Festool CTL CLEANTEC MIDI Dust Extractor


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5 Oct 2014
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Sunny Glasgow
Thinking of buying this. It's probably going to see use with my Festool stuff-sander,plunge saw, as ive another fine dust extractor(axminster) and the big chipping extractor for everything else.

But while its probably ideal, there are other fine dust extractors like Trend,Bosch and Fein, which will most likely be cheaper when it comes to replacing filters/bags etc. but of which i know nothing about.

What do you have and how are you getting on with it - Pros/cons
I bought one late last year. I am very happy with it. I have put a cyclone on the front of it as well as a 5m hose and it isn’t complaining on suction. I have an air particle monitor in my workshop and using the Festool sander, domino and tracksaw connected to the MIDI doesn’t cause any significant drop in air quality. The same can’t be said for my router a couple of minutes with that and the air is saturated with fine particles. My next purchase is a Festool router (authorised as a birthday present)
I have this model and think it is great, especially if you have other festool stuff. I find disconnecting the power and vacuum hose from the tool and onto the next one, keeps the things to trip over to just the two items, which I have now taped together. The only little hassle but by not much, is the mitre saw - as this needs to be plugged directly into the extractor.
I find these really good extractors. powerfully and convenient. downs are like most festool stuff it's not very robust(flimsy even) the disposable bags are dear. parts are dear. and its very heavy when full.
I bought the nilfisk attix 44.
It's as full featured as the Festool except for the bluetooth remote, better in other ways and cheaper. It works just fine.
Nilfisk badge up various of their models for Makita, Mirka and Hilti.
My only complaint is that Nilfisk are really only interested in their big direct account customers - industrial and commercial - so I think it will be hard to get support if ever I need it.
For that reason alone, I think Festool may be the easiest choice.
But, if you have an axminster / numatic like the NVD 750, you don't need the festool except as a portable option.
Even the best of these just use a good, third party, £80 vacuum cleaner motor. Nilfisk / Festool / Numatic there is little difference in the power and quality of this core component.
I have the mini version with cyclone on top. It's excellent.

Cyclone means pressure stays constant and reduces (expensive) bag use. Bluetooth remote is SO useful. I have a large semi-permanent hose to my mitre saw and smaller mobile one for router, track saw, ROS etc.
I have the Festool Midi. If you're busy the cost of the dustbags can mount up but a longlife filter bag is available.... at £100 !!

Who the hell would spend that sort of money on a small fabric bag ??

Well in the end, I did and I haven't looked back. It's a very well made small fabric bag and it's already saved me money.

Comes recommended.

This sort of thing...

My favourite feature of the midi that nobody else has mentioned yet is that I can stow away the hose and cable then clip systainers right on top of it and roll it to wherever I need to go - it's gone with me on trains, busses, in the back of the car, for a five minute walk to a small job in my village. Very handy! The wheels struggle on rough terrain but cope surprisingly well with roads and pavements.

Sounds silly but if you're in a situation where that feature is useful there really is no competition. (In fact I've just ordered the sys roller and CTL sys so I can be even more mobile, but I don't doubt the midi will still go out and about with me for certain jobs!)

Re. Dust bags, I found a modified bag on eBay with a zip sewn into it - obviously not as good as the expensive long life bag, but for £15 it's lasted me over a year now and my filter still looks perfectly clean so I'm pretty chuffed with it.
I like the Festool extractors. The newer models are meant to be a bit more durable than the older models, they had a reputation for broken hose garages, 2 of mine have and I'm careful!

The hoses are really nice and you should buy one of the Bluetooth remotes to go on the end of it, you won't regret it.

Regarding bags there are a few options, being a tight Yorkshireman I have even been known to empty my midi bags through the hole where the hose goes into them, my midi is normally hooked up to my Kapex so it's just sawdust which comes out quite easily 🤣

I think the longlife bags aren't recommended if you do a lot of sanding.
I've had a festool midi one for years the plastic bit for the hose cracked and so did the plug connection plate where you connect power tools. I gave a loan of it to someone a few years back and it was returned with a knackered speed control knob due to ham fisted borrower I think more than an issue with the machine. It still works and has been repaired but its not been that durable. Maybe they are better now - mines probably 12yrs old.
I use an ancient Numatic 750 that I bought in the late 1980's. It has a 5m hose, switchable power take off, 35/40L metal drum body and has never had a bag in it. I run it with a fine cloth filter that you occasionally shake clean outside. It is bomb proof, one of the best things I have bought for the workshop.

I have had a midi for 6 years and really pleased with it, features already mentioned.
I added a sleeve around the hose and included a cable in it for the auto function. Saves a lot if hoo ha, and the ribs catching on edges. A bit if Velcro tape tidies it up when not in use.
I’d love another hose to extend it but the Festool ones are eye wateringly expensive. Pretty though….
I bought one of these last year to update my 12 yr old Festool model. Its a good machine although I do have a couple of gripes with it. I cant use my Makita sander without the 'insufficient suction alarm' going off, so run that through my old one. I also find that it's biased to fill back half of the bag before telling me the bags full. So have to shake the bag to make room for more dust, creating a lot of particles in the air.
@COWS , sounds like you're talking about the CTM midi, the CTL doesn't have any insufficient suction alarms, I believe that's the main feature that gives the M rating for your model.

Re. The bag not filling evenly, I've not had that issue personally, I tend to find mine keeps on sucking until not only the bag is crammed full but halfway up the hose too, so I need to remember to check periodically!
I have a Midi and a 26.
The 26 has a dust deputy on top and stays in the workshop, though I did used to take it in the van every day and in and out of houses. That's why I got the Midi in the end for portability.

I have learned to think of the value over the life of the tool.
I have had my 26 for maybe 12 years and the Midi probably 8. They still work perfectly so cost per year is actually very low.
I have used many others and went through nilfisk, bosch, cheapo unbranded ones etc.

The other important factor is quality of life day to day. The Festools have a long wire and long hose, decent switches, it's easy to change the bag or filter, the wheels aren't annoying, it has the parking brake thingy etc.
The same cannot be said of most of the others.

Quick note about the new cloth covered hoses, they are the single best improvement in years ( I bought one after damaging the hose on my midi) they snag so much less and are more flexible in general.
I wish you could still buy the old "non bayonet " ends though.

Just get a festool if you don't like it you can sell it.

Plenty of positives there :D I think I'll stick with the Festool model.

As to the cloth bag. l maybe forgo that for a bit. I fitted one to the sander and see to be honest, its not as efficient in comparison to the paper one. I might be a bit overly critical there.
Regarding bags there are a few options, being a tight Yorkshireman I have even been known to empty my midi bags through the hole where the hose goes into them,
Yeah, ive been known when I run out of paper bags to empty it and reuse it :LOL:

Thanks for the reviews (y)
Arranged with the young nephew for a lift(non driver) to pick up the extractor at one of the better priced outlets.

It's going o be an expensive day. I always use these lifts to gift the nephew 20 quids worth of petrol, and we stop at MacD's for burgers- drinks.....sides....deserts.... :LOL:
I’ve got one of these. It’s good but I’ve also found my bag fills lopsided. Not sure if it makes any difference as it eventually fills. Currently got an issue I’ll have to send it back to festool to look at. The red light comes on for no apparent reason and it cuts out. A good tool tool though Id buy another.