How Do I Choose A Nail Dust Collector | Comparing Two $350+ Machines

Being a nail stylist, even a DIY one, requires a few investments in equipment, and they typically aren’t cheap either, at least if you’re trying to make a good investment into equipment that will last years, not months.

Some of the machinery that you most likely will purchase as a nail stylist, especially a gel nail specialist, are:

  1. Curing unit
  2. Dust collector
  3. Efile

And these are in the order of priority- curing unit, dust collector, efile.

Any of these machines, at least from a trusted, long-standing brand, can start about the $150 mark and go up to about $400, again, if you want to invest in something that will last you years.

And let me just say that I’ve never really been “sticker shy” about buying the most expensive option… sometimes more than once.

Hey, a girl ‘gotta treat herself once in a while, and I don’t buy designer, so what better investment than one that goes right into the thing that makes my living…. AKA my business.

SO, I went shopping for you. I have here the Anemone and the Valentino Dust Collector.

Today, we’ll use them to go over seven factors to consider to help you make the right investment and ultimately choose a dust collector that checks all your preferences.

Let’s dive in.

Quick disclaimer: This is an independent review, and I have bought both machines myself. Neither one was sent to me for free.

If you want to purchase, use code PPN10 at Zillabeau and V Beauty Pure for a 10% discount.

Alright, let’s start with the most fun factor of them all when buying a dust collector, or anything really. And that is…

Factor #1: Price

Unless you know exactly from the manufacturer of anything why they are able to offer you their products on the “cheap,” the good ol’ proverb ‘you get what you pay for’ will always ring true.

So if I see a huge discrepancy in price between two things both marketed as apples, I’m just going to assume the higher priced product will be the more superior of the two, and I’m going to read reviews to validate that before purchasing if they are available, or watch a video review like this one.

So to get started with your search on selecting the best machine, keep an eye out on what everyone is using and raving about, but then look at the price.

Decide whether that’s in your budget now or not, and if not, look forward to making that investment later as you save up for it.

Here’s something that has truly worked out for me, and that is buying the best “knock-off” of the original thing that I want, and if I like it (now it has to be super comparable for this to work), then I’ll go ahead and buy the premium or original version.

Just to give you a quick example, this little chain ring is by Betina Goldstein, a celebrity nail artist (of Mexican heritage, woot woot!) turned high-end jewelry designer. I know- look at her.

Well, of course, I wanted to support. Still, at about $250 and knowing how uncomfortable jewelry can be, I bought a cheapie version for $20-30, and I absolutely enjoyed that piece; it was so comfortable. So then I felt more comfortable investing when the time was right (I think it was Black Friday, ‘cause if you LOVE something, let it go; if it goes on sale, buy it) and eventually did treat myself to Betina’s brand Doublemoss, chain ring. Seriously, it’s one of the cutest, most comfortable ring ever (uhm, not sponsored). I haven’t bought a ring since.

So use this principle after today’s read if you want to prepare yourself further before making a big drop on a dust collector.

Factor #2: Design

Dust collectors typically come angled for the client’s wrist support, and others come flat. Whether or not that matters will depend on your table setup.

I think after re-purchasing the Valentino, which has that armrest, I kind of did miss this feature. I find that it brings the hand closer to the capture source, and if you don’t have an armrest, it serves as one also. 

On the other hand, the beauty of a flat unit is that you can set your art products on it if you’re working with things like chrome and glitter powders.

Also, if you’re using it on pedicures, the flat unit sits nicely on your lap.

Not very common to use it as such, but it can help.

Another design feature is whether or not the unit is acetone-resistant. In this case, both the Anemone and Valentino are.

Factor #3 Size

I would definitely look for a dust collector with a large capture area. I know the capture area should be small for a more direct and strong suction, but there are machines out there with two capture sources within the machine, so keep that in mind.

And yes, although you want to be very pinpointed as to file off your product directly over the location of the suction, all nail techs have some hand filing to do, and for that reason, I prefer a larger grill or capture source area. 

I am satisfied with both the Anemone and Valentino’s grill sizes; they are pretty much the same size.

Factor #4 Features

Most nail dust vacuums have a cord to them, but there are very special options like the Anemone that are actually cordless.

Now. Cord or no cord. If you’ve been a loyal subscriber, I’ve told you before, that with a cordless option you’ll always be paying a premium for that feature.

Sometimes these rechargeable batteries are very expensive to the manufacturer, and they’re just passing down that cost to you.

Also eventually these batteries die down, with the only option being to re-purchase a whole unit.

Thankfully, I’m going on almost two years now with the Anemone, and all good.

So only go cordless, if it absolutely benefits you.

For example, if you’re a mobile nail tech, or you’re moving from different areas in your salon, then a cordless option may be worth the investment for you.

As much as I’ve always enjoyed cordless nail things, I do truly believe in the power (get it) of having a cable. So I actually have both a cordless and corded option for every nail equipment that I own.

And I recommend that if you own cordless anything, you also later invest in a corded option, but if you don’t, no worries, corded equipment, at least all of my nail equipment, can be used while plugged in.

So, let’s just say your battery has worn down, and it no longer holds the charge for you to use it cordless. Well, you would still be able to use it with the cord attached.

Another thing about cordless units, according to the Anemone documents, is that it is better to charge them continuously than letting them lose power completely and then fully recharge them each time.

Factor #5 Filters

Choosing a dust collector based on what filters it uses is a wise decision.

Maybe, especially post-2020, you want a dust collector with the option to toss out each filter after every client.

Or maybe, you are just a DIYer, and so you don’t mind not changing your filter every single time.

Filters are very unique to every unit, and you will have to decide what is the most economical option for you before purchasing that unit. If you use a dust collector that reuses filters, clean it after every client for maximum suction.

Another thing to consider with filters, is where they are placed.

If your filter is over the grill, then the suction power may decrease somewhat, versus if the filter is designed to go under the grill.

I did find a difference between these two units; the Valentino did seem to capture better overall because the filter is under the grill.

So here’s the math…

With the Valentino, each filter is about $11, and their notes say to use switch every two weeks when seeing up to 6 clients a day per week. So, if you worked in two weeks 10-12 days in those two weeks, using that filter per day would cost you about $1. Pretty affordable for a business.

Do note that the Valentino filters come in a 5 pack, so up-front every time you need filters. that is approximately a $55 investment.

Now with the Anemone, the filter sheets are sold at $22 for 50 of them, so each sheet costs you 44 cents per client. If you see 6 clients per day, you are spending $2.64 in filters.

… But remember, if you’re DIY your cost per filter is much lower because you can re-use them a few times more.

Factor #6 Noise Level

This is another deal breaker for some, but all units now are very comparable in noise level.

Just like you’ve never met a silent cleaning vacuum or blow dryer, you are just never going to get a silent nail dust collector either. That’s just the reality.

Sometimes, a high noise level is also an indicator of the strong suction power.

Between the two here, surprisingly the Valentino is the slightly more quiet option when it is turned at full capacity.

Factor #7 Power suction

Now, I believe the power of the suction is based on rotations per minute plus other factors. Wattage has very little to do with it, just like wattage in your curing unit is not the determining factor for a proper cure.

I would assume that the higher the fan’s RPM in your dust collector contributes to the suction’s power. Still, just like curing units and efile machines measure different things to determine their quality, I guess there is more to measuring the intensity of a dust collector than just RPM.

I can do a bit more research on that, and when I have that information, I can update you in the comments below.

Within these two units, I only have the RPM details for the Valentino, and that is approximately 35,000 RPM.

So these were the seven factors to help you choose a curing unit.

Again these are:

  1. Price
  2. Design
  3. Size
  4. Features
  5. Filters
  6. Noise Level
  7. Power Suction

Thank you so much for joining me today, happy shopping, and if you are interested in either one of these two units, don’t forget to check out the description box below for our discount codes.

Alright, see you next week.

Content written by Paola Ponce 

Loved this blog? Then I think you’ll love learning more about my journey as a specialized gel nail solopreneur in the nail industry. Click here to get instant access to my free masterclass. These blogs are copyrighted material, and any use of this blog is not permitted without written concern first. Some of these blogs contain affiliate links that give us a small commission when qualifying purchases are made. Thank you for being so supportive, which helps us to continue creating valuable resources and content like this.

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