Vacuum/ Milling Bits

Hi everyone - I would like to keep the dust at a minimum in my work area and will need a vacuum. However, the one that is sold by inventables is close to $400 and I’m not sure if that’s reasonable. Maybe it is, I just don’t know. I’m wondering if there’s any other options that may be less expensive? On that note, I’ve learned that some of these x-carve projects can take hours to cut out. Won’t the vacuum overheat?

Second question I have is with respect to the milling bits. Inventables is selling the 1/8" precision collet for the 611. I’m wondering how useful (or necessary) this is? I guess, I’d like to know what types of jobs would require a 1/8" bit?

depends on what you are doing. 1/8 comes in handy in my experience. you can get cheaper vacs if you dont need the extra features. there are also dust collectors which are better for long run times.

I picked up a 2.5 gal with a bag inside at Home Deport for $39.00 it dose a great job, I plan to put it inside a sound proof box down the line

People use cheap ShopVac’s all the time. Keep in mind, though, that they are not made to run for hours at a time so you will need to replace it occasionally.

You pick up the 2hp harbor frieght dust collector for under $200 (way under if you have a 20% off coupon)

It does an excellent job and can run all day without even getting warm. Plus it is much quieter than a shop vac.

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Keep an eye out for a Dust Deputy (or something similar), Having one of these in-line can dramatically improve the performance of your vacuum (or probably more correctly, avoid a loss of performance).

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I use this one with my shopvac…it makes a huge difference, almost no sawdust/chips get to the shopvac and I never lose suction due to a plugged filter.

I brought a Kent Dust Boot For mine after seeing a few being used on youtube. Then got a shopvac at Lowes and run it for a few minutes if the job takes a few hours.

@AbearDesign - Thank you for your reply. My understanding is that the 1/8" bits will allow for finer engraving/carving… is this correct?

@BobMarinoff - Sounds like a good deal to me. Thanks

@TonyNo - Thank you, Tony.

@AllenMassey - That is what I’m looking for… something that will run without overheating. I will check out their website now. Thank you AllenMassey.

@DavidWestley - Will do. Thank you for your input.

@ErikJenkins - Many thanks, Erik.

@ChrisRader - Thank you, Chris


Yes, the way I think about it, is radius. I use the largest diameter needed for the design. Also, if doing 3d cutting, consider the ball radius.

I was researching vacuums all night lastnight, and the cheapest best looking one I could find of all of them was the “Armor All 2.5gal 2hp wet/dry vacuum” for $33. also has some decent looking ones. I couldn’t find reviews on their two lower end ones, but they have a “quiet series” which looks interesting to me. I’m attracted to the bagless types of vacuums, because I hate having to buy ‘refills’ for anything.

Also, I am only doing really fine aluminum work so I mostly just need to keep the chips out of the way from the cutter, and keep air flowing over the work, so I can get away with a tiny vacuum, so long as it holds out for hours on end for each job.

the other thing to look into, is a dust separator. I plan on making one with a 5 gal bucket or a trash can. It helps to not clog filters or allow debris in to the working parts of a dust collector.

@AbearDesign - That makes sense. Many thanks!

@CharlesVanNoland - It seems like you and I are looking for the same thing (no refills, affordable, can run for hours on end, and quiet). The “running for hours on end” part is what has me confused. I went to harbor freight’s website last night and found a shopvac that was like $35 (or $39, not sure), but when I went to look at the manual… it said nothing about how long it can run continuously.

Pretty sure that, “affordable, can run for hours on end, and quiet” does not exist. :wink:

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There’s only one way to find out! :wink: But, in my case, I will not be collecting a bunch of wood dust so I’m sure anything I get will survive a bit longer than if I were constantly stressing it with wood or plastic chips. I think that’s probably what will do a vacuum in the quickest, as it will not be able to cool itself very well. If I like this Armor All vacuum and it holds out a few months, I’d probably be inclined to just take it apart and fix it myself if possible, replacing the motor, etc… I really just need something that can keep the tiny little metal chips away from the 1/32" ball end mill.