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The JET DC1100C features a solid motor, blower and base, supporting new thinking in canister filter technology.
Click image to enlarge

JET DC1100C Dust Collector

Canister filtering done right

Text, photos & video by Tom Hintz

Posted – 5-16-2007

Canister style dust collector filters are very efficient at removing tiny particles from the air. With JET’s 2-micron canister filter on top of their powerful DC1100C mechanics, dust issues in your shop are over. In many of today’s shops, height can be an issue as well and the JET DC1100C addresses that as well.

Note: JET makes this same dust collector with fabric catch and filter bags (filters down to 30 microns) at a lower price point and we will provide a live pricing link for this machine at the end of this review also.

Features

The JET DC1100C is powered by a 1 ½ HP, TEFC (totally enclosed fan cooled) motor that comes from the factory wired for 110V but can be converted to 220V. A hyper-effective 11”-diameter impeller creates an 1100 CFM (cubic feet per minute) air flow with an air speed of 8,464 feet per minute. The motor and blower assembly is mounted on the base platform to keep the overall center of gravity low for stability when moving the JET DC1100C around the shop.

The stout 1 1/2 HP TEFC motor (left) and the blower section that houses the 11"-diameter impeller (right) are mounted low on the base to keep the center of gravity down where it belongs for moving this unit around the shop.
Click images to enlarge

The JET DC1100C comes with a simple pushbutton On/Off switch panel mounted on the motor. JET offers the DC1100RC that adds a remote control to this package. The remote version can even be programmed to run for a specific time after you leave the shop!

The base has large, full swivel casters at all four corners that make moving the JET DC1100C around the shop easy. With all four wheels swiveling, this machine can be moved in whatever direction is easiest!

The impeller housing has a 6”-diameter hose connection snout formed into its cover, used most frequently with permanently installed dust collection tubing. A friction-fit cover is included with the JET DC1100C that has two 4”-diameter hose connections. A slip on cover is attached to one of the 4” outlets for when only one connection is needed.

The included dual 4" port cover fits over the 6"-diameter port that can be used for installed dust tubing systems.
Click image to enlarge

The JET DC1100C uses a 20”-diameter plastic catch bag with a 5.6 cubic foot capacity, secured in the housing with a felt-covered snap ring. These clear plastic bags are heavy enough to be used several times before being discarded with the contents.

The Canister

The 20”-diameter by 25”-tall canister that comes with the JET DC1100C is nearly 8” shorter than the bag style filter but is 95% efficient at catching particles down to 2 microns in diameter. That is possible because of the pleated paper element that actually has 6-times the surface area of the fabric bag. This huge surface area allows the JET DC1100C to exhaust plenty of air to compensate for the lack of venting at the plastic catch bag and still produce identical air flow and speed rates as the canvas-equipped DC1100A model.

The JET DC1100C has an overall height of 71 1/8” while the same machine with fabric bags is 79”-tall. In some shops, particularly basement locations, this height difference can be crucial. Both versions of this machine have a 46”-long by 29”-deep footprint.

The canister (left) has 6 times the filtering surface as the fabric bags and traps particles down to 2-microns in diameter!
The cleaning "hands" (right) operated by the handles on top of the canister flex the pleated material to dislodge dust build up.
Click images to enlarge

One of the concerns woodworkers have had with canister filters was cleaning their interior surfaces of the inevitable layer of dust that builds up. JET added a double-ended handle on top of the JET DC1100C canister that allows this periodic cleaning without having to take anything apart.

The handle is connected to a shaft that drives a pair of flexible “hands” inside of the canister. When the handle is turned, those hands flex the interior pleat edges to knock off the excess dust. The instruction manual that comes with the JET DC1100C suggests giving the handle one full turn every month for normal usage levels. Of course, that frequency can be adjusted to best fit your level of use.

In the Shop

Assembling the JET DC1100C is very straightforward and I completed that process in less than 30 minutes. The instructions are good, the parts bags complete and the parts all fit well.

See It Work!

Though rated at 70-80 decibels, the JET DC1100C seems quieter than that to me. Whether that is actually true or not, the JET DC1100C sounds quieter in my shop than other dust collectors I have had.

I have connected the JET DC1100C to all of my shop machines at one time or another during evaluation using an 18-foot-long, 4”-diameter flex hose. I know this hose is longer than recommended but it puts a small additional load on dust collectors to see if they are really up to snuff. The JET DC1100C evacuated the dust and chips generated by all of my machines easily. Especially impressive was how well it handled the huge amounts of debris my jointer and planer generate. There were no signs of plugging or slowing of the airflow in the JET DC1100C itself or at any of the machines. I could see nothing that suggests the JET DC1100C would not be capable of handling any machine this side of an outright industrial setting.

I was a little skeptical of the motor and On/Off switch being mounted on the base but in actual use that proved to be a non-issue. I am always rearranging my shop to accommodate new machines or projects and quickly found that storing the JET DC1100C with the canister end against the wall put the switches and hose connections in easy reach. With my overly long hose connected, it would reach most machines without moving it. When the JET DC1100C has to be moved, the low center of gravity and four swivel casters make getting it where needed easy.

The interior cleaning hands are surprisingly effective at knocking off the surface layer of dust (and more) inside of the canister. This system looked too simple to be that efficient but it is. As the handles are turned and the “hands” dragged around the inside surface, they flex the pleats enough to knock off most of the surface buildup. Between the quality construction of the canister filter and the easy maintenance, its life span expands to many years rather than months.

Conclusions

All woodworkers need a good dust collector and the JET DC1100C will serve virtually any home-based woodworker very well. It has plenty of capacity to handle your machines and it’s 2-micron filtering will keep your shop – and lungs – much cleaner.

With a street price of $399.99 (5-15-2007) for the JET DC1100C (with canister) and $324.99 for the JET DC1100A (with fabric bags) adding high quality, highly effective dust collection to your shop is both a wise and economical expense in both the long and short term. If keeping your shop cleaner is not a priority, preventing your machines – and lungs – from suffering the affects of dust building up should be!

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