DataVac ED-500-ESD Review – Is It Good?

If you get through compressed air as quickly as a certain member of our household, you know costs can build up quickly. That’s why we got them a DataVac ED-500-ESD from MetroVac and we thought we would give you our thoughts on the product.

While its more intended for things like computers, and other delicate electrical equipment, this is a motoring site, so we thought we would see how it performs on cars as well (although we will also give you our thoughts on its intended use case as well).

What is the DataVac ED-500-ESD?

According to MetroVac the DataVac ESD “is an innovative, green equipment duster”, but we prefer to call it a mini leaf blower for your delicate bits.  

The heart of the DataVac ESD is its .75 horsepower motor and arguably one of its biggest selling points is its anti-static dusting system and grounding. This is important because static electricity can be a problem when cleaning inside of a computer and other electrical components.

DataVac ED-500 vs ED-500-ESD vs ED-500-ESDV?

In this review we are looking at the ED-500-ESD model, but MetroVac also sells a couple of other variations of the duster, the ED-500 and the ED-500-ESDV. The ED-500 is the original DataVac duster. It doesn’t have the anti-static dusting system of the other two models, but lots and lots of people have still used it to clean delicate electrical components without problem,. In fact, for the majority of use cases with vehicles it is perfectly fine and is probably the one to go with if you want to save a buck.

The ESDV model is essentially the same as the ESD DataVac we are reviewing, but it also comes with the ability to vary the speed. This is quite a handy feature to have if you have something delicate to do as the ESD really pushes out a lot of air and you can definitely do damage to delicate components if you aren’t careful. Of course, with the added variable speed feature comes an added cost. The ESDV is roughly $25 more expensive than the ESD on the MetroVac website, so you will have to decide if the extra cost is worth it for the added functionality.

Speaking of Price, How Much Does the DataVac ESD Cost?

We actually purchased ours from a seller in Australia for AU$199 as we needed compatibility with our electrical system in New Zealand. For American buyers you can grab the DataVac ESD for around US$140 off Amazon or you can get it off MetroVac’s website (check both as it oftens goes for less on Amazon, but not always).

A single can of compressed air can often be purchased for anywhere from around $4 to upwards of $9 depending on the size, and you can usually get them even cheaper if you buy a multi-pack. This is obviously significantly less than the DataVac, so you would need to get through about 35 cans at $4 a can before the ED-500-ESD makes sense financially. For some this might only take a few years to work out, but if you use a can a year it will take 35 years for the DataVac to make sense.

Is the DataVac Really Much Greener than Compressed Air?

One of MetroVac’s big selling points for the DataVac is that it is a “green” alternative to compressed air. There is quite a lot of talk about how bad compressed air can be for the environment, but we thought we would investigate further ourselves.

While compressed air products are a lot less damaging to the environment then they used to be due to the banning of CFCs (CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS), they can still be bad for the environment. This is because they still use propellants such as tetrafluoroethane (HFC-143a) which is considered a potent greenhouse gas.

The DataVac is definitely a more environmentally friendly product in that it only requires electricity and air to run, not harmful propellants. However, if we are adding manufacturing into the equation a single compressed air can is probably less harmful than a DataVac, but overtime the electric duster will be much better for the environment.

You can read more about the environmental impact of compressed air cans here.

What are the Specifications of the DataVac ESD?

We won’t bore you too much with the tech specs, so see the table below for all the information you need to know about peak power, CFM, etc.

Construction:All-Steel Construction
Motor:.75 Peak HP
AMPs:4.0 Amps
Watts500 Watts
Airflow: CFM/FPM70 CFM
Cord:12′ Grounded 3 Conductor Cord
Dimensions/Weight:17.2 x 10.2 x 19.1 cm (6.75 x 4 x 7.5 inches)
Weight:1.25 kg (2.75 lbs)
Country of ManufacturerUSA

First Impressions and What’s in the Box

The DataVac ESD came fairly well packaged in a relatively plain white box. In the box you get the following:

  • 1 x DataVac ED-500-ESD electric duster
  • 1 x ESD Safe Crevice Tool
  • 1 x Dust Brush
  • 4 Pc Micro Cleaning Tool Kit
  • 1 x TechniStat Grounded Wrist Strap

First impressions of the DataVac ESD were excellent. The duster feels extremely well built with a nice and strong metal construction. The handle has a good feel to it and is comfortable, and the rest of the accessories/attachments feel good quality as well. While the price is quite high, you definitely get the impression that the DataVac will last a long time given its fantastic build quality.

Operating the DataVac ED-500-ESD Electric Duster

Using the DataVa is about as simple as can be in all honesty. Once you have fitted a nozzle/attachment and plugged the DataVac in, simply press the button on the left side and the duster roars into life.

We were honestly quite shocked at the power of the DataVac ESD. The amount of air this thing can push out is seriously impressive and we can see why they introduced a variable speed model as you could definitely do damage to very delicate components if you are not careful (think thin bladed fans, etc.). We didn’t have a problem with breaking anything ourselves and you can easily control the force of the air hitting the thing you want to clean by holding the duster closer or further away.

You can also control the force by fitting the smaller nozzle attachment or the “Micro Cleaning Tool Kit” as MetroVac calls it. This is definitely the way to go if you are dusting more delicate components, but there is something satisfying about using the larger Crevice Tool attachment and just blowing a whole load of dust away in one go.

The Micro Cleaning Tool Kit comes with two heads, a brush one and one that is a bit like a mini crevice head. Both the small and bigger brush heads are really useful when you want to get rid of harder to remove dust and dirt spots.

We not only found the DataVac ESD excellent for use on electronics such as keyboards, PCs, ect., but it was also really useful on our vehicles as well. Cleaning in-between crevices and around small storage compartments that are more difficult to clean with a vacuum cleaner works really well. To get the best clean, we found that using the DataVac first and then following up with a vacuum works really well. We even used the DataVac to blow off water after doing an exterior wash as well, although this probably isn’t worth doing as it takes a bit of time.

Before and After

To give you a better understanding of how well the DataVac works, we have included some before and after photos.


After – with Crevice Tool attachment

To get more dust off you can use the brush attachment




After – with Dust Brush attachment


After – with Crevice Tool attachment


After – with Crevice Tool attachment


After – with Crevice Tool attachment


After – with Micro Cleaning Tool Kit (brush end)

How Does the DataVac’s Performance Compare to Compressed Air?

Honestly, there is no comparison between the DataVac ESD and a normal can of compressed air. The DataVac is so much better (and it should be given the price) and it definitely lives up to the hype which can be more than said of a lot of cleaning products out there.

You also don’t have to worry about liquid coming out of the nozzle or shaking it up like you do with compressed air, so that’s another bonus.

There really isn’t much else to say when it comes to the comparison, the DataVac is just that much better.

Is the DataVac ED-500-ESD Reliable?

So far it hasn’t put a foot wrong, and we really don’t expect it to. We have looked at lots of other owners’ feedback and reviews prior to purchasing this product and we couldn’t find any widespread reliability issues. Of course, if we do encounter a problem we will update this review accordingly.

The only thing we can say is that the DataVac ESD does get warm, but not overly so and we don’t think it will be a problem long term. Additionally, if something does fail, the DataVac can be stripped down and rebuilt, which helps with longevity.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the filter will need to be replaced given enough use and time. This isn’t a major problem as the filters are very cheap and you can even clean them a bit to get a bit more life out of them. MetroVac also sells a whole load of other spares as well, from new handles, nozzles and more.

Conclusion – Should You Buy the DataVac ED-500-ESD?

This review has probably sounded like a bit of an advertisement, but the truth is that the DataVac is probably the best product we have reviewed on this website for its intended use case. We really couldn’t find any faults with it apart from the fact that it gets slightly warm and the power cable could be a little bit longer.

However, when it comes to whether or not it is worth it is another question altogether. If you get through a single can of compressed air a year it is probably hard to justify the purchase of one of these electric dusters. But, if you use a few more cans and/or you want something that can be used for a few more use cases, this is the product to go for. Skip those crappy, cheap electric air dusters you find on Amazon and go with the DataVac, you definitely won’t be disappointed and you will probably save money in the long run!


  • Ben

    From his early days playing the original Gran Turismo and with his Hot Wheels car set, Ben has had a long interest in all things automotive. His first foray into the world of automotive journalism was way back in 2009 and since then he has only grown more interested in the industry. Ben also runs and heads up the video production side of Garage Dreams, focusing on small informative documentaries about some of the world's most legendary cars.

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