The performance and accuracy of the coal mine dust personal sampler was evaluated. Mechanical properties of the sampler, such as battery life and pump flow meter accuracy, were kept constant. Penetration curves were obtained using monodisperse aerosols of several diameters for three sampling flow rates and three pulsation rates at each flow rate. The effects of particle charge, sampler orientation, air velocity, and mass loading were evaluated using polydisperse coal dust. Results were compared to the respirable mass dust criterion of the Los Alamos (LASL) Atomic Energy Commission, the British Medical council respirable (BMRC) coal dust criterion, and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) criterion. The respirable mass best represented the BMRC criteria when the cyclone was operated at 1.4 liters per minute (lpm) and 0.3 pulsation resulting in a 10 percent error over the range of interest. Respirable mass best represented the LASL and ACGIH criteria when the cyclone was operated at 1.7lpm and 0 pulsation with, a 10 percent error over the range of interest. The authors recommend that every effort be made to reconcile the LASL and BMRC criteria to achieve uniformity.