How to Connect a ShopVac to a Miter Saw

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The shop vacuum can aid in dust collection when using power tools.
The shop vacuum can aid in dust collection when using power tools. (Image: vacuum cleaner image by vb_photo from Fotolia.com)

A working miter saw generates a lot of dust. The saw's open blade makes it challenging to prevent that dust from mixing into the air and spreading around your work area. Most miter saws include a dust port and bag to capture some of the dust, but a better solution is to use active dust collection when cutting. If a shop does not have a permanently installed dust collection system or the saw is in use at a job site, a shop vacuum that can be connected to the saw can serve as a replacement.

Things You'll Need

  • Miter saw
  • Shop vacuum
  • Vacuum hose adapter

Connecting a Shop Vacuum

Measure the dust port on the miter saw. Since this port is designed to work with a clamp-on bag, the majority of the ports will be much smaller than the hose and fittings of a standard shop vacuum. If the size of the port is smaller than the vacuum hose, it will be necessary to purchase an adapter.

Attach this adapter to the dust port of the miter saw after removing the dust collection bag.

Fit the vacuum hose to the adapter and ensure that the saw can move through all of its angles and that the head and arm move freely. Be sure that the hose will not pull free during operation, resulting in sawdust entering the air of the workspace. It may be necessary to extend the vacuum hose if it limits the movement of the saw.

Turn on the vacuum before making the cut so that it actively extracts dust through the port while sawing. Be aware of the amperage draw of both the saw and the vacuum if they are going to be operated simultaneously on the same circuit. If the combination will overload the circuit, do not proceed. Plug the vacuum and saw into different circuits before using them in combination.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using a vacuum on the dust port of a miter saw will reduce the amount of sawdust that enters the air of the shop or work site. The design of the miter saw, however, does not make it easy to capture all of the dust through the port, and much can still escape. To compensate, many individuals cover the miter saw with a shroud or hood that surrounds the back of the saw. This traps more dust for the shop vac to capture.
  • Shop Vac hose adapters are readily available at home improvement centers or hardware stores.

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