cyclone dust collector diy

Cyclone Dust Collector – Review

Low-cost Workshop Cyclone 

The concept of a cyclone is not new but it has been developed by many vacuum designers such as James Dyson.  Dyson went down the domestic route but we are interested in cyclones for woodworkers.

Cyclone for woodworkers 

As a woodworker, I use a cyclone in my workshop on a daily basis. The cyclone I chose is the one I talk about here. Woodworking dust is a mixture of fine and coarse particles and is ideally collected using a cyclone separator such as the Dust Deputy.

Cyclone Separator for Drywall

A cyclone separator is essential for drywall work. If you have ever sanded drywall using a standard filter shop vac you will know it clogs within minutes rendering it useless. The separator creates a centrifugal force which throws the fine plaster dust to the outside of the cyclone allowing the cleaned air to be expelled to the shop vac.

My First Separator Shop Vac

You might be surprised but my first ever cyclone dust collector was a fermenting bin and an Orange road cone stuck on top! It did work somewhat but not ideal. The unit was not very substantial and sucked in whenever the hose got blocked with shavings. The one thing this DIY cyclone did teach me is how effective the cyclonic action dust separator was. 

cyclonic action

  • Dust Deputy
  • Dust commander
  • Chinese copy

The Dust Deputy 

The Deputy is a cyclone by Oneida has been, with us for a while now and is the go-to brand for a Cyclone Vac solution but it’s not alone. There are other products that perform as well or better. Buy on Amazon

Specification from the Maker

  • 50CFM minimum airflow
  • Inlet size: 2″ O.D. (Tapered)
    1-3/4″ I.D.
  • Outlet: 2″ O.D. (Tapered)
    1-3/4″ I.D.
  • 3″ I.D Discharge size 
  • Built from Polypropylene
  • Anti Static
  •  Transparent Aid vision of dust
  • Height: 14″
  • Inlet centre height: 9.625″
  • Made in the USA
  • 1 year Warranty
  • Patents: US Pat. #6833016, #7282074, #RE40048
    EU Pat. #EP1462179B1

Dust commander

Is another cyclone that has shown a lot of promise and has delivered a good product at a price which is comparable to Oneidas Dust deputy. Neatiease below is almost identical. The benefit of this system is the moulded intake top section which improves the cyclonic action by providing a cleaner airflow. Buy on Amazon

  • PROFESSIONAL SYSTEMS – Suitable for industrial extractor dust collector, for CNC machining, machinery, textile, commercial, workshops, woodworking, construction, etc …
  • HIGH-QUALITY CYCLONE DUST COLLECTOR – Made of high-quality PP material, high temperature resistant, clogging-free, extend the service life of vacuum pump.
  • HIGH EFFICIENCY – Average productivity increase from 80% to 95%, The larger the dust particles, the higher the collection rate, tight-sealing must be ensured during installation.
  • WIDELY USE – Suitable for most brands of vacuum sweeper and dust collector, sweep dust, wood chips, hair, concrete particles, debris and so on.
  • SPECIFICATIONS – Dimensions: 13.3×8.3×7(in), Inlet and outlet Inner diameter: 1.97”/50mm, external diameter: 2.17″/55mm. Coupling Inner diameter:1.78″/45mm, external diameter: 1.97”/50mm. Color: black

Chinese Cyclones

It is not unlike China industries to see a gap, in the market for a cheap easy to copy the product and produce capable but lowcost alternatives to the ‘Dust deputy’ and the ‘Dust ‘Commander’.

This unit is what I have installed in my workshop to my Nilfix shop vac. It works a week at separating the dust from the air and saves the air filter from rapid clogging. Buy on Amazon

Specification from Maker

  • A simple and effective cleaning method: just empty the dust and dirt in the bucket without opening the vacuum cleaner. Separate 99% of the material before it enters the vacuum and keeps the filter clean for longer.
  • Wide range of applications: Many rubbish in your area can be collected through it, such as wood chips, plaster dust, sanding dust, clay dust, concrete dust, bread/dust and so on.
  • Applicable forms: It can be used with various vacuum cleaners, such as household vacuum cleaner, industrial vacuum cleaner, fan and another vortex fan 1200W power 
  • Low cost: The standard wet/dry vacuum cleaner uses a filter to separate the air intake from the dust particles. The filter becomes very dirty and the airflow of the cleaner is reduced. Modern cyclone technology eliminates the need for frequent cleaning or filter replacement. Save more money!
  • Strong suction: Another advantage of the cyclone vacuum cleaner is its fixed suction. The ordinary vacuum cleaner, because of the low suction power, is not cleanly cleaned, but it is the same at all times, constantly attracting the cyclone.

The price

For a standard Dust deputy, you have to budget for 50$ but the Chinese copy can be found for 12$ on Amazon. The links in this review are for Amazon and we receive a small commission.


The dust commander is a slightly different design and in my opinion, it provides better airflow but the original Oneida Dust Deputy is great but the Chinese model is almost identical and works brilliantly. How did I know this? Because I have a Chinese unit installed. 

Below are videos demonstrating the Cyclone shop vac

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