Two cyclone dust separators with geometric swirl numbers of 3.324 and 3.043 were used to analyze the motion of the complex three-dimensional time dependent motion set up in the free exhaust. A quantitative analysis of the flow was carried out, obtaining time dependent velocity measurements with the use of laser Doppler anemometry (L.D.A.) techniques. The investigations highlighted a eddy or vortex shedding mechanism in two distinct areas of the flow. This was in part caused by a reverse flow zone and a precessing vortex core within the exhaust region of the separator. Changes in the Reynolds number by a factor of 2 were observed to have no effect on the main characteristics of the flow. Some changes were seen in the flow structure with change in swirl number, particularly the size of the reverse flow zone and the position of the large engulfment vortices.