Cyclone vs Canister Dust Collector

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Forum topic by Blakep posted 02-14-2011 06:18 PM 4810 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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232 posts in 2800 days

02-14-2011 06:18 PM

Ok guys im not ready to purchase yet, i’m just in the planning stages and wanted your advice and opinions. I like the Grizzly G0548Z 2hp Canister Dust collector but I don’t know a whole lot about them. I understand the way that the cyclone works in seperating the large particles but was wondering what the need for seperation is. The canister is about half the price of a 2hp cyclone and am just wondering if the extra cost of a cyclone is worth it. Thanks in advance for all of your advice.

9 replies so far

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3540 days

#1 posted 02-14-2011 06:26 PM

The need for separation is to prevent any bigger particles from going through the blower, which could possibly damage it. Cyclones are also more efficient with longer duct work. I definitely think the extra cost is worth it but if you’re a hobbyist then it might not be that important to you as the canister type will still do a good job, just not the best…

-- Childress Woodworks

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519 posts in 3013 days

#2 posted 02-14-2011 06:30 PM

You can put a larger drum under a cyclone, but the size is only important when you have to empty it. They do get heavy. The type of DC depends mostly on your needs, shop size, what tools, money, and do you want to collect all the fine dust floating around in the shop. Remember good dust collection starts at the machine.

View Blakep's profile


232 posts in 2800 days

#3 posted 02-14-2011 06:39 PM

Thanks for the replys guys. I don’t want to spent the extra on the cyclone but I also don’t want to buy the canister and have it tear up because of large particles coming through the blower. It will have a table saw, miter saw, bandsaw, spindle and belt sander, planner, router table, and hopefully a jointer hooked to it. What are your thoughts on getting the canister and doing a homemade cyclone type thing with a drum?

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4816 posts in 3172 days

#4 posted 02-14-2011 06:42 PM

Works for me !

From Wood_Shop

-- -- Neil

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519 posts in 3013 days

#5 posted 02-14-2011 06:47 PM

A home made cyclone is a good idea if you have the time to build it. Thiens forum has a guy (can’t remember his name right now) that built a separator that sits on top of a 30 gallon garbage can and it works pretty good. Watch his videos. CharlesL has a great set up with a Delta unit that’s pretty self contained. I see Neil has shown you his, he tells me it handles the dust.

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5710 posts in 3230 days

#6 posted 02-14-2011 06:49 PM

The need for separation is to slow down the process of the filter media, either canister or bag, getting clogged with dust cake, and thus keeping suction up. A shop built cyclone, either true conic style, or a Thien type cyclone can be made fairly inexpensively. I use a Thien cyclone with mine and am very happy with the results.

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View brtech's profile


1029 posts in 2920 days

#7 posted 02-14-2011 08:53 PM

I am a Thein fan also. It improves the efficiency of separation of the larger dust and chip particles from the filter.

A properly defined cyclone is more efficient than a Thein baffle. “Properly designed” is hard. Read Bill Penz’ site. Most cyclones are not properly designed. A Thein baffle is much easier to get right in a DIY construction. I particularly like building in the baffle within the DC rather than having it before the DC.

BTW, all the filter guys tell you that their spec is based on a build up of dust inside the filter. A brandy new, shiny clean filter doesn’t work as well as one with a dust coating.

If cost is important, consider the HF 2HP DC with a Wynn Engineering canister filter (.5 micron). The HF can be had for $139 with a coupon, and you can get the basic Wynn 35A for under $100. The Griz looks an awful lot like the HF with a better filter, but I don’t know if it really is the same.

View Kelly's profile


2025 posts in 2942 days

#8 posted 11-09-2013 02:29 PM

I have three cyclones. The first I bought was a Dust Deputy for my shop vac. It was a gamble, but I had to do something about my filters clogging too quickly on my sixteen gallon vac (fine saw dust, sheet rock dust, etc.).

After using the Dust Deputy, I found I no longer needed a large, powerful vac and dropped down to a Ridge 2-1/2 gal rated at about 5 horse (uh, yeah). It worked better than the large unit because vacuum levels remained high, due to longer clean filter times. Too, since it did trap around 95% of the dust, I didn’t need the larger can on the vac.

The Deputy worked so well, I bought a three horse (Onieda Gorilla) for the shop. It, essentially, turned it into a dust free zone. They even work well for vacuuming the floor (with a six inch pipe.

I just retired and am converting my shop to a hobby, woodworking shop. The three horse is too much, because it is not designed to be turned on and off several times a day. So I dropped back to smaller units. Currently, I have to and will, eventually, have three. They are canister types, so I’m putting cyclones (Super Dust Deputy) in front of the intakes. Like the others, it takes out most airborne chips and dust before the filters. No less important is, screws and the occasional tool no longer go through the impellers.

Cyclones-wouldn’t run a wood shop or dry wall business without them.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2491 days

#9 posted 11-09-2013 03:59 PM

>>>>>The need for separation is to slow down the process of the filter media, either canister or bag, getting clogged with dust cake, and thus keeping suction up.

That is it in a nutshell. There are plenty of other advantages as well, like the stuff not going across the impeller; that allows the impeller of a cyclone to be designed for much better air flow, like swept back wings and of lighter materials. There’s also the ease of emptying a dust bin versus a bag under a single stage. Byt they have drawbacks: cyclones are a huge drag on the sir flow of a system, so comparable CFM with a cyclone usually requires a larger impeller/motor combo. There’s also the cost (if you purchase it), than can be quite a bit more expensive than a single stage. A single stage can (and does) do a very good job if it’s sized properly and has adequate ductwork. So if cost forces you into a SS, don’t fret…they can be good. But if you can get a cyclone you will be glad to have it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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