nwwlogo

NewMetalworker.com  -  NWW on YouTube  - Donate
  

Click Here!

 
I was as skeptical as anyone but the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator really does work! Maybe better than they say it will!
Click image to enlarge

Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator

Making your shop-vac feel (and act) better

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Posted - 5-13-2011

One of the problems with the confines of a shop-vac canister is that the larger chips and particles get blasted around with the intermixed flour-like dust. While many vacuum filter elements actually depend on a layer of the flour-like dust to increase their filtering capacity, the larger chips and particles just block airflow which just reduces the overall dust collecting efficiency. The Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator is designed to reduce that restrictive property by putting an effective 2-stage dust collecting canister between the dust source and your shop-vac. At the same time the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator effectively doubles the dust storage capacity and even makes it easier to empty.

The Basics

Open the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator box and you find the blue 10-gallon translucent canister, 5 casters that plug into sockets around the bottom of the canister, a 36'' flexform connect hose along with the Vortex™ lid with all necessary fittings. The included hose lets you to put the original hose from your shop-vac from the dust source to the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator which is connected to your shop-vac with the included hose and fittings.

The translucent canister lets you see how full it is getting and the five equally spaced casters keep the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator very stable while moving it around the shop. The hose connections in the lid fit around the outside of the common 2-1/4”-diameter shop-vac hoses. That “innie” configuration makes it much harder for the hoses to come apart accidentally.

Putting the Spin On It

The inlcuded hose (left) has screw-on ends that stay very secure. That inlcuded hose means that you can plub the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator "in-line" with the dust source (right) with the original shop-vac hose.
Click images to enlarge

The cyclonic air flow created by the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator causes most of the wood chips and particles that are heavier than the pure dust to separate and fall into the canister rather than get passed on to the shop-vac. Rockler notes that this type of system is not meant for jobs like sanding drywall that creates nothing but an exceptionally fine dust. When it comes to cleaning up the shop or evacuating many woodworking machines the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator really shines.

In the Shop

Assembling the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator takes all of five minutes which makes that a non-issue. The illustrated instructions make it clear how this separator is set up so the only way you will have problems is if you don’t look at the instructions. Even the hose connections in the lid have a triangular locator that interacts with a triangular recess in the curved internal port. Obviously having the air aimed in the right direction is going to be important for proper function and you have to try pretty hard to get those crucial fittings installed wrong.

I like that the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator comes with a 2-1/4” hose that makes it a “plug in” unit that goes between your shop-vac and the dust source. The original shop-vac hose now runs from the other side of the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator lid to the dust source. All of the accessories you have amassed for your shop-vac hose still work without having to find adapters! The included flex hose comes with screw-in ends that stay put to further secure the hose to the ports.

After several minutes of wide-face jointing you can see there is very little in the way of chips in the shop-vac can (left) but in the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator,(right) there are a bunch of chips and virtually no of the fine flour-like dust that we 3wanted to go to the shop-vac!
Click images to enlarge

So with the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator assembled and the instructions read I dug out my shop-vac and actually cleaned it up so that the previous load of dust would not influence this evaluation. I had given up on using the shop-vac for woodworking years ago but everything I have heard about the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator gave me hope that the shop-vac might come back to the shop occasionally.

I ran the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator quite a bit in my shop, hooked to my table saw, band saw and planer. The Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator handled all of those machines surprisingly well while effectively separating the chips from the flour. What surprised me most is that in separating the heavier chips from the fine dust, the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator was nearly 100% effective. That spurred me on to connect it to my jointer (helix cutter head)which has always made a good amount of flour-type dust along with a bunch of light shavings that might fake out the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator to some degree. The result in the photos and video show that once again the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator was very nearly 100% effective. I could see no flour in the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator canister and just a few chips in the dust collector can. I emptied everything out and tried it again and got the same results. The Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator not only works, it works VERY well.

The translucent canister lets you see how full it is getting. You can also see the dust swirling around even without the photo lights that let you see that happening in the video.

Conclusions

If you are using a shop-vac in your shop the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator should be high on your must-have list. I know many of you are skeptical and frankly I was also before actually using the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator. This thing really works and makes the overall handling of dust debris in your shop much less stressful.

Video Tour

With the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator selling for just $69.99 (5-13-2011) it isn’t a budget-breaker. And if you don’t have a shop-vac Rockler even has a combo deal that includes a 5-1/2 HP 8-Gallon The Right Stuff Industrial Wet/Dry Vac with the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator, all for $129.99! That is not long money for what the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator brings to your shop. It may not replace a real stand-alone dust collector machine but if you want to add the extra capability or if your small shop can’t handle a full-scale dust collector the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator is capable and ready to make your shop cleaner and your life easier.

See the Rockler Dust Right Vortex™ Dust Separator on Rocklers site – Click Here

Have a comment on this review? –Email Me!

Back to the Tool Reviews List



All NewWoodworker.com Custom Plan Sets, written, photographic and drawn materials are property of and copyright by NewWoodworker.com LLC 2000-2014. Materials may not be used in any way without the written permission of the owner.
Privacy Statement