While most woodworking operations, big or small, seem to operate more efficiently with a centralized dust collection system matched exactly to their machines, it always seems there is need for what I’d call a utility dust collector. This is a smaller unit, probably on wheels, that is dedicated to one or two machines. The new 1-1/2 hp dust collector from Delta is just such a unit.

Classic configuration 

This Delta collector (Model 50-786) is not groundbreaking in its design. It is the classic single-stage design with a cloth filter bag on top of a clear plastic collection bag. The cloth bag is rated for 1 micron filtration to catch the most hazardous fine dust. There is also a canister filter option designed to increase filter capacity, but we did not test that option. The clear plastic disposable bag attaches with a magnetic flexible ring designed for easy attachment and removal.

The single-phase 120/240-volt TEFC motor drives a steel impeller to deliver 1,200 CFM, which, depending on your setup, is typically enough for one or two standard machines. The unit comes with a 4-inch Y-pipe inlet, some flexible 4-inch hose, and some heavy rubber caps that can be used to close off inlets not in use.

Assembly of the collector was straightforward and took about 30 minutes following the adequate instructions included with the manual. Of course it took a bit longer to connect and properly ground the unit to the machines it would handle.

Getting the job done 

Dust collection is one of those things that makes a significant improvement in shop efficiency and employee health, but is too often overlooked, especially in smaller shop settings. This unit fits in almost anywhere, with a relatively small footprint, and a height that just barely fit under the low ceilings of my shop. The wheeled base makes it easy to roll from one position to another.

Hearing protection is a personal passion of mine, so I was glad to hear how relatively quiet this unit was. It easily handled collection from 12-inch planer, 6-inch jointer and standard 10-inch table saw operations.

With a suggested retail price of $429, the unit is definitely worth checking out if you need a small dedicated collector. For more information, visit www.portercable.com.

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