|Review by MattMcC||posted 01-02-2011 02:50 AM||4457 views||4 times favorited||22 comments|
So, we will be moving into a new house this summer and I will be moving my woodworking tools to the basement from the garage, where opening the garage door and running a shop vac provided adequate ventiliation and dust collection. Not so in the new basement, so I decided I would invest in a dust collector. After reading many reviews, it seemed that the Harbor Freight 2HP DC unit was a fair value. I decided to take the harbor freight plunge given the cost of name brand units and with my fingers crossed that I wasn’t throwing money down the drain. I was able to get the sale price of $189, plus used a 20% off coupon. Final price: $151. Thats a fraction of the cost of the comparable Delta unit. I will invest in a Wynn canister once we move, since Im not too jazzed about the 5 micron dust bag. A wynn retro fit costs about $130 and gets me 0.5 micron. Thants a $280 investment for 0.5 micro dust collection. Not bad, I would say, provided the thing works.
Be forwarned! You must have a sense of humor when you assemble this thing. The instructions are garbage, including things like referring to nuts that are not required (and don’t exist) or instructing you to put the bags on BEFORE essembling the handle to the dust collector plate. The platform upon which this thing is mounted is also cheap sheet steel. Flexes somewhat, but no big deal. On the other hand, the motor and fan housing seemed substantial and the finish not too bad for a $151 unit. I was pleasantly surprised, and was prepared to accept somewhat less. Got the thing put together, plugged it in to a 15 amp plug, turned it on, and budda bing! It works. Have no frame of referece for noise level, but compated to shop vac it is demonstrably more quiet.
I am curious about things like were the bolts go in to the cyclone unit between the two bags. No rubber grommets or other means of sealing the connections. Wonder how much this leads to leaks and dust out these bolt holes with the bolts securely fastened in them. But this is the kind of things I could modify myself at little cost. With the motor on, I can also feel a little air down by the fan, but not sure if this is just the fan in the motor itself pushing air out the motor housing. I believe that to be the case.
Overall, for $153 I don’t see how this was not a great deal. I need to by some hose and connectors/blast gates but I fully expect this to be FAR superior to by my shop vac. And with another $130 invested in a cannister, I expect this thing to be the ideal for my small shop. Its rated at 1550 CFM. Doubt it achieves that, but don’t care. Im sure Im doing over 1000 CFM, and with cannister in place should see a big jump in efficiency.
I will post additional thoughts once I put this through its paces, but right now I think this thing is great. Give it 4 and not 5 stars given the guess work with the assembly, but thats almost a given in light of where I purchased from. Its just part of the Harbor Freight experience.
Anyone else have this unit? Recommendations on hose / ducts?