|Review by dbhost||posted 08-26-2009 09:11 PM||18423 views||13 times favorited||51 comments|
I felt it necessary to write a review of THIS specific dust collector. Many home hobby woodworkers use Harbor Freight 2HP Dust Collector to refer to the current model #97869 and the older model #45378 interchangeably.
While they use a large number of the same components, and are most likely build on the same line, these are without a doubt NOT the same tool.
Building on the success of the #45378, Harbor Freight had some improvements to put under the hood, and market as the #97869, many of them worthwhile, some not. For simplicity sake from here out I will refer to the #45378 as the “old” model, while the #97869 will be referred to as the “new” model.
While the old model featured a 14 amp motor that was often ridiculed for its claim at 2 HP, the new model features a 20 amp 110V motor, and I can attest to the fact that this DC DOES need a dedicated 110V 20a circuit to feed it.
The exterior sheet metal pieces appear 100% identical.
While I have not measured one myself, the old model is reported to have a 9” impeller making their 1600 CFM claim preposterous at best. The new model impeller measures out to 10-1/2”, not huge, but certainly a LOT bigger than the old model).
Motor and impeller aside, the other major difference is only half useful. The lower bag gets replaced with a clear heavy plastic bag (useful) and the upper bag gets replaced with a 5 micron felt bag (better than 30 microns, but still not good).
Set up as they are from the factory, these DCs have a good amount of restriction from the bag. I have done what MANY HF DC owners have done, and added a Thien baffle, and Wynn 35A cartridge filter for sub micron filtration and efficient separation to keep the filter from getting prematurely plugging up.
While this DC is no Delta 50-760, it doesn’t cost like one either.
The current issue of Wood Magazine has a coupon for this DC for $139.99, add another $140.00 to get the Wynn filter and for $280.00 you have a good working DC on the cheap…
-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com