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Reviews Related to Penn State's
Air Cleaner
AC465 and AC930
Since these reviews were published - the Penn State Air Cleaner #AC460 has been upgraded to the AC465 model (with 465 cfm). The price has been reduced from $259.95 to $239.95. Model #AC920 has also been upgraded to the #AC930 model (with 930 cfm) , the price of this model has been reduced from $399.95 to $339.95.
Wood Magazine, November 1995

Another weapon in the Battle Against Workshop Dust
How to select the right system for your needs

The air-filtration systems we tested advertise that they move between 350 and 500 cubic feet of air per minute (cfm). To find out for ourselves how much air each of the units move under actual workshop conditions, we did our own cfm test. First, we subjected the units to the same amount of dust by mounting their inlet side to an opening in a plywood test chamber. Then, we created a cloud of dust in the chamber and allowed each air-filtration unit to run for a set amount of time. We repeated this procedure until the filters became dirty, but not totally clogged. Next, we shook the filters as clean as possible - just as you would do in your shop - and reinstalled them. We then took our cfm readings. As you can see in the chart at the end of this article, under the "air flow" heading, the systems ranged from 250 to 410 cfm under our testing conditions. Besides telling you how well the various units move air, these ratings also help you buy an air-filtration unit that's sized to meet your needs. To do this, determine the cubic feet of air in your shop, then divide that number by the cfm of the unit you intend to purchase. The resulting figure is the approximate number of minutes that it will take that unit to change your shop's air once.

...In place of a diffusing device, the Penn State .. [unit has] louvered outlets... Air blows strongly through these openings, but you can direct it with the louvers. We found this arrangement handy for boosting air circulation in larger shops...

Our recommendations

...Penn State unit ranks high... The Penn State [unit] moved the most air and... has a bag filter with nearly twice as much surface area as the JDS and Hartville Tool models...

Summary of results
Filter area
Hartville Tool Pure Air 250 1250 sq in
JDS Air Tech 365 1300 sq in
Penn State AC460 410 2400 sq in
Total Shop 90177 325 2400 sq in

Wood Magazine August 1995


After a major remodeling, our 10-year-old workshop once again stands at the ready for project building. It's not only larger, but better than ever, thanks to the many things we have learned over the years. Looking for great storage ideas? How about controlling dust and organizing shop space? You'll find it all right here...

... we added two Penn State Industries two-speed air-cleaning units that operate at 460 or 920 cfm. With one on either side of the shop, they keep the air circulating as it's filtered.

The Family Handyman June 1995


Whether it's sawdust floating around your shop or drywall dust whipped up by your latest remodeling project, dust isn't just a filthy nuisance - it's also a health hazard. That's why an air-cleaning system like Penn State's AC 460 is a good idea. The AC460 is basically an electric fan that sucks air through a series of filters, removing most of the dust. It can be strategically mounted in your shop (on the ceiling above your stationary tools, for example) or placed in a room that's being renovated... It will clear the air in a room as large as 20 ft. x 20 ft. (8-ft. ceiling).

Get the AC46 by mail... ...Not cheap, but your lungs are priceless.

The Woodworker's Journal February 1994

Penn State Air Cleaning System

Breathing wood dust was once accepted by woodworkers as something they had no choice but to tolerate. Little thought was given to any health implications. Fortunately, times have changed and today most of us are aware of the respiratory problems associated with breathing dust laden air.

The battle against dust is fought on many fronts. It's always best to collect as much dust as possible directly at the source (usually either through stationary tool hookups to a central dust collection system, or through dust bags on smaller tools), but what about all that free-floating dust that inevitably escapes our best dust collection efforts?

Enter the air cleaner, a unit designed to collect and trap airborne dust.

Penn State's Air Cleaning System No. 460 is a blower and two stage filtration system, housed within a 12 in. x 24 in. x 30 in. sheet metal box . A squirrel cage blower rated at 460 CFM (cubic feet per minute) draws shop air through a pre-filter and then a finer filter bag before exhausting the cleansed air back into the room. It weighs about 40 pounds.

The system can be used in a central location (usually mounted near the ceiling), or as a portable unit that is located close to the dust source. In the fixed location just turn on the air cleaner and let it run. The blower is relatively quiet, and with its 460 CFM rating, it will make one air change every 10 minutes in a 4600 cubic foot shop (such as a 24 ft. x 24 ft. garage with an 8 ft. ceiling).

I tested the air cleaner with a smoke generator, and found that working within 20 in. of the grill resulted in most of the dust being collected. As I started the test, I noticed that some haze was coming through the system, but after the unit was running for a short while (allowing the filter bag to accumulate a lining of dust), the haze stopped. It takes this internal lining of dust for the filter to work its best. The standard filter bag is rated to stop particles as small as 8 to 10 microns. A high filtration bag is available for particles down to 1 micron.

As stated earlier, the air cleaner is not a replacement for a saw dust or chip collector. Its mission is to trap fine suspended particles and this it does quite well. The Penn State Air Cleaning System will help to keep your shop environment pleasant and healthy.

--By Dennis Preston

FAQ: Exactly how big is a micron?

Dust particle diameter is usually measured in microns. One micron is .001 millimeters or about 40 millionths of an inch. To give some points of reference, the naked eye can see individual particles as small as 10 microns. Particles between 10 microns and .1 microns are seen as clouds, haze or smoke. Your nose and mouth will typically filter particles down to 15 microns. Particles smaller than 15 microns are respirable, meaning that they are drawn into the lungs. Tobacco smoke, for example is about .3 microns

Reprinted from The Woodworkers Journal, February 1994

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