Separator Vs Cyclone

  • Advertise with us

« back to Safety in the Woodworking Shop forum

Forum topic by Big Ben posted 08-08-2011 03:05 AM 3063 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Big Ben's profile

Big Ben

87 posts in 3064 days

08-08-2011 03:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cyclone fine dust dust extraction dust collector separator

what is the performance/functional difference cyclone and DC with a separator?

9 replies so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3191 days

#1 posted 08-08-2011 03:22 AM

Cyclone wins hands down provided it is as big as the DC with separator.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Big Ben's profile

Big Ben

87 posts in 3064 days

#2 posted 08-08-2011 03:24 AM


Why though?

View widwotkma's profile


40 posts in 2565 days

#3 posted 11-21-2011 04:07 AM

I’m by no means an expert in this area, but did do quite a bit of web research before deciding on a cyclone. But here is an article that may be helpful, if you’re still interested.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3087 days

#4 posted 11-21-2011 05:18 AM

To make it simple: ... $$$$$, that is the difference. You can make/build a separator much cheaper than a cyclone.

Here is my ugly but high performing separator:

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

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3734 days

#5 posted 11-21-2011 06:46 AM

“Cyclone wins hands down provided it is as big as the DC with separator.”

I think Phil Thien would dispute that statement

-- Joe

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 3107 days

#6 posted 11-21-2011 08:02 AM

fine woodworking has a comparison on the yearly issue.
They conducted mesurments and the cyclone was ahead of Dc + separator.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Michael J's profile

Michael J

103 posts in 3381 days

#7 posted 11-21-2011 08:36 AM

I’ve never had an opportunity to use a cyclone, but I did a lot of research before deciding on building my separator. I decided to use a separator with a Thien baffle and it works great. Phil Thien provided a lot of technical details on the performance. I believe it is much improved over just a standard bare bones separator. Just something to think about. I have a link to my version which cost me a grand total of $150 including the Harbor Freight DC.

-- Mike Minneapolis, MN

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3822 days

#8 posted 11-21-2011 08:40 AM

(larger) Cyclones have a larger impeller compared to 1 stage DC which just makes them more efficient at moving air in larger setups.

If you want to setup a stationary DC and duct all your machines and keep them open (or not) a cyclone would handle that much easier than even a 2HP DC. If you are moving it from machine to machine – you’ll see no real difference.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3087 days

#9 posted 11-21-2011 05:34 PM

^Absolutely^ for PurpLev’s 2nd paragraph.

Alone in my one-man shop I just move a 4in hose from my HF-DC w/separator between my Jointer, Router, TS, BS, and Planer on an as needed basis. I can reach all but the planer with a single 10ft section/length of 4in. I do NOT have to worry about clogs in any dedicated hard/permanent runs and with each piece of machinery running as the sole source for the DC/separator, I get plenty of suction and high efficiency. BTW, I am also somewhat lazy about sweeping and will often use the DC hose as a large vacuum on the concrete floor. Lastly, I have a dedicated shop-vac w/separator for my MS.

As Joe points out size for size Cyclones are better, it just boils down to how much you are willing to spend on your DC system. Building a separator is easy and cheap. It will get you up and running in short order. You could always add the cyclone later, as needed IMO.

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics