A good first dust collector

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Review by Ottacat posted 05-06-2013 01:21 PM 7476 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A good first dust collector No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

When starting a shop life is full of compromises. We’d all like to install big cyclones with top of the line 6” mains and dedicated drops to each of our machines. However when starting out money is tight and we don’t yet have all the machines in our shop nor really a firm idea of their proper locations. Thus a portable collector that gets moved around is often the way we start collecting dust.

I was initially hoping to find a portable cyclone but they were all either under-powered or started out at a base price of more than twice this unit.

This collector give a lot of value for the money. It is a 2HP , 220V model with a 1 micron canister filter. It came in two boxes and I easily got it assembled. One of the bolt holes for a caster bolt was improperly made so that caster had to make do with only three bolts. However this hasn’t had any detrimental effect. The collector includes weather stripping that mounts inside the canister and then the canister friction fits over top. This is nice in that it gives a good seal and yet the canister is easy to remove to clean it out.

There is also a weather stripping that you apply on the bottom of the intake ring where you clamp on the bottom bag. This helps with seal and reduces dust going back into the shop.

The 2 HP motor is very powerful. I threw out the 3-way Y connector and instead bought a 10’ length of flexible 6” hose from LV that I then stepped down to a length of 4” hose. I currently move this 4” hose between my machines. Suction and airflow are awesome.

There were however a few issues where I made some modifications or changes.

1. Lower bags. The included ones are have simple open ends that you put around the lower part of the intake and then clamp. This is easily the world most stupid and frustrating way to attach a bag. A must-have is the optional ‘Easy-On’ lower bags that incorporate the revolutionary idea of making most of the top of the bag a closed loop that the clamp threads through. This makes re-attaching the bag after emptying a reasonable affair. My only complaint is the loop is in two sections and not all the way around. The area where there is no loop can get improperly seated against the weather stripping and allow dust to fly into the air.

2. Too much disturbance in the bag. The collector is so powerful it creates a very large amount of turbulence in the lower bag causing dust, chips and shaving fly up into the canister filter. I made a Thein filter out of 1/2” MDF and installed below the intake. See the site describing this here – Once I added this the collector improved significantly. The dust and shaving settle into the lower back in a nice gentle flow and the top filter doesn’t clog. I put the baffle right in the collector as I didn’t want to build or use a separate separator bin as this would make the collector a PITA to move around the shop.

So with these two mods the collector works great. If I was a DC company I’d quickly license the Thein design and build them right into the collectors. They could be added for only a couple of bucks in the manufacturing process as they could be make out stamped sheet metal.

Finally I bought the 220V remote control which is a simple box that sits between the power cord and your shop outlet. It works great and I use it all the time.

I gave the unit 4 stars because I felt the upgraded bag system and Thein baffle should be standard. The weather stripping is an improvement over none but it could be better.

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7 comments so far

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#1 posted 05-06-2013 05:56 PM

Good review.
Thank you.

-- Bert

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Mainiac Matt

9659 posts in 3187 days

#2 posted 05-07-2013 01:58 PM

I have the Grizzly version of the exact same DC…

It is indeed a powerful beast and moves a LOT of air. I use the ‘Y’ with three branches of 4” flex, and usually have one of them gated and the other two open.

I also installed a Thein plate, but haven’t fillet the bag since installing it, so I’m not sure if it’s keeping the inside of the filter clean or not.

I agree that this is a very good single stage DC and merits the extra $ over the ever-so-popular HF model.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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517 posts in 2710 days

#3 posted 05-07-2013 02:20 PM

Thanks for your comments. Prior to installing the Thein baffle I was getting large chips caught in the upper filter after planing some wood. You could hear and see the large shaving falling when rotating the cleaning handle. I figured if large chips were getting blown up then so was a lot of dust.

With the Thein baffle installed there were no more large chips in the filter. When rotating the cleaning handle there was no sound of falling chips. Thus I imagine that there is significantly less dust getting up into the filter. When I rotate the filter cleaner and then start the collector again you can see the dust that fell being pulled down into the lower bag so there obviously is still some dust going up.

I empty my lower bag when it gets between 1/3 and 1/2 full. I’ve emptied it about 4 times now. Next time I empty it I’ll remove the top filter and blow it out with compressed air. This will give me a good feel for how much dust is getting up there and I’ll update this review then.

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3 posts in 2664 days

#4 posted 06-16-2013 04:15 PM


I wa about to grab this unit too and as per your review, i’m quite interested into the Thein mod… Was is possible to post picture of how do you install it into the collector ? I don’t really figure it.

Thanks in advance

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517 posts in 2710 days

#5 posted 06-16-2013 04:57 PM

I forgot to take pics as I assembled it and I don’t want to take it apart so I’ll describe it.

-measure the inside diameter of the cylinder separating the top filter from the lower bag, the separator goes just under the intake from the impeller
-draw a circle of that diameter on a piece of 1/2” MDF, cut it out using a jig saw or a bandsaw – it doesn’t have to be a work of art
-mark it into thirds, I ran a string along the outside, measured it, divided by three and got 1/3 the radius, I then marked it accordingly
-draw an inside circle 1 3/4” in from the outside
-for 2/3 of the baffle use your jig saw or bandsaw to cut out the second circle, again it doesn’t need to be a work of art
-on the dust collector cylinder, plan where to install it, the rule of thumb is to have the 1/3 solid part under the area of the intake
-drill 4 holes with a 1/8” bit – two around the intake and the other two about 120 degrees opposite
-attach the baffle on the solid side through the two holes under the intake using drywall screws, have someone help you or use a couple of 1 3/4” scraps on opposite sides to wedge it in place
-use two long drywall screws to attach the opposite side of the baffle, the screws will bridge the 1 3/4” gap between the cylinder and the baffle and go into the baffle – don’t over tighten or it will start pulling the other side away from the edge, just enough to hold it in place

Done, now assemble the collector and see the amazing change

Note, other articles I’ve seen use angled dowels to attach the separator to the angled cone inside the cylinder, I found this way too hard and unnecessary, the drywall screws worked great and having two screws bridging the open gap didn’t affect performance in any way

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3 posts in 2664 days

#6 posted 06-18-2013 04:49 PM


Thanks a lot for the info. basically, i search little more and what i found, is about the same system, but they can use : a skillet, or a frying pan. Just drill hole in center, and a bracket just put on the top part where the canister sit over. And with the shape and about hald a hinge all dust should be eliminated.

Now i gonna place my order for this one. but it’s supposed to be quite loud as having a bigger impeler.. So did you figure out a way to lower the sound/noise of it ?
I was thinking of maybe putting foam around the casing of the imppeler if it might help.. you tell me.

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517 posts in 2710 days

#7 posted 06-18-2013 04:56 PM

I don’t find it much louder than other dust collectors I’ve used of the same capacity. They are moderately noisy of course but anytime I’m using the DC I’m also using a tool loud enough that I have ear protection on anyway. I bought a 220V remote control box and keep the remote connected to my belt loop. I put on my ear protection, start the DC and then start the tool.

From what I’ve read, soundproofing tools inside a shop doesn’t give very dramatic results. I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences if you do try it.

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