Central Machinery 2HP Dust Collector

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Forum topic by Garyb6 posted 02-20-2009 02:57 PM 7207 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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306 posts in 3628 days

02-20-2009 02:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collection central machinery

Has anyone bought this recently? I received a Harbour Freight flyer yesterday and it is on sale for $180. Normally $250. There is only one entry in the review section for this so I thought I would ask for other input. Is it worth it? I buy cheap throw away hand tools at HF sometimes but have never bought anything of substance from them. Thanks,


-- Garyb6, “True simplicity does not reveal the tremendous effort it requires.” - Somerset Maugham

20 replies so far

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4244 days

#1 posted 02-20-2009 04:03 PM

I’ve bought a 3 hp router and a 6” planer from them and have had good luck with both. I’ve had both about 3 yrs. However, I am not in the WW business and both get occasional use. I did use the router, or I should say my son and I used the router to finish the inside of our house. Trim windows, doors, baseboard, etc. and its still running strong. Others wouldn’t give 2 cents for their stuff. I suppose if you are going to use it to make a living I’d go with a name brand. Just my opinion.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4398 days

#2 posted 02-20-2009 04:16 PM

Their’s not much in a DC. A motor and an impeller. So I can imagine that not much can go wrong. I also buy stuff at HF. I’ve get quite a few of their air brad and pin nailers. If you are olny going to use them a few times a year. Maximize the money. But I’ve never used HF DC. Sorry

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3725 days

#3 posted 02-20-2009 04:31 PM

I don’t have direct experience with the product, but my general opinion is that companies are all trying to sell their products and can’t unreasonably mark them up. If you are getting something for a whole lot cheaper than the rest of the competition, they probably cut some corners. Those could be in things you will notice during use like engineering, material quality, or fit and finish. They could be in things that you may never see directly but that are still a consideration like hiring employees at sweatshop wages, removing safety measures for employees, or utilizing environmentally unfreindly methods. The question ussually comes down to what you are willing to sacrifice and to decide if that is satisfactory to you.

(also, before anyone jumps on my back, I’m not saying harbor freight is evil. I don’t know if they are or not. I’m just saying that reduced cost, always comes at some price.)

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3758 days

#4 posted 02-20-2009 04:36 PM


Have you considered the electrical requirements. A 2 HP motor will not run on a 120V, 15 amp circuit. Even 20 amps will be very marginal. The alternative is to wire for 240V, assuming that your motor can be connected for 240.

If your garage shop is attached to the house, a 2HP DC may generate more noise than other family members can tolerate. Basically, the more HP & cfm – the higher the noise level. If your neighbors are far enough away you might want to consider an outside enclosure for the DC.

The purpose of a DC is of course to help keep the shop (and the rest of the house ) clean, but more importantly to protect your lungs. Cheap DC’s usually have dust bags the only filter down to 30 microns – very unsatisfactory – you need 5 microns or less.

For the smaller one person garage shop, 2HP is overkill, as is 4” or 6” ductwork. A smaller portable DC with 3” piping or 2 1/2” flex hoses is adequate.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3761 days

#5 posted 02-20-2009 04:50 PM

I’d have to disagree that 4” and or 6” ductwork is overkill in a small shop. It not the size of the shop that neccessarily determines what you need for duct size and CFM, it’s the machines. Tablesaws, jointers, planers, etc need good CFM. I wouldn’t go lower than 4” for a portable system, 6” is usually used on main runs for a central DC that has ductwork.

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 3399 days

#6 posted 02-20-2009 04:57 PM

The HF is a good deal as I know a few people that have it, it is one of their gems, but it comes with caveats.
FWW magazine did a review and gave it a good one , but they said that the motor is under powered and actually a 1 1/2 hp., but it should stiil work well for single machines. Add a better filter, and seperator. The seperator is needed because the impellers are thin and can get destroyed if any thick wood passes through them.

Good Luck.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

View modestmouser's profile


42 posts in 3545 days

#7 posted 02-20-2009 05:02 PM

ok ok ok. i’ve got this dust collector and it is SUPER STRONG. it gets cheaper though. with their frequent 20/25% off coupons, and their sales at $180, this thing can be had for $135 new. here’s a few things to know about it….

1)some have reported that the switch breaks prematurely. mine’s on a switched outlet so i don’t care.
2)2hp rating is a little inflated. it’s still super strong. humonguous motor on it.
3)impeller’s almost 10” in diameter, though there is room for a larger impeller in the housing. it’s my understanding that other brands use a larger impeller instead. a fellow on woodnet is sending me a spare 12” impeller he’s got and I am going to upgrade mine with it.
4)the bag ring is supported by three pipes that come up from the base. it’s got a handle on it because it’s intended to be pushed/pulled around. these three pipes may break where they butt up against the base… i bought mine used and noticed afterwards that they were all broken.
5)the sound isn’t bad at all.
6)i wall-mounted mine and it is fantastic.
7)i think some may have reported that it’s worth it to pay grizzly an extra $40 or so to upgrade the collection bags on this unit. if $180 sounds like an attractive deal to you, then after using a coupon at HF, you’ve still got room in your budget to upgrade the bags should you desire.
8)the base is a little flimsy… so i’m not using mine.

Wall-mounted HF 2hp dust collector

broken flanges

swingset chain

View Charles Mullins's profile

Charles Mullins

94 posts in 3709 days

#8 posted 02-20-2009 05:11 PM

Yes, I’ve got one and it is adequate for most applications. My brother also has one and installed duct work to almost all his tools. It seems to work OK.

I’m building a cyclone and I’m going to use parts of the HF dust cleaner in it so I’m still on top as far as money goes.

And yes the switch does have a problem. Mine filled with dust and wouldn’t work. I cleaned ot and installed it on a $20.00 Sears slave switch. Works good now!

Charlie Mullins

-- God makes the wood beautiful--I simply rearrange it to make it more useful, hopefully.

View MyOldGarage's profile


93 posts in 3425 days

#9 posted 02-20-2009 05:15 PM

I like that mounting—but I’m hoping to still keep mine mobile. I’ve bought other stuff at HF and you do get what you pay for, but if it works for you, that’s all that matters. I just bought a Grizzly 1 1/2 hp model for $150 used, so I have budget room to get a good air filter (getting a local quote now) and a cyclone system.

-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO -

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3751 days

#10 posted 02-20-2009 05:24 PM

I have had mine for over a year now. It works well and has met my expectations of it. Will it suck a golf ball though a water hose no. But it will grab your saw dust from your tools. The bags are only 30 micron so an upgrade is in order if you are interested in protecting your lungs from the small stuff.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3758 days

#11 posted 02-20-2009 06:09 PM

Woodchuck and i usually have our friendly disagreements on this subject; At least he is not taking exception to my comments on electrical requirements, noise, and the filtering capability.

I don’t know Gary’s situation, but garage shops impose some tough restrictions other than the electrical, noise, and filtering mentioned above. Many of us in garage shops can’t devote the entire garage space to be an exclusive woodworking shop. Quite often there is a need to be able to get a vehicle in there. Tools must be smaller and on mobile bases. Typically the table saw is moved out of the way when the jointer or planer needs to occupy center stage. In my 250 sq ft of space the dust collector is no exception, it must also be compact and mobile. Another consideration is the fact that a garage shop usually has only one wall along it’s length. Mounted duct work takes up valuable storage space. Thanks to the garage door’s overhead mechanism, ceiling mounted ductwork is problematic.

For more than 27 years I have successfully used a smaller HP portable dust collector with 2 1/2” hoses. It can suck up virtually every spec of dust and chips from my 12” planer and every other tool in my shop. It filters down to 30 microns and only occupies 3.8 sq ft on it’s mobile base. It is my opinion that a 2 HP dust collector is better used in the larger professional type shop where heavy machinery is usually left in place.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3989 days

#12 posted 02-20-2009 08:50 PM

I have one and have been happy with it, plenty of suction, no issues with the switch (unlike the one on my Jet jointer) and that’s about it really :)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3649 days

#13 posted 02-20-2009 08:53 PM

I’m trying to figure what I will do in my small shop. This has been one of the most enlightening threads on an HF DC that I’ve read. Thanks Jocks.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View modestmouser's profile


42 posts in 3545 days

#14 posted 02-20-2009 09:02 PM

oh i forgot to add one thing about the bag-ring support pipes breaking where they meet the flange. numerous other name brands use the same design… including shopfox/grizzly, jet, etc…. so i wouldn’t be surprised if they had similar problems, but i’ve no knowledge of anyone other than me having these break on any dust collector.

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3761 days

#15 posted 02-20-2009 09:06 PM

8iowa, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that everyone has to have a humungus DC. If your a one man shop, which most of us are, thats means one machine at a time, I would think that anything around atleast 800 CFM would be enough for most tools, and once again, no less than 4” duct or hose. If you want to reduce, do it at the machine. What DC machine has a 2 1/2” inlet ?

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