Best Dust Collector for the money

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Forum topic by MBeck posted 12-15-2011 08:06 AM 5367 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MBeck's profile


28 posts in 2832 days

12-15-2011 08:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collector

Hey folks,
I may be in the market for a new dust collector soon, and I am wondering if anyone out there owns one of the new Vortex style of Dust Collectors. I know they run around $700 for the Jet.
I’m open for opinions also, if you know how to get a better machine/ better deal. I do really like the canister-style filters, too.
I can’t run a machine that goes over 15amps, and I can’t run 220V, so I’m limited as far as power draw goes.
I am especially open to hearing from those of you who already own this or something similar.
Thanks fellow LJ’s

32 replies so far

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3152 days

#1 posted 12-15-2011 08:27 AM

The Harbor Freight 2hp model + Wynn canister + a few other mods is a fairly cheap, effective, and popular option, especially if you don’t have 220v available.

Can you not swap your 15amp breaker with a 20amp?

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

View Blakep's profile


232 posts in 2944 days

#2 posted 12-15-2011 02:46 PM

Make sure you have adequate sized wire if you start changing breakers. If the wire is to small then the breaker is doing you no good and the wire can possibly melt and start a fire.

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3028 days

#3 posted 12-15-2011 04:38 PM

+1 on the HF. It is the best you will get for the money and it is pretty nice at that!

View TheDane's profile


5521 posts in 3805 days

#4 posted 12-15-2011 04:59 PM

You might want to take a look at what fellow LJ b2rtch did with his Harbor Freight DC:


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

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3056 days

#5 posted 12-15-2011 05:09 PM

For $700 you could buy THREE Harbor Freight DCs and have money left over to build separators for them as well.

Or buy ONE HF unit and a Wynn Environmental 35A for the HF DC unit and have only HALF of that $700 spent.

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

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3316 days

#6 posted 12-15-2011 05:32 PM

It’s pretty hard to beat the 2HP HF DC—particularly on sale—for the money, and you CAN improve its performance with a chip separator and the Wynn filter.

But … tests have put the Delta 50-760 as a better performer, all around, though … it’s also twice the price, as-is.

Good luck !

-- -- Neil

View MBeck's profile


28 posts in 2832 days

#7 posted 12-15-2011 05:36 PM

That’s a good idea. I checked out the HF site and I see the one you are talking about. It seems to have mostly positive reviews. I’m not an electrician, but I have a question. Is it possible to run two 15 amp tools at once? For example, I have a 3 1/4 HP router that draws 15 amps. Can the DC and the router be running at the same time, or is that going to flip the breaker every time? I only have one dedicated line to the shop, and both outlets run off of the same breaker.
Thanks for your feeback guys, loving it!

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3316 days

#8 posted 12-15-2011 05:38 PM

Ya’ gotta’ add up the amps. You’ll blow your 20A breaker, running the router with the DC.

For what it’s worth … if you HAVE the space in your panel, it’s not terribly hard/expensive to run a dedicated line (for the DC). May be worth looking into.

-- -- Neil

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3254 days

#9 posted 12-15-2011 08:51 PM

Over on the Thien forum there is a thread where somebody was trying to replace the impeller on an HF 2hp DC with the impeller from a Grizzly 1-1/2 hp DC. Pic is here:

Grizzly is on the left, HF on the right. The poster on that forum had installed the Grizz impeller, and found that the 2hp motor on the HF unit didn’t have the power to spin it.

Not saying anything, just found that interesting.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3113 days

#10 posted 12-15-2011 09:18 PM

Lifesaver2000: Those two impeller sets in the photo are designed to run in opposite directions. One may be designed to run at a different RPM as well. It would be entirely possible for those two units to both require a 2HP motor, but at different RPMs. Fan designs are extremely sensitive to design changes. The chances of the impeller from one fan working in another fan are between zero and none.

View MBeck's profile


28 posts in 2832 days

#11 posted 12-15-2011 09:23 PM

OK guys, good news! I checked the set-up and wiring going into the shop. The wire can handle a 30A breaker. I installed the breaker and it is working fine. So the power is not going to be an issue.
The research will continue as to the best DC. Money is not the biggest issue, but performance. I want something that really sucks, but won’t go over 15A so I can run other tools at the same time. However, if I can get it cheaper, I am always OK with that.
Awesome input from all, this is great!

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3254 days

#12 posted 12-15-2011 09:29 PM

Crank49: From what research I’ve done both DCs are rated at about the same RPM. Also, there was an engineer over there that said that the curvature of the impeller fins doesn’t mean that they run in opposite directions, but rather the design has to do with volume vs static vacuum. From what the person doing the changeover had said though, his HF unit never got the thing moving fast enough to find out.

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3254 days

#13 posted 12-15-2011 09:34 PM

MBeck: If you’re current wire is large enough to handle a 30 amp breaker, then it must be at least 10 ga wire. If you are going to change a breaker anyway, and there is a space available, you might want to consider running 240v via that 10 ga wire, then putting in some type of small sub panel. With 30a 240v, you would have power to run several items at once, and could easily run a table saw and dust collector at the same time.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3789 days

#14 posted 12-15-2011 09:38 PM

First figure out how far you want to pull the dust in your
pipes. Presumably you’ll just run one machine at a time.

There are two jobs collectors mostly do: (1) catch big chips
like from jointers, planers and shapers and (2) catch fine
dust from saws and sanders.

The simplest solution is a collector you wheel from machine
to machine with a flexible hose, but most collector designs
are awkward and top heavy so this is not such a fun solution,
especially in a cramped shop.

I used to run a 1.5 hp jet dust collector with a cyclone trash
can lid in dedicated operation for my jointer/planer, a 3HP
behemoth combination machine I no longer own. The dust
collection was right there beside the machine.

I had a very awkward indoor/outdoor shop at the time and
I had my table saw on an outdoor porch because it was the only
way I could both rip and crosscut the larger sheets I had
to work with for my pro work. I had a shop vacuum hooked
up to the table saw with a foot switch on the vac. Since table saws
mostly produce finer chips, the shop vac worked fine and since
the saw was noisy anyway, the added noise of the vacuum wasn’t
a big deal.

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2619 days

#15 posted 12-15-2011 10:12 PM

stay away from the harbor freight junk and get a real vortex it may cost more than the price you want to pay but its worth the difference. avoid the overrated hp rating of the HF it is simply not enough. I have the jet and it blows away the HF easily moving twice as much air.

-- Please check out my new stores and

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