Keeping your workspace tidy and clean is very important for safety purposes, especially when the workspace tends to fill up with lots of residue and dust from whatever technological process you work with. This is especially significant when talking about people who work in a woodshop and for whom dust poses a double threat of injury. Due to this multi-layered threat, a product called dust collector was invented and while it is usually associated with larger businesses, there is also the option of a portable dust collector for the weekend DIYer.
Investing in a portable dust collector makes sense because as it was said before wood poses a double threat. For one, the large chips and shavings that carpet a woodshop’s floor can create the ideal setting for a slip that can cause all kinds of injuries. The second threat is that of the very fine dust that gets kicked up into the air and which is breathed in by the worker.
This fine dust can lead to a variety of respiratory problems like allergic reactions to asthma, sinus headaches and in some cases after a long enough exposure even cancer. Of course wearing a dust mask is more than advisable in such cases. It’s common sense, but while the dust mask will stop you from inhaling the dust while you’re working, it will not stop small particles from settling down on the rest of the areas of your workshop. This means that they will still be there later, ready to be kicked up into the air again when maybe you won’t be wearing your dust mask.
This is where a portable dust collector comes into play. Thankfully, the average modern portable dust collector is effective as well as small and relatively cheap. Before you will start searching for the right tool, you’ll need to estimate how much dust your portable dust collector will need to deal with and purchase a unit accordingly. If you skip this part, you might end up using the wrong product.
For instance, if you deal more with fine wood dust and paint particles, then the portable dust collector option is definitely the thing for you. It will do a great job keeping those nasty things out of your respiratory system. On the other hand, if your problem is larger wood chips or metal shavings, then you might have to opt for a non-portable option, but that is still up to debate and it depends on your particular needs.
Some of these small portable dust collector units can be placed on your workbench and turned on while you sand or cut so that they start to draw all the particles as they are formed and then filter them out of the air. In fact, some models of portable dust collector units come with the attachments to link them directly to various power tools via a hose so that they are used to their maximum capabilities.
Of course in this field, as it is in many others, it all depends on what you’re working with, meaning that you will need to make sure that your portable dust collector is able to deal with the particle sizes that you create during your work. Also some units have a variable fan speed setting which makes them particularly useful for several types of projects.
One word of caution about these machines is their noise level. While this might be acceptable on its own, when it is combined with the noise of an electric cutting or sanding tool, you might find yourself closing on the threshold of hearing damage so it is advisable to wear proper ear protection.