Auto start your shop vac/dust collector when it’s needed
Vacuum auto switches are nifty little devices, designed to make the weekend woodworkers life a bit easier by removing the hassle of having to manually switch your shop vac ON and OFF when it is being used as a dust collector for a specific power tool.
They’re generally not too expensive and spending the few bucks is justified by the convenience.
Using an auto switch is as simple as plugging in your shop vac and power tool simultaneously while letting the switch do the rest.
How does it work?
Using an auto switch is like using an extension cord that turns your shop vac ON when you need it.
To use it you would plug the auto switch into your wall socket and then, plug your power tool and shop vac into the ports as indicated on the auto switch.
The power tool socket on the auto switch will always be live as long as the auto switch is turned on. The vacuum socket, however, will only become live when current is drawn from the power tool socket.
This means that when your shop vac is used together with a power tool (sander, jigsaw, circular saw, table saw, etc.) for dust collection, the shop vac will automatically start up when the tool is switched ON.
Forgetting to turn ON your shop vac before you start cutting or sanding will be a thing of the past.
Need to quickly step away from your project for something like answering your phone? Just turn OFF your power tool and the vac will power down shortly after.
Considerations when shopping for an automatic vacuum switch
Auto vac switches are available in different voltages (120VAC for USA and 230VAC for EU countries), different socket types, and also different power capabilities. Some even allow the user to connect more than one power tool to the same auto switch.
Shop vacuums with built-in auto switches
If you don’t already own a shop vac you can opt for one with a built-in auto switch. Shop vacs like the Bosch AdvanceVac 20 (UK) or the Bosch Vac090A (USA) are both examples of shop vacuums with built-in auto switches.
In the case of these, the shop vac would plug into the wall socket while the power tool would plug into the vacuum cleaner. You would then select the auto start function on the shop vac. Thereafter, it would behave in the same way, starting up automatically when the power tool is switched ON.