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Dust Collector Reviews

rosasco's picture

I've been having trouble finding reviews on Dust Collectors and wondered if anyone could recommend a good unit to buy. I have a medium sized shop that I will be expanding. I want to buy plenty of tool for this purpose as I've bought smaller in the past and regretted it (i.e. not getting a cabinet saw and buying a 6" jointer).

The cannister style collectors look appealing to me in that they appear easier and less
messy to maintain. My gut tells me to buy a Dust Collector that is 3 HP so I
don't underbuy as before, but I can't find cannister filters this size.

Noise level is also an important consideration.

And lastly, I don't know much about automatic activation when a tool is turned on
but certainly would like to be able to do this.

Thanks for reading and in advance for any light you can shed on this.

Ernie48's picture

(post #92771, reply #1 of 14)

Since you are looking to buy something in the 3 HP range are you considering a cyclone? Everything that I have read indicates that the cyclone does a better job than the average dust collector. Bill Pentz has a website just on the subject of dust collection. You may want to read through it before you make a decision. His website is at :

You might also check out the Oneida Air at: and Woodsucker Cyclone at  web sites. They seem to be the ones that get the best reviews.

Hope this helps. 


Edited 1/27/2005 4:06 pm ET by Ernie

Adze's picture

(post #92771, reply #2 of 14)

Oneida is the only choice if you want something that works

JDMassaro's picture

(post #92771, reply #8 of 14)

I for one have a WoodSucker II and love it!!!!

It's built like a brick S - - - house and works like a charm.

Another thing I would be happy to share with others considering a centralized vacuum system is that using standard HVAC pipe and fittings with a little modification and sealing with silicone caulk work great. The biggest modification I employed was to make sure that the male fitting fitted up facing the flow towards the vac. Sure it took some recrimping using a $15 tool but this, in combination with self tapping screws to hold things together, and sealing with silicone caulk really makes mine better than I imagined. And for not a lot of money ta boot! Any where I needed to change direction I used 2 elbows , each on a 45 degree orientation and put together to make a 90 to make it a more gradual transition mimicing a long radius sweep pretty effectively.

Another feature I employed in my system was to have the cyclone turn on automatically when I turned on a machine. The plans for this I found in a back issue of FWW. And, for when I want to just have the vac turn on for the floor sweep or other vaccuming tasks I've got a wall mounted switch to turn it on and off without firing up a machine.

Just to give you an idea of what kind of power the WoodSucker has, even when I forget to block the 6" main duct that is to be eventually hooked up to my planer and I have either the table saw or 8" jointer running, you can't tell the difference. Mine is a 30' run of 6" pipe with 4" tap offs for the bandsaw, lathe, floor sweep, table saw, and 5" for the jointer,  and planer. Each of these has it's own dedicated connection.

I checked out other brands and when you looked at the materials used in constructing the various brands, in particular the thickness, WoodSucker won in my evalulation.


Edited 2/8/2005 4:41 am ET by WoodButcher

Pertz's picture

(post #92771, reply #3 of 14)

I've just been spending a lot of time on this issue.

Oneida's web site has lots of useful information on both cyclone and pipe sizing. This is very much related to the amount and kind of equipment you'll be running and size of the shop.

If you look to the bag type systems (which about everyone who writes on this agrees is inferior to the cyclone) you'll need to replace the stock bags with ones which capture the fine dust. Stock bag collectors simply recycle the worst (fine) dust right back into the shop.

rosasco's picture

(post #92771, reply #4 of 14)

Glad I asked ! I didn't know anything about these machines. Now that
I've reviewed the cyclone recommendation, I have to wonder what one
to buy and if they can just be set up outside to just dump the sawdust
on the ground in a pile ?

Looks like my earlier guess on needing 3 HP is overkill ? I don't really
expect to operate more than one machine at a time - though two would
be nice.

I have an open-backed tablesaw and was hoping the collector could
mitigate the inherent dust problems with that design. Any suggestions ?

It appears that 11/2 HP cyclone is a lot more tool than a 1 1/2 hp canister
style Jet for instance ?

Thanks much.

SGriess58's picture

can they be set up to just dump the dust on the ground? (post #92771, reply #11 of 14)

If you live in a rural area and have distant neighbors, dumping the dust in a pile out back of the workshop might work... IF you don't live in an area with termites that may be attracted to piles of wood dust.

If you live in a city, town, or even a rural subdivision with restrictive covenants, you might want to check the rules about emitting dust & debris into the air, or onto the ground, even if it IS in your backyard.

CowboyBill's picture

(post #92771, reply #5 of 14)

Cyclone systems are certainly the ultimate system, but they are not appropriate for everybody, IMHO. Many shops, including basement locations, do not have the height required by cyclones, making that choice impossible, or at least impractical. Also a full cyclone system installed with all accessories, is not cheap, & therefore might not be affordable to others because of budgetary restrictions.

You asked in your initial post about a 3 HP canister type Dust Collector, but could not find any. Both Jet & Grizzly make 3 HP, dual canister models, & having seen both in person, was impressed with the operation & efficiency of them. Both represent an alternative for a shop owner that cannot consider a cyclone system for either height or budgetary reasons, yet wants more power than than smaller units offer. As stated earlier, the filter canisters can be ordered from a couple of sources, that will filter down to one micron & below.

Your question as to automatic (or at least remote) activation can be solved in in a couple of different ways. First, several firms sell a kit that you wire all of your blast gates with a remote sensing wire leading to a controller, that automatically turns your dust collector on & off every time you open or close a blast gate. Another solution, one that I use & like, is to install a wireless remote control, with a small battery operated remote control not unlike a garage door opener remote, that you can carry in your pocket for convenience. This remote signals a receiver that you plug your dust collector into, to turn your DC on or off, saving a huge number of steps. The capacity of my unit, made by PSI, is 220 volts, 3 HP, perfect for the 3 HP dual canister units discussed earlier. Hope all this helps.

Cowboy Bill



rosasco's picture

(post #92771, reply #6 of 14)

Thanks very much for the information Bill. I guess I would prefer to simply
vent the dust outside rather than collect it. I doubt I would run into any problems
with the city considering the size of my lot (hope hope).

Otherwise, I suppose I would get a canister style filter like the Jet or as you say,
Grizzly and use this in conjunction with a 1/3 hp exhaust fan. The weather is
quite good here and I can get away with the temperature drop of opening a door
a running an exhaust fan.

With that in mind, I would like to buy the collector/cyclone just so I don't have
to clean up the mess all the time. Takes a lot of the joy out of the hobby.

Do you have any recommendations given these new considerations ?

Peter36's picture

(post #92771, reply #7 of 14)

Hello. I don't know how the weather is where you are but if it is possible then the best way to go is to put the dust collector outside in a shed etc. Get whatever collector is in your budget and install the least filtrating bags that are available [ 30 micron ] The more air that escapes the bag the more air comes into the bag [ suction ]. The same machine with a 5 micron bag vs. a 1 micron bag will move more air with the 5 mic. bag. So if you can put the collector outside then fine dust is not a worry so make the most of your collector.    Peter

Walt71112's picture

Moving DC outside (post #92771, reply #9 of 14)

I want to move my dust collector and air compressor outside for space and noise reasons. I'm thinking about a small shed about 5x7x7' tall next to the shop.

Are there any ventilation considerations I need to address such as venting slots, windows etc.  I will have a full size door which I can open when using the dc and compressor. 

Then I am thinking of drilling holes in the shop wall for the air hose and dc pipe. 

Any suggestions and recommendations would be appreciated.


SteveSchoene's picture

You have posted on an very (post #92771, reply #10 of 14)

You have posted on an very old thread and the title isn't very directly related to your question.  You will get much better results by beginning a new topic with the essence of your question in the title. 

Test your finish on scrap, FIRST, or risk having to scrap your finish.

RichardMc's picture

Consider the Laguna cyclone (post #92771, reply #12 of 14)

I just purchased a 2hp Laguna cyclone for my small shop which is far superior to my previous Jet 2hp (not cyclone).  It is quieter and has higher cfpm output.  They sell the same machine with a 3 hp.,motor.  Check it out on the Laguna site.

forrestb's picture

dust collection is a design issue, not just the DC (post #92771, reply #13 of 14) is one design guide for dust collection.  You also want to use the CFM and suction of the system as opposed to just the hp.  Remember that most machines are rated for the startup power - a marketing tool only -, not the running power.  A 3 hp DC may use 3 hp when starting but it will not draw that when running.



Carl-Miller's picture

Oneida dust collectors (post #92771, reply #14 of 14)

About 15 years ago I wanted to buy the best dust collection system I could afford. After much reading I was told that Oneida was the only way to go. I drew a to scale diagram of my shop, listed the machines I owned and the distances involved. I sent the information to Oneida and asked them to design a system for me, which they did. When it arrived, I installed it exactly as directed.

Of all the shop equiptment I have ever bought, this was by far the most dissappointing. I literally can do better with a Sears Shopvac. When I called Oneida to complain, I was told that if I would send them another $800, they would upgrade the system. Fat chance!! I had already spend twice what most other systems would have costs operating on their advice. So I've lived with a system that is vertually non functional and that I can't resell because no one would want it.