Woodworking is truly wonderful: shaping and manipulating a piece of wood until it assumes the form of furniture, tools, and even showpieces— all with a few tools and the right skills.
But it’s also messy and even dangerous. Part of the reason is sawdust. In any woodshop where sanding, grinding, and cutting occurs, there is bound to be sawdust. And without the best woodshop air filtration system, you might end up inhaling this dust, which contains harmful chemicals and even carcinogens.
“But what about my dust collector?” you might be wondering. Those can only hold larger wood chips but not smaller, finer particles that remain in the air.
So here are the best filtration systems currently to be found on the market, reviewed for your benefit.
7 Best Woodshop Air Filtration System Reviews
Here are the reviews of our top recommendations. Let’s get on with the reviews, then.
The first air filtration system we’ve selected for your consideration today is from Wen, a brand renowned for producing some of the most efficient and long-lasting machines on the woodworking market. This system is available in 300/350/400 CFM, making it a good choice for garage and home workshops.
This air filtration system comes with two filters: one for 1-micron particles and another filter for 5-micron particles. Both are highly efficient and easy to replace and clean.
The dimensions of this machine are 17″L x 20.5″ W x 10″ H, which is the ideal size for most small workshops. It’s capable of handling rooms of up to 400 square feet. Despite this powerful operation, the machine is one of the most quiet: it runs at 50 to 60 decibels.
We also love the impressive additional features included in this thing. It comes with a programmable timer, which allows you to determine in advance at which time the filtration system must turn off. Meanwhile, a remote control system allows you to control the workings of the machine from afar. How convenient is that?
All in all, considering its reasonable price and overall high functionality, this is one of the best deals you can get if you’re looking for the best woodshop air filtration system for your home woodshop.
- Remote control lets you control the filtration system from afar
- Comes with a mounting hook and handles for easy installation
- Adjustable timer allows you to choose when the machine turns off
- Comes with both a 1-micron and 5-micron pre-filter for efficient cleansing
The next air filtration system on our list is available from Shop Fox. It’s another ideal pick for those of you who are looking for air cleaning mechanisms for small to medium woodworking workshops.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a powerful machine. It comes outfitted with a 1/8HP 120 volt motor, making it one of the most high-performing options on our list. As such, we think this is one of the best shop air filtration systems you can get if you do a lot of heavy-duty woodworking.
What’s more, this machine has the ability to operate at three speeds: 1200, 1400, and 1750 RPM (the corresponding airflow capacity being 260, 362, and 409CFM). As such, it’s suitable for workshops of many sizes. To facilitate this, this machine is suitably lightweight, weighing only 31 pounds.
Maintenance and upkeep are also very easy when it comes to this machine, with its two filters being super easy to replace and clean whenever required. If you prefer, you can also use a blower to do this. You won’t even need tools to do any of this. We love a machine that is made to reduce downtime in its very design.
- Single-phase motor operates at 120 volts and 1/8 HP
- Can be operated at speeds of 1200, 1400, and 1750 RPM
- Lightweight construction at 31 pounds
- Filters are easy to clean using compressed air
- The easily accessible control panel makes for convenient usage
This powerful and highly efficient air filtration system from Jet is one of our favorite selections. Although it’s slightly more expensive than the machines we’ve reviewed thus far, the price reflects the quality of its performance. Let’s see what it has to offer.
This air filtration system comes with two filters, one with the ability to handle 5-micron particles (98%) and one inner filter that captures 1-micron particles (up to 85%). Of course, it’s not possible to clean 100% of the air in your woodshop without an industrial-strength machine; considering this, the power of this system is certainly commendable.
The usage and maintenance of this air filtration system are also quite easy to do. It comes with a remote control ability, letting you control the operation from wherever you may be standing in your workshop. Oh, and this remote will allow you to effortlessly control the shut-off time of the machine, thanks to a built-in timer.
Furthermore, installing it is a walk in the park as well, thanks to an in-built hook that makes it easy to put the machine in a central position by hanging it on the ceiling.
However, if you want to place it on a workbench or counter, that’s also possible thanks to the rubber feet along its bottom. This same rubber base ensures that the machine won’t mar whatever surface you place it on. (Just make sure not to put it somewhere the air flow much be obstructed!)
- Comes with remote control with 3 different time settings (2, 4, and 8 hours)
- Grips on the sides of the machine make it easily portable
- Easy to clean by removing the inner pocket filter
- Comes with an auto shut-off feature that prevents workshop hazards
- Air diffuser allows air to disperse with greater ease
Our first Powertec pick, the AF4000, comes with a dual filter system and promises to clear your woodshop air of almost all particles. Its inner filter lets through 1-micron particles, while the outer filter takes care of 5-micron ones.
This is all done highly efficiently thanks to the machine’s powerful 1/6 motor, which nevertheless runs quietly in the background. So whether you have a moderate to a large-sized workshop in your garage or run a busy spot, this machine will get the job done. This combines well with the machine’s ability to work at three different speeds, of 300, 350, or 400 CFM.
You’ll love the convenience of using this air filtration system, with its infrared remote control system, which lets you effortlessly control the machine’s power and speed. You’ll be able to select from 3 different timer settings, from 1hr, 2hr, and 4hr.
Oh, and installing this air filtration system is super easy, thanks to included hooks which allow you to place it on the ceiling. Cleaning the filters is a task that can be accomplished quickly and with low effort.
- A dual filter system gets rid of micro particles with ease
- 3 different timer settings let you choose from 1 hour, 2 hour and 3-hour options
- Works at three different speeds to suit the needs of your projects
- Lightweight design and integrated hooks allow for easy installation
When it comes to making air filtration systems, Powermatic has been doing excellent. Almost all of their systems are portable and pack just the right bit of power to get your job done. The PM1200 comes with a high-powered motor with adjustable speeds, which keeps your air clean at all times.
Inside the body, the filtration unit consists of two layers. The outer disposable filter is designed to keep out large particles up to 5 microns in size. This reduces the stress on the inner filter, which is much finer and works to keep out particles measuring 1 micron.
What makes using this system easy and hassle-free is the cleaning process. The inner filter is a mesh with pockets that can be cleaned with an air blower. Also, the outer filters are disposable and come in a standard size, so replacing them is pretty easy.
The front panel of the device features an LCD screen, making all the information easy to read. It also has a wide range of controls that let you adjust the motor speeds from the low, medium, and high. You can also use the programmable timer to keep the filtration system running for a fixed set of hours.
- Double filters allow for better filtration of dust
- The LCD screen makes the status easy to read
- Programmable timer lets you keep the system running for a fixed time
- Adjustable fan speeds enhance energy-saving
- Remote transmitter to control the system from a distance
Portable, clean and powerful are the perfect words to describe this next air filtration system from Powermatic. Sitting at the top with some of the best filtration systems in the market, this really does get the job done like no other. With its micro-dust collection technology, it makes sure that even the smallest of particles are being sucked out of your workshop.
What makes this filtration system so desirable is its ability to pack so much power without making a sound. The fan blades have a unique design that works best with the high-powered motor to give you clean air while minimizing the noise. At its peak speed, the highest dB level it will reach is 50.8, and the lowest being 41.3 decibels.
For those of you who are environmentally aware, this system is truly a blessing. While it’s a given that any device with rotating parts consumes quite a bit of electricity, the PM1250 actually works to reduce that. Certified by the California Air Resource Board and also Energy Star rated, this device keeps its energy consumption as low as possible.
Moving onto the most important part of the PM1250. The filter. Powermatic’s patented filter technology is made to keep out microscopic dust particles as tiny as 0.1 micron!
Fitted within the unit is an electrostatic filter that is not only easy to clean but also has a highly durable build. So no matter how much saw dust you’re releasing into the air, this air filtration system would keep bringing in fresh air for many years to come.
- Energy Star rating reduces energy consumption
- Low dB count keeps the fan speed sound to a minimum
- Multiple fan speed settings to work in different environments
- Patented filter technology removes even the tiniest of dust particles
- Easy filter accessibility for hassle-free cleaning
With over 70 years of experience, any tool from General International is bound to provide you with utmost satisfaction. Our final pick available from them is no different. Made with the most reliable technology paired with the durable build quality, this is one system you can’t go wrong with.
Starting off, we need to applaud General International for the innovation they have put into this machine. With integrated laser sensors, the device is constantly scanning for harmful dust particles around the room. This keeps you worry-free as you don’t have to constantly check up on your filtration system from time to time.
Moving on, this system reduces the risk of overheating with its overload protection. We cannot stress how important this feature is. Woodworking projects require you to work for long periods of time, and so, the filtration system needs to be able to match that. Without overload protection, the motor will tend to heat up uncontrollably, which might eventually cause a fire to break out.
From the outside, you can already tell that the unit has been made with the most rugged materials. The combination of steel, cast-iron, and aluminum makes this system highly durable and resistant to wear and tear. Also, the powder-coated finish keeps the exterior looking fresh and clean for long years to come.
- Remote control enhances user-convenience
- Rubber feet keep it stable on benches and tables
- Overload protection reduces the risk of fire hazards
- 3 Fan speed settings aids versatility
- Steel, iron, and aluminum build enhances durability
You May Also Love to Read: 10 Best Shop Vacs for Woodworking
Buying Guide for Air Filtration System
Before you decide which air filtration system to buy, make sure to keep the following factors in mind.
The strength of an air purifier or filtration system is determined by the amount of air volume it can move. This is measured in cubic feet of air moved per minute (shortened to CFM). Choosing a system with the right CFM involves making some calculations.
Use this formula: first, multiply the length of the room with the width of the room. Then multiply this figure with the height of the room and the number of air changes per hour.
But what what does “air changes” mean? It simply refers to the number of times you want your air filtration system to put out fresh air into the workshop. Rooms with heavy pollution require about 12 to 15 air changes in a single hour, but if you don’t do any heavy woodworking, as low as 6 air changes per hour also work.
Another indicator of the strength of the air filtration system is its filters. Most systems have external filters which can capture particles measuring 1 to 5 microns. These ensure air purification of 80 to 95 percent.
As before, the right number of filters depends on the size of your workshop, how frequently you work there, and the scale of your projects.
Look into the specifics of the filtration system as well. Some air filtration systems are equipped with inner filters as well as external ones, which allows for better quality air. Whichever you choose, though, steer clear of single-filter models since they can’t catch large particles and are prone to clogging.
The versatility of your air filtration system is determined to a great extent by its available fan speeds. The larger your workshop, the higher the fan speed should be. And as you may be able to imagine, the CFM of the machine ties closely in with speed. Also, look for models that allow you to adjust the fan speed.
The best air filtration systems are those that are designed for long-term ease of use. On that note, we prefer systems with a diffuser, which spread clean air more easily. A movable exhaust is also preferred as this allows you to control the direction of the airflow.
Like any machine, the air filtration systems also come with their own motor. Motors having at least 1/3 to 1/5 HP are suggested for small to medium workshops. If you’re working in an industrial woodshop, however, a minimum of 1/6 to 1/8 HP is the better choice.
RPM is also an important consideration when it comes to the motor. An air filtration system’s RPM determines the speed at which the motor spins the fans. So, a higher RPM translates to a faster airflow and cleaner air delivered to you quicker.
Also, make sure that the filtration system you choose is equipped with overload protection. This eliminates the risk of a fire hazard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is an air filtration system?
Ans: It’s a technology that prevents dangerous particles from persisting in the air of your woodshop. It works with the help of air filters.
Q: What happens if you inhale wood dust?
Ans: Not to scare you, but wood dust inhalation is associated with quite a few diseases, such as asthma, dermatitis, and even cancer.
Q: Can’t I just use a Shop Vac instead of installing an air filtration system?
Ans: Shop vacs undoubtedly offer great suction; however, their airflow is also quite weak. Moreover, whereas an air filtration system can work in the background, a vacuum can only be used after you’re done.
Q: Doesn’t my dust collector do the same job as an air filtration system?
Ans: A dust collector can only catch the particles which happen to fall in its direction. An air filtration system works constantly in the background to keep the air in your workshop clean and can deal with small, unseen particles.
Q: How should I clean my air filtration system?
Ans: Take out the filters, dust them off, and clean them in water. Then let them dry before reinserting.
Q: Where should I install my air filtration system?
It’s common to hang it from the ceiling, but wherever you put it, make sure that the air intake outlet isn’t obstructed.
While it’s true that all of the products mentioned above will provide top-notch filtering, making a choice ultimately depends on you. The fan speed and airflow should be adjusted to how frequently you work. This will allow you to get the best woodshop air filtration system without spending unnecessarily on high-powered models.
We ardently hope this review has aided you in choosing the right filtration device for your workshop.