How To Choose a Commercial Dust Collector System

How To Choose a Commercial Dust Collector System

11th May 2021

One of the biggest challenges that metalworking and fabrication shops of all different sizes face is the danger of particles that fly into the air during routine work. The best way to combat this threat is to install a commercial dust collector system to filter the air. These devices attract and capture the harmful particles that are common in metalworking shops. With so many different systems for removing airborne particles, you’re sure to find a design that works for your situation. Here’s some advice on how to choose a commercial dust collector system.

What Is a Dust Collector System?

When working in a fabrication shop, it’s easy to generate metal dust particles through standard working procedures that end up in the air. These particles are dangerous if they enter the body and can lead to a plethora of health complications, including chronic lung conditions like black lung and siderosis. These are extremely serious diseases that require extensive treatment to resolve.

A dust collection system is a solution to your metal dust particles problem. The goal of these systems is to purify as much of this dust from the air as possible. To accomplish this, they draw in the air and run it through a filter to capture the dangerous particles. Though there are many different ways to achieve this, it’s vital to have a functional system to keep metalworkers safe.

Types of Systems

There are many different variations when it comes to commercial dust collection systems. When selecting a design for their workshop, businesses should look at how each option functions to ensure they make the right choice for their situation. Here is a closer look at how a few of the most popular dust collection styles work.


A baghouse dust collector is an ideal solution that provides high-efficiency filtration for workshops of many different sizes. These typically have very basic designs, making them less expensive than many of the alternatives. And because of this simple design, the machines usually require less maintenance. Often, these machines use an industrial fan to suck air into the system. They then capture dust particles inside of felt bags, allowing the filtered air to escape. These should be your go-to systems any time you work with temperatures of about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.


A cyclone dust collector works by using inertia to remove the heavy particles from the lighter air. These machines suck air into a collection chamber and use airflow to force a separation between the pair. This style of machine works best with larger particles, but it’s also an effective method for removing dust from the air as well.

Cartridge Dust

A cartridge dust collector is another option for filtering dangerous metal particles out of the air. Unlike the felt bags that baghouse systems employ, a cartridge dust collector forces the air through pleated filters. These have larger surface areas than the bags, reducing the size of the machines themselves. Cartridge dust collectors are incredibly efficient at pulling the metal particles from the air and are useful during many different metalworking and fabrication projects.

Hood Design

When you’re purchasing or designing a commercial dust collector system, it’s vital for you to keep the design of the hood in mind. Many older hoods are simply incapable of handling the dust and fumes that people generate in today’s fabrication shops. Finding the right particle filtration solution could pay significant dividends in keeping employees safe.

The hood is one of those items where quality is crucial because replacement is often difficult. If the one you select isn’t suitable for the job, it can prevent the system from running at its peak efficiency. Investing in an ideal hood designed for your industry right from the beginning will prevent you from wasting precious time and money to modify the system or fix any problems in the future. Another easy way to maximize efficiency is ensuring that the duct connections to the hoods are secure. This helps balance the airflow in the shop when you place them strategically around the room.

The Right Fan or Blower

When the team at the company is designing their dust collection system, it’s crucial for them to select the best fan or blower for the workspace. There are several different factors to think about when selecting the best fan for the job. Aspects of vital importance to the collection system include the airflow and the blade design of the fan. A surprisingly common mistake people make when installing these systems is putting the blower in a position that causes it to face the wrong direction. Always read the instructions from the manufacturer before you begin the installation and pay attention so that all parts end up in the right spot.

Duct Layout

Many common dust collection methods rely on ductwork that is already in place to make the whole thing run. There are several elements to consider, whether you plan to incorporate an existing network of ducts or build one from the ground up. If you plan to use one of these preexisting setups, keep an eye out for leaks and dust accumulation. These can ruin the efficiency of the entire network and allow those dangerous dust particles to stay in the air.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Many commonly made mistakes can impact the efficiency of the collection network. If you are unsure how to choose a commercial dust collector system, looking at the errors people routinely make can help provide direction in your search. Some of the typical blunders include using intake fans that aren’t strong enough, failing to circulate air at the proper speed through the system, and overlooking leaks in the ductwork. All of these are preventable mistakes that the business must correct to keep its employees safe.

When you are looking to add one of these systems to your metalworking or fabrication shop, turn to the pros at Penn Tool Co to find a solution that works for you. We proudly carry a huge variety of commercial dust collectors and many different accessories and attachments to help make any job a breeze. Check us out today to learn about these or any of the other tools we offer.