Dust-Free Sanding

Dust-Free Sanding

When sanding back paint from wood or metalwork it can create plumes of dust that can drift and settle on a lot of surrounding surfaces. Sanding is essential on most DIY paint projects to create the best finish. We look at the options available for dust-free sanding.

Why Would you Want to Sand Dust-free?

Cutting the dust out sanding from the outset can save on lots of cleaning afterwards and prevent harmful dust from floating around and entering the respiratory system.

The Dust-Free Sanding Options

Vacuum Cleaner

The first option which is the simplest option for one person is to follow the person sanding with a vacuum cleaner. They can place the vacuum nozzle close to where the sanding is taking place.

Attaching a Vacuum Cleaner to Sander Machine

Most sanding machines have an outlet that allows vacuum cleaners to attach to the sander and thereby suck the dust created directly into the vacuum cleaner. Some vacuum system comes with a water option which will also help to collect the dust when sanding.

For the occasional DIY job, a vacuum such as a Henry is ideal to attach to a sander machine. Factors to take into consideration when choosing a vacuum to attach to a sander are:

Power of The Vacuum Machine

The power of the Vaccum has to be enough that is sucks all dust up as you are sanding.


The filtration system of the vacuum cleaner is an important factor. Drywall dust, paint dust, dust from woods and other surfaces can be very fine. With this in mind, it is important to have a filter system contained within the vacuum capable to collect this dust especially as dusts as small as 2.5 microns can enter the lungs.

Drywall sander systems and dust-free sanders(see below) are specially designed to handle this.

Size of the Vacuum

The capacity of the vacuum is something to consider if undertaking a large project, otherwise, there will be constant trips to the trash to empty out.

Drywall Dust Free Sanders

These types of sanders that have been built with long handles designed to flatten and sand drywall in hard to reach areas especially in corners with tall walls or areas over a staircase.

Dust Free Sander System

There are a few manufacturers that build solutions specifically to minimize the dust that comes with sanding. Manufacturers such as Mirka build machines that are sanders with hoses that come attached with a suctions machine capable of storing and filtering a lot of dust. A complete kit (Mirka Deros Dust Free System) as shown in the image below is a complete kit designed for professionals but would also suit a very keen DIYer who carries out lots of hobby work projects.


These are just some of the methods available for dust-free sanding. It is advised that removing the dust from the air is planned as fine dust can enter the respiratory system. This can cause health problems in the long run.

The beauty of cleaning as sanding is undertaken is that it saves on the huge cleanup operation afterwards. Sanding can be a messy job but it needn’t be with one of the options.