When grinding concrete, it’s very important to use a dust extractor as inhaling concrete dust can lead to serious lung illnesses such as silicosis or lung cancer.
It’s equally important to use the right dust extractor for your grinder. It needs to be able to cope with the amount of dust that is being produced from the particular grinder it is being used with. A simple rule of thumb is the bigger your grinder the more powerful the dust extractor needs to be.
Trying to cut costs by using an inadequately sized extraction unit only puts your health at risk and causes more of a mess to clean up. It’s better to have one that has too much power than too little.
Harzardous dust is classified into 3 levels;
- L-class (Low risk) Dust: This is for dust such as simple house dust and materials such as soil.
- M-class (Medium risk) Dust: These dust particles are smaller and include wood dust, dust from repair compound, filler and clear coats, dust from cement, concrete and tile cement, quartziferous materials such as sand and pebbles, and even paints such as latex and oil paints.
- H-Class (High-risk) Dust: This category includes dust containing carcinogenic or pathogenic particles as well as mould spores, asbestos, mineral fibres, bitumen and artificial mineral fibres such as glass wool.
When working with concrete you’ll need either an M- or H-class extractor. Here is a simple guide to help you choose the best dust extractor for your grinder.
Hand Held Grinders
When using a hand grinder such as the Hikoki 5”, it’s best to use an M-class dust extractor.
The Nilfisk VHS 42 is an M-class dust extractor that features:
- sealed dust system
- a durable and washable PTFE long-life filter that provides 99.9% filtration
- an upstream HEPA cartridge filter which also has 99.9% filtration
- motor cooling PET air filter
- different options of dust bags (disposable and long-life)
- 1200W power
It’s a tough machine built for the tough rigours of industry. It’s easy to use and has its own storage compartment for tools and accessories. There are no dust emissions from the exhaust and the same filter can be used for wet and dry pick-up.
Shark 250 Concrete Grinder
The Shark 250 Concrete Grinder is a compact machine that is ideal for small projects and difficult to get into areas. It’s ideal for removing glue and paint, high spots, and general surface preparation.
The H17 is an H-class dust extractor that is ideal for the 250 Grinder. It is a powerful yet compact unit that comes with a single motor and an H13 HEPA filter which has ≥ 99.95% efficiency. This extractor can be used with small grinders and handheld power tools. It also features jet pulse filter cleaning.
Shark 460 and Shark 480 Concrete Grinders
The Shark 460 Concrete Grinder is designed for concrete polishing but also excels as a general-purpose concrete grinder. The larger Shark 480 is designed for surface preparation for domestic and small commercial projects up to 500m2. It’s ideal for glue removal, levelling of high spots, flattening floors, and general-purpose concrete grinding. Both models come with a water tank for wet operations.
These grinders do a heavier workload than the Shark 250 and so they need to be matched with a more powerful dust extractor. The Shark H24 H-class Dust Extractor is ideal. This extractor is more powerful than the H17 as it has a twin motor (2 x 1260W) which makes it more robust. This is an industrial grade extractor featuring 2 x H13 HEPA filters which produce ≥ 99.99% efficiency at 0.3 microns, which meets the new silica requirements.
Shark 640 and Shark 750 Concrete Grinders
The Shark 640 is a grinder/polisher for larger domestic and commercial projects up to 1000m2. It is similar to the Shark 460, but it has a 7.5kW motor compared to the 3kW motor of the 460 models. The Shark 750 has a powerful 11kW motor which is designed for large commercial projects of more than 1000m2. It’s a variable-speed concrete grinder/polisher which can be used wet or dry.
The Shark H36 (H-class) is a powerful extractor with 3 x 1260W motors and is designed to cope with the amount of dust and heavy workload of the 640 and 750 grinders. It has 3 x H13 HEPA filters and so can handle plaster, concrete and asbestos dust.
Shark 800 Remote Concrete Grinder
The Shark 800 is the largest grinder in the Shark range. It can handle large commercial projects in excess of 1000m2 and, as the name suggests, it is remote controlled.
The Shark H55 Dust Extractor is a powerful commercial-grade extractor that is designed for use with large 3-phase concrete grinders. It has a 5.5kw motor, the main sock filter, and secondary HEPA filters. It can easily handle building, grinding, plaster, concrete and asbestos dust.
All Shark dust extractors feature an efficient air pulse cleaning system, ‘non-marking type’ wheels and lockable front wheels.
You select your grinder according to the job you are doing. Similarly, your dust extractor should correspond to the grinder you are using. This will not only help you maintain a clean working environment but will also afford you the best protection for your health.