Wood Magazine ClearVue Cyclone reviews

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Forum topic by LSGss posted 01-04-2014 02:51 AM 7967 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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68 posts in 2531 days

01-04-2014 02:51 AM

Hello Fellow woodworkers,

So I am a person who researches a lot before buying anything. I have been looking for a good DC system and finally ordered a ClearVue CV1800 this December. They are a little behind because of all the orders so I have not received mine yet. Today I received the newest Wood Magazine and they did not review the CV so favorably. They ranked it for sure behind the Oneida V3000. In filter effectiveness after 6 passes of sanding mdf it became worst at filtering particles greater than 1 micron. Airflow measurements were also poor.

I was wondering if anyone has seen this article and any input. I am not sure if I should still continue with the clearvue or cancel my order and keep researching.

Its hard for me to put too much weight on this one article but I dont have much to go on. I read many peer reviewed articles, albeit ithem about orhopaedics, but I know you can make research show anything.

Let me know what you all think.


14 replies so far

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 2440 days

#1 posted 01-04-2014 03:43 AM

May I suggest that you look and see which cyclone has the most prominent ad in the issue? It’s funny how those with highest advertizing bills often get the best reviews. Go figure. I’d do a search for owners reviews on the unit you have ordered rather than trust one reviewers opinion. Real world use is what counts not staged test. I’m a skeptic when it comes to magazine reviews, it’s just my nature. That’s why I joined L J, you guys won’t steer me wrong, at least not on purpose.

View LSGss's profile


68 posts in 2531 days

#2 posted 01-04-2014 04:03 AM

I agree 100%, I just wanted to hear someone else say it. Everyone I hear from is very happy with their clearvue cyclone.

Thank you

View Hybridwoodworker's profile


28 posts in 2676 days

#3 posted 01-04-2014 01:42 PM

I have not seen the revue but when I was looking for my DC I looked for info from people, not magazines. While I am not fully convinced that advertising affects the outcome, it is enough of a question to cause me to discount them. Like statistics, reviews can rigged to test under the one circumstance that affects the top performer.

I have a clearview and been running it for 2 years now. I do not regret the purchase and believe that it does what it needs to and continues to impress me with its effectiveness.

To reduce the footprint, my cyclone is in the shed behind the shop and the filters are in the shop.


-- Life is hard, it is harder if you are stupid.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5811 posts in 3037 days

#4 posted 01-04-2014 01:44 PM

I’ve been a Wood subscriber for years, and appreciate their tool reviews. That said, I’ve seen maybe 2-3 DC reviews over the years and none of them (IMHO) got their chit together. I won’t say they are bowing to advertisers, but it would sure seem to be the case. Besides that Oneida donated the huge DC they have in their shop they built some years back. I have an Oneida SDG, it’s a POS and I dream of the day when I can step up to a CV.

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

View 49er's profile


174 posts in 2148 days

#5 posted 01-04-2014 02:50 PM

I installed a ClearVue Max last summer and it works fine. It is located outside and exhausts outside with no filters. It is under roof.

View bigblockyeti's profile


6076 posts in 2264 days

#6 posted 01-04-2014 03:37 PM

I too am suspect of any magazine review of any product where said magazine could (or is) generating revenue from that product manufacturer’s advertising budget. I prefer third party objective tests where there is no possibility of conflicting interests. Kind of reminds me of all the youtube videos of the when new (2007) Toyota Tundra was shown out pulling various different trucks, it’s all about setup. With the potential for bias understood, the reviews can be somewhat helpful in making your own determination, so long as you accept the subjectivity with a grain (or ton) of salt!

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2869 days

#7 posted 01-04-2014 03:59 PM

” ... I just wanted to hear someone else say it. Everyone I hear from is very happy with their clearvue cyclone.”
Total incongruence here. You already heard it many times so what makes you want to hear it again. Chill out and get some confidence on the side.

This is paid ads, so for sure even if they say they are neutral they are not. The higher you pay, the better your review will be.

View WhoMe's profile


1568 posts in 3787 days

#8 posted 01-04-2014 04:18 PM

Kind of like car reviews in car mags. Not hard to see the correlation…

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View Kelly's profile


2472 posts in 3488 days

#9 posted 01-05-2014 06:03 PM

My Chevy was a 3hp Dust Gorilla. It was great. However, now that I’m retired, it’s more machine that I need, since they are not designed to be turned off and on again, like smaller units. For that reason, I sold it and went to a 1-1/2 hp Jet Vortex (or maybe that’s my Astro Van) with a Super Dust Deputy in front of it.

I plan on a second for the other side of my hobby shop, if I find a craigslist deal. A two horse might be best, since my saw has both cabinet and over-arm dust collection. However, the usual dust from unshielded cutting operations using a zero-clearance insert aside, it does a good job. With the Guard down, there is little clean up to do at the end of the day and a four inch hose with a [sewer pipe] tube on the end makes quick work of that.

In the end, just having a cyclone, period, is, in my opinion, a huge step in the right direction toward efficient dust filtration. by it keeping the filters or bags clean longer, you’ll maintain good performance longer between cleanings. Too, having a cyclone will keep your impellers alive longer, since they are not going to take a beating from wood chunks and screws.

If you get a canister, I recommend, highly, the agitator paddles.

View jmos's profile


916 posts in 2913 days

#10 posted 01-05-2014 06:17 PM

I’ve got a CV-1800. Very happy with it. I agree, you need to take a lot of the tests with a grain of salt.

One thing I liked about ClearVue was that you could get lots of info on their filters because they didn’t make them; they shipped direct from Wynn. At least when I was looking a few years back, the spec some of the other folks were giving about their filters were less than complete.

-- John

View TheDane's profile


5696 posts in 4207 days

#11 posted 01-05-2014 06:21 PM

Lenny—Sounds like you did your due diligence before making your purchasing decision. Don’t over-think this.

ClearVue has an outstanding reputation for quality products and customer service. I put more stock in that than in a single review/comparison by a magazine.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View oldnovice's profile


7505 posts in 3912 days

#12 posted 01-06-2014 03:02 AM

I saw this review by The Wood Whisperer which sort of sold me on the Dust Deputy!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 3048 days

#13 posted 01-06-2014 04:27 AM

I have a clearvue and I’m happy. Had it five years now. Purchased from the original father/son inventors.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3742 days

#14 posted 02-20-2014 11:02 AM

Hi guys. This comes late, but I feel bound to respond. I haven’t seen the full mag piece, but did see the summary version on their website.

I run a DIY version of the Clear Vue built to Bill Pentz’ drawings from his website in a small shop, and am over the moon with the performance my system, and with the highly effective collection and air quality it delivers. I’ve not run the commercial version of it, but it doesn’t seem expensive – it’s significantly cheaper than others in the 5HP/6in + ductings/full size cyclone space.

It was basically designed as a self assembly system to enable low cost access to a high performing dust system. The plastic and MDF construction seems to work just fine. Nicely painted metal is perhaps more attractive, but the pay off is in the way that woodworker friendly materials facilitate mods for custom layouts and non standard installations.

It’s very hard to square the result the magazine reported which begs definite questions. I posted in their comments section in a similar vein to here to here, but it was removed after a few days. (?)

All being well it’s the filter specification (HEPA, MERV or whatever number) and hence cartridge filter performance that determines how much dust is returned to the shop.

Speculating it’s hard not to think that assembly of the system left some pressure side leaks unsealed, the cartridge was damaged and leaking or something of that sort.

All the signs are that these systems normally deliver excellent air quality – there have been multiple users with Dylos meters report excellent air quality/particulate numbers results from the CV on the various forums.

The CV (unlike many) has twin cartridges giving much more area/longer life. Cartridge quality is down to the spec you buy – from respectable sources they pretty well must perform to their ratings. CV filters come from Wynn, who again seem very well regarded. (it’s possible to subsitute any of the major brands though – here in Europe I run Donaldson items) Cheapie stuff from indefined sources might be another matter.

Likewise the average airflow/CFM – short of problems with the test set up it seems highly unlikely that the CV moved less air than a competing 3HP unit. Most CVs (while they are fitted with a 5hp motor for additional robustness – the CV isn’t inlet restricted to protect the motor) seem to draw around 4HP on typical 6in duct/double garage plus sized installations. So barring major impeller inefficiency issues they more or less have to be capable of better CFM than a 3HP unit.

User reports and recent measured airflow numbers posted on one of the forums again back this up.

Good capability at the higher pressure end of the curve is important, because most installations have restrictions – with machine hoods of reduced open area being a very common problem. The only very slightly curved vanes on the CV impeller are of a type that normally performs better in this situation than highly backward curved (BC) types fitted by some. High BC vanes it seems reduce the risk of more marginally specced motors overloading in high pressure conditions.

Another thought on the report is that it doesn’t seem to have evaluated cyclone performance in isolation. This is a critical factor, in that the degree of carry over of fine dust determines filter cartridge life. Users again report excellent performance from the CV which uses a taller cyclone design developed from a high performing industrial model rather than the truncated types used by many competing systems. (which presumably are that way to save materials and shipping cost, and to ease installation)

It needs bearing in mind that all of these single stage cyclones are on their limits in woodworking, and will pass some fraction of the finest dust – so small design differences may have significant implications for filter life.

I’d be the first to argue that cyclone system makers need to establish a proper (shared) test regime and publish hard performance data enabling direct comparisons and capable of predicting the air quality likely to be delivered by a properly functioning system (there doesn’t seem to be anybody doing this) – but despite this there’s a lot of very happy users out there in the case of the Clear Vue….

Something odd may or may not have occurred during the mag test, but my basic thought is that given that the CV is such a well regarded and widely used system that the onus was on the mag to figure out the reasons and report why they obtained such poor results.

Whatever your preferences I’d strongly recommend that anybody buying a system like this does their homework (talk to users, check out some recent CV production, see some examples running, take the time to work through Bill Pentz (far from concise but highly informative) website to gain an understanding of the key issues in dust systems before buying…

-- Late awakener....

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