small handheld ash vacuum to clean the hearth?

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twd000

Feeling the Heat
Aug 28, 2015
429
Southern New Hampshire
Does anyone have a small ash vacuum that they use to clean the hearth and loading area for their stove? Something small and handheld like a DustBuster size that I can leave by the stove. Not a full ShopVac size. I need to clean the ash lip plus the loading area with all the loose wood crumbs that fall off on the hearth rug and wood floor. I don't need to suck hot coals; I use a shovel and bucket for that.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,696
central pa
Does anyone have a small ash vacuum that they use to clean the hearth and loading area for their stove? Something small and handheld like a DustBuster size that I can leave by the stove. Not a full ShopVac size. I need to clean the ash lip plus the loading area with all the loose wood crumbs that fall off on the hearth rug and wood floor. I don't need to suck hot coals; I use a shovel and bucket for that.
Any hand held will work fine.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,696
central pa
do I need a special HEPA filter to prevent the dust from going airborne?
If you want one with a hepa filter than get one with a hepa filter. There is nothing special about wood ash that makes it any different from any other dust. The only thing is the possibility of a hot ember and there are no vacs that can really handle that. Not even our $1500 to $2000 pro ones.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,696
central pa
They do make ash vacuums. Ours is a small canister type, like this.
Yes and there really is nothing that makes that any diferent from a standard small shop vac. You can suck up ash fine with eithet and you cant suck up hot coals with either.
 

dBrad

Member
Mar 14, 2017
59
SC
Yes and there really is nothing that makes that any diferent from a standard small shop vac. You can suck up ash fine with eithet and you cant suck up hot coals with either.
Actually there are some differences. While you shouldn't intentionally vacuum hot ashes with anything, those ash vacs with metal canisters can handle the heat better than a plastic shop vac if you accidentally find a hot clinker hiding in the ashes. Their filters are also made to catch more fine dust than a shop vac's filters.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,546
07462
I use a black and decker dust buster I bought from wallmart. I have no issues with airborne dust.
 
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blacktail

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2011
1,419
Western WA
I have a dust buster by my stove that has to be at least 30 years old. I got it from my grandma's house when she passed away. It hold a charge just long enough to clean up around my insert.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,513
Michigan
Does anyone have a small ash vacuum that they use to clean the hearth and loading area for their stove? Something small and handheld like a DustBuster size that I can leave by the stove. Not a full ShopVac size. I need to clean the ash lip plus the loading area with all the loose wood crumbs that fall off on the hearth rug and wood floor. I don't need to suck hot coals; I use a shovel and bucket for that.

I have a little rechargeable dust buster, bag less, it works ok, but I find the ash clogs up the filter quickly, and it loses suction.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,696
central pa
Actually there are some differences. While you shouldn't intentionally vacuum hot ashes with anything, those ash vacs with metal canisters can handle the heat better than a plastic shop vac if you accidentally find a hot clinker hiding in the ashes. Their filters are also made to catch more fine dust than a shop vac's filters.
I dont care what the canister is made out of the filters are flammable. Beleive me i have sucked up enough embers into our vacs that are all metal but the filters. And it can get really exciting really quickly. And there are plenty of shop vacs that filter just as fine if not finer than the ash vacs.

I dont mean to be critical of you at all but i have seen many of them and honestly there is no difference in function or safety. Just price.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,513
Michigan
If you want one with a hepa filter than get one with a hepa filter. There is nothing special about wood ash that makes it any different from any other dust. The only thing is the possibility of a hot ember and there are no vacs that can really handle that. Not even our $1500 to $2000 pro ones.

It's finer like drywall dust, that's why they make special high filtration bags for contractor use.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,696
central pa
It's finer like drywall dust, that's why they make special high filtration bags for contractor use.
I know exacty how fine wood ash is. And regular filters will work just fine to contain it. But it will clog them quickly.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,513
Michigan
Does anyone have a small ash vacuum that they use to clean the hearth and loading area for their stove? Something small and handheld like a DustBuster size that I can leave by the stove. Not a full ShopVac size. I need to clean the ash lip plus the loading area with all the loose wood crumbs that fall off on the hearth rug and wood floor. I don't need to suck hot coals; I use a shovel and bucket for that.

For what you're using it for a small dust buster of any caliber will for work fine. In my opinion if your sucking up higher amounts of fine dust or ash you'll want a hepa filter, it's worth the extra cost. I've had shop vacs with lesser filters/bags on them, and you could literally watch the dust blow out of the exhaust.
 
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gregbesia

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2009
360
central CT
I got this couple of years ago. Very happy with it. I use it for exactly what you mention, plus picking up dust from Sheetrock sanding and catching spiders in the house. Not cheap, but love the filter that I can simply tap outside to clean. Still use the same filter. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002VWK5T6/?tag=hearthamazon-20
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,353
Whitmore lake, MI
I use a bucket top vac from Home Depot. Don't suck up embers goes with out saying. There shouldn't be hot embers on anyone's hearth to begin with right? Anyways, when I'm done vacuuming I just dump the ash in my ash bucket outside. Vacuum $20.00. Homer bucket $3.00.