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The best dust collector I've owned

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Review by EarlS posted 02-20-2021 02:06 PM 1053 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The best dust collector I've owned The best dust collector I've owned The best dust collector I've owned Click the pictures to enlarge them

Summary: 35 gal unit

dimensions: 24” x 24” x 72”
max vacuum: 97” WC
Inlet: 4” hose
outlet: 5” hose
power: ~5HP from 3 motors
Filter: MERV 16 – 40 sqft, 99.97 removal of 0.3 micron
noise: 80 dBA
max air flow: 465 cfm

Pros:
plenty of suction
works as both dust collector and shop vac
compact size
back pulse mechanism to clean the filter
very heavy duty, quality product

Cons:
Expensive – quality isn’t cheap
remote has to be pointed directly at starter to work
loud (however, I always wear ear muffs when using it anyway)
the motors generate a lot of heat

Details:
I’ve been on a quest to improve my dust collection for several years. I started out with the single stage Delta unit with the cloth bag. As technology improved, the cloth bag was replaced with a felt bag that did a better job of catching the finer dust particles. From there, I tried a garbage can collector as as a second stage, built a Thein baffle, bought a Laguna C-Flux unit (which I hated from the first day), then made a DIY version with the Oneida Dust Deputy. I also built a 2-stage Super Dust Deputy for the Shop Vac. There may have been some other iterations and variations I missed, but none of the systems quite lived up to my expectations.

Recently, we moved and my shop size went from a 2-car garage to a 1-car garage size. Finding space to put the tools, equipment, work bench, wood, and dust collector has been an ongoing endeavor. The DIY Dust Deputy, while it worked well was too big. I also had the SDD Shop Vac which also took up a lot of space. After spending weeks looking at options around the internet and whittling my choices down to either the Supercell or the Mini-gorilla, I called Oneida to get some advice. The technical sales rep (Mark) asked me how many DC systems I’ve owned. He then asked how much $$ I’ve spent on those systems that did not work out. He also asked why they didn’t work out for me. His point was that buying a more expensive, but more functional, DC would save me $$, time, and endless hours of frustration in the long run. He suggested that I make a list of my top 3-5 dust collection needs and then decide which unit best met those needs. He also suggested that I go back through my search with those needs and not just look at Oneida.

These were my top considerations:
1. Space – the unit needed to have a small footprint
2. pre-built – a factory made unit, no more DIY
3. flexibility – Unit would double as a shop vac and dust collector
4. air flow – single user shop with typical equipment (table saw, router table, planer, jointer, bandsaw, drill press)
5. vacuum – suitable vacuum with 4” hose
6. dust removal – Merv 13 or better

After looking around for a few more days, I decided that the Supercell was the best fit for my shop. Apparently, a lot of other woodworkers are buying it as well since delivery took about 5-6 weeks.

Installation:
One afternoon, there were 4 large carboard boxes waiting for me when I got home from work. One box had the heavy duty 4” hose that is necessary since the unit pulls so much vacuum that it will suck in normal hose. I had some regular hose so I tried it. Yep – it collapsed. One box contained the 2.5” shop vac style hose that was also very heavy duty so it wouldn’t collapse under the system vacuum. The other 2 boxes contained the dust collector parts. Everything was well packaged and the boxes were very heavy. No damage!!!!!

I’m one of those people that read the instructions and lay everything out before I start. The first thing I realized is that Oneida does not send any bolts, lag screws, or anything to attach the unit to the wall. VERY ANNOYING. After a trip to Homer’s to get some 3” lag bolts I was ready to install the unit. Rather than attaching the support bracket directly to the wall, I used a backing plate.

The directions were relatively easy to follow. Assembly wasn’t especially difficult, though attaching the cyclone to the bracket was a bit awkward. I probably should have attached the cyclone to the bracket then hung the bracket on the lag bolts. Here area couple of pictures of the internals of the cyclone:

Top view:

Bottom view:

The filter and motor housing were easily installed on top of the cyclone. I wound up realigning the cyclone inlet the next day after realizing I didn’t want it pointing out from the wall. I also rotated the motor unit so the starter faced out to make the remote work better and have better access to the purge handle.

The 35 gal drum has a lid strap on it and connects to the bottom of the cyclone with a heavy duty hose. I did not buy the rollers for the drum. That may be a later purchase. There is also a level sensor with a red light that flashes when the drum needs to be emptied, as well as an equilization line that ensures the liner doesn’t get sucked into the cyclone. Installation of those components was also straightforward.

All told, installation took a couple of hours of moderate effort and attention.

Operation:
Yes, I’m going to say it – this thing really sucks. The first time I turned it on there was a loud bang. It was the lid of the drum flexing inward due to the vacuum. When using the 2.5” hose, the drum is pulled off the floor as the hose between the cyclone and drum compresses. I’m planning to put a mat under the drum so it doesn’t startle me when the drum hits the floor after the unit turns off.

The unit is hooked up to a small manifold that has a port for the 2.5” hose, a dedicated line to the table saw, and a line for connecting other equipment. There may be some leakage around the blast gates, but I haven’t noticed any issues with suction.

It does appear to do a better job of pulling dust off the blade when using the table saw than the DIY Dust Deputy unit I had prior to this. Similarly, the jointer and bandsaw dust removal also appears to be better than before.

Since the unit can operate like a shop vac, I’ve used it quite a bit with my Mirka 5” ROS, as well as the PC 4×24 belt sander. Dust removal has been quite good as well.

One area I was concerned about was the DW735 planer since it already has a small 100 cfm blower. I was concerned that the positive pressure created by the blower would cause the Supercell motors to over amp and trip the breaker. While I haven’t run hundreds of BF through the planer, I haven’t seen any issues when planing. I also eliminated the garbage can separator that I used between the planer and DC when planing before. I suppose I could try it again if I was planing lots of boards just to make chip collection easier.

When the drum filled up, I merely pulled the bag out, went out back to the chip pile and dumped it out, then reused the bag. The bag is very heavy so it should last for a long time.

Another nice feature is the back pulse to clean the filter. The inlet blast gate is closed, then you pull down on the back pulse lever to revers the airflow thru the filter causing any built up dust to come off and drop into the drum. The instructions are provided on a label next to the handle so you don’t have to remember how to do it.

Previously, the DIY DC had the IVAC control system which was very convenient. It does not work with the starter on the Supercell. I’m having to remember to turn on the Supercell with the remote rather than just starting the equipment and having the DC start. The remote does seem a bit limited. If it isn’t pointed directly at the starter, it will not start the DC.

I have to say this is the best dust collector I’ve owned.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"




View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4308 posts in 3358 days



18 comments so far

View mdhills's profile

mdhills

64 posts in 3643 days


#1 posted 02-20-2021 03:02 PM

Thanks for the review.

What was the main dust collection issue you had with your previous system (was that a homemade 2-stage with a super dust deputy?), and what difference do you see now?

What is the dust collection setup with your tablesaw? (which saw, and are you collecting from above the table or below the table?).

Are you planning to build a noise baffle around the unit?

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4308 posts in 3358 days


#2 posted 02-20-2021 03:27 PM



Thanks for the review.

What was the main dust collection issue you had with your previous system (was that a homemade 2-stage with a super dust deputy?), and what difference do you see now?

What is the dust collection setup with your tablesaw? (which saw, and are you collecting from above the table or below the table?).

Are you planning to build a noise baffle around the unit?

- mdhills

The main issue I had with the DIY 2-stage Dust Deputy was the sheer size of the unit, 28” wide x 68” long x 84” tall. It took up a huge part of my shop. Additionally, the DIY SDD shop vac set up was in a rolling work bench. It took up all of the space under the bench, more lost space.

Dust collection on the table saw was marginal. I used a SharkGuard when I could, but much of the time, the pieces being cut didn’t allow me to use it. I have a Delta w/unifence from the -90’s.

I haven’t given much thought to building a noise baffle. The heat buildup would might be problematic if the Supercell is enclosed. Now you have me thinking about how to do it.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Keebler1's profile

Keebler1

1400 posts in 718 days


#3 posted 02-20-2021 03:42 PM

Nice review Earl think if the dust ever bothers me ill have to go this route

View mdhills's profile

mdhills

64 posts in 3643 days


#4 posted 02-20-2021 03:44 PM

I know noise closets are popular for clearvue owners. One of the common strategies they use is to route the return air path up past the motor to help remove heat. That might be harder with the supercell (I think the air exits the filter above the motor?)

How is dust collection when you are able to use the supercell with the shark guard?
If you’re doing edge cuts, I saw a video where someone had a port magnetically mounted on their table to collect the spray.

I forgot to ask what the issue was you had with the CFLUX—was it not enough separation, or something else?

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1043 posts in 397 days


#5 posted 02-20-2021 04:38 PM

Good review and a robust looking unit. I’ve been considering upgrading but have felt limited by the space in my two car garage. A single car one would definitely be a challenge.

-- Darrel

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

1845 posts in 2068 days


#6 posted 02-20-2021 06:49 PM

Thanks Earl! I don’t think I’m ready for that expense yet but it is nice to know that someone went that route and was pleased with the results… I’m looking at something like a ShopFox W1826 wall mount for the interim – I could buy multiple wall brackets and move it around the shop! I’m not as space-bound as you are Earl and I’m in a commercial – not residential – area.

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4308 posts in 3358 days


#7 posted 02-20-2021 08:55 PM

mdhills – The Laguna was an overpriced, over gadgeted, under-powered unit that didn’t really do the job it was supposed to. I can’t point to anything I liked about it.

I haven’t tried the SharkGuard with the Supercell yet.

The air blows down from the motor around the drum which makes it kind of challenging to look for air leaks on the drum connection. I’m guessing a noise closet would also mess up the remote since it is kind of touchy already.

Foghorn – this unit is smaller than anything I’ve used before. It’s about the size of central vac for your house.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5094 posts in 2999 days


#8 posted 02-20-2021 09:43 PM

Very good informative review.

View sepeck's profile

sepeck

488 posts in 3151 days


#9 posted 02-21-2021 09:32 AM

I want a Super Cell, but I will probably end up with the Mini Gorilla. Budget and it should be sufficient for my needs. I’ve looked at all the piece together systems, harbor freight plus a super dust deputy plus a can plus extras and figured for not much more, I can just save up for the mini gorilla and be done.

-- -Steven Peck, http://www.blkmtn.org

View iminmyshop's profile

iminmyshop

371 posts in 3004 days


#10 posted 02-22-2021 12:56 AM

Some comments – The Supercell is a terrific dust collector if you use it for the right applications i.e. one 4” port at a time. Adding a 2nd 4” port such as for some table saws, band saws and drum sanders which are designed with two or more 4” ports, drops the velocity down a lot. Collection then wont be terrible, just not nearly as good as it would be if you used a collector designed for that. Then get something like the V 3000 which costs the same.

The Supercell has unusually strong velocity due to it’s high vacuum pressure. It does require a heavier duty, less flexible and more costly hose and ductwork so they do not collapse. It’s high velocity makes it particularly unsuitable for using PVC for your ductwork. For most machines, the shock issue is theoretical. For the Supercell, it may be more of a real problem.
In summary, it’s impossible to know what our needs will be years down the line. Do your homework and assess, as best as possible what your future needs might be as well.

Because of its high velocity and vacuum pressure you can use right angled bends in your ductwork. You can even use tubing for your duct work if there’s < 100’ of run and it’s the very heavy duty kind.

-- http://www.alansfinewoodworking.com/

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4308 posts in 3358 days


#11 posted 02-22-2021 12:37 PM

My table saw has one 4” port in the base. If I hook up a Sharkguard for the blade, it will be the 2-1/2” version. I know the Supercell can handle both a 4” and a 2-1/2” line open at the same time. That is how my router table is set up and I ran it all weekend.

The Supercell comes with 25’ of heavy duty 4” hose. The heavy 2-1/2” hose with attachments was extra ($125 I think).

I’m not sure what you mean about PVC not working with it. PVC can handle a lot more vacuum than this pulls. I haven’t seen any evidence of pipe movement when the unit is started/stopped. The hose compresses some which would help dissipate the shock.

The Supercell isn’t made for a larger shop where multiple machines are running. It seems to be specifically made for a small one-person shop with limited space. I’m very impressed with it thus far.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View NewbieInWV's profile

NewbieInWV

29 posts in 1600 days


#12 posted 02-22-2021 01:28 PM

I was wondering about the bag in your can collector. When I tried that with my Oneida unit, the bag was sucked up into the hose above as soon as I turned it on. How do you keep your bag from getting sucked up? Is it just a matter of using a thicker, heavier bag? Or is there a trick to it?

-- Mike H, Elkins WV

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4308 posts in 3358 days


#13 posted 02-22-2021 05:40 PM

There is an equalizing line that runs into the drum from the vacuum. You should be able to see where it connects to the drum in the close up picture of the drum. The other end of the line is at the top of the cyclone. Basically, the vacuum on top of the cyclone pulls the bag into the bottom of the drum via that line.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View cmmyakman's profile

cmmyakman

337 posts in 3667 days


#14 posted 02-22-2021 08:28 PM



I was wondering about the bag in your can collector. When I tried that with my Oneida unit, the bag was sucked up into the hose above as soon as I turned it on. How do you keep your bag from getting sucked up? Is it just a matter of using a thicker, heavier bag? Or is there a trick to it?

- NewbieInWV

I drop a scrap piece of wood in the bottom of the bag before buttoning it up. That keeps the bag in the drum.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3381 posts in 3955 days


#15 posted 02-23-2021 06:14 AM

A bag solution:|

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