I am strictly a hobby shop wood worker. I have a few different tools that I
think would work much cleaner if I were to hook up a dust collector (table
saw, router table, random orbit sander...) I do not ever foresee the need
to have two machines working simultaneously, so I do not need THAT much
power from a unit.
I see at Lowes they have a 3/4 HP machine capable of about 450 CFM for $99,
It is made by a company I'd never heard of "GMC" Global Machinery Company.
There is another, a Delta 1 HP capable of 650 CFM, but it costs a bit more
at about $170.
Aside form the units "sucking" capacity, I am looking for something quiet.
Nothing seems to come with a decibel rating, so I was wondering if there was
such a rating for these machines?
Anybody have any opinions to share? I appreciate any advice.
I'd go with the 1hp unit based on two things: greater cfm value, and a
reputable name (delta.) The reality is that most manufactures give bogus
numbers anyway. They are really chip collectors, not dust collectors, but
sure save me cleanup time.
The additional $80 over the years that the unit will give you good service
is worth the $$$.
I have not seen any DCs with decibel ratings, but I have a 1 1/2 hp delta,
runs much quieter then my shop vac. I have it connected to a TS and jointer
with blastgates, and another hose that gets moved to other tools as needed.
I don't know how to quantify this, but I can have a conversation in my shop,
without yelling while it's running.
I don't want to start a flame war, but my experience with harbor freight has
been horrible, and a poster has given some links, don't want to offend any
owners of this unit. I'm not anti-imports, I'm sure that the Delta and GMC
units are both imports, but gotta say that the Harbor Freight stuff that I
have seen is awful, no QA/QC.
HF is not so bad, just be careful, and choose what you buy there carefully.
I would pass on pretty much any HF tool with a tail, but the dust collector
is an exception. I believe the HF dust collector is on par with a bag style
Jet or Delta collector, for 1/2 the money.
I have to agree with Greg. I have the same dust collector and it works
very well even hooked up to a duct system with 5 blast gates on it. I
have not gone the modification route with it yet with the cartridge
filters etc. Maybe I never will if it keeps on doing as well as it is
now. I also agree with what other posters have said regarding HF
products though too. You definitely have to pick and choose your
products there. My wife bought me a SCMS there for my birthday. Of
course I had to smile & say "I love it", but it is pretty much a
"tolerable" piece of equipment. Good for trimming studs etc.
harbor freight QC is all over the place. I wouldn't buy from them
without either being able to examine the unit in person (my town has a
local store) or having a number of consistently good reviews to go
some of their stuff is of reasonable quality and a good value. some
isn't. this one is.
On Thu, 03 Mar 2005 19:30:32 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
====================================Personally I run a 2 Hp DC unit for most of my tools and a little 1 Hp
unit dedicated for my spindle sander, Router table & planner..
Noise is about 1/4 the noise my Shop Vac makes... I mean much much
lower... still not realy quiet but nothing all that great
Sorry but I can not recommend anything that is listed at 450 CFM
you honestly almost need that amount of air flow at the machine
..losses because of hoses etc will kill you...
That said.... I would not expect to all of a sudden have a dustless
shop... ain't gona happen... you still will need the broom and shop
Spend the money and go with the Delta unit...
I have a similar shop situation. It's in the basement. I got the Delta
AP400, which is the one you are talking about for $170, about 4 weeks ago.
It works wonderfully. I have nearly filled up the bag on it but have yet to
really see any pile up anywhere in the shop. That means it's doing it's
job. I got mine at a local lumber yard thats a Delta dealer for $139.99 US
so you might want to look around at places other than Lowes. I'm sure that
there are the same deals to be had all over.
About the noise... all I can say is its a lot more quiet than I expected.
Don't even think shopvac. All you really hear is a sound kind of like the
table saw without cutting wood and the air being sucked in. Its hard to
say, but if you have a shop vac I would say its about 60% of that sound...
plus its more 'airy' and not so 'whiney' if that makes any sense. :-)
I thought about the Harbor Freight 2HP model, but got scared off a bit. So
many people say HF is crap, although that particular piece gets decent
reviews, the motor being mounted basically on the ground has some drawbacks
(namely its gonna get hammered by all the larger pieces that get sucked in
unless you use a cyclone separator), it would have been about $30 more
altogether (which isnt that much), and it was on backorder for 'at least' 4
weeks when I called to inquire (made the decision easy for me). Im pretty
sure that I'd have been satisfied with it, but I do like the AP400. I
wonder if the HP is at all proportional to the sound?
Hope that helps.
I have Jet 1100 cfm and it is probably the quietest tool in the shop. Duct
collectors are not like vacuum cleaners.
Skip the 450 cm. If you run any amount of duct work, have a couple of bends,
you will be sadly disappointed. Friend of mine has the 650 and he is sorry
he did not go bigger even though he runs one tool at a time also as it is
marginal, but acceptable with no room to grow.
. I'm not positive, but I think GMC stands for Garbage Made in China, a
private label brand for Lowes.
Plan on either upgrading the bags, or moving to an aftermarket pleated
filter unit. 30 micron bags are missing the finer parts of the cloud - the
ones that clog your nasal passages.
I think that $300 spent on dust collection MAY be a better investment in
domestic tranquility than say, a spiffy new router lift.
which ever one you choose, I'd seriously consider adding a remote control or
something similar to the unit. Heck of a time saver, and the convenience
factor makes them well worth the money. I put a Shop Fox receiver that came
with two remotes on my Jet 1100 for $40 and am very pleased with it. --dave
Very true...unless the OP is just trying to keep his shop cleaner and
really has no intention of buying the DC for "health" reasons
...Also very true especially if it is a basement shop...but it is also
true even in a detached building ...not for domestic reasons but just
for the OP own enjoyment...dusty, dirty shops are just not a relaxing
place to HIDE from domestic interferences... (the wife) >
Here are a couple of websites, which I found helpful. They will change
your thinking about the 650 cfm unit.
Here is an excellent primer on DC:
This one's a little over the top, but interesting, nontheless:
I'd recommend looking at the DCs sold by Penn State Industries. They are a
good value. (Lots of CFM for the price.) I have had one for 5 years that I
bought used, and it works very well.
Wood magazine had a review a year or two back that was good. They measures
flow rate vs. restirction, and also measured noise. The Penn state models
faired well. IF I remember right, there was not a significant noise
difference between the brands, and my personal experience would back this up
Joe in Denver
My Woodworking Website:
I own the ShopFox 1.5hp (purchased from toolcorral.com). Though it's
kinda noisy, it's still quieter (I think) than my shop vac. Plus,
toolcorral has cheap shipping (no affiliation, just a happy customer).
Hope this helps.
J. Russell wrote:
I have a Harbor Freight dust collector that goes on sale (fairly
frequently) for $150 and it works well for me. There're photos
and details of how I've set it up at
<http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/dust_collection.html if you'd like
You should seriously consider getting a 2 hp model with a much higher cfm
rating, say ~1000 cfm or so, and put the machine outside. I ran a Grizzly
in my shop for a while, but it was loud (although not nearly so irritating
as my shop vac) and it put fine dust everywhere. The fine dust is what
will kill you because it gets very deep in the lungs. I finally built a
small shed for the dust collector and have a chip can in the line to get
most of chips. Having the dust collector outside means less dust to
breathe, and having the chip can means I seldom need to change the bags.
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