M Class Dust Extractor
As a reminder, there are three classes of dust extractor in the UK; L Class, M Class and H Class. Broadly speaking, M Class dust extractors are suitable for dust created from hard woods, sheet materials, brick and and concrete dust.
Dust extraction is often a secondary consideration, especially for DIY enthusiasts, but it’s of paramount importance for your safety and anyone else working on site. It’s worth spending some time understanding all of the materials you’re working with and the type of dust they will produce if you disturb it.
What is M Class dust extraction?
M Class dust extraction is the minimum requirement set by the Health & Safety Executive for dust extraction on building sites. This ensures workers are protected from L Class materials, such as soft woods like larch and cedar as well as M Class.
If there was no minimum requirement, trades and DIYers a like may choose L class extractors and stick with them for all types of work, including work on M Class materials.
What’s the best M Class dust extractor?
Whether you’re trade or DIY, you want an M Class dust extractor that’s reliable. If a dust extractor breaks down mid job, you’ll most likely have no backup option meaning the entire job will come to a halt. Reliability is key.
Alongside reliability you should be looking for something that’s easy to manoeuvre and easy to use.
You want the option of plugging your M Class directly into your power tools for convenient dust extraction so make sure this is a feature. Power take off is a useful feature which most extractors come with as standard. This means that when the M Class extractor is hooked up to your power tool, it will turn on automatically when you begin using the tool. In addition to this, a good extractor will continue to run for 30 seconds or so once the power tool is turned off to ensure that all of the dust is extracted.
Automatic filter cleaning is an option that will save you time and potentially money as a common cause of failure with dust extractors is motors burning out due to over working because of clogged filters.
Choose an M Class extractor that works with both wet and dry applications to cover all scenarios. It’s an extremely useful feature which just requires a quick switch of the filter and dust bag (depending on the model).
A lot of trades go for a dust extractor that allows you to attach your power tools to the top. This allows you to literally click the box of the tool to the top of the extractor for easy transportation. Most of the big brands have boxes that will fit onto the top of an M Class extractor, including Makita, DeWalt, Festool, Hitachi etc.
Lastly, you want a dust extractor that will perform for you day in day out. That means you need a power, good air flow, great suction, a good sized hose, good capacity, durability and a good price. Next day delivery is always useful as well, although availability at a local supplier is fine. Make sure replacement parts and accessories are easy to come by as well. The best thing to do is check eBay for this as a strong market there is usually a great sign that accessories are easy to come by (at a good price)’
Is HEPA a Class M?
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and is a unique class of air filter capable of removing at least 99.97% of particles to 0.3 microns or lower. HEPA filters are widely used outside of the building trade to combat allergies, smoke and any other airborne particles that could be damaging.
Not all M Class dust extractors are HEPA rated so it’s important to check with the manufacturer.