The oiled cloth filters (like the K&N) give better airflow because they have larger openings in the filtering media to let the air flow through. They rely on the oil in the cloth to attract and catch the dirt particles.
I have seen some tests, amateur but scientific non the less, showing that more dirt passed through the oiled cloth filters then the paper filters. At the same time, the oil cloth filters, like the K&N have been used by thousands of vehicles over years, and I have NOT seen any complaints of wear or damage that would be caused by dirt making it past the filter. So, you can argue the extra dirt that makes it past the oiled cloth filter isn't enough to worry about.
AFA performance, I don't know for the Commander, but most vehicles just switching to a K&N in the stock air intake system offers very little if any performance gain. If you switch to a cold air intake that replaces the whole air intake system (up to the throttle body) does offer a noticeable gain in a lot of vehicles, but NOT all.
An extreme dusty environment like Las Vegas? Personally, I'd play it safe and stick with good paper filters, but I'd have to agree, you probably wouldn't find any extra wear or damage because you used a K&N or other good quality oiled cloth filter, if that is what you want to do.
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