The Shopfox W1869 Cyclone Dust Collector provides the efficiency of a 2-stage cyclone system with the portability of a single-stage dust collector.

Features include high surface area pleated filters with paddles to mechanically knock off dust cake, remotely controlled magnetic switches, easy lid lifting levers for emptying collection drums, and a compact design for moving around the shop. Three models are available to suit most dust collection needs.

Keep the handy battery-operated remote near you to turn the W1869 on and off. Spend less time walking to and from the dust collector, and more time operating your woodworking machines. 

For even more convenience, the swivel casters on the collector make moving it around your shop a breeze. The Cyclone system allows for larger wood chips to fall and be caught in the drum, while finer wood particles are circulated into the filter.

Pros

  • Comes with a remote control
  • Cleans and purifies air
  • Allows for collection of larger wood chips
  • Dust collection makes it easier for disposal 

Cons

  • Is very expensive to buy 
  • Repairs and maintenance is costly

Specifications

  • Motor: 3 HP, 220V, 3450 RPM, 18A
  • Intake hole size: 8″
  • Impeller: 15″ welded steel
  • Collection drum size: 35 gallons
  • Air suction capacity: 1941 CFM
  • Static pressure: 11.0″
  • Approx. shipping weight: 419 lbs.

Buyer’s guide

Points to consider 

There are two main points to consider when choosing a dust collector. First, figure out the air-volume requirements of the machines in your shop (see the chart on p. 84). Next, decide on what kind of hookups you are going to use: flexible hose, PVC pipe or metal duct.

The horsepower rating is a fairly reliable guide to the performance of a dust collector (see the chart on p. 85). Hookups, however, are everything. Too much flexible hose will rob even a big collector of power. PVC pipes, in short runs, work fine with a sufficiently powered collector, 11/2 hp or more. Metal duct, not unexpectedly, performs best. Even an 8-year-old, 1-hp col-lector can collect chips from machines 25 ft. away when hooked up to a properly designed system. Using a 1-hp collector this way may seem misguided, like putting a racing exhaust system on a subcompact car, but the experiment illustrates how you don’t have to spend a fortune to get decent results. 

A 1-hp single-stage collector can handle any machine in my shop. 1-hp single stage dust collector can handle that machine, hooked up with about 6 ft. of 4-in.-dia. flexible hose. One-hp single-stage collectors cost about $200. Some woodworkers buy two units and station them strategically in their shop. At 82 decibels (measured at 8 ft.), a 1-hp dust collector isn’t much noisier than a vacuum cleaner, and each one takes up about 3 sq. ft. of shop space.

Three styles of dust collectors

The most economical and biggest-selling dust collectors are the two-bag, single-stage models. Single stage means the dust is sucked through the impeller (fan) and dumped into the lower bag. The upper bag collects fine sawdust and lets the exhaust air back into the shop.

Two-stage collectors are the next step up. The motor and impeller sit atop a barrel. Chips enter the barrel and are directed downward, although the swirling air inside may occasionally move smaller chips upward. A filter bag hangs off to one side and collects the finest dust.

Two-stage cyclones are at the top of the evolutionary chain. The motor and impeller sit atop a cone-shaped canister, the cyclone, which is connected to a trash can below. Chips or other large debris enter the cyclone and swirl downward, avoiding the impeller. 

The longer the cyclonic chamber, the greater its effectiveness at slowing down and separating large particles. Air is filtered either by a pleated internal cartridge or by one or more felt bags hanging off to the side of the machine. Internal-cartridge cyclones use the least amount of floor space. The upper bags or cartridge filters of all collectors must be shaken out occasionally to remove fine dust.

DANGERS OF SINGLE-STAGE COLLECTORS

Debris entering a single-stage collector passes through the impeller, many of which are made of steel. Even a small bit of metal, such as a screw, can cause a spark when it hits a steel impeller. Dust-collector explosions are rare, but the potential is there. Debris, metal or otherwise, not only makes a racket when it hits an impeller but also imparts stress on the bearing and will shorten its life. 

One way to reduce the risk of fire is to choose a single-stage collector with a plastic or aluminum impeller. Although the impeller itself won’t cause a spark, metal debris striking the steel housing may have the same effect. Steel impellers are fine, however, if you avoid using the dust collector to sweep up miscellaneous debris off the floor.

On the matter of choosing a dust collector, a two-stage cyclone gets my top vote. A small cyclone collector takes up less room, is easy to empty, and runs very clean. For example, on all of the single-stage units, even after running them for only an hour, fine dust appeared on the machine and in the area around it. That’s because it’s difficult to get a perfect seal between the bag and housing.

Our Verdict

Another helpful dust extraction accessory to add to your workshop is a remote-controlled hanging air filtration system. Workshop air filters will suck in the dust that didn’t get caught by your dust extractor. You can turn on the air filter while using machinery, while sanding, or while sweeping, and let it run for however long you want, until the timer shuts it off. 

There are some good filter systems for quite good prices. Just look at the specs on each air filter to make sure you get one that’s big enough for your workshop. Some of them are affordable enough to add a second filtration unit for a larger workshop. So good luck and enjoy!!

David D. Hughes