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Though available with fabric filter and catch bags at a lower price, the more efficient canister setup is the most popular.
Click image to enlarge

POWERMATIC DC1900 Dust Collector

Big time power, capacity and value

Text and photos by Tom Hintz

Posted - 9-30-2007

When it comes to wood shop dust collectors, the POWERMATIC DC1900 has to be near the high end of the power/capacity/capability spectrum. Between its 3 Hp motor and a high efficiency 14"-diameter impeller, there are few dust-related chores that the POWERMATIC DC1900 can't handle this side of a furniture factory. Its powerful dust-evacuating suction, tiny particle filtering (with canisters), multiple connection capabilities and large collection capacity make the POWERMATIC DC1900 a very capable central dust collection candidate for most wood shops. Its built-in mobility makes taking it to a machine or area an easy, no-strain task.

The POWERMATIC DC1900 actually comes as a bare machine without filter elements or catch bags in the carton. That allows the buyer to "design" the system they want. The fabric filter and catch bag sets or the pleated canister filters (with 5 plastic catch bags) are sold as individual kits. This means you can buy the system the way you want and not be forced to discard (and pay for) components you didn't want in the first place.

Filtering Efficiency

In addition to being far more efficient at filtering, the canister system (left) is much shorter than the fabric bag option.
The "hands" inside of the canister (right) flex the pleats to knock off excess buildup without having to remove the canister.
Click images to enlarge

The bag filter elements are 20" in diameter and 48" in length/height. The filter bags are held to the housing by spring steel band clamps. The fabric collector bags have spring retaining rings sewn into their upper edges that pop into a groove in the lower edge of the collector housings. If you have ever fought with an outside band to secure collection bags you will love this system, especially when working alone.

The bag type elements filters out 96% of 30 micron particles.

The canister filters are 20" in diameter but only 29" long/tall. The canisters mount directly to the collector housings, sealed with foam gaskets inside the canister flanges. Four finger-operated knobs lock each canister to the collector housings. Though compact in height the canisters pleated element has six times the filtering surface area of the much taller fabric bag type. That additional surface allows the canister to filter much smaller particles yet still pass enough air to maintain flow volume. The canisters filter 86% of 1-micron particles and 98% of 2-micron particles.

The handles a top each canister turn a pair of hands within each of them that flex the filter element pleats to knock off the excess dust buildup. That means you don't have to take the canister off to perform normal maintenance. Turn the top-mounted handle one full revolution per month (per canister) under normal conditions and the canisters stay happy.

The difference in height between the fabric and canister filter elements can be an important issue in shop spaces with low ceilings or overhead clearances. The POWERMATIC DC1900 has an overall height of just under 6 feet with the canisters installed compared to 92 1/2" when equipped with the fabric filter bags and their hangars.

Collector (catch) bag capacity for both the fabric and plastic bags is 10 cubic feet per bag.

Power and Control

The powerful 3Hp, 220V motor is protected from fluctuating current by a magnetic starter switch. That same switch prevents the DC1900 from restarting on its own should the power go off and then come back on.
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The POWERMATIC DC1900 is powered by a 3HP, 1Ph 220V (only) TEFC (totally enclosed fan cooled) motor. POWERMATIC motors are rated using a continuous duty cycle rather than the "peak" or "max developed" claims so common today. That means lots of power and a very consistent level of operation.

The motor is mounted to the blower section and to the base platform. This creates an exceptionally low center of gravity that makes moving the POWERMATIC DC1900 safe and easy. That also puts the inlet ports on the same level as many machine outlets and eliminates having to "lift" the dust excessively when it gets to the dust collector.

The POWERMATIC DC1900 comes with a single 8"-diameter inlet port fitted with a triple 4"-port adapter. Two of the 4" ports have tethered, friction fit covers that seal them when not in use.

The POWERMATIC DC1900 is equipped with a full-function, infrared remote control that emits an invisible light-based signal in a 120-degree cone. That means you only have to point the pocket-sized remote unit in the direction (line of sight) of the POWERMATIC DC1900 to turn it on and off from virtually anywhere in most shops. That alone can save lots of steps and time.

A remote control is standard on the DC1900 and eliminates many steps in the shop. It also has a built-in timer should you want the DC1900 to run for up to 99 minutes after you are done.
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The remote control has a timer function that allows programming in a specific amount of run time between 1 and 99 minutes. Set the timer and the POWERMATIC DC1900 will run that many minutes before it shuts off automatically.

The POWERMATIC DC1900 comes with a magnetic starter switch wired into the system that protects the motor from excessive current variations. Like magnetic switches on table saws, it also prevents the POWERMATIC DC1900 from restarting unexpectedly if the power goes out and then comes back on. When the power is restored, you have to push the On button on the machine or the remote to restart the machine.

Fan System

The high performance 14"-diameter impeller (left) and smooth-walled duct (right) add to the efficiency of the DC1900.

The POWERMATIC DC1900 has a specially designed 14"-diameter impeller and housing that has been optimized to move lots of air and to keep moving that volume consistently. The fan section develops 1,891 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of airflow at 8" of water. Velocity, also at 8" of water is 5,393.7 FPM (feet per minute). Static pressure is 12.15 inches of water.

The versatile inlet ports are placed low on the DC1900. That keeps the hose on the ground, closer to the machine outlets for a little more efficiency.
Click image to enlarge

To enhance airflow and the rigidity of the housings POWERMATIC got rid of the flex hose so many use to connect the fan and collector housings. In its place they use a curved, smooth-walled sheet metal chute that splits to deliver air to both filter elements. The ends of the chute have flanged, gasket-sealed connections that help prevent leaks. The smooth, flowing shape of the chutes' interior moves air efficiently to enhance performance a little more.

The strength and rigidity of the sheet metal duct allows POWERMATIC to eliminate two of the three legs that normally support each collector housing. That creates substantially more unobstructed space that makes installing or removing the collection bags much easier.

Mobility

The POWERMATIC DC1900 is built on a heavy-duty base with full-swivel, smooth-rolling casters at each corner. These casters, the low center of gravity and handles on the collector housings make moving the POWERMATIC DC1900 to where it is needed safe and easy.

In the Shop

The heavy-duty base, equipped with full swivel casters at each corn ere makes moving the DC1900 around the shop easy."
Click image to enlarge

Like everything I have had from POWERMATIC, the DC1900 is well made and works better than expected. The brute power of the 3 Hp motor is surprising and combined with the hyper-efficient fan section mean you can hook this unit up to nearly any full-shop duct system or machine. I connected the POWERMATIC DC1900 to my 15-inch planer and 6-inch jointer and then made 1/8"-deep cuts (6"-wide) on both machines at the same time. The POWERMATIC DC1900 couldn't have cared less. I made the same cuts with the free 4" inlet left open (no hose) and the POWERMATIC DC1900 didn't miss a beat. It took cleared the dust from the planer and jointer while trying its best to create a vacuum in my shop.

The 8-inch inlet means you can connect the POWERMATIC DC1900 to a large tubing system in the shop without worry of restrictions or hindering performance. I don't have a built in tubing system but it is becoming obvious that I don't have enough machinery to choke the POWERMATIC DC1900 anyway.

The large capacity of the dual catch bags means most of us can go a long time before its time to empty them. When it is time, the single leg at each housing makes removing and then installing the catch bags very easy.

Despite its size and weight, the POWERMATIC DC1900 literally glides across the floor on the wheeled base. The handles on the housing make controlling it surprisingly easy.

Conclusions

The POWERMATIC DC1900 is a very well made dust collector that is as versatile as it is powerful. The range of inlet sizes makes it compatible with virtually any shop layout or machine you may have. I suspect the POWERMATIC DC1900 would handle many smaller factory jobs as well.

With a street price of approximately $1299.00 (9-27-2007) with the canisters the POWERMATIC DC1900 is pricey to be sure. It is also a very good value that will serve you well for many years to come. The brute power of this unit means you can expand your shop and tool selection considerably without worry about running out of collection capacity. The 2 micron filtering means your shop will stay cleaner in the process, as will your lungs. Put a price on that!

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