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Thread: Clear Vue Cyclones - how can they cost so little?

  1. #1

    Clear Vue Cyclones - how can they cost so little?

    Well, as you all know, I recently took possession of a FREE, vintage Onieda 1.5 HP system.

    Thanks to the excellent replies in that thread I started, I now know that I can "kinda sorta" get by with this, in my smallish shop, but would do well to upgrade at some point. So, I'm already looking around for options. (I'll be installing / keeping the main 6" metal trunk line, and probably the 5" wyes, drop-downs & blast gates.)

    I'e read tons of praise for the Clear Vue CV1800, and since I will be venting outside the price is sort of shockingly reasonable. $1400 + shipping, for a highly-rated 5 HP unit. That's about what I've seen USED 3 HP systems sell for recently. (from other companies.)

    Then I looked at the 3 & 5 HP Oniedas, and the price kind of knocked be backwards. And I'm not talking about their units with 3ph motors and "smart" speed control.

    So my queston is: Is Onieda just charging a huge surcharge for "their name," or is there something lacking in the Clear Vue? In other words, can the Clear Vue really be as good as folks claim for the price?

    Would a used Onieda possibly be a better system?

  2. #2
    I think you're missing a few things.

    First, the filter appears to add about $400 to the cost, so $2000 is a more reasonable comparison. I know you don't want one in this case, and it will save you money to not include it, but it's a more apples to apples comparison.

    Second, the Onieda cyclones are all made from metal, which is going to be more expensive. A better comparison is probably the Pentz EF5 from Clearvue, which is $3,300.

    Once we remove both those, major differences, I think the better question is why is the Grizzly actually cheaper at $2,700 for the G0442?

    Also, just as an aside, I think the "kind sorta get by" is not correct. Sorry, just not my experience.

  3. #3
    ^ Interesting.

    Is an all-metal cyclone considered superior, for a hobbyist shop?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Speers View Post
    ^ Interesting.

    Is an all-metal cyclone considered superior, for a hobbyist shop?
    I honestly don't know if it matters to be frank. I can tell you that my metal cyclone was a beast to hang on the wall, because of the weight of the metal, so plastic might be better for that. OTOH, the metal one is going to be more resistant to the odd accident, but probably not something to worry about, unless you're like me and swing around 2x4s without thinking. The plastic one is definitely more entertaining to watch.

    My only point was the the difference in materials was definitely causing a difference in price. Also you might want to ask why one company has chosen an approach that is different from any of the others in the market. I can't think of a reason why the other's don't also go with plastic, particularly Grizzly who seem focused on price.

  5. #5
    Maybe it's a grounding thing?

  6. #6
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    I think the cost reflects three things: 1) the difference in materials, 2) the tooling and work needed to construct the cone (heating, bending, and gluing polycarbonate rather then forming, welding, and painting steel, and 3) the amount of assembly done by the user including the mount - more of a "kit" than others. Perhaps the shipping cost is lower too because of the weight and size of the pieces.

    The efficiency of the ClearVue appears to be due to the long cone, the 5hp motor, and the long cone. My CV1800 puts talcum-fine powder in the bin and almost nothing in the exhaust to the filters.

    Some other things I like about the ClearVue besides the price and the efficiency: the weight does in fact make it easy to handle and install. The motor is the heavy thing, installed after the rest is up. They recommend two people for this but I didn't have any trouble doing it myself.

    I really like the clear cone - it's incredibly easy to test since you can simply watch the separation swirl in action. It would also be easy to see what's going on inside in the event of a future problem.

    I am happy to have the 5hp motor, especially after experiencing some dust collectors with smaller motors. An excess of power can make up for some inefficiencies in the rest of the installation.

    Since the ClearVue is a kit and available in both left hand and right hand configurations, it might be easier to fit into a specific space than one like I've seen sold pre-assembled in a frame, and probably easier to make modifications if needed. With the tall cone my ClearVue with a 30 gal metal trash can for a bin just barely fits under a 9' ceiling.

    JKJ

  7. #7
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    As of last year, I thought the Oneida V-series was pretty comparable in price to the clearvue (~ $1800 + shipping).
    Oneida's smart systems are considerably more.

    Matt

  8. #8
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    I don't know anything about Clearvue. However, I do know about Oneida as I've owned 2 cyclones; namely 1 like the cyclone you inherited and a new V1500. I checked and Oneida's prices have gone up significantly since I bought my V1500 when they first came out with this model several years ago. Despite what one of the posters said above, the V-series is not all metal. It is some kind of molded plastic unless they've changed the design. That doesn't matter, although it's likely the V-series is a little quieter because of that. Mine really even wouldn't require hearing protection if it was running on its own. Kind of nice when you're turning, but otherwise the other machines require it. It appeared to me that the 3HP was the same price as the 1.5 HP V-series, which means the 3HP is a better deal unless you don't have 230V service.

    It's possible that at least some of the difference in cost is due to differences in the motors. I know that Oneida has historically used the best.

    One thing I do know about Oneida's filters is that they have gone one step above the normal HEPA filter which would mean they filter as much as possible of the finest dust possible; more than others I believe.

    I can only say that I have had such great success collecting chips and dust even with the first collector that I would never go with anything else than Oneida, even though I know Clearvue also has a good reputation. The best thing is to make your own comparisons for cfm, ceiling clearance required (if that is an issue), cyclone inlet diameter, decibel ratings, and any other specs for which you can make comparisons. It might be that everything is the same, but I believe you'll find some differences and hopefully that will help you make your decision.

    I still believe that Oneida is the best but that's me . . .

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew More View Post
    ... OTOH, the metal one is going to be more resistant to the odd accident, but probably not something to worry about, unless you're like me and swing around 2x4s without thinking.
    I can't imagine hurting the plastic on the ClearVue with a 2x4 or maybe even a baseball bat. I bought a little extra from them to play with and it is incredibly tough - I cold bent a piece and it didn't break. If I remember correctly the plastic is polycarbonate. I didn't try it with one of these pieces, but about 40 years ago I shot a 9mm bullet at a polycarbonate sheet. It left a deformed spot and stopped the bullet. Perhaps that was a different type of polycarbonate, I don't know.

  10. #10
    Just wondering is clearview cyclone UL certified? Isn't it a build it yourself thing which you should have properly inspected by local electrical and safety authoritys once install is complete?

  11. #11
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    When I have looked at comparable machines from both companies, the total price was very similar as well as performance.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perrin Fife View Post
    Just wondering is clearview cyclone UL certified? Isn't it a build it yourself thing which you should have properly inspected by local electrical and safety authoritys once install is complete?
    From the manual:
    "Clear Vue Cyclones highly recommends the use of a professional,
    licensed electrician to complete the wiring and any electrical work
    associated with this installation. Significant damage to your system and/or
    bodily harm can result."


    The electrical part of the cyclone itself consists of a cable to the motor - the connections are well documented. Many people have enough experience to make the connections but with the least doubt hiring the electrician is certainly a good idea. A typical installation comprises a 220v contactor (relay) and some lower voltage control wiring. Based on questions here and elsewhere, even some with long experience with electrical wiring in general wiring are unsure of how to wire that up so again, some professional help is an extremely good idea.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In case you are interested, this is what I wired up in my sound-reduction closet. I may tend to go a little overboard with electrical work. (I am not an electrician but I do have almost 1/2 century of experience, wired the entire shop myself including the underground service.)
    None of this is specific to the ClearVue. On the left is a sub panel for the air compressor and cyclone fed directly from the shop breaker box. On the right is a sub panel fed from a different circuit for room lights and a switch to disable the DC controller if needed. The middle section is the cyclone stuff - box with contactor, electrical disconnect switch, and a somewhat redundant twist-type receptacle to plug in a flex cable to the motor. (I wired it this way to make it easier to remove the motor assembly from the room if ever needed.)

    electrical_closet_small_c.jpg

    I put the wireless remote receiver and bin sensor electronics/alarms in the main shop. All has worked flawlessly.

    electrical_shop_s.jpg

  13. #13
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    Actually the blower and inlet and separator on the Oneida are now some kind of molded plastic, I presume so they can get a better inlet configuration than available from fabricated metal. 3 hp V series is about $2500 though.
    NOW you tell me...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I can't imagine hurting the plastic on the ClearVue with a 2x4 or maybe even a baseball bat. I bought a little extra from them to play with and it is incredibly tough - I cold bent a piece and it didn't break. If I remember correctly the plastic is polycarbonate. I didn't try it with one of these pieces, but about 40 years ago I shot a 9mm bullet at a polycarbonate sheet. It left a deformed spot and stopped the bullet. Perhaps that was a different type of polycarbonate, I don't know.
    Fair enough, like I said, I don't think it's going to be a problem in most circumstances, even if it was a weaker material. OTOH, I would suspect the metal cyclone I got from Grizzly could also repel bullets.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Frank View Post
    When I have looked at comparable machines from both companies, the total price was very similar as well as performance.
    Perhaps not surprising. Consider it more rumor than fact since I don't know first hand, but I was told Oneida based its designs at one point on what Pentz published. You certainly know more about these designs than I ever will so you might know if that was wrong, possible, likely, or fact.

    JKJ

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