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JET AFS-400 Air Filter & JET DC-500 Dust Collector
Performance and price - A woodworking oddity
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted - 9-24-2008
The new JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit and JET DC-500 Dust Collector were designed with the smaller shop in mind. Both machines bring surprising power in equally surprisingly small packages that really do make them applicable for those working in small spaces. Despite a shops lower square footage, the need for a clean workplace and clean air is no less important.
JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit
At 20-1/4" X 17 X 10-1/8" and weighing a trim 31-lbs, the JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit can be used while sitting on a bench or suspended from a ceiling. JET includes the necessary hardware for hanging it from commonly constructed ceilings but also added rubber feet to the bottom of the cabinet so it won't mark up the surface it stands on. A carry handle on the top makes it easy to bring it to the job.
Despite its demure size, the JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit features 260, 362, and 409 CFM flow rates. That lets you apply only the power needed for the current conditions and save the all-out settings for the few times they may be required. JET literature says that the JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit will process the air in a 20' x 20' x 8' shop at a rate of 7 cycles per hour!
The JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit has a pushbutton control panel that lets you select speeds or program the timer to run 1, 2, or 4 hours before shutting off automatically. JET also included a remote control that has all of the same functions on it. A very nice touch at this price point!
The JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit uses two filter elements. The outer electrostatic filter grabs particles down to 5 microns while the inner, pocket type fabric element filters down to 1 micron!
Both filter elements are easy to remove without tools. The outer element can be tapped or vacuumed to clean it while the inner fabric element can be hand-washed in plain water and then allowed to dry.
JET DC-500 Dust Collector
The JET DC-500 Dust Collector is also compact at only 58-3/4"-tall by 17-1/4"-wide and 28-1/2"-deep but generates a flow rate of 500 CFM (cubic feet per minute)! The 1/2HP, 115V (only) TEFC (totally enclosed fan cooled) motor spins a 9-1/2"-diameter impeller in the housing that is in no small way responsible for this machines effectiveness.
The JET DC-500 Dust Collector has an integral frame that also serves as a wheeled cart. Even with its small footprint, being able to roll the JET DC-500 Dust Collector to the job or out of the way can be a welcome advantage in many shops.
The JET DC-500 Dust Collector uses a fabric 1.9 cubic foot capacity catch bag that has a clear "window" so you can see when it needs to be emptied. The upper fabric exhaust bag filters particles down to 30 microns in diameter. Both of the bags have sewn-in spring steel retaining rings that snap into recesses in the flanges of the main housing. This retaining system is simple, effective and tool free.
In the Shop
The JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit and JET DC-500 Dust Collector might be marginal in a full-sized shop but if you work in the increasingly popular mid to small shop, they were made for you. Both are surprisingly powerful for their size and cost. Despite being at the lower end of the pricing curve the JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit and JET DC-500 Dust Collector have everything you need.
The JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit moves plenty of air yet is surprisingly quiet. Its filter elements are first rate and cleaning the air down to 1-micron particles is more often found on much larger and more expensive equipment. The remote control is a very useful bonus not often found in this price range.
The JET DC-500 Dust Collector has plenty of airflow capacity to handle most mid to smaller floor model machines as well as virtually any benchtop machine you may have. Operating the JET DC-500 Dust Collector on regular 115V current will be a welcome bonus for many.
I also liked the 4"-diameter inlet port and hose. No adapters and full flow from most machines means the JET DC-500 Dust Collector can do its job better. The mobility the cart provides is also very helpful in terms of placing the JET DC-500 Dust Collector where you need it.
The JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit and JET DC-500 Dust Collector are first class machines for the woodworkers with small shop areas. Both units are surprisingly powerful but the biggest surprise just might be their cost. Both the JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit and JET DC-500 Dust Collector carry a street price of about $200 each. (9-23-2008) Note that the DC-650 is shown in the Pricing Links as it is a revised model with more capability.
If you still need to add these machines to your small or mid-sized shop (and you should!) consider the JET AFS-400 Air Filtration Unit and JET DC-500 Dust Collector. Aside from being very capable, well-made machines, the price tag should put them high on your must-see list.
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