If you’ve been reveling in the wonder and intrigue that have been the hallmark characteristics of our recent coverage of OSHA-compliant dust extractors, well, I’ve got both good news and bad news for you. The bad news is that this will likely be the last review on an OSHA-compliant dust extractor that we’ll see for a bit while we wait for other models to arrive. Our coverage has been hot and heavy, and we’ve exhausted our immediate supply. The good news, however, is that we’ve finally reached our recent shootout winner, the Metabo dust extractor. If you’ve been on the edge of your seat in anxious anticipation, waiting to find out what we have to say about the king of the dust extracting hill, well, prepare for sweet release. Because we’re about to wax super poetical about the best OSHA-compliant dust extractor we had the pleasure of working with (I’m kidding; I won’t be writing any poetry).
The truth is that there were a few twists and turns on the road to finding our winner. The Metabo dust extractor wasn’t necessarily the most powerful dust extractor we looked at. It didn’t offer the best value either. But when you look at the whole picture, it’s the best overall in our group. Let’s take a look at what the OSHA-compliant Metabo dust extractor has going on that takes it over the top.
In order to be compliant across the board, there are a couple things that OSHA requires. For one thing, you need HEPA filters that can capture dust particles 0.3 microns and larger. Just like all of the extractors we looked at, the Metabo model is HEPA ready.While some of the manufacturers sell their filters separately, Metabo ships their unit with the two filters you need.
Auto Filter Cleaning
OSHA also requires that each dust extractor have automatic filter cleaning features in order to reach compliance. Metabo shines in this category. Every other dust extractor we tested utilizes a reverse air flow auto cleaning system. Obviously, a reverse air flow cleaning system is better than no filter cleaning system at all, but it has a couple of potential downsides. In some cases, dust can release back into the air and the filters (designed for one-way air flow) might not last as long.
Metabo uses an electro-mechanical system and a suction performance sensor for automatic filter cleaning. Instead of reversing the airflow every 15 seconds, the Metabo dust extractor will sense when a drop in performance occurs, and will then vibrate the filter to clean it. It also features a cleaning-only mode that allows the extractor to run through a cleaning cycle without having to have the vacuum on. Metabo claims that their auto cleaning system guarantees no performance loss during cleaning cycles. Because the extractor turns off this function during static water lift tests, we weren’t able to verify it.
Pro-level dust extractors will generally offer an outlet for pass-through power to your power tools. Like all of the models we looked at, the Metabo dust extractor includes this feature as well. The dust extractor will turn itself on and off when it senses power running off to the tool. There are only 11 amps total available for the vac. Metabo allows you to drop down to 5 amps for suction and power up to 7 amps on a tool.
Hose and Cord Wraps
Every manufacturer seemed to take a half-hearted stab at working this feature into their models. While some were better than others, none of them really nailed it. Metabo’s effort falls somewhere in the middle here. This dust extractor has a top handle that pivots out to hold the cord. It also offers some loose top storage, but again, more thought could have been put into this design. Like most every manufacturer, the assumption is that you’ll store the hose in the canister.
Other Stuff That’s Cool
The Metabo dust extractor includes a wet vac auto-off feature that will shut down the extractor before any liquids reach the motor. Metabo constructed their dust extractor from antistatic material to prevent static charge buildup, and it also includes heavy-duty plastic wheels.
We tested each model to see how much suction it produces, as well as testing them for nozzle tip vacuum effect. To learn more about the details of our testing procedures, I’ll refer you back to the Dust Extractor Shootout. But, for the time being, it suffices to say that we tested suction through a water lift test, and we tested vacuum effect through debris collection. We also tested each area with a clean filter, ran 20 pounds of concrete dust through them, and tested again.
This is where we start to see some of the aforementioned twists and turns to our dust extraction narrative. Considering how well this model finished, it might surprise you to find out how it performed in our water lift test. With clean filters, the Metabo dust extractor pulls water up 70.25″ of 2.5″ pipe. This is the worst performance we see out of the 5 models we tested.
After smoking some concrete dust, the Metabo still finished in last place with 68″ worth of pull. At a 3.2% performance loss, it’s in the middle of the pack.
Again, surprises are afoot. Considering the results from the water lift test, the Metabo dust extractor threw us a curveball by finishing in second place in our vacuum effect test. What makes it a surprise is that at 130 CFM, it has the lowest rating for suction volume. It also has the lowest water lift in our testing. So what gives?
The hose length and diameter make a difference as does the testing location when a dust extractor is going through certification. While we used the same hose and nozzle for all the extractors, it’s possible that Metabo is a little underrated on paper. It’s always a nice surprise to have a tool outperform our expectations.
Given what we see on paper between our OSHA-compliant dust extractors, Metabo really outperforms the expectations. By the time you consider the whole picture with the feature set, performance, and value, it pushes ahead of the pack in one of the tightest shootouts we’ve ever done.
At the end of the day, the Metabo dust extractor will run you around $599.00. It’s definitely not the cheapest model we looked at, but the auto cleaning mechanism comes at a premium. On the positive side, it comes with a couple of HEPA filters and a 3-year warranty, which should offset some of that initial cost.
Metabo Dust Extractor Features
- For extraction from the power tool in continuous mode, both on construction sites and in the workshop
- Compact vacuum cleaner for liquids and dry solids with commercial registration
- AutoCleanPlus: saves both costs and time thanks to automatic MPulse filter cleaning during continuous use
- If the optimum suction performance falls below a certain level, the filters are vibrated immediately
- Automatic shut-down when vacuuming liquids once the maximum fill level is reached
- Especially suited for extracting concrete and rock dust
- Suction power control for adapted suction performance
- Power socket for a power tool for using the automatic start-up/shut-down of the vacuum cleaner
- Two polyester filter cassettes with large filter area for constantly high suction capacity
- Automatic trailing mechanism for emptying the suction hose completely
- Antistatic basic equipment prevents static charge when using appropriate accessories
- Sturdy thanks to especially large wheels and castors with wheel stop
- Cable winding mechanism
- Practical accessory case and storage area
- Current Control: maximises the suction power while the machine is connected so that the main fuse is not triggered
Metabo Dust Extractor Specs
- Model: Metabo ASR 35 ACP HEPA
- Motor: 11 Amps total (vac only 5 – 11 amps)
- CFM: 130
- Tested Water Lift: 70.25″
- Capacity: 9 gal
- Hose Length: 10′
- Cord Length: 26′
- Price: $599.00
- Warranty: 3 years