August 1, 2020

Shopfox W1869 3 HP Portable Cyclone Dust Collector Review [UPDATED]

Are you tired of having dust lying around on your plan sheets when working? Are you tired of having to wipe your shop every morning before you start working? Then let’s talk about the Shopfox W1869 3 HP Portable Cyclone Dust Collector. 

This is a cyclone dust collector that cleans and purifies the air around. It has the high-end efficiency and effectiveness of a two-stage cyclone system. Then again, it was designed with portability in mind, which matches a single-stage cyclone system. Put with this Shopfox W1869 3 HP Portable Cyclone Dust Collector. You are getting stronger and better in a portable size that is easier to manage. 

Like most cyclone dust collectors, the Shopfox W1869 3 HP Portable Cyclone Dust Collector has high surface area pleated filters with paddles to mechanically knock off dust cake, leaving the place densely dustless. It is also remotely controlled and comes with magnetic switches. It would be best if you had a remote, and you could turn it on and off with the press of a button. It has swivel casters on the collector to make moving it around your shop a breeze. The Shopfox W1869 3 HP Portable Cyclone Dust Collector cleans fine dust and larger particles, leaving your shop and its air spot clean. 

Shopfox W1869

Pros

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

Cons

  • It is costly to buy 
  • Repairs and maintenance are 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

Shop Fox W1869 remote

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 the hookups: flexible hose, PVC pipe, or metal duct.

The horsepower rating is a reasonably 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 may seem misguided, like putting a racing exhaust system on a subcompact car. Still, 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 six 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 eight ft.), a 1-hp dust collector isn’t much noisier than a vacuum cleaner, and each one takes up about three 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, and 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 the cyclone’s cone-shaped canister, 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 the machine’s side. Internal-cartridge cyclones use the least amount of floor space. You must occasionally shake out all collectors’ upper bags or cartridge filters 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, makes a racket when it hits an impeller, imparts stress on the bearing, and shortens its life. 

One way to reduce fire risk 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. However, steel impellers are fine if you avoid using the dust collector to sweep miscellaneous debris off the floor.

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

Our Verdict

A remote-controlled hanging air filtration system would be a great addition to your workshop. 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 sweeping and let it run for long as you want until the timer shuts it off. 

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

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Shopfox W1867 1.5 HP Portable Cyclone Dust Collector Review

David D. Hughes

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