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Thread: A Harbor Frieght DC gloat and review

  1. #1

    A Harbor Frieght DC gloat and review

    I've received so much useful information on this forum, I feel compelled to give what little advice I can offer (I'm still quite new to woodworking... mostly because I get so little time to work on the hobby).

    Anyway, at the nudging of several members here, I recently picked up a Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector. Using a coupon in Wood Magazine, I picked it up for $139 (+ tax). My general impression of the store was: “Poor quality knock-off tools.” So I was a bit leery to buy the unit, but I figured for around $150, it wasn’t that big of a commitment.

    I was pleasantly surprised. The overall construction of the unit was decent, but the motor, the most important part, seems well made. And overall, it’s relatively quiet and works very well at picking up dust. All the chips from my jointer and planer were picked up. At first, I didn’t think I needed such a big unit (I was looking at that mini Rockler 1hp unit), and just after I put it together my wife walked out and said, “What the hell is that, an inflatable punching bag?” and rolled her eyes. But man did I generate a lot of shavings just getting my planer and jointer tuned up, so the seemingly large size is appropriate. Also, there appears to be plenty of mods for this unit to make it even better.

    For a beginning woodworking on a budget, I’d highly recommend this DC unit.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
    The 2HP DC is one of HF's gems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Shreveport, LA
    I got the same one (using the coupon in wood magazine) and am surprized how well it works.

    One thing you might consider is a Wynn filter for it. I justified the added expense (around 120 dollars with shipping) because of the good deal on the DC. The filter (according to this forum) greatly improves the performance of the dc as it filters smaller particles than the bag.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    NJ outside Philadelphia
    I like the DC too. I use it with my CNC machine. I located the DC outside in its own enclosure and turn it on with a HF remote control. Push the fob button and it starts right up and I don't hear anything but the whooosh at the end of the hose.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    The Hartland of Michigan
    I also have one. Just got the trash can separator for it, and getting ready to build one of Phils baffles.
    Using the planer and jointer wears thin when you have to empty that bag all the time.
    Never, under any circumstances, consume a laxative and sleeping pill, on the same night

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I picked one up yesterday after hearing so many good things. I held off on the remote since I'd like to connect it to 220V. I do plan on getting a higher efficiency pleated filter for it too, but I want to get it assembled first.

  7. #7
    I've had mine for two years now. No complaints at all. I built a separator using a heavy duty 50 gallon plastic barrel. The separator catches all of the shavings and most of the dust. I put a "window" in the barrel. When it's about 2/3 full, I empty it. About every fourth time that I empty the barrel I also empty and clean the bag on the DC unit. By then the bag will have appx. 12" of fines in it.

    For the small shop the HF DC unit is hard to beat, IMHO.
    Stephen Edwards
    Hilham, TN 38568

    "Build for the joy of it!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Northern Colorado
    They're just great

    I wholeheartedly recommend the Wynn cartridge filter AND a chip separator. Big improvement !!

    Enjoy !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Wakefield, MA
    Congratulations. I've had mine for about six years. I put one-micron felt bags on it from the beginning and added a Long Ranger remote. Supposedly the switch is a weak point, but since I have the Long Ranger to turn it on and off, I've only used the switch about three times. I use it on one tool at a time, and it works just fine. The inlet sometimes got clogged with planer shavings or dried leaves that I vacuumed up from the garage floor, so I cut the wire grid out of the opening.

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