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My mother (who tends to be right about this stuff) says that using my non-shop-vac to cleanup sawdust will ruin the motor.

I recently bought a new, fancy, expensive vacuum cleaner that was really expensive and I definitely don't want to ruin the motor.

I live in an apartment and so it is kind of a pill for me to take projects down to the courtyard -- can't leave tools lying around, etc. That means that for small projects I sometimes make a couple of cuts inside, and I need to be able to vacuum up the sawdust. I kept my 15 year old Hoover canister for occasional sawdust cleanup, but I'm wondering (my apartment is big, but not that big) if the sawdust is really going to ruin my Meile's motor.

So what should I do? Use the fancy vacuum for occasional sawdust? Or keep the crappy tank around for project cleanup?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I can't really see why saw dust is any different than the dust you find around your house (mostly made up of dead skin cells). The only real difference is that you tend to clean-up a lot of saw dust at any one time, whereas it takes a long time to fill a vacuum bag with typical around-the-house cleaning.

The dust should never come in contact with the motor. I think you're more likely to damage the motor by running it with a clogged filter (most vacuums since people tend to never clean them) then you are cleaning up saw dust with a clean filter.

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Okay. Freecycling the old canister vac. – Amanda Jun 10 '14 at 19:50

I use my normal vacuum to clean up all kinds of construction debris. I just clean it after every use. Works just fine.

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