170 – Cyclone Separator Shootout

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UPDATE – Clear Vue now has an updated version of their Mini CV-06 that performs MUCH better than the one shown in this video. Check out the review here!

Why a Cyclone Separator

A cyclone separator is essentially a bucket with a fancy lid. When connected to a vacuum source, the lid creates a cyclonic suction that collects large dust particles minimally, and the small dust particles at best. By adding one of these to a standard shop vac or dust extractor, you can collect much of the dust before it ever reaches your vac’s filter. So why would you want to do this? One reason is safety. Many times, a filter will get clogged with both large and small dust particles, eventually clogging up the system. This could lead to dust leaking through the system and being expelled back into the shop air. By removing the large particles and even some of the smaller particles, your vac filters don’t have to work as hard and are less likely to become clogged. At the very least, it will take a lot longer for a clog to occur.

The second reason is to save money. I never run my shop vac or dust extractors without a filter bag. Disposable filter bags wind up costing me a lot of money over time. By separating out the chips and dust BEFORE the vac, I can simply empty the bucket over and over and the fill rate on the disposable bags drops dramatically.

I’ll be reviewing the following cyclone separators: The Oneida Dust Deputy, The ClearVue Mini-CV06, and Rockler’s Dust Right Vortex.


Oneida Dust Deputy Deluxe – $79
ClearVueMini CV06 – $149
Rockler Dust Right Vortex – $89

The ClearVue CV06 comes in at the highest price point of all three of these units at $149. The Dust Right Vortex is $89 but can often be found on sale for $69. The Dust Deputy Deluxe kit retails for $79. Oneida also carries other kits costing as much as $199 for the Ultimate model and as little as $39 for the DIY standalone cyclone body.

Winner: Dust Deputy


One of the greatest frustrations in dust collection is dealing with various port and hoses sizes. Fortunately, all three kits come with their own short length of hose for connecting the cyclone to the dust extractor. I had no trouble connecting all three units to both my Festool CT33 and my Rigid Shop Vac. The port for the tool connection was a bit of a different story. I had three hoses to test: my large Festool boom arm hose, my 36 mm Festool hose, and my standard Rigid shop vac hose.

Mini CV06 – All hoses connected with no problem.
Dust Right Vortex – All hoses connected with no problem.
Dust Deputy Deluxe – The large Festool boom arm hose and the Rigid shop vac hose both connected with no trouble. But I was not able to securely connect my 36 mm Festool hose. The diameter of the hose port would have worked just fine, but this particular one does not allow the Dust Deputy’s port to penetrate far enough for the friction fit to engage.

Winners: Dust Right Vortex & ClearVue Mini CV06


The one major drawback of a cyclone separator is that you now have one more thing to lug around the shop. Since it is essentially tethered to your vacuum source, the whole setup and be quite a pain in the neck. Many folks make custom carts specifically for this purpose. But the manufacturers of these units didn’t leave us hanging.

Dust Deputy – Includes casters for rolling around as well as an attachment kit for mounting to a dust extractor.
Mini CV06 – Does not come with casters but does come with an attachment kit for mounting to a dust extractor.
Dust Right Vortex – Includes easy to attach casters but does not include a mounting kit.

Winner: Dust Deputy

Build Quality

All of these units are plastic. Nothing really fancy about them, but there are some minor differences to consider.

Dust Right Vortex – Sturdy thick plastic with a twist-on lid. Only thing I don’t like about it is the crappy rigid plastic hose. This is the type of hose that will either kink or crack if stepped on. Since it also holds its shape, it will decrease mobility somewhat.

Mini CV06 – Initially seemed to have the highest build quality. The plastic cyclone was made from thicker plastic and the lower profile offers less of a chance of tipping. The lid is fantastic on this unit as it twists and threads onto the bucket. Once the threads are engaged, you have to pull a small lever to twist it back off. The kit included a high quality flexible connector hose too. Unfortunately, these positive aspects were overshadowed by the fact that the bucket collapsed under pressure. While this could be circumstantial or pure bad luck, it happened.

Dust Deputy – There really isn’t anything remarkable about the build quality. At the same time, there isn’t anything overly negative. The kit comes with nice flexible hose equal in quality to the Mini CV06. My one complaint about the Dust Deputy is the lid. The simple pop-on pop-off lid is very likely to detach at a very inconvenient time. But if one were to adopt the policy of never picking the unit up by the cyclone, this should never be an issue.

Winners: Dust Right Vortex & Dust Deputy


The performance test was very simple. I sanded a soft maple board with 80 grit paper for 5 minutes straight. I then made three cuts at the sliding compound miter saw. I figured this would be a decent mix of small and large dust. The sandpaper was changed between each test and I did my best to keep even pressure on the sander.

Dust Right Vortex – A moderate to heavy amount of fine dust found its way into the dust vac compartment.
Mini CV06 – A moderate amount of fine dust found its way into the dust vac compartment.
Dust Deputy – A minimal amount of dust found its way into the dust vac compartment.

Winner: Dust Deputy


To say I was surprised by these results would be an understatement. It isn’t often that the cheapest option in a tool test is also the best option. Both the Mini CV06 and the Dust Right Vortex will get the job done, but the combination of price, overall quality, and performance of the Dust Deputy make it the clear winner here.

Overall Winner: Oneida Dust Deputy

Category: Reviews


  1. fransikaner May 2, 2012

    Great review, Marc

    I can’t help but wonder wow the bucket failure on the Clear Vue contributed to the dust passed to the Festool.

    You have stood on a needle and lived to tell the tale. Thanks for such a comprehensive review.

    • Jim Ligon May 18, 2012

      two thoughts a reasonable person could believe.

      The inlet vane on the mini reduced the static to allow addition suction contributing to the bucket failure.

      I’m thinking the bucket failure contributed to the “pass through”. I don’t get that on mine.

  2. David May 2, 2012

    It was mentioned but I think it should be emphasized that the dust deputy can be purchases as just the cyclone unit for $40. This allows you to use whatever bucket or container you want as well as whatever connections you want. I use a $2 home depot bucket with a plywood ring inside to prevent bucket collapses myself.

  3. Cosmin May 2, 2012

    Hi Marc,

    My Vortex has a snap on lid. It does the job just fine. Thanks for the informative vid!


  4. Mark May 2, 2012

    Great review, thanks.
    BTW: it’s time to change the batteries in your wall clock..

  5. Will May 2, 2012

    *adds dust deputy to cart*
    p.s. Thanks Marc!

  6. Very comprehensive review Marc. I would’ve actually guessed the Oneida had the best performance based on the cyclone configuration of the lid. It’s how your full-sized clearvue is built. I am shocked at the Clearvue mini collapsing. Based on my many years in plastic injection molding, it’s unlikely it’s just your unit. They’ll all collapse like that. When I have to buy bags for my Festool CT, I’m definitely going take a closer look at the Oneida.

    If you’re listening Oneida; count me as 1 vote for a twist on lid…even at a slight premium. Thanks for doing this shootout Marc. Very helpful.


  7. I’ve had the dust deputy for a year now and it separates very well with my shopvac. I’ve maybe built up an inch worth of dust in the shopvac over the last year, but emptied full dust deputy buckets at least 7 or 8 times. I did bolt it onto the side of mine without casters, and it tends to tip the whole the over with little effort. The lid stays on just fine, but it is very flimsy and mine has taken some permanent deformation due to the way the hose between it and the shopvac pulls on it. My biggest dissapointment is that the top part of the cyclone came completely off within a month of having it. The plastic welds failed and it just popped off. I never bothered calling in a warranty claim on it. I tried CA and that didn’t hold, so i just ended up duct taping it back together. That has since failed as well, so I may have too look at hot glue or redoing the plastic weld myself.

    • WOW! Talk about customer service. Oneida just went through the trouble of getting my number off my website and calling me to send me a new replacement cyclone. Apparently they changed the design at the end of last year to fix the issue I had. Give these guys another +1000 for customer service and pride in their product! Jeff/Robert, thank you for going the extra mile for me. You’ve got a loyal customer from now on!

      • Mark H July 26, 2012

        Wow, Lloyd! That’s awesome– thanks for sharing about the outstanding customer service you received from Oneida. That plus their top quality product will definitely be a high hurdle to overcome for the others when I’m ready to get a separator.

  8. First, Thanks Marc for the very thorough reivew and for selecting our Dust Deputy as your winner. We’re honored. You’ve shown a lot of the reasons why the Dust Deputy is such a remarkable product.

    Lloyd, contact us and we will get your cyclone replaced under warranty. No Oneida product should fail within a month…we can’t have that.

    Oneida Air Systems

  9. Kevin Doyle May 2, 2012

    Good job with this testing. I have the Dust Deputy and I like almost everything about it. The only problem is with the connection between the bucket top and the cyclone. I stiffened mine with a plywood disc in the inside. I recently had to relay floor tiles that were over cement backer. The weak thin-set had to be scraped then sanded off with an orbital and coarse paper. The cyclone picked up four buckets of debris from that kitchen; and I had to clean the shop vac filter when I dumped each full bucket, but the air stayed pretty clean. It was amazing. Without the Dust Deputy, I would have had to clean the filter every 10 minutes.

  10. MikeD May 2, 2012

    I have had my Dust Deputy Kit for about 6 or 8 months now. I really like the performance I get as well as not having to unclog the shop vac filter every time. Like Lloyd, the top part of the cyclone came off. I used some epoxy to secure it back on. So far it has held firm. I built a custom cart like this one: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/33590.

  11. Mike May 2, 2012

    Someone beat me to it. Your wall clock not working was distracting me. Also, you said “cobble” a lot, lol.

    Great review, glad to see the site is back up.

  12. jHop May 2, 2012

    Thanks for the “quick and dirty” process. I’m grateful for the information, and the process (and explanations) involved.

  13. Ted May 2, 2012

    I purchased my first Clear-vue mini about 6 years ago for my CT-22 in my shop. I just use a simple 5 gallon bucket siting on top of the CT in a systainer. I have yet to change the paper bag in the CT, and I have emptied the bucket alot. I would say I empty the bucket once a month or so. I check the paper bag from time to time in the CT, but just a small amount of fines are there.

    I did just purchase a new mini unit from Clear-vue with WWper discount and paid $99.00. I am using this unit with the bucket they provided, since the screw on top is simple to use. I did change the paper bag when I hooked up the new mini. I have not seen the bucket collapsing that Marc saw with his. So far so good.

    I would not hesitate to purchase from Clear-vue again…

  14. Great review Marc.

    Clear and concise…I think a few of the other product review/shoot outs that occur in our industry are so focused on how they do the measurements that they miss the bigger picture of just which item truly works the best.

    I know where I’m spending my dollars in the future.

  15. Shamuss May 2, 2012

    I’ve had a dust deputy for years, and while it performs extraordinarily well I don’t think I can recommend it in standalone bucket configuration. Sitting it on the floor is just a disaster… if it doesn’t tip over, the lid comes off. I’ve mitigated for former by putting twenty pounds of weights in the bottom of the bucket, but that just makes lid separation a bigger problem. If you’re going to buy one of these, plan on making it stationary in some way.

    • Greg F May 4, 2012

      I have been very pleased with the performance of my Dust Deputy but also agree with Shamuss with regard to it easily tipping over. It definitely needs to be mounted to something. In Oneida’s defense, mounting it is recommended in the literature accompanying the product.
      Another great video Marc.

      • Richard Wile May 4, 2012

        I have added one of my son’s weights (10 lbs) to the bottom of the bucket to weigh it down – works great!

  16. Lane May 2, 2012

    I would have to agree that Oneida is pretty impressive. I have the super dust deputy which basically converts my 2 stage collector into a cyclone. The amount of dust that gets past the super dust deputy is not really even measurable. It’s a lot more expensive than the smaller dust deputy but way worth it in my opinion. BTW, I too was looking at the clock… :)

  17. fransikaner May 2, 2012

    I second that, Shamus. The DD is an incredibly awkward system without weights. I have tipped it over several times and had the contents sucked into the vacuum.

    • Brian M "Woody" July 30, 2014

      Everyone having tipping problems on any of these, pick up a HF mover’s dolly on sale now for 8 bucs (coupon) and weight THAT down with anything, even plywood scraps screwed underside. Screw three 12″ tall scraps of 2″ wide plywood onto the base to slide the bucket down into to “trap” it into place (separate them in thirds around the bucket with just enough clearance to slide the bucket down in. Whala, plenty of weight to not tip over, but no weight added to the bucket itself and an easy lift out, plus casters to move it around. 8 bucs and done. Tell ‘em Woody sent ya.

  18. Shamuss May 2, 2012

    OTOH, the Shop Fox cyclone lid I bought for $20 plus a $20 garbage can works fantastically for tools with 4′ ports. The only time I ever have to change the bag on my DC is when I let the can get a little too full and chips go into the bottom bag.

  19. Joe May 4, 2012

    Thanks, Marc. I am also very surprised at your results in regards to the Clearvue product. I recently saw the Mini CV06 in action at a woodworkers show and the results there were very different from what you experienced. There was absolutely no dust in the vac after the demo and the bucket seemed very heavy duty. I’m wondering if you had a leak somewhere, perhaps the lid was not screwed on tight? Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a Dust Deputy or the Dust Right Vortex in person, just videos. With today’s digital marketing, I trust reviews such as this one to give me trustworthy information. After seeing the Clearvue product for myself, I think you should test it again.


      There are certainly many variable at play here, including the size/power of the vacuum as well as the type of dust being generated. I’m sure that all plays a role in how much dust reaches the vac itself. And I too thought the bucket was very heavy duty….until I saw it collapse. :) And although you didn’t see it in the video, each test was done twice. So testing again would only produce the same results. It is what it is. :)

      • Marc,

        As many know I engineered the cyclones that Clear Vue sells, as well as the cyclones and cyclone plans that five other small shop vendors sell. I would like to talk with you directly as I think there are some other things that you should consider adding to this review. Would you please email me directly and let me know a number and time that would be a good time to call? Thank you.

        Bill Pentz

    • Nate May 4, 2012

      Joe, if it were true that he “had a leak somewhere” or that the lid wasn’t “screwed on tight”, the bucket would be *less* likely to collapse, as the pressure differential wouldn’t have been as significant.

      Also, I should let you know – you kinda sound like a crafty corporate shill… :)

      • Joe May 14, 2012

        Nate – if I were a crafty corporate shill, I would probably be more educated on this whole dust collection thing. I was merely stating what I saw at a woodworking show.

  20. As usual Mark, a great video. It seems that every time I’m in the market for a product you come up with a review. Last time is was a hvlp sprayer and you were right on. Thanks for all the great information. Really love your site.

  21. Rick Roades May 4, 2012

    Great job, Marc. I have the Vortex, and while I think it’s good with chips, I agree that when sanding or other fine dust use, it just doesn’t seem to get as much as I’d expect in the container. Because of the way it’s configured, and watching it as the shop vac runs, it spins the shavings so high that I’ve wondered if some of it is being picked up by the shop vac inlet. I’ve only emptied my shop vac bag once since getting it. However, I used to use the bucket lid from Woodcraft, and had 2 5-gallon buckets mounted together, with the lid and bottom cut out to make a 10-gallon container. That seems to have worked as well as to the amount of stuff going into the bag. But because the heavier stuff had farther to fall from the hose to the vac – and that the vac inlet didn’t have a 90 elbow on it like the vortex does, I think it allowed the dust to fall without being picked back up by the hose to the vac. But the bottom bucket (a Home Depot orange bucket) collapsed like yours on the Mini.

    All that to say, I’ve been disappointed some in the vortex. But also have a question:

    Did you do the same clean out before each of the tests? If not, I know the answer to “could that have any play in the results – did more get trapped in filters on the first test, and then on subsequent tests did it fall back into the container?” is “I suppose that could have been a variable”. So just curious.


      After each test, the vacuum compartment was cleaned and the pleated filter was vacuumed. All tests had the same starting point. Also, Festool vacs have a built-in paddle that you can use to agitate the filter pleats and knock any dust down. I used that feature after every test to make sure any accumulated dust was “counted”. So while this test wasn’t exactly scientific, I can say with 100% confidence that the level of dust accumulation was the direct result of the properties of each cyclone. Now that doesn’t mean the results might not be different when using a different vac setup and different tools. But with my particular setup, the results are what they are.

  22. Christopher Stahl May 4, 2012

    I’ve also been using a Dust Deputy for about 6 months, just wouldn’t be without it now. However, I also had the problem where top came off the top of the cone about a month or two after I bought it. Not the end of the world, but an inconvenience. Tried epoxy and it still pops off.

  23. Mark Gorton May 4, 2012

    Hi. Thanks for the review. I am considering the Clear-vue unit. Can you tell me more about the WWper discount of the Clear-vue unit for $99.00 .

  24. J R Rightmire May 4, 2012

    Rockler price shows as $79.99, not 89. Also FIX YOUR CLOCK


      Why would I fix my clock when I get so much enjoyment out of driving people insane?
      And it appears that Rockler lowered their price just after my review was published, haha. Now it is the exact same price as the Dust Deputy….hmmm…..

      • Rick Roades May 4, 2012

        I pointed out the clock to my wife, and told her that it’s been at a different time in different videos, she looked at me puzzled.

      • Mark Drogos May 7, 2012

        Well with clock not working, it’s a guaranteed way to make sure all projects are finished on time! :)

  25. Mike May 4, 2012

    I have the Rockler dust vortex hooked up to my Ridgid Shop Vac, it works pretty well. The one thing I do notice a lot though is that it tips over pretty easily on me as I’m rolling it around my shop. I’d really prefer a longer, more flexible hose than the one that comes with it for connecting to the shop vac – that would allow the vortex to roll along with me rather than tug the shop vac close behind it which contributes to it falling over a lot (as the two get tangled up around a bench or table). Other than that it works great, I hardly ever change out my shop vac bag now and I’ve yet to have to replace the motor filter.

  26. Marc,
    My dust Deputy work very well. I have had it for a a few months and is awesome. I dont get any dust in my Shop vac at all.

  27. Fred May 4, 2012

    Thank you for this and thanks for mentioning the lid on the Oneida Dust Deputy. I’ve owned one of these for over a year now and have been really impressed except for the lid.

    The biggest disappointment for me was Oneida’s “customer service”. Within a few weeks of owning this I noticed a couple of cracks forming on the lid of the unit. I called and asked about it. The technician immediately blamed me for it and all but hung up on me.

    It’s sad too because I have several woodworking friends that I would have otherwise recommended the Dust Deputy to.

  28. tom May 4, 2012

    my boss bought the all metal dust deputy, it seems to get all of the dust and the clamping ring to hold the lid on the bucket is easy to use, since it is metal it is heavier so sitting on the floor was no problem using a long hose, i do want to set it up attached to the vac as one unit for added convenience, thanks for the video

  29. Hey guys. I built a cart to roll my dust deputy around with my shop vac. One thing to keep an eye on, at least with mine, the top can come off. Not sure if I just got one that wasn’t glued very well or not. I used a bead of gorilla glue all the way around to reseal it to the funnel. The cart was in an issue of Shop Notes, which is where I first heard of the dust deputy. Here’s a shot of it all together.


  30. Keith (http://Nada) May 4, 2012

    Thanks for the review Mark. I’ve been meaning to pull the trigger on the Clearvue for a few months. This is a very timely video for me. I had wanted to buy the orignal clearvue mini, but didn’t get one before Oneida threatened Clearvue with legal action and shut down production claiming patent infringement. I am no lawyer, but I think it was distasteful of them to do so. I also don’t know the merits of their claim, but it seemed odd given the cyclone plans had been available free on the internet long before Oneida began production. It doesn’t seem right to claim a patent on something that is already in the public domain. I will not purchase Oneida products based on this.
    I am curious how the new mini compares to the old mini. I not so secretly hope the new mini out performs the old one.
    Thanks for another great video.


      Yeah as a fan of ClearVue products, I was actually rooting for them to win. So I too was disappointed in the results. I try not to let the legal issues affect my opinion as I don’t really know the details of the case and what actually went down. But it does make me wonder…..

    • Ted May 9, 2012

      Keith, I just installed the new Clear-vue mini on my CT22 about two weeks ago. I am ready to empty the bucket for the second time. I will check the bag and filters in CT and post how its working.

      I still have my old mini on another vac and it is still working as it did the day I purchased it years ago…

  31. Matt May 4, 2012

    Marc thank you for a great tool review, and I agree with you that the DD is the best bang for the buck! I owned the Mini CV06 and had the same issue with the bucket caving in on itself. I also was disapponted that they chose to use shotty nylon hardware, is it really that expensive to use real metal bolts? After about a month of use (and cussing at the separator) I tossed it in the bonfire and bought the DD, which I should’ve bought in the first place. Since having the DD I have noticed that it collects more dust then the MiniCV06. My only downside to the DD is that it can be knocked over easily. Although in my shop the DD stays in one place and isn’t in the way, and I have yet to knock it over. Thanks again for the review Marc, keep ‘em coming!

  32. Jarrid May 4, 2012

    Great review!! Look forward to seeing more things like this(if the bad apples don’t ruin the pie)!

  33. d0od May 5, 2012

    Thanks for the great review! I have been thinking about getting a separator and your review has sealed the deal.

  34. wow. loads of comments here.
    interesting review and resuts Marc.
    I have a cv06 and have to say I am really impressed with it and havnt yet had a collapse. perhaps you have more suck?
    anyway I have a second on the way to go with another more powerful dust unit and will share any issues I have with it on that one.
    one question though, perhaps Bill can answer. it comes with two buckets but only one seems to fit the lid. or am I missing something?

  35. I think you should make another video about different types of dust collector. Like canister vs bag, two stage cyclone dust collector vs regular types. How much HP do you need?etc…

  36. Chuck Mielkie May 5, 2012

    Marc, knowing that you didn’t have any flow meters attached, did you notice any significant reduction in the amount of suction from yuour vacuum when using any of the three units? If no noticeable difference between the three, is there a guess-timate of how much suction is lost when using a unit like this (i.e. 75%, 50%, etc)?

  37. Frank May 6, 2012

    I commented on youtube and got a reply from Marc, but after reading each comment here and seeing the two pictures of people’s carts they built, here is my question for whoever can answer me: where can I buy a flexible and lightweight shop vac hose for a sander? I have a DeWalt ROS that I bought at Lowe’s, as well as a shop vac from Lowe’s, but all I have is the hose that came with the shop vac, and sanding with that hose is a pain because of it’s stiffness, I basically have to hold the sander and hose when using it. I have been trying to find something like what I have seen Marc using with his Festool stuff, but haven’t really been able to find it. Any body find something that they are already using like what I have described? It’s gotta be out there somewhere.

    • Rick Roades May 7, 2012

      Woodcraft – and probably Rockler – have a hose just for power tools. I have a PC sander, and it fits it well. I still end up holding the hose, but it’s flexible and light.

    • Frank May 7, 2012

      Frank, my suggestion would be to move in with Marc and Nicole and convince him to give you all his tools and then he can do a special series of podcasts on “starting from scratch: the beginning woodworker.” I think this would be best for, um, just yourself. Okay, I’ll try the boom thing, Vic, and I’ll also keep looking for flexible hoses from sources like Rockler. Since they just sent me their Professional Catalog for some reason maybe I’ll take advantage of the price difference.

    • Don Burch May 12, 2012

      The difficulty is getting a the strength required resist the forces of vacuum, flexibility and a reasonable price.
      I use a cheap 2 1/2″ hose and I throw it over my shoulder when using my ROS. Otherwise I use my Flatmaster.


  38. Frank, have you tried just making a boom arm to support the vacuum hose? I use standard shop vac hoses and have no problem when I use a boom. Btw, my boom arm is just a rope from the ceiling tied around the vac hose. Simple and it works.

  39. Dr. Hacker May 7, 2012


    glad to see these results. I actually for space reasons and for having HEPA filtration use 2 festool vaccumes connected to 2 in line dust deputies. The first gest all teh big stuff, the second is all the small and the HEPA lets me use my stuff in the house. I would have to say that over the past year I have been happy with the deputy. AND!!! (no help for me) the festool version of the deputy is now cheaper but still worth it. That black container is strong

  40. TennesseeYankee May 7, 2012

    I love my Dust Deputy.

    Don’t do wood working without it.

  41. You don’t need to build a fancy cart to carry the dust separator along with the shop vac. Here is my “el cheapo” dust collector, based on Oneida’s dust deputy. It works great! http://www.julienlecomte.net/blog/2012/05/685/

  42. Trevor Hillman May 11, 2012

    Thanks for the review, I recently purchased the vortex after the review done by fine woodworking. I have been impressed with it until yesterday, after all ay in the shop with respirator on and the shop vac with vortex on, I was still coughing up dust. I think it was the series of smaller cuts being made. Have you done a review of the dust collectors?


      I haven’t done any reviews of dust collectors. I doubt I will either due to the variety and size of the machines. It just isn’t practical for me on that scale.

      • Charlie Lenz October 11, 2012

        I think that a Phil Thien Separator should have been thrown in the mix as another option for those who want to build their own Separator. I think that he deserves some credit. As far as you doing a dust collector shootout, I have a Delta 50-760 portable 1 1/2 hp Dust Collector with an onboard Separator.In my opinion it’s the best bang for the buck in a portable 2 stage DC.

  43. William Swick May 11, 2012

    Marc in the last four years i have went through four motors on my shop vac.I use my shop-vac on all working tools. In your option will the cyclone save my motors.I enjoy your shoot out the dust cyclone good information. Keep them coming.

    Thank you. watch all your video


      Thanks William. The only thing that will likely save your motors is using a disposable filter bag. I believe a good cyclone separator will help a lot, but its the finest dust that is the real problem, and some of that will always get through the cyclone. So if you use filter back, you should be in good shape and you motor should last a long time.

  44. Great review Marc! I also have a dust deputy that I put onto a BORG bucket which snaps on and is really quite the pain to detach, but it really is awesome. You just validated my purchase lol.

    I did have one problem and that was with the top of the cyclone where it meets the funnel. I accidentally knocked it over and the top separated from the funnel. No matter. A little epoxy and it was as good as new!

    2 thumbs up to Oneida :)

  45. Danny H. May 11, 2012

    Have had the Dust deputy on my shop vac for several years now and can verify that it still works wonderfully well, with almost no dust reaching my goreteck filter. Bought another one for my other shop vac as well. The top of my first Dust Deputy did also separate and came off , but I was able to fix it quite successfully using Roo Clear glue. Haven’t had a problem since.

  46. Tom Collins May 12, 2012

    Fantastic review! You should do more of these. Your practical approach covered all the bases and answered all my questions. We don’t need all the scientific stuff, we just need to know how much dust will end up in the vacuum. The review was informative, interesting, and worth my time to watch. Thank you.

  47. Dave From oz May 12, 2012

    Thanks Marc. I have two dust deputy’s inline and love them. I a cabinet on casters to house my shop vac and a twelve litre paint tin with an expanding clamp on the lid. There is a dd bolted to the lid of the paint tin. On the side of the cabinet is a cradle that supports another dd but this one is on a Triton dust bucket with another paint tin lid and expanding clamp. I made a boom arm out of two inch pvc pipe with a Bosch airsweep hose. I love it.

  48. William Swick May 12, 2012

    Thanks Marc I will take your suggestion and use filter back,I’m thinking about buying a Dust Deputy. William Swick

  49. Don Burch May 12, 2012

    Nice to see at least some type of review on these devices. I am a ClearVue guy. I have one of the first generation mini CV06. Mine is stuck to the lid of a 20 liter plastic wine bucket. I have never experienced significant dust in my shop vac canister. I have read to many stories of the downside of having the waste bin overflow, so I don’t let the pail get even half full.
    It is to bad the unit you were given to test had such a poor waste container. A lot of people underestimate the vacuum developed in shop vac. Bolting a baby cyclone to a metal garbage can will always ensure a collapsed metal can.
    Any amount of leakage will undermine any cyclone’s performance. Based the amount of dust you generated, you have way to much carry over in the first two photos to think that a good seal was in place for either separator. This is certainly something to consider as the unit as a whole is only as good as its weakest link.
    While the Mini CV was unavailable I often encouraged people to get the Dust Deputy, so glad to see it come up with good results.

    Don Burch

  50. Danny H. May 13, 2012

    Oh I forgot to mention that I made a bracket to mount my Dust Deputy above my shop vac ,thus reducing it’s footprint. I also used black ABS pipe from the vac to the Deputy, instead of corrugated air hose, so as to help maintain airflow. I believe I posted a picture on the Fine Woodworking Knots site, although it may not be there any longer.

  51. Mark M. May 15, 2012

    In my opinion the most important quality here is the actual efficiency of the vortex unit itself. I believe the CV06 was not adequately tested if the bucket was allowed to collapse in the test. But of course this was a test of the units as a whole and not solely focused on the vortex unit itself. I’m not faulting the tester, just making an observation. I would personally like to know which vortex works best and then I would take steps to fix any other weakness I found. So I would be curious what would have happened if you had reduced the suction enough to stop the collapse or reinforced the inside. Just to see if the dust in the CT was very different after the fix.


      After talking with others in the industry, I’m afraid the results played out exactly as we saw here, regardless of bucket integrity.

      • Mark M. May 15, 2012

        Alrighty then, I guess the DD is the best cyclone of the bunch and hence the one to have. Thanks for the hard work sir ;-)

  52. William McFarland May 16, 2012

    I bought the Industrial Dust Deputy 2 years ago, it is basically the same thing as the plastic model but all steel construction, I made a roll around platform with a 12″ solo tube and plywood so I can move it around my small shop, it works like a champ. I was sold on it before your demonstration.

  53. I have the Vortex and finding similar results with your test. It works great on large particles but fine stuff goes right through. Unfortunately I do a lot of sanding that creates a lot of fine particles. Mark, do you find that the filter agitator on the festool helps to increase suction when your filter is clogged? Obviously you didn’t clog it during the test, I mean in normal use, regardless of separator. I am thinking of buying a new vac and was thinking the filter cleaner might be away to not have to clean it out as much and keep up suction.


      Actually i rarely use the feature. The reason is because i never run it without a bag. The bag catches pretty much everything .

    • Beamer Smith October 5, 2013

      I altered my shopvac so that the entrance into the vac has a longer pipe on it and I simply add a few inches of water to the bottom… If you put too much water in (covers more than 1/2 – 3/4 inch of the new down pipe) the vac works too hard.. pulling the dust through the water all but eliminates the dast… and because it’s fine wood dust, I just spread the resultant “muck” on my lawn ;)

  54. Carl B May 22, 2012

    Great review, thanks! I have both: saw similar results in performance, opposite results in quality. I bought the DD first. The lid (the top of the cyclone – not the bucket lid) separated from the cone, exactly 3 days after the warranty expired (90 days). I called Oneida and they would only suggest using glue to reattach. The lip on the bottom surface of the lid, where it attaches to the cone, is about 1/16″. The glue worked for exactly one use and now there is not enough lip to glue again. So, I bought a CV06. It has been working with the stock bucket for over 6 months (albeit with ShopVac, not CT33).

    BTW, my intention is not to disparage Oneida (I have another Oneida product that I consider exceptional). Perhaps I just got one bad DD. Maybe you got a bad batch of CV buckets?

  55. Alex May 24, 2012


    This was a great video to learn more about dust safety. This being said, it would also be a great ressource if you could put together a short dust collection 101 video explaining the difference between a vacuum, dust extractor, dust collector, cyclone, and any other product that I’m sure exist. Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything that explains the basics of dust safety (other than it’s nasty stuff to inhale). As many new woodworkers, it is always a challenge to figure out what is needed first (after the mask ;)


  56. Ed Heckman May 27, 2012

    Great review, Marc!

    I had purchased the DustDeputy as just the cyclone without anything else because it was cheapest. But I had always wondered if one of the other cyclones would have been better. Thanks for clearing that up!

    There’s a couple of things I’ve learned about the DD since getting it.

    I attached it to a standard 5 gallon bucket. At first I used it with a plain old Craftsman shop vac. Eventually I got a Festool CT 26, and the increased power caused the bucket to collapse, just as you saw with the CV06. I eventually figured out that the simplest fix was to put that bucket inside a second bucket. Problem solved.

    I also found that the easiest way to connect the Festool 36 mm hose is with a tool end connector. It simply fits inside the port on the DD. I just purchased another connector and replaced the 50 mm end. If I need the 50 mm end, I can simply swap it out. Fortunately, I don’t have to do that very often.

  57. James Ball August 1, 2012

    I use a Dust Deputy with a 6.5 hp shop-vac, and the vac can collapse almost any vessel if you restrict the flow. Keep hoses short and as large as you can get them. I have a 2 1/4 to 4″ adapter on the dust deputy going to my hybrid table saw. A 90 degree elbow and a short adapter from the vac to the DD. The vac is propped up to align straight to the Dust deputy. It works very well. I wish they made a small 4″ version of the DD. 6.5hp vac makes the little DD scream so loud you can’t hear anything else. But it keeps the bottom of the saw cleaned out. A small diameter hose with a lot of power from a shop vac will quickly collapse a steel garbage can or any plastic bucket.

  58. Chris B September 6, 2012

    Lads, you can build all that with a few bits and pieces. I’ve built mine out of a 90 l. rubbish bin (as we call it in Ireland) and 30cm long 115mm diameter PVC pipe acting as a cyclone separator and mounted on the top of the bin just like the Oneida guys. A cheap 1500W (that would be approx 2h.p. in US) supermarket brand vac is providing the suction, but hey, you can use any vac you want. The key is in airtight lid on the bin. All I spent was 15 euro on the bin as I already had the vac and a few more quid on a long hose for the tools. I’m moving the setup (meaning the hose) between my router table(home built) and my table saw (home improved). works fine and no mess. Make sure though that the hose to the tool is larger or equals the diameter between the vac and the separator or you’ll have a veeery squashed bin. A nice weekend project if anyone is up for the challenge.
    Cheers lads and good luck with the build

  59. James St.Germain December 10, 2012

    Based on the review of dust separators I chose the Dust Deputy. I use it in conjunction with my Rigid Shop Vac. The filter was always clogging every time the unit required emptying.
    Now after dumping the Oneida bucket 5 or 6 times, there still is almost zero dust in the shop vac or on the filter–and that was the matching performance feature reported by Marc on TWW.

  60. nick December 25, 2012

    Cool Review. I am very new to wood working and have an old shop vac that is suffering from all the dust. Today I was given a new one and thought that is would be a wise idea to get myself a separator so that I may preserve its run life. The review really helped me out.

  61. Brandon December 27, 2012

    This is a great review… or really sucked… I’m not sure anymore. I’ve been contemplating the Rockler Vortex, but always thought I could build something similar for a lot less money. Seeing the various devices in detail has given me some new design ideas. I gotta stop watching these videos, my project lists keeps growing and growing….

  62. I purchased the Dust Right Vortex about 2 months ago to aid in removing the “big stuff” from my shop floor and have found it to be quite good at doing what it’s supposed to do. Online somewhere, I got the idea to build a vaccuum/separator cart on wheels which really does a job for keeping the vaccuum and the separator together without one or the other falling over. Real handy. The only problem I have had are the connections between the separator and my vac which is a Ridgid 12 gallon Wet/Dry Vac which has a 2.5 inch inner diameter port and 1.75 inch inner diameter floor tools. I got it to work and my problems are probably more to do with the vac than the separator, but combining the two items to use for my woodworking equipment has been frustrating to say the least and really shouldn’t be. Soon, I think I can open my own shop vac connector store with the connections I bought and have found not to work with my setup.

  63. wes January 3, 2013

    In a smaller shop or I guess any size shop really for an over all dust collection system would a portable dust collector with a cyclone and say a 1-2hp motor that rolls around and can connect over a short run to the individual machine being used give a better performance than a bigger machine in the corner of the shop with a longer run of hose. I know it might not be as convenient but if it would be more effective (and cost less probably) I might just do it that way.

  64. flink January 16, 2013

    Thanks, Mark. This is just the info I needed.

  65. Hans January 25, 2013

    I’ve used the ultimate dust deputy with my festool vac now for a couple years. I really like how it attaches to the festool vacs and I honestly have to say I still have yet to change a bag. It does a great job at separating everything from large chips to even dry wall dust. The BIG problem i have with the ULTIMATE dust deputy is the anti-static system. Living in southern california it is dry dry dry. Although they claim it to be anti-static it is not. It really comes down to the materials they use – they are not anti-static or even static dissipating from my experience. However, to date it is the best option I have found inertial dust separation…just keep in mind you may sacrifice your anti-static system unless you make modifications to the system. It may not be an issue unless you live in a dry climate like myself.

  66. Tom (http://N/A) March 10, 2013

    Just bought Dust Right Vortex a week before seeing your your comparison. Dis get it $75 and love it. Saves time and filters and works just fine in my small shop. All of my tools and, storage cabinets, tool boxes, and power tools are on wheels and the addition of Vortex by Rockler joins the mobility clan. Thanks

  67. Peter Kelly March 21, 2013

    Hi Mark,
    I’m sure that the deformation of the CV06 bucket would adversely affect the performance of the cyclone & dramatically increase the pass through. Out of fairness, you should have replaced the bucket for the performance comparison & mentioned the deformation in the ‘build quality’ comparison.
    Any cyclone should be capable of creating enough negative pressure to crush a container, especially when connected to a quality vacuum!!
    My CV06 shows almost no dust after many hours of use on routers,sanders & the overhead guard on the table saw.
    The Dust Deputy is a basic cyclone that could be fabricated at home, while the Mini is quite sophisticated, with a ramp & a very clever reverse cone that reduces the overall height. I hope that Clearvue seriously look at a full size version. Peter

  68. Stephano August 4, 2013

    My CV06 shows almost no dust after many hours of use…

    Great article thou, exactly what i needed :)

  69. Trijohnmc December 1, 2013

    Great comparison tests on the cyclones. I am looking to purchase one.
    I would like to comment on the lids. You thought the Dust Deputy had a disadvantage because the cover didn’t screw on. I thought it was an advantage in as much as the hoses don’t have to be removed to take the lid off to empty the dust. The other two lids would be impossible to remove without removing the hoses first.
    Keep up the great and extremely helpful videos for beginners like me.

  70. Peter March 2, 2014

    I am in Australia about 50-60 miles west of Sydney.
    I was given a ClearVue Mini CV6 unit by a mate to see if it’d work for me with my Dewalt 735 Thicknesser, as it had failed on him the same as in the testing above.
    This bucket had similarly collapsed as described, using his Festool Vacuum .
    The bucket is now reinforced, with full length 3/4″ square hardwood vertical slats running around the outside of the bucket, with sealed screw fixings from the inside.
    The unit still works satisfactorily [sort of] now with a lower powered vacuum cleaner; but I do now tend to use it outside the shed to avoid the mess.
    Just my experience from ”DownUnder”….
    Thank you for the article and testing…. Cheers from On Top DownUnder…Peter

  71. Abe Shelton March 26, 2014

    As a customer and former sales / service rep for Oneida I would add a few things that may be found useful. The top of the dust deputy tends to fail, the warranty is short and honored only when a complaint is raised to the highest elevated level. I do own a deputy and the initial price grows quickly. Tends to be top heavy during use so a hassle for mobility. Remember not everything is as it appears. Unhappy customer who knows you can can get far more for far less $. If looking for a larger collector think twice before pursuing a pricey overrated Oneida collector! The value lies in the setup of ductwork and collector and not necessarily the collector you buy.

  72. Brian Atkinson November 6, 2014

    Great review. I would like to add a point that was not touched on in the video. I use my planer quite frequantly in my shop. I own the Dust Right Vortex. One advantage that you will have with the Dust Right is the larger compasity. While the others may need to be emptied twice during a job, the Dust Right wont need to be emptied. Also as you can buy the top cyclone of the Dust Deputy by its self, you can also buy the main attachment parts of the Dust Right. I am curious if each of those brands were attached to a 55 gallon drum or 30 gallon aluminum trash can which would preform better. Keep up the good work Marc.

  73. Heidi Joos December 15, 2014

    they tell me i can’t hook up something like the dust deputy to the festool dust extractor without voiding the warranty because static electricity from the the cyclone will blow the electronics on the festool. true? and then what?


      I’m sure it’s true in terms of voiding your warranty but I don’t know just how much of a risk there is. Up to you though if you want to take the chance. I currently have one hooked up to a Festool vac and haven’t had any trouble but that’s just my situation.

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