Friday, January 25, 2013

Major Suckage!

You know what they say about buying the best tools you can afford. It's really true; you save nothing by buying cheap crap.

Trust me, I know this - having purchased two ShopFox dust collectors, both which were sent back to the factory. They were absolute crap. I should have listened to my buddy Ulf. (Remind me next time!)

When this older Delta unit was giving me a little trouble, I remembered what a reliable machine it has been.

 So I looked into buying another in the Delta line. I've really never been disappointed with their tools - I have a 20 year old Unisaw at home with which I'm codependent - I will probably never get rid of that saw!

So - I ended up choosing this Delta, a 1200 CFM unit, I knew it would be able to handle the job.

The box arrived pretty quickly, having shipped from just one state over. 

When I saw this ding in the side, I was a little concerned - would this unit be damaged like the last two ShopFox units were?

You know what - everything inside was perfect, mostly due to the excellent packaging by Delta.  These parts were cradled in styrofoam.

I decided to time the assembly. It just so happened that I started exactly at noon.

Unlike the ShopFox unit, which was very poorly protected, Delta did a great job at surrounding delicate parts with packing.

There was no way this part was going to get bent!

And I liked how these casters

attached to the frame with threaded stems, rather than bolting in place. Plate and bolts take much longer to install, and most of the bolts were missing in the last ShopFox shipment, anyway.

In all, it took longer to find my 14 mm box wrench than it took to thread these into place!

The tubing and frames went together in a snap, using these threaded knobs. Seriously, this was a breeze. My mom could do it. 

It takes a big person to admit their screw-ups, right? I put the top of this unit on wrong. The motor should have been over the open part of the bottom frame. I shot a picture of it with it mis-assembled. 

Then I switched it around the right way in 30 seconds. Delta said this was a two person job, but - by now, you know I have super-powers, right?

Honestly, the hardest part was attaching the bags, using those press fit clamps that Delta includes. I was finished at

This is one gorgeous unit, and much quieter than I'd expected it to be. I'd read on a tool review that someone thought this unit was loud. I don't think so at all - it is smooth and very quiet compared to the other units in my shop. I may buy another, for the planer. That dust collector is on it's last leg.

So - pros and cons?

The definite plusses for me are:

1)  Delta gives you two dust collection bags, instead of one. Nice.

2)  There are two methods for attaching the bags - the snap in rings, and the standard clip on straps. I'm using the rings for now, but might switch to the straps later.

3)  The extra port cover was a solid heavy soft rubber. They give you two, and these will last forever.

4)  This is one solid unit. Not flimsy - the metal is a nice gauge and everything bolts together perfectly.


1)  I would have liked the casters to have locks on them. 

2) It would be nice for Delta to include clips to hold the dust bag in place, while you're attaching the metal strap. A different Delta unit that I have has those clips and they're really handy.

3) The unit is a little top heavy, but once the bag has some sawdust in it, the weight is more evenly distributed. 

All in all?  I'd buy this unit again in a heartbeat. It's price was attractive - about $300 less that what I would pay for a similar unit here in town. 

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