The Difference Between Baghouse and Cartridge Dust Collection Systems


With so many diverse industries, facilities and application types, it’s impossible to find a one-size-fits-all dust collection system. Thankfully, there are different types of dust collectors to satisfy those unique needs.

If you’re unsure of where to start on your dust collecting journey, we’ll help guide you in the right direction by comparing the two most commonly used types of industrial dust collectors: the baghouse and cartridge. We’ll break down their uses, benefits and how to decide which of these options is best for your needs.

It's important to keep in mind that both baghouse and cartridge dust collection systems work to do the following:

  • Clean the air
  • Ensure a safe work environment
  • Reduce equipment maintenance costs
  • Increase employee efficiency and retention

Remember that at the end of the day, these common dust collectors can be customized to perform for your specific applications. At A.C.T. Dust Collectors, our industrial dust collectors are fit to fulfill your needs, not the other way around.


The benefits of baghouse dust collectors

Also known as a baghouse filter, baghouse dust collectors are air filtration devices that remove dust particles out of your facility’s airstream. Baghouse dust collectors work by filtering out dirty air that enters the dust collector. Dirty air enters through the filter bags, as it passes through the filter the dirty particulate is collected on the outside of the filter bag, the clean air passes through and is then released outside or recirculated into the facility.

Some specific benefits of baghouse dust collectors include:

  • The ability to deal with heavy loading and large particulate due to high durability
  • Less frequent filter changes
  • Withstanding higher temperatures
  • The ability to handle sticky materials, wood dust, grain and more

The best applications for baghouse dust collectors

If you work in any of the following industries or facilities, a baghouse dust collector is the best for you:

  • Woodworking
  • Grain (flour, wheat, filling bins and silos)
  • Foundry applications
  • Fibrous dust
  • Fiberglass cutting
  • Mineral bulk loading
  • Food processing


The benefits of cartridge dust collectors

One of the major differences between baghouse dust collectors and cartridge dust collectors is that cartridge collectors use a pleated cartridge filter instead of a filter bag. Cartridge filters allow you to pack a larger amount of media into a smaller space, as a result this helps you achieve lower air to cloth ratios while taking up a smaller footprint.

Some specific benefits of cartridge dust collectors include:

  • Quality filtration in a compact size, ideal for smaller spaces and operations
  • Easier to install and change out the filters
  • Efficient in removing very fine dust and lighter loads


The best applications for cartridge dust collectors

If you work in any of the following industries or facilities, a cartridge dust collector is the best for you:

  • Welding
  • Laser cutting
  • Plasma cutting
  • Sandblasting
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Flame spraying
  • Metalworking
  • Powder coating

One thing to consider with a cartridge dust collecting system is whether to go with a vertical or horizontal cartridge. Horizontal cartridges have a down-flow air pattern, while vertical cartridges have an upward-flow pattern. At A.C.T. Dust Collectors, we mostly offer (and recommend) horizontal cartridges because they do not work against gravity and instead blow particles directly down into the collection bin. Vertical cartridges often pose inconveniences and are difficult to access.


Major differences between baghouse and cartridge dust collectors

Other than the load capabilities we mentioned earlier, there are also differences between installation and maintenance for baghouse and cartridge dust collectors.

Cartridge dust collectors are easier to install because they’re smaller and can be indoor or outdoor. Baghouse dust collectors are mostly outdoor and much taller, requiring more of an installation effort.

As far as maintenance goes, generally speaking cartridges need to be changed out every one to two years, while baghouse filters have a much longer life and can last for many years. But because these filters are oftentimes very tall in length, they do require more maintenance.


How A.C.T. Dust Collectors works with baghouse and cartridge dust collectors

Our experts are able to maintain both baghouse and cartridge dust collectors efficiently. We offer maintenance-friendly dust collectors that are easy to access, clean and repair.

You may have come across baghouse dust collectors with large, heavy doors to open to access the filter. At A.C.T. Dust Collectors, our baghouse collectors have hinged doors, which make it much easier to access and change filters. Our baghouse collectors also include a tool-free pulse cleaning tube feature, while competitor machines do not. Our cartridge machines use action locks rather than knobs and the most efficient technology to get the job done.

The right system is out there for you. Browse our industrial filtration systems to get started and request a quote from our team of experts.

To better understand the differences between baghouse and cartridge dust collectors, download our comparison guide today.

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