After spending weeks inhaling sawdust and getting everything in the workshop covered in a nice 3mm coating, I decided to look into dust control. The Festool mini vacuum things seemed to have all the right features, so I bought one and have been really impressed by it – such a nicely thought out piece of kit:
For a start it fits Bosch power tools without any adaptor and the end of it’s long hose has a nice rubber tapered spout which means it can fit into a variety of diameter dust ports and form a snug seal.
It has a really long and tough power lead, with a power take off socket for the power tool, which means you only have one lead trailing across the floor rather than two. The dust tube is also really long which means you can cut an 8′ sheet of ply without the vacuum needing to move or be under your feet.
It auto-senses current so switches on when you power up the tool and then runs for a few seconds after the tool powers down to make sure it gets all the sawdust out. Makes such a huge difference to the mess created, sucking up about 95% of the sawdust.
Unlike most tools, they seem to have really thought out everything about the design, from the way the cables and tube store in the top, to how well the casters work – my previous Henry just fell over all the time, tripping up on it’s own power lead. This thing is so much more sturdy.
I have to say, I can see why people go on about Festool as being the Rolls Royce of power tools, even though it’s just a vacuum cleaner, it is in a different league to other models.Posted 4 years ago
I’ve got a Trend one that I picked up from a liquidation auction for a tenner. Same plus point – auto start and runs of after you switch off, long hose, and long lead. Easily scurries around after you but doesn’t fall over. The key feature the festool and maffel one have that I’m jealous of is you can put things down on top of them! The trend is like a wee dalek and because you’re tied to it by the hose it feels natural to put tools down on top of it. Mines doesn’t use bags – a cartridge filter surrounded by a fine cloth filter the dust collects in the bottom container – like a wet and dry hoover – the cloth does a decent job of preventing the cartridge from clogging and theres no bags to replace. I’ve had to give the cartridge a blast with compressed air once in 3 years despite using it with all sorts of fine dusts – MDF, sanding fibreglass, and so on.Posted 4 years agoandylMember
and here’s me thinking my Karcher is good.
I guess that being a commercial unit bags are best as it’s better to have your employees just remove a bag, both as it keeps dirt contained and means you don’t expose the employee to the bagless vacuum dust in the face scenario.
I quite like the idea of the cloth bags over the cartridge filter though. The Karcher ones are waterpoof so you can leave them in for wet vacuuming and wash them out.Posted 4 years ago
I have a 20 year old Aquavac Henry clone thing and the two things which really annoyed me was it didn’t filter out the really fine stuff, so just blew it out but also it just endlessly tripped over it’s own lead, then you had to switch it off to get the plastic ball to drop down (how it detects when it’s full of water), plus I kept pulling the hose out as it wasn’t a great fit.Posted 4 years agoruss295Member
Your on a downward spiral as you’ll now be looking at other festool kit and you’ll have to have it.Posted 4 years ago
I started with the saw, then the midi hoover.
Now have –
18v drill/jigsaw set
Lots of systainers/drawers.
Use them every day for work.
The vacuum up from that one has a cloth bag that you can entry and reuse.
I only got this one as they had an offer on at FFX. Was originally looking at Bosch ones, but this one ticked all the boxes…..
Your on a downward spiral as you’ll now be looking at other festool kit and you’ll have to have it.
Yep, a Router is next on the list…..Posted 4 years ago
Novice question, but can you attach any router to any router table?
Pretty much – usually the table has a removeable plate that screws onto the router base – normally you’re left to drill this yourself as the footplates of different routers vary.
However…. theres not much to a router table that you can’t make yourself – so you can also buy the plates on their own – I got mine from Axminster I think, but also check out Rutland tools for clever nicknacks.
I use the plate and just cut an opening in an old office cabinet to drop it into, cut a hole in the side of the cabinet for a dust extractor plug the whole cupboard into the hoover. It damps a bit of the sound of the router too. You can buy a stand alone router fence from axminster also but I’ve aways made my own ones specific to the job from scrap and screw them down to the worktop.
If you don’t already own a router have a think about the switch for table use. My trend has a sort of deadmans switch / trigger which is difficult to clamp in the on position. My dewalt has a switch that you click on and it stays on. You can then get a No Volt Return safety stop type affair and start and stop it via that. There are some models that allow you to adjust cutting depth through the footplate so that you’re not having to fumble about under the bench.Posted 4 years ago
If you don’t already own a router have a think about the switch for table use. My trend has a sort of deadmans switch / trigger which is difficult to clamp in the on position. My dewalt has a switch that you click on and it stays on. You can then get a No Volt Return safety stop type affair and start and stop it via that. There are some models that allow you to adjust cutting depth through the footplate so that you’re not having to fumble about under the bench.
Good points. I’ve seen videos of tables on YouTube where it’s easy to adjust the blade height up and down etc and also move fences along so you can adjust the spacing. I’m in the research mode right now, as never having used a router table, I don’t really know what to look for. The deadman’s switch is a good point. I’m planning on adding a few to the whole workshop, one on each bench at some point, but right now the whole thing still runs off a 50m extension lead from the house.Posted 4 years ago
mccruiskeen, can you recommend a decent ½” router bit set? Or should one buy trend as needed and build up gradually? Ideally I’d like to go from zero to hero for not much money (yeah, I know…) but most of what I’ll be routing will be hardwoods and I’m aware of the need for decent bits. It’s mostly for rebating, bull-nosing and biscuiting.Posted 4 years ago
I’ve managed to pick up Trend sets of bits for good prices (in B&Q surprisingly). I think they do a smaller and larger selection pack. They’re good value, you should be able to get the smaller one for around the price of two or three individual bits. A little like drill driver bit sets -theres one bit you’ll use all the time and you’ll hardly ever look at the rest. CMT have a good choice of bits too – if they do a selection box that would be worth considering
Axminster have a good range of individual ones – and occasionally really good clearance sale bargains.Posted 4 years ago
Hokay, much as I thought. I ended up buying a beast of a hitachi ½” router for bugger-all (as a replacement for a cheapo one I used purely for biscuit jointing) and discovered when doing a parquet floor the other week that it gives me capabilities to machine a lot more bespoke thresholds, beads etc more neatly and quickly.
I like Axminster. Will have a look there. That’s where I get my cat’s paw. My most oft used hand tool I reckon. 🙂Posted 4 years ago
That’s where I get my cat’s paw. My most oft used hand tool I reckon.
The king of tools. My pal Colin snapped his on a job we were doing – his face looked someone who’d reversed over their own dog.
Is the Hitachi the one that looks like Optimus Prime’s head. I don’t know who does Hitachi’s product design but they clearly wish they were designing something other than power tools. Space guns mostly 🙂Posted 4 years agom1keaMember
As rus295 says, you’re on a very slippery slope to Festooning yourself with kit.
I added a Dust Deputy Ultimate to my Mini this year. What with the Fes 50mm hose kit, I’ve now got a £700 vacuum cleaner 😯 🙄
Oh and the Makita RP2301 1/2 router fits the Fes rails with the Mak guide rail adapter.Posted 4 years ago
Is the Hitachi the one that looks like Optimus Prime’s head. I don’t know who does Hitachi’s product design but they clearly wish they were designing something other than power tools. Space guns mostly
The very one!! 😆
You wouldn’t be using it one handed that’s for sure!Posted 4 years ago
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