Rikon Impeller Swap on Harbor Freight

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Forum topic by Kelly posted 12-01-2020 04:45 AM 446 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3279 posts in 3912 days

12-01-2020 04:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: rikon impeller rikon harbor freight collector

I have a Harbor Freight dust collector I bought just to run off my Super Dust Deputy for vacuuming out doors in gravel, the garden and the yard. Initially, it was to pick up pine cones left by our two pine trees.

I’d tried a regular shop vac, but it couldn’t handle the pine cones, if they expanded at all. They’d plug it. Then the family store got painted and the painters left a lot of debris on the gravel around the store and a shop vac wouldn’t pull it without grabbing a lot of the gravel. The dust collector was perfect for grabbing pine cones and the debris in the gravel.

I started out with a one horse Delta, but it was lacking, so I dropped the dime for a Harbor Freight unit. It would well, but still could have used some more ummmmphh. Taking one of my big collectors was out of the question. Even if I installed wheels on them like the Super Dust Deputy drum and the Harbor Freight unit, they are too much to drag up and down the little bank and out to the yard.

I plunged again and bought the Rikon impeller, which has been sitting and waiting for me to install it. I held off because installing it required pulling the motor and impeller housing, because of the cart I installed it on for outdoor use. Now, a couple months in, I took the time and went for the swap.

Pulling the collector impeller was easier than I feared, because the nuts on the underside were tack welded in place. Six bolts and two band clamp screws later and the unit was off the cart. The impact removed the million screws covering the impeller quickly.

I had a small three arm puller about the size of a battery cable puller and it was perfect. A 1” socket extension gave me the lift to pop the old unit off with ease.

The new impeller went on easier. I set the key to align the groove, did a couple taps and it tapped in place quickly. I re-installed the left turn Allen and reversed all my other steps and was in operation again.

The whole job should take around one hour, with a wheel puller.

When the collector is not doing the occasional yard or other outside duty, it tends my miter. I have a Rousseau hood over the miter. It helps a lot, but dust still eased back out with the collector drawing through it. HOWEVER, with the new impeller, I did not notice so much as a hint of dust headed anywhere other than to the collector.

Watch out pine cones.

The old or stock fan is shown below. In my excitement at getting the job done, I forgot the after photo. Suffice it to say it fills the opening void with only about a quarter inch or so around to spare. Of course, once in, the gap is far greater. Probably around 3” around.

6 replies so far

View Mike Turner's profile

Mike Turner

72 posts in 3124 days

#1 posted 12-01-2020 09:20 AM

Hi Kelly,Thats awesome.If you get a chance post the after pic also. I am wanting to do this asap…Its been on my to do list a while.Do you have the Rikon impeller # you used? Also the 3 arm puller where did you get yours? I dont have one..I guess just a small one should work….maybe 6 or so. (I know a lot of ?s Thanks!)

What size of flex hose are you using? I have 4” on mine and that maybe too small. But my run is small…from the dust collector to the lathe or anywhere in between is less than 20’ and there is 10’ of 4” pvc in there.

Thanks in advance for your help!

-- Mike,North Carolina

View Kelly's profile


3279 posts in 3912 days

#2 posted 12-01-2020 06:27 PM

Sadly, like I said, I got so caught up in finishing the project I forgot the after (installed) photo.

Here is someone else posted comparing the two impellers. When you look at the size difference and not the stock one in the housing, above, it’s obvious there should be some improvement. Then there is the reverse vanes that are said to solve certain problems.

The part number, from Rikon, is P60-200, for a 12” impeller.

I am only running a four inch hose. Regarding any upgrades to larger hose, my priority is the two 3hp, four “bag” (one with bags, one with canisters) collectors I have.

Like I mentioned, this unit tends my miter, but was bought for yard work (any old excuse in a storm, or no storm), which uses a 4”, 20 foot hose. I may swap it to closer fit the Super Dust Deputy one day, as my allowance permits.

View HackFabrication's profile


210 posts in 680 days

#3 posted 12-01-2020 08:57 PM

I did that ‘upgrade’ on my Craig’s List HF DC:":

Noticeable improvement.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

View Kelly's profile


3279 posts in 3912 days

#4 posted 12-02-2020 01:13 AM

Thanks for the page, HackFab. Yours had far more info. Mine was just to give another thumbs up for upgrading what you have (a HF disposable).

For my application, it’d be a matter of going to the six inch hose, rather than pipe, for the obvious reason the cyclone and collector have to be pulled down to the yard separately.

View HackFabrication's profile


210 posts in 680 days

#5 posted 12-02-2020 06:19 PM

When I bought my HF DC off Craig’s List, the seller had bought it for one job: Removing blown-in insulation from an attic. They are handy tools for a variety of needs.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

View Kelly's profile


3279 posts in 3912 days

#6 posted 12-02-2020 06:58 PM

Yep. And the SSD really cranks their value for those off-label uses. Not having things run through the impeller makes it possible to vacuum gravel and such without beating the impeller to death. I don’t imagine all the pine cones mine has vacuumed would improve the impeller design much either.

I doubt the SSD would have worked for the insulation though. I have a bit of the pink stuff swirling in the collection bag of one of my big collectors. It’s just too light to spin out.

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