When I started working wood 35 years ago the power tools never came with dust ports. Those were the days of paper masks, clouds of dust and wading through shavings on the floor. Today, all sanding, shaping or cutting tools have built in dust ports. That’s a good thing. The bad thing is lack of standardization. It seems like every manufacturer insists on making their tool unique with different dust port sizes and shapes. I don’t know how many times I’ve found myself standing with a hose in one hand and a new tool in the other wondering how I’m going to get my vac hose on the port. I’ve purchased several step down fittings and cut them to the appropriate size. They work OK for larger hose fittings, but for small port on tools such as palm sanders, they are just too bulky. I have also resorted to reams of duct tape and other flexible fittings to jerry rig some kind of connection only to have to undo the whole thing and re engineer a new fitting when I switch tools. Rockler has come up with an answer.
Rockler’s Universal Small Port Dust Kit solved just about every tool connection conundrum I could throw at it – even when dust ports aren’t round. The kit comes with two rubber tipped connectors (1” and 1-1/2”)
The two shape shifting rubber tipped swivel connectors (1” and 1-1/2”) are soft enough to fit over odd shaped connectors such as this Bosch palm sander.
The soft rubber tips handle the variations in dust ports with ease. The only exception we found was on an older Ridgid sander with a 2-1/4” port.
Each rubber tip mounted to a reverse threaded swivel connector. The swiveling connector reduces hose hindrance and increases tool maneuverability. The reverse threads easily screw into the open end of the rubber flex hose for quick tip changes. The opposite end of the hose is attached to a standard 2-1/4” port that connects to most shop vacs and dust separators.
The hose itself has some big plusses, but also some big minuses. On the plus side, I loved the expandability and kink free flexibility of the hose. The hose stretches from a mere 3’ to a whopping 15’. Amazing.
There were a couple things that disappointed about the hose: the weight and the static shocks. This is not a static dissipating hose, so you are in for a shock from time to time, especially in the dry winter months. The hose was surprisingly heavy (1 pound 13.6 ounces on my postal scale). You may want some kind of hose suspension system to hold the hose up if you are doing a lot of sanding. (I use a bungee cord suspended from the ceiling). Also, because the hose always wants to contract, it has a tendency to pull your tools off the bench when you set them down, especially smaller tools such as palm sanders.
Like the rubber tips, the hose is not quite “universal”. The 2-1/4” fitting was a touch loose on my Dust Deputy, forcing me to get out the duct tape once again.
Finally, although it easy to change the rubber swivel tips, having to unscrew one and screw on another is a bit of a pain, especially when you need to go back and forth between two tools that require different hose ends. It would be nice if Rockler could break with tradition and offer the elements of their kits as stand alone products. That way I could have a hose for each fitting making the changes a whole lot faster. The only way to buy an extra hose right now is to purchase another kit.
The Rockler Universal Small Port Dust Hose Kit is in the end, a great buy that goes a long way towards allowing you to connect just about any small dust port to your vac or separator. I hope some day Rockler will offer an improved hose made with static dissipating material and hopefully a lot less weight.
Dust Right® Universal Small Port Hose Kit
Item #: 48212
Photos by David Munkittrick and George Vondriska