Cyclone vs bag dust collector

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Forum topic by Elksniffer posted 03-10-2009 10:42 PM 4933 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Elksniffer's profile


93 posts in 2816 days

03-10-2009 10:42 PM

I have a 900 sq ft shop with all the normal equipment except a dust collector. I was hoping to get some pros and cons of the cyclones compared to the bag collectors. They basically have similar performances but how about the ease of changing out bags/drums, noise, any difference in frequency of changing? How about the filter looking affairs vs the bags on air returned back into the shop, any prefernces? I plan on putting the duct work on the ceiling and also am curious about prefernces for metal pipe, pvc pipe, vs the hose setups. Any discussion would be appreciated. Cost is always a factor but I would like to it once and not re-engineer later to upgrade.

12 replies so far

View laflaone's profile


59 posts in 3100 days

#1 posted 03-11-2009 01:25 AM

Get the cyclone! Almost all the material goes into the cyclone collection drum before it gets to your filters. I would (and do) appreciate just emptying the cyclone drum rather than cleaning the filters.

-- "non illegitimis carborundum"

View Sean Benetin's profile

Sean Benetin

7 posts in 2783 days

#2 posted 03-11-2009 02:15 AM

Cyclones are good for large to mid sized particles and are the most efficient for most applications. Not god for fine dust generated from widebelt surface sanders. PVC is a definite NONO. Static charge build up can and will cause sparks and possible fires. Insurance may not cover a loss if you use PVC. If you use flex hose as the final jumper to machine either use the higher cost one with the copper coil in the casing or use a bare copper jumper from pipe to ground point on machine.

-- Fabricators of exquisite custom cabinetry and woodwork

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 2908 days

#3 posted 03-11-2009 02:23 AM

I have a Clearvue cyclone, hooked up with PVC pipe, and I love it. I use 6” pvc as close to the machines as I can go, then 4” to the actual machine.

There are no proven instances of any fires, flames, smoke or any other type of activity with a cyclone and pvc pipe. There is a static build-up, but mild.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 2821 days

#4 posted 03-11-2009 03:42 AM

If you have the money get a cyclone, and definitely use 6” pipe. The 6” pipe will definitely get all of the fines and you will have less dust in the shop. If you go with a DC make sure that you use a sperator (Thien type) and a good final filter that is cleanable, don’t use bags at all.

Good Luck.

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

View David Freed's profile

David Freed

105 posts in 3087 days

#5 posted 03-11-2009 03:42 AM

I have a ClearVue plumbed with 6” pvc. I have a terrible static problem to the extent that I have seen and even heard (over the running machinery) a spark jump from the pipe to me. I learned to stay away from the pipe to avoid that. As Padre said there has never been a fire attributed to pvc static. My ClearVue works fine with my widebelt. Lower quality cyclones may not do as well. If you decide to get a cyclone, seriously consider a Clearvue. I have run approximately 20 tons of sawdust through my cyclone with no noticable wear.

-- David, Southern Indiana

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3183 days

#6 posted 03-11-2009 04:52 AM

I never thought about it until now, but I could see how a ClearVue would have static problems being that it is made of plastic. I have a Penn State Industries, Tempest142 with metal ducting.

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3092 days

#7 posted 03-11-2009 06:13 AM

At 900 Sq/ft you might be entering the size where PVC can become an actual problem. Smaller home shop setups this issue is non existent because of density/size issues. Is this commercial or just a really nice large 1 man show?

View Sean Benetin's profile

Sean Benetin

7 posts in 2783 days

#8 posted 03-11-2009 08:18 AM

Learn something new every day. I didn’t realize a low volume set up was not an issue. My experience is in commercial setups only. Sorry for the misinformation.

-- Fabricators of exquisite custom cabinetry and woodwork

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3092 days

#9 posted 03-11-2009 04:54 PM


Yeah you can’t get a good dust/air ratio along with the right amount of static with a one man show, if you do some heavy searches you’ll only ever find reports from commercial shops.

Now its fine to warn people, because you don’t want them stepping up from home to commercial thinking everything is fine. Better they’re scared for future sake right?

View Elksniffer's profile


93 posts in 2816 days

#10 posted 03-11-2009 04:59 PM

Just a one man show in the high desert of SW Montana. Thanks for the input on cyclones. I have not researched the Clearvue but I will take a look. The Penn and Grizzly 1.5 and 2 hp units seem to have had my focus. Any specials currently available on those or other brands?

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3193 days

#11 posted 03-11-2009 05:16 PM

My shop is half your size and I still elected to put a cyclone system in. I highly recommed putting one of these units in. Check it out on my sight under blogs.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3092 days

#12 posted 03-11-2009 05:36 PM

For that size shop depending on your layout you might want to go with a 3 hp unit to keep everything moving.

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