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Laguna C|flex or P|Flex Cyclone -- Any Opinions?

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Forum topic by GeoffKatz posted 09-11-2016 05:51 PM 2072 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GeoffKatz

25 posts in 467 days


09-11-2016 05:51 PM

Hiya Jocks. I’m looking to upgrade my Harbor Freight DC with something beefier, and am targeting a 3HP unit. My preference is a cyclone for the better separation. Because I have low ceilings, I need a low profile unit.

I’ve been circling the Laguna C|Flex or P|Flex units which look great on paper, but I’m a little put off by the almost total lack of reviews or experience online. I can’t remember a major tool that had so little feedback available. I’m a little nervous—would I be the first person to buy one of these units?

In my searching, I’ve come across a few other low-profile machines, but all seem based on the same design (JDS and Jet). The Lagunas look like iterations on that design, with several improvements if their marketing can be believed. The pricing on all seems about the same.

Anyone have any thoughts—or better yet, anyone own these things? I know there is some concern out there about Laguna service, and while I don’t love the idea of rewarding a company that provides poor customer service, I’ve also never had to contact the maker for any of my tools, so I don’t know that it makes sense to weigh that too heavily. Thanks for reading.


28 replies so far

View Rentvent's profile

Rentvent

148 posts in 317 days


#1 posted 09-11-2016 06:13 PM

http://lagunacleanair.com/shop/

I think this line hasn’t been out very long which is why there aren’t very many reviews.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1965 posts in 1457 days


#2 posted 09-11-2016 07:27 PM

I think they look pretty good with reasonable sized impeller s and rated CFM much better than the HF.

It will be interesting to see how good the cyclone works as it is a bit short.

To me it looks like a good new alternative design. Hopefully, someone will get one and do the testing to see actual performance data versus the Laguna results.

The testing setup that Laguna shows looks very good and hopefully they will publish the data.

If I was in the market, I would consider the Laguna.

View GeoffKatz's profile

GeoffKatz

25 posts in 467 days


#3 posted 09-11-2016 07:43 PM

Thanks guys. I didn’t realize how new this lineup was. As far as the short cyclone, I don’t think I have much choice as I only have 85” clearance, and I can’t build into the ceiling. This throws out all the Oneida, ClearVue, and Grizzly offerings. For my ceiling height it really comes down to a shortened cyclone design like these, vs a dual canister 3HP which doesn’t seem as efficient, although they are much cheaper.

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

822 posts in 388 days


#4 posted 09-12-2016 01:08 AM

GeoffKatz,

You mentioned that you found no Oneida product that fits under the ceiling of the workshop. When I was researching cyclone dust collectors, I ran across a pair of Oneida Cyclone Dust Collectors that are 77” tall with a 35 gallon dust bin. The Oneida SMART Portable cyclone dust collector is about $1000 more than the Laguna, but it features a number of included accessories (and can be connected to portable power tools like the router, as I understand their description). It also features a long tapered cyclone funnel. Since I am not an air engineer I cannot say for sure, but my feeling is that the longer the taper and smaller the funnel opening to the dust bin, the better the separation. In the end, not constrained by the height restrictions you have, I selected the Clear Vue, although I did briefly give the Oneida’s SMART Portable collector some serious thought.

I was unable to successfully post a link to the Oneida Site. By selecting Dust Collectors on the Oneida web site, then selecting Premium Systems, and then clicking on SMART Portable, you should find the 2hp and 3 hp SMART Dust Collectors.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2281 days


#5 posted 09-12-2016 03:24 AM

It looks good. Probably comparable to the 3hp Jet, which gets good reviews. The Laguna has a different canister lift, but there are more similarities than differences.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View GeoffKatz's profile

GeoffKatz

25 posts in 467 days


#6 posted 09-12-2016 12:53 PM

JBrow—I can talk myself into a lot of things, but $3,500 for a dust collector is just too rich for my blood. Not sure how they are getting the number that high based on the specs and materials.

Yeah, I think the Laguna looks pretty good too—and with Rockler doing a sale on them at this very moment, I pulled the trigger on the P|Flux 3hp. I’m not particularly experienced compared to most on this forum, but I may try posting some setup and first impressions here once I set it up.

The period between ordering a tool and receiving the tool—pure pain.

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JBrow

822 posts in 388 days


#7 posted 09-12-2016 03:32 PM

GeoffKatz,

I agree and I doubt the Oneida SMART Portable dust collectors are flying out the door at that price. For that same $3500 I managed to upgrade to the Clear Vue and install all of the duct work. Even so, I thought I would mention that unit since you indicated that Oneida offered nothing that would fit your space. By the way, if memory serves me, that same Oneida unit was about $600 or so less money about a year ago.

View limelight's profile

limelight

15 posts in 95 days


#8 posted 09-12-2016 04:24 PM

ToolMetrix (who did the youtube reviews for the 14bx bandsaw) recently published this “preview” video of the comparison of the new C|Flux vs the older Laguna model.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzamI0RJwa0

It also looks like they have the P|Flux (HEPA) in their shop as well.

View GeoffKatz's profile

GeoffKatz

25 posts in 467 days


#9 posted 09-12-2016 04:47 PM

Yeah, I saw that Toolmetrix video, and he actually gave me a sneak preview of their upcoming testing on the P|Flex in the video comments there, if anyone is interested. I probably should have waited for it to be published, but I tend not to be too patient once I decide a tool is for me.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2402 posts in 2351 days


#10 posted 09-12-2016 04:55 PM

This is a nice looking cyclone and I like that it has a built in warning light for bin level. However, the basic design isn’t great, ie. there is virtually no separation b/t the cyclone and the DC bin. The only advantage to a cyclone unit is the cyclone provides better separation of dust from the air stream, which should keep the filter relatively clean. When there is minimal separation b/t the cyclone and the bin though, a lot of the dust still gets pushed into the filter. When coupled with the relatively small filter area (109sqft on this machine) I think you’ll find that this machine overall is not very efficient, ie. the filter will get quickly caked with dust and lose efficiency due to the cyclone design and filter size.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View GeoffKatz's profile

GeoffKatz

25 posts in 467 days


#11 posted 09-12-2016 05:31 PM

Manitario—I think you are almost certainly right, but if you don’t have the ceiling height to support a properly-sized cyclone, the decision then becomes between a single stage and a compromised machine like this. I have to think that’s why they include an automated filter cleaning mechanism, which others have noted likely isn’t essential in a more efficient machine. Since I’m only looking at machines under 85” in total height, this seemed the best of imperfect options.

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Manitario

2402 posts in 2351 days


#12 posted 09-12-2016 06:09 PM

yeah, 85” is not a lot of room to play with. I wonder if you got a high powered single stage collector and ran it through a separate cyclone with an attached dust bin acting like a pre-separator eg.
http://www.oneida-air.com/inventoryD.asp?item_no=SSX090000&CatId={AF788678-CC99-4A98-A11A-D46574885567}

That would give you good separation of dust from the air stream, but would still fit under your ceiling.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View GeoffKatz's profile

GeoffKatz

25 posts in 467 days


#13 posted 09-12-2016 06:49 PM

I considered that—I run my HF unit as a rough two stage with a trash-can separator now, but since I wanted 3HP it looked like most units were dual-canister and so very wide already, and I don’t have that much floor space to spare. I imagine it would be 5ft or more of horizontal space to accommodate a dual-canister machine and a large stand alone cyclone. And I believe the cyclone would have to be so large that I’d likely hit a limit with my dustbin clearance in any case.

View Rob_s's profile

Rob_s

72 posts in 90 days


#14 posted 09-12-2016 07:20 PM

I assume you’ve seen this vid?
https://youtu.be/_8VTuH_WQ_s

View smitdog's profile

smitdog

229 posts in 1573 days


#15 posted 09-12-2016 07:28 PM

I bet your increase in HP will more than cover any inefficiency in your new unit and I’m curious to find out how you like the Laguna once you have been using it for a while. Sounds like you’ve really done your homework on the options available and are getting the best bang for your buck given your specific needs. Looks like a sweet setup and I think you nailed the implementation of the self-cleaning feature, they planned on more dust making it to the filter. I look forward to your review post :)

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

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