The only WW machine I've regretted to date

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Review by Bear1219 posted 04-18-2016 02:33 AM 8659 views 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The only WW machine I've regretted to date The only WW machine I've regretted to date The only WW machine I've regretted to date Click the pictures to enlarge them

-1 star for poor fit and finish
-1 star for constant sensor failure
-1 star for poor customer service

I’m usually very happy with all the major woodworking machines I’ve bought, with the exception of my dust collector. It has been the biggest regretted/mistake I’ve made to date. The pictures speak more then words. Before anyone says anything, Yes I did assemble the unit correctly and spent a lot of time doing so making sure it was correct. All connections either have silicone sealant or foam gasket on them according to the manual.

This according to Oneida is due to a “bin sensor failure” and my “lack of maintenance”. Before I go any further, I wipe down the sensor and blow the filter with compressed air after every time I empty the bin. This isn’t the first time they try to pin their unit failure on operator error before I lost it with them and started being less friendly with how I phrase my words before they would admit it’s due to unit failure.

I’ll start from the beginning. When I received the unit, the assembly went together pretty well at first and everything seems to flow pretty smoothly. Half way through, things started getting rocking due to poor installation manual. The manual started calling out wrong bolts, nuts and washers to go at in places where it would be impossible. I know this is wrong because the bolt and washer they call out where smaller then the hole it’s trying to bolt to. The bolts, washers, nut and all hardware came in (1) ONE zip lock bag. When I said one, I really do mean just 1 bag. They were all packed in there and you had to sort them all out before starting the assembly.

Fit and finish:

Once I finally got the unit assembled and checked everything over again, I tried to slip a fitting over the inlet and to my surprise, it doesn’t fit. The fitting I tried to use was a 6” split into (2) 4” port. I didn’t have any duct work up at the moment so I had planned to use flex hose on each machine until I was able to get everything in my shop worked out for duct work. I called Oneida about it and they asked for a picture. I snapped a picture for them showing how the inlet was more of an elongated circle being over 1/4” off at some points. They replied by saying that it was within specs and tried to sell me some adapters to make it work. I declined and continue to tell them about how the cone body had a lot of waves at the top where it connects to the motor housing. They again said it was within spec’s and that the gasket will fill in the gaps and it shouldn’t be a problem. In the manual, it stated to drill a hole 3” from where the cone body connects to the bin lid. Mine was pre-drilled from the factory and it was only 1” from the cone body. They again replied it was within specs and that this was something new and hasn’t yet been changed in the manual. I was very disappointed in the fit and finish to say the least.

Constant Unit failure:

This is the 5th time that the unit has filled up on me like this. Wood chips would fill the bin, the entire filter along with the cyclone body itself.
The first time this happened was due to an air leak at the bin sensor. I was jointing and planning a good amount of wood but never noticed the bin sensor go off on me. It was until I heard the motor making a weird noise that I stopped working to inspect the DC. When I removed the bin, it was only half full but the entire cone body along with the filter were packed with wood chips and dust. I spent hours cleaning out the unit and tried my best to clean the filter but will never get it back to the way it was. The gaskets they send you with the unit isn’t enough to make a proper seal but the air leak is so small that it’s extremely hard to even tell. After I finished cleaning the unit as much as I could, I started it back up and started blowing smoke at it to see if there was a spot that drew in the smoke. Sure enough, the bin sensor was drawing in smoke. I e-mailed Oneida about it and it took them almost 2 weeks to reply to me after I sent them 4 e-mails. At first they tried to blame it was me for not assembling the unit properly until I told them about be blowing smoke at the unit and the bin sensor was drawing it in. They then sent me an extra set of gasket so I can put it inside and outside of the sensor. This resolved the problem. I was able to finish my work and went a few weeks before starting another project.

The next 4 times this happened was due to the bin sensor failure where it wouldn’t alert me once the bin was full. Every time this happens, my cone body, filter and bin would be jam packed with dust and chips like in the picture. After the 2nd time the sensor failed on me, I tried e-mailing them again. I believe I sent a total of 10 e-mails over the course of 2 months with no reply. I called twice within that time frame and was told someone would look into my e-mails and respond to my issues. Nothing happened within the 2 month time frame until I left them an ugly review/comment on their facebook page. After I did that, someone was on the phone with me within the next day or 2. I spoke with their product engineer and they believed it was due to a defective bin sensor and offered to send me a new one. They asked that I send back my old bin sensor so they can check it and see what the issue with it was. They said they would send me a returning mailing label along with my new sensor so I can send my old one back. After about 2 weeks, I got my new sensor but no return label. I sent them 2 e-mails concerning that with no reply so I said screw it and went about life. I installed the new sensor and but never had to put it to the test since I didn’t have any projects going on.

A few months later, I start a new project and started using the DC again. I noticed the sensor would go off as soon as I turn the DC on but I know for a fact the bin was empty. I’d shut the unit down and check the sensor by waving my hand under the sensor with the DC on but bin off. It would go off at about 3-4” from the sensor which is where I have it set. I replace the bin and turn the DC back on and the sensor goes off again. Not wanting to spend all day messing with the DC I just started working. After the bin is about 1/4 way full, the sensor would stop alarming. I continued to work and after about an hour or so, I still didn’t see the sensor alert me so I stopped to check. Surprise surprise, the bin was full and the filter was about 1/4 full of wood dust and chips. I spent the next 2 hours cleaning the filter and cyclone body before calling it a night. The next few times, I had no faith in the sensor so I started to stop and check the bin every half hour or so. This proved to be a pain in the rear end.

About 3 weeks ago I started on another project and was again on the jointer and planer. I was zoned out while working and didn’t think to stop and check the bin this time. After about an hr I stopped for a break and shut down my planer and removed my ear protection. That’s when I heard the motor making that weird noise again and knew exactly what it was. That’s when I snapped the pictures I attached in this review. Fed up, I e-mailed Oneida about it again and sent them these pictures. 4 e-mails in 2 weeks with no reply. I sent a final e-mail telling them my patients was wearing thin and they need to get their stuff together and figure this out. 2 days ago their sales manager replied to my e-mail asking me for a good time to talk so he could call me. We spoke on the phone the same day I received that e-mail.

He started to say they sell thousands of these units and never had a problem like mine and they wonder if I’m doing something wrong. We go back and forth about how I keep all my machines in tip top condition and I take care of my stuff. He than says that well, I can’t rely on the sensor 100% of the time and that I need to check the bin every hr or less to make sure it’s not full. I ask him what was the point of a $200 sensor when I can’t rely on it? He couldn’t give me a solid answer for that and just said that I need to make it a good habit to check the bin and not rely on the sensor. I thought that was the biggest load of donkey doo doo I’ve ever heard. I told him the point of having the sensor is so I DON’T have to stop working to check the bin every 15 minutes. He than tried to sell me a larger bin so I wouldn’t have to stop to check as often. I told him I’m on the phone with him so he can try and figure out their broken system and not to buy more broken stuff. At the end of the day, nothing was resolved other then the fact they tried to offer another sensor replacement. I said what good is another sensor when I “can’t rely on it” quoting the sales manager. Again, no good or solid answer on that.

I told him that I’m giving up on their system and it’s nothing more then a $2000 paper weight. He said he’ll send me a new sensor anyways in case I want to sell the unit, I could say that it’s got a new sensor. Mind you, my system is still under warranty and told them I’d rather them just come and take this piece of junk out of my shop and give me my money back. That wasn’t going to happen.

Summary, biggest waste of money and mistaken I’ve made. I should have gone with clearvue like I had wanted from the beginning. I went with Oneida because a lot of people had nothing but good things to say about them and I’m all for buying American made. One of those time that buying American screwed me so hard my kids will fell it.

View Bear1219's profile


10 posts in 1635 days

24 comments so far

View playingwithmywood's profile


444 posts in 2453 days

#1 posted 04-18-2016 05:57 AM

simple solution extend the legs and go buy yourself a used 55 gallon metal drum with lid and swap out you small drum for a bigger one and then empty it more often problem solved

View Bear1219's profile


10 posts in 1635 days

#2 posted 04-18-2016 12:41 PM

simple solution extend the legs and go buy yourself a used 55 gallon metal drum with lid and swap out you small drum for a bigger one and then empty it more often problem solved

- playingwithmywood

You completely missed the point of this review. Oneida sells the bin sensor for around $200, although it’s a standard feature on the portable dust gorilla, the cost is added onto the final price. The 2hp portable dust gorilla is currently selling for the same price as the 5hp super dust gorilla but the super dust gorilla comes with no bin, no sensor, and no remote. Why is that….. because the cost is added on…

When I hundreds on something, I expect it to work. When my product is still under warranty, I expect it to be resolved to at cost to me, not be offered to buy more stuff from them to resolve an issue that should have never happened. When I have an issue with a product I paid nearly 2 grand for and is still under warranty, I expect to get a response in a timely manner and not have to wait 2 months and send dozens of e-mails and phone calls to finally get someone to just give me a bogus answer.

View TheDane's profile


5853 posts in 4519 days

#3 posted 04-18-2016 02:09 PM

Glad I bought a Laguna 2hp cyclone … went together without a hitch and performs flawlessly.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Bill_Steele's profile


723 posts in 2587 days

#4 posted 04-18-2016 05:58 PM

I’m sorry that you got a lemon and lousy customer support. I can sympathize with your frustration. It would really irritate me if I had researched, purchased, and installed/setup an expensive woodworking machine, only to find out it did not work well.

Unfortunately I have come to almost expect hobbyist level equipment (not that your 2hp DC in hobby level) to have one or more inherent weak design points or outright flaws.

With regard to my Oneida experience—I have an Oneida Mini-Gorilla that has performed well for me for about 4 years [knock on wood]. I did not get the dust bin sensor on my dust collector. I have made the mistake of letting the bin fill up and then it’s a mess to clean out the filter—‘cuz it all get’s blown into the filter after that point. Early on I had problems with the remote (on/off) not working consistently. Oneida provided me with good customer service and replaced the remote components (free of charge) after having me go through a troubleshooting process with them.

With regard to the bin sensor, I noticed someone else on LJs that just drilled a hole in the bin lid and placed a rubber stopper in the hole. When they want to check the bin level they just used the plug hole. I like that idea and think I may do that to mine.

View GFactor's profile


82 posts in 2455 days

#5 posted 04-18-2016 06:52 PM

Pretty simple to dispute the charge on your credit card; this always gets their attention.

-- To Steal Ideas From One Person is Plagiarism; to Steal From Many is Research…

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1776 days

#6 posted 04-19-2016 02:24 AM


I trust this is not the end of the story. From what I gather the correct answer is that Oneida refunds your money. At the very least, I would think a new bin level sensor and filter sound appropriate. The problem is that you know the right answer but Oneida is resisting the right answer. Here is one approach that could be considered to get Oneida to come around to the correct answer.

First, stop the email and write a well-crafted succinct letter that recounts your issues with the product, the efforts taken by Oneida and you to resolve the problems, where things stand now, and what you would like to happen. Including the written representations Oneida makes regarding the product could be helpful. Second is to contact the Georgia Attorney Generals’ Office (AG) for their consumer fraud division’s address. Third, send the letter to the AG with a copy to Oneida (that is addressed to the AG and a copy to Oneida), including copies of the Oneida warranty, representations made on their web site, and your exchange of email. This may be just enough for Oneida to assign someone with the responsibility of making you go away. If you have a responsive consumer affairs division in the AG’s office, they will probably call Oneida for their side of the story. In so doing you may get the satisfaction to which I believe you are entitled for $2000 piece of equipment and a lot of your time and aggravation.

Given your experience with a poor performing dust bin level sensor, making it easy to look inside the dust collection bin is probably something to consider. However, I would not make this suggested or any other modification to your existing system until your issues with Oneida are resolved to your satisfaction. In my system, I have a view port into the dust collection bin and LED under cabinet lighting shining into the bin but mounted outside the dust collection bin. The view port and lighting ports are sealed with polycarbonate sheets and silicone and could be mounted to the dust collection bin lid. Turning on the lights and looking through the viewport tells me at a glance whether it is time to empty the dust bin without opening the bin. The sensor is relegated to a back-up system.

View Bear1219's profile


10 posts in 1635 days

#7 posted 04-19-2016 02:47 AM

Thanks JBrow for the advise. In one of my last e-mails to them, I did request either a new unit or a refund but no one was willing to discuss that option with me. Oneida has offered me a new sensor after the 2nd time this happened a few months ago but the issue still persist. They again offered me another sensor when I finally got a hold of them last Friday but that was all they offered. I told them there’s no point in continuing to replace the sensor since “it I can’t relied on it” those were the words that came from the person i spoke with. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a sensor if you ask me. After that phone call and nothing was resolved, that’s what lead to me writing this review.

Then I get another e-mail from another person at Oneida today asking me to reach out to him and he will try to find a solution at all cost. I’m not sure if they ran across this review or if it’s something else. I basically told him the only way to make it right is to send me a different unit, within the same price range as my unit with the same performance or refund me my money and they are more then welcome to come get their system back from my shop.

I told him I was sorry for coming off rude but I’d fed up with this whole ordeal and their leak of communication. I spend more time cleaning out my DC than I do using it. That’s a shame if you ask me.

I was also advised by a few other members of another forum I’m active on to cut out a window on the bin so I can see through it. You make a good point not to deface the unit in any way until everything is resolved. At this point, I don’t think Oneida is willing to do make else and I was ready to just give up and live with this unit until I save up for a different cyclone from another manufacture. After reading your post, the AG route sounds like a good idea.

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1776 days

#8 posted 04-19-2016 04:00 AM


From my perspective, a working bin level sensor is certainly in order. Its primary job is to alert the operator when the bin is full. If the sensor fails and the equipment continues to operate with a full bin, as you well know, the filters become overloaded. I have to believe that sending all that dust directly into the ultra-fine filter system reduces performance and/or life of the filter each time this happens. Overloaded filters, I would think – but do not know, is more than simply a nuisance because it could reduce system CFM until the filter is finally replaced (I really doubt that compressed air can effectively clean the filters to a like-new condition). If you are persuaded by my argument, perhaps contacting a filter manufacturer to confirm or refute my thought would either strengthen your argument for a new filter or assure you that your filter is going to continue to give you its spec’ed performance.

View Bear1219's profile


10 posts in 1635 days

#9 posted 04-19-2016 04:22 AM

JBrow, I know for a fact that compressed air will not bring the filter to like new condition. I’ve spent countless hours trying to blow the dust out of the filters with no luck. I’ve sprayed the filters inside and out and fine dust will still somehow continue to come out, to the point my air compressor motor would get extremely hot. At one point, one of Oneida’s engineers told me I could wash the filter with water from a garden hose. Somehow, I don’t see how water + paper filter + fine dust = clean. In fear of ruining my filters, I opted not to wash my filter.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2309 days

#10 posted 04-19-2016 04:24 AM

Fine filters need a dust layer to work right …


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View loupitou06's profile


169 posts in 4182 days

#11 posted 04-19-2016 02:16 PM

Hi Bear1219,

I understand your frustration with this unit I have a similar one (I have the 3HP Gorilla I bought in 2011). I ran into the same issue 3 times myself (filling the filter).
Let me ask you a question, did you get the bad liner (piece of rigid plastic that hold the bag in the sides of the drum), the only times I had the sensor failing was when I didn’t have the bad liner and I assume the bag in the drum was collapsing into the sensor.

Second point, as you mentioned in your review and JBrown pointed out, when the HEPA filter is clogged the first time, it’s pretty much impossible to get it back to it’s original performance/state. When my first clogging happened, I too spent hours in my driveway trying to clean the filter with compressed air and light brush. But I noticed after that clogging happened much faster.

JBrown, for the record, I did was my old filter (after I got the new one :) ) with water and it did help but the dust collector was not as efficient after I cleaned it (but better that before the wash)!

So last year I bought the bullet and ordered a new filter ($332 + $45 shipping) and since then haven’t had a clog.

Perhaps you should ask Oneida for a replacement under warranty since the first clogging was due to a sensor defect.

Overall, despite all these troubles I remain happy with my purchase (definitely a huge improvement over my shop vac) and hope this could help you too.

Have a great day

-- 100 fois sur le metier remettez votre ouvrage

View Bear1219's profile


10 posts in 1635 days

#12 posted 04-19-2016 02:33 PM

Hi loupitou06,

I do have a bag liner including the liner hold down for my bin but opted not to use it after the first few times. To me, it seems the bags they offer for the 35 gallons bin is way to big, causing a lot of folds around the rim of the bin and could cause an air leak. I noticed a lot more dust was getting into the filter when using the liner so I stopped using it. I now have a dust pan I keep near by and just scoop out the dust from my bin into a brute trash can with a trash liner in it. Tie it up when it’s full and throw it out on trash day.

Last night, the GM of Oneida reached out to me via e-mail asking me to contact him so he can help me resolve my issues. I spoke with him on the phone for about half an hour this morning and he said he would speak with his team on how my situation was handled and will figure a plan to fix my issue. I have good reason to believe he caught wind of this review either on this forum or another I had posted on. Said he’ll get back to me shortly with a solution that would work out for both of us. We’ll see where this goes.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9657 posts in 3184 days

#13 posted 04-19-2016 03:59 PM

My take on it… Faulty Design…

They design a small bin to accommodate low ceilings (basements) but the bin is ultimately too short and relies absolutely on the bin sensor to avoid troubles.

But the bin sensor design is not 100% reliable.

1 + 1 = big headache.

KISS is the best design principle in my book and a visual way to gage the bin level would make this a no brainer.

Also, I think any serious DC should have a DP gage (preferably a magnahelic) as standard equipment. DP tells all and monitoring it on a daily bases is key to managing the system performance.

I just completed overseeing a 60 HP, 20,000 cfm blower, 40’ tall 124 bag bag-house DC set up with return 28” welded seem main headers, rotary air lock, material transport loop discharging into a tractor trailer, return air, engineered muffler, high speed abort gate, spark detection and fire suppression systems where I work. And even with an expensive and powerful system like this, you have to monitor it daily and take immediate corrective action. When I saw DP climbing and sounded the alarm bell, our maintenance lead blew me off and filled the tower with 12 cubic yards of dust and chips. :^o

DCs are great and necessary systems to have…. but you have to monitor their performance.

And with all that said, I think single stage systems are adequate for most home and small industrial shops.

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

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3739 days

#14 posted 04-20-2016 02:22 AM

With so many hobbiest woodworking machinery companies these days, you’d think that a company would want to separate itself from the pack by providing excellent customer service…eg. Most of the reviews on LJ’s for Grizzly involve something broken/not fitting properly/damaged during shipped etc, but Grizzly CS has such a stellar reputation that they still sell a ton of machines. Contrast this with Laguna which probably mostly sells great machinery, but for years has had terrible CS, which keeps a lot of ww away from their products.

Not a fan of the Oneida design either. Granted they’ve sold a lot and I assume that the majority function properly. However, looking at their cone design on this DC; they have no separation between the dust bin and the cyclone, ideally they should have at least 6” of tube between the end of the cyclone and the dust bin, fine dust separation is less efficient otherwise. Also, the bin level sensor should be located further from the dust bin inlet; that close to the inlet it will pick up a lot of the swirling dust and chips coming down from the cyclone and falsely trigger. I used one of the Oneida sensors on my Clearvue cyclone but located it near the rim of the dust bin and never had an issue with false triggers.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Mtwoodwrkr's profile


8 posts in 1656 days

#15 posted 04-21-2016 05:05 AM

Really sorry to hear of the troubles you are having with Oneida and one of their systems. I have always thought of them as being a good standup company, but your experience is causing me to reconsider my impressions of them. I have a ClearVue on order now, (also American Made, by the way) and wanted to utilize Oneida’s duct planning department to design a proper duct plan for my shop, and I would buy the duct work from them. To my surprise, they refused to offer their service to me as I was not buying the dust collector from them; I was willing to pay for the service. Their loss, I will be buying from Nordfab, who never required a purchase to perform the plan.

I really hope Oneida honors their commitment to you and their warranty. Your story is a real shame!!
Side Note, ClearVue will help you purchase their system by use of a lay-a-way program, and you can get a lot more bang for your buck.

-- "Cut it two times, it is still too short"

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