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Best Dust Collector for the money

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I'm getting a new DC for an early Christmas present. I'm looking for thoughts and recommendations from ya'll for which one I should be asking for. A couple of things that I think might be relevant to any comments.

1. I have a small shop so space is a consideration and I need to be able to wheel it out of the way when not in use.

2. I want it to work well. My wife just had twins and my shop shares the basement with the heater etc so I can't have a bunch of dust floating around.

3. It doesn't need to be cheap, but it doesn't need to be a production level piece of machinery. I do it because I enjoy it, not because it pays any bills.

I'm looking at the Delta 50-760 (pictured below) which was pretty highly rated by FWW, though that was 2006. One nice thing is that is seems reasonably easy to make it into a two stage collector.

Suggestions? Thoughts? What am I not thinking of? Is there anything else that I need to ask for in order to make this system work?

Thanks for your help.

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I'd recommend a cyclone or Thien to separate out the big stuff. Can you send the small stuff (almost invisible fine dust) outside?

If not, I'd recommend a hepa canister filter to catch the small stuff after you've separated out the big stuff.

The one in the picture doesn't look too bad, but I'd replace the bag with a hepa canister filter.

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I'd recommend a cyclone or Thien to separate out the big stuff. Can you send the small stuff (almost invisible fine dust) outside?

If not, I'd recommend a hepa canister filter to catch the small stuff after you've separated out the big stuff.

The one in the picture doesn't look too bad, but I'd replace the bag with a hepa canister filter.

Maybe eventually I can pipe stuff outside, but for now I need to be able to roll it away and a line to the outside is probably a bit ambitious. Any specific cyclones I should be looking at?

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I'm considering selling my Jet DC (similar to the Delta shown) and going with a Cyclone on my shop vac. Takes up much less space and does just as good of a job.

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I'd build a Thien because it's smaller, easier to move around, and less expensive than buying a cyclone. If you'd rather buy, I'd get something small like a Dust Deputy, because it would be easier to roll around. I can't recommend specific brands, though, because I haven't used them. Whatever you buy needs to use the same size duct as your dust collector - don't hook a 2.5" cyclone to a 4" dust collector.

The model you pictured has a trash can lid separator included, which is essentially the least expensive member of the separator family. You don't need multiple separators, just tool->hose->separator->blower-> filter. The separator extends the life of the blower and filter, and allows you to use a finer filter without it getting clogged all the time.

I hope someone will chime in if I'm off the mark.

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Awesome. Thanks for the suggestions. Does anyone have any experience with a particular model that they either love or hate? I'm thinking that the Delta I'm looking at is the way to go and then I can modify it like you guys suggest with either a home built Thien or get the cyclone.

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Since no one has chimed in, I'll do my usual, "this is what I've heard".

The Harbor Freight 2 horsepower dust collector with metal impeller seems to be one of the very few things that Harbor Freight sells that's a good deal. It comes up every time this question is asked. Wait for a sale (frequent) and use a coupon to get the price under $160.

Wynn cartridge filters seem to be the standard choice.

Have you searched WoodTalkOnline for "dust" or "filter"? This topic comes up several times a year, and I recall that some people have posted about products that they were especially pleased with.

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Not sure if you are interested at all, but they do make actual cyclones on wheels. I know the Grizzly make one like this. Then Penn State Industries (PSI), make one as well, that looks like this. I am gonna vote for this model. I have a 2.5HP PSI cyclone that I wouldn't give up for the world. I really like it and have had no problems. Then there are two other options out there. THey are a little more expensive then the others, but fit the bill for what you are looking for. Those are the Oneida and the JDS. Any one of the models will suit your needs. Most of them are big enough that if you wanted to eventually make it permanent, you could just park it in a corner and run pipe in the shop. Good luck with you decision..

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Thanks for the responses. This is actually going to be coming from my in-laws so while I would like to get one of the ones you suggested Sac, I'm not sure I can ask them to spend ~900 bucks for it.

I've read all of the good things about the HF DC and was planning on getting it when I was told what my present would be. I suppose that I can still get it, but if the Delta is actually a better machine, even though it is a bit more, I'd likely go for that. I was poking around and actually found a post in the Shop forum about a homemade cyclone which is something that is a good option, at least initially.

One of the best things I've seen about the Delta is that the cart seems to encourage 2 phased collection. In the picture above its a garbage can, but I'm guessing I could be clever and come up with a cyclone of some sort. On others I've seen I would be dragging the cart and some other add on around the shop if I went to two phases.

Again thanks for the responses.

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My Onedia Super Duest Gorilla is super efficient at collecting dust in my shop. In fact it is so efficient it collects all kinds of dust even though I don't have it hooked up yet. WOW! :P

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How about one of the new JDS models? They are cyclones, they are on mobile bases, they are easy to empty and they are low enough for shops without tall ceilings. http://jdstools.com/2hpcyclone2100-ck1700cfmdustcollector.aspx I saw them recently and was really thinking about getting one.

Grizzly also has a pretty good one that comes with the remote, but isn't on a mobile base and doesn't have automatic flappers http://www.grizzly.com/products/2-HP-Cyclone-Dust-Collector/G0440

Matt Gradwohl

Upper Cut Woodworks

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I may be bucking the trend here, but what about Craig's List? I have 2 +/- 10 year old 2 stage machines I bought separately off CL for $100 each.

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I have the Oneida 3HP Dust Gorilla, which is a great unit. There are others that aren't nearly as expensive, but I DO suggest a cyclone, if possible.

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Suggestions? Thoughts? What am I not thinking of? Is there anything else that I need to ask for in order to make this system work?

The expandable/collapsible hose that Rockler sells is awesome. 4' long when it's at it smallest, it stretches out to 24' when you pull on it. I have the dust collector buried into the next room, and then a hose through the wall, and then the Rockler hose, so that I can simply move the hose to where I need it, without having to move the dust collector, or get the dust collector in the way, or move extension cords, or...

I wound up getting the 1 horsepower grizzly unit. Given a choice to do it again, I probably would move up to the 1.5 hp.

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I currently have a jet dc1200 single stage setup. Works great, but I do hate emptying the sawdust because it is a slow and dusty job.

When I have extra cash I'd consider the Onedia Super Dust Gorilla.

Of course.. it's always a good idea to check craigslist, ebay, and woodworking forum classifieds for great deals on equipment.

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More than which DC or which separator you get, the most important thing is what filter you get. The ones that come with the low end DCs aren't good enough. You need a .5 micron filter. Wynn Engineering is a good source.

For all you ever wanted to know about DC, read Bill Pentz's website. You should really paw through there before you spend money. You may or may not buy in to everything he says, and you may or may not be able to afford to do what he wants you to do, but there is SO much good info there.

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I have the HF 2.0HP model, and it is great. Eventually, I'll upgrade to the Wynn cartridge filter for it ($100-160, depending on what model you get). You might be able to find a DC with a cartridge for that cheap on craigslist, but it depends on your area. I'm completely happy with the HF, it has no trouble keeping my jointer/planer clear (6" Ridgid/13" Ryobi) even through 30' of flex tubing. Even before getting the Wynn, I plan on adding ducting with blast gates to my shop, along with building a Thein for separating chips before they hit the impeller.

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I have the Delta 760 and no complaints. Added a metal trash can, separator lid and seldom empty the dust bag. Noisy ... yes. Price range ....yes. This was my first foray into dust collection and am basically happy. My previous experience involved a yard blower and collecting the dust to the outside.

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J.P.,

If you decide that you can ask you in-laws to put up $900 bucks, the Grizzly GC703 and Penn State TEMP2PCX are in this price range and were both rated highly in a test by American Woodworker in their current issue (Dec/Jan '11). The test covered six mobile cyclones and their performance ratings were 1) Oneida 2hp Smart Dust Collector ($1,987.00), 2)Penn State ($895) and 3)Grizzly ($928-220V, $850-110V). The Penn State and Grizzly were separated by a very slim margin.

Joe

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