Oneida - Supercell (Rating: 5)

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

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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.

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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:

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Bottom view:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.