Dust extraction makes for a key component to nearly any commercial construction job. Recently, we witnessed the full renovation and remodeling of a downtown brewery into a modern-day food hall. Nearly the entire space required polishing of the concrete floors using a commercial floor grinder. That kind of grinding requires plenty of suction—not to mention capacity. At nearly the same time, we traveled to World of Concrete in Las Vegas. There, we witnessed the iQ Power Tools iQ426HEPA Cyclonic Dust Extractor pick up 50 pounds of drywall dust in about 30 seconds.
Color us impressed. After seeing that repeated several times with no filter change, we brought it in for review. We had a lot of drywall sanding to do. This seemed like the perfect solution—and a decent initial test.
What You Should Know About the iQ Power Tools iQ426HEPA
Before any purchase, you need to determine whether a dust extractor meets your needs. Power, capacity, and CFM all play a role in helping you satisfy the OSHA silica dust regulations and requirements. To start off, the iQ Power Tools iQ426HEPA provides 190 CFM of suction.
190 CFM / 25 CFM per inch = 7-inch grinder support (with room to spare)
Per the OSHA standard, that exceeds the requirement for a 7-inch cup grinder per Table 1. But the amount of CFM doesn’t help if you quickly jam up your filter. That drops CFM faster than anything. Here, iQ Power Tools implements an effective solution in the iQ426HEPA cyclonic dust extractor.
Using multi-stage cyclonic filtration, the iQ426HEPA dust extractor grabs larger dust particles before they reach the filter. Check out how the filtration works:
- 1st Stage: Dust and debris enter the large primary cyclone
- 2nd Stage: Medium to small debris and dust get picked up by the six smaller cyclones
- 3rd Stage: The Durabond filter grabs particles as small as 0.5 µm
- 4th Stage: The HEPA filter then captures the final 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 µm.
As all this occurs, various dust and debris fall into the plastic collector bin. Since less than 1% of the dust ever actually gets to the filter, the extractor continues running at close to its full 190 CFM of suction.
You also never have to deal with the filter cleaning mechanism on these machines, because the system doesn’t get gummed up and satisfies OSHA requirements by simply providing the manually-cleared Durabond filter mechanism (more on this below). As it stands, the vacuum water lift specs out at 100 inches. By the numbers, that places the iQ426HEPA at the top of our Best OSHA-Compliant Dust Extractor list.
In addition to simply filtering smart, notice the iQ426HEPA includes a certified HEPA filter. Often, these filters reduce suction when used, which is why we encourage you to know when you need a HEPA filter. The cyclonic action makes this design one of the most effective ways to include HEPA filtering and capture dust down to 0.3 µm.
You also get a HEPA Filter Status Light that gives you live status of the filter’s condition. When the light turns on, the tool is indicating you need to change out the HEPA filter.
Suction Under Load – iQ Smart Power Management
Many professional dust extractors include some type of power tool actuation feature. This lets you run a corded power tool off the extractor, automatically starting the extractor when it senses the tool switch on. Often, you see a dial that lets you reduce the current draws (and thus suction) of the vacuum to compensate for a tool that requires more power. The iQ Power Tools iQ426HEPA does something different.
This tool features a High and Low mode switch (called the Power Supply Selector). That switch configures the tool for use with 15-amp (Low) or 20-amp (High) circuits. It then uses iQ Smart Power Management to monitor the overall current draw and distribute power between the tool and the dust extractor. This automatically optimizes the current supplied to the tool—and only drops the power to the dust extractor when needed.
The system also features the expected three-position switch for Off, On, and Tool-actuation modes.
The feature worked smoothly and seamlessly for us in the shop. We not only failed to trip any circuit breakers but also experienced consistent suction. In fact, suction stayed very strong when using a Festool drywall sander on a large section of drywall.
We then tested it with a Makita drywall sander to do some additional work on our own shop. With that tool, you can instantly tell if you lose suction because the tool stops adhering to the wall as you move it. Using the iQ426HEPA, the tool adhered really well, allowing for smooth use on the project.
How Do You Empty the Canister?
How Do You Empty the Canister? Easily. Super-easily, in fact. It takes just a few quick steps to empty the canister. What we loved, however, was how iQ Power Tools utilized the cart to give you easy access to the 50-gallon drum.
To empty the drum (and hopefully you use plastic liners for easy disposal), follow these steps:
- Spin the Durabond filter knob clockwise three times or so to clear off any debris
- Unclip the front and back drum latches by pushing down while angling them away from the drum
- Use your foot to push down on the handle release located between the rear wheels
- Push the cart handle all the way forward until it locks
- Using your foot as leverage on the bottom cart crossbar, pull back on the handle to lift the extractor’s top assembly off the dust container
- Pull out the dust bin container (It has wheels!)
When done emptying the bin, just roll it back in place. Step again on the cart handle release knob between the rear wheels to release the handle. That drops the top assembly back down atop the container bin. Now you just re-latch the front and back and release the handle by pushing down the top latch. Boom—you’re ready for another 10-gallons of dust collection.
Conclusion – We Like This Cyclonic Dust Extractor
This cyclonic vacuum from iQ Power Tools does everything it claims. That alone speaks volumes about our opinion on this tool. And while the incredible wall suction it provides impressed us to no end, the tool’s usability also got a nod. Ergonomics makes a difference.
Power is great, of course, but we also like to stay organized. The iQ426HEPA cyclonic dust extractor provides one of the neatest and most helpful accessory trays we’ve ever seen. It stores everything neatly and within arms reach when you’re ready to convert from collection to cleanup.
On top of that, the ease with which 50-pounds of dust can be emptied from the 10-gallon bin beats most other products we’ve used. It puts this tool in line with products like Ermator and Ruwac—but for much less.
Finally, the rear wheels—a common point of aggravation with many tools—feature airless rubber construction. You won’t pop them, and they replace easily in the event you encounter catastrophic damage. It could happen, but we love that it won’t slow you down. The front wheels feature a simple caster design. It also seems worth noting that the removable dust bin also features four casters of its own, letting you maneuver it easily once you slide it out from beneath the dust extractor.
Having used this cyclonic dust extractor for several weeks, we feel it provides excellent value for professional drywallers and anyone doing small to medium grinder work indoors or out. Similar to the dry cut tile saw, iQ Power Tools has really outdone themselves once again.
iQ Power Tools iQ426HEPA Specifications
- 190 CFM (OSHA compliant for 7-inch grinders)
- Capacity: 50 lbs. (10 gal.)
- Power: 15A/1800W
- Vacuum lift: 100 in. (25 KPA)
- Hose: 14 ft. (4.26 m) x 2 in. (50mm)
- SPL (operator’s ear): 84.5 dB SPL(A)
- 10 ft. power cord
- iQ Smart Power Management
- 7 cyclones
- Durabond filtration 8 sq. ft.
- HEPA filter: .37 sq. ft. (99.97% @ 0.3 μm)
- QuickSpin filter cleaning
- Heavy-duty cart and accessory rack
- 14 ft anti-static locking hose
- Optional bags
- Weight (vac/cart): 60 lbs. (27 kg) / 23 lbs. (11 kg)
- Dimensions (WxHxL): 23 x 41 x 34 in. (584 x 1047 x 864 mm)
- Includes: 14-foot anti-static hose, (2) extension tubes, adapter, narrow nozzle, medium nozzle, brush nozzle
- Price: $1,199 (includes cart & accessories)