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Woodworking Tool News - Versatile Small Cyclone


Versatile Small Cyclone

By Brad Holden

When we polled woodworkers about which tool they were likely to buy next year, the most common answer was, “A dust collector!” If you’re in the hunt and have a shop with limited space, here’s a new compact cyclone from Oneida that’s well worth a closer look.

The Dust Cobra is only 20" in diameter and stands 4' tall, but has a 17-gallon drum. You can use it as a stationary machine or add casters to wheel it around the shop. It runs on 120 volts and pulls a maximum of 15 amps.

The Dust Cobra is more versatile than a one or two bag standard dust collector or a vacuum. A standard collector works well with planers, jointers or tablesaws—tools with large dust ports that require high air fl ow; a vacuum works well with router tables, sanders or biscuit joiners— tools with small dust ports that require high static pressure. According to Oneida, the Dust Cobra can handle both. In fact, it could serve as your entire dust collection system.

You’ll need a few adapters, though, to accommodate the Dust Cobra’s 2-1/2" dust port. You should also count on using separate circuits for the Dust Cobra and other power tools.

Emptying the waste from the Dust Cobra is a mixed bag. On the plus side—and it’s a very big plus—you can line the drum with a plastic trash bag. You can’t use plastic bags with many other cyclones, though. Unless you somehow secure the bag on these machines, it gets sucked up into the machine’s exhaust stack. The Dust Cobra has a small vacuum hose connected to the drum in order to hold the bag tight to the drum.

On the downside, there’s no easy way to tell when the Dust Cobra’s drum is full. And you must lift off the 35 lb. motor and cyclone unit to empty the drum.

The Dust Cobra features a new system for cleaning a cyclone’s filter. While the machine is running, you just close the blast gate and pull on a lever to momentarily reverse the airflow. Clever!

The base model Dust Cobra includes a HEPA filter, 5 plastic bags and a nylon hose strap. A step-up version includes a caster kit, Dust Sentry bin-level indicator, 10 plastic bags and 25' of 2-1/2" hose.



Oneida Air Systems,, 800-732-4065, The Dust Cobra, #XCK010000A, $788; Vortex Dust Cobra Cyclonic Dust Containment System, #XCK010000A-IND, $1124.