ClearVue - 1800LH (Rating: 5)

I installed a CV 1800 system a few months ago in my shop. I'm just a hobbyist, not a pro by any stretch, but I'm blessed to be able to own some nice tools. The CV takes a good amount of work to assemble and get the system running-it's far from turnkey-but I rather enjoyed the process. The instructions were reasonably clear, and you can find YouTube videos too. The CV support was outstanding when I had questions and when one part needed to be replaced due to stripped threads from the factory. I used S&D schedule 35 6" PVC (the green stuff) for my ductwork, and really enjoyed putting that together. There's something satisfying about how quickly you can create a fairly intricate piping system with PVC. (I tried to find the lighter and cheaper white S&D pipe but no one seemed to have it.) I secured all pipe connections with two sheet metal screws and metal HVAC tape.

I'm incompetent with electricity, so I had my electrician do the wiring. Three comments on that: 1) The motor was initially wired to run the opposite direction of what was needed-a minor fix for the electrician, but it no doubt would have driven me mad. 2) My electrician chuckled at the optional wiring box/remote kit I bought from CV; he said it was fine, but he could have done the same thing for a fraction of the cost. Not a huge deal as that part wasn't outlandishly expensive, but I mention it for those who might benefit. 3) A few hours after installation, the system started on and off randomly… it was quite unsettling. Turns out that the remote must have been on the same frequency as something else in my neighborhood (garage door opener or the like). CV sent me a differently coded remote and that instantly fixed the problem.

A friend gave me a clean 55 gallon drum, so I installed the system high enough on the wall to accommodate that. (As you'll see from the pics, ceiling height is not a problem in my shop.) As others have said, the CV system is indeed loud. I wear 3M Peltor earmuffs when using it. Some people build insulated cabinets around the CV to cut down on the noise, but I'd worry that I couldn't see when the drum fills up with chips (I can now see it backing up into the clear hose leading into the drum). They sell bin sensors for that, but for now I can live with the noise and the earmuffs.

I know from reading previous reviews that some people say "If I spend thousands on a DC system, why should I put up with all the DIY stuff and NEED to deal with good customer service at ALL?" I can't dispute that logic. Normally I'd agree. All I can tell you is that despite all the work and the issues, I'm still very satisfied with my system. I find the performance to be simply outstanding even without going to the trouble of running 6" runs all the way to my machines (I transition to 4" hose when needed). I have it hooked up to my table saw, 6" jointer, 13" planer, router table, bandsaw, miter saw, and sander. Dust collection on all but the miter saw is simply outstanding, and the miter saw isn't shabby. I don't have the equipment to measure air flow, but I can tell you that my shop is nearly chip and dust free unless I use a dado blade on the TS. Yesterday I was sanding a piece of oak around the size of a deck of playing cards-at my spindle sander, at the very far end of the run from the CV. The system sucked the wood right out of my hands. I had to quickly shut the system off and track the piece down in the ductwork (it landed at the blast gate of another piece of equipment). Good enough for me.

BTW the pics are from fairly early in the installation, before I'd added my jointer and sander and all of the piping/hoses, but you'll get the idea.

One additional note: I have a Sawstop Professional table saw, and highly recommend the blade guard overarm dust collection option. I find that it helps immensely.

I've never used another DC system so I'm not in a position to compare. But I can definitely recommend the CV 1800 to those with the funds, the necessary ceiling height, and the time.