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The Dust Bubble disposable dust collector adheres to walls and other surfaces for a quicker and easier post-drilling cleanup. The Dust Bubble also cuts down on preparation time because it eliminates the need to remove or protect furniture and other belongings in the vicinity of the to-be-drilled zone. Stick it. Drill it. Bin it. The days of holding a drill with one hand and a vacuum with the other are over!

A light adhesive backing makes the Dust Bubble easy to stick to painted and wallpapered walls. Once the Dust Bubble is attached to the wall, you expand it by pulling the tab, and then insert your drill bit through the crosshairs on the label. Drill your hole, keeping the bit spinning until it’s completely withdrawn. Peel off the Dust Bubble when you’re done, and discard it.


Although it’s likely a gross misuse of the product, I like to use Dust Bubbles when taking a hammer drill to my painted masonry walls, and I even reapply the same bubble for several holes. Dust Bubbles can only accept drill bits up to 10mm or 3/8″ in size, but you can circumvent this with creative use of Scotch tape. About 3″ in diameter, the flexible cavity provides enough containment for most home DIY projects.

You can buy Dust Bubbles in packs of 10 with either regular-strength adhesive, for painted or wallpapered walls, or super-strength for untreated surfaces.  You can also get an industrial version that comes with a wetting agent to contain asbestos and other equally nasty substances.

They’re manufactured in the UK, and McMaster Carr distributes ’em in the US. You can find ’em in McMaster Carr’s catalog on page 2319, all the way at the bottom under “Drilling Debris Containment Bubble.”  Alternatively, you can search for part number “8937A11.”  If you know of similar products or even better DIY solutions, tell us about them in comments.

Dust Bubble [Corporate Site]
Dust Bubble Catalog Page [McMaster Carr]


12 Responses to Drilling Dust Bubble

  1. jbj says:

    I use a small, thin-sided cardboard box (mine came from an aquarium pump) and several pieces of blue masking tape. Same box for about 7 years now. Cheap, and I don’t have to keep thworing stuff away.

    To make it even easier, I keep my around-the-house bits in the box itself.

  2. John says:

    I tape a plastic bag like you get from the grocery store directly below the hole I’m about to drill with blue masking tape. Tape the bag in place and then pull the other edge away from the wall to make sure the bag is open and will catch the debris. Then drill away. When done peel the bag off and reuse or dispose. A box like jbj mentions above is the same idea, but I have a bunch of these plastic bags around and its easy to reuse for a project then toss it.

  3. I’m liking those suggestions. Keep them coming! I previously tired using tape with paper, cardboard, and plastic-wrap, but always ended up needing a respirator and a vacuum to clean up the mess.

  4. Very cool find. I don’t do just a ton of drilling, but I hate cleaning up the mess left behind. I’ll have to pick some of these up.


  5. PutnamEco says:

    Karcher makes a non disposable drill dust collector the DDC 50 Drill-Dust-Catcher

    Cheesy video link,

    If I’m trying not to make a mess, I usually just hold a dustbuster or vacuum hose under the drill.

  6. DensityDuck says:

    You could also make a vacuum head with a piece of wide-gauge cardboard tube, a shop-vac fitting, and a crapload of grey tape.

  7. PutnamEco says:

    I’m amazed Festool hasn’t come up with something yet.

  8. Wardnew says:

    Karcher’s Drill-dust-catcher looks like it may only work on smooth surfaces. But the blond assistant is a plus.

  9. Joel says:

    I saw the Kärcher thingie in use once, and was not impressed. It catches nearly all the dust, but I still had to vaccuum the area after they left. The big problem was when removed carelessly it took away a large piece of the plaster from my cieling, creating a big job from a small one.

  10. magga says:

    I have been using dust bubble in every drilling task in my new home and I love it!
    You can buy different types for different surfaces (different type of glue – no danger of removing part of the painting or plaster when you remove the bubble).

  11. Bee says:

    bosch and hilti and even dewalt have dust collection minivac units for their rotary hammers. but somehow these arent used much in the US.
    I use a Hilti spring-vac attachment accessory that attaches to the drill with a depth rod. Good for any drill. I just use the festool vac I have on all jobs anyway.

    If I don’t have the vac I use a folded sheet of paper and blue tape. No need to order from mcmaster-carr.
    this karcher product seems like it would be made by black and decker soon. watch the toolmonger blog for my prediction!..

  12. Vince Hall says:

    I would use the Dustbubble where I suspect lead based paint or asbestose is present. I find the indudtrial type really useful in machine type aplication where a thread might have to be repaired or a hole drilled and tapped to bolt on new equipment. The bubble catches the swarf so they don’t get trapped in any sensitive parts of the machine. I can get into some pretty tight places with them as well.

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