Importance of Using Fleece Bags in a Dust Extractor

Fleece Bags vs Filter Replacement: What’s the REAL COST?

Dust Extractor Fleece Bags are less expensive to use and replace than the vacuum pleated filters. Using fleece filter bags drastically improves the lifespan of both standard and HEPA filters, and protects the vacuum motor. Using them provides you with a massive cost savings over the course of a year, or lifespan of the vacuum unit.

The table below shows the cost of fleece bags is more economical than the cost for a standard filter [2 pack] replacement for the vacuum.

One Year Operating Cost Example

Manufacturer1 Fleece BagRegular FilterHEPA Filter
Dewalt$8.00N/A HEPA only$75.00
Makita$7.00N/A HEPA only$60.00

Importance of Using Fleece Bags in a Dust Extractor: 4 Reasons

Below are four reasons to use dust extractor fleece bags. Probably the BIGGEST and most important reason to use fleece filter bags is to keep Silica, lead dust and other harmful dust exposure to a minimum when emptying the vacuum.


Fleece filter bags are more durable than their paper counterparts. If you are a painter or drywall finisher and using your dust extractor exclusively for sanding dust you might be OK with paper filter bags. But with general use and cleanup we find the durability of fleece bags to be necessary.

Exposure / Safety

Emptying a vacuum canister exposes the user to dust inhalation but Fleece bags unhook from the vacuum inlet and can be closed off, thrown away, minimizing and eliminating exposure to silica, lead paint or other  harmful agents.


Fleece bags provide a redundant protection the the vacuum meter and bearings. Even with auto filter clean, present on all of these extractors, the filters eventually will get clogged up or could develop a tear. Experience has shown that insulation, coarse sawdust and fine particulate matter can ruin the filter over time. Fleece filters help maintain suction, and protect the main, more expensive filters, and vacuum motor.

Annual Cost Filter vs Fleece Bags

Assuming remodeling jobsite use and using the Bosch dust extractor I will go through a pack of bags on a kitchen and powder room remodel. This is an occupied space so I am cleaning up the whole site with this dust extractor every day. If I were not using filter bags I would replace the filter at the end of this job. Total job duration will be approximately 4 months (frame to high end finish). So for the estimated cost of use, I am assuming 4 packs of filter bags or 4 filters annually.
ManufacturerFilter BagsCost [Reg Filter]Cost [HEPA]
4 packs per year4 filters per year4 filters per year
Dewalt$151.96N/A HEPA only 


Makita$143.60N/A HEPA only$241.00

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

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  1. How often do fleece bags must be replaced?

  2. Maralee

    Thank you for these wonderful thoughts! ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Tom Kemp

    Hi Rob,
    I agree that fleece bags are more durable and may perform better for longer, that is, when near full, thereby “protecting” the machine.
    However when removing the full bag a mask should be worn in any case and many paper extractor dust bags have closers.
    I prefer the fleece bags just because they don’t split when sharp debris gets sucked up.
    My main problem with them recently is what they are made of. Fleece implies wool or something biodegradeable but I believe they are a plastic material (non-biodegradeable) and so made as a by-product of the fossil fuel industry.
    As we need to be moving away from using oil-sourced plastics I wonder if you know of a “fleece” bag made of more sustainable materials.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Tom – Interesting question / observation. You are likely correct that fleece dust bags are similar to fleece clothing which is a petroleum product. But a lot of the fleece on the market uses recycled plastics (bottles) so all is not lost. To me there are far bigger areas to cut down on these type of plastics in our industry than dust bags, but I appreciate your goal. To answer your question I’m not aware of any that might be made from natural cloth.

  4. Dom

    can some one help with a question please,
    can a hessian bag be used as a dust extractor bag, I have to replace mine but the cost of replacing is ridicules, from what I can see is that a hessian bag can breathe air thought is as the bag I currently have, many thanks in advance for any prompt replies, enjoy your day
    Cheers Dom

    1. Todd Fratzel

      If you’re looking to trap dust then the answer is no.

  5. Ross Parimore

    Am I understanding correctly that you don’t need the standard shop vac filter when using these fleece bags?

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