I'm thinking of getting an overarm blade cover to help with dust in the shop. I've looked at Excalibur, Exactor and one offered by Penn State. Does anyone have feedback on these? Are there other ones I should consider? Are there other ways to deal with dust off the table saw that would work better? Any suggestions would be appreciated
(Dust Collection, Safety and Plant Operation Forum)
From contributor R:
I have two of the Excaliburs and one Exactor mounted on cabinet saws. They are in use daily, so I guess I can give you an honest opinion of these two particular brands.
Excalibur - Good to excellent dust collection, difficult to remove from saw in the event that you need clearance to mill large parts. Very nicely designed dust hood, which is easily manipulated to provide optimum safety and dust collection.
Exactor - poor dust collection. I bought this model because of price ($249 three years ago) and while I do not totally regret the purchase, I have not been very impressed. They advertise as having a 3" dust collection boom, but in reality it is much less because the boom reduces from 3" to 2 1/2" and then even further down to 2" at the dust collection hood. On the plus side, the boom does swing completely out of the way for milling large parts, but I have to say this is the only plus. The dust collection hood is very difficult to adjust and is somewhat flimsy, where the Excalibur's is solid.
But here is the final proof of which is better... On any given day doing equal tasks on PM66 saws hooked up to identical 3HP dust collectors, the Excalibur will pick up one full dust collector bag and in that same amount of time, the Exactor will have only picked up about 1/8th of a bag.
I have an Excalibur EXBC. There is also a model that can be hung from the ceiling.