with a 4” port in anticipation of eventually hooking up my HF DC system to it. I merely shove the 2.5” hose with the brush attachment into the 4” port (Big Gulp), and it will collect just about all the dust. Whatever falls out, is easily picked up on the floor, as I’m already down there removing the hose.

Since your’s is a cabinet saw, it’s already got the edge over contractor type saws for dust collection. Even with mine sealed up (pic of rear and side):

I still see the need for effective topside dust collection. Probably another ‘add-on’ I’ll be Hack Fabricating in the near future. But as I have it rigged right now, it does remove a lot of the sawdust I previously had blowing all over the shop space. I can only hope for better results with more ‘tweaking’.

As far as the Hepa filters go, they will reduce the amount of small size particles, but will be more prone to clogging unless you incorporate some sort of pre-filter (cyclone, trashcan lid, etc.) into the stream. I added the Dust Deputy to my 30+ year old C’man shop vac, and it does a fine job of separating the large from small, but it does reduce the suction a bit.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1109 posts in 3747 days

#9 posted 03-18-2019 11:39 AM

I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised by how well your setup will work. I have a friend with a similar setup, and as long as your shop vac is a burly one I think it will work pretty well. SawStop does such a good job of dust capture around the blade that it takes a lot less CFM to do an effective job. My older unisaw requires about 800 CFM or it gets a lot of dust accumulation. I bet 150 – 200 CFM will be a respectable job on your saw. Not as good as 4” and a proper dust collector, but way better than nothing.

-- Paul Mayer,

View ScottM's profile


747 posts in 2828 days

#10 posted 03-18-2019 12:29 PM

I do the same as many others already stated. Shop vac with dust deputy. Yes there is some mess, but it does catch much more than it misses.

View Dan Thomas's profile

Dan Thomas

160 posts in 678 days

#11 posted 03-18-2019 01:43 PM

Hack – Thanks for the info, and cool pics! I agree about the topside dust problem, but one thing at a time, for me. :p And I do have a DD.

pmayer – Actually, I kind of expected it to work well, but one of my viewers asked a question a while back, which I didn’t have an answer for (and I can’t find the question now), about a table saw he wanted to buy but the manufacturer specifically said to NOT use a shop vac-based system with it. So that’s what got me to wondering.

ScottM – Thanks. I’ve had my dust collection system for at least a couple of years, and it performs “good enough”, which is good enough for me. :)

-- Newbie Dan,

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1422 days

#12 posted 03-18-2019 04:14 PM

Everyone else has provided great insight. All I might add is that often times our requirements come out of our situation. I should really be more diligent with dust collection (and cleaning in general), as my shop is an attached two car garage. But were you in a detached building, and since you’re already taking necessary PPE precautions with your respirator, I’d say a shop vac and a good cleaning routine would suffice. I would note that even with the air scrubber, it’ll take a while for the fine particles to filter our of the air or settle, so I wouldn’t rush to remove your respirator after completing a cut.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View moke's profile


1515 posts in 3458 days

#13 posted 03-18-2019 04:33 PM

Personally, not being an expert at much of anything, I think a shop vac would do just fine. I do have a 3 hp SS and a 4” Delta DC. I do consider it the least efficient tool I have for DC. I do have to say I do not use an overarm DC collection…..and the zero clearance allows insert for a lot of dust to escape….but it really isn’t terrible, it just isn’t as efficient as the rest of my equipment. It just requires some shop vac clean up is all.
I must say, although I have an overarm collector and guard, I have never used one in my life. It may really help….
Without one and with the 4” collection, I still have a little collection in the bin of the saw so at the end of a session, I left the DC run for a little while, you just might have to do a little more time…and as mentioned, I wouldn’t turn off the vac with the saw, and I would get/build an air cleaner for sure…..but I really think you’ll be alright, and if you are not….save your bucks for a future purchase of a DC, but I’m betting you’ll be ok.
Just my .02….

-- Mike

View JohnDon's profile


99 posts in 1851 days

#14 posted 03-18-2019 05:11 PM

I may be stating the obvious, but why not just hook up your shopvac and see how it works in your situation? If it does, great; if not, move on. I suspect that a DC wouldn’t greatly improve above table dust capture, given the zero (+/-) clearance throat plate, over table collection would be best. That said, I suggest wearing a good respirator whenever creating dust. Why invest in a SawStop to prevent losing finger or two, only to suffer chronic lung problems resulting from inhaling fine dust particles?

View wingless's profile


63 posts in 424 days

#15 posted 03-18-2019 05:30 PM

The 2½” shop vac provides acceptable dust collection from the 4” port using an adapter on my Ridgid 4511 saw.

If additional collection was required, then the Shark guard w/ vacuum port looks like a good solution.

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