The Dust Right Dust Collector By Rockler – It Sucks So Good

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Rockler Dust Right

How could we title a dust collector review without an “it sucks” pun? And why would we want to? Dust is a pernicious woodshop nuisance that gets on and in absolutely everything, including your lungs. Luckily, the suction of Rockler’s Dust Right can vastly improve the air quality in your shop and keep those 600 million fleshy air sacs of yours working as Mother Nature intended. And the fact that Dust Right hangs on the wall, out of the way, addresses another “huge” issue – that there’s never enough room, no matter how large your shop. Rockler Woodworking & Hardware provided this golden super sucker for us to try out. Now that we’ve had some quality air time with it, we’re ready to report our findings.

It’s OK – You Can Breathe Easy Now!

Rockler Dust Right
Rockler’s Dust Right dust collector and canister filter are a real breath of fresh air.

The average woodworking shop is even dustier than you’d think. I’ll gladly admit that the hand toolers have a big advantage over guys like me in this realm. We at Home Fixated love our whirling blades, power sanders and other pixie powered dust generators. But we also know that using those tools safely is every bit as important as getting the job done.

Dust wrong
It takes surprisingly little cutting to produce a pile like this under a table saw. At the same time, a cloud of fine dust fills the air.

Respiratory safety is often overlooked or just plain ignored; especially in the home workshop. The dust from some woods (particularly those with higher oil content, such as cedar and cocobolo) can be rather abusive to the lungs and sinuses and even irritate skin. But all dust is a health hazard when it fills the air you breathe.

Planer shavings
Surface planers generate a lot less fine dust, but they spew forth tons of shavings. This shop vac could definitely use a hand over here.

A filtering mask helps mitigate the negative effects of airborne particles, but the best measure is to capture dust at the source. Dust Right makes it easy to tame the biggest offenders in the shop: the table saw, band saw, drum sander and router table. It can also be used with sanding downdraft tables, wood lathes, jointers, miter saw dust hoods, smaller power tools and more.

Which Is Right For Me? – Portable Vacuum Or Dust Collector.

Dust Right dust collector
When you need serious dust collection, Dust Right is ready to go. Photo: Rockler.com

When thinking about dust management options, first consider the tools you’ll be using. Portable vacuums like a Shop Vac produce high suction over a small area. They’re great for many smaller tools, like circular saws, benchtop band saws and sanders. If it has a small (2-1/2” and under) dust collection port, a medium-sized vacuum will probably suffice.

Use the right tool for the job
I’ve been using a reducer and coffee can to connect a Shop Vac to this band saw. Not only is it coated in dust from above, but it barely pulls dust from within the saw.

Your average shop vac moves around 175 – 180 CFM (cubic feet of air per minute). They can be used on a 4” dust port (with an adapter), but the air current becomes attenuated to the point of barely effective. Most larger tools need a lot more air flow to effectively capture dust.

Dust in bandsaw
Even with regular clean-outs, a lot of dust still piles up inside my big band saw when using a Shop Vac.

Proper dust collection is all about moving high volumes of air; Dust Right has a chooch factor of 650 CFM (over 3-1/2 times that of the average portable vacuum). Like springtime pollen, airborne dust goes where the air goes – but all year long. So if you move enough through the collector your lungs don’t have to play surrogate filter. And everything in the shop doesn’t have to look like Pompeii in the wake of Mount Vesuvius.

Rockler Dust Right Makes A Spectacle Of Itself

Dust Right
Dust Right

From Rockler.com, here are the specs:

Decibel Rating: 80-85db
Manufacturer Part Number: TADC-34WN
Weight (lbs): 50.0500
Amps: 12
Volts: 110
Height: 48″ (including the filter bag)
Capacity: 15 Gallons
Flow Rate: 650 CFM
Filter Type: Bag
HP: 3/4 HP

According to an app on my phone, the Dust Right blower is 6db louder than my Shop Vac (83db vs. 77db). But it doesn’t have that high pitched whine, so it doesn’t “feel” as loud to me. You can talk over it and not feel like you’re yelling.

Safety power switch
Safety power switch. Remove the yellow lockout key to prevent unauthorized usage.

As you’d expect, the unit is compatible with standard 4” dust collector fittings, hoses, hoods, adapters and accessories.

Dust Right Filtration – Smarticle Particles

Canister filter
The optional canister filter is well worth the money. It works better than the bags and is built to last.

The Dust Right wall mount dust collector comes with a 30 micron filter bag capable of holding 15 gallons of dust and wood chips. Or you can step up to the optional 5 micron filter bag.

But for the ultimate upgrade, try the Dust Right pleated canister filter, which can scrub particles as small as a single micron. That’s 30 times better filtration than the stock filter bag! 1 micron is one tiny particle. A human hair is around 75 microns thick; our red blood cells, approx. 5 microns. But let’s try to keep the blood inside our bodies, where it belongs.

And it’s so easy to clean; just crank the canister filter’s handle a few times and a paddle inside knocks dust from the pleats without your having to remove it from the main unit. A very nice feature indeed! When you’re done, re-tuck the folding handle and carry on. Check out how easy it is to unclog the pleats (note that the canister is up-side down to give you a better view):

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkWUvL8gQAz/

Nip Dust Right In The Bud – At The Tool

Router table
Hook Dust Right to your router table for a cleaner cavity and a huge reduction in airborne particles. I’ve ordered a splitter (not shown) so I can “Y” it off to the dust port on the fence as well.

Not only can proper dust collection keep most of the particles out the air, it can pretty much eradicate the piles that grow in and around many of your power tools. It’s amazing just how much of a mess you can create in only a half hour at the table saw, router table or surface planer. And if you have a drum sander, you definitely need good dust collection.

Table saw dust hood
I can finally install the dust hood that came with my table saw. I’ve waited years for this moment.
Suck that dust!
The wispy coat of dust on the floor was already there; the maid (that’s me) didn’t sweep very well.

With a table saw – even though the blade cuts in the downward direction – dust is carried by the gullets between the teeth and ejected into the air. Ripping a single 2×4 can fill the shop with dust that may take hours to settle out.

Dust hood
A dust hood can be used at the lathe or miter saw. It’s not a perfect solution, but it does make a big difference. Photo: Rockler.com

Dust Right – Saw Dust Is Banned At The Bandsaw

Dust Right at the band saw
This is a huge improvement over the portable vacuum I’ve been using.

Like the table saw, the bandsaw is a tricky place to capture dust. There’s a lot of internal real estate, and the column and top wheel housing aren’t subject to nearly as much vacuum as the lower housing. Then there’s those pesky open areas above and below the table. Some dust will inevitably escape; that’s just how reality works. But even with those hurdles, I noticed a huge difference on my 14” Rikon.

Be Gone With You, Sawdust! – Dust Right Dust Collector

Without proper dust collection
Using a small vacuum; this is the build up from only a handful of project parts. And it continues to get worse until manually cleaned.

Shop Vacs have always been my main mode of dust collection. It’s better than nothing, but woefully inadequate on bigger tools. It sucks in a bad way; and that’s not good. When I hook up the Dust Right to my bandsaw, I see almost no dust floating into the air. And the internal parts stay much cleaner. It’s leaps and bounds better than what I had going on before.

Dust Right to the rescue
Dust right cleaned its plate and begged for more!

I gave the saw a good cleaning then connected the 4” hose and resawed 64 lineal feet of 3-1/2” thick stock (16 feet of 2×4’s cut along the wide dimension three times). There was only a little dust on the wheels’ hubs and door, but that’s about it. Without the dust collector there would have been a substantial pile of sawdust at the bottom, and covering every internal organ.

Small amount of buildup
A little dust did accumulate on the lower wheel hub and door. But pretty much nowhere else.

I typically vacuum and brush the innards of my bandsaws after every handful of projects, depending on how much they’re used. My vac just can’t move enough air to prevent fairly rapid buildup. And sometimes it allows dust to build up between the drive belt and pulley. I’ve had belts come off and one shred into ribbons because clumps of sawdust get in there. Adequate dust collection pretty much eliminates those problems altogether. Thank you, Dust Right!

Dust be gone!
What an improvement! The dust is being transported to another dimension, beyond space and time. So are my left forearm and hand. Woosh!

Mount It To The Wall Or Roll It Around

I made myself a roll around cart for the Dust Right dust collector. It may look top heavy, but it’s remarkably stable and will not tip. A platform on the base raises and lowers to get the fiberboard drum in and out of place. Foam weather stripping seals the joint.

If you want your dust collector out of the way, no problem. Dust right hangs on the wall using the included “Z” bracket. When mounted, the protrusion is only about 16” deep and 20” wide.

You can plumb your shop with 4” duct work and blast gates and have every major tool covered. Or use a flexible hose and quick connect fittings and plug only into the tool you’re using. I bought the hose and quick change handle as a package deal, not realizing that you also need a mating docking port for each tool. They’re inexpensive (about $7.50 each), but don’t forget them – like I did – or you’ll be ordering again.

Stretchy hose
Rockler’s expandable hose is super flexible and comes in three lengths: 14′, 21′ and 28′, but packs small. Now I need to come up with a way to corral it on the cart.

I’m not sure where all of my big tools will land when I finally make the shop more user friendly. So I decided to purchase the really long blue hose you see.

Carrying handle
The unit can be carried by the padded handle. But support the motor with one hand while lifting on or off of the Z bracket. In this case, I drilled the base plate for permanent mounting to the cart, using the Z bracket only to support the weight while I inserted bolts.

Putting The Cart Before The Horsepower – Making It Mobile

Naked cart
A blurry view of my cart before mounting the Dust Right and adding the base platform.

For portability, you may decide to get some extra Z brackets to mount in other areas of the shop. The Dust Right can be lifted off of the bracket and carried to other work stations as needed. At 50lbs (at least), however, this can become a hassle. Even more so if you are using the Dust Right canister filter.

Cart base
The rear casters are behind the vertical part for very stable footing. Instead of a bag, I opted for a fiberboard drum, which is raised and lowered by means of an adjustable platform on the bottom.
Rockler Pack Rack
A lot of people have used the Pack Rack as a dust collector cart. But if you buy the canister filter, you may need something taller. Photo: Rockler.com

A popular alternative to lugging this 50 lb. beast around is to use Rockler’s Pack Rack as the frame for a portable dust collector cart. Or do what I did and build one from scratch.

A Breath Of Dust Free Air

There’s only so much you can say about a dust collector. Dust Right moves a lot of air and has great filtration options. It’s wall-mountable and portable, compatible with standard 4” dust collection fittings and Rockler’s Quick Change system and fairly priced. Rockler also carries plenty of accessories to make it even more versatile, including a separator that captures most of dust before it reaches the filter bag, a floor vacuum attachment, swivel connectors and more.

If you’re tired of sucking in lungfuls of dust and having everything in your shop covered in powdered wood, perhaps it’s time to put the heavy duty performance of Rockler’s Dust Right dust collection system to work for you. It sure is working for me.

Dust Right with canister filter for around $470

Buy Now - via Rockler

Dust Right dust collector for around $250

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Canister filter alone for around $230

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5 micron filter bag for around $35

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Expandable, flexible hose starting at around $36

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3′ – 21′ expandable hose with quick change handle for around $65

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Pack of 2 docking ports to convert standard 4” dust ports to quick change, for around $15

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Pack of 2 extra Z brackets for around $10

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Rockler Pack Rack for around $180

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Photo of author

About Steve

Steve made his first woodworking project at age 9 (in 1982) and whittled his first wooden chain at 18. He was also a consumer electronics repair tech and shop owner for a little over 20 years, until his impending obsolescence became impossible to ignore. Since then, Steve has focused passionately on manipulating his wood... in his workshop. Don't judge him.

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9 thoughts on “The Dust Right Dust Collector By Rockler – It Sucks So Good”

  1. Steve, I have 30 feet of 2 1/2” tubing connected to my various tools.
    My question is should I go with the 650 com version or do I need the 1250 version
    I plan to connect the 4” down to 2 1/2” at the dust collector

    Reply
    • Bob, unfortunately, I’m not well enough versed on the specifics to give the advice you need. There are multiple factors that come into play. (However, if you mean a continuous 30 foot run of 2″, that may be too restrictive for the air flow you need.)

      Sorry I can’t directly address your question, but if you check out this article by Wood Magazine, it should walk you through all the calculations you need to perfectly tweak your dust collection ductwork.

      https://www.woodmagazine.com/figure-dust-collection-needs-by-the-numbers

      All the best to you!
      – Steve

      Reply
  2. I have one of these and it seems “wimpy” to me. Is that the way it is suppose to be? Only picks up dust within 1′ of the hose end. What am I missing?

    Reply
    • Ronald, I definitely understand your confusion. Let me try to explain. Dust collectors differ from vacuum cleaners (including port shop vacuums) in one important way: Air flow. Normal vacuums reply on high velocity air movement to suck up dirt and debris. Dust collectors (such as Rockler’s Dust Right) are a different animal.

      You can suck up wood chips and other small debris with a dust collector, but – as you’ve observed – the hose or fitting needs to be close to the debris to do so. That’s why you need good coupling to a table saw, band saw or other tool to extract the saw dust and shavings.

      Unlike a shop vacuum, the main function of a dust collector is to prevent fine dust from becoming airborne by pulling in as much air as possible near the source of the dust. And that requires a much higher VOLUME of air. A vacuum moves less air, but at a higher linear speed. A dust collector moves a much more air, but at a slower speed.

      While it’s not a perfect analogy, imagine the difference between central air conditioning and a box fan. They both move air, but they serve fundamentally different functions, and therefor have different operating parameters.

      I hope this helps.
      – Steve

      Reply
      • Thanks Steve for that insight. I had 4 feet of 4″ hose to my hose reel and then 20 feet of 2″ (1.5 id) hose. I removed the 4″ hose and replaced with 2 1/2″ hose. This increased the velocity slightly and is better for picking up more dust. I can live with it now. For a constant cfm the smaller the pipe diameter the higher the velocity but also higher pressure loss. I am at a good point now.

        Reply
  3. Good review, Steve. I’m confused about the amps. The picture of your dust collector’s label shows 7.5 AMPS but the Rockler specs online shows 12 AMPS. I would expect it to be closer to 7.5 AMPS.

    Reply
    • Good question, Matt.

      I see the Dust Right is now sold with a blue color scheme. At first I wondered if perhaps they are using a different motor. But the label on the new blue ones are the same as on the gold version (both say “7.5 A”). So my educated guess is that the 12 AMP rating is likely to be the peak surge current drawn – such as when the motor is first powered on – but that the regular running current is only 7.5 A.

      Reply

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