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Chopping clean angles, spraying a fresh coat of paint on your refurbished table, or opening a wall to chase cables all release tiny particles into the air. A few DIY projects won’t hurt you much — but if you’re making a habit or a career of sanding down furniture or slicing up fence boards, you might want to look into the hazards of the dust you’re releasing into the air.

These particles are a well-known hazard of most hands-on trades, from plumbers to electricians to woodworkers. Prolonged dust exposure leads to a lengthy list of health problems ranging from chronic headaches to cancer. OSHA regulations provide guidelines for maintaining a facility’s air quality; fortunately, modern dust collectors make it easy to protect your health both at home and in the workplace.

Wearing a mask or respirator while you work can prevent you from inhaling most airborne hazards; however, anytime you take off that mask, those particles are still hanging around in the air. Just moving around in your shop kicks up dust from the floor. Setting a tool down dislodges shavings from its crevices. Particles stick to your clothes and travel into the house under your feet — and you really don't want your workshop debris lodged in your bedroom carpet.

Using a mechanical dust extractor can cut down on dust exposure while also speeding up your cleanup process.

Unless you’re working in a large commercial shop, there’s no need to install a full duct system for dust extraction. Instead, smaller dust extractors do a great job of keeping up with the particles that accumulate as you work.


Dust cleanup options in your home or professional shop fall into two categories:

•  Shop Vac

•  Dust Extractor

Shop vacs work quickly on piled cleanups — think wood chips or larger debris. They usually come with a filter that needs to be regularly cleaned to prolong the lifespan of the vac and aren't intended to target the smaller, airborne particles.

Dust extractors are portable like a shop vac — in fact Makita makes one that is conveniently cordless. Extractors are specially designed to remove those small, hazardous particles from the air while you work with your equipment. An extractor is quieter than a shop vac (which is nice for your neighbors) and they still hook up to your tools like the shop vacs with which you're already familiar.

Wireless Dust Cleanup

Electricians are most likely to find themselves working in places without access to electricity. However, plumbers and home DIYers also often encounter workspace situations without convenient access to a plug. A cordless dust extractor makes it easy for you to keep your workspace clean in these places where you can’t connect a larger shop vac.

A battery-powered extractor is especially convenient for tight spaces, as it's much easier to maneuver the compact extractor alongside your tools than it is to to lug a huge shop vac around.

Get stuff done quicker and cleaner with a dust extractor. Your lungs will thank you later.

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