Disappointment with JET DC-650A 1 Horsepower Dust Collector

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Review by Don Newton posted 01-18-2010 12:47 AM 28722 views 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Disappointment with JET DC-650A 1 Horsepower Dust Collector No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Fellow Jocks,

After 25 years of injesting sawdust, a very foolish thing to do, a few months ago I took the plunge and purchased a Jet Dust Collector and AFS-400 Air Filtration System. The Air Filtration System works as it should, but in my opinion the Dust Collector has some design flaws that make me sorry I purchased it.
The dust collector is small but should be adequate for my needs. My workshop is in my basement so space is critical and portability is desirable. The Jet DC-650A seemed to fit the bill. I paid full price for this at Woodcraft as what ever tool I need is never on sale (Except my Grizzly bandsaw, great deal there). After explaining my situation to the Woodcraft salesman he recommended the Jet Dust Collector to me.
I am using 4” quick disconnect fittings, again from Woodcraft. When the machine is connected to my Unisaw I get good results but when I connected it to my new DeWalt DW734 12 1/2” Thickness Planer the Jet Dust Collector failed miserably.

The Dust Collector seems to have plenty of power but the shavings jamb-up at the Dust Collector intake.

With the hose removed you can see the clog of shavings.

It appears that the design of the intake is causing the clog. I have removed the shavings to show the design of the machine and what I feel is a design flaw causing the clog.

The photos were taken as I was planing a kiln dried White Fir 2×4” The maximum depth of cut is 1/16” The material was dry and I was not “hogging off” an exceptional amount of material. I would think the Jet should be able to handle it.

I was contemplating cutting out the “grillwork” that is causing the obstruction. AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE? JET MAKES GOOD STUFF, RIGHT?

A couple of other pet peves that I have with this machine are; the switch and the wheels. The switch is not in a good location. You have to reach around the housing and feel for the switch. It seems that it would have been more convenient to locate the switch on top of the housing.

The wheels are undersized at 2” diameter and unable to roll over an extension cord.

This was my first jet purchase and I was not impressed.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

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Don Newton

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21 comments so far

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Dan'um Style

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#1 posted 01-18-2010 01:08 AM

never used that design before. I have a old Jet 1hp and the blower is completely different. Mine worked fine, but I soon upgraded to a 2hp Delta and now have two. Both several years old,,,
I have the same planer …Dewalt …

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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261 posts in 4519 days

#2 posted 01-18-2010 01:19 AM

Looking at your setup, you have 3 – 180º bends in 10’ of hose. I would try to form an “arch” with the hose, and perhaps even shorten it. 90º bends should be avoided if at all possible, 180º turns should be avoided at all costs. I have a larger Jet, and it works great! Good luck. Keep us posted! You will be extremely happy that you added dust collection and air filtration.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4005 days

#3 posted 01-18-2010 01:22 AM

To be blunt, it did what it was supposed to do… That cross piece is supposed to allegedly keep you from sucking nuts, bolts, and other misc junk into the impeller…

Most folks cut the cross piece out, or use a pre separator. In your case since space is so critical, I would suggest cutting out the cross piece. It serves no other purpose… So yeah, you are good with removing that…

I agree on switch and wheels. Honestly, My HF DC switch is in a worse place than your Jet, and the wheels are roughly similar… I move my hose instead of the DC and it isn’t a problem…

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View Cato's profile


701 posts in 4085 days

#4 posted 01-18-2010 01:25 AM

Another thought considering the size of the shavings from a planer or jointer would be to add a separator.
Wife got me one from woodcraft for Xmas that mounts on top of a metal trashcan. I think the top that she got from woodcraft ran about 25-30 dollars and I got the can from HD for 22. I hooked it up for the first time this weekend and it works great. Your shavings would then be in the 30 gal can and leave your intake unclogged.

View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4298 days

#5 posted 01-18-2010 03:03 AM

I have that same problem when I joint pine or fir with my jointer. Hardwood won’t do that. As was already stated, just cut the screen off and it won’t happen again, just don’t suck up any metal bits!

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 4177 days

#6 posted 01-18-2010 03:42 AM

I had the same problem with my Delta DC, which has a similar design. On another forum I discovered a thread where a number of people were having the problem. The big discussion was whether to cut the grill out or not. If you likely to suck in bolts or nails and such, you’re going to damage the impeller and trash the unit if you cut it out. If you think you’re going to keep it to just shavings and dust, removing the grill will solve the problem. I cut mine out a long time ago and never had a clog again. I use a shop vac for cleaning floors and places where metal debris might be.

The Delta also has wheels so small they get stuck on everything. I’m thinking of getting some larger casters and replacing them.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4541 days

#7 posted 01-18-2010 03:54 AM

i would suggest the little cyclonic pre separator as Cato said. I’m getting a cyclone so i don’t have to deal with the bag style dust collectors. but adding a cyclonic pre separator is a great idea and you could even go towards the next step and get a super dust deputy but then you have that space issue again and they are not cheap. So easiest option… cut it off… better option is the separator. Also remember if you cut that off most likely you will lose whatever warranty is on the motor or the impeller. which is really what you’re paying for.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4501 days

#8 posted 01-18-2010 03:57 AM

the seperator will help in many ways. It will save you from having to empty the bag with all the fine dust too (which can be messy). It also wil lhelp your impeller last a lot longer. I definietly think that even a simple seperator is well worth the investment.

If you are concerned about space, you could try building a separate stand. That could incorporate the separator right onto the stand and you could potentially fit a shop vac on there too. I think a very recent shopnotes had something like this, but I’m not sure. Its on my list of to-dos. Good luck.

View DocK16's profile


1198 posts in 4860 days

#9 posted 01-18-2010 04:21 AM

I have a Jet model 650 which I believe is 1 or 1-1/2 hp. These units are good for 1-2 machines at a time which you are doing I agreee with northwoodsman you have too many tight turns in your hose. Use one 3or 4 ft piece piece of hose connected directly to your planer. It looks like your planing maple which yields large shavings whch are clogging your impeller. Cato Hokie and teen ww are on the mark with advice to use a separater. I use the black plastic separater on a garbage can, cheap but very effective. It can be emptied in a jiffy (not like the cloth bag on the the dust collector, separates 90% of the dust before it gets to the DC and can be had for around $30, plus the cost of the garbage can.

View drfixit's profile


318 posts in 3917 days

#10 posted 01-18-2010 04:32 AM

My harbor freight DC had (note – had) that cross peice in it, until I took a cut off wheel to it

-- I GIVE UP!!!! I've cut this @!&*!% board 3 times.... its still too short!

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4461 days

#11 posted 01-18-2010 04:43 AM

As already mentioned , your hose layout is restricting the natural flow of the air and chips….every curve that you have in the hose is slowing the debris down which adds to the clogging issue that you are having. The whole reason for the metal cross on the intake is to keep people from reaching into the impeller.It’s not a super magnet and will not stop bolts from being ingested providing you have enough suction to inhale them in the first place. It will stop large chunks / cut-offs from being eaten though . Your best bet would be to get a metal trashcan and separator , keeping the hose between the dust collector and cyclonic lid relatively short and then keep the rest of the hose from the intake to your planer as short and straight as possible. It is so easy to empty the trashcan as opposed to the dustbag : ) Regarding the wheels and switch …..your issues seem to be universal and easily remedied : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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#12 posted 01-18-2010 05:13 AM

Cut that junk out of there!!!!
It will be NIGHT-AND-DAY!


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Derek Lyons

584 posts in 4341 days

#13 posted 01-18-2010 09:42 AM

No offense, but if the switch is on the ‘wrong’ side – why do you blame the manufacturer rather than just turning the dust collector around? Then the switch is in plain sight with easy access. I have practically the same dust collector, and I keep the switch turned towards wherever I’m working.

Your hose routing is, as others have pointed out, a problem. I have the same planer, and sometimes have the same problem. The solution I’ll be trying the next time I’m in the shop will be a shorter length of hose so that it drops almost directly from the planer to the dust collector.

Another thing is to reduce the depth of your cut, I’ve found that the finer the material the less likely it is to clog. Even though this is a Jet, it’s still fairly low end DC system and I find my planer and jointer can easily overload it if I don’t take that into consideration.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

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2240 posts in 4043 days

#14 posted 01-18-2010 07:09 PM

I have the older jet DC with the cannister and it works like a charm…I haven’t looked at this one so I am surprised to see the problems. You might also consider putting a cyclone (trashcan with the inlet outlet lid) on it to prevent the bigger pieces from getting that far?

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4730 days

#15 posted 01-18-2010 08:45 PM

I wouldn’t cut it at all. The solution to your problem is get an aftermarket device that allows you to use a garbage can as a preliminary stage to your dust collector. All the larger chips will fall in the garbage can first stage and only the fine dust will end up in the DC bag. This will help keep the CFMs at a usable level as well. Woodcraft, Amazon, Rockler all sell these items. It looks like a trash can lid with in and out fittings for hoses…and they fit on to standard metal garbage cans. Don’t destroy your DC or risk ruining it by accidentally sucking up a screw or bolt.


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