I researched several dust shoes for my new Shapeoko 3 XXL. I wanted to eliminate dust as a priority and didn’t want to experiment with trying to cut out a shoe while I filled my lungs up with dust. After alot of research, video watching and reading reviews, I decided to purchase the Mini Split-Shoe from KentCNC. While it is the most expensive option that I researched at $159, it appeared to be the strongest built and got good reviews. So I decided to give it a shot. Here is my experience with the the decision to buy.
- Initially I was unclear if this shoe would work on the Shapeoko. So I sent their customer support some questions. Within 2 hours I had a reply. Not only a reply but a dxf file that I could cutout and see if there would be any clearance problems with the Z axis and the shoe plate. Kent also informed me that some of the Shapeoko CNCs did have clearance problems and he encouraged me to cut it out and make sure before ordering.
- Clear directions were provided on which shoe I needed and which bush ring.
- He also informed me that should I receive the shoe and it not work that he would refund my money if I shipped it back to him. Can’t beat that guarantee.
A few days later, while I was about to order the shoe, I noticed they had a Hitachi air deflector. I had seen alot of Dewalt air deflectors used and sent Kent an email asking about that. Within 1 hours, he responded (while he was on vacation) that several people were using them with Dewalt routers and collection efficiency was excellent without a deflector. What excellent customer service further reinforcing my decision to purchase one of his shoes. So I ordered one.
- The shoe works excellently at dust collection. I cut out several MDF parts and could not find any dust residue left on the surface and minimal amounts in the cuts left. Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with it’s performance.
- It is very expensive, but it exceeds this customers expectations for dust extraction.
- The housing is made of clear acrylic and you can mostly see though it which is convenient
- The brush ring is held in place by 3 strong magnets. While it is slightly difficult to seperate with improper hand positioning, it is held very strongly in place and does not move.
- Very easy to install with a single allen screw to tighten around the router base.
- The dust hose port broke out of the housing while cutting a full size 32" cutout. This is likely partially my fault due to not securing the hose vertically and allowing it to be dragged around the spoilboard during the cutiout. However I contacted Kent and he specifically told me how to fix it. Again excellent customer support. However, the jury is still out till I get a chance to repair it and put it through the paces again.
Would I purchase it again knowing what I know now. ABSOLUTELY! It is a excellent shoe with supurb dust collection. I am pretty positive that the repair will put it back into like new conditions and I take some of the responsibility for the failure. And based upon my experience with Kent, if it doesn’t work or I have additional problems, he will make it right.
Here are a few picture with the shoe on my machine af