Dust extractor... Festool, Makita or other?

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WoodYewToo

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My lungs aren't getting any younger and I've got a lot of projects to do. So I was wondering about getting a small-ish dust extractor for use with power tools (and maybe later getting a low pressure - high volume extractor (chip extractor?) for use with small static table machines eg for use with a small planer/thicknesser, saw table, router table etc.

So... firstly, looking at the options for a low vol high pressure, vac type machine... I've been looking at the Festool range. They seem to have a decent reputation - although they are a bit pricey. I've principally been reading up on the CTM Midi I machine (I'm assuming M class is preferable to L class - for general use). Any comments on that type of machine? Is the CTM 26 worth the extra cash instead of the Midi?

Main reasons I'm looking at Festool CTM Midi are:
1. Reputation / build
2. Portability
3. Ability to add a pre-separater that fits onto the top of the machine (to catch planer shavings etc)
4. Remote on-off button that can be strapped onto the hose

Potential issues with Festool machines for me are:
1. Currently, I don't have any Festool power tools - and it may stay that way. I'm currently using a few old Elu corded machines (router, belt sander, finishing sanders, jigsaw) and have recently bought a few Makita 18volt cordless tools (DTM52 multi-tool, Drill, Impact driver, planer, circ saw). So, will the bayonet fitting on the end of the Festool hose prove problematic - or is there a ready supply of adaptors to fit a range of different tools (from different manufacturers)? None of my current tools have bayonets.
2. They are a bit pricey. That said, they're cheaper than a new set of lungs. :)

Should I be looking at other options? Such as the Makita range? However, I guess I won't be able to add a clip-on separator to them?

On a related point - but not strictly woodworking - I'm also considering whether an air mover would be a useful additional investment for when I'm ripping out ceilings and walls in my crumbling house. I was wondering about getting something like this:
Clarke CAM300B 12 Portable Ventilator Air Mover - Clarke Tools
and venting to the outside and moving it from room to room as I undertake a bit of building renovation. Good idea or bad idea?
They make various sizes... 8inch, 10 inch and 12 inch. Any recommendations on size (it's a fairly small house with small-ish rooms - so would a 12 inch device be overkill?)

Many thanks for reading this - and many thanks for any advice you can offer.
 

johnnyb

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I've got festool ctl22 and mini. the mini is nice and portable the 22 is big( the 26 must be huge! same suck on all. I also prefer to use disposable bags. the keep the machine much cleaner( at decent cost mind) I've got the reusable bags on the ctl 22 and they don't filter the same.
Henry's are pretty good tbh but short hose and no tool plug ability.
 

Doug71

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The Festool extractors are nice and do have a good reputation. I originally got a CT26 to do everything, great vac but heavy for moving around when getting full so it stays in the shop now and I got a Midi to keep in the van.

The filters are the same in both L & M class, only difference is the M class beeps if the suction drops/bag full, not really something you need unless working on site where M class is required.
 

sploo

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I love my CTL vac. As Doug says; the filters are actually the same on the L & M. I once had an interesting discussion with a Festool rep about the differences. Obviously he couldn't tell me they were the same, but let's just say I bought the CTL on his advice.

Whilst it's certainly not a cheap addition, the Oneida Ultimate Dust Deputy (Ultimate Dust Deputy Systainer Cyclone Separator Kit) takes it to another level; you get a cyclone that attaches to the top of the vac, and pretty much all the dust and debris ends up in the box under the cyclone. I changed the standard vac filter for Festool's HEPA unit, and whilst the cyclone and HEPA filter are a pricey outlay I've never had to replace the bag in the vac (because basically nothing ends up in it).
 

DBT85

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I was using a 2kw record power and with a job paying for it, and needing to have extraction on site that just worked, I opted for the CTM Midi during one of the 20% off ebay sales where FFX was included (I did check, I still saved £60 quid over the usual price I could find anywhere).

Really nice machine and honestly being able to plug any corded machine in and it just start up is so much nicer than having to do it manually each time. It sounds stupid but it is what it is. Nice long fat mains cable, decent length hose, all tucks away nicely and you can use it on blow too if you need to.

Had no idea the filter itself was the same between the M and the L though. Oh well. I do need to get myself a wee cyclone though as frankly I much prefert using this even when in the workshop to the old Record I was using.
 

TRITON

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Festool.
The college finishing room used festool sanders and extractors exclusively, and the last place you want to have dust floating around is somewhere french polishing is carried out. So if its good enough for there, it has to be the best.
 

Ollie78

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Get a Festool ctl 26 and an Oneida ultimate dust deputy.
Works perfectly I use a new filter bag once a year or something, almost nothing gets through the cyclone.
If you use a plastic bag inside the dust deputy it is very user friendly.
I also recommend the 36mm hose and the additional steel handle for pushing it around.
Adaptors are no problem you can get rubber adjustable/ cut to size ones.

I would say for planers and spindles, you will need a different style of extractor with a 4 inch hose and great big bags.
I have record and a camvac, both good.

Ollie
 
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sploo

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I would say for planers and spindles, you will need a different style of extractor with a 4 inch hose and great big bags.
Absolutely. The Festool is a high pressure, low volume vac - perfect for handheld tools with small ports. For larger fixed machinery (that produce large amounts of dust or shavings) you need a low pressure high volume extractor, as a vac just can't move enough air to cope with a 4 or 6" port. Equally, the small ports on handheld tools will kill the airflow in a low pressure extractor - so it's horses for courses.
 

Keith Cocker

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I have a Festool CTL Midi 1. Its brilliant. I got it to replace a Makita which I found not at all as good. I do have Festool tools but I also have some Bosh and Makita kit and the hose fittings work fine with them.
 

Sideways

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You can take a look at the Nilfisk Attix 33 and 44 M machines as alternatives to the Festools.
They give nothing away in terms of function unless the bluetooth remote thingy matters to you, and the auto filter clean is a clever design using a solenoid valve that reverses the airflow through the filter to blast it clean every once in a while.
Option to upgrade to Hepa filter too.
I use everyones antistatic hoses with mine: nilfisk, flex, festool, and (the best value of the lot) Mirka.
 

DBT85

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WoodYewToo

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Thank you everybody for all your comments and insights.

Just to update you all... I bought a Festool CTL Midi (as various of you say, the L seems to use the same bags and filter as the M). Also got the Festool dust/chip pre-separator that clips on top - and got the bluetooth button that wraps around the hose (for manual, remote on-off switching when using cordless tools ie tools you can't plug into the Midi's power outlet).

Not used it in anger yet - but looks like a well put together bit of kit.

Thanks again for all the help.
 
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