Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review of Laguna 2hp Mobile Cyclone Dust Collector

So a couple days ago, I posted a review of the Sens-Gard hearing protection... I never would have thought it would get the draw it did!  Hearing protection: the new sexy!

Other interesting thing... I got a bunch of emails asking about the Laguna 2hp Mobile Cyclone Dust Collector shown at the end of the video for the noise test.  What's funny is that I recorded this review before the Sens-Gard review.  Here I thought I'd get ahead on video for a change...

The summary? I love it.  Give the video a looksy to see why.  Some good stuff in there even if we're just talking about a dust bucket.

As mentioned in the video, many woodworking retailers are carrying this now including Rockler and Woodcraft.  Since I don't see it on both of their sites but have seen them both available in my local stores, it is possible that only certain stores carry them.

12 comments:

  • Anonymous said...
     

    At $1,300 this is a very expensive option. The 2hp HF with an aftermarket filter and an auxiliary cyclone bucket costs under $400. Your review was very thorough, but I'm still not sure what the advantage is here?

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    I had a HF 2hp DC with Wynn spun canister filter before; still recommend that to a lot of people for the entry fee, DIY-friendly nature, and that it is very very good for the price.

    This cyclone is nice that it has a nice footprint. I've seen many HF mods to add a cyclone and canister and most end up very awkward on the mobile stand or are no longer mobile. This cyclone is very mobile.

    Also the dust bucket couldn't be easier to empty. With the HF, the dust bag was a nuisance to keep from popping off when the bag got more than 3/4 full and difficult to put back on without 4 hands (which is why I'd let it get to 3/4 full). Because of that, I had modified my HF to use a metal can as a dust bucket, which also greatly reduced the shocks I'd get being near it. The problem was I couldn't see how full the can was; more DIY work on it and I could fix that as well, but it becomes a whole project.

    For someone who wants to DIY the perfect solution for their shop, the HF is fantastic and why I've always liked it. I got tired of it being a project and liked the design of this Laguna cyclone so grabbed it on a 10% off sale. Some people will prefer the HF route, some this cyclone route (some something else!) Just putting the information out there so someone can know more about it if they were interested in making a decision.

    Some further differences:

    - The Laguna is noticeably quieter (good for my normally open garage)

    - Regardless the speced numbers, the airflow on this is also noticeably higher

    - Came with the remote which is an additional $80-100 depending on brand

  • Jason Buchta said...
     

    Paul,

    I was wondering if you have seen the review on youtube that Marty Backe has done on his Laguna Cyclone? If so did you have the same problems that he did? Keep up the good work, I am enjoying the enterainment center build.

  • Ted Miller said...
     

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    Sorry for the delay; I blame iOS6 for sleepless nights as a developer :)

    Jason.. I haven't seen Marty's review, but now that you mention it, I remember him doing a multi-part... going to watch it and see which problems he had. Again, it does look like they have made modifications since the initial introduction.

    Ted, I only saw part of your comment in email. Again sorry for the delay... to answer what I read in the email, I've used it quite a bit considering how infrequent I've gotten in the shop. Mostly cutting plywood for a neighbor who has no tools and for a repair at a friend's house. That said, it's noticeable how much less dust is on the table. I thought I had the previous unit pretty tuned with the blast gate modulator on the back of the table, but now I can leave that much more open and get better collection on the table.

    The fines in the bag haven't grown much since I emptied the SawStop cabinet, which was a lot of dust (my own fault :) I guess I don't mind if this unit lets more fines make it out to the bag; it is easy to see how full it is and would be easy to empty. I don't want it to be significantly more than other units, but right now it's good. Probably a good test would be to take my bandsaw DC's bag and suck it up with this unit... that stuff is fine. I may do that this weekend when I'm rolling one of two reviews I'm behind on. Always behind!

  • Anonymous said...
     

    I watched Marty Backe's video and have to ask Paul, how are the welds at the joints on your cyclone?

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    Hi, anonymous :)

    Sorry for the delay; I'm at WIA and was a bit swamped at work before leaving and didn't get to reply as quickly as I like.

    I have not seen Marty's video, but as good luck would have it, I ran into Marty at WIA and we talked for a long while. I asked him which problems he encountered in reference to your question and he explained about the spot weld that should have been beads to make parts air tight.

    When I emptied the SawStop cabinet into the DC, we got maybe 1/8th cup of fines in the bag. Considering the amount of dust extracted, I think I would have noticed leakage along the joints, but I don't recall seeing any. I'm not in front of the unit right now so I'm going on memory for this. If there was a small leakage, though, I'd do just Ike Marty did and go for a bead of silicone; disappointing but not a show stopper if it is the case when I look more closely.

    The problem of the stand being mis-welded or improperly tapped such that it couldn't keep the cyclone canister plumb definitely wasn't the case with mine as you can easily tell from the video.

    I can verify any dust escape when I get home, but that won't be until Thursday. Not sure this helped, but hopefully a little.

    Again sorry for the long wait!

  • Christopher Robinson said...
     

    Hi Paul -

    How is this unit treating you after using it more?

    I'm specifically wondering how often you find you have to crank the filters clean and if it is reasonable?

    In addition, how well you feel it performs on your bandsaw in terms of whether it has enough CFM draw to keep up with the bandsaw for fine dust collection.

    Thanks in advance! Christopher

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    Hi, Christopher,

    I really like the unit; definitely don't regret buying it. Again, as this comment thread mentions, the HF unit can work well as a single-stage and I recommend it to anyone starting out if this cyclone is out of reach.

    I crank the filter handle when I empty the bin. I pull the bin out, which is really easy, dump it, then pull the whole unit out another foot or two (without the bin there as it is easier) and give it a couple spins both directions. Usually the first couple spins drop fines that were in the filter; after that, nothing much.

    As you'd expect, I do notice that more comes out of the filter if I've done a lot with MDF and other dusty material. Not nearly as much when I loaded the bin on just hardwood dust (from mostly dadoing if that matters).

    I don't use this unit on my bandsaw; I got a crazy score on an assembled floor unit of a Delta DC for... $49. I tucked it away between the beer, er, glue fridge and the bandsaw. It doesn't have nearly the pull of the Laguna, but it is right there. There are always chips on the bandsaw table, but when that DC runs, I don't get a lot of fines floating. Airflow is significantly better on the Laguna so I'd imagine it would work even better, but I'm okay with my $49 score :) I kept the price tag on it as a trophy :)

    There is a smaller version of this Laguna; I saw it at Woodcraft. Can't make any comment on how well it works as I didn't get to use it, but the build was well done; if the motor has the CFM, it might be a really nice and really small unit for the shop. Next time I go and am not pressed for time, I'll see if the guys will let me power it up and tinker with it.

  • Christopher Robinson said...
     

    Thanks a bunch Paul!

  • Josh said...
     

    Great review as always! I have the HF 2hp with a Wynn filter, and I added the Woodcraft trash can cyclone lid on a metal can. It works, but you've identified all the major problems that I've found with it
    1) Becomes a space hog and is no longer mobile
    2) The bag setup on the HF is a nightmare to empty
    3) Improvements on it (which I'm looking at now) are going to take a good amount of time, and that's time I could be working on an actual project instead of monkeying with the dust collector

    I'm definitely drawn to the Laguna for the footprint, ease of emptying and the integrated remote. I have my doubts that the numbers on the HF are actually what they publish. It has good suction, but I expect the Laguna at 2 HP will be substantially better.

    My challenge is electrical. I've added a few 220 outlets in the shop recently for other purposes and breaker box space is at a premium. I don't necessarily want to take on a wiring project for this. Any idea what type of receptacle is required for the Laguna? I see they have a 1.5 HP model that takes 110, but I'm not sure I want to sacrifice size/power...

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    Thanks, Josh!

    The 110 version has a much smaller footprint; they have one at my local Woodcraft where I picked up the 2hp model. Can't speak for how well it works. The design is good, but is the airflow enough for your shop is another question.

    Do you have 110v breakers in your box? There are nice combo breakers now. Same size as a 220v breaker with two small switches on the sides for two separate 110v breakers. Awesome for a shop breaker box. All of mine are these combos.

    If you have some 110v breakers, you could get a 220/110 combo breaker and swap it in for two of the 110v breakers and get a 220v line. Granted, you have to run the wire to a box now :) If you haven't seen my article on wiring your shop for 220v, give that a look to see the breakers in photos.

    My DC is on a dedicated 220v@20a home-run to the box. I originally ran 4-wires on that circuit to the box and had it wired for 110v with the spare hot taped. That was when I had the HF DC knowing I'd likely upgrade to a bigger model. When I got the Laguna, I just had to swap the socket, tape the neutral, connect the spare hot and I was running on 220v. Didn't want to pull another wire through later :)

    By the way, while looking up the specs (and Laguna is bad about power requirement specs... can I get a peak current? no, instead I get an oversized breaker spec...) I noticed they have a "trash can separator" based on the 16 gallon bucket that is part of the 110v DC. Very nice. Considering how much they charge for those crappy plastic separator lids, add more for a metal can that won't fit that lid and has no wheels, the $125 they want for it is a steal. If I had the room, it would go in front of the bandsaw DC.