|Review by MoshupTrail||posted 02-06-2012 01:32 AM||4558 views||0 times favorited||32 comments|
I picked this up on sale from Rockler recently and put it together this weekend.
First off, the box it comes in is very small. In fact, it looks tiny next to my 16 gal Ridgid vac. The Vortex comes in two halves allowing it to nest inside the carton. Clever packing. I was afraid it might leak at the joint, but it proved to be a nice tight fit.
Assembly: Not hard at all. The directions are clear and well written, but…
There are two connectors for the intake and outfeed that must be used.
It comes with a bunch of connectors and a short amount of flexible tubing that is pretty much useless. It tends to crimp when flexed after it stretches out to a whopping 4 feet long. Then they have some adapters which did not fit the Ridgid at all. In fact, there was no way to use the adapters or the flex tube. I was lucky that I had an extra length of hose for the Ridgid. The two hoses attached directly to the fixed connectors without using any of their adapters.
The five casters on the bottom allow the Vortex to scoot around and pull the shop vac behind it. Unfortunately the base is not very large diameter and so it’s a little unstable. The Vortex fell over several times while I used it – which kind of defeats the purpose since when it falls, all the debris gets sucked into the shop vac.
You can see the chips swirling around inside the unit and it appears to be working great however.
The Test: I decided on a fairly tough test. The pile of dist under my table saw has gotten quite large. It will contain a lot of fine dust as well as chips and sawdust. I wasn’t too worried about operating it with a planer or a jointer where the chips will be large and easy to separate. I judged the sawdust to be a pretty harsh test.
So here is the result:
As you can see, there was quite a bit of fine dust clogging the filter in the vac. Also about 1/4 inch of small dust at the bottom of the vac. But it trapped all the larger sawdust and chips in the Vortex.
Summary: Frank;y, I was a bit disappointed. Given that the really fine dust passes through and hits the vac filter, then all I’ve really done is move the chips from the 16 gal Ridgid to a 10 gal plastic bucket. So this unit cost me $70 on sale at Rockler. My 16 gal Ridgid vac cost $80 at Home Depot. Which do you think was the better value?
-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.