What Kind of Pipe To Use for Dust Collection?

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No one escapes the struggles of removing the sawdust particles, but by using the proper collection system, you won’t have to elbow grease this procedure. 

To help you out, our team of professionals will uncover what kind of pipe you can use for dust collection systems for woodworking. Keep reading to know more!

Dust Collection Pipes: Types and Features

Dust collection pipes system provides a lesser time to get rid of dust particles and prevents any cluttering in your workspace. It is a pipeline-like branch capable of collecting dust in the areas where you saw and sand your wood.

But why would you need a dust collection pipe system? Professionals used pipeline systems to collect sawdust which they consider an obstacle in woodworking. The dust in your workspace could create injury and fire if not removed. 

Compared with the vacuum, the pipeline system is more efficient with its suction and central system power. But to establish an effective and safe collection pipe system, select the type and size suitable for your woodworking. 

woodworking shop dust collection system

Also, you must have enough space to build one of these because the pipe system is highly modular, depending on the space you have for connecting the joints and making access points to unclog the pipeline system. 

Our experts recommend choosing the ideal pipe size so the power in the central system won’t interrupt. You must consider the amount of sawdust you are going to collect after your woodworking before choosing the pipe size. 

You can choose a bigger size of pipe if there’s a ton of sawdust to collect. But if the pipe size gets bigger, it slows down the power of the central system. 

Dust collection pipe systems are composed of PVC and metal pipes, which require different installation methods. 

PVC pipes are less expensive and lightweight, making it easier to connect each piece using glue or tape. On the other hand, metal pipes offer durability and rigidity, and you can choose what kind of metal types, such as aluminum, copper, or steel. 

installing dust collection pipes

When building a dust collection system, you should consider its weight, affordability, availability, durability, and, most importantly, efficiency. Depending on how you want to set up your dust collection system, both PVC and metal pipes have gains and losses.

All You Need to Know About PVC Dust Collection Pipes

There are two types of PVC or Polyvinyl Chloride pipes suitable for your dust collection pipes system – the 4 and 6 inches PVC pipe. Although both PVC pipes are lightweight, cost-effective, and easy to use for dust suction, they differ greatly. 

A 4” PVC pipe is more efficient than 6” PVC in using the power of the central system because the thinner and lighter the pipe, the easier to work. 

However, the 6” PVC is a reliable pipe size for continuous and maximum airflow in the pipeline, making it ideal for collecting a high amount of sawdust. 

Also, to collect sawdust effectively, the PVC joints should be screwed to avoid falling apart. You must also prevent using pipes more than 6” because it defeats the purpose of the pipeline system.

woodworking shop dust piping system

Heavier PVC pipes tend to reduce the power of the collection system and are difficult to handle.

PVC Pipes Static Discharges

Although plastic piping such as PVC builds up electricity or static discharges seem to be a norm, you should not take a chance at a dust explosion. The static electricity ignites the dust, which is combustible, inside the pipe.

We can prevent this danger by grounding the PVC piping system as we did with our PVC dust collection system. We used insulated 20 gauge copper wire solid and connectors for joints. You can also use uninsulated copper wire with 18 gauge strands. 

Run the copper wire along or around the pipe throughout your pipeline system to disperse the built-up static electricity. If you need connectors, attach an end of your wire with the connectors and the other end to the frame of the dust collector. 

duct collection system

Ensure both ends of the piping branch are secured to keep the wire in place.

Pros & Cons of PVC Dust Collection Pipes

Using PVC dust collection pipes offers gains and losses to your woodworking, but how safe and effective a PVC pipeline system could be? We have listed the setbacks and benefits of a PVC dust collection pipeline system:



Metal Dust Collection Pipes

Metal dust collection pipes are more durable and flexible during installation making them the best option on pipeline system construction. 

setting up dust collection pipes

To install the metal pipeline, ensure a 4,500 feet per minute velocity to have sufficient suction power to minimize dust explosion. You should also choose semiflexible rubber tubing compatible with high pressure to modify the metal pipes during installation easily.

Unlike PVC, you won’t deal with the static built up to your metal pipes. However, we also follow the 4 and 6 inches pipe size in constructing a dust collection system. The pipe size ensures efficient suction of sawdust particles.  

Pros & Cons of Metal Dust Collection Pipes

Solid metal dust collection pipes offer a wide range of benefits rather than setbacks. So here are the advantages and disadvantages of using metal pipes for dust collection:



How Should You Hang Dust Collector Pipes Properly?

Your dust collection system requires efficient ducting system designs from your workspace to its collection unit or filter system to draw dust through the ducting for collection. The system includes a spiral duct for dust collection, so how would you hang the ducts?

white pipe

The spiral duct for dust collection is essential to increase the quality of your finished products. It gives your workspace visibility for taking accurate measurements and preventing scoring defects on your finishing applications.

With this, we highly recommend the following methods to hang your dust collector pipes properly.


Attach the galvanized wire to the ceiling or metal pipe, then around the ducting area. Considered the traditional approach, yet it works well.  

Metal Strapping

Use perforated rolls of galvanized sheet metal plumber strapping, then make a U to mount flush with the ceiling. You must secure both ends with screws. Then, ensure the distance of the loop is consistent by using a tape measure before bolting the tape around your duct.

Nylon Cable Ties

Nylon cable ties are the easiest way to install nylon cable ties with screw-in mounts. You can use 2 inches screws to secure the heavy nylon, then thread the wide long nylon cable ties into the mounting brackets. 

large dust collection pipe

Band Clamps

Stainless steel band clamps are used to mount duct pipes. Clamp the pipes and secure them using a deck screw. 

Metal Cable

Use a stranded metal cable or wire rope with your band clamps. Adjust the length according to the size of your pipes. 

Suspension System

The suspension system uses a metal cable that you can adjust to the fittings making your installation quicker and easier. 

Is it Recommended to Use ABS Pipe for Your Dust Collection?

Since the dust collection pipe is installed indoors and not exposed to direct sunlight, you can use the ABS or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene pipes.

These pipes come in black and are commonly used for industrial settings such as vents, drainage, and sewage because it’s chemical resistant. Also, it can withstand extreme temperatures and is highly durable against physical damage.

woodworking shop

Therefore, ABS pipes are less likely to warp or deform in high or low temperatures. 

However, these pipes contain BPA or bisphenol A, which is considered a health risk factor if you use ABS pipes for the water system. 

But since no water is involved in your dust collection pipe system, it is safe to use ABS pipes.


With what we have explored about dust collection pipes, we must say that metal pipes are more efficient in removing dust particles in your workspace. You can rely on its durability and risk-free pipes for your dust collection procedure.

But, regardless of what kind of pipe you use for dust collection, you must ensure that the ducts of your pipe system are secured, and you establish sufficient power to your central system. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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