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I've got the traditional Shop-Vac that uses either a collection bag or pleated filter which clogs up in no time when dealing with dust. I'm looking for something portable while doing repair jobs around the house or in the garage. I have a couple of Dyson vacuums (carpet & hardfloor) for use inside the house and I really like how easy it is to clean those out without having to deal with a filter. I've searched the Internet for a similarly designed cyclone type vacuum for shop use but haven't had any luck. I have seen the dust collector systems with the cyclone design, but those are big and not really portable. Does anyone make a cyclone or bagless shop dry vacuum as a single unit?

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  • Apologies, voting to close as this is a shopping question which is outside the scope of this SE. – Graphus Dec 17 '20 at 9:28
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    It can probably be fixed to not read like a shopping question. "Are there shop tools that work similarly to a Dyson vacuum, in that they do not have a filter?" That needs some work but gives the general idea. It would also give a chance to respond with an answer that explains how to make your own. – Katie Kilian Dec 17 '20 at 15:55
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The cyclone folks make a version that is sized for a 5-gallon bucket. You can combine that, with a small shop vacuum, on a roll-around cart. There are dozens of examples of these carts on youtube, which will provide inspiration and maybe even plans for sale.

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    I use the 5-gallon bucket with a cyclone top on it. Works great. Most of the sawdust is collected in the bucket and not much gets to the vacuum's filter. Found it at my local home store. – Stephen Daddona Dec 17 '20 at 15:20
  • There are additional dozens of YT videos showing how to make the cyclone portion out of a 5 gallon bucket and a few bits of plumbing parts, without having to splash out for the blow molded cone. – FreeMan Dec 18 '20 at 18:17
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Does anyone make a cyclone or bagless shop dry vacuum?

Yes, most shop vacuums are or can be used without bags. As you noted, they generally use a filter of some sort, whether it's a pleated cylinder or felt bag or some other style. You won't likely find a vacuum that doesn't use a filter at all -- even the Dyson home vacuums that you mentioned and the mighty Harvey G700 Dust Processor use filters. It sounds like your chief complaints are that you don't want to buy bags (which are themselves filters) and you don't want to have to clean the pleated filter as often if you currently do.

I don't know of any shop vacs that rely mostly on cyclonic action, but since you said that you need something for projects around the house, you might consider a backpack vacuum like the ones that are often used to clean office buildings. They don't have the kind of capacity that you get with a shop vac, but they're lightweight and designed to be portable. Some are bagless and look like they use cyclonic action. I don't own one so can't say if the filters clog less quickly than a shop vac, but worth looking into.

Another option is to modify your existing shop vac so that it clogs less quickly. The most obvious modification is the addition of a pre-separator, like a 5-gallon bucket with a Dustopper or Dust Deputy cyclone lid. You could also try to create some cyclonic action inside your vacuum's canister. Most shop vacs have some sort of deflector where the hose connects to the canister, and it usually points downward. Try turning it to point to one side, and perhaps add a baffle to the lid to encourage the air to swirl around instead of heading straight for the filter.

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