The most essential tool for maintaining clean air in a workshop is a quality dust extractor. Unlike shop vacs for woodworking, dust extractors move a lot more air at a slower velocity. In tandem, extractors and shop vacs are the two most important tools for keeping your workstation clean and efficient. In this guide, you’ll find the best dust extractor for your workshop and helpful reviews of our top picks.
Depending on the size of your shop – if you’re a seasoned pro or beginner DIYer – you’ll want to match your equipment to the right extractor. For example, if you operate a small shop with limited power tools such as a table saw & drilling equipment, a small dust extractor will get the job done. Now, on the other hand, if you’re operating multiple tools, including saws, planers, and jointers, you’re going to want to beef up your extractor’s power & capacity to keep your surfaces dust-free.
The key benefits of using a dust extractor are:
- Better overall air quality (HEPA filtration)
- Dust-free equipment for enhanced productivity and attention to detail
- Less airborne dust when applying finish
- Cleanup is a heck of a lot easier
- Your tools may require the use of a dust extractor to keep the warranty intact
- A more comfortable workspace
Now that you have an idea of why it’s important to use a dust extractor and the motor power that may suit your shop, let’s get started with the reviews.
Dust Extractor Reviews
In each review below, you’ll find the most important considerations for each model along with the pros & cons to consider. By the end, you’ll have a clear idea of which model(s) is the right fit for your shop.
#1) Festool 574930 Dust Extractor CLEANTEC CT 26 E HEPA
Germany-based Festool is the current leader in dust extractors, and we’re big fans of the company’s CT series. Festool offers this extractor in various sizes, ranging from MINI up to the CT 48. The number represents the capacity of the vacuum. Currently, the most popular model is the CT 26, which has a 26-liter (6.87-gallon) capacity.
Festool calls the CT 26 a “mobile dust extractor,” making it ideal for steady use inside your shop or for use on a job site. Hobbyists, DIYers, and professional contractors will all find great value here. One feature we like is the large locking wheels w/ front swiveling casters for easy movement. Plus, there’s a locking brake to keep the unit in place.
As far as features, Festool thought of just about every convenience when it built this extractor. You’ll find an anti-static hose to prevent shocks & dust sticking to the outside of the hose, a self-cleaning filter bag, infinitely variable suction power, automatic tool start, and that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. All in all, a Festool dust extractor is as good as it gets and a wise long-term investment for any workshop.
- Multiple sizes available to suit all size workshops and job sites
- Self-cleaning filter function prevents caking for consistent suction power
- Anti-static design to prevent unpleasant shocks and dust sticking to the unit
- Large wheels with brake lever
- Made in Germany
- Long 24′ power cord and 11.5′ hose
- Optional Bluetooth module add-on
- Automatic tool start
- Variable speed control
- 3-year warranty
- Quiet operation at 62 dB on low
- High upfront cost
- Difficult to find compatible attachments
- Designed primarily for use with Festool power tools
#2) FEIN Turbo I Wet/Dry Dust Extractor (9 20 35 060 09 0)
Another excellent dust extractor and all-around vacuum for any workshop is Fein’s Turbo I. Compared to Festool’s CT 26, the Turbo I offers more suction power at 151 CFM compared to 137 CFM offered by the CT 26. For this reason, you may find that the Turbo I is a better dust extractor/shop vacuum hybrid than Festool’s CT series.
Similar to Festool, Fein’s dust extractors offer specialty features you won’t find on a typical shop vac, such as auto tool start, an anti-static design, suction power control, and an optional HEPA filtration system. Next, the 1100 watt bypass motor is another premium feature that ensures the dust stays inside the canister all the while extending motor life.
Lastly, you may be wondering, what’s the difference between the Turbo I and Turbo II models? The main difference is the size. The Turbo I is a 5.8-gallon capacity while the Turbo II is 8.4 gallons. Plus, each model features a long 13′ hose and 18′ extension cord. If you’re torn between Fein and Festool, consider that the Fein hose is longer by 1.5 feet, but the power cord is 6′ shorter.
- More suction power than the CT 26
- Quiet compared to standard shop vacs (66 dB)
- Extra-long 13′ hose
- Automatic start with power tools
- A good choice for professional contractors for use between job sites
- Maneuvers easily on the four casters
- 3-year warranty
- Fewer sizes and variations are available compared to Festool
- Smaller wheels than Festool
- You may run into compatibility issues or require adapters since it’s a German product
#3) Bosch VAC090AH 9-Gallon Dust Extractor
Coming in at a strong number three on our list is the Bosch model VAC090AH. Two great features offered by this extractor are HEPA filtration and an auto filter clean function right of the box. So, if you didn’t like the fact that the Fein model above doesn’t come with HEPA filtration standard, you don’t have to worry about that with this model.
Concerning suction power, Bosch’s extractor just about matches Fein’s at 150 CFM, and that also makes it stronger than Festool’s CT 26. Next, we like to see that this vacuum has the contractor in mind with Bosch’s PRO+GUARD end-to-end dust capturing system designed to help professionals reach OSHA Silica Table 1 dust compliance.
Several final highlights are automatic start with power tools, large rear wheels & swiveling casters similar to Festool extractors, Bosch L-Boxx integration for creating a mobile workstation on the fly, and a power dial for adjusting power between the vacuum and connected power tools. All things considered, this model is a good alternative to Fein and Festool extractors.
- End-to-end dust collection built to help professionals be OSHA compliant
- 70 dB at the highest setting
- Solid suction power at 151 CFM
- HEPA filtration with auto-clean filter system
- Automatic start/stop with power tools
- Does not include attachments
- 9.5′ hose is shorter than Fein and Festool models
- You may find that the automatic filter cleaning cycle is on the loud side
- The 1-year warranty is shorter than Festool and Fein
#4) DeWalt DWV010 8-Gallon HEPA/RRP Dust Extractor
For DeWalt power tool owners, DeWalt’s DWV010 dust extractor is the perfect match for your dust collection needs. At 22 lbs, this model is lighter than the preceding Fein and Bosch models, making it a good choice for portable use. According to DeWalt, this extractor has a 150 CFM rating, putting it right on par with Fein’s and Bosch’s extractors.
Next, this model features most of the convenience features you find on a good dust extractor including automatic start with power tools, automatic filter cleaning (every 30 seconds), a variable speed dial, and a 15′ anti-static hose. Comparatively, this is the longest hose you’ll find in this guide, however, the power cord is just 8′ long.
For contractors and other professionals, this extractor meets the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) when used with the included HEPA filter. Finally, do consider that this vacuum is the loudest of the bunch with a 76 dB rating. At this level, hearing protection is advisable.
- Long 15′ anti-static hose
- 150 CFM matches Fein and Bosch
- Lighter than our top 3 picks
- HEPA with automatic filter cleaning
- Auto-start feature
- The loudest model in this guide
- Short 8′ power cord
- No onboard tool management
#5) Makita XCV11Z 18V LXT Cordless 2-Gallon Dust Extractor
Our final pick is the best portable dust extractor for small jobs and on-the-fly use. Weighing in at just 10.1 lbs, this extractor certainly won’t strain your back when transporting it between home and the job site. First, the clear advantage here – outside of this model being portable – is that it’s cordless. On a single charge with a 5.0Ah battery, the XCV11Z provides up to 60 minutes of continuous use.
The onboard filtration system features a HEPA filter that effectively removes up to 99.97% of particles down to .3 microns. Compared to the first four models, Makita’s model makes it easier to switch between using it as a dust extractor and shop vac. Plus, there’s a blower function.
A couple of missing features are auto-start with power tools and automatic filter cleaning. Also, keep in mind that at 57 CFM, this little guy does not give you the same level of suction power as the larger extractors above. Finally, it irks us a bit that Makita does not include its shoulder strap with its vacuum.
- The lightest and most portable model in this guide
- Cordless – up to 60 minutes of continuous use on a single charge
- Onboard HEPA filter
- The high-quality flexible hose that locks into place
- Blower function
- 57 CFM
- Shoulder strap not included
- Lacks several convenience features found on our top 4 picks
The collection of models in this guide offers solutions for every size job and type. Selecting the best dust extractor for your workshop depends on the size of your shop, the number of power tools you own, and the brand(s) of your tools. It’s important to consider that dust extractor manufacturers want you to use their power tools with their extractors.
Because of this, you’ll run into fewer compatibility issues when pairing your extractor to your tools by keeping everything in the same family. However, there are always ways to make the systems work across brands, and the fun part is that finding these solutions will bring out your inner MacGyver.