Construction Site Vacuum Cleaner and Blower Combos
Vacuum cleaner and blower combo can be a very helpful tool for cleaning construction sites, hardware shops, garages, and similar areas.
Type of the dirt and debris that must be cleaned varies from simple dust, human or even animal hair, sawdust, paper, and similar non-aggressive materials to stuff like glass fibers, cement, and other aggressive materials found on construction sites.
All those materials must be safely removed from different surfaces between the floor and the ceiling and taken off-site. Here is where a good vacuum cleaner and blower tool can help.
Updated: September 30, 2022.
Vacuum Cleaner and Blower Features and Specifications
The most important features of such units are airflow, airspeed, air suction/pressure, dirt bin capacity, length of the cleaning hose, available cleaning attachments, power source, length of the power cord (if available), level of air filtration, size and weight of the unit and similar.
Also last, but not least, the price of the unit.
Airflow, which is given in the cubic feet per minute (CFM), airspeed, which is given in the miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (km/h), and air suction or air pressure, which is given in the Pascals (Newtons per square meter) or most often in inches (or centimeters) of water which air pressure or air suction can lift, determine the actual power of the vacuum cleaner/blower.
Airflow in smaller vacuums/blowers ranges from 30 or CFM to 100 or even more CFM, with the speeds reaching 180 mph. Note that many units come with different nozzles suitable for different airflow and airspeed, making them suitable for different types of dirt since it is not the same to collect light sawdust or gravel.
The cleaning hose should easily switch from the vacuuming to the blower port and vice versa. Some units allow using blower port without emptying the dirt bin first, while other units must be emptied first and only then used as blowers.
Dirt bin capacity, which is given in gallons or liters, determines the amount of dirt that can be collected before the dirt bin must be emptied.
The length of the cleaning hose determines the reach of the unit. A good hose should have at least 5 feet (1.5m) and with a telescopic wand, it should enable a person to clean from the floor to the ceiling without the need of a ladder.
Cleaning attachment enables the person to clean various surfaces since it is not the same to clean the dust from the soft wooden surfaces or from the concrete. Attachments should be changed easily and stored on-board the vacuum/blower.
Site vacuums/blowers are usually powered using mains electricity. It provides plenty of power, the unit can operate as long as there is power present, but it requires a power cable to be pulled around.
To make things simpler, good vacuums/blowers have either automatic power cord rewind systems or very short power cords which rely on the larger and heavier cables for power.
Cordless site vacuums/blowers rely on the power stored in onboard batteries to operate. They are not as strong as mains-powered units and have a limited time of operation on the single charge, however, they are autonomous cleaning systems that can operate anywhere and anytime, without the hassle of the power cord.
Onboard batteries increase the weight of the unit and often the price. However, many manufacturers offer units that use standardized batteries and if you do have such batteries, the purchase of a bare vacuum cleaner/blower unit can come rather cheap.
Air filtration is very important for keeping the sucked dirt inside the vacuum. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters remove at least 99.97% of particles 0.3 micrometers in size. This is very important, especially when there are hazardous materials to be cleaned.
Wet and dry units allow the user to vacuum dry and/or wet/moist dirt.
Many drum workshop vacuums are bagged/bagless vacuums with disposable dirt bags:
- when the user vacuums dry dirt, for example, drywall dust (very fine dust), a disposable vacuum bag helps with the dirt disposal and provides an additional layer of air filtration.
- when the user vacuums wet/moist dirt or even liquids, the vacuum bag is removed and the dirt is collected directly in the drum. If the dirt is liquid enough, it can be poured away via a drain hole, if available.
There are also many other little details that determine the quality and usefulness of these units, for example:
- If the unit is too big, it is hard to use in tight areas and on stairs.
- If the unit is without a shoulder strap, it is really hard to use it, for example, on the ladders.
- If the handle is not retractable, it can be accidentally damaged.
- If the top of the unit is not flat, it can’t be used to store other items on top of it, etc.
Obviously, when choosing the best or at least, the most suitable vacuum cleaner/blower unit, one has to consider many things.
In the end, a sturdy unit with preferably dual power, low to medium weight, good dirt bin capacity, good suction, and airflow, and even better air filtration fits the most needs.