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Thread: Review - Oneida Vortex Dust Cobra Cyclonic Dust Containment System

  1. #1
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    Review - Oneida Vortex Dust Cobra Cyclonic Dust Containment System

    The Oneida Cobra vac was the best in its class IMO.
    Oneida has a new model that now offers more features and still has the performance of the previous machine.

    The performance of the new Cobra Cyclonic Dust Containment System is about the same as the first model. The difference in the two machines is some new features and a minor change in the design that I really like.
    Img_0701_sm.jpg
    You can see the two models side by side in the picture above. The new Cobra has castors that make it very easy to roll around, much like the traditional shop vac. The old model that I have been using is built on what is basically a hand truck that works OK but it takes two hands to move it around. This machine was also offered in a wall mount system that I am also familiar with, we purchased one for the sign shop at CNU.

    The Cobra CDC System is designed for floor refinishing and big drum sanders. Even so the machine will easily take care of the day to day job of keeping a work area clean and it will do it real fast. I purchased the Cobra on the right side of the picture several years ago, my goal was to be able to clean the table of my CNC Router quickly and without leaving any chips behind that would interfere with my next sheet being loaded on the router. Before I purchased the Cobra nothing I tried worked well, I even tried my Dust Collection system using a long hose and a custom pickup tool that I fabricated which worked OK but it still left behind small chips. The Cobra was the perfect machine for the job.

    Now the new Cobra CDC System adds some really nice features like the Rapid Pulse Filter Cleaner (RPFC). The cyclone does a good job of moving dust and chips to the drum reducing the frequency that the filter has to be removed to be cleaned. The new systems RPFC goes one step further making it convenient to keep the filter clean without having to remove it from the vac.

    The Dust Sentry Drum Level Indicator has a flashing light that lets you know when its time to empty the drum and the vac comes with plastic bags that allows you to remove the chips quick and easy.

    Enough of the boiler plate information..........I really like the new Oneida Cobra. I am now using a short hose because the castors make it so easy to drag the machine around my shop. It gets the job done right now so I don't have to fuss and scrub. Cleaning the table of my CNC Router is still a snap, nothing is left behind for me to have to manually brush or sweep off the table. The HEPA filters that Oneida uses make sure that the Cobra doesn't put the dust back in the air for me to breathe.

    The new Cobra CDC System is a bit pricey but that is to be expected for a Cadillac Vac. It fits my purchasing requirements meaning it is the "Best Value" for my shop and the type of work that I do.

    Click on this link and take a look at the details and the video which is pretty interesting. I will continue to update this thread as I spend more time with the new Cobra System. Any comments or questions are welcome, I will do my best.
    Img_0706_sm.jpgImg_0707_sm.jpg
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 11-07-2012 at 7:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Wow, that is a lot of money ($1124.00) for a fancy ShopVac! It is almost twice as much as a Festool dust extractor ($675). The Oneida has higher CFM but the Festool has half again greater SP which is what you need more than CFM when using small hoses.

    Sure you get a lot of features like the pulse cleaning, but I'm not sure all are needed, at least at that price, especially in something with only a 2.5" hose. Also, it is one big and tall sucker (size )- not small shop friendly, especially if you also have a roll-around DC for your main machines.

    I still think the best mix of price (about 1/10 the cost of the Cobra Vortex) and capability comes from using a mini cyclone (Oneida or ClearVue) with a generic shopvac and your own shop-made cart.

  3. #3
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    Alan,

    I'm not sure its accurate to call this one a fancy shopvac. I've owned several shopvac models, they aren't in this class of machines. I don't see the height of the machine as an issue, most people are more concerned about floor space footprint than the height of a machine. Note that the Cobra isn't the type of vac that you would use to clean off your workbench.

    The Festool vac isn't a cyclone, the advantages of the Oneida Cobra based on the design are a major factor. One in particular is not having to stop every 15 minutes to clean the filter because the performance drops to nothing. The ratio between CFM and W/C is how you balance a particular machine for a performance range and the Cobra's CFM numbers are very high for a vac system. The W/C rating is in a perfect range for the high end user. The size of the hose is based on the machines design and performance characteristics. The Cobra is definitely not the machine for everyone but it is a great machine for those who need a high performance system. I tried the small cyclone connected to a shopvac, it worked OK but it didn't have the performance I needed. This machine is designed to be used in a high performance situation when time equals money.

    I have been wrestling with the decision of what to do with the older Cobra. I hate the idea of selling it and I don't really need two Cobra's in my shop. I considered giving it away in a FreeStuff Drawing here and the option of installing it as a whole house vac. The machine is pretty valuable and in perfect condition.......looks brand new when you blow off the shop dust
    .
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 11-08-2012 at 6:19 AM.

  4. #4
    1 vote for a whole house vac. (Or you could just assume I will win the drawing.)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Outten View Post
    Alan,


    Snip...The Festool vac isn't a cyclone..snip
    .
    But get the Oneida ultimate dust deputy for the festool midi or mini and you have a cyclone at about 1/2 the price or less. I have the midi plus Ultimate Dust Deputy and it works very well. I also have a dust deputy on a Home Depot shop vac, also works very well. I am however somewhat seduced by the beauty of the Dust Cobra and the clean look of the system. The less expensive version is perhaps a more reasonable option.

    I like the perty yellow!

    By the way, I was told the motors in all the Festool vacs are the same, so if you have a cyclone, why buy a larger Festool vac?, The cyclone will capture most dust so why do you need the extra capacity of the larger vacs? Get a mini or midi and super dust deputy and pocket the change.

    (I put a cobra in my cart just so I remember, maybe someday I will buy...)

  6. #6
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    Although I don't own any Festool equipment I expect they make the best tools in the industry. The reason I don't purchase Festool is that they don't meet my "Best Value" equation that I use to determine what best suits my shop and the type of work that I do. It's not the high cost of their tools, its because I can purchase tools that are less expensive that I feel work well in my situation.

    The Cobra is certainly a high priced vac system but it is the perfect machine for the job in my shop. On one hand it does shop cleanup tasks, that I don't enjoy, really well so it makes the job go faster. On the other hand it does a job that I need to do many times per day, cleaning my CNC Table, that no other machine I know of will do faster or more efficiently. I have little patience for having to stop working to empty bags or clean filters. This is why I use a 3,000 gallon chip box attached to my Dust Collector. My first chip box was made of wood and 400 gallons in size, the new one is steel and will take years to fill up
    .
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 11-10-2012 at 9:22 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Outten View Post
    This is why I use a 3,000 gallon chip box attached to my Dust Collector. My first chip box was made of wood and 400 gallons in size, the new one is steel and will take years to fill up
    .
    Off subject, but that could be a major fire hazzard unless it is stored far enough away that if it catches fire, it won't take out the shop.

    Mike

  8. #8
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    The Festool has a self-cleaning filter bag in the newer full size vacs. But add about $200 for the nicer Festool-specific cyclone and you are getting closer to the price of the Oneida. But then again you can snap the cyclone off the F-vac in about 10s and its portable. Lots of considerations. Clearly Keith should buy the F-vac and cyclone and put them head-to-head!


  9. #9
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    Matt,

    I would love to be able to test both machines side by side but my shop budget couldn't stand the strain right now
    I just spent a big portion of my budget buying materials for a sign job so I have to keep a close eye on my spending until I get paid.

    When I am installing signs I have one of the little DeWalt portable vacs that runs on either 110 volts or battery power so I don't need to haul my cyclone around much
    .

  10. #10
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    Michael,

    About 90% of the chips in my chip box are plastic which is less of a fire hazard than some species of wood. The tank is steel so that reduces the hazard even more. It is located just a few feet from the back wall of my shop. It's possible a fire could spread from the chip box to the building but I consider it a low risk situation when you consider that most people have their DC inside their workshops.
    .

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