LumberJocks

Not a very good value

  • Advertise with us
Review by MoshupTrail posted 02-06-2012 01:32 AM 4460 views 0 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Not a very good value No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

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.

Operation:
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.




View MoshupTrail's profile

MoshupTrail

299 posts in 1233 days



32 comments so far

View rockinmichael's profile

rockinmichael

34 posts in 1136 days


#1 posted 02-06-2012 02:07 AM

I am sad to hear that they seperated it into two parts. Mine came in one and works great

View PittsburghTim's profile

PittsburghTim

214 posts in 1074 days


#2 posted 02-06-2012 03:24 AM

It would seem to me to be better off with a second vacuum. Also, I’d be surprised to see a difference whether the bucket was one or two pieces. I would believe that the key part is the lid. Perhaps the one-piece bucket is larger?

-- She asked me, "Who are you going to please with that?" I said, "Me."

View MoshupTrail's profile

MoshupTrail

299 posts in 1233 days


#3 posted 02-06-2012 03:36 AM

I’m wondering if rockinmichael is using a different vac with higher air speed. Maybe my Ridgid doesn’t produce enough flow rate to fully activate the cyclone. In any case, my experience may help someone else.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1329 days


#4 posted 02-06-2012 03:44 AM

I ordered one a couple of months back as well and mine also is a single part canister.

Were I ordering now I’d probably just get their dust right parts kit and just use a garbage can or fiber drum with a thein baffle.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112936 posts in 2329 days


#5 posted 02-06-2012 03:58 AM

Seems like a lot of stars for something that didn’t work well ?

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View MoshupTrail's profile

MoshupTrail

299 posts in 1233 days


#6 posted 02-06-2012 04:05 AM

I was feeling generous. :) I will continue to use it for the planer and the jointer. It works well for larger chips. It will capture those chips with ease and it IS a little easier than the vac to empty. But I had been hoping to extend the time between filter cleanings. I don’t think that will happen.

So as the title says, my real complaint is that it’s just not a very good value.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

View AlbertaJim's profile

AlbertaJim

47 posts in 1181 days


#7 posted 02-06-2012 04:15 AM

With my dust deputy I have put an extrafine bag into the shop vac (captures drywall dust) that way my vac filter doesn’t get the dust. I have upgraged to the dust deputy with a special cart which holds both the DD & Vac.

-- My Boss was a carpenter

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1329 days


#8 posted 02-06-2012 04:56 AM

Exactly; put a bag in the shop vac and it will take extremely long to fill and your filter will be safe.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View NormG's profile

NormG

4537 posts in 1756 days


#9 posted 02-06-2012 05:09 AM

Wow, I will keep looking

-- Norman

View hacker's profile

hacker

2 posts in 1054 days


#10 posted 02-06-2012 01:48 PM

thanks, I will order the Oneida plastic version based on your comments

View PKFF's profile

PKFF

47 posts in 1105 days


#11 posted 02-06-2012 03:35 PM

The Vortex I ordered in september this past year was 1 solid ten gallon bucket. Looks like they are getting a little crafty and maybe making it so it breaks down for shipping. I have had the same experience as you have, the fine dust doesn’t get trapped. I have the most powerful shopvac you can buy on the market at 6.5hp and it does a fine job with the chips and routered shavings. With the Table saw and sander dust, it seems to be that I have to clean the filter whenever I empty the vortex, so it really is just making it so the cavity in the shopvac doesnt get filled. I wasn’t too impressed either, considering the whole point of this product is to reduce if not remove the cleaning of the filter from the process. I probably have to clean the filter every other time I empty the vortex. I have it hooked up correctly.

-- "If you put your best effort forward today, you won't have to re-do it tomorrow"

View Furnitude's profile

Furnitude

346 posts in 2259 days


#12 posted 02-06-2012 05:37 PM

I bought two Vortexes (Vorti?) recently and use them with Ridgid vacuums. My experience has been very positive so far. They seem to perform as advertised, which is pretty great because they get such high marks. I take issue with a couple things in this review. First, there are instructions on how to make the tubing compatible with Ridgid vacuums. All you have to do is wrap a couple layers of tape around the end of the Ridgid hose and then it fits snugly into the Vortex port. You could probably go to more effort to make the seal even better, but in my view a snug fit is a snug fit. Regarding the flex tube, mine works perfectly well – it certainly isn’t useless. I don’t think it is designed to be fully extended. Fully extending it takes all the flex out of it. I’m sorry the results aren’t what you expected. I can’t really compare my results empirically with yours, but I would say that maybe you should try the tape procedure I mentioned above. Maybe a tighter seal would give you better results. You seem to be dubious about the length of the 4-foot flex tube. With my set-up, four feet is totally adequate. They could have provided zero feet, so the fact that they provide the flex tube at all makes this an even better value. I also bought the component parts and made a vortex cabinet. Maybe I’ll get off my duff and write my own compare/contrast review. Thanks for writing yours.

-- Mitch, http://furnitude.blogspot.com Also blog at http://www.craftsy.com/blog/author/mitch-roberson/

View PKFF's profile

PKFF

47 posts in 1105 days


#13 posted 02-06-2012 05:52 PM

Furnitude, are you having the same results with the fine dust making it past and clogging the filter? If not, what did you do differently? I set it up in accordance with the manufacturers instructions but I am still ending up with a clogged filter on a consistent basis. This was the main purpose for the unit and their main advertisement for this product, to reduce the filter clogging to minimum if not zero. The only solution I could find is to not use it for fine dust. I’d hope there would be a solution. I was expecting a small amount build up, but not to be completely caked with fine dust after each filling.

-- "If you put your best effort forward today, you won't have to re-do it tomorrow"

View Furnitude's profile

Furnitude

346 posts in 2259 days


#14 posted 02-06-2012 06:05 PM

I checked it yesterday and found minimal fine dust on the filter. When I get home tonight, I’ll check again because I used it a lot last night. I’ll report back.

-- Mitch, http://furnitude.blogspot.com Also blog at http://www.craftsy.com/blog/author/mitch-roberson/

View Retrowood's profile

Retrowood

117 posts in 1171 days


#15 posted 02-06-2012 07:20 PM

This is the 1st less than stellar review I’ve seen on this product. Do you think the revised two piece container is compromising the function?
I have an old Craftsman 6HP Hepa equipped vac w/ the Plastic Deluxe DD package and as long as I don’t run the DD pail too full my filter stays very clean. I mounted everything on a old convertible hand cart which allows everything to be in one unit and is very maneuverable. A big advantage is going to a 7gallow pail to gain about 40% more dust capacity.

Retrowood

-- Retrowood

showing 1 through 15 of 32 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase