Why do Festool vacuums work so well?

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Forum topic by Manitario posted 01-09-2011 07:58 PM 5329 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2630 posts in 2904 days

01-09-2011 07:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: festool vacuum

The only negative thing that I ever hear about Festool is the cost. Otherwise, Festool seems to be the company that thinks of everything, ie. functionality and feature-wise they are tops. Which brings me to my question: I’ve read a lot about the Festool dust extractors and they seem to have an almost mythical ability to suction up dust from almost any powertool, Festool branded or otherwise. Why do they work so well? Comparing specs head to head with eg. Rigid; the CFM and static suction is almost the same; as well, any Rigid vac can have a HEPA filter slapped on it which improves its filtering capability to 0.3 microns. Yet no-one talks about their Rigid vac being a dust extraction miracle like Festool is. Why is it that Festool vacs appear to work so much more efficiently? (Of course there are other reasons why people like Festool, eg. vacuum starts when tool turned on, adjustable suction, quiet etc.).

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

8 replies so far

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4043 days

#1 posted 01-09-2011 08:08 PM

Most of the comparisions I have seen pit the shopvac type (lamb motor screamer on a bucket) with this high end silenced cabinet with hepa filter and brushless motor.

The attachments are designed for most hand held power tools and the shopvac designed as a general purpose wet/dry vacuum.
If you have the money the Festool is probably a better fit for a woodworking shop.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3669 days

#2 posted 01-09-2011 08:20 PM

The Festool sanders, routers and saw are particularly well designed for
dust collection. The hose that comes with the vac is flexible, anti-static
and pleasant to use. The vacs are quiet and the filters work well for
keeping the air clean.

In the end, however, Festool’s systemic approach is a way to ensure
customer loyalty which funds their R&D, marketing, and makes a profit.
The Festool vac doesn’t suck any better than others – it’s just more
pleasant to use and move around in combination with Festool tools.

I have a Festool vac and I like it. It’s really nice to have for installations.
In the shop, the cost of Festool may be more than the benefit you get
if the vac spends it’s life hooked up to one tool that makes a big noise

View CampD's profile


1673 posts in 3507 days

#3 posted 01-09-2011 08:46 PM

Since the implementation of new strict rules imposed on Contractors regarding Lead Paint. Dozens of new “HEPA” vacuums have appeared on the market. Most of these are marketed towards Contractors and not to woodworkers, like the Festool is. Festool was not the first HEPA Vac’s either.
These new Vac’s also use the latest motors and sound deading technology and IMO are as quiet as the Festool.
All these HEPA Vac’s have gone up in price since these new reg’s have been implemented.
If your comparing the Festool, to say, the Shopvac brand there is no comparison, they are made for 2 separate jobs all together. Shopvac has been using the same technology forever, if it still sells, why change it!
Festool has sent the time and engineering on a Vac that was compatible with their line of power tools, if you ask me, their tools are were the difference is.

-- Doug...

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2982 days

#4 posted 01-09-2011 09:28 PM

as mentioned it’s not in the sucking, but everything else.
it’s low profile and square shape make it easy to store. low noise and good filtration.
it’s designed specifically to be connected on woodworking tools and used for long periods. i tried cleaning out my pickup truck interior with my ct22 once but it did a terrible job, just not enough flow to clean the seats or mats.
i had to finish it with a cheapo incredibly loud shop vacuum.

View DonH's profile


495 posts in 2839 days

#5 posted 01-09-2011 10:02 PM

I use a Rigid shop vac in a soundproofed room with remote control. The hose plugs into an outlet on the wall and the air is returned to the shop via electrostatic filters (through a ducted port like a loudspeaker.

All I hear is the airflow through the hose (mostly). The soundproofed room also contains my dust collector. This is relatively cheap and the cost difference between the Rigid and the Festool probably pays for the whole system.

Food for thought.


-- DonH Orleans Ontario

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3669 days

#6 posted 01-09-2011 10:16 PM

I’d like to know more about the soundproof room dust collection idea,
Ron. My Festool vac is on the other side of the country and I’m not
interested in doubling my investment in Festool to have equipement
at both homes (I’m bi-coastal for family reasons).

View DonH's profile


495 posts in 2839 days

#7 posted 01-09-2011 10:25 PM

Hi Loren

The room is basically closet size to accommodate the footprint of the dust collector and shop vac. The insulation is the soundproofing stuff available at all home centres. I use electrostatic furnace filters to return the air back to the shop – they clean down to at least .3 microns or better. This picks up anything that gets through the shop vac HEPA filter or the 1 micron canister filter in the dust collector. The return air path to the electrostatic filters is a reverse flow arrangement padded with insulation – think two L shaped baffles with a top, the ceiling which is insulated and the bottom, which is a insulated plywood shelf about three feet below the ceiling. The shop vac sits below the shelf and the dust collector next to it. I had some left over insulation that I place on top of the shop vac and over the dust collector motor. This system is very quiet and air flow is the dominant noise.

Hope this helps


-- DonH Orleans Ontario

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3096 days

#8 posted 01-09-2011 10:31 PM

I can’t explain it. I just know it works as well as everyone says it does.

Recently, I discovered that it worked great with the VRS attachment for my Leigh dovetail jig. The VRS positions a vacuum at the ideal spot to capture the chips and dust from the router. I’ve never routed dovetails before without a bit of a mess from chips and dust.

I use it routinely with my Festool sanders, plunge saw, routers and, now, the VRS attachment to the Leigh dovetail jig.

As an FYI – I have the midi model. It is smaller and cheaper than CT-22 or CT-33 and works great. It only costs and arm – not an arm and a leg.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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