2 small dust collectors vs 1 large

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Forum topic by unclearthur posted 11-16-2016 09:25 AM 1452 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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383 posts in 2869 days

11-16-2016 09:25 AM

Hi. Just looking for some advice. Moved recently and am setting up a garage type shop, about 600 square feet. I’ve never had a dust collection system before but want something this time for obvious reasons. I have typical home woodworker gear (contractor TS, 12” planer, 6” jointer, bandsaw, router table etc).

I’ve seen lots of pictures of shops with a large dust collection system in the corner with lots of piping to the different machines. As an alternative to that, I’m thinking of buying 2 small (say 1 HP) dust collectors and station one right in the middle of the TS/Jointer/Planer (which are clustered together) and the second one by the router/sander/etc. I think the cost savings from using a smaller dust collector and less piping, etc will almost pay for the 2nd collector. Less power but also less pressure drops. Also maybe a little more convenient for turning on/off or opening / closing gates because the DC is near the machine you are using.

Cost aside, does it make any sense? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

5 replies so far

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1673 days

#1 posted 11-16-2016 11:46 AM

As a general rule one big machine is more efficient than two with half power. In your case it is even not two small against one big as only one collector runs at any point of time. So unless your piping is super long and complicated you will alwas have half of the suction.

View joey502's profile


558 posts in 2599 days

#2 posted 11-16-2016 01:08 PM

My setup it similar to what you are thinking. I have a 1.5hp delta DC and super dust deputy piped (4” PVC sewer pipe) to my table saw (cabinet), jointer (6”) and planer (12” lunchbox). The DC is in the corner of my garage, the 3 machines are clustered together about 8’ away with blast gates at each. I upgraded the to a canister filter and eliminated the bottom bag all together. This setup covers works well for my hobby shop.

I use a Ridgid shop vac and dust deputy for my band saw and router table. These two machines are close enough together that I can swap the hose between them during use. Again this set up works very well for my needs. An added benefit with this setup is that the vac and dust deputy fit under a bench along that same wall of the shop, taking up space I would otherwise use to hoard things I don’t need.

View Loren's profile


11192 posts in 4729 days

#3 posted 11-16-2016 05:51 PM

You can do that. It’s fine. Big DCs are louder
anyway. I got by with dedicated shop vacs
for years.

I have a 1.5hp (wood magazine) cyclone and
it’s barely adequate but it’s quiet. I also have
a 3hp double bag monstrosity I use for my
planer and stroke sander. A big unit is really
the way to go if you want to maximize collection
not only of chips but also fine dust in the air.
If the bags are in another room or outside the
dust coming through the bags won’t come
back into your work space.

View Wondermutt's profile


69 posts in 1938 days

#4 posted 11-23-2016 03:10 PM

I was in the same situation. I had a large DC for the shop and a Grizzly portable that I used for the tools that were on mobile carts/benches. In the new shop, I do not have room for the main DC. So the plan was to use the Grizzly as the primary unit and the HF Dc as the portable unit, to avoid using shop vacs.

I can honestly say, that I have no issues using the Grizz as the only DC. I have a small section of 4” pipe with gates for the stationary tools and flex hoses for everything else. Mind you I have to move the DC around, but its really no big deal.

I will say that I am now using a Delta portable planer where I was using a much larger Grizzly stationary unit, and well the delta makes a mess. I am trying to figure out how to improve the hood setup for the chips.

This is just me, but by the time you get two 1hp units configured with cyclones and containment/collection buckets, you will be into a much better portable such as this. I got this one on sale:

here is what I was using for the primary DC. Again no comparison from what i am using now, bit the new solution works:{7F6C8978-92E8-4902-9A37-D8A254EDF4FC}

Good luck and do what ever you can afford.

View DanielWS's profile


2 posts in 2340 days

#5 posted 12-02-2016 05:54 PM

I’m keeping it simple … very simple. Shop Vac and a Dust Deputy. I have another ancient vacuum for general vacuuming of the floor, bench top, etc.

I don’t mind moving the dust collection items around as I use different pieces of machinery. My basement shop is fairly small and simple and my larger tools and even some smaller tools have dust collection ports on them.

I’d rather invest the money in some more tools.

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