Ensuring that your workspace is clean and dirt free is crucial for health and safety – hence why it is essential to have a high-quality dust extractor in the workshop. Rather than being an aside, this piece of machinery can help increase the longevity of your other equipment, helping to prevent the build-up of dirt particles in electrical parts – and your lungs! Operating machinery without having an adequate dust extractor can also potentially impact the warranty of your tools in the instance that something goes wrong.
This article will explore everything you need to know about getting one of these essential tools.
What it does
A dust extractor works to remove or reduce the amount of dirt particles in a work environment. It uses one or more collection hoses (which can be as long as 15 metres) to remove debris from surfaces like floors and walls. Most portable machines will have a capacity of around 30-50 litres, though larger ones will have a higher capacity. They will typically include an automatic filter cleaner and possibly a HEPA filter, too. Depending on the needs and size of your workplace, you may opt for a machine with a low CFM rating, or a higher one. The CFM rating lets you know how much electrical power it will use. They typically range from around 50 CFM to 300 CFM.
You will be able to select from a range of additional features, which can separate an ordinary dust extractor from an outstanding one. Of course, whether or not you purchase special features will depend on your budget and project needs. Consider your expectations of the machinery before making your purchase.
While it is becoming more common as a regular feature, many manufacturers will still consider automatic filter cleaners to be an additional feature, as it can extend the life of the machine. Other special features include on-board accessory storage, variable power dials and automatic tool activation.
Things to consider before making a purchase
Some of the essential things to consider before you buy a dust extractor include:
The needs of your workplace
Considering why you need the machine in the first place is essential. The size of your workspace, how well ventilated it is, and how often you use it, will determine the type of machine you need.
The type of particle
While you might think all particles are the same, they actually aren’t. Working with concrete is different to working with wood, for instance. As a result, it is important that you purchase a machine that is suitable for the type of particle you’re collecting. Have a chat with a sales provider if you need guidance.
It is important to be aware that a dust extractor may pose a safety hazard if not properly used. The build-up of static electricity in the unit (as a result of wood particles and the like creating a static charge in the hose) can potentially lead to an explosion if a spark is discharged in the presence of fuel (i.e. fine dirt particles) and air. This is rare but it does happen. To avoid this, install a grounding kit to the inside of the hose and fix the wire to the machine in order to reduce or eliminate static from the machine.
A dust extractor can help improve the safety and longevity of your workplace and machinery. It is an essential component of a good workshop. Ensure that you consider your specific needs and are aware of the safety hazards before making your purchase.