Photos by Carl Duguay; Illustration by Len Churchill
Cyclone collectors are more efficient at handling wood chips and dust than single-stage collectors. They work by drawing dust-laden air into the collector, where cyclonic action causes the heavy wood chips to spiral down a funnel into a waste container, while the lighter dust particles are drawn through an impeller into a filter canister. Clean air is vented out through the filter into the shop, and the fine dust settles into a waste bin. If the cyclone collector is equipped with a HEPA filter, it will remove dust particles down to 0.3 micron.
Price: $1,200 and up
Water lift: At least 8″
CFM: 700 to 1,200
Amperage: 11 to 20
Warranty: 1 to 5 years
Individual machine CFM requirements, shop layout, and knowing which machines will be on at the same time will enable you to determine the optimal CFM and static pressure best suited for your shop.
The most likely component to fail on a dust collector is the motor. All things being equal, choose the collector with a longer motor warranty.
A 1-micron filter is typically standard – a HEPA filter provides much better protection for your lungs.
A larger dust capacity means a longer time between emptying.
Ensure you have the right circuit in your shop to handle the motor amperage, as some collectors require a 20 amp circuit.