How to Make a Dust Collector Quiet

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Is your dust collector to loud, making you cringe every time you need to use it? One of the most unruly and out of control parts of having a home workshop is the constant upkeep. Did you know that dust particles can cause potentially life-threatening health issues?

With that said, keeping your work environment dust-free is an essential part of having a workshop. If you’re looking to quiet down your dust collector or plan on purchasing a new, improved quiet one, this guide can help.

In this article, you will learn why dust collectors are loud, the principles on noise levels, and how to quiet it down. You will learn about various types of dust collectors as well. Once the dust settles on this guide, you’ll have a better understanding of making a dust collector quiet or purchasing one.

What Causes Dust Collectors to be so Loud?

The noise a dust collector produces is generated from the motor, system exhaust, the impeller, and the vibration of the ductwork dust collection system. Most house shop dust collectors have an open exhaust that produces hardly any noise attenuation. The size of motor and how it is mounted on the dust collector system will also contribute to the sound.

You will find that some motors tend to be louder than others. For instance, a single-stage system has less sound reduction than a two-stage operation. Some motors have rubber and insulated housings to help reduce the noise more so than other brands.

The impeller produces turbulence and suction, generating a whirlwind noise. Transfers through the hose, duct, and pipe generate rattles and vibrations sound, making an even louder noise. On top of this noise and the main culprit of the loud sounds is the high-pressure exhaust.

The sound waves increase in intensity within the compilation system and are forced out of the exhaust, creating a high pitched noise. The compilation system has very little sound control when it comes to insulation.

Dust Collector Noise Ratings

It’s measured in decibels (dB) to determine the loudness of a noise source. Listening to sounds above 85dB for long periods can potentially harm your hearing. For instance, if you drive a motorcycle at 96-100dB everywhere you go or have your boom box blaring constantly, you could experience hearing loss.

Many people have a different level of noise comfort, with some being more sensitive than others. For the most part, people are inclined to experience discomfort around 70dB. If your ears begin to ring or have pain, the noise is too loud.

Stock car races produce 130dB, that’s 60dB times louder than the typical sensitive level of 70dB. A chainsaw or leaf blower is in the 106 – 115dB range, about 36 – 45dB louder than 70dB. A dry vacuum is around 75dB, which is only slightly about the 70dB range.

Dust collectors range somewhere between 70 – 90dB depending on the amount of power it supplies. You will find that dust collectors are much quieter than shop machinery but still produce enough noise to create potential hearing loss over time.

Making a Dust Collector Quieter

Now that you have learned where the noise comes from and how loud noises can cause hearing loss, let’s study how to reduce the noise. There are several options on how to decrease the sound of your dust collector. However, the most common way to reduce the noise coming from your dust collector is by adding a silencer.

Oneida 13-Inch Stacking Sound Filter

The Oneida 13-Inch Stacking Sound Filter reduces the overall noise level of a dust collector by 6-7dB at 10 feet without increasing the systems overall footprint. It is constructed of heavy-gauge steel and is ideal for small personal shops where noise is more of a critical concern.

It is easy to install between the exhaust port and the 13-inch diameter cartridge filter. Of course, this does add 14 inches to the filter stack but only takes about 15 minutes to do. You can also stack more than one sound filter creating a more decibel reduction.

However, the resulting noise decline per filter is not linear and can reduce returns. For instance, if you place two sound filters on your dust collector, you will have a 9dB reduction making it small deference from only having one with 6-7dB.

Adding a third sound filter will only reduce 1dB. Oneida Air Systems also offer these stacking sound filters in an 18-inch cylinder with a 4-5dB noise reduction.

Oneida 18-Inch Drop-In Filter Silencer

The Oneida 18-Inch Filter Silencer inserts into an 18-inch cartridge filtering system. The patented acoustic foam dampens air vibrations while lowering the overall noise of the dust collector by 2-3dB. These reasonably priced filters can are easy to install or replace if damaged.

Unlike the stackable sound filter, these drop-in ones don’t extra inches to your dust collector filtration stack. Oneida Air Systems provides 13-Inch Drop-In Filter Silencer as well.

VIVOSUN 6-Inch Noise Reducer Silencer

The best way to decrease the vibration in your inline duct fan noise is by using a silencer like VIVOSUN 6-Inch Noise Reducer Silencer. You place the silencer directly after the fan of your dust collector. The silencer tube is filled with commercial grade neoprene foam that reduces a dust collector’s fan noise by 50 percent.

Its specialty design, which is open-cell foam with an egg crate pattern, is an excellent sound absorber. The noise reducer silencer can stop the spread of sound waves while still allowing air to flow through the duct system. It is ideal for reducing the loud sounds of carbon filtering systems and fans.

Different Types of Dust Collectors

There are a few different types of dust collectors in today’s market, with some being louder than others. Single-stage or two-stage systems are generally the most universal style with comparable components, but they have different configurations. Let’s look at these different types of dust collectors and their ability to be quieted.

Single-Stage Dust Collector

A single-stage is best used for small occasionally projects with very little sawdust fallout. Larger particles can jam or damage the impeller, but finer particles are able to infiltrate through the bearings and other moving parts. The impeller is generally made from nylon, plastic, or metal.

This type easily sucks up dust, wood particles, and other dirt into the collection bag. The single-stage dust collector like the Shop Fox 1hp for instance, is the most familiar style. It includes all the benefits of a single-stage design. The design allows air to escape while trapping most of the dust particles.

The design produces 78 decibels like most single-stage dust collectors. It helps to keep your workshop free and clear of dust particles. The portable design allows you to move it from one machine to the other without any difficulty.

The W1227 Shop Fox1hp features a safety switch with a removable key to protect against unauthorized use. To reduce the loudness of the machine, install the VIVOSUN Noise Reducer Silencer mentioned above within the running ducts.

Two-Stage Dust Collector

Two-stage dust collectors are configured differently and have two separate sections. The first-stage pulls the coarse dust into the top container or barrel, and then it drops down into the collection bin. Finer particles are then drawn up into the impeller and the fabric filter bag.

They are less likely to get clogged by large particles. In the first stage, the large particles are broken down to form fine dust. Therefore, the particles are fine before reaching the second-stage. These dust collector systems can be mounted to the wall or left sitting on the floor.

Two-stage dust collector like the Oneida Supercell can be very useful in the workshop. It includes all the advantages of a two-stage design. The Oneida Supercell high-efficiency cyclone separator removes 99 percent of the dust before it even reaches the filter.

It has an unbeatable suction power, an integrated pulse filter cleaner, and an automatic dust bin level senor. The Oneida Supercell Dust Collector produces 80 decibels. It can be lowered by adding an Oneida Air System Silencer.

Dual-Stage Cyclone

The motor and impeller of a dual or two-stage cyclone are generally located at the top of the cone-shape canister. Underneath the cone-canister is a container or barrel that accumulates larger particles from the air stream. The finer dust particles are then sucked into the filtration system and impeller exhaust.

The debris never even reaches the impeller, enhancing the overall suction and exhaust air quality. When you have a more elongate cyclone body to your dust collector, it produces more circular turbulence, preventing materials from falling into the filtering system.

The dual-stage cyclone like the Jet JCDC Cyclone Dust Collector is the ideal dust eliminator for workshops. Its swivel canister makes it easy to move around the shop. It includes all the benefits of a dual-stage cyclone design.

Heavy debris is captured in a 30-gallon drum with quick-release levers and independent casters for quick and easy emptying. To lower the loud noise of a two-stage dust collector, you will need to purchase a silencer product that reduces the noise.

Another option would be to build walls around your dust collector. These two suggestions will help to reduce the noise of your dust collector by at least 50 percent or more. If you should choose to build interior walls around the dust collector, consider placing it in a corner.

With the dust collector in a corner, you can quickly put up a two-sided enclosure. The closure could be permanent or place a removable panel to allow access. You will want to be sure to use soundproofing materials to ensure the best noise reduction.

Some soundproofing materials that would be great to use for this project are rigid foamboard or acoustic foam. However, with your dust collector out of sight, you’ll want to check the levels of the canister frequently for emptying.

Final Thoughts

Quieting down the loud sounds coming from your dust collector is much easier than one may think. In fact, you have learned that very thing while reading this guide. Bear in mind; silencers are the key to your dust collector noise reduction.

To decrease noise levels even more, consider boxing in your dust collector by using soundproofing material. All of these suggestions can save you from hearing loss while also getting rid of your dust, dirt, and grim, so check them out.