Dust Collector: Which would you choose. I don't want to be wrong

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Forum topic by upwoodworker posted 04-07-2016 05:58 PM 1297 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1021 days

04-07-2016 05:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: powermatic laguna dust collector

I am currently looking into buying my first ever dust collector. A have a home shop with a few tools where I am hoping to run pipe to items such as a table saw, band saw, and a couple other things. Only one tool with probably ever be used at a time. I currently do not have 220 or an easy way to add it (panel is full)

I am very torn between 2 machines and would be very appreciative if I could get some opinions as to the direction I should go.

Option 1: Laguna Mobile Cyclone Dust Collector, 1.5HP

Option 2: Powermatic PM1300TX-CK Dust Collector 1.75HP 1PH 115/230-Volt 2-Micron Canister Kit

Is one better than the other ?

I appreciate all advice.

9 replies so far

View WhyMe's profile


1080 posts in 1802 days

#1 posted 04-07-2016 09:15 PM

I like the Laguna mainly because of the convenience of the collection drum.

View brtech's profile


1054 posts in 3164 days

#2 posted 04-07-2016 10:27 PM

Read Bill Pentz’s site on the subject. He will scare the pants off you. But, there is A LOT of very, very useful data there.

In general, none of these under 2HP DCs move enough air to make your shop safe. More is better, period, but it’s not enough. So, make sure you understand what you aren’t getting.

Neither of the ones you are considering have an adequate filter. You want a .5 micron filter, at least a MERV 10, and MERV 15 would be better. So plan on an upgrade to the filter, probably something like one of these:

Get that filter when you order whatever DC you end up with. Don’t use the stock filter for anything other than decoration.

A lot of us have the low cost Harbor Freight DC. It is also under 2HP, and moves less air than either of these. More air is better. But these aren’t good enough to be really safe, so you get to decide if you want it a bit more safe for the 3X cost difference or not. I’m saving up for a 4 or 5 HP DC with a properly designed cyclone. YMMV.

Whatever you select, upgrade the filter to at least MERV10 if it doesn’t come with one that good. Use a short piece of flex, or hard pipe with the biggest duct the unit you select can handle (with these, it’s probably 5”, which is expensive, and you may end up running 4”, and I’m not talking about the size of the inlet, but the airspeed you can get in a real situation), and only use wide sweep elbows or two 45s and a short piece of straight pipe, plus as short of a flex connection you can manage if you can’t reasonably hard pipe to the tool. Of course with hard pipe you need blast gates.

Do something. No DC is much, much worse than the HF with or without the filter upgrade.

View upwoodworker's profile


3 posts in 1021 days

#3 posted 04-08-2016 02:03 AM

Great advice so far. I do appreciate it. Can anyone else offer advice?

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1694 days

#4 posted 04-08-2016 02:19 AM

The cyclone is the chunk catcher. The filter is just that. The filter bag mentioned, a 0.5 micron is needed.

Keep your risers to a minimum. If possible a short straight horizontal run is needed.

Buy metal blast gates, the plastic ones don’t last.

Press on fittings hold until you start running at which point they fall off. Cut a X in the end of the fitting and use a clamp if you want it to hold.

Keep your blast gates on the DC end to keep from drawing from hoses.

Hard pipe is better thsn spiral tube. PVC does NOT accept the black plastic vacuum fittings.

Put in a 2-1/2” port for a cleanup hose.


-- Madmark -

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1161 days

#5 posted 04-08-2016 03:52 AM


What you consider most important features may differ from mine. I would to like to compare the fan performance curves (static pressure versus volume of air moved) of and the percent of material separated by these two units. Since I did not dig deep enough to find this additional information, I conclude both units are fairly similar and both would probably work about equally. Therefore, of the two, I would probably decide on the basis of setting-in-the-shop cost.

The Laguna has better filtration and offers a tried and true cyclone separator, although I suspect the short taper does not offer the rate of large particle separation that the long taper cyclones offer. The 18 gallon drum (which sounds quite small to me) means frequent emptying of a heavy steel drum, especially if a router, planer, or jointer is used. I assume Laguna offer their standard 1 year warranty.

The Powermatic offers more power and 75 gallons of dust collection capacity in a light weight bag. The added power could mean greater suction, but not necessarily. The cone separator is, as far as I know, is a Powermatic innovation. I am not sure their separator will perform as well as a cyclone – I simply do not know. It comes with a 5 year non-commercial warranty. The Powermatic unit will recycle larger dust particles back into the shop than the Laguna

If limited power due to a full load center, and not budget, is driving your decision, adding a sub panel located in the work shop could solve this problem and help with any future power tool decisions that may arise in the future. While either of the two dust collectors you are considering will help keep the shop cleaner, a 3 hp – 5 hp tall cyclone would perform better and, if equipped with high performance filters, could help protect your health. But going this route is fair amount more money and a subpanel would be required.

View OSU55's profile


2035 posts in 2231 days

#6 posted 04-08-2016 12:15 PM

Based on the mfr’s specs, the Laguna is slightly better for air movement, 1088 cfm 7,1" vs 1064 6”. Laguna 1 um vs 2 um rated filter. I suspect both will be close in the particle size that makes it to the filter, but it’s a guess. I have a 30 gal trash can with a thein separator in it, giving about 15-20 gal of useable volume, comparable to the Laguna 18 gal drum, and it’s not too bad to deal with. Haven’t compared filter sizes. I think I would opt for the Laguna.

In either case, without doing some work to your machines to improve DC, you will still have fine dust in the air and really need a respirator. For this reason I opted for the much cheaper HF DC with a Wynn filter (~$375 total). Yea, it doesn’t move as much air, but it moves enough to get the chips, and it’s not easy or cheap to modify machine DC to be completely effective. But…....I use 1 piece of 10 ft flex, no long piping. If you install runs of pipe, one of the 2 you selected would be a better choice.

View upwoodworker's profile


3 posts in 1021 days

#7 posted 04-10-2016 09:10 PM

Ordering this week. Any more advice?

View RogR's profile


113 posts in 1106 days

#8 posted 04-11-2016 05:45 AM

Its another step from your choices but I have been nothing but happy with my Grizzly GO440 for the several years I have owned it. It gets consistent use and has never missed a beat. The large filter area (and claimed 0.2-2µ rating) keep my shop air very clean regardless of tool in use.
I use 7” sheet metal hard pipe for the main trunk line and have never had a clog anywhere, ever.

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1393 days

#9 posted 04-11-2016 07:08 AM

My 2 cents, if those are your 2 choices I would go with the Laguna. BUT I would also get an air filter for the shop, DC is fine and of course the better the micron filter on it, less dust in the shop, but it is made for filtering out from the machine. I will give you my practical experience.
My shop is 15×15ft, in my basement, I have a 1100cfm Jet DC with a 30 micron bag, in the shop area, none of my machines except for the BS where designed for DC, I had to modify them for it except the BS and even the best DC on a BS by the nature of them is not great. My router table has behind the fence DC but not anything below. I have electric base board heat in it and live in WI, so the winter b4 this one was cold and long. I have 3, $16, 3 speed, 20 inch box fans hung from the ceiling with 2’’ pleated Merf 8 filters, $4.00, on them to move air, even on high they are quieter then my friends Jet air filter on low. After 6 months of wood working, and I am retired and do it 5 days a week, of course not machining constantly, I checked a horizontal sample area, hardly any dust on it.
It is not just about the dust, but also the wood, Walnut for me is the worst, a friend of mine makes Guitars, and they use a form of Cedar in them, he breaks out in a rash from the dust. My other friend with the Jet air filter can not work with Oak any more with out a a high end filter mask.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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