Need advice on dust collector...

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Forum topic by Jim Dawson posted 02-15-2016 02:53 PM 474 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Dawson

48 posts in 255 days

02-15-2016 02:53 PM

I’m new to the forum so maybe this is in the wrong section. If so I apologize.

After reading the reviews I recently bought a Harbor Freight 2 HP DC. They were out but the guy offered me the display for $99 minus my 20% coupon. I was excited until I got it home and turned it on. It is crazy loud! Are they all this loud? I only need it for one tool at a time so I wonder if the Rockler wall mounted one would do the trick and maybe be considerably less noisy. It will certainly take up less space in my limited shop space.

If there is a way to quiet the HF one down I’d keep it but I’m leaning toward selling it and going for something smaller.

Any advice?

10 replies so far

View TheWoodRaccoon's profile


364 posts in 353 days

#1 posted 02-15-2016 03:21 PM

$80 is sweet deal! Hopefully there’s nothing really wrong with it. Maybe some screws are loose? Is there something inside thats hitting the impeller fan? What kind of sound is it making?

-- still trying to think of a clever signature......

View WhyMe's profile


575 posts in 984 days

#2 posted 02-15-2016 03:37 PM

The HF DC is loud, but I don’t know what you consider crazy loud. It’s not whisper quiet, you’d have to talk in an elevated level if talking with someone while standing next to it.

View Jim Dawson's profile

Jim Dawson

48 posts in 255 days

#3 posted 02-15-2016 04:12 PM

It had some missing screws and bolts, one bag support was broken at the bottom but was easily fixed. The plastic bag has a hole in it but I bought some at the Woodworker show this weekend.

I’ve never heard a DC this large before so maybe they’re all this loud but you can’t talk around it. I’m used to a shop vacuum which I thought was loud.

If I decide to get the Rockler wall mounted one, I’m sure I can get at least what I paid for this one.

I haven’t even put any dust through it yet.


View ShaneA's profile (online now)


6428 posts in 2021 days

#4 posted 02-15-2016 04:24 PM

Of course, crazy loud is a relative term. All the dust collectors I have heard make substantial amounts of noise. That just goes with the territory. That is a great price though.

View bigJohninvegas's profile


185 posts in 885 days

#5 posted 02-15-2016 07:17 PM

I have that same DC. I have a friend that owns her own wood working school. She has several different brands of DC around the shop. The noise all seems to be about the same as my harbor freight DC.
You got a great deal, I would keep it. I got mine off craigslist about 3 years ago for $120.
For the money, if I had to replace it I would by another one tomorrow. The only trouble I have had with it is the power switch failed. That seems to be the only real issue with the larger HF tools. Replaced it with a switch from home depot, and moved it up to about waist high. I’m not a real fan of harbor freight tools. Most are cheap junk. However, there are a few tools that really perform well. This DC has done that for me.
Good luck.

-- John

View Todd's profile


379 posts in 1099 days

#6 posted 02-15-2016 08:07 PM

They are quieter than a shop vacuum.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View OSU55's profile


1039 posts in 1413 days

#7 posted 02-15-2016 09:06 PM

My 2hp HF DC is quieter than my shop vac. For the $ you saved, maybe keep it and get some ear muffs or plugs. I doubt you will find a similar sized unit quieter.

View Jim Dawson's profile

Jim Dawson

48 posts in 255 days

#8 posted 02-15-2016 09:07 PM

They are quieter than a shop vacuum.

- Todd

Not mine, it is MUCH louder than my shop vac. I guess I need to find someone local that has a HF and listen to theirs.

View AWood's profile


48 posts in 3169 days

#9 posted 02-15-2016 09:09 PM

I agree John I have not shopped at all at Harbour Freight as most of my shop is quality stuff. However I bought a new 2 hp HF off Kijji last week. Had been holding out for a long time to buy a 2hp Oneida but being in Canada the exchange puts it way out o on my budget. Jim, I paid $160 (CDN). I made a Thien (baffle) for it and replaced the bag with a Donaldson filter (per Shipbuilder) $75. Got three blasters for two 4” lines and it runs great. Replacing the standard large shop vac with Oneida dust deputy, the noise is not much louder. Your price and the number of posted examples of the 2HP configurations there are on the internet, you should have a very effective system for a reasonable price.

-- AllWood

View 716's profile


502 posts in 340 days

#10 posted 02-15-2016 09:46 PM

2HP HF dust collector is about the smallest that is still useful. Going smaller makes sense if you only use it for relatively clean tools, like a bandsaw or pencil sharpener.

-- It's nice!

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