Sander and vacuum

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akirk

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I am looking to upgrade my sander and vacuum this year, desirable goals:
- sander which is lighter
- sander with less vibration
- vacuum which is much quieter (60-65db?)
- vacuum with Bluetooth to turn on
- vacuum with better filters (L or M class?)

Current is a cheap Titan vacuum (100db beside it or 85 elsewhere in the workshop) and very low filtration capabilities - and have to bend down under the bench to turn it on / off

Sander is a cheap green Bosch ROS - battery powered

Am assuming that the gold standard is festool ROS / vacuum (I like the Bluetooth widget you can attach to the end of the hose which is always where your hand is…)

Are any of the alternatives as good / better / cheaper?!
Mirka
3m
Bosch
Makita
???

Doesn’t need to be a matching pair
Vacuum will have a cyclone used with it
 
I have a Mirka. Works well and very low vibration. If you have the compressed air their air powered sanders are close to one third the price of an electric. At the moment I use a shop vac pulling the air through an accessory cyclone. When I grow up and get rich I want the matching Mirka extractor. I like yellow more than green. Sander hand position is more like the Dynabrade air sanders I have used before.

Pete
 
I rate the Mirka deros top of the sanders. I need a sander capable of finishing and don't need a gear driven beast for doing river tables. Some don't like the paddle switch on top but I have no issue with it. There is some programmability over how it works so you can tune it to suit you and the job.
The great advantage is it's low profile / stability on the surface whether horizontal or vertical. The Deros is similar in ergonomics to an automotive air sander. Vibration figures are very low, it even has adjustable counter weights so you can compensate for use with and without an interface pad.

For extractors, the quality choices are really Festool, Nilfisk (Attix etc. Note that a number of Hilti, Makita, Mirka and other branded extractors are all Nilfisk machines), Fein, Starmix (sold as Metabo and Mafell in the UK) and the Bosch GAS machines.
If you want Bluetooth, you're probably going to want Festool. I like the them but was able to buy a used Attix 44 M class for much less that the equivalent Festool and it is just as quiet, powerful, feature rich, etc apart from Bluetooth which only came to market afterward. I have no need to upgrade it to H class but that's an option. For most DIYers, I think L class is enough and cheaper. I will comment that Nilfisk in the UK haven't the slightest interest in the retail end user. Their sales organisation feels very Business to Business, focussed on large end user companies, a few specialist distributors and a limited model range sold through a Machine Mart. If you need parts and accessories, it would be much easier to get these for a Festool.

I do use my extractor with a radio remote but this can be added to any vac. The only advantage of Festool bluetooth is if you have their extractor and their tools. I don't want Festool cordless tools so that has zero value to me.

Festool make a great braided hose at a crazy price. It's pretty universal so you can add it to any of the major vacs. Mirka make the best value, most flexible antistatic hoses of the conventional design at a fraction of the price.

So tons of choice. Pick your sander first according to your preferred ergonomics, reputation, whatever and then choose a vac based on price and the features you want.
 
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thank you - the mirka does look attractive, though I am not sure I want the added complication of air-powered - the only use I make of that is for some pin guns and the compressor is relatively low power - sufficient for that, but not for sanding, so I would have to invest in a bigger compressor which equals cash and space! Also I would then have to fire it up each time I want to sand, so while the reduced cost is attractive, the hassle probably isn't!

I am interested in the radio remote - how does that work, does it effectively leave the vacuum on permanently but then switch on and off at the plug?
 
Note that the mirka deros is all electric. It has a brushless motor and the electrinics are on boatd, just plug in a mains cable.
My radio remote is a small radio receiver - size of a cigarette packet - with a keyfob transmitter. A relay is wired to the receiver so it can switch sizeable loads (10 -16 amps no problem) boxed up and wired with a 13A socket.

If you don't want to build one, I've recently found that toughleads make properly made units all ready to go.
https://toughleads.co.uk/products/standalone-dust-extractor-remote-control-230v-13a-and-16a
Plug the vac into the radio controlled mains socket and yes, just leave it turned on at the vac and do all the control via the keyfob.
My 2 keyfobs have clips attached and I have screw eyes in a few places around the ceiling, I don't lose a fob as if they aren't in my pocket, they are hanging from those eyes.
 
Depending upon your style of work, don't ignore cordless ones. I have a cheap Screwfix one, a Makita cordless, and a Metabo.

I find I reach for the cordless one 90% of the time. Generally with extractor, fitted, but often as the bag is nearby, just the bag. For quick jobs, it's very handy.
 
thank you - that remote control looks interesting - however the price is more than the bluetooth switch on a festool, so it might shift the price balance a bit...

regarding cordless - I am happy for the vacuum to be corded, the workshop is small enough for it to sit in one place and the hose can reach everywhere...
 
I run a festool sander and MIDI extractor combo.
The Bluetooth button on the hose is an absolute game changer for me.
Also the standard festool hose doesn't snag on edges of worktop when using tracksaw. Another big benefit for me.
I don't have tons of experience with brands but the MIDI is the best £350 I've spent on the workshop.

Martin
 
I run a festool sander and MIDI extractor combo.
The Bluetooth button on the hose is an absolute game changer for me.
Also the standard festool hose doesn't snag on edges of worktop when using tracksaw. Another big benefit for me.
I don't have tons of experience with brands but the MIDI is the best £350 I've spent on the workshop.

Martin
Thank you, which model do you have?
 
Thank you, which model do you have?
CTL MIDI
The CTM is the same model but with a warning when the filter needs sorting, so effectively the CTL is an 'M' class vacuum if you can live without that warning. Which I can.

I know you can do the remote socket thing with a cheap socket adapter from Amazon or whatever, which would be a much cheaper alternative to the festool+ Bluetooth button, you could probably get a Henry and a socket remote for half the cost of the festool. But I choose not to do it that way, I've heard of other people having issues with those remotes and I just want something that works. I am such a massive fan of having the button on the end of the hose, it's just so perfect and makes your workflow so seamless, and it's nice that it's actually designed to live there so you don't need to cobble together your own way of attaching it.

The other thing that pulled me towards the MIDI was the fact that people seem to run them for 10-15 years and they just keep going.

Finally I love the fact it's not a cylinder shape and as a result fits so neatly into your workshop space. Small things make me happy! 😀

I sound like a festool fanboy. Maybe I am one now!
 
As an observation, Festool and others all use very similar single stage vac motors bought from Domel. These are a quality motor and less than £100 on ebay when you've gone through a few sets of brushes and finally worn the commutator out. You are not paying for a better motor when you buy the more expensive models from the leading manufacturers. You are buying more features, plus the brand name, service and warranty plus hopefully decent design to keep the dB down at full power
 
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I've got Bosch ROS and Bosch Belt sander with a Trend T30 vac. Seem excellent. Main things are the on/off switches working in tandem and the long lightweight hose which you can drape over your shoulders etc to keep out of the way
 
I've got Bosch ROS and Bosch Belt sander with a Trend T30 vac. Seem excellent. Main things are the on/off switches working in tandem and the long lightweight hose which you can drape over your shoulders etc to keep out of the way
What is the hose like on those Jacob? Is it smooth or ribbed? Just wondering if it catches in edges like my old vac used to. Drove me mad.
 
What is the hose like on those Jacob? Is it smooth or ribbed? Just wondering if it catches in edges like my old vac used to. Drove me mad.
Ribbed. Can't say it's been a problem though. I generally have it and the flex over my shoulder and the vac itself moves easily on castors.
 
The Festool vacs are nice and the Bluetooth button takes it to another level, I find it really handy being able to turn the vac on and off from the end of the hose.

Regarding sanders I can't add much apart from if you get the Festool sander you will appreciate the Festool Plug-it system if (when ;)) you end up with a few more Festool corded tools.

My 17 year old Festool RO150 sander stopped working yesterday, I'm presuming it's just the brushes 🤞
 
I have a Bosch professional ROS a GEX model I think. It is great for vibration and dust extraction with sanding nets. However it was not cheap £350ish.
 
Mirka Deros & Deos with Festool CTL midi extractor combo here. Love it. Don’t use the Bluetooth - don’t see the point.
 
U
Mirka Deros & Deos with Festool CTL midi extractor combo here. Love it. Don’t use the Bluetooth - don’t see the point.
If you power up your sander through the festool MIDI there isn't a point. If you don't do that and / or use the festool with multiple other power tools then the button is much more convenient and faster
 
The bluetooth is actually quite a deal breaker for me - I don't want to have to keep going to the machine to turn it on / off... I will use it for the sander I buy, but also mitre saw / bench sander / etc.

which brings me to hose - if I buy e.g. the Festool I understand that it comes with its own hose adapter - I currently use the Cen-Tech quick click system (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B094JXS6B2/) which allows me to have adapters sitting already on other tools and I can quickly move from one to the other... with a proprietary system like Festool I assume that my choices are:
- use the Cen-Tech hose (in which case, less easy to connect to a Festool sander?
- use Festool adaptors on the other tools (can you buy these?
- ???

any thoughts welcomed!
 
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