So I am doing some DIY stuff with timber and MDF. I have used a dewalt circular saw, dewalt jig saw, and a japanese style hand saw for cutting the wood. It creates a lot of dust, I mean a LOT of dust. I did not know it would produce so much dust. I am doing all this work in my large garden shed.

Now the internet search shows that there are special devices similar to vacuum cleaners that can be used to handle this problem. They can attach to the dust extraction port of my circular saw and jig saw and in this way extract (most if not all) the dust that is generated as the power tools are used. I don't want to buy a dedicated dust extraction system since this is occasional DIY work and I don't want to buy a piece of equipment that will be seldom used and just occupy space and cost a lot of £.

I posses a Dyson Dyson Ball™ Animal vacuum cleaner. It has a top port that can be removed and extend like a pipe. If you are from the UK, you will already know what I am talking about. Is there a way to use my main powered vacuum cleaner that I already possess, to suck the dust? More specifically connect the vacuum cleaner to the dust extraction ports of the power tools? If this is a bad idea then I will see what dust extractor to buy.

  • 1
    Dyson's name seems related to high cost. For what you want there are shop vacuums that are less than 1/4 cost of a dyson and will probably do a better job.
    – crip659
    Jun 5, 2023 at 22:19
  • That's one of the charming things about MDF... I doubt that a household vacuum is going to have enough power to do you much good. The thing about "shop vacs" or dedicated dust collection systems is that they move a lot more air and pick up dust a lot better than a carpet vac.
    – gnicko
    Jun 5, 2023 at 22:58
  • I already own a Dyson. If I go to buy shop vacuums, I don't know which ones are considered good brand.
    – quantum231
    Jun 6, 2023 at 0:12
  • 1
    Not sure if this is an issue for the Dyson, but I once managed to blow up a standard household vacuum cleaner in a dust explosion after sanding a larger piece and vacuuming up the dust (apparently it got hot inside). Not really scary, but there was a boom and a few parts flew around and I had to dispose of the thing. Now I have a tiny 12 liter shop vac with I got new for 35 Euro (Germany) and it works well for occasional DIY, and is easy to stow away. Jun 6, 2023 at 11:19

3 Answers 3


As has been said above, the amount of dust you need to deal with, the filters on the Dyson will be blocked in no time (seconds - probably) and it won't be much good for anything until it's stripped down and cleaned out (not all filters are easily accessible). Also, vacuums designed for the job have special filters for dealing with the fine particles produced by the likes of MDF.

Dysons are just not suitable and if I am not mistaken the flexible hose is rather short after the ridgid "wand" is removed.

Having said that, if you remove the rigid tube from the flexible hose, you should be able to find "Vacuum Cleaner Power Tool Extraction Hose Adaptors"

Vacuum Cleaner Power Tool Extraction Hose Adaptors

(like this)

that should be close enough to the vacuum / tool dust port diameters. To get a tight fit, build up the diameter with insulation tape.

For my chop saw, I use a Numatic (Henry) Charles vacuum. It doesn't have the special fine particle filter, but it's better than a Dyson would be. I bought an extra long flexible hose for it.

I'd say any vacuum that has a similar design, like a Numatic Henry or Vax 6131T would be more suitable. I am sure there are many examples going cheap on the various market places across the Internet.

I'm not suggesting you buy one of these Festool mobile dust extractors, but I attended a talk/demo by Festool and it was quite interesting/worrying to find out about the dust a typical vacuum cleaner doesn't catch, although, that might all be sales BS.


  • I've found an old Dyson cylinder (with a long hose) pretty good for chip and ply and occasional MDF and hardboard. All the larger particles and most of the small ones come out in the centrifuge so the filter lasts quite well. It can then be washed under a tap, but needs to dry before using again. I wouldn't use a vacuum with a bag that has to be replaced (like a Henry) - they've always filled up in no time when I've used them, so does the Numatic in work clearing up after metalworking and occasional woodworking
    – Chris H
    Jun 6, 2023 at 15:35

What you'll probably want to do is some variation of picking up a cheap shop vac and an inexpensive dust separator. Shop vacs are good for a small shop because they're handy because they can be used for other things besides dust collection like general clean up, etc. The dust separator kind of spins the air going through it so that the dust falls out into a bucket giving your vacuum's filter a huge break.

You should be able to purchase both for around $100. This equipment will take up some space, but chances are you'll be getting into other tasks and projects in the future where sawdust will be a problem as well. And it's worth the money for not having to clean up or breathe sawdust!

cyclonic dust separator

If you do a quick search for something like "affordable dust collection for the home workshop" on Google (or especially YouTube) you'll find lots of information that should help you set up a dust collection for your shop.

  • I am a bit confused. Isn't dust extractor the same thing as shop vac?
    – quantum231
    Jun 6, 2023 at 2:21
  • 1
    No. I should have said "dust separator" perhaps. A dust extractor or collector is a machine specially made for sucking up sawdust in a shop. It uses larger ductwork and moves a lot more air volume than a shop vac. Shop vacs are good for a small shop because they're handy and can be used for other things besides dust collection. A dust separator make the air move in a cyclonic pattern to separate the sawdust from the air to prolong the life of the vacuum filter. You might be able to connect a separator to the Dyson, but I don't think it will move enough air volume to be useful.
    – gnicko
    Jun 6, 2023 at 2:48

No. It won't have the power you need and you'll clog and/or damage it.

What will suffice for your use is any cheap shop-vac. Hit up Craigslist, somebody will have one for £25. You might even find proper dust collectors.


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