New HF Dust collector

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Forum topic by Mike_C posted 08-11-2010 09:30 PM 4305 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 3045 days

08-11-2010 09:30 PM

Been eyeing the infamous HF dust collector for a while and was going to pick one up soon, then they come out with this one
Opinions? Worth the extra $? Will I wind up being the first tester or is the smaller one perfectly good for a home shop?

15 replies so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3123 days

#1 posted 08-11-2010 10:45 PM

Mike: I have the 2hp HF DC and it does just fine. Does your shop have enough room for a DC this big? Looks like it takes a lot.

-- Life is good.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3170 days

#2 posted 08-11-2010 11:15 PM

I just bought the 2 hp model last week, put it together this weekend. I can say, from a manufacturing engineer’s perspective that the HF is exactly the same collector as one of the JDL models at Woodcrafters and Grizzly, and probably several other “manufacturers” 2hp models. I mean, the same screws, the same motor, the same bag clamps, same casters, same rivetted fan impeller, everything I could identify on the HF after putting it together is the same stuff as the other guys. Only difference is $140 vs $280 to $400 and the paint job. Based on my experience, the 3hp model is probably the same as someone elses $500 to $700 machine, but that’s just my opinion. For my use I would rather have the 2hp machine because it’s plenty of air for a 4” and a 2 1/2” connection running at the same time and that’s all I need. Also, I plan to use the money I saved to upgrade to a 0.5 micron cartridge instead of a 5 micron bag and to put one of those 30 gallon trash can separators in front of the collector to catch the big chips and blocks before they go through the fan.

View Mike_C's profile


6 posts in 3045 days

#3 posted 08-11-2010 11:24 PM

Thanks, I think I’ll go for the smaller DC. I have that typical problem of “for just a little more money I can get how many more HP?”

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3114 days

#4 posted 08-12-2010 07:51 PM

At the price of the 3hp model ($359.99)you could have two 2hp DCs ($179.99×2 = $359.98 a penny cheaper no less!). Just a thought…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View TheDane's profile


5546 posts in 3863 days

#5 posted 08-12-2010 09:14 PM

You probably noticed this (or maybe it doesn’t matter), but HF’s 3HP DC won’t run on 110vac … it looks like it requires a 220vac service.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3210 days

#6 posted 08-12-2010 11:10 PM

Quick question on the HF DC – where can I get the collection (bottom) bags? Or can I substitute some other plastic bag (what size?)? Mine didn’t come with any of the plastic bags.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View dmorrison's profile


151 posts in 3461 days

#7 posted 08-12-2010 11:23 PM

For the lower bag don’t waste money on specialty bags. I use 55 gallon drum garbage bags inside the lower fabric bag. When full just tie it off and throw it out, or recycle it if you desire. I have a 2 bag 3HP unit from Transpower. It does require 220V and a 25 amp CB. I put mine on a 30Amp CB. The advantage of the 3HP unit is it can easily connect to a duct system for your shop. It will have the CU FT per minute required when ducting your shop. Since it won’t cost you extra. Consider buying the 2HP unit. IF you need more then buy the second one.


View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3210 days

#8 posted 08-12-2010 11:39 PM

Dave, I’m confused. Lower fabric bag? How many fabric bags was the DC supposed to come with?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11063 posts in 3628 days

#9 posted 08-13-2010 03:07 PM

The 2 hp HF model serves my shop very well. Be sure to put in a separator before the impeller.

Mine came with two fabric bags. Upper and lower. Possibly, the newer ones have a plastic lower bag, as it doesn’t need to breathe.

To save space, I vented mine to the outside (we live in a very rural area) and re purposed the bags, one is a cover for a band saw ant the other is held under my jointer with magnets.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View knotscott's profile


8146 posts in 3575 days

#10 posted 08-13-2010 03:53 PM

Crank49 – I was under the impression that the “2hp” HF unit has a smaller impeller than the Griz (and others)...10-3/4” vs 12”, and thus has somewhat lower CFM. I’ve also read where the HF “2hp” motor was measured to be closer to 1-1/2hp…as evidenced by the fact that it runs on most 120v circuits. The Griz 2hp nominally draws 24-26 amps will barely even run on most 120v circuits without tripping the breaker, and more realistically requires 220v. Tests from Bill Pentz and others have shown the HF to move less air than many of the other 2hp units from Jet, Delta, Griz, Penn, etc. That’s not to say the HF unit isn’t suitable for many situations, but I’ve seen many indications that it’s not identical to other more expensive units…or at least wasn’t identical. It’s possible that some evolutionary changes have occurred to the HF unit and it’s competition….

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3746 days

#11 posted 08-13-2010 04:17 PM

we were all set to purchase one of the HF 2 hp dust collectors based on all the good reviews, then a couple days ago we picked up a “like new” 2hp grizzly for 100.00 on CL. But I am sure the units are all comparable.

-- .

View dmorrison's profile


151 posts in 3461 days

#12 posted 08-13-2010 07:33 PM

Live4ever said

“Dave, I’m confused. Lower fabric bag? How many fabric bags was the DC supposed to come with?”

The unit I have is a 2 bag, one upper and one lower, Dust collector with a 3HP motor and a 12” impeller.
Usually 3HP units come with 4 bags as the new Harbor Freight unit does. This is to allow more filtration material for the large CFM airflow that the 3hp/impeller combination can produce. The more filtering square feet of material you have the more CFM of air that can be processed. A large CFM impeller with a small filtering bag will soon clog the filtering material, the bag, and be very ineffective. Both the upper and lower bags do filter the airflow. But the lower bag clogs up first as all the material drops to the lower bag and accumulates there.
So I’m loosing some filtering by lining the lower bag with a plastic bag, but I replaced the cheap upper bag with a tall 1 micron felt bag with allows more CFM movement through it.


View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 3191 days

#13 posted 08-13-2010 09:32 PM

I have the smaller HF unit and it works just fine for my small garage shop. One of the inlets goes to my tablesaw and the other gets swapped around between my planer, jointer and a 4” PVC pipe that runs over to the other side of the shop where I have a sander, RAS, miter saw, etc. I picked it up when they had it on sale for $139 (I think) and have been very happy with it.

Regarding the similarities between it and other units, they do look identical in my opinion, but as knotscot pointed out there may be some mechanical differences. It meets my needs quite nicely. As far as the bags, you can probably just use the 55gal contractor bags as someone else suggested, but the only problem with that is you won’t be able to see through the bag to tell when it needs to be emptied.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3170 days

#14 posted 08-30-2010 08:12 AM

Regarding the differences between the HF and Grizzly, I can’t say for sure because I don’t have a Grizzly to study. I did carefully compare the HF to one of those blue collectors at Woodcraft and the HF unit I bought and have in my shop is identical to the one at Woodcraft, except for the color.. I can (and did) buy bags at Woodcraft for my HF collector because they are the same machine. All the parts, including the impeller in the fan are the same. Of course, HF sells some stuff cheap and they also sell some cheap stuff. The one I got might have been purchased as a production over run or something. I wouldn’t expect to go to HF in 6 months and be able to find the same machine. I did buy the 2 yr replacement warranty. If I have a problem, they will give me a new collector.

I will agree that they are probably dreaming when they say it’s a 2 hp. Just like the Dewalt, Ridgid, Porter Cable, etc. portable table saws are not 4 hp, the Ridgid wet/dry 16 gallon shop vac is not 5.65 hp. Most all tools have exagerated horsepower claims. They sometimes say “peak HP”, another meaningless term.

The bottom line is 2 HP = 1490 watts and 1490 watts divided by 115 volts = 13 amps. Both amps and watts will be increased inversely proportional to the effeciency of the motor. So a 2 HP motor that’s 90% efficient will draw 1654 watts, requiring a 14.4 amps. You also have to allow for starting surge thats often 3 or 4 times the running load.

These dust collectors also have exaggerated CFM claims as well. One “manufacturer” might claim 1400 CFM and another company selling the same machine with a different paint color might claim 800 CFM. Neither specification means anything without the pressure rating that goes with the volume rating. You might blow 1400 CFM while overloading the motor with 0” pressure or 100 CFM with 12” pressure on the same fan and motor.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3260 days

#15 posted 08-30-2010 06:54 PM

most popular brands provided no where near the advertising claims for horsepower, CFM, and filtering. Moreover, most of the standard 4” diameter hobbyist industry ducting that we buy, provides poor efficiency and fails to move enough air.

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