Is Festool the King of Dust?

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Spectric

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The big boys in the world of tools are Bosch, Makita and Dewalt. Why would I need bluetooth on my router, the best way to be productive is to keep things simple and avoid all the gimmicks. If you want to turn your lights on then have a switch and not a remote control because having things hardwired is so much better in so many ways. For me a tools ability to deliver is way above how much dust it can or cannot produce, I accept sawdust as part of woodworking and wear suitable PPE when needed and then hoover up the workshop.
 

seanf

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I accept sawdust as part of woodworking and wear suitable PPE when needed…
Fair enough, but childhood asthma and a nasty virus a few years ago have caused enough damage to my lungs and anything that I can do to reduce the amount of dust getting into the air along with wearing PPE is a huge plus for me

Sean
 

macca

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Hi sean,
+ 1 for festool ts55, its a great tool and the extraction is great, if i had the choice again though I would probably go for the mafell, and if my budget wouldn't stretch to either the bosch is supposedly a carbon copy of the mafell just lacking a few bells and whistles. I dont like what I've seen of the depth adjustment on the makita and they haven't improved it for the new 40v release which seems a little shortsighted in my eyes

I like the hose connection of festool essentially locking onto the tool, hoses snag and I've cut many sheets in the past only to look back and see the hose has come off and dust is everywhere

I would also vouch for a long track for sheet goods but opt for makita tracks if I bought festool and bosch tracks if I went with mafell. both are exactly the same but with a different livery and price tag!
I think most tracksaws will collect a fair share of the dust as the blades are all well shrouded, the big boys are mostly competing on ergonomics and the final 5% of dust collection.

sanding is where I think you will really see a real difference in what you spend.

I feel routing isn't soo much a choice based on dust collection for a few reasons; routing edges is v.difficult to collect dust and table routing passes dust collection onto the design of the table/fence.

Again if budget is a factor, I created a table for a triton tra001 from a few scraps of melamine and plywood, the router comes with an auxilary base that can be attached to the underside of a make dung table very easily and you can make adjustments from above the bench. the top sat on top of work mate style bench and stored easy when not needed and the router attached and detached in about 30 seconds, great if space is a premium and you don't need a fancy dedicated router table for the odd round over or chamfer

A Trend airsheild would make a heck of a difference if clean air is a must, the motor is a little noisy and the airflow can feel a bit chilly but you could route a sheet of mdf to obvlivion in 6x4 shed and not breath a spec of dust doing it.
 

niemeyjt

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if i had the choice again though I would probably go for the mafell, and if my budget wouldn't stretch to either the bosch is supposedly a carbon copy of the mafell just lacking a few bells and whistles.

That is true of the old corded Bosch - at least they were produced in the same factory. But the new "BiTurbo" Bosch is their own design, off-shored, and beset with problems (look at YouTube videos).
 

ian33a

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I'm in the hobby category rather than professional user but am in awe of the dust extraction possibilities offered by Festool.

I use a Numatic NV750 and cyclone which connects to a variety of tools through a Peter Parfitt Dust Port system. The port sits above the MFT table so the hose doesn't snag on the edge of the table. The proper Festool smooth hose is really nice, albeit expensive.

My Festool TS55 works nicely with this set up. My Festool Kapex mitre saw comes off a different port (a straight through) and the dust collection on this is far better than anything else I have ever owned. There is still some dust but most of it is collected.

For most other items, mostly NOT Festool, I do my best with what I have. My router, a DW625 is fairly unimpressive in terms of collection. Same with the Bosch POF (can't remember the model number). All of the other tools are connected to a Cen-Tec hoses and connectors. They work well enough, but not on a par with Festool. The sander and bandsaw run off an old 10mm Axminster ADE1200.

In addition I have a ceiling air filtration system and this sucks up a fair bit of the air borne stuff. I also wear a mask with stuff like MDF.

I'd love to suck up every bit of dust but this is not practical - I just try to do a reasonable job without spending an absolute fortune.
 

Keith Cocker

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Late to comment but FWIW I was in the same situation as you. Woodwork is a hobby in retirement and I started with various brands of kit at the cheaper end but over time replaced most things with Festool items. I have no regrets. The dust extraction is superb and I really enjoy using the tools. It is an ecosystem and that’s part of the enjoyment!!
 

Gary_S

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My son is at Rycotewood Furniture School and they use the BOSCH GAS 35 M AFC. I bought one on his recommendation and I have to say there is seldom any dust at all from my track saw, Domino or router table.
 

pe2dave

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Interesting thoughts thank you all. Would be good for anyone who had a Makita plunge saw and “upgraded” to the Festool to comment on dust extraction differences specifically, as it seems both are very capable tools and would certainly have all the features I need

Sean
I've a Makita 12" chopsaw. Hobby use, still going strong after 25yrs. Dust collection rubbish.
 

MadMental

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I would put a massive "avoid" on Bosch - I am still waiting after 16 months for spares for my 18v Bosch vacuum (and their Bluetooth is rubbish also).

I would go Festool - who seem to have thought out Bluetooth - as well as dust extraction.
That will be the ones for UK onlly
 

Nic Rhodes

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I am a particle technologist by 'profession' so dust is my number one buying consideration, followed by noise. I have had a decent variety of kit over the years but have ended up with Festool as my preference largely because of dust collection. We know sanders / track saw / routers etc produce dust but mitre saws are terrible generally (excluding Festool one). My festool M class covers 27mm / 36mm and 50mm hoses with routers and saws capturing from above and below. I also need a chip capture for 100m pipework on planer / thicknesses / bandsaws etc but that is nuisance lumps rather than dangerous fines. My workshop is incredible untidy :) but is free of dust! The Festool system does work really well and the only issue i have with it is Bluetooth, which I can't get working. I have had many brands in the past from cheap to expensive.
 

phlppip

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My T12 arrived today hoping Peter will do a follow up video as I find the dust extraction odd that there is a gap between the black and clear tubes not sure if I should block the gap with tape
 

scubadoo

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I'd have to agree that the Festool dust collection is superior to anything i'd used previously, i don't know if the competitors have caught up. I switched from a broken Metabo SXE450 duo which i previously loved to a Rotex and the brushless ETS EC 150/3. I'm able to do floorboards and woodwork in a decorated house and have minimal dust to clear up. Can also cut boards with the TS55 and Cleantec with very little dust. And in my garage-sized small workshop that means less dust in the air and easier to get rid of with a ceiling mounted air filter. I also hear good things about Mirka sanders.

I use the OF1400 router and the dust collection is better than i expected, but it's still a router so there is still plenty of dust.

I ditched Bosch after both my router and jigsaw needed repairing twice and have replaced my ageing drills with the new Milwaukee ones. Can't quite justify the spend on Festool drills!
 

Ollie78

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I have probably owned 10 different vacuums ranging from cheap as chips to what I have now.
In the workshop I have ctl 26 with a dust deputy on top of it. Very little gets through to the bag inside the vacuum at all. I have a bigger extractor for planer thicknesser etc.
For mobile I have a midi which is very old and battered but functions perfectly still.
I have had these both for over 10 years.

In comparison the cheapo ones last a year or 2 I had a Nilfisk which was good but died just after its warranty ran out.

Henry's or other Numatic stuff are very good as well.

For everyday use stuff like the hose and cable quality is important, cheapo ones have short hoses with a non flexible plastic and annoying fittings.
When working for a company they supplied expensive Bosch Gas 50 vacuums (same as 3M and Metabo) which were decent but the hose bayonet fitting was so stupid it broke immediately and we just put a screw in it to hold it on, they all did it.
By comparison the smooth hoses on the newer festool vacs is great, much less snaggy and very flexible.

Check the power outputs on the built in sockets as well, some are very low wattage on the socket.

If you look at costs long term the Festool is not so expensive. The bags aren't cheap but they pack a lot in.

Ollie
 
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deema

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May I ask four things
1. Are you hobby or professional?
2. How much space do you have for woodwork?
3. What sort of things do you make / would you like to make?
4. Is cost a major factor in your decision making or will you buy once, cry once and buy the very best?
 

sploo

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Largely just repeating what others have said; but the Festool Domino (I have the DF700) and their TS55 tracksaw do have very good dust collection. I don't own any of their routers as I can't justify the cost - though I understand the dust collection is also good.
 

MikeK

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May I ask four things
1. Are you hobby or professional?
2. How much space do you have for woodwork?
3. What sort of things do you make / would you like to make?
4. Is cost a major factor in your decision making or will you buy once, cry once and buy the very best?

I don't know if this was an open question, but here goes.

1. I am strictly a hobbyist.
2. My shop is in a 5x10 meter area of the finished basement. I divided it in roughly two equal areas with one area for the large dust and chip producing equipment that requires connection to the permanent dust extraction. The other area is for the portable equipment that can be connected to a vacuum, hand tool workbench, 1x2-meter assembly table, and computer workstation.
3. I will be making household items, such as bookcases, cabinets, shelves, bathroom vanities, built-in closets, and eventually a new kitchen.
4. Cost was not a factor in my decision making process, and I eventually replaced all but a couple of powered tools with Festool products. The only tools I didn't replace were a Bosch cordless drill and two Bosch cordless impact drivers. The factors that drove me to Festool were durability, dust collection, and availability.

Had I done more planning and analysis in the early stages of shop equipment acquisition, I would have started with Festool instead of transitioning into the Festool line. The ability to safely use all of the tools inside the enclosed basement instead of split operations between the garage and basement was a significant advantage. I'm sure other manufacturers have similar product lines, but the Festool routers, Dominos, random orbital sanders, and track saws share the same CT26 vacuum system (with Oneida cyclone) and are now inside tools instead of outside or garage tools. The chip collection on the PS300 jigsaw is not impressive, but significantly better than the Bosch jigsaw it replaced.

An equally impressive improvement on dust and chip collection was replacing the DeWalt DWS780 miter saw with the Kapex 120. Whenever I used the DWS780, I monitored the dust with the Dylos DC1700 air quality meter. When the readings on the Dylos increased to about 750 above the ambient particle count, I stopped and let the Record Power AC400 run for about 20-30 minutes, or until the particle count dropped near the initial ambient levels. With the Kapex and the dedicated CT36 vacuum, the particle count never exceeds 250 above the ambient level. Cleanup after a long session with the DWS780 took about 15 minutes because the chips were all over the shop. Cleanup after a similar session with the Kapex is about one minute since all of the chips were at the saw.

The ability to safely use these tools in the basement means I can work any time I want and not be bothered with the mandatory quiet times during the day or all day on Sunday and federal holidays. I might decide to break down large sheet goods in the garage if I'm working alone and will have to work around the quiet times. Otherwise, I can bring a full 8x4 sheet of 19mm plywood down the stairs and into the shop if I have another set of hands.
 

Steve_Scott

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I’m a hobby woodworker and use festool kit… the only real justification for the festool price tag is it’s warranty service which is super fast and keeps a tradesman working but that’s not such a big deal for us hobby workers! They even replace lost tools for £100 per tool if they get pinched.

That being said… festool kit is generally excellent if used as the “system” in conjunction with each other. Dust extraction is amazing (just got a dts400 and I can’t see anything falling away from a wall, which it almost sticks too) and there’s neat little features like the plug it cord, the ratchet spindle lock on the OF1400 router and bed height of the mitre saws being the same height as a sys1 box that just make sense. The premium price tag hurts when you buy it but you forget the pain very quickly when using the tools! The problem is you can’t really justify the expense for a single item as part of the cost is the thought that goes into integration with the rest. I started with the track saw and midi dust extractor and now have shed full of grey and green boxes!
 

seanf

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Thank you all for the replies since my last visit. Sorry to only just update, but our new baby made his appearance in between and has been keeping us busy

I decided to go for it and purchased a TS 55 and a CTM Midi. I've not had too much chance to use them yet, but have been impressed from my testing. To answer previous questions, I am just a hobbyist looking to make fitted and free standing furniture for our new house and will be working from our garage. I am happy to invest but only if I feel the quality is worth it and so far am liking Festool. I don’t plan to replace my Makita tools but will consider both brands (and others) when making new purchases

Thanks

Sean
 

Ollie78

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@seanf Congratulations on the baby !! Busy is an understatement.
You won't regret your purchases, keep an eye out for offers on the bags and it is worth getting a panther blade (or similar) for ripping real wood.

Ollie
 
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