Hands down, it's the DC first. Like snaglpuss said, the ambient air cleaner is useful for the stuff that the DC won't collect. I would also suggest a good shop vac prior to the air cleaner, use it to connect to the hand tools (like the sanders, won't help much with routers). Capturing dust at the source is always the best approach.
i didn't know what to do either. my justification was that its in a basement with poor ventilation, and while i dont work down there often, i do it often enough where i still need custom collection and some sort of filter,
i went with the box fan sucking in air through three plated filters inside of a small shopmade cabinet. just finished it last night so ih ave yet to test. this was easy enough to build and seems like its gonna work pretty good.
next step is a DC system with a separator even if its a small one.
Collect everything you can at the source using a shop vac hooked to tool ports like on a sanders since they make the finest dust.
Table saws make the next size dust particles and a large 1 HP OR greater, Dust Collector AND a shop vac on a over blade guard works well for me.
The largest size particles are made by jointers and planers, for which only a low volume large DC unit works well. Shop vac will fill up too quickly with the large volume of chips.
Hand held routers are a special problem, since they usually have no dust port, except Festool which is nice, but very expensive.
A router mounted in a table can be made pretty dust free by a shop vac right at the cutter head. That's what I use, with no lower DC box or other dust collection means.
Bandsaws may have a 2 1/2" port for a shop vac or a 4" port or both. I use just the shop vac. A bandsaw seems harmless but it's a real dust generating machine! :yes:
I use "quick disconnect" fitting on my DC which are on casters and I roll them a few feet to the machine in use at the moment. It only takes a second to attach the fittings to the machines for direct single machine effective ness, without blast gates.
I do have a multi table saw set up with blast gates for each saw and that works well also.:yes:
I use an over head air filtration unit to get the last airborne dust that escapes the other systems...and it does escape. :thumbdown::yes:
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