Anyone try upgrading their HF DC impeller?

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Forum topic by Sarit posted 04-09-2013 10:51 PM 30162 views 18 times favorited 75 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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552 posts in 4106 days

04-09-2013 10:51 PM

The Harbor Freight 2HP Dust Collector has a 10” impeller. By most accounts this is too small for a 2HP system leaving usable HP off the table. I’d like to know if anyone has successfully done the upgrade and if they did, what part# did they use.

I’ve done a lot of searching, but haven’t seen any part numbers of successful upgrades.

On the thien forum, one person tried using Grizzly’s impeller part# P1028Z2010 and it was so heavy, the motor couldn’t bring it up to speed fast enough to prevent it from tripping the breaker.

75 replies so far

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2915 days

#1 posted 04-09-2013 11:37 PM

on a well designed DC the impeller and blower housing are matched. The impeller is not in the center. It is offset to cause more of a spiral effect. If you go to Bill Pentz’s website he has a further more scientific explanation.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3937 days

#2 posted 04-10-2013 01:22 AM

You are proposing something impossible.
Any one of the major components that make up the HF dust collector, if purchased saparately, would cost as much as you paid for the entire collector.
It would be like going to the auto parts store and buying a car, piece at a time. It would cost over $100,000.
And, what’s the point?
If you were to be phenomenally lucky and find an impellor that fit the motor shaft, and fit in the housing, and was larger in diameter, and you could afford it, I will gurantee that it will overload the motor under some operating situations.
Then when your motor fries what you going to do?

View Sarit's profile


552 posts in 4106 days

#3 posted 04-10-2013 05:36 AM

Hi Shawn, crank49

“on a well designed DC” you are right. The problem is the HF DC is by many accounts not well designed. They are usually cheap ripoff of other DC designs. The impeller is way undersized for a 2HP motor. But being cheap also, makes them an attractive option for tinkering with. The going price for replacement impellers from grizzly and delta that I think might work are [$110-$136] and $82 respectively.
If you look at sites like, you’ll see that the same impeller is often sold as a replacement for several DC models despite having different HP motors. Also most induction motors within the same HP range tend to have the same shaft diameter to fit within a NEMA standard.

I actually have another 2hp 240V motor that I got off of craigslist in case this one blows.

Update: I found this while I was writing this post:

…As Alan stated the impeller is smaller than most, measuring 9.75”, but the 12” impeller from a Rikon 60-200 DC is a perfect and easy direct fit replacement. It was $60 + shipping when I got mine.

I got this from comment #13

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6718 posts in 3459 days

#4 posted 04-10-2013 11:15 AM

Sarit, I would think a 12” impeller would overwhelm that motor. Most 2 HP blowers come with the 12”, but the HF is more like a 1.5 HP, and those are usually sold with 11” impellers. Not trying to dissuade you from any plans, but give it careful consideration. I dod remember a guy who increased his impeller. Years ago some of the forums had a member with the screen name “Dizzy”. Dizzy was a talented metalworker/welder as well as a skilled woodworker. He took a Jet 1100 impeller and welded an extension on each vane (1/2” more, I think). Then carefully checked for imbalance (none) and motor overload (also none). Regardless, good luck with your quest….but if it were me, starting with a more capable unit would be a lot easier.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 3151 days

#5 posted 04-10-2013 12:59 PM

That forum is saying that all or the HF impellers are backwards!

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3937 days

#6 posted 04-10-2013 03:12 PM

Some fans are designed with forward inclined vanes and some are straight or backward inclined. Can’t say they are made incorrectly unless you know what the original design was. The angle has a great deal to do with the volume v.s. pressure curves and also the capacity to run in different temperatures without overloading.

View Sarit's profile


552 posts in 4106 days

#7 posted 04-10-2013 03:30 PM

Yes, HF’s use forward-inclined fans whereas most use backward inclined or just straight radial fans. Forward inclines provide more flow at the expense of more HP and noise, but quickly lose their flow as pressure increases which makes them bad candidates if you plan to add things like cyclones or thein baffles and/or a duct network.

I’m not trying to do the impossible here, I just heard somewhere that someone actually did it. It was a simple drop in replacement and since I’ll be monitoring the amp draw I think there’s little to worry about. If it was any more work than that, then I would forget about it.

I’m hoping that someone who’s actually tried it, could chime in here to let us know about their experiences.

View REO's profile


929 posts in 3040 days

#8 posted 04-10-2013 11:30 PM

There is a lot to consider to be sure! what is the operating current draw of the present motor without any ducting either to or from the fan? I don’t believe the fan blade from grizzley was to heavy. it was trying to move to much air with the given power. the current is directly effected by the volume of air that it is moving and Inversely effected by pressure. it takes less current to run a plugged fan than it does to run an open one.different fan styles have different effects on pressure, volume and staying clean.
what part of performance are you hoping to make better? higher pressure(suction) or more volume. other things that change are the opening size and style. with the same fan housing and blade more air can be moved if there is a properly shaped inlet rather than a blunt square edge. also the amount of clearance between the fan blades and the entrance side of the housing is important. is the existing blade set to far back from the inlet surface. You may have seen where someone got lucky and found a “drop in upgrade” if you have please be sure to report your findings.

View Sarit's profile


552 posts in 4106 days

#9 posted 04-11-2013 08:57 AM

The starting (0 rpm) current of any motor is going to be the highest current that it will ever see. It will almost always exceed the rated amp capacity of the amps on the motor plate. Also on 1 phase motors there is an extra starting coil that gets power until the centrifugal switch turns it off.
From my reading of the posts, I don’t believe they ever got the fan up to full operating speed such that the centrifugal switch would engage.

UPDATE: Someone on the other forum answered my question:
Hello, I have a HF DC with the Rikon 12” impeller installed. If you contact Rikon service you can order it, the model of their DC is the 60-200 and the part reference is #22. This easily slipped right onto the motor shaft.

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 2862 days

#10 posted 04-11-2013 01:33 PM

Here’s a link to a 5 video tutorial on a Thien separator that will increase performance without modifying the machine itself. I have built a cyclone before using plans in an old issue of Wood magazine and this will be a much easier build. It looks so simple it’s hard to believe it will actually work but seeing is believing.

View Alan72's profile


222 posts in 2999 days

#11 posted 05-01-2013 05:58 AM

I ordered the impeller from Rikon and recieved it last Friday. This is what I got when I opened the box the impeller is setup counter clockwise. The harbor freight DC impeller spins clockwise so I have to send it back. The one thing that is true is that it does fit in the DC but spins the wrong way, that’s sinks!

View Sarit's profile


552 posts in 4106 days

#12 posted 05-02-2013 07:08 PM

No, the direction is the same, just the shape of the blades are different. The rikon is designed with the more popular backward-inclined fan blade design whereas the HF is using a forward-inclined design.

Just look at Rikon’s photo. The shape of the housing dictates which direction the impeller should spin. Since the housing is the same as the HF’s, then it spins in the same direction.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3937 days

#13 posted 05-03-2013 01:22 AM

Backward inclined impellers have a wider tollerance for loading.
They trade a little volume capacity for stability.

The forward inclined impellers, like HF uses, get a little more air flow from a given horse power motor but can more easily be overloaded.

Overload situations to be careful of with forward inclined impellers, like HF, are running without a bag, opening up the inlet to let more air in, running on a cold day.

View Alan72's profile


222 posts in 2999 days

#14 posted 05-06-2013 03:56 PM

I was wrong about the impeller! Sarit was right, I’m glad I didn’t send it back yet, I put on this past weekend. It took me a while because I didn’t realize I needed a puller to get the impeller off. I got the puller and the impeller was off within 30sec. Put the Rikon impeller on and turned it on. Big difference with suction, the hum of the dust collector is slightly louder and the start up of the impeller takes a second longer to bring up to full speed. I want to thank Sarit for making me realize that I was wrong about the impeller.

View boardmaker's profile


35 posts in 3603 days

#15 posted 05-07-2013 01:07 PM

Wondering how much the new implellor costs? If you don’t feel like posting it, would you message it to me. I’m interested possibly.

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