I am not looking to upset my wife by trying the house vacuum cleaner, so I am looking at buying something separate for my small shed workshop.

Looking at dust extraction options, the cheapest dust extractor I can find is a 1200W one around £350 whereas I can buy, say, a 1400W wet & dry vacuum cleaner with the same capacity or about £70.

Is using a wet & dry vacuum cleaner suitable for use as a dust extractor?

  • 2
    It would probably be just fine for light-duty work. Search for "cyclone dust collector" - don't buy one, look for instructions on how to make one. This will dump most of the material into a bucket and significantly reduce the work on the shop-vac and increase the time between dust filter cleanings/replacements.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 23, 2020 at 14:53
  • FreeMan's suggestion is solid enough to be placed as an answer, especially if links and images are provided.
    – fred_dot_u
    Apr 23, 2020 at 14:59
  • @fred_dot_u fine... your wish is my command. :)
    – FreeMan
    Apr 23, 2020 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


A shop-vac (generic use, not the name brand) will work just fine for light-duty dust collection. Particularly when the dust stream is run through a cyclone collector.

The cyclone collector will separate the majority of the debris stream from the air stream making the vacuum's job easier and reducing the rate at which the filter clogs and needs to be cleaned/replaced.

A quick web search for "build cyclone dust collector" with turn up lots of written and video instructions on how to build one. Many can be built out of a 5-gallon bucket and a couple of hose fittings for around $5 (adjust based on your local currency). It appears from my current search that most of the 5-gallon bucket instructions are in videos, as I'm not finding written instructions at the moment. However, 30-minutes of watching videos will give you the right ideas and will save you $100s over buying a manufactured one.

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