|Review by Jonwilliam||posted 04-19-2014 12:55 AM||9417 views||2 times favorited||12 comments|
I had some discretionary money to “invest” in a new tool and I settled on a vacuum. It was between the Festool ct 26-36 or the new Bosch line of vacuums. Vac140a/s, Vac140a/s. The “a” is for auto, the “s” is for semi-auto filter cleaning. I had to make a decision quick due to festool’s price increases the first of this month. So since I am also in construction (excavating) I went with the Bosch and so far am very pleased.
I already have a great ridged vacuum from the big orange store-the 16 gallon “6.5 hp” model for about $150. I’ve knocked the crap out of that thing, rain, snow, several(dozen) days left out in the sun, tossed it in the back of my truck, and have had it on the jobsite cleaning manholes. Never let me down. But I wanted something really nice. (almost makes sense right?)
I went with the Bosch over the Festool not because of price but of an edge in specs and the filter cleaning feature. I have a Festool TS 55 and OF 1400 so the fact that I’m $800 into Festool had no bearing on this. I want to give my own perspective on this. Plus since the Bosch vacs are so new (in the US) there is not one single review existing until I post this. I had nothing to go on so here it goes:
Static water lift 97”
Cord Length 15’
Sound rating 70dB(at its highest with the auto clean models and always with the semi auto model)
Variable suction(only on auto cleaning models)
Amperage available to tool plugged into tool activated outlet 5.5a
Ability to stack and lock L-Boxx containters to vacuum in the same manner as the Festools’ do with systainers
Included in the box:
Semi-Automatic Filter Cleaning Actuating Nozzle
16’ x 35mm hose
Anit static bend nozzle
Filter: The filter cleaning feature can be turned on/off. In the off position its obvious what it does: nothing. When on it kicks in due to loss of suction. So if the filter is partially/fully clogged or if you just put your hand over the end of the hose it starts to thump several times until its clean. The filter cleaning noise is much less than I thought it would be. Its quite muffled. There is a Russian video on youtube with the European version of the vacuum (gas35 or gas55) and a guy sucks up a pail full of dry drywall compound and still goes strong. Pretty awesome. The available filters are paper, Long life reusable, and fleece bag. 2 different main filters are available.
Noise: Its pretty quiet. As expected its quieter than my ridged vac or any budget shop vac. You cant even close to hear it over any tool its plugged into. I’ve never been around a Festool vac to compare the noise but at least on paper its quieter.
Suction: Pretty DARN impressive. Almost frightening with a 2-1/2” hose connected. Yes it fits a bigger hose just like Festool does. The included hose works well and fits my festool stuff spot-on.
Construction: Like a tank. I got the 9 gallon version and it has the smaller casters on the front and I can assure you they are well built. If you look at the 9 gallon version it looks like the front casters are under a plastic guard on the front. Its not. Its a reinforced, ribbed-trussed, at least 1/8” thick ABS plastic piece. I have no concern with durability there. I wouldn’t be afraid to drag this thing down a flight of stairs or fling in the back of a truck.
Cord: Very heavy gauge and soft/flexible.
Filter: Automotive style rectangular filter. It filters.
Ease of use: Filter access is great. Don’t have to take the top off. Just lift up the rear and it locks in the up position. Bonus of that design is that you can take it out quickly and see how much stuff is inside the vac. The “Tool activated”-”off”-”on” switch is large and makes nice audible clicks.
It has a flat top with a well placed carrying handle in the center. I was unsure about the hose storage with the bungee straps but jeez it works GREAT. Even with a big ol 2.5” hose. I have a L-Boxx and it locks as expected to the top of the vac.
It has 3 built in storage deals for the nozzle, tubes, and something else im not sure of on the rear of the unit.
I bought the unit from CPO Bosch for $549 with free shipping. I’m very pleased. Its definitely not like the droid looking vacs that they have been making. With the semi auto clean version I have I don’t have to dedicate this beauty to the woodshop(garage) but can use it for drywall and concrete cutting. I know the festool can do all of that—I just wouldn’t be able to bring myself to bring a festool vac on site to clean the cab of a dozer.
This thing is definitely designed for WORK. Suction, great construction, well thought out design. So if anybody is looking for an alternative to a Festool vacuum this one is a top contender. It has great features and is built heavily.
If you guys and gals want to compare the specs vs any other brand just google vac090a, vac090s, vac140a, vac140s to get started. For anybody on the fence-just buy the dang thing…its a hepa vac designed to handle even concrete dust! Sawdust is nothing compared to that.
*I have a bunch of pictures but it only lets me upload 3. If anybody has any question at all please don’t hesitate.
-- -Redwood Falls MN