Shop Vac Suggestions UK

Just been sorting out my garage and getting my table setup for my MPCNC and I’ve already made a bit of dust that I could clean up easily with a decent vacuum.

So I’m thinking of buying a shop vac that I could then, also, attach to my MPCNC at a later date. I’ve never bought a shop vac before so wanted to ask some advise as to what to look for, brands to look out for and any to avoid?

If someone has a link to and vac’s available in the UK that would recommend I would appreciate it.

Thanks.

Harbor Freight has some of the cheapest Shop vacs you will find. Mine has lasted 4 years and I use it often enough to say it has lasted longer than I would expect a cheap one to last. I have used it on my MPCNC.

With that said I have a very different plan for the future. See a shop vac doesn’t do a great job with dust collection. Sure it will work on a cnc machine but not as well as an actual dust collector. The reason is simple. Shop Vac is high pressure low volume. With dust you usually want high volume. Shop Dust collectors are expensive. So when I have a shop again I plan to build something similar to this. I plan to use an old water barrel or something though. A leaf blower has higher volume. And you can get a really cheap one also at harbor freight for about $39 on sale.

Shop vac will not work well on other tools like a table saw, or miter saw. But this thing will.

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Dust collectors are usually a lot larger too.

I’m no expert, but there are several brands that have sub-$100 shop vacs with lots of power, lots of volume (for chips and noise). I have 4 now, actually. They all seem to get good use and I orefer the closest one most of the time.

I would honestly do about an hour of research and then just get the one that looks like it would work. I doubt you will hate it and if you do, you will know exactly what to look for in the next one. The first one won’t to go waste.

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It is not just the vac you will need, some form of cyclone separator will drastically reduce your vac filter cleaning/replacement cycle times. I don’t think I have ever seen a ready made solution in the UK but if you google ‘cyclone separator’ and select the ‘shopping’ tab you will get a list of possible suppliers, I got one from Aliexpress. You will also need a sturdy bucket to fit it on and the shop vac of course, there are several youtube videos of people making a purpose built chariots to house the shop vac, bucket, cyclone and hoses like this or this.
Obviously Harbor Freight is not an option in the UK but I have always had good experiences with Machinemart so would look at their vac or something along those lines.

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In my research I have found the cyclone units and do plan to get one.

I may just go for a Titan as they seem to be reviewed OK for a cheaper shop vac.

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Think you are on the right track looking for a shop vac. They do better for collecting chips and dust from small tools like routers. Dust collectors are better designed for larger tools like tablesaws, planers, and jointers. As for which one, I’m not sure what all is available in the UK. Just get whichever is affordable and has the most suction, often reported as vacuum. The size of the unit doesn’t matter if you plan on using a separate, which I highly encourage (have seen printable separators that I’m going to try for my mpcnc). Note that a lot of companies use the same size motor for different size shop vacs so you may be able to save some getting a “smaller” unit but have the same power. If cost is not a factor then check out the Festool line or Bosch has some nice ones too (if availablein the UK).

I’ve got a grit blasting cabinet which creates a lot fine dust, the setup I’ve got is a cyclone from a broken Dyson connected to the cabinet and a 30L Titan vac from Screwfix for the suction and final filtering. Works well and the cyclone means the bags last a log longer before they clog up.

https://www.screwfix.com/p/titan-ttb776vac-1400w-30ltr-wet-dry-vacuum-220-240v/665kh is the newer vesion of what I have.

Downsides of the Titan are the hose is flimsy, I’ve swapped mine for a better one that was supposed to go on a Henry hoover and the power cord is very stiff, I replaced that with rubberised flexible cable.