Dust Collector (New Guy)

Hello everyone. Just got my XXL Pro setup today and I was looking at options for dust collection. about 5 years ago I build a Joes Hybrid CNC that I ended up selling because I developed a nasty cough from bad dust collection. I don’t want to make that mistake again. I plan to make an enclose at some point, but I still want really good dust collection.

Couple of questions.
Would the Jet Vortex (1100VX-Ck) be ok if I used 2.5" hose reducer?



For a CNC you are removing dust / particles from a very small area (as defined by the dust collection boot (for example the Sweepy 2.0 from Carbide3d)

The Jet Dust Collector you referenced is designed for larger pieces of equipment - say a planer. I think you would be much better served with a small shop vac and a cyclone separator like a Dust Deputy from Oneida (or various clones).

My two cents. Others I am sure will offer their opinion.


Thanks Bill, that’s the kind of advice I need. I was hoping maybe a festool would do the job. Plus save me a ton of space. Now to figure out what would best for me.

The Jet 1100VX-CK dust collector comes with a canister filter rated at 2 microns which means the finer dust that can cause serious issues with your respiratory system would still get through the filter. If you are particularly sensitive to wood dust then maybe look into what you can get with HEPA ratings as the system your looking at will still vent the filtered air and finer dusts inside your work space thus possibly affecting the overall air quality. Other measures can still be taken like air purification, exchanging air with outside, etc…

I think in the end like anything else there are always risks, in this case it’s air quality and possible effects on your respiratory system so it’s up to you and your tolerance level to that risk. Since you’ve had problems with this in the past then HEPA may be the way to go. That said I’m pretty sure Festool have dust extractors/collectors that are HEPA rated.

I have a Jet dc1100 which the same as vortex without vortex. It has been a great dc and won be replaced any time soon. However I did add Onieda super dust deputy 5" cyclone with dust collection bucket. This keeps my jet collection bag almost dust free.

If you want a full shop vac then 1.5 hp and above are best but I would advise getting the cyclonic from the start instead of adding on later. The cyclone type keep your vacuum at optimum levels longer than non cyclonic type dc.

Take a look at Onieda dust gorilla line.

Grizzly also makes cyclone dc.

My Jet has been very dependable for 15 years and they make cyclone types. However the vortex is a gimmick and will not perform as well as cyclonic types.

In a noise-induced, migraine-fueled rage I bought a Festool CT Midi (the older model w/ the dials and no BlueTooth) and an Oneida Ultimate Dust Deputy — it has worked out really well, even for very long cuts.


I agree with Bill, I have two dust collection systems in my shop, one is a shop vac with a cyclone separator on a 2 1/2" duct circuit in an enclosed closet under the stairs to my shop with some air return. I will improve the insonorisation and return channel for the air in a near future. This system is used for the CNC, the orbital sander and some other small tools. I have also a big 5HP Clearview cyclone which is upstairs in my garage. (My shop is in the basement under my garage) This system uses a 6 inch duct system and connect all the big tools and is very efficient. I would not like to to use this system on a job taking a full day because of the noise and in winter bringing the colder air from my garage into my shop.

Like Bill said, using the Sweepy 2.0 on 2 1/2" is quite efficient for what I have been doing for the 6 months I had my CNC. In the future, if I do some projects which I wouldn’t be able to use the Sweepy 2.0, I might build en enclosure on top of my cabinet with a back slot connected to my 6" system. Of course I would need an air input trap at the front… I have something similar at the back of my miter saw.

The problem I have now is when my CNC is working for a long time, the shop vac is not available specially if I want to do some sanding with the orbital sander. I am working on a solution, may be a bypass from my 6" system to 2 1/2" system after the CNC, it is the first tool on the 2 1/2" system. Another solution would be another vacuum dedicated to the CNC but still with a 2 1/2" input and the most silent possible.

Fred I hope those comments will help you in making your decisions.

Thank you everyone for all the advice. I plan to order a Festool CT today. Not sure what size I need. 26,36, or 48. I assume its the same machine just more capacity.

Does anyone have thoughts on Festool Cyclone CT-VA-20? a bit expensive but was thinking to add that also.

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Hey Fred…I’ve been using an Oneida Dust Cobra and it’s been terrific. It has a 2.5" opening, HEPA, self-cleaning filter system, and tons of suck (it’s an industry term). I purchased a 30’ hose (hanging on the side in the photo below - the hose plugged into the unit is routed to my overhead arm on the CNC) so the unit doubles as a small-tools dust collector for the rest of my shop when I’m not CNC-ing (and justifies the cost). It’s a 110V system, so I hooked up a very simple remote switch to turn it on and off.


If you plan on building an enclosure, a cyclone separator may take up more space than you want to give. I just finished my enclosure and did not want to give 30 inches of vertical space to it in my enclosure, I don’t want it outside because that would require cutting ports for hoses.

A dedicated dust extractor will take up less space, run more quietly, and be much easier to clean. I put the DeWalt dust extractor on my wishlist. If I don’t get it for Christmas, I’m going to buy it for myself. It has a self cleaning feature that I consider essential. It’s going for almost 400 bones currently, but I think is totally worth it when you consider the future time and hassle savings.

I’m afraid I haven’t tracked Festools since making my purchase — apparently they got a bit more complicated w/ Bluetooth and so forth being added.

The 26/36/48 were available back when I got my Midi and are all larger than it — the Midi size seems fine to me, esp. since the bag capacity isn’t an issue so long as I never allow the cyclone to overfill.

It looks like a newer version of the Midi is still available:

and some folks have gotten the Mini for use w/ the Oneida Ultimate Dust Deputy.

The Festool cyclone, the CT-VA-20 is really neat — being transparent is a huge advantage (I always spill a bit of dust checking the bag in my cyclone) — but is apparently optimized for contractor use and heavier debris, according to at least one review I read.

Mystified that they don’t bundle it w/ the CT SYS HEPA Systainer Dust Extractor.

Still debating on going all-in on the Systainer concept, unfortunately, that’s a huge investment, and the Oneida Ultimate Dust Deputy rather puts a cap on the CT Midi and the hoses aren’t long enough for anything in-between, so I need to get a separate cart or something.

With the exception of the 48 model with auto cleaning, the 26,36,48 are essentially the same outside of capacity. The CT15 is probably the best purchase. It drops some of the “system” features, but as a vacuum, it functions identically, and is much cheaper. I have a quite a few Festool items, and I think the “system” is silly.

I’d skip the Festool dust separator gimmick. Money is too high for something that’s ONLY advantage is fitting atop the vacuum utilizing their “system”. Dewalt was making a couple sweet ones for low money, but it seems they maybe have discontinued them.

I don’t generally recommend Festool anything, price point and construction leave a lot to be desired. But the vacuums aren’t terrible if you factor in long term cost of ownership. The HEPA filters and bags are priced competitively(surprisingly).

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I’ve been happy with this combination, which (as of this posting) adds up to $293.91 usd.

Dust Seperator: Dustopper High Efficiency Cyclonic Dust Separator, 12 in. Dia with 2.5 in. hose, 36 in. long, with 2 Sweep Elbows-HD12A - The Home Depot

Bucket: Amazon.com: Vestil PAIL-STL-RI Steel Open Head Pail with Handle, 5 gallon Capacity, Black : Industrial & Scientific I switched from plastic to metal because in the summer heat the plastic buckets got a little softer and started to collapse under vacuum.

Amazon.com: [New Generation] Automatic Vacuum Switch for Power Tools, Etoolcity Unique Current Sensing Technology to Delay Vacuum On to Prevent Circuit Overload, Eliminating Circuit Breaker Tripping : Tools & Home Improvement

Sweepy 2.0 Dust Boot - Carbide 3D

Plus some copper grounding wire, PVC pipe and rubber plumbing jointers to hook it all together.

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I’m know it is not a long term solution, but I’ve been using an upright vacuum for more than a year now. Something to consider if you have an retired or extra one lying around while you figure out a more permanent setup.

Because the uprights have the appropriate diameter compared to a shop vac, their design includes the cyclone feature, so they don’t really clog up the filter. Yeah, for longer jobs I have needed to pause multiple times to empty the canister. The one unpredictable thing is however the motor thermal protection. Sometimes it has been triggered, although I can’t tell why the airflow would be different at different times.

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I have the CT 26 and the attached separator. It’s a great machine. I personally wouldn’t spend that much money, approx 1K, if that’s gonna be dedicated to the CNC. If you’ll use it for other projects like sanding, etc, then it makes sense. Also, if room is an issue, that setup is quite tall. For a dedicated unit, you can pickup a HEPA shop vac for $200 and connect a Dust Deputy for about a third of the cost.

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