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Shopvac Recommendations (Hoover, Vacuum Cleaner, Dust/Chip Collection)

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Lee Jones 609/10/2020 10:25:35
245 forum posts
125 photos

Looking at a few options, although I'm not sure how any of them will cope with oily chips.

Wondering whether to go with a large all-in-one solution or to choose a compact but powerful machine placed in series with a collection bucket (Cyclone or Thien Baffle) system.

Besides hoovering after the fact ( which is my current 'solution' ) what do you guys do?

Edited By Lee Jones 6 on 09/10/2020 10:25:54

Speedy Builder509/10/2020 10:41:35
2336 forum posts
178 photos

Pair of gloves for the big stuff (Machine stationary) then an ordinary cheapo shop vac from your local screw supplier. Yes, the tube will block up if you suck up the big stuff, but .....

The bit of oil which you will suck up doesn't seem to cause a problem. Also, with the appropriate PSE you can use the blow function to clear sideways etc - saves using the compressor.

Lee Jones 609/10/2020 10:50:28
245 forum posts
125 photos

Probably should have mentioned that I'm looking for more of a shop-wide solution.

CNC router, milling machine, table saw, etc.

Until this point I've been using an old upright Dyson. However oil (complete with associated stuck chips) has made its way into the ribs of the retractable hose such that it will not retract fully anymore, meaning it can no longer be stowed properly.

Vic09/10/2020 10:52:46
2860 forum posts
7 photos

I sweep up the big hose clogging bits then hoover up the rest with a Nilfisk wet and dry vac. Rather than blow swarf all over the workshop with a blow gun I often hoover chips away regularly as I machine a job. I bought the Nilfisk when it was on special offer from ScrewFix some years ago. It’s been absolutely brilliant, is not too noisy and can be used with or without bags. Handily you can also connect the hose to the output side so you can use it for blowing stuff with a suitable nozzle if you need to.

Frances IoM09/10/2020 10:55:58
1137 forum posts
28 photos
For a small workshop I bought one of the Aldi ash vacuums - like many of the woodchip vacuum systems a drum with side entering hose + extractor fan on a removable top but without the internal bag - the supplied tube was a relatively smooth bore unlike those in domestic vacuums but of relatively short length and fairly rigid - this had the advantage that swarf seldom blocked it but the disadvantage that the receptacle had to be fairly close to the machine - I built it into a cupboard near my lathe to which the tube would reach and a friend printed me an adapter for the Henry range vacuum hoses so that I could change tubes and reach my mill which produced chips rather than swarf - The Aldi system was much cheaper than seen elsewhere but like all Aldi stuff it tends to be available only for a short period. Whether it would serve for a more heavy semi-industrial use is debatable for my small workshop works well.
Lee Rogers09/10/2020 11:01:55
134 forum posts

Clear up the big or long swarf by hand then Karcher wet and dry vac . Doesn't have the blow facility but takes all the abuse I can dish out. Hang on to any good spare hoses , they can be used as extensions or be dedicated to oily swarf / wood and avoid sawdust and oil mixing. As for swarf and electrics mixing I've found the bag system keeps things where they should be. Mine is 10 years old and going strong.

Mick B109/10/2020 11:20:53
1941 forum posts
112 photos

VCB43B1-70 bagged cylinder - mine was £44 from Argos. Long or bulk swarf is best swept up first, but it's ideal for fine brass chips, even oily ones, and it'll clean out the T-slots on my Warco too.

New bag every 2 - 8 weeks depending on level of activity, but then I don't shift the Cu.Ins./min. some of you do.

Think you can still get them, but even if not there're bound to be near-equivalents. Works very well for me and I wouldn't want to spend much more when I could be buying tools or materials.

Edited By Mick B1 on 09/10/2020 11:21:13

Speedy Builder509/10/2020 11:46:14
2336 forum posts
178 photos

Have you looked at wood chip vacuum systems. try AXMINSTER tools or suppliers like them for something like this


mechman4809/10/2020 12:16:07
2924 forum posts
456 photos

I replaced my old Vax wet & dry vacuum with a smaller but more powerfull wet & dry cleaner from Screwfix ( usual disclaimer ) which also has the blow function... Titan TTB350 vac 1300W, wet & dry plus a pack of 10 spare bags, all at a very reasonable price, it certainly has the suction to shift stuff, the only down side it has a shorter hose than the old Vax.


Martin Connelly09/10/2020 13:01:31
1796 forum posts
192 photos

I got a Lidl version of the one Frances bought. Does the job well with the addition of a length of 1" water pipe from a pond supply shop for local flexibility (still relatively stiff compared to domestic vacuum hose). Together with a Cyclone magnetic sweeper and a selection of brushes I am covered for most small bits. Search for ash vacuum cleaner on line, there are plenty to look at.

Martin C

Brian Sweeting09/10/2020 13:24:21
453 forum posts
1 photos

As you have a few machines would a central vacuum system, home made of course, be a worthwhile thought?

Rigid plastic tube from each machine back to the vacuum with a local, short, flexible plugged in as required.

Oily Rag09/10/2020 13:40:23
448 forum posts
147 photos

Originally I used a Dirt devil but jumped at the Wet n Dry Hoover being relegated from house duty after Mrs Rag became besotted with a Dyson. That lasted many years until it finally expired during the early phase of lockdown due to overuse in the 'Great Spring Tidy Up 2020'. Now replaced by the old Vax rug cleaner(another wet n dry) which was working OK but Mrs Rag fell in love with the New Vax all singing and danced scrubber carpet cleaner.

Both the Hoover (RIP) and the Vax had/have 1300W motors and can fire a 3/8 W nut at supersonic speed into the receiver bucket! Never had a great problem with swarf clogging the flexy pipes.

Lee Jones 609/10/2020 14:22:37
245 forum posts
125 photos

Looks like Aldi are doing the ubiquitous (Lidl, Silverline, Titan, Einhell, VacMaster) silver Darlic for £49 and has amazing reviews. Probably stick a cyclone on that and call it done.

And yes, the plan is to run rigid uPVC piping around the shop (also need to do that for my air compressor).

Thanks for all your inputs guys. Your help, as usual, is invaluable.

Bazyle09/10/2020 18:54:09
5928 forum posts
220 photos

I have a Lidl ash vac too but it has a shorter hose than the same thing when sold as a normal vac. I'm slightly worried that as an ash vac is normally used for only about 10 seconds uness you are emptying Battersea power station grate then might it overheat / void warranty if used for regular stuff.

Edited By Bazyle on 09/10/2020 18:55:09

Samsaranda09/10/2020 19:06:59
1148 forum posts
5 photos

I have a Karcher and it performs well, I like the paper bag inside the body which means you can get rid of all the debris in one go, it has phenomenal suction and clears any amount of swarf off machines and will keep the floor clean as well. Don’t regret buying it, previously used an old Dyson upright, forever clogging the hoses with oil and swarf.
Dave W

Steve Neighbour09/10/2020 19:58:06
108 forum posts
1 photos

I have Numatic Henry, which has good suction and copes with all my swarf except the long spiral stuff, bags are strong enough to contain sharp strands and are reasonably priced.

Edited By Steve Neighbour on 09/10/2020 19:59:23

IanT09/10/2020 20:40:18
1857 forum posts
180 photos

Numatic Henry - (car boot purchase - may be awhile till we get to those again) but now coupled to a cyclone filter with a large screw-top tub underneath.

As others suggest - sweep the large swarf up with a brush and pan (kept for that purpose) but then just vac up the rest. The cyclone really does seem to get most of it - the bag stops the rest but doesn't need changing anywhere near as often now. I've 3D printed hose adaptors for my wood working tools but just use an ordinary vacuum cleaner accessory for general cleaning up.

Works well.



Clive Foster09/10/2020 21:26:04
2748 forum posts
100 photos

When, despite all reasonable care and pre-vacuum sweeping, the hose on my workshop Henry blocks up I remove it pass a suitably stout length of steel bar down to shift the chips. Obviously some care is needed to avoid cutting the hose with a sharp edge. In over a decade I've yet to damge mine so it is possible.

Current go-to bar is 1 1/4" Ø by about 3 ft long as thats the most handy to grab out of the ready rack. Changes over the years depending on what's handy.

I find that bockages are either birds nests at the nozzle end, highly likely if you just run with the open hose end, or at the exit bend, likely if you usually overfill the bag, like wot I does.


Edited By Clive Foster on 09/10/2020 21:26:51

Zan10/10/2020 00:12:50
268 forum posts
19 photos

Screwfix Titan! Very powerful Bag is needed as the air output will send any dust straight back out, but they can be reused several times It’s a fantastic unit except fir the hose which failed after a couple of years, so the failed Dyson upright from me daughter was grafted in place. Very highly recommended. Take care with it. Small tools rapidly disappear

Zan10/10/2020 00:13:21
268 forum posts
19 photos

Screwfix Titan! Very powerful Bag is needed as the air output will send any dust straight back out, but they can be reused several times It’s a fantastic unit except fir the hose which failed after a couple of years, so the failed Dyson upright from me daughter was grafted in place. Very highly recommended. Take care with it. Small tools rapidly disappear

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