Bosch dust-extraction systems

What Tradies Want - Tradie Tough
Test approved Tested by Matt Page

A lot of tradies still aren’t aware of the potential dangers associated with the dry grinding or cutting of any product containing crystalline silica, otherwise referred to as quartz, often found in construction materials like concrete, bricks, tiles, sandstone and granite.

Bosch has grabbed the bull by the horns and developed an impressive set of dust solutions for a range of the most popular cutting and grinding techniques, as well as drilling and demolition.

The vac we had to trial, along with a pile of accessories, was the 35-litre Wet/Dry Container, with automatic filter-cleaning system and flow-rate sensors. The M-Class certified filter is the legally required vacuum for cutting of products containing silica dust such as masonry, concrete, engineered stone benchtops and bricks.

A tool socket power plug allows for tools to be directly plugged in for automatic power activation on tool power up.

Masonry-based tasks are where the majority of dust-inhalation risk lies and the range of tool attachments to cover this area is very impressive. In our pile of items was a demolition solution (GDE HEX) which fits universal jackhammer tips and catches the dust produced when breaking up slabs.

Also in the mix were a couple of drilling dust solutions. The first was the SDS Plus SpeedClean drill bit. They are 4 cutter carbide head for maximum drilling performance and lifetime in concrete applications. The air intakes at the tip allow the dust to be sucked through the hollow core of the drill bit and expelled directly into the vacuum for the ultimate dust free worksite. The second was for horizontal wall drilling, overhead drill and drilling into floors (GDE 68 and GDE 162). These sit flush on the drilling area and capture dust from standard drill bits or core cutting applications and vent it straight back to the vacuum system. Also on the drilling front are Bosch Dust Cap solutions.

Cutting masonry with grinders always produces a massive amount of airborne dust and Bosch has cleverly created a range of grinding shrouds in various sizes from 115mm grinder and cutting to 230mm grinding and cutting. For me this shroud was very interesting and was the first product we decided to fire up.

TEST #1: VAC SET UP

The GAS 35 M AFC vacuum was very straightforward to rig. It was as simple as plugging the unit into the power board, connecting the hose to the vac at one end and the Grinder Shroud at the other. As I was using a cordless grinder, I didn’t have to plug the grinder into the vac itself, which meant the auto-start feature was bypassed. To attach the shroud to the grinder itself it was just a matter of taking off the guard and blade, then opening up the shroud to allow access for the blade, then locking in the blade and closing up the shroud. It took no more than two minutes and I was ready to go.

I made several cuts into tiles and the slab underneath at various depths. The shroud has two little guide wheels at the front and with a slow and gentle push the grinder and vac seamlessly worked together to create perfect, dust-free cuts.

TEST #2: HAMMER TIME

Next in line for testing was the jackhammer accessory (GDE Hex Demo solution).

This accessory was also a breeze to set up. It can be adjusted to different working positions and allows changing the chisel without dismounting the dust-extraction unit. The air-intake nozzle simply fits over the end of the chisel and the flexible hose mounts to a bracket further up the shaft of the jackhammer underneath the handle area. It can sit either hard up on ground level or further up the chisel itself.

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

The hero of the set-up is of course the vac system, with the 3 sizes: the 35 litre L-Class semi-auto filter cleaning, 35 litre M-Class auto filter cleaning, and the 55 litre M-Class auto filter cleaning. All 3 units boast a rated input power of 1200 watts with a maximum suction capacity of 1380W. With other cool features like the automatic filter cleaning (not available on all models), automatic shutdown, high suction force and L-Boxx integration, these vacs and the clever range of accessories to go with cutting, grinding, drilling and demolition applications. Tradies need to be aware of the fast changing laws in this space and should get themselves compliant sooner rather than later. These are a massive step forward in improving workplace health and safety.