Quietest Mini Fridges of 2020: Dorm, Office, Home!

A mini-fridge is one of the best ways to have convenient access to a cold beverage or a light snack on demand. If you live in a dorm room or work in an office or garage, they tend to feel like a necessity.

However, something that's plagued all refrigerators is noise output. Luckily, a number of quiet mini-fridges using compressors or thermo-electric cooling exist. Choosing an option boils down to your specific needs as well as where you intend to use the refrigerator.

The Quiet Mini Fridges

hOmeLabs
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1. Midea Compact Mini-Fridge

Midea is a well established brand in the home appliance space. They were established in 1968, have been featured in the fortune 500 list, and have received 40 design awards for their products.

This model by Midea is a two-door style mini-fridge. Meaning it has separate sections for refrigerator and freezer. This particular mini-fridge features a separate fruit and vegetable drawer making it a true compact refrigerator.

The refrigerator compartment is capable of adjustable temperature ranges of 32 to 50 degrees F. The freezer compartment is capable of adjustable temperature ranges of -11.2 to 5 degrees F.

Midea doesn't offer much in the way of dB ratings. However they do note that they engineered a whisper-quiet compressor that's virtually undetectable when it cycles on and off. This makes it perfect for dorm rooms, offices, RVs, and other spaces that require quiet operation.

2. hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler

hOmeLabs is a well known appliance manufacturer. Just like all their appliances, they know and understand that appliances should be both functional as well as add to the aesthetics of the space. They accomplish this via design as well as utilizing neutral colors.

This mini-fridge is a tall style beverage cooler. It's rated for 120 standard size beer/soda cans or even several bottles of wine. With that said, all the chrome shelves are removable and adjustable.

Since it's designed to chill beverages, it's temperature is rated as low as 34 degrees F, which is the ideal temperature for beer and soda. hOmeLabs also notes that you should not store meat, veggies, fruits, or other fresh foods.

The compressor is powered by 120V/240W and is noted to be whisper quiet. This cooler also uses a small convection fan that allows for consistent air circulation.

3. Kuppet-Mini Refrigerator

This is a tall style mini-fridge that features 3.2 cubic feet of storage space. Combined with a can dispenser, it's best suited for beverages and a small load of groceries.

Unlike two door mini-fridges, tall style options have a smaller freezer that's best suited for making ice or storing a candy-bar rather than freezing food.

This mini-fridge is designed to work with your space. The door is reversible which makes opening and closing a breeze regardless of position. The glass shelf is also removable making cleaning easier and allows you to store taller items.

This fridge uses a compressor cooler which are normally quite loud in operation. However, due to Kuppet's engineering, the mini-fridge only outputs 40 dB of noise which is essentially whisper quiet in operation.

4. Antarctic Star Beverage Mini-Fridge

This model by Antarctic Star is a compact mini-fridge made specifically for beverages, in particular, wine. While you don't have to be a wine drinker to own it, you can enjoy the benefits of a temperature controlled environment made specifically to chill drinks.

Wine's number one enemy is heat. This mini-fridge allows you to store wine at optimal temperatures to allow for long-term aging. The working temperature is rated at 40 to 61 degrees F. This temperature is ideal for a number of beverages: soda, beer, wine, etc.

The mini-fridge itself features 18 standard red or white bottle capacity, which is also perfect for beer or soda. This horizontal storage is a space-efficient way to store your beverages.

In terms of noise output, Antartic Star notes it emits 38 dB of noise. This is due to the advanced cooling system. The internal three-dimensional air-cooling system ensures that each corner of the fridge maintains a constant temperature with only a +/- 1 degree C swing.

5. Cooluli Classic Portable Mini Fridge

This mini-fridge by Cooluli is a portable, 10.3 lb, AC/DC powered cooler. It works based on thermo-electric cooling known as the Peltier effect.

Thermo-electric coolers perform best in small enclosures. They're also known for being near quiet in operation; This is due to having minimal moving parts.

This cooler is on the smaller side, being more so catered to beverages. It's capacity is 15 liter/18 cans. In terms of cooling, it's rated at 35-40 degrees F which is the ideal temperature for beverages.

It's important to place this cooler is an area that's not prone to temperature extremes. Ideally in a cool dry place where ambient temperature will have minimal effect on the cooling ability.

What To Look For In a Quiet Mini Fridge

Nothing beats having access to a cold drink or snack on demand.

A mini fridge can also be the difference between a stark home office or a lackluster college dorm.

However, before making a purchasing decision, it's important to understand the differences between the types of mini fridges available as well as the factors that impact noise output.

Your choice will also depend on your personal needs. For instance, are you only looking to store beverages? Or do you also want to store food. Will it be in a Dorm? Office? Garage? All of these factors impact your decision.

Mini Fridges Method of Cooling

When it comes to mini-fridges, there are typically two methods of cooling available: thermo-electric, and compressor based.

Thermo-Electric or Thermoelectric Coolers (TEC)

tec refrigeration explained

These types of coolers work based on the Peltier effect. This effect creates a difference in temperature by transferring heat energy between two electrical junctions.

A voltage is then applied across joined conductors in order to create an electrical current. The current then flows and heat is removed from one junction and as a result, cooling occurs. The heat is then deposited at the other junction.

The main goal of a Peltier effect is for cooling, hence applications in mini-fridges. However it's also used for heating and temperature control, for instance in dehumidifiers.

The Pros of Using a TEC

The Cons of a TEC

Compressor Coolers

refrigeration cycle

The refrigerator compressor is both a pump and a motor that moves refrigerant through a cooling system.

Temperature sensors will signal the compressor to operate when the temperature rises above a set point on a thermostat. Refrigerators aren't a closed system, meaning cold air will leak out and warm air can leak in resulting in temperature fluctuations.

As the compressor starts it will take in cold refrigerant gas in liquid form as it leaves the evaporator. The compressor then applies pressure to the gas, causing it to compress. When the gas in compressed, it causes its temperature to increase.

The now hot, compressed refrigerant gas is pushed out of the compressor and into condenser coils on the back of the refrigerator. The coils work to dissipate heat into the air and the gas then changes back to liquid form.

The liquid refrigerant travels through the system until it reaches the expansion valve. This valve will force the liquid through a small hole. This hole creates a pressure imbalance that causes the refrigerant to boil over and vaporize/mist as it passes through. This mist then evaporates as it passes through the freezer coils (occurs at -27 degrees F).

The cold liquid gas travels through the coils and draws heat out of the surrounding air in the refrigerator. This concept works based on the second law of thermodynamics: heat moves from warmer objects to colder objects. In this scenario the cold object is the refrigerant, and the warm object is the air.

The coils then lead back to the compressor. This process of compression and evaporation will continue until the sensors indicate that the desired temperature has been reached.

The Pros of a Compressor Cooler

The Cons of a Compressor Cooler

Types of Mini Fridges

The different types of mini-fridges are more so a descriptor for the size or shape of the fridge. As you might expect, size and shape are heavily influenced by cooling method.

For instance, it's rather hard to incorporate the moving parts and compressor system into a compact mini fridge.

Tall

tall mini fridge

These types of mini-fridges are the most popular. They typically use a compressor based cooler. However the placement of the thermostat is usually in the refrigerator, rather than the freezer meaning temperature performance is usually better in the refrigerator section.

The compressor cooling system enables you to store both beverages and food. The separate freezer can also be used to make ice and store small things like a candy bar. As noted above, due to thermostat placement, it's best to avoid storing temperature sensitive items like ice cream because of temperature inaccuracies.

Note that tall models do exist without a freezer. These are usually labeled as "beverage coolers." As the name suggests, these refrigerators are only for beverages. They also tend to use thermo-electric cooling systems so placement of the mini-fridge is important.

Two-Door

These mini-fridges are similar to a regular refrigerator. As the name implies, it has two doors, one for the freezer and another for the refrigerator.

However, unlike the Tall models, the thermostat for two-door mini fridges is usually placed in the freezer. This means you can store temperature sensitive items without worrying whether they'll remain cold or not.

Like the Tall models, these also tend to use compressor cooling systems. As a result, you can safely store food and beverages as well as temperature sensitive items.

Cube

cube refrigerator

These are popular in college dorms as well as small living spaces. They are essentially bare bones mini-friges with enough space for a few items.

The thermostat is usually located in a very small freezer compartment that has enough space for an ice tray. If your goal is to store beverages, a cube mini-fridge will serve that purpose.

These types of mini-fridges can use both compressor-based coolers as well as thermo-electric. However, the compact nature usually results in more noise output in a compressor system.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider. Namely, determining what you're trying to store as well as the ambient temperature of the surrounding space.

While noise output is lower in thermo-electric coolers, being able to store food that's safe to consume is a priority. If this is your intention, opt for a compressor mini-fridge and consider ways to soundproof it instead (noise damping mats for example).

Quietest Coffee Grinder of 2020: Brew in the Morning!

Historically, noise pollution has been a significant issue with many kitchen appliances and using a coffee grinder is no different. No matter the type of grinder (blade or burr), these devices tend to be loud.

Fresh ground coffee isn't comparable to pre-ground. The coffee tastes better and the aroma is stronger. Pre-ground coffee beans also result in over oxygenated stale coffee.

With that said, quiet grinders do exist, let's take a look at some your options.

The Quietest Coffee Grinders

COMANDANTE
CONICAL BURR
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MEULLER
CONICAL BURR
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OXO
CONICAL BURR
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1. Comandante C40 Manual Grinder

When it comes to manual grinders, the Comandate C40 is the gold standard. It is designed by and made for specialty coffee experts and connoisseurs.

There's nothing that Comandante left out when they developed this grinder:

The Burr is made of patented high-alloyed, high-nitrogen stainless steel (approximately 58 Rockwell hardness). Manufacturing with high nitrogen martensitic steel is difficult and requires special tools, machinery, and craftsmanship. However when it's complete, it's tough and highly resistant to pitting.

The body of the grinder is stainless steel wrapped in a veneer of American cherry wood that's treated with a natural-based wax-oil.

The axle and crank are made of stainless steel and the crank-knob is made of 100% natural oak wood.

The Comandante is capable of grinding beans for Turkish coffee and coarse for French Press. In order to adjust the grind simply:

The only downside to this grinder is the price. However, it will likely be the last grinder you ever buy. Due to the engineering of the burrs and the material used, it's whisper quiet in comparison to electric burr options.

2. Mueller Ultra-Grind Conical Burr Grinder Professional Series

The Mueller Ultra-Grind comes equipped with a large capacity hopper and a removable container to hold the grind.

It can produce 30-32 cups of coffee with one fill. There are 10 grind size options as well as micro-adjustments that allow for uniform bean extraction for any brew method. Grind size can be adjusted easily using the coarseness adjustment knob.

This model comes with a simple on/off button, as well as an automatic stop function for the end of the grind cycle.

This machine is easy to clean thanks to the removable top burr and custom embedded brush.

Mueller has thought of everything with this model – including sound. The grinder features a gear reduction motor that grinds slower for reduced noise. Meuller notes the decibel rating is 76 dB.

3. OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

The OXO Brew coffee grinder is an electric conical burr grinder. It comes with a UV blocking hopper that can hold up to 0.75 pounds of coffee beans. UV rays from the sun can cause certain coffee compounds to break down, so this is a nice touch.

Unlike other coffee grinders that feature dial style controllers, you can adjust the grind size by turning the hopper itself. The grinder is equipped with 15 grind size settings, as well as micro settings. 1 being fine for brewing espresso and 15 being coarse for a french press.

After setting your grind size you then turn the "OXO" button to adjust your grind time. This time is then saved for the next time you grind allowing for a consistent brew.

OXO doesn't state anything in regards to decibel ratings, however a customer notes with independent testing they measured 74 dB. This is about average for electric conical burr grinders.

4. Breville Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder

Breville is a well known brand in the coffee industry. They're most recognized for their drip brew and espresso coffee machines. Needless to say, they know and understand what it takes to make a great cup of coffee.

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro features a large hopper and a compartment that allows you to grind your beans directly into an airtight container, filter basket, or paper filter.

The airtight grind container also comes with a lid and sealing cap so you can pre-grind your coffee and store it as needed. However, it's usually best practice to grind beans as you need them as apposed to grinding them and degassing the beans.

The grinder has 60 precise grind settings that allowing for a range of fine and coarse grind options. Meaning you aren't limited to a specific brew method.

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro also has a unique function called Dosing iQ. This timing allows you to adjust grind time in 0.2-second increments allowing you to get a precise and consistent grind every time.

5. Secura Burr Coffee Grinder

The Secura Burr grinder has a similar style to the Mueller model that we looked at earlier.

It is designed with a hopper that holds up to 8 ounces of coffee beans and includes a compartment below, that can hold up to 5 ounces of ground coffee. The compartment is removable and can be pulled out and emptied directly into your French press or the appropriate filter.

The Secura Burr comes with 18 grind size options, which allows for a variety of brew methods to be used. The grinding mechanism is designed to prevent overheating, and the components of the machine are all removable for easy clean-up.

There is a quantity control dial on the side of the machine that allows you to select the desired number of cups you are grinding for, from 1 – 10. Once it has ground the appropriate amount, it will automatically shut off.

What to Look For in a Quiet Coffee Grinder

manual coffee grinder

Over 50% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day. This represents 150 million daily drinkers (1). Needless to say, A LOT of people drink coffee.

While buying your coffee beans pre-ground is convenient it's not the best way to enjoy a "fresh" cup of coffee. Making coffee with just about any brew method requires a consistent grind for optimal extraction of the bean.

However, not every adult works on the same schedule. Grinding beans early in the morning can be a nuisance for both you and the other people trying to sleep.

Types of Coffee Grinders

There are two main types of coffee grinders: blade and burr.

Burr Grinders

A burr grinder uses two serrated oscillating plates (burrs) to grind beans. These plates are usually made of either ceramic or stainless steel. Due to how the burrs are engineered, it results in a more consistent grind.

There are two main types of burr grinders: conical and wheel.

Blade Grinders

blade coffee grinder

Just as the name suggests, a blade grinder uses two spinning blades to quite literally chop beans as apposed to "grinding" them.

Blade grinders create a grind with varying levels of surface area due to the physics of the chopping motion. This affects "coffee bloom" resulting in under and over-extracted coffee beans. The blades also create heat which can cause the grind to heat up prematurely.

For this reason, blade-ground coffee beans are considered inferior to burr-ground.

Power

There are two forms of power for coffee grinders: electric and manual.

As the name suggests, a manual grinder requires the user to turn a hand crank that spins burrs in order to grind coffee beans. This process can be painstakingly slow, especially in the morning. However it produces minimal noise as there is no motor or electricity involved.

An electric powered grinder features a motor that spins either blade or burrs at a high rate of speed in order to grind coffee beans. These types of grinders will always be louder than a manual option.

Noise Level Considerations

Most coffee drinkers have likely bought fresh roasted beans before. Upon waking up in the morning, they realize that grinding the beans is going to result in audible noise and they're at loss until everyone wakes up.

The following features result in the quietest coffee grinders:

In the morning, most people don't have the energy to manually turn a hand crank in order to spin conical burrs. However, it's also the quietest way to grind coffee.

If you're not willing to put in the elbow grease, look for a grinder that is decibel (dB) rated and uses conical burrs.

Conclusion

Having freshly ground beans and a freshly brewed pot of coffee is one of the best ways to start a morning. However due to noise pollution, most people opt for inferior pre-ground coffee beans.

Luckily, quiet options do exist. As with all the options listed, ensure the machine is dB rated and features some form of burr as the method of grinding. If you're up for the task, using a manual grinder ensures less noise as apposed to an electric counterpart.

References

  1. http://www.e-importz.com/

Quietest Dehumidifiers of 2020: Live Peacefully!

A dehumidifier is one of the best solutions for dealing with high humidity levels. They're a relatively simple appliance that are designed to extract moisture from the air. This helps to make your indoor air spaces far more comfortable and livable.

In general, dehumidifiers are louder than other home appliances. Most dehumidifier noise is a result of wind that's generated by the units fan. This noise can be a real nuisance, especially when it's near your bedroom or bathroom.

The Quiet Dehumidifiers

TOSOT
48 dB
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Waykar
41.5 - 45 dB
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hOmeLabs
50 - 57 dB
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1. TOSOT 4,500 SQ FT Dehumidifier

TOSOT boasts 20 years of experience in researching, designing, and manufacturing dehumidifiers. Needless to say, they know and understand what customers are after when it comes to owning, operating, and enjoying a dehumidifier.

This particular unit is rated for 4,500 square feet, and has a 45 pint capacity rating. It's important to note that TOSOT complies with the recent Department of Energy (DOE) changes for testing compliance (new standard introduced in 2019). They note that their previous (2012 rating) was a 70 pint capacity.

This is a refrigerant style dehumidifier meaning it works best for average temperature spaces. Refrigerant dehumidifiers use a combination of fans and coils to cool and remove moisture from air. This usually results in added noise, however TOSOT notes decibel ratings for the following modes of operation high/medium/low as being 52/50/48 dB respectively.

In terms of the drain bucket, it features a swivel handle and spill resistant baffles. However if emptying drain buckets isn't your thing, they have the option for continuous drainage. You can simply connect a 3/4 inch garden hose and allow gravity to drain the water collection bucket.

This unit is energy STAR certified and UL-approved to meet high levels of safety. It has a power outage restart; In the event that you lose power, it will resume when power is restored. Lastly, the air filter is washable and the user is told when to clean it by an indicator light.

2. Waykar 70 Pint Dehumidifier

While there isn't much in the way of background information on Waykar, this unit is comparable to the TOSOT model.

This unit is rated for 4,500 square feet and has a 70 pint capacity. We aren't told if this capacity is based on the 2012 or 2019 testing parameters. However, a 70 pint capacity based on the 2012 parameters roughly translates to a 45-50 pint capacity rating based on the 2019 testing requirements.

To further add to the dehumidifying capabilities, the unit has four air outlets, one on each side. This design allows for improved dehumidifying speed. It also includes an added filter to help purify the air. This helps to remove odors, as well dirt, dust, and other debris.

The Waykar unit has a 1.18 gallon water tank that you can both manually drain as well as continuous drain with the provided 6.56 ft drain hose. To note, when continuous drain is not in use, the Full Tank indicator will light up and the dehumidifier will shut off until it has been emptied.

Waykar doesn't specifically note the decibel ratings however, upon emailing them they note:

High speed 45DB LOW speed 41.5DB

Waykar Support Team

These are remarkably whisper quiet levels of operation.

Other noteworthy features include:

3. hOmeLabs 4,500 sq ft. Dehumidifier

hOmeLabs is a well known brand in the world of dehumidifiers. hOmeLabs knows and understands the importance of both function and aesthetic. This unit is designed for the modern home. All their units feature neutral colors to fit any design.

This unit is rated for 4,500 sq ft and has a 50 pint capacity. hOmeLabs notes that this number is based on the new 2019 testing parameters. They also note that their 2012 pint capacity was rated at 70.

This unit maximizes user experience making it super easy to use. Simply adjust your ideal moisture settings. Then allow it to continuously run for 24 hours until the tank is full. If you're not too keen on emptying the collection bin, you can attach a drain hose for continuous draining.

Most notable about this unit is the 2 year warranty (6 additional months for appliance registration). The standard for most units in this category is 1 year. The added warranty tells you that hOmeLabs stands behind their appliances.

hOmeLabs doesn't list decibel ratings but upon reaching out, their support was happy to provide me with answers.

This dehumidifier has a 50 dB rating without the turbo, with turbo mode on it is 57 dB

Faye from hOmeLabs Support Team

4. Hysure Compact Dehumidifier

This dehumidifier by Hysure is a more compact option, rated for 215 sq ft. It can remove 300 ml per day and has a large 700 ml spill proof water reservoir.

The unit is small enough to fit on your desk or workbench and is best suited for smaller rooms featuring moderate levels of humidity. Due to it's compact nature, it's portable and lightweight.

This humidifier is as simple as it gets. It has one button for operation. Simply pressing the button starts the dehumidifier. Once full, it automatically turns off and an LED indicator light is emitted. The reservoir is also transparent in the back, visibly telling the user when it's full.

The most attractive part about this dehumidifier is that is only creates 33 dB of noise. Which is essentially the sound of someone whispering.

5. SEAVON Mini Dehumidifier

This dehumidifier by SEAVON is another compact, portable option. It's rated for 170 square feet and has a 250 ml daily capacity and a water reservoir capacity of 500 ml. This makes it perfect for smaller enclosures like RVs, closets, and bathrooms.

Unlike the units above that make use of refrigerant de-humidification systems, this unit makes use of a built-in thermo-electric cooling technology known as Peltier. This means the unit doesn't use a compressor and is able to work at 40 dB in operation.

SEAVON includes an auto shut-off functionality. Once the unit is full, a red LED indicator is emitted, telling the user when to empty it.

What To Look For In a Quiet Dehumidifier

Higher levels of humidity can damage furniture, clothing, electronics, create musty odors and make many spaces in your home unbearable to live in.

A dehumidifier can go a long way when it comes to maintaining relative humidity (RH) levels in your home. However not all humidifiers are built the same and some offer a number of different functions.

There are three main factors that will affect your overall decision:

A number of these factors play an important role in sound generation. Almost all noise generated by a dehumidifier is made by the intake and exhaust systems.

How a Dehumidifier Works

Most dehumidifiers work in a similar fashion. They force air through an intake that features a fan or a series of fans.

This fan-forced air is then pushed over coolant laden coils in order to remove moisture from the air through the process of condensation.

Depending on the model of dehumidifier and their own engineering, the condensed moisture then drips into a collection bucket/basin or is automatically pumped out of the unit.

Dry air is then exhausted back into the room.

Below you'll learn more about types, however refrigerant style units are the most popular.

Dehumidifier Size

It's absolutely essential that you pick a dehumidifier that's appropriate for the size of your space. In order to properly size one, you first need to know:

  1. Square footage of the room
  2. General idea of the area's moisture level

Drying capacity is measured by the total moisture removal capacity. This metric is rated in pints of moisture removed per day (24 hours).

Due note though that most manufacturers provide square footage ratings so that you can readily pick the appropriate model.

Pint Capacity Rating

As we learned above, pint capacity is the amount of moisture a unit can remove in a 24 hour period.

However, it's important to be aware that standards for this capacity have changed as a result of testing environments. The Department of Energy (DOE) made these changes because the most common use for a dehumidifier is in a basement. These new standards help align more with these conditions.

This is important because dehumidifiers are now tested in conditions that actually lower their pint capacity rating:

They're now tested in 65 degrees F instead of 80 degrees F.

The last change was in 2012 that required dehumidifiers to be tested in ambient temperatures of 80 degree F and 60% humidity.

The previous standard resulted in models that featured larger pint capacity ratings of 30, 50, and 70.

The new 2019 standard required dehumidifiers to be tested in ambient temperatures of 65 degrees F and 60%. In colder air there is less water vapor to be removed meaning the standard pint capacity changed to 20, 30, and 50.

What does this mean when purchasing a new dehumidifier?

If you're replacing an old dehumidifier, your newer one will likely have a smaller pint capacity but still match your needs.

Area of Coverage (Square feet)Old Pint CapacityNew Pint Capacity
4003020
6004025
8005030
1,0006035-40
1,2007045-50
1,5009055-60

Water Capacity

water capacity

As you might expect, pint capacity ratings directly affect overall water capacity. A general rule of thumb is that the more moisture a unit can remove and hold, the more expensive it will be.

Most portable options will feature a self-draining function through the use of a drain-hose. However, you'll need to strategically place the unit in an area where it can drain like a laundry room sink or basement floor drain.

Newer models, like those from Honeywell feature evaporation technology while still being able to offer a larger pint capacity. Honeywell's system in particular uses heat pump technology, so that it doubles as an air conditioner in order to efficiently use energy.

Energy Efficiency

Just like pint capacity, new ways of analyzing and rating energy efficiency have been made.

The previous standards from 2012 were known as Energy Factor. This energy factor metric was expressed in liters of water removed per kWh of electricity consumed. These tests were also only performed when the units were actively removing moisture from the air.

The new 2019 standards are known as Integrated Energy Factor (IEF). Unlike the 2012 standard, it incorporates the energy consumed when the fan is running but the dehumidifier's refrigeration system is off.

As you might expect, these new standards more accurately represent how much energy is being consumed. The compressors of a dehumidifier will turn on and off based on your home's humidity level.

Noise Levels

Most, if not all noise generated by a dehumidifier is fan noise. This noise occurs when air is taken into the unit. As well as when air leaves the unit through the exhaust.

Similar to air purifiers, dehumidifiers use metrics like Cubic Feet per Minute or CFM to quantify the volume of air being moved.

Typically, a higher CFM value usually correlates to a louder unit. However a number of factors like method used to extract moisture, as well as engineering of the fans can affect noise output.

Types of Dehumidifiers

There are two main types of dehumidifiers that are used. They vary based on methods of cooling/extracting humid air.

Refrigerant Dehumidifier

Refrigerant dehumidifiers are the most popular in use.

They work by using a fan to push air over a set of coils. This cools the air and causes the moisture to condense and collect in a water collection bin. Then, cool dry air is blown back into the space by an exhaust fan.

Refrigerant dehumidifiers won't work in cold environments. The cold will cause the coils to freeze and not work properly.

They require regular maintenance for a number of facets:

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

Desiccant dehumidifiers work in spaces that are predisposed to the cold. In a desiccant process the refrigeration portion is completely removed.

Instead these dehumidifiers use a chemical drying agent to remove moisture and cool air.

The chemical agent is put on a heat exchange wheel and actively absorbs moisture from the air before being forced back through the exhaust.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider when it comes to picking a quiet dehumidifier.

The most important is sizing your dehumidifier appropriately to your space and picking a type. After which the rest of the factors like pint capacity, energy efficiency, and noise level will figure themselves out.

Quietest Paper Shredders of 2020: Home & Office!

Paper shredders are necessary pieces of office equipment. They help ensure the security of sensitive documents. For example, materials like bills, financial statements, employee information, and marketing plans.

With the increase of identity theft cases, all it takes is a document with your address and other information for a criminal to assume your identity.

While paper shredders are effective at shredding paper, they do so in a manner that can be disruptive to your work environment and home. Let's take a look at shredders that can perform, albeit quietly.

The Quiet Paper Shredders

FELLOWES
54 dB
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BONSAII
58 dB
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BONSAII
62 dB
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1. Fellowes Powershred 79Ci

Fellowes is one of the most popular brands when it comes to paper shredders. They've engineered a number of features that other brands have yet to even consider adding.

This shredder features a security rating of level P-4. This results in cross-cut particles ranging in size from 5/32 x 1-1/2". This makes it perfect for sensitive documents as well as junkmail. It's also capable of shredding CD/DVDs, credit cards, paper clips, and staples with ease.

The shredders capacity is 16 sheets per pass with a duty cycle of 20 minutes run time and 30 minutes cool down.

As we mentioned before, this shredders has features other brands have yet to consider: SafeSense and SilentShred.

SafeSense allows the shredder to detect when someone touches the paper opening. When you do, it automatically shuts-off, helping to protect more than your identity.

Fellowes notes that SilentShred is engineered to help with people in shared workspaces. This technology allows for minimal noise output at 54 dB.

Other notable features of this shredder include:

2. Bonsaii Heavy Duty Paper Shredder

The Bonasaii Evershred Pro 3S16 is a heavy-duty shredder capable of handling documents en masse.

This is a high-security, level P-4 paper shredder that uses a cross-cut to turn paper into small particles ranging in size from 5/31 by 1-19/50 inches.

The shredder's capacity is 12 sheets and the duty cycle is a 60 minute run-time before a cool down is required. Aside from paper, the shredder is also capable of handling credit cards, CD/DVDs, clips, staples, etc.

The Bonsaii is capable of the impressive duty cycle at P-4 security while only operating at 58 dB. That's roughly the volume of a regular conversation. For a shredder at that level of security, it's very quiet.

A few other notable features include:

3. Aurora Professional Grade Paper Shredder

This Aurora paper shredder is a large capacity shredder. It's a level P-4 cross-cut shredder that results in 5/32 by 1-1/2" particles.

The shredder has an impressive 22 sheet capacity and features an 8.5 gallon pullout bin with an LED indicator lights for bin-full. There are additional lights for standby, overheat, overload, and door open.

The shredder's duty cycle is 30 minute continuous run-time before requiring a 50 minute cool-down. This unit is capable of shredding paper, CDs, DVDs, and credit cards. Aurora notes that the shredder does so at "ultra-quiet operation," however they don't offer a specific dB rating.

Other notable features include:

4. Bonsaii EverShred C149-C Paper Shredder

This is another shredder by Bonsaii. Unlike the EverShred Pro 3S16 above, this unit is more so equipped for an office setting. It features an 18 sheet capacity with a cross-cut that turns paper into 1/5 x 1-23/50 inches or security level P-3.

It's able to shred paper, old financial records, CDs/DVDs, credit cards, and staples.

Where it really performs is its duty cycle. It's capable of 60 minutes of continuous run-time before a cool-down period of 10 minutes. This short cool-down is a result of Bonsaii's advanced cooling system and patented cutting technology.

The additional shredding capacity results in a 62 dB noise level, which is still quiet in terms of office shredders. The quiet motor helps to dampen the grinding and shredding noise.

Other notable features include:

5. AmazonBasics Home Office Paper Shredder

This shredder is a more budget friendly option for home-owners. However, being that it's budget friendly, it definitely has some compromises in terms of performance.

This unit has a 12 sheet capacity that's capable of creating cross section strips measuring7/32 by 1-9/16 inches. They don't mention anything in regards to security rating, however those dimensions are roughly security level P-2.

While not the best in terms of security, it's best suited for ATM receipts, credit-card bills, pay stubs, and junk mail. It's also capable of shredding old credit cards.

The duty cycle is somewhat underwhelming, at 7 minutes continuous run-time and 30 minute cool-down. However, as mentioned, this is perfect for light shredding for a single user.

Other notable features include:

What to Look for in a Quiet Paper Shredder

Using a paper shredder to protect yourself from opportunistic thieves is a worthwhile investment. Identity theft and credit card fraud occur on a daily basis and a paper shredder makes it that much harder for someone to steal your personal information.

Not all paper shredders are created equal either. Your options will boil down to shred options like cut style, speed of shred, security level, and sheets per pass. All of these options will affect noise output.

Shred Type

There are three standard shred types or cuts that are made: micro, cross, and strip cut. These shreds also go by a variety of names.

Micro-Cut/Particle-cut/Security-cut

A micro-cut shredder cuts in a similar manner to that of a wood chipper. It cuts the paper into small chips for the highest level of security.

Cross-Cut/Confetti-cut/Diamond-cut

A cross-cut shredder cuts the paper into small rectangular pieces.

Strip-Cut/Ribbon-cut/Spaghetti-cut/Straight-cut

A strip cut shredder works by shredding documents into long narrow strips.

We recommend using either cross-cut or micro-cut shredders for sensitive documents. This is security level DIN P-3 or higher.

Clayton Dillon

These types of cuts then lead to security level.

Security Level or DIN Levels

Security of your information is one of the main reasons you buy a paper shredder.

The DIN P-level is the official DIN 66399 standard which is the international standard for secure shredding of media. It was developed by Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) or the German Institute for Standardization.

The DIN 66399 Standard classifies security levels for six types of media such as hard drives (H), optical media (O), and paper-based (P).

For paper, there are 7 security levels noted as DIN P-1 to DIN P-7. These levels are then sorted into 3 protection classes. Depending on cutter type, these specific DIN levels can also be classified into various protection classes.

For most shredding requirements we recommend shredders in classification 2 with a DIN level of P-3, P-4, or P-5 with a cross or micro-cutter. This suits most home owner and office needs.

Clayton Dillon

Level 1

A level 1 machine offers the lowest level of security. It is best suited for destroying junk mail and any documents that don't offer criminals a lot of sensitive information. These machines produce strips of paper 3/8" wide.

Level 2 and 3

The machines at this level produce shreds 1/8" or 1/3" across. Level 2 and 3 shredders are best suited for documents with slightly more sensitive information like bills, social security numbers, and birth certificates.

Level 4

These machines feature cross-cuts and produce shreds measuring roughly 1/16" x 5/8". These machines are best suited for sensitive information like your financial records.

Level 5 and 6

A level 5 or 6 shredder are at the forefront of document security.

Often times these machines are compliant with federal privacy laws like HIPPA or the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA). Some of these devices even have accreditation and approval from the National Security Agency (NSA) so they can be used by Government officials for shredding documents of national security.

Noise Level Considerations

No matter how you slice it, a paper shredder is an inherently loud piece of office equipment.

On average you can expect most options to be in the 60 - 70 dB range of noise output. However, you can keep the following in mind in terms of what's considered "quiet" or "silent" in operation.

Usage Considerations

Paper shredders are categorized and filtered based on use. For instance nomenclature like personal, home-office, commercial, industrial, etc are all based on specific metrics:

These three factors help to place them in specific categories for use.

Single User

A shredder that's for a single user will feature a duty cycle of 1-10 minutes and a cool-down time of 20-30 minutes.

Capacity will range from 1-10 sheets per pass.

Bin capacity will typically fall in the range of 1-10 gallons.

Multi-User

A multi-user shredder will be labeled for home/small-offices. They feature duty-cycles of 10-30 minute run-times with a 30-60 minute cool-down.

The capacity will range from 10-30 sheets per pass.

Bin capacity will typically fall in the range of 10-20 gallons.

Industrial

An industrial shredder will be labeled for commercial or large offices and are made for 5 or more users. They feature a duty cycle of 60+ minutes with cool-down times that range from 10-60 minutes.

The capacity is typically 20+ sheets per pass.

Bin capacity is 30 or more gallons.

Speed of the Shredder

shredded paper

Speed of shred is an important factor to consider when it comes to overall noise output. As a dB rating tells us the amount of noise output, where-as speed of shred could tell us how long the shredder outputs a specific noise level.

The following formula is provided by Fellowes. First let's define these terms:

Sheet capacity x FPM x Run Time = Shredder Score

Fellowes

For example:

We'll use Fellowes 79Ci shredder detailed above and aforementioned metrics:

When picking shredders you can use this scoring to determine overall efficiency of the machine. As we can see, the Fellowes 79Ci is highly efficient.

Conclusion

There are a number of other factors to consider when picking a paper shredder.

For instance, energy saving capabilities, jam prevention, safety features, manual or automatic feed, etc. However, these features have minimal effect on noise output.

With that said, they're still important for overall function and are worth considering before making a purchasing decision.

Quietest Bed Frames of 2020: Sleep in Peace!

One of the best things you can do for your health is to get a solid night's sleep. An ideal sleep environment can include the right temperature, a comfortable mattress and bed sheets, and a bed frame that aids, not hinders a good night's sleep.

A quiet bed frame means no noises should you toss and turn or switch positions. This helps to eliminate both airborne and impact noise to help you and your partner sleep peacefully.

The Quiet Bed Frames

LUCID
WOOD CONSTRUCTION
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MELLOW
STEEL CONSTRUCTION
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ZINUS
WOOD CONSTRUCTION
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Let's explore some of the quietest options available:

1. Lucid Upholstered Platform Bed Frame with Slats

This bed frame by LUCID features a sturdy wood construction that's paired with a classic linen-inspired upholstery. It's both functional and visually appealing at the same time.

The wood slats are strategically spaced to provide support for your mattress. This helps to eliminate any potential noise, and remove the need for a box spring.

The bed frame is available in most mattress sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, and California king. It's also available in four colorways: charcoal, cobalt, pearl, and stone.

Most noteworthy is that you won't be fighting with this bed frame during the assembly process. It's easy to assemble and requires only a Phillips Head screwdriver.

Plus, with the opportunity to ship straight to your front door and a lifetime warranty, the Lucid Upholstered platform bed frame is a no-brainer.

2. Mellow Metal Platform Bed Frame

This platform bed frame from Mellow features a heavy-duty steel construction and steel slat foundation. This results in better stability and durability than most other platform style bed frames.

It comes in a modern, low profile design with hinged corners. It will complement several different design styles making it a versatile bed frame. It's also available in most mattress sizes: twin, full, queen, and king.

The all metal design is heavy and ensures minimal movement. Lucid actually refers to the frame as "noise free." This is large in part due to the engineering behind the product. The materials/parts are flat pack ready, and easy to assemble thanks to the "Clip2Lock" feature.

3. Zinus Moiz Wood Platform Bed Frame

This modern, sleek, wooden frame is designed with wooden slats to support any foam, latex, or spring mattress, eliminating the need for a box spring.

The Zinus Moiz Platform bed is both sturdy and stylish. It's made from 100% solid wood (wood type not specified) and gives a minimalist, rustic look that will complement many design styles. There is also a steel frame just below the wooden slats for additional support.

You can choose from two wood colors, natural or dark brown. It's also available in most mattress sizes: twin, full, queen, king.

The Zinus bed frame can be put together in under an hour. It comes with all the tools and parts necessary and the instruction manual is actually useful featuring an 11 step process with clear concise pictures to follow.

In terms of noise, there is foam padded tape added to the steel frame. This helps to ensure noise-free use and the non-slip tape on the wooden slats helps to prevent your mattress from moving.

4. Zinus Justina Standing Mattress Foundation

The Zinus Justina Quick Snap Standing Mattress Foundation is a simple, 100% polyester design that comes in grey, navy, or beige.

With three reasonably neutral color choices, this frame will match any existing color scheme and design you have in your bedroom. It also pairs well with any sheets and comforters you may choose.

It's 16 inches in total height and has a nine-inch, compact, durable, and strong steel frame and seven-inch support legs.

Zinus has a patent pending for their Quick Snap TM assembly that allows you to assemble the bed in minutes. The bed frame is available in wide variety of mattress sizes: Queen, King, Twin XL, Twin, Narrow Twin, and California King. It also requires no box spring.

The bed frame ships in compact packaging, making it easy to move in tight interior spaces such as hallways and stairwells. The Zinus Justina Quick Snap Mattress Foundation is also a light and portable frame, making it easy to move once assemble should you feel the urge to rearrange your bedroom.

Lastly, it's backed by a 5 year worry-free warranty.

5. ZIYOO Heavy Duty Reinforced Platform Bed Frame

This ZIYOO frame features ten wooden slats, one center support bar, and six strong legs. It's rated up to 3500 lbs making it one of the most stable and sturdy bed frames available. ZIYOO notes that it's 20% stronger and heavier than similar frames available, which helps with mattress life.

The ZIYOO's reinforced steel and wood frame, has a non-slip design that helps to prevent the mattress from falling out of position. The design doesn't require the need for a box spring and is headboard and footboard compatible. It also features a silent cushioning gasket for noise-free use ensuring that it doesn't squeak.

The frame is easy to assemble and can put together in minutes. All tools you need for assembly comes with the frame, and the main parts are labeled, making it a stress-free assembly process.

The frame is available for most mattress sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King. It's also available in both 14- inch and 16-inch heights.

The height allows you to maximize the storage space under the bed, which is an attractive feature for smaller bedrooms.

What To Look For in a Quiet Bed Frame

woman installing bed frame slats

A bed frame helps to support the weight of both you, your partner, the mattress, box-spring, and in some cases the head and foot-board. Needless to say, it's an important part of owning a bed.

In many cases, people buy an expensive mattress and slap it on an old bed frame. While you're comfortable, your movement is restricted because your mattress squeaks as you move around.

Let's look at ways to prevent this problem by making a more intelligent purchasing decision.

Material Considerations

There are a finite number of materials used for bed frames. This is because the material needs to be both durable and practical.

Your choices usually boil down to some form of either wood, or metal.

Metal

Much like that of an architect building a skyscraper, they first start with a strong frame. The frame needs to withstand both environmental impact and the occupants. Repairs need to be kept to a minimum while still remaining safe.

Much like the skyscraper, a bed frame needs to withstand the test of time while still remaining comfortable and safe for the sleeper.

Often, steel angle iron or other forms of steel are used for bed frames. As you might expect these materials are extremely durable. It won't splinter or bend and they're fairly lightweight. In order for the wood counterpart to match the same strength, you need more material which increases the weight.

Unlike wood, steel won't rot, warp, or splinter with age. Thanks to the nature of how metals can be molded, you can also create unique designs.

Wood

Wood is one of the oldest building materials in the world. While metal may have better durability, it's hard to resist the aesthetic appeal of wood.

Some of the most popular woods used to make bed frames are Pine, Oak, Poplar, and Maple. However, other forms of softwoods and hardwoods can be used.

The wood is then finished with something like varnish. The varnish helps with durability because it's resistant to impact, heat, abrasion, water, and alcohol. Varnish applies clear but it will also darken the wood slightly.

When it comes to wood, avoid manufactured woods like chipboard, fibreboard (MDF), particle board, and plywood. These materials lack durability.

Mattress Size Matters

Before purchasing a bed frame, you should know the size of your mattress. Most people will know if they have a twin, full, queen, king, or California king.

If you're not sure, you can measure the mattress to confirm. The standard mattress sizes are:

If you're buying a new mattress/bed frame you should measure the space to ensure it can accommodate the sizes above.

Noise Considerations

The biggest complaint from most people is that their bed frame squeaks. This is usually a result of poor engineering and too many moving parts.

For the sake of comparison, if a vehicle's suspension lacks lubrication and metal-on-metal wear is occurring, you'll experience squeaks.

In a similar way, if your bed frame consists of a dozen parts, all of which are screwed or latched together, you're bound to have squeaks as you or your partner move around.

Look for a bed frame that features minimal assembly and little to no moving parts. This alone is one of the best ways to avoid bed frame related squeaks.

Types of Bed Frames

bed frame

Today there are a number of bed frame styles available. However, like we noted, you should avoid moving parts. Bed frames that feature storage compartments, a canopy, murphy, etc, all feature dozens of moving parts for structure borne noise to travel through.

Keep your options limited to the following: platform and traditional/standard.

Traditional Bed Frame

A traditional bed frame is as simple as they come. They are made to be used in combination with a box spring. They usually include only head, foot, and side rails as well as an additional support slat/rail or two.

This is why a box spring is necessary because it provides support the mattress needs. If you were to put the mattress on the bed frame without the box spring, it would likely sag because of a lack of support.

These bed frames are quite durable as they're usually made of steel and other metals. Although, they're aesthetic is somewhat lacking because of their utilitarian feel.

Platform Bed Frame

Platform bed frames are very similar to traditional bed frames. They also feature head, foot, and side rail supports. However, they also feature many support slats, where-as standard bed frames may not have any. They also usually discourage the use of box springs.

Platform bed frames usually come as a solid, flat surface that's made from wood, metal, or laminate.

Final Thoughts

Too often, we focus on our mattresses as the be-all and end-all of proper sleep. We're so busy looking at the mattress, we neglect the frame.

A quiet bed frame paired with a comfortable mattress is vital to ensure adequate sleep. Pick an option that matches your existing mattress, aligns with your budget, and matches your decor and you can't go wrong.

Quietest PC Fans of 2020: Game in Silence!

PC case fans are one of the most important components of any computer. They're responsible for airflow (intake and exhaust) inside your case. Without them other parts like your CPU, GPU, HDD/SSD, motherboard, etc, could experience thermal throttling and even potential damage.

Needless to say, one of the components you should never neglect are case fans. These fans are available in a number of sizes, models, speeds, as well as noise levels.

Noise levels can be a real problem with PC fans. Especially those designed to spin at high RPMs with low-quality bearings. Luckily, a number of options exist that are near silent in operation.

The Quietest PC Fans

NOCTUA
22.6 dB(A)
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CORSAIR
28.6 dB(A)
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ARCTIC
24.5 dB(A)
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1. Noctua NF-A12 Premium Quiet Fan

Noctua has been a leader in the realm of fans and air-based CPU cooling for some 15 years, and if this NF-A12 model is any indication, they certainly haven't lost their touch.

The NF-A12 boasts four sets of mounting holes and also comes in a stylish but subtle beige on brown colorway.

This Noctua model also features an award-winning A-series design with flow acceleration channels and an advanced acoustic optimization frame for a quieter cooling experience.

The flow acceleration channels assist in speeding up airflow at the crucial outer blade areas; this lessens suction side flow separation, which in turn engenders better efficiency and less vortex noise.

In terms of noise output, Noctua attempts to keep things at a minimum. Their second generation SSO2 bearing features a rear magnet that's placed closer to the axis, which helps with stabilization and durability.

Even the fan blades are made of a Sterrox liquid-crystal polymer. Noted for it's tensile strength, low thermal expansion co-efficient and damping characteristics. This helps with reducing resonance and vibration.

As a result of this engineering as well as the above factors, the Noctua is rated at 22.6 dB. However with the Low-noise adaptor (comes packaged) it's rated at 18.8 dB which is very quiet.

In terms of airflow, the Noctua is capable of 60 CFM at 2000 RPM. With the RPMs are reduced to 1700.

2. be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Cooling Fan

As the name implies, be quiet!'s main focus is maintaining adequate airflow while still running at whisper quiet operation.

As discussed in detail below, metrics like dB ratings and CFM values are important when looking at PC fans. However, you need to be educated when it comes to these metrics and how performance can actually be measured.

For example, here are the be quiet specs in detail:

Comparing these to the Noctua without the LNA:

Meaning the fan by be quiet is definitely impressive. The Noctua pulls 60 CFM at 2,000 RPM and creates 22.6 dB of noise. However the be quiet is capable of pulling 13.3 CFM more volume while only being 6 dB louder.

This is a result of the funnel-shaped air inlets that allow for greater airflow capacity. To note, both dB ratings are still whisper quiet in operation.

However, where be quiet! does have Noctua beat is operation time. Noctua is rated for 150,000 hours, where-as be quiet! is rated for 300,000 hours of use. This is thanks large in part to be quiet!'s fluid-dynamic bearings.

3. Arctic F12-120 mm Low Noise Case Fan

Arctic is a well known brand in the industry. They're most well known for their high-quality, affordable thermal pastes.

This case fan by Arctic is one of the most affordable on this list. While it lacks features like fancy LEDs or a variable speed controller, it's a highly efficient cooling solution.

This fan has a fixed speed at 1,350 RPM resulting in 53 CFM of airflow. It also operates at 0.3 sones or roughly 22.5 ~ 24.5 dB.

This is possible because of Arctic's innovative design choices.

The fluid dynamic bearing comes with an oil capsule that helps to avoid lubricant leakage. Meaning it's just as quiet as a sleeve bearing except with a longer service life.

The fan blades feature an innovative design that helps improve air flow. The impeller was designed to ensure minimal noise output while still achieving desired airflow and pressure levels.

4. Cooler Master Silencio Whisper Quiet Case Fan

Cooler Master is another well known brand in the gaming industry. They're most well known for their computer cases, so it makes sense that they create case fans.

Unlike conventional PWM fans, Cooler Master created an exclusive Silent Driver IC which slows down the signal rate of the PWM and suppresses the characteristic PWM switching sound.

In terms of operation, the Silencio has a fan speed ranging from 800 - 1400 RPM at noise levels of 6.5 - 14 dB. These levels of operation create 16.4 - 44 CFM respectively.

This is possible because of Cooler Master's Loop Dynamic Bearing (LDB). This is an abrasion resistant compound that reduces vibration, noise output, and results in an impressive life expectancy of 160,000 hours.

The fan also features Smart Engine technology. It can detect blade obstructions and stop power to the fan. Once the obstruction is removed, the fan auto-resumes operation.

5. Corsair LL Series LL120 Fans

Like Noctua, Corsair is an industry leader when it comes to computer components and hardware. They're more so known for other components like RAM and peripherals like mouse and keyboards. However, they also create PC cases, meaning they know and understand the importance of adequate airflow.

The ML120 is an 120 mm fan featuring an air flow rating of 47.3 CFM while only reaching a noise level of 25 dB. Noise is further reduced through the use of a magnetic levitation bearing which helps to minimize bearing friction. Since there are less moving parts and a friction-less surface, the fans also have a longer lifespan.

The fan blades are engineered for low-noise operation without compromising performance. These fans feature a PWM fan control that allows for on the fly dynamic speed adjustments ranging from 400 - 1600 RPM.

The ML120 fan's also feature four independent, center/hub mounted RGB LEDs. Previous iterations of corsair fans feature LEDs that were mounted on the corners resulting in uneven light distribution. The center mounted option results in a cleaner spread across the fan blades.

These fans feature a 5 year warranty which tells consumers that the brand is confident that they're built to last.

What To Look For in a Quiet PC Fan

pc case fan

When it comes to fans for your PC (case and CPU cooler mounted), your goal should be to cool down components and surrounding hardware through heat dissipation.

Above all else, this is their main purpose, additional features like LED lights should be considered at most as tertiary. Before you even pick a PC fan, you need to ensure it fits in your computer.

Size Matters

In all cases, size or form-factor of your PC fans will matter. No matter how much you like a particular fan, if it doesn't meet the specifications of your case, it won't fit.

The most common size you'll see are 120 mm however you can expect to see other sizes such as:

The former sizes being the more popular options.

When discussing these different fan sizes there are two factors that size has an overall affect on: air flow and noise levels. We'll discuss these factors in more detail below.

In general, the larger the fan the more air it can push with less noise. The smaller the fan, the less air while emitting more noise.

Airflow and CFM

Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM. This metric outlines the volume of air the fan is capable of moving. Typically the higher the CFM of the fan, the better the fan is.

However you also need to take into account revolutions per minute (RPM). RPM can affect both noise levels and overall fan performance.

To illustrate, let's take a look at two different fans with different CFM and RPM ratings:

Which fan do you think performs better based on these ratings?

You might think that Fan 2 outperforms Fan 1 based on the CFM value, however Fan 1 is able to generate nearly the same volume of air while operating 500 RPM slower.

This means Fan 1 isn't working as hard and likely generates less noise than Fan 2.

Noise Levels

The noise generated by your fans in measured in decibels or dB, dBA. On average you can expect the quietest fans to make 10 - 35 dB of noise.

The dB rating is affected by a number of factors:

Luckily, almost all manufacturers will provide dB ratings for their fans. If they aren't rated, you can use the general rule of thumb detailed above: Higher RPM and CFM values result in noisier fans.

Cosmetics

led case fan

To preface this section, it's important to remember that aesthetics or the cosmetics of the fan do not aid in the performance of the fan.

It's like the kid who puts a baseball card in the spokes of his bicycle. It may sound and look cool, but at the end of the day, it's the engineering of the bike and the rider that help with performance.

Some of the fans on this list utilized LEDs. If you're someone who is getting into gaming and building a PC, you might want to be the kid who makes his PC look cool and there is nothing wrong with that. However keep in mind that airflow and heat dissipation should be at the forefront of your purchasing decision.

3-Pin, 4-Pin (PWM)

3-pin fans have wires for power, ground, and tach. The tach relays information to the motherboard about metrics like RPM.

Newer fans also include a 4th pin that allows for Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). This allows the user to control the RPM of the fans through fan speed controllers or a fan controller hub.

These can be especially helpful to alter speed and airflow based on measurable component temperature. Meaning your fans genuinely work harder when they need to rather than making excess noise for no reason.

Conclusion

While we didn't focus too much on aesthetics - we purposefully shifted the core focus towards noise level and airflow efficiency. Truth be told, 1 of the 3 fans in my personal gaming rig has LEDs, however it's also engineered to be whisper quiet.

Quietest Range Hood of 2020: Cook in Peace!

A range hood is a vent that removes smoke, steam, and other airborne pollutants through the process of evacuation.

This process reduces the fumes and odor from spreading throughout your space. On top of their primary function, range hoods provide extra lighting, reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and even cool off hot kitchens.

While range hoods have several benefits, they're also quite loud. If you're in the market for a quiet range hood, there are a few different options to consider.

The Quietest Range Hoods

FOTILE
58 dB
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HAUSLANE
63.8 dB
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COSMO
65 dB
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1. FOTILE Range Hood

The FOTILE model JQG7501 has a unique design that would be perfect for any modern kitchen.

This wall-mounted unit has a side-draft design that is engineered to extend its coverage beyond the four-burner stovetop. It also has a powerful extractor that can easily suction smoke, odor, fumes, and airborne grease.

The unit can filter out 95% of oil emitted during cooking and 97% of the odor because of the double centrifugal fan system.

Despite having such a powerful motor, the FOTILE JQG7501 is the quietest range hood in our list at a 54-decibel rating.

The entire unit is regulated through a touch screen control panel with a 3-speed setting that is suitable for all sorts of cooking styles. With the lock-screen feature, you are also able to clean the panel without having to worry about pressing anything accidentally.

It also has a delay function that ensures that no odor is left behind even after cooking.

It includes an energy-efficient LED lighting system that contributes to its overall efficiency in terms of energy consumption.

Another thing you can appreciate about this unit is its unique design and color. It is built with black tempered glass that screams class and sophistication.

2. Cosmo QS75 30-in Under-Cabinet Range Hood

The Cosmo's model QS75 is a more professional version of the 5MU30. It is the perfect piece for a kitchen with somewhat limited space; it can easily be installed right under an existing cabinet.

The premium stainless steel body with a brushed finish can match with any existing kitchen appliance you might already have. The professionally designed canopy-style of this range hood just upgrades the entire look of your kitchen.

The QS75 is built with a touchscreen control system complete with a remote control that regulates a 900 CFM 4-speed twin centrifugal motor.

The motor is sealed under incredibly durable arc-flow filters to keep the grease out. These filters are easy-to-clean, you can simply pop them in the dishwasher, and they'll be as good as new.

This unit is also convertible to a ductless system with an optional carbon filter kit. With the powerful motor installed in this unit, you don't need to worry about air toxins and even viruses. With a 65 decibel level, you're looking at one of the quietest range hoods available.

The unit also comes equipped with a 1.5 watt LED lighting system that ensures a long life.

3. Cosmo 36-in Wall-Mount Range Hood

If you have enough space, you should consider Cosmo's 63190 model. It is a wall-mounted unit with a canopy design that is a perfect combination of style and function, definitely something that would suit any kitchen.

The 63190 is made with a high airflow ultra-quiet technology with a 760 CFM running at 60-decibels, considering that it runs with a 3-speed motor, it may be the quietest range hood under this brand.

The 760 CFM easily suctions all the pollutants and harmful fumes that may release during the process of cooking. It is also convertible to a ductless system with the simple installation of a carbon filter, which can be bought separately.

The Arc Flow filtration system easily keeps gunk and airborne grease out of the ducts. This can easily be cleaned by simply wiping them off or placing them in the dishwasher for a few minutes.

It is entirely user-friendly, equipped with an illuminated push-button control panel that regulates the lights and power of the entire unit. You can also have this feature upgraded to a touch control system with a back-lit display. The energy-efficient lighting system runs with 2 watts LED bulbs for improved visibility even at night.

4. Hauslane - Chef Series 30" PS18 Under Cabinet Range Hood

Are you looking for a more minimalist design for a modern kitchen?

Well, the Hauslane Chef Series comes with a variety of models that can fit your needs. The PS18, in particular, has a flawless stainless steel body with accents making it quite stylish to fit any type of kitchen setting.

The powerful 860 CFM extractor is built with a three-way venting system that runs on a 6-speed setting. At maximum speed, the unit reaches a 60-decibel level. This makes it rather quiet, with all factors considered.

The primary system is housed in a simple canopy design that can easily be mounted right under a cabinet.

To prevent any grease from affecting the internal parts of the unit, it is protected with a stainless steel filter that can easily be removed and washed when it gets dirty. It also features a bright energy-efficient LED lamp.

The entire unit is regulated with a button-less touch control panel that is quite effortless to use and maintain. There's no need to pick grease in the gaps of the buttons, a simple wipe-down will do wonders.

The Hauslane brand has been in business for over 15 years. It is one of the most trusted and reliable names in the industry that promises products that are built to last.

5. Cosmo 30-in Under-Cabinet Range Hood

If you've decided to go for a modern-looking kitchen, investing in stylish pieces to be the focal point of your space is something you should have in mind. The Cosmo's 5MU30 under cabinet hood range adds a touch of flair to any kitchen it is installed in with its slim profile and high-end look.

This range hood is made out of premium stainless steel with a brushed finish that can easily fit in with any style or color scheme you have going. It has a 200 cubic feet per minute (CFM) airflow capacity that provides you with a rather quiet 56-decibel noise level.

In terms of energy efficiency, the Cosmo's 5MU30 is quite practical with its powerful motor and LED lighting system. It runs on 120 volts using up only 146 watts. The Cosmo's 5MU30 quickly neutralizes odors thanks to the suction power of its 3-speed motor.

You can cook without having to worry about harmful fumes and bad odors left in your kitchen. If you didn't know, it's essential to rid the air of toxins from the process of cooking. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there is a rising concern of respiratory issues associated with cooking-related airborne contaminants.

This particular unit is built with easy-to-clean filters that you can just wipe down in case of grease build-up. It traps the grease from forming clogs in the duct. In addition to this, it also has an excellent multiple layer filtration system and an optional carbon filter kit which can easily convert your unit into a ductless range hood. A unique 2-in-1 feature you'll appreciate.

What to Look for in a Quiet Range Hood

quiet range hood

As consumers, we have different priorities when it comes to the products we buy. What you deem "best" depends on your specific needs.

The bottom line is, people need a range hood to prevent smoke and other airborne pollutants from spreading throughout their home.

Types of Range Hoods

Your choice of range hood will usually be dictated by the layout of your kitchen. As with all range hoods, ensure that it is large enough to cover the cooking surface/stove-top.

Island Hoods

An island range hood is mounted and vented through the duct-work in the ceiling. Since they lack an adjacent wall or cabinet to help them funnel fumes, they need to be wider than the cooking surface.

Under Cabinet Hood

These range hoods are the most common type available. They mount under kitchen cabinets above your stove-top or range. Under Cabinet range hoods are manufactured to either be ducted or ductless.

A ducted under cabinet range hood features a duct that helps to transport smoke and pollutants outside, while a ductless option simply recirculates the air.

A ducted option is usually better because the duct system itself can be hidden in adjoining kitchen cabinets. However, ductless systems can be just as effective.

Wall Mount Range Hood

These types of range hoods are also referred to as "wall-mounted chimneys" as their design is similar in shape to a traditional chimney.

A wall mount hood works when there are no cabinets above the cooking space. The hood is installed in the wall and aligned with the kitchen's existing duct ventilation system.

Downdraft Range Hood

Most range hoods work in a similar manner, they pull fumes towards the ceiling. Downdraft range hoods work in the opposite direction, and pull smoke and fumes through duct-work running beneath the floor.

These hoods are installed behind your cook-top. They are typically used as additions to drop-in cook-tops or if your cook-top is built into an island.

Noise-Level Considerations

Range hood manufacturers measure airflow in cubic feet per minute or CFM of exhausted air. More airflow translates to faster ventilation, however it doesn't necessarily guarantee better smoke capture. Higher CFM usually results in greater noise levels.

The Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) recommends a CFM rate between 100 to 150 per linear foot of range.

Sones and CFM

A sone is the internationally recognized unit for loudness. It accurately measures the amount of noise the blower produces inside the range hood.

Unlike decibel ratings, a sone is a linear measurement, like inches or centimeters. Meaning, that doubling the sone measurement would translate to double the loudness.

A measurement of one sone is the equivalent of a whisper. Where-as a measurement of 8 sones is the equivalent of a normal conversation.

Sones are measured at the maximum CFM value for a range hood. Meaning, if you don't want to exceed a specific loudness, pick a sone or CFM level equivalent.

Quieter hoods will fall in the range of 600 - 900 CFM. However these lower CFM values come at the price of cleaning kitchen air efficiently.

Ventilation Systems

There are two types of ventilation systems you can choose from. Either the range hood expels the air outside (ducted system), or they simply recirculate the air within the unit then filter it back into the kitchen (ductless system).

Ductless systems are usually equipped with filters to trap oil and grease. They may also feature carbon filters to help fight odors.

Conclusion

Range hoods are not easy to install, nor are they cheap. But if you're planning to remodel your kitchen, these appliances are a definite must-have, especially considering the benefits of having them in the long-run.

Picking a range hood comes down to determining the ventilation system and type appropriate for your kitchen. Lastly, considering the sone and CFM value to help combat noise pollution.

The Quietest Air Purifiers of 2020: Breath Easier!

We all want to live in the cleanest and healthiest environment we can, and our homes should be no exception. As a home owner you should be hyper-aware of how clean the air you breath is. Air purifiers help to remove odors, smoke, pet dander, and dust while leaving behind clean air to breathe.  

That being said, air purifiers typically make noise and can be considered loud, annoying, and disruptive. Newer, quieter models aim to be effective without the sound. Let's explore some of these newer models and see how they stack up.

The Quietest Air Purifiers

ALEN
800 Sq. Ft.
CHECK PRICE
DYSON
172 Sq. Ft.
CHECK PRICE
COWAY
361 Sq. Ft.
CHECK PRICE

1. Alen BreatheSmart 45i HEPA Air Purifier

The Alen BreatheSmart air purifier is perfect for large rooms. It's capable of cleaning up to 800 square feet every 30 minutes, making it perfect for nurseries, living rooms, kitchens, etc.

The BreatheSmart features a True HEPA filter that's capable of capturing 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. It also features a carbon filter that helps to capture smoke, household chemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold, and more. The main filter lasts 9-12 months, and the pre-filter can be vacuumed to remove debris as needed.

Unlike most air purifiers, the BreatheSmart is designed to be space-saving. It has a rather small footprint; It's 2 feet tall and 15 inches wide. There are 7 color options available for the face-plate allowing it to fit in with your existing decor.

Noise output is kept to a minimum thanks to their WhisperMax technology. It was designed by a NASA engineer and only operates at 39-56 dB while using 50W at it's highest speed setting.

A few other notable features include:

2. Dyson Pure Cool Air Purifier

Dyson is one of the most popular brands in the world. They're recognized for their innovations in both pulling air (vacuums) as well as blowing air (fans, purifiers, etc).

This particular purifier features a HEPA filter. While "True HEPA" isn't specified, Dyson notes that the filtration was tested to IEST RP CC001.5, international standard for HEPA. The test was also conducted by a third party (IBR Laboratories) to avoid bias.

The filter helps to remove 99.97% of allergens and airborne pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. There is also a second carbon layer in the filter that helps to capture volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other household odors.

The Dyson Pure Cool is capable of delivering 77 gallons of purified air to the room thanks to the Air Multiplier technology. All while operating at whisper quiet levels.

The Pure Cool was awarded Quiet Mark accreditation. Quiet Mark is a third party that looks for the quietest products in any given category. However, sound levels (dB ratings) aren't specified.

A few other notable features:

3. Coway Mighty Air Purifier

The Coway air purifier has coverage for rooms up to 326 square feet. It has a contemporary design featuring a four-stage filtration system: pre-filter, deodorization (carbon), True HEPA, and vital ion.

As a result of the filtration, it's capable of reducing up to 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size. This includes particles like pollen, dust, and other allergens as well as odors and VOCs.

The Coway is capable of reporting back to the user in real-time about the indoor air quality. It also has a indicator light that tells the user when to change the HEPA filter and when to clean the pre-filter (washable).

All of this is possible through 3 fan speeds. It also features an auto mode that adjusts fan speed based on the level of indoor air quality. When no pollution is detected the fan will also shut-off and is set to ECO mode to save on electricity.

Operation in the various fan modes results in noise levels of 24.4 dB to 53.8 dB all while consuming 77W of power.

4. Trustech Air Purifier

The Trustech Air Purifier features a three-stage filtration: Pre-filter, True HEPA, and Ions filter.

The system helps to remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns and larger air pollution of PM 2.5. For example: odors, dander, smoke, pollen, and dust from your home.

The issue with a lot of Ion-based filters is that they release ozone as a by-product. Trustech notes that their air purifier is ozone free, meaning it's healthier for the environment and healthier for you.

The unit is portable, making it easy to move to any room in your house. It's square, compact nature allows you to place it on your floor, desk, tabletop, etc. However due to it's size, you're restricted to average-sized bedrooms or spaces of 161.46 sq.ft.

The purifier has three different speed settings: sleep, medium, and high. With that said, even at it's highest level of operation the noise level only reaches a maximum of 50 dB.

Operation is seamless thanks to features like "auto-mode" which allows it to detect air quality and adjust its speed accordingly. The purifier also features an automatic filter replacement reminder, so you know when to replace it.

This purifier is ready right out of the box. There's only 1 button to switch between speed modes and a button to turn the light off.

5. LEVOIT Air Purifier

The LEVOIT air purifier is perfect for small/medium sized spaces of 161 square feet and works to recirculate air 3 times per hour.

It features a 3 stage filtration process: pre-filter, True HEPA, and a high efficiency activated carbon filter. This system helps to eliminate airborne particles, bacteria, dust, mold, odor, pet dander, and other VOCs.

In terms of efficiency, this air purifier is hard to compete with. When in operation it only consumes 0.9W of electricity. If you were to run the purifier 24 hours a day for a year, it would cost as little as $6.

There are only three fan speed settings: low, medium, and high. It also can operate based on timer settings of 2, 4, and 8 hours and will eventually auto shut-off.

These modes of operation result in sound levels of 26 dB to 52 dB. In sleep mode the purifier operates at whisper quiet levels of 26 dB thanks to it's brushless motor.

If you have children, you'll be happy to know it features a night light with two brightness levels. The light can also be turned off as they grow up.

What To Look For in a Quiet Air Purifier

quiet air purifier

In some cases the air quality in your home can be up to 5x more polluted(1) than the outdoors. This is especially concerning when most Americans spend a considerable amount of time inside. You start to see why it's important that your indoor air quality be improved.

Almost all air purifiers are different. They come with different features, shapes, sizes, and methods to clean air. Let's take a look at some of the most important features to consider.

Reasons to Use an Air Purifier

For the most part, there are five reasons for why a person would get an air purifier:

Allergies

An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from nasal and respiratory related allergies. Allergies are also the 6th leading causes of chronic illness in the United States(2).

Asthma

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 13 people have asthma(3).

One of the main contributors to asthma is polluted air. An air purifier is one of the best ways to clean indoor air and prevent respiratory related issues.

Smoke

A lot of people smoke tobacco products like cigars and cigarettes. This type of odor can linger for a long period of time. Air purifiers featuring activated carbon filters can help to eliminate these smells.

Pet Dander and Hair

As we pointed out above, allergies are a serious cause for concern. One of the major culprits for these allergies is pet dander. Another issue with indoor pets is that they shed hair that can build up on furniture.

An air filter can help to combat both pet dander and hair.

Mold

Mold spores can also be rather detrimental to your health. Many people even develop chronic illnesses as a result of mold exposure.

Luckily, specialized air purifiers do exist that can help to fight against mold and bacteria.

Room Sizing

The second thing to consider is the size/coverage requirement for airflow.

Luckily, a formula to calculate the area of coverage is rather easy. First we need to become familiar with terminilogy:

Formula: CFM of the Air Purifier x 30 minutes (represents 2 ACH) / 8 (average ceiling height) = Area of Coverage

Suppose our air purifier has a CFM rating of 200 CFM. Putting this value into the formula above results in:

200 CFM x 30 minutes / 8 ft. = 750 square feet of coverage.

Types of Air Purifiers

air purifier filters

There a number of air purifiers available. However, they all can be categorized based on their method of filtration: HEPA, Ionic, Carbon, and Ultra Violet light.

HEPA

High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration is the upper echelon of air purification. These types of filters are comprised of dense filter paper that can trap airborne pollutants.

While several products claim to use "HEPA" filters, you should only consider "True HEPA Filters." These filters are certified to meet standards set by the US Environmental Department.

Meaning it can remove 99.97% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns (That's 3 particles for every 10,000).

Ionic

Ionic filters work by emitting charged ions into the air. These charged ions then latch onto airborne pollutants and particles. This causes the particles to then fall onto the floor and other surrounding surfaces.

There are some ionic air purifiers that also feature an electrostatic collection plate. This plates attracts these particles and helps to remove them from the room.

Carbon

Carbon filters are especially effective against odors, chemical and gas fumes, and smoke. This is thanks to a special form of activated carbon that features tiny absorbent pores between carbon atoms.

However they are not particularly effective against airborne pollutants that cause respiratory issues.

Noise Level Considerations

If you're trying to minimize noise pollution in your home, taking the noise level into account is important.

As you might already know, all fans produce some form of audible noise. HEPA and Carbon filters both use a fan that's powered by a motor in order to pull air into the unit, through the filter, and is then exhausted.

Most air purifiers also come with speed settings. Typically they'll be some form of the following adjectives: slow, medium, high. There are also some that feature options like automatic or "auto."

As you might expect, the higher speed settings result in greater noise being produced. This is why sizing your room appropriately is important. If you buy an air purifier that's too small for your room, it will work harder, that is, the fan will spin faster.

If your goal is complete silence, an ionic based filter uses no fans or filters. However, ensure that the purifier you use creates negligible amounts of ozone and remains within regulatory limits.

Final Thoughts

Air purifiers help to remove dust, pollen, allergens, pet dander, and odors from your home, which improves the health and lives of those living with you.

In particular, air purifiers are beneficial for those suffering from allergies and asthma and other respiratory issues.

Picking an option is as simple as aligning yourself with the factors above.

References

  1. https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq
  2. https://www.aafa.org/allergy-facts/
  3. https://www.aafa.org/asthma-facts/

Quietest Dust Collector of 2020: Clean Peacefully!

One of the most trivial and cumbersome parts of having a workshop is the upkeep. Keeping the space clean and tidy is essential for a safe work environment.

An essential maintenance tool for upkeep with debris and harmful particles is a dust collector.

A dust collector has two jobs: to pull debris away from your machinery and to filter dust particles before recirculating air back into your workshop.

Choosing a dust collector can be quite cumbersome. Most laymen, let alone "experts" can't decipher airflow charts, types of dust collectors, or calculate for static pressure losses. Sound is also something to consider.

Let's take a look at your options.

The Quietest Dust Collectors

JET
1,200 CFM
CHECK PRICE
SHOP FOX
800 CFM
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PSI Woodworking
725 CFM
CHECK PRICE

1. Jet 2HP Dust Collector

This dust collector from Jet works on Vortex Cone technology. It is a system that gives you better chip separation, so you get less clogging and more packing efficiency in your collector bag.

It boasts a collection capacity of 5.3 cubic feet and a two-horsepower motor, which means you're getting a modern dust collector with impressive functionality.

It features a transparent dust bag which means you won't be changing the container more than you need to, and it also features a sewn-in snap ring so you can get the bag in and out with ease.

Four robust casters also make the dust collector quite mobile, which makes it easier to move it around. The quiet factor for this dust collector is also pretty solid, at 80 to 85 decibels, staying just below the harmful noise level.

The dust collector takes care of 96% of 30-micron particles, and its dual four-inch dust ports allow you to connect two machines at the same time.

It also features a fully enclosed, fan-cooled two-horsepower motor with continuous duty. This means there's more than enough horsepower to make sure you're getting efficient air movement.

2. SHOP FOX Dust Collector

Here we have the W1727, a safe and reliable entry from Shop Fox. One of the great things about this dust collector is its mobility, as the wheels on the bottom of the unit allow for a seamless transition from stationary to mobile, to the central dust collector.

The impressive portability paired with its small size (just 54.5 inches tall) makes this dust collector great for small spaces. However it's not exclusive to small workshops, as the high portability level can be appreciated in any setting, provided you have the hose to reach.

Rather than constructing an entire fixed system and running ducts all over your workshop, use the W1727 and smoothly glide from one machine to another to take care of your dust collecting needs.

This dust collector also has a decent noise rating, emitting just 79 to 81 decibels when in use, which is just under the harmful noise threshold of 85 decibels.

Not only is it safe for your ears, but it's safe in general. The W1727 has a safety switch with a removable key so you can defend against others using it without your permission or supervision.

The removable lock-out key paired with the oversized paddle switch offers a much safer experience over other 110-volt on/off switches. It's as simple as hitting the paddle down to switch off power.

3. PSI Woodworking Portable Tabletop Dust Collector

If you're looking for a much more compact dust collector, you really can't go wrong with this option from PSI. It weighs in at just 25.4 pounds and measures 23" x 8" x 10.5" in size.

The smaller size and weight mean you can literally carry it anywhere you need it and put it safely on any workbench or table. This adaptability makes it great for power carving or sanding no matter where you are. PSI calls it a 'self-contained dust collection system.'

The DC725 by PSI draws dust particles in with its three computer-grade, maintenance-free fans. These innovatively-designed fans help keep the unit quieter than most shop vacs and dust collectors at just under 80 decibels.

That's pretty quiet for a dust collector, but still loud enough that you'll need to speak up a good deal if you're trying to carry on a conversation.

The fans, as well as the filter of the DC725, are built right into the portable cabinet, which features clear polycarbonate doors that can guide the air to give you optimal suction levels. The dust particles are caught by a 10 x 20-inch filter at 725 CFM, while the fans run on a 110V variable speed motor.

4. WEN 3-Speed Remote-Controlled Air Filtration System

The 3410 3-speed by WEN might just be the crown jewel of this list. Like the offering from PSI, this model is exceedingly portable and versatile, but at almost half the price.

It's got a strong ⅙ HP motor, and it weighs in at just 31 pounds. The lightweight design paired with the carrying handle and eye-bolts might make this one even more mobile than PSI's model.

This WEN machine collects the air, puts it through a 5-micron outer filter, and a 1-micron inner filter, then releases it back into your workshop.

You can also choose between three speeds, either 300, 350, or 400 CFM, and use the time feature to easily set the timer to filter the air in the room at regular intervals.

The WEN 3410 also comes with a remote which allows you to control the dust collector from up to 26 feet away. Not to mention it's one of the quietest dust collectors on the market, emitting just 50 to 60 decibels.

Lastly, it's backed by a two-year warranty.

5. SHOP FOX W1685 Dust Collector

Shop Fox's model W1685 dust collector is a powerful machine with 1.5 horsepower, 110-volt, 3450 RPM single-phase motor with 16 amps.

Even with the larger motor, you're not losing much mobility as the 78-inch tall unit comes with a portable stand that goes 21.5 x 33.5 inches. This makes this unit much more mobile than its size might indicate.

This dust collector also boasts an extra-strong 12-inch steel impeller and works for wood dust only. Newer editions also come with a 2.5 micron felt upper filtration bag as well as a plastic lower collection bag.

Both of which can be purchased separately to fit with any dust collector that might not include them. The W1685 can also provide you with 1,280 CFM, 5.4 cubic feet of bag capacity, and 10.1 inches of static pressure. At 80-85 decibels, it's not the quietest however it's fairly quiet considering its size and power.

The W1685 also has a six-inch inlet that features removable Y-fitting with a pair of four-inch openings. Y-fitting can branch lines so you can service more than one machine, making this ideal for a multi-machine layout.

What to Look For in a Quiet Dust Collector

quiet dust collector

Before deciding on a certain type of dust collector it's important to evaluate what YOU need.

Without being super technical, your dust collector needs to pull more air (rated in CFM) than your most demanding tool (and it's adjoined ductwork) require.

For instance, the most air-hungry tools found in a home woodworkers shop are belt sanders and jointers. These tools typically require 500+ CFM.

Even if you don't currently have these tools, purchasing a larger dust collector allows you to purchase them in the future.

Types of Dust Collectors

There are two types of dust collectors: single-stage and two-stage.

Single-Stage Dust Collector

Most Woodworkers are familiar with two-bag, single-stage dust collectors.

These dust collectors work by transporting sawdust and wood chips through an impeller on the way to a collection bag.

The air exhausts through the filter bags and the heavier particles and debris then settle in the lower bag.

Two-Stage Dust Collector

In a two-stage dust collector, the wood chips and heavier particles and debris fall out of the airflow in the first stage.

As a result, the finer dust particles pass through the impeller and into the filter (second stage). A two-stage collector can be as technical as a cyclone separator, or as simple as a garbage can with a snap-on lid placed before a single-stage collector.

Space Requirements

Another important factor to consider is if you have the floor space and ceiling height for either of the options.

Space also factors in the portability of the equipment. If you plan to move the dust collector from machine to machine, you should have room for the machine and the hose.

If you opt for a stationary dust collector, you need ample room to run ductwork in the walls and the ceiling. Factors like duct length, material, and pathing are important. Meaning short-runs and smooth paths for optimal airflow.

You should also be strategic about the placement of machines like the sander, jointer, and planer so that they're closest to the dust collector.

Noise Level Considerations

In order to keep the wood chips, shavings, and dust moving through the systems ductwork, a duct collector has keep to a steady stream of air going through the system at a specific velocity.

This velocity is measured in feet per minute or FPM. The system also has to move a volume of air (considerable amount) which is then measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM.

This relationship between velocity and volume of air is directly affected by the size of the duct. As we noted above, factors like duct length, material, and pathing are all important. Meaning, larger ductwork results in a greater volume of air.

This is why we noted above, your dust collector needs to be able to pull more air than your most demanding tool.

An idea of CFM requirements:

MachineRequired CFM
10" Table Saw350-450
Jointer (up to 8" wide)350-400
12" Planer500
Planer 15"+600-900
Drill Press300
Horizontal Belt Edge Sander550-600

Note: Manufacturers often specify the minimum CFM requirements for their power tools. Refer to your machines manual or manufacturers website for specific requirements.

It's important to reference CFM specifically as it's directly related to loudness or sones.

Sones and CFM

A sone is an internationally recognized unit used to measure loudness. Unlike a decibel, a sone is a linear unit of measurement. This means that by doubling the sone value for any given machine, you're effectively doubling its loudness.

A measurement of 1 sone would translate to a whisper. Where-as a measurement of 8 sones is the equivalent of a normal conversation.

Sones are measured at the maximum CFM value for dust collectors. Meaning, if you don't want to exceed a specific loudness factor, you should pick a machine that's rated at that sone value or the CFM value equivalent. Sones can also be converted from a decibel rating.

Typical decibel (dB) ratings for a dust collector are 50-80 dB or 5-39 sones.

Lastly, while being quiet in a space is essential for you and your neighbors, so is being safe. You shouldn't compromise your system by looking for a lower CFM. If your actively using machines that create large amounts of debris and particles, you need to make that a priority.

Filtration

Dust particles that are smaller than 10 microns can pose a serious health risk (1). Your throat and nose both actively have defenses against airborne particles, however because of the small size of dust particles, they can slip past these defenses.

A dust collector should be able to pull away these small particles while still being able to contain them in the filter.

Most dust collectors will come outfitted with 30 micron bags which are too porous for finer particles. You should look for 1-micron filters and bags with 98% efficiency. If they don't come with your manufacturer, you can find bags elsewhere.

Conclusion

The safety of the air you breathe in your workshop should never be up for debate. While being quiet is beneficial for you and the people around you, never compromise CFM values to meet a specific dB or sones value.

References

  1. https://www.epa.gov/