A dust collector is a must-have device for every woodshop of any size. Any wood dust or shavings left in or around power tools can become a fire hazard, and when it goes airborne, it can potentially lead to an array of health problems. Dust collectors are one of the most effective tools for eliminating this problem since they suction up any chips, shavings, and dust as soon as they’re produced.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at four of Shop Fox’s single-stage dust collectors – the W166, W1685, W1727, and W1826. Single-stage dust collectors are a suitable solution for workshops with limited space and power tools, though they could serve commercial woodworking shops just as well as their cyclone counterparts. All of these Shop Fox models feature 2.5 µ filters that capture and trap super-fine sawdust. The only thing left to answer is which of these models would suit your workshop bestLet’s find out.
The CFM rating indicates how much suction power the dust collector provides. Workshops with large tools that produce different wood residue should consider investing in dust collectors with a high CFM rating. The W1666 provides up to a massive 1,550 CFM of airflow, making it suitable for wood chips, shavings, and even wood dust.
The CFM rating on the W1685 isn’t much different from the W1666. Its 1.5-HP motor moves up to 1,280 CFM of air. This provides ample power for all types of wood debris shooting out of your power tools.
The W1727’s 1-HP motor provides up to 800 CFM of air suction power. At this level, this device won’t be able to separate fine from coarse wood residue fully, but this device is still able to filter out at least 90% of the sawdust.
Of the four dust collectors here, the W1826 packs the least amount of suction power. The 1-HP motor on this compact device delivers up to 537 CFM, making it adequate for picking up shavings from thicknessers, but rather weak in suctioning sawdust.
Conclusion: Deciding which of these is the best for you can be a bit tricky since it depends entirely on your arsenal of power tools, your work area, and the types of debris produced. However, the best overall solution would be the W1666 in terms of suction power since it works well on all sorts of debris. This is closely followed by the W1685 with its similar suction performance.
Although portable dust collectors such as these Fox Shop models don’t need a setup of large ductwork, static pressure is still a factor that needs to be considered. The greater the static pressure rating (measured in inches of water in a water gauge), the more powerful the machine. The W1666 has a static pressure rating of 12.3 inches, making it able to overcome most static pressure issues you’re likely to have.
The W1685 has a static pressure rating of about 10.1 inches. The suction power won’t be as powerful as the W1666’s, but it’s still able to compensate for losses due to the friction caused by moving debris.
The W1727, the most compact model of the four, has a static pressure rating of 5-2/3 inches. This doesn’t mean that it’s incapable at suctioning up dust and chips, but the hose connecting this machine to a power tool needs to be kept short and straight to eliminate friction and static pressure loss.
The W1826 provides 7.2 inches of static pressure. This is considerably more powerful than the W1727, though it’s also rather limited. However, for a compact dust collector for static power tools, this device should do the trick.
Conclusion: As we mentioned earlier, a higher static pressure rating is better since it shows how much strength the unit’s motor can lift and overcome losses due to static pressure. Both the W1666 and the W1685 provide sufficient static pressure ratings for eliminating all sorts of debris in the workshop, but the W1727 and the W1826 are enough for small-scale workshops with limited or static tools.
W1666, W1685, W1727
The best thing about compact dust collectors is that they can be used by multiple tools, either simultaneously or otherwise, without having to install large ductwork around your workshop. Instead, you can connect a short hose between the dust collector and the power tool you want to use. If you choose any of these three models, all you need to do is mount the device on a cart (included) and wheel it to whichever power tool station needs it.
One of the unique features of the W1826 is that, unlike the other models in this article, it can be mounted on a wall. The good thing is that it saves a lot of floor space. The bad thing is that it’s not portable so you’ll need to take your power tools to the dust collector and not the other way. However, for static power tools like mounted thicknessers or miter saws, this will suit them just fine.
Conclusion: This depends entirely on your workshop’s design and location of power tools. The W1666, W1685, and W1727 work just like almost every other portable dust collector on the market – simply wheel it to where it’s needed. As for the W1826, your tools need to go to it.
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At the end of the day, none of these Shop Fox models can be a blanket solution for each and every woodworking shop. However, they are all extremely fine portable dust collectors that work well in almost every small-scale workshop.
If you mainly deal with small wood shavings and chips, either the W1272> or the W1826 could suit you just fine. The main thing to remember about the W1826 is that it won’t function properly without being mounted to a wall since the bag will end resting on the floor.
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