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If you own a shop-vac and don’t want to pay for a pricey two-stage dust collector, you have many options. There are plenty of DIY instructions for building your own, covers that you can add to a 5-gallon pail, or full-blown dust collection systems ready to hook up to your shop-vac. The latest addition to this last category is Rockler’s Dust Right Vortex dust separator.

The advantage of a two-stage system is that most of the debris is deposited in the first stage container, so you don’t have to change the bag or empty your shop-vac as often. The Dust Right Vortex is designed to create a cyclonic flow inside the container to separate the heavier dust and debris from the air. It won’t remove drywall or other light dust out of the stream, though.

The Vortex’s clear lid and translucent container allow you to see how full it is without taking it apart. It rolls on five casters and comes with a 3′ flexform hose to attach it to your shop-vac.

The Dust Right Vortex dust separator will be available at Rockler soon for $70.

Dust Right Vortex [Rockler]

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10 Responses to Lose Your Dust In A Vortex

  1. Jason Peacock says:

    This looks very promising. I have the Oneida Dust Deputy cyclone on top of my 5gal bucket. It works like a charm, hardly anything actually lands in my shopvac. BUT it’s very top heavy and awkward, just about everyone I’ve seen online has built a dolly or other mount for it.

    This look like it would be less annoying and more stable for the same price. Nice to see some competition.

  2. Mike47 says:

    I also have the Oneida Dust Deputy, and I’m very pleased with it. I’d like to double-stack it somehow, on top of my Shop Vac. I’d like to hear if anyone has tried doing this, and how it was done. My shop is small, and everything needs to have wheels and/or a small footprint.

  3. Aaron says:

    Has anyone used the Veritas Cyclone Lids?
    They are $50 for just the lid that goes on a garbage can.

  4. Mister Mike says:

    Fine dust is the real problem with all vac systems, and most promo pictures like this only show the easy coarse stuff being picked up. But vac filters can still clog too quickly with fine sawdust, greatly diminishing the air flow, i.e. the suck. The additional hose length also reduces the suck lift. This needs more reviews.

    I have an old Ryobi, a Fein vac, a Shopvac, and a dust collector too. Each works on different materials, but all have faults based on the filter. When the old Ryobi vac’s cardboard canister got wet and disintegrated, I tried replacing it with a standard metal garbage can. In just seconds it collapsed like a crushed soda can. I rebuilt the waste bin in plywood but problems continue with clogged filters.

  5. rg says:

    I use one of these lids on a 5-gallon plastic bucket. It’s held onto my table saw stand with a bungee cord, so it wheels around with the saw. I’ve got an extra hose and couplers to reach my mitre saw and router table, without removing it from the saw stand.

    It works very well, and for $15, you can’t go wrong.


  6. karl roth says:

    hi Mike 47
    i have a dust deputy and wee small shop – i made a cart where my small ridgid vac is above the dust deputy with the intake more or less directly going into the top of the dust deputy – set up a cradle that holds the vac so the inlet in line with the dust deputy – vac is held in by bungee straps and cradle is on a couple of bottom mount drawer slides – kinda like a drawer but vertical to make it easy to empty the dust deputy. guess i’ll hafta take sum pictures and post it on lumberjocks or something. anyway there’s hose hanger and storage on the backside – it works to my satisfaction

  7. Mike47 says:


    Interesting concept. Pictures would be helpful to visualize what you’ve engineered.


  8. Jim says:

    I have a dust deputy and love it. My wife and I have been stripping the outside of our house. (Too many layers, too much chipping and alligatoring to do the standard way.) Anywho, I put a 10 lb barbell plate in the bottom of the bucket for stability, then a trash bag that I found a bunch of online that fit 5 gallon buckets well, and then a cage I made out of a piece of fence material (rabbit fencing maybe?). The cage keeps the bag from being sucked up. Unfortunately the bags I bought are really thin and occasionally get holes so it’s not a mess free operation, plus you have to get the cage out before bagging. But it’s a good 85% solution for me. Oh and you do need to both ground and have a discharge wire handy as the cage will build up a static charge that can really hurt. I’m not worried about a fire in my case.

  9. Measure Once Cut Twice says:

    Once had to “dig” holes for deck foundations in some very powdery soil. Tried using a power post hole auger, but the dirt just ran back into the hole by the time we could lift the auger out. After trying other options, decided to vacuum out the holes. Made a separator from a wheelbarrow. Put a piece of plywood on top of a wheelbarrow, added cleats to keep it aligned, added weatherstripping to make a seal between the wood & wheelbarrow, cut holes for a inlet & outlet hose, and bungeed the vac on top of it for convenience. When full, lifted off the plywood & carted the dirt away to dump it. After countless loads of dirt hauled off, there was only a couple of inches in the vacuum itself.

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