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Festool vacuums - educate me please

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AJB Temple

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Having recently gone over to the dark side and started buying some Festool tools, I am contemplating a Festool Vac for my portable set up (not main workshop). (Will also use with my Mafell track saw). I have a mix of 110v and 240v tools. The main ones that need extraction are: track and circular saws, multi tools (Festool and Fein), sanders (Mirka), 12" chop saw, routers occasionally.

Had a Nilfisk wet and dry, which packed up after a year, and I have a lidl with power take off which is quite good with my Mirka sanders but not amazing on my big Bosch sliding mitre saw.

My confusion arises from the Festool range and eBay claims. People frequently claim on eBay that the CTM Midi is £650 (invariably "used twice") , whereas new price is in reality less. Have they fallen in price? I realise that L and M are the same except M has an alarm to signify suction drop / bag full. Since my "sites" always belong to me I don't need to pay a premium for M.

Nilfisk have put me off somewhat and I realise a lot of branded vacs such as Mirka are rebadged Nilfisk. Do you guys recommend Festool vacs and if so which one for the use described above? Right now I am cutting a lot of dry lining, cement board, MDF, birch ply and oak.
 

boardgamer

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I bought a (well-used) 2nd hand CT22E at least 14 years ago, and it's still going strong. I recently decided to replace the main filters and a front wheel that was sticking, and both parts were available off-the-shelf. For a machine probably 20+ years old, that's quite impressive. If it ever packs up, I'll definitely be getting another Festool vacuum.
 

Nelsun

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There's usually a few variants of each model as you've discovered with the L and M rated ones. You can also chuck AC into the alphabet soup for those with Auto Clean which bumps the price up yet further. This can make finding the one you want a bit confusing as you see prices vary only to then realise that one has bell & whistle feature X while the other cheaper one doesn't.

You say it's for mobile use so I wouldn't go any larger than the CT26 and likely the MIDI would be my starter for 10: it will fill up but not annoyingly quickly, it has variable speed for sanding and lockable wheels.
 

AJB Temple

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Thanks.

I am a bit "off" Makita at the moment. My feeling is their quality is below par. This is based on a recent jigsaw purchase which lasted a week, and a multitool which I returned the day after buying it for failing almost immediately with electrically and mechanically.

Having used the Mirka hose system with a Lidl vac, I am attracted to the smooth tapered hoses or the hose sleeves.

Did not realise that autoclean is not standard on Festool. Also there are quite a few people still selling the old (I presume) Mk 1 versions.
 

jeremyduncombe

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I use a Festool CT26E. Can’t really compare it with other dust extractors as it is the only one I have bought other than a cheapo vacuum from Screwfix. I can say it is plenty powerful enough, and copes well with router, track saw etc, also it is not too noisy. I don’t like the cost of replacement dust bags, so I have now attached it to a small cyclone extractor which accounts for nearly all the dust. This has added 2 metres of extra hose, but the suction still seems adequate. Festool extractors are expensive and I had to take a deep breath before opening my wallet, but so far I have not regretted it.
 

AJB Temple

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Thanks. I bit the bullet and bought a CT26E Cleantec 240v with 27mm and 36mm hose for £395 inc 20 bags and spare filter. Seems like an OK deal. Pick up tomorrow. Used twice (appears genuine for once), 2 months old, all papers and transferable guarantee.
 

finish_that

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Things to note about the Festool vacs , and general points:
The motors are Domel or similar - most vacs use the same/similar
The hoses are very tough high quality but expensive, the tapered rubber end is
great as it fits a variety of tools.
Variable speed is very handy for sanders and is worth the extra cost as bleeding air to get the same effect works but offends the ears..
Fleece style bags do a great job to minimise dust, a cyclone really works for static work, and a portable cyclone is a good bag saver.
The 110v sockets break off the festool vacs under heavy abuse and wreck the control panel .
The midi/mini are the same apart from the base/bag - the top can sit on both .
The filters are simple big paper elements like a car air filter , can be refreshed with an air line outdoors , one day I will get round to finding the matching filter on the Mann filter website as they have a filter size database :
https://catalog.mann-filter.com/EU/eng/dimensions
 

fezman

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I think a CTL midi could well be my next purchase. I currently have a RP DX1000 for larger equipment, and a Titan TTB350VAC for smaller tools (KS60, Track Saw, Router etc.)

The Titan is very noisy so am looking for something quieter that also fits the KS60. Does anyone have an opinion / comparison on the noise levels between these two models? the Festool is ~70DB and the titan is 79db

My other option is the Bosch GAS35L - any opinions on that?

thanks
Ian
 

Doug71

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AJB Temple":3nr7hdk0 said:
Thanks. I bit the bullet and bought a CT26E Cleantec 240v with 27mm and 36mm hose for £395 inc 20 bags and spare filter. Seems like an OK deal. Pick up tomorrow. Used twice (appears genuine for once), 2 months old, all papers and transferable guarantee.
And now you need one of these :D :D :D

https://www.ffx.co.uk/tools/product/Fes ... ontrol-Set
 

AJB Temple

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Indeed! I picked it up this afternoon and it is indeed pristine. A condition unlikely to persist for long in my hands.

I was wondering why a DIY woodworker would buy an E rated model, but it turns out he intended to do work for others but found the vacuum too bulky to lug around so never used it. The two sizes of hose is a bonus I suppose.
 
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