Cyclone Dust Collectors

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Forum topic by Kahoy posted 08-18-2011 06:27 AM 7523 views 3 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 3252 days

08-18-2011 06:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collectors cyclones dust collector manufacturers

I’m finally ready to buy the dust collector/cyclone for my shop. I’ve looked at the Penn State Ind. product line and the Clearview products. I have 1200 sq/ft of space with 8-10 tools that will be connected to the system. My main branch line will be a 35’ run. I’m thinking about getting a 3.5 hp unit with about 1800 cfm capacity. I have allot of literature on dust collectors and it’s useful to get an understanding of the design of the systems. What I’m after is some feedback on your experience with system manufacturers, customer service, quality of the products you have experience with etc. Who do you recommend, what system did you buy and why did you get it etc. Thanks in advance for your help!

-- It's ok to get's not ok to get out of shape

15 replies so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3511 days

#1 posted 08-18-2011 06:47 AM

I have been using a 3 hp…220v Oneida-Air super dust gorilla for over 3 1/2 years and I love it. Their customer service is excellent. It has a Baldor motor that is rated as one of the best available and I will agree. I have it hooked up to a table saw, a 22” drum sander, a 15” planer, a miter saw dust collector, a downdraft table, bandsaw and a 4” flex hose for vacuming the shop floor. Most of my ductwork is metal and about 10% is pvc.
I also purchased 5 wireless remotes so I can keep them in nearby convenient locations. I recently added the dust sensor and it is a great convenience. It has a blue flashing led light that comes on when the drum is nearly full. For me this is great because my unit is located under my stairs and enclosed/soundproofed. I ran the sensor light to where it is visibli in the shop.
There are cheaper brands available but I believe in quality and you get what you pay for and I wanted one that would be depeendable for many years.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5177 posts in 2696 days

#2 posted 08-18-2011 02:50 PM

If you want the best separation your can get, none of them (IMHO) match the CV. I have an Oneida, and my experience is pretty much the opposite of Greg’s. I have most of the problems ironed out now except for the separation…the finest dust (mostly from my drum sander which sees a lot of use) winds up in the filter. To be sure, I get the roughly 99% they claim but that 1% that’s gets through is the finest particles. So I wind up cleaning my filter about twice per 55 gallon of chips. They are built like a tank, but the basic design does not follow the Pentz criteria and Oneida will tell you (or least they told me) that Pentz is way off base. Regardless, I’m hoping to replace mine with a CV someday but that is off in the future. BTW, a really good source of datd on DC is the Pentz site. Be sure to start with the FAQ section, otherwise there’s enough techno babble to give you a headache.

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

View adam77's profile


39 posts in 3680 days

#3 posted 08-18-2011 03:18 PM

I bought a clear vue about 8 months ago. I ran 6 inch pvc and used the CV 6 to two 4inch at the my drum sander table saw, and band saw. I dropped to 4 inch flex at my jointer and planer. After a month of heavy use i had about a tablespoon of dust in my cleanout. I looked at all the above units mentioned above as well as the grizzly and I chose the CV because of their cone design and separation efficiency. Im blown away by how weel it works.

The guys at clearvue are awesome they helped me with assembly and my duct set up. When you call one of the owners usaully picks up the phone. Big plus!

All of these units are extremely loud. I built a sound proof closet around my unit. Read all the message boards you can on dust collection!

View Manitario's profile


2687 posts in 3086 days

#4 posted 08-18-2011 03:40 PM

I bought a Clearvue a few months ago and I am currently in the process of setting it up, so I can’t tell you much about its actual performance in my shop yet, but I’ll share with you my decision process. I spent several months researching the different cyclone units from the companies you mentioned, as well as Grizzly and JDS. I calculated the static pressure at the end of my longest DC run (the new shop I’m setting up is 550sq ft) and aimed for a CFM of at least 700 there, which is the minimum you need for fine dust collection. I compared the cyclone performance curves (CFM at various static pressures) which are pretty good indicators of how the cyclone will perform in real life. The other issue was the size of the fine filter provided with the cyclone; a smaller filter will capture less fine dust than a larger filter, even if they are both rated the same ie. “capturing down to 1 micron etc.” If I recall correctly, Oneida has a small filter, compared to Penn State Ind. and CV. Impeller size, and the HP of the motor driving it has a lot to do with the performance curve of the cyclone, so having at least a 15” impeller with a higher HP cyclone was imperative. It came down to the Penn State Ind. 3.5 HP cyclone vs. the CV cyclone. Both had appropriate CFM at a static pressure of 9-10 which I calculated would be at the end of my longest run, both have large filters. In the end I picked the CV cyclone, because it has a higher HP motor, and simply, because it has the reputation of being the best. I also upgraded the filters it came with to ones that filter down to 0.3 microns. UPS damaged the cyclone unit on delivery and the customer service was incredible in dealing with them, and sending out another unit quickly.

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

View RZH's profile


73 posts in 3312 days

#5 posted 08-18-2011 05:04 PM

I have the Penn State 3.5 hp cyclone. I bought it used ($400) and had to buy the wall mount, nano filters, remotes, and a switch. This size of machine will easily fit your needs especially if you are using one machine at a time. My main branch is 6” with mostly 2-4” drops per machine. I used metal pipe from Home Depot with Aluminum tape also buy a pipe crimper to modify the tapers. I have no problem with colapsing pipe and it is alot cheaper than the other alternatives. Pipe costs add up fast. I also made a 30 gallon thein separator for the machines that generate fine dust and large quantity of chips (jointer). I built and installed a recycling system to clean out the filters without disconnecting them. I use a 25 gallon cardboard drum for collection that I bought locally (recycler of plastic and cardboard drums) and it works great. Buy an extra drum and cut the top and bottom off cut the length and slip inside your drum to hold your bag liner in place. This makes empting the drum much cleaner.
Very impressed how it works with the lathe which was the most difficult machine to contain. You’ll not regret upgrading to a big DC except maybe the electric bill.
Regardless your lungs will thank you for it.

-- Ron

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2878 days

#6 posted 08-18-2011 07:52 PM

The latest issue of Wood Magazine has an article on selecting a DC. The main thing I got from article was this: None of the units tested performed as well as the manufacturers had stated.

View rustynails's profile


802 posts in 2732 days

#7 posted 08-19-2011 04:23 AM

Rob / Manitario…I have heard all good things about the CV and the Penn State. I was just wondering how much of a price difference you were looking at between the two comparable units.


View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3435 days

#8 posted 08-19-2011 04:49 AM

If for no other reason than the Clear Vue is, well, clear, I would go for the Clear Vue. The cost between a 5HP Tempest, and a 5HP CV1800 with filters is a wash. The CV1800 has a better designed cyclone chamber. and I gotta admit. I would love just watching the stuff swirling in the cyclone…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Manitario's profile


2687 posts in 3086 days

#9 posted 08-19-2011 06:48 PM

Richard: the price seemed to be about the same for a CV vs. Penn State 3.5 HP; Penn State sells 5HP units, but from what I see on their website, the motor only comes in 3 phase, whereas the CV is single phase.

dbhost: I agree with the advantage of having a clear cyclone unit; there’s a youtube video of a guy who sucked a tape measure up through the cyclone, watching it swirl around in the cyclone is something that you can play over and over again.

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

View Kahoy's profile


6 posts in 3252 days

#10 posted 08-20-2011 06:26 AM

Thanks so much to everyone who commented, I really appreciate the information. I need to do more research on the CV and see how they stack up against the Onieda and Penn State. I only have up to 220V power so the 5hp-3 phase models are out of the question and I don’t want to deal with a converter.

One more question is on the noise level. Many of these collectors/cyclones advertize 75db noise levels, is that accurate or is it more like being behind an F-16 at take off? My collector will be in a seperate room that is insulated so I hope the noise level is in the 60db range behind an insulated wall/door. Any input is appreciated.


-- It's ok to get's not ok to get out of shape

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3940 days

#11 posted 08-20-2011 06:45 AM

I have a Clearvue cyclone with a single phase 5 HP motor. Been using it for many years. I installed a remote switch relay on it when new and it has worked very well. As others have stated, it collects the fine particulates and large chips without any problems. The 5 HP is important along with a well designed impeller.

Make sure you run 6” to each machine and reduce or add an extra outlet from the machine so as to get a 6” volume. This will insure full capacity of the collector. Also, do NOT use any tight bends and as little as possible flex hose.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5177 posts in 2696 days

#12 posted 08-20-2011 01:13 PM

I don’t have a dB meter, but I would think my Oneida is louder than 75 dB. In my case it doesn’t matter since some other tool is also running and I’m wearing ear protection anyway. That is a common comment about the CV: they seem to be a little louder but at these leverl I’m not sure it matters.

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

View Manitario's profile


2687 posts in 3086 days

#13 posted 08-20-2011 07:50 PM

Todd, the CV site has a separate forum where owners have posted questions/comments etc. It seems that the average db is in the mid 60’s range when the unit is built into a separate, insulated closet. I’ve also seen a youtube video that has similar results. I’m going to put mine in a sound proofed closet as well.

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

View montypa's profile


1 post in 2630 days

#14 posted 10-03-2011 06:49 PM

Bought the Penn State Tempest 3.5hp spring of this year. Unit is in the garage which is below the woodshop. Also had extra ceiling height so I can use a 55 gal cardboard drum. Ran a 6”PVC hdr the lenght of the garage and tapped off with 4” PVC up thru the floor to the machines. I have a Delta 3hp table saw and 3hp Delta shaper, Delta sanding station, General 15” planner, Powermatic 6” jointer,Jet 17” band saw all hooked up with seperate blast gates on 4’ lines. I dropped down to 2” PVC to run to a cut off saw and drill press also with seperate blast gates. There is a 4” line with blast gate that goes to a floor sweep. I also left a 2” line with blast gate attached to flex hose to use of portable tools. All lines are PVC and the PVC is wrapped with bare copper grounding wire which is grounded at the collector and at every machine. I have had no problems with the unit and would recommend it to friends. It has been in use since March 2011 and so far I have not needed to contact Penn State Industries for anything. I have yet to get any carry over into the filter pan even after I blew the filter down with a air lance. Plenty of suction on any tool I use. I usually only open the blast gate on the tool in use but I have had two 4” opened at the same time with no loss of performance. The test was the 15” planner, it use to make a mess with dust an chips everywhere now nothing makes it out of the machine. My glasses don’t even get coated with dust. Keep an eye on your collection barrel fills up fast when planning. I just signed up today for this blog because the comments were helpful to me when I was looking to buy my dust collector. Hopefully this will be helpful to someone else in the process. If I can figure out how to attach pictures I’ll be back.

View Woodwrestler's profile


56 posts in 2349 days

#15 posted 12-27-2012 08:09 PM

How are you still liking the Tempest. Looking at buying that one also.



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