|Review by Mark Colan||posted 11-07-2010 04:51 PM||17331 views||1 time favorited||7 comments|
A month ago, Peachtree Woodworking offered a Summit Wet / Dry Shop Vac on special for $180, though its regular price is $399. I have made do with my Shop Vac brand QSP vacuum for some years, but a few features here made me decide to try the Summit.
- Its low noise: 65 db. This video gives you an idea of how much more quiet it is. Now that I have received it and compared it to my Shop Vac QSP (where Q means quiet!) I can say the Summit is much quieter, such that I feel safe in using it without ear protection. Note: Fein rates theirs at 60 db.
- Designed for use with power tools: plug the tool into an outlet on the front panel of the vacuum, flip a switch to tool mode, and attach the hose to the power tool. Now when you turn on the power tool, the vacuum comes on. It says on for at least 6 seconds after the tools is turned off, to clear the hose. This works exceptionally well with my Porter Cable biscuit joiner, but not as well with my Triton router, which hurls the debris downward.
- 5 micron dust filter really does keep the air clean during use.
- Two speeds (controlled by a panel switch) allow it to run slower and quieter vs faster and more powerful. I suspect when they say 65 db, they probably rated the slower speed.
It seems well built, and I expect it will last a long time. It comes with a brush roller nozzle, a wide squeegee nozzle (which is useless, see problems below), and a long crevice nozzle. I also found a very handy rubber adapter that reduces the hose size to about 1-3/8”. The power cable is beefy, like it should be to support both the vac and a power tool.
I bought an extra filter cartridge and inner bag filter, because I have found it works well to have a spare, so you can wash one and not have to wait for it to dry.
There are also some problems which make this a 3 star review.
- At the current price of $399, you can get a Fein shop vac for that much money. However, I paid less than half that. If it were available at the price I got it, I might give it 4 stars.
- One brief page of instructions, which I find inadequate. Of course, I can still figure out how to use it.
- The hose and accessories are non-standard; they will not fit either Shop Vac 2 1/2 or 1 1/4 sizes.
- The brand is Summit, and the model is SWDV506, but the only thing google can find for Summit Shop Vac is the Peachtree site, and SWDV506 is not found at all. Peachtree offers only the vacuum and replacement filters, no other accessories. The vacuum is called “wet / dry”, but the instructions say you must use a special filter for wet, and this is not available at Peachtree, and google does not find anyone else selling accessories.
- No upholstery brush.
- snugly inside the rubber adapter that came with the vacuum cleaner
- snugly over both my Porter Cable sander’s dust tube and my Porter Cable biscuit joiner
- snugly INSIDE an upholstery brush from an old vacuum we used to have
- with a few layers of duct tape on the outside to increase the size to about 1.5”, it can be clamped into my Triton router, although it is not effective at grabbing the wood shavings, which the router throws downward
It is mysterious that I cannot find any other mentions of Summit brand shop vacs via google. I suspect it is a reverse-engineered Fein made in China as an inexpensive alternative, although at this time it is not less expensive. Who knows? Maybe the Fein attachments fit it.
At current prices, you are better off getting a Fein. OTOH you might keep your eye on Peachtree to see if they repeat the special.
I think I will keep mine since I got a good price and found a way to get around my problems. I will probably have to keep my Shop Vac for other purposes and its vast array of attachments for cleaning the car and other household uses.
-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA