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Thread: Festool CT22-E Shop Vac Eval.....PICS

  1. #1
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    Festool CT22-E Shop Vac Eval.....PICS

    Greetings from Arkysaw.

    This is one of my intial reviews of more tools and accessories from the Festool line of tools for the woodworker in mind.

    Here's the review of the Festool CT22-E Shop Vac.

    Packing: The vac came well packed and was well protected during shipping.
    A/C Adapter: The vac came with an electrical plug adapter to allow common hookup to the U.S. type electrical 110V outlets.

    Appearance: The vac appears to be very well made and up to the more commonly remarked "high Festool" standards. The inside of the vac is very well thought out and the <b>1 micron</b> filters are located in the top-rear of the vac, just above the location where the internal materials bag is located.

    The rear wheels have locks to prevent the vac from rolling around without you really wanting it to move around. The front wheels are larger than the most common shop-vac type wheels. All the wheels are made of the same material as the vac, plastic.

    The lid is held shut via two side clips/levers and the top half of the vac raises up for easy access for bag changing. The top of the vac has two Festool style clips to secure the Festool Systainer to the top of the vac so you can roll the vac and tool(s) around easily. I even lifted the vac and the circular saw together by the Systainer handle and carried them from the house to the shop just to see if it was strong enough to carry around as if I was on location at a job site. This worked very well, secure and easy. In this fashion, the vac, saw and any other Systainer'd tools could be stored all in the same foot print as the vac. Very handy for many that have tight spaces in the shop or garage and have limited storage space for tools.

    How loud is the Vac? Well, let's just say that it's a LOT quieter than any vac that I have (2 shop vacs, 1 standard screaming shop vac and a Shop-Vac Quiet-Vac) and it's even quieter than the LOML's vac in the house. Running at full power, you can still carry on a normal conversation without having to raise your voice to talk over the vac.

    <B>Joe Meazle</B> helped me work on evaluating the Saw, Vac and GuideRail System from Festool. Thanks Joe....you were a big help.

    Now on to the pics and I'll make more comments further down.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dennis Peacock; 10-20-2004 at 10:09 AM.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  2. #2
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    In the first pic:

    This is the "business end" of the vac. The little green piece on the top left is one of the "latches" that will lock a Systainer. The next thing to remember is that Festool calls this a "Dust Extractor" and not a Shop Vac. So now that we have that straight......

    The next this to look at, is the little "square" plate on the front and you raise this up and is where you would plug in the saw, sander or whatever you want to run while providing power control to the vac when the tool is "engaged". The Dust Extractor has three settings. 1. Off (of course), 2. Manual (which allows you to manually turn ON the vac without triggering any tool connected to the dust extractor), 3. Auto (which leaves the vac in the off mode until you trigger a tool and that causes the vac to power up and run while you are using the power tool on the end of the extraction hose. This control knob is further to the right side of the pic and is the Large Green dial switch, top right on the front of the vac. The small green dial is the "variable speed" control. It appears that all of the tools from Festool have variable speed controls built into them. I don't know why you would want to run the dust extractor on any other speed that FAST, but, who knows......

    When tested with the saw, the dust extractor operated very smoothly. The control of the On/Off of the vac via the remote power tool worked very well. The vac continued to run even after the power tool was shut off, and this was only for a short time.

    On the next pic, is the rear side of the dust extractor. You see the other Green Clip that locks the Systainer in place on top of the extractor. If you don't have a tool to "lock in" on top of the vac, there is a built in handle to in which to carry the extractor from location to location. The screw holes in the back are for the power cord. The cord simply winds around the holders to keep the extractor and cord all in a nice neat package. Looking at the wheels, you'll see the wheel locks. These work very well and are easy to lock/unlock. The big green square on the back is a "handle" that when pulled and pushed will "scrub" the top side of the 1 micron filters to dislodged any fine dust that may have accumulated in the pleats. Even after a bunch of sawing and collecting dust, there were NONE in either of the pleated filters.

    The next pic, and near the bottom-front side of the dust extractor is an outlet for the hose. Insert the hose end that normally connects to the extractor side, and this will "blow air" from the vac. None of my shop-vacs will do this. I can see where this would come in "handy" when you didn't have and air supply and you needed to blow something off. No...it's not compressed air, but it is an aimable air supply to gently blow dust off of something or blow air in your face on a hot summer day.!!!!

    <B>Pros:</B>
    Very well made.
    Very quiet running.
    Very good job on collecting dust "at the tool".
    Easy filter bag replacement.
    Easy 1 micron pleated filter changes.
    Convient cord storage.
    Locking wheels.
    Variable Speed (for when you need variable speed on a vac).
    Remote vac control via attached power tool for power On/Off.
    Well balanced unit as a whole.
    Top half of the extractor locks in the UP position so you don't have to hold it open while changing filters.
    Extractor continues to run for a short time after the remote power tool has been turned off.

    <B>Cons:</B>
    Only 1. The extractor only runs for about 1 second after the remote power tool is turned off. This really needs to run for about 5 seconds to allow for better clearing of the hose to prevent you from dumping a lot of dust out of the hose and onto the floor.
    Will this longer run time "prevent" all the dust from staying inside the hose? No, but you can at least shake the hose and allow more of the dust to be sucked up into the vac for "improved" dust collection.

    Well, that's it for now. More coming on the ATF55 E-Plus Saw, and the GuideRails.

    This is only my findings and views from using this tool and nothing more. I just wanted to pass along to others about what my impressions were about this "dust extractor". My view is my view and is not effected by Festool corporation or any member of SMC, or any other ww'ing forum.

    Get one and experience it yourself.
    Last edited by Dennis Peacock; 10-20-2004 at 10:10 AM.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the review Dennis. I already have the Festool Shop Vacuum (I refuse to call it a "Dust Extractor"), so I did not learn anything new but, I wanted to comment that the review is well written and does seem to cover all important aspects of the machine.

    I do have a couple of specific comments:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Peacock
    I don't know why you would want to run the dust extractor on any other speed that FAST, but, who knows......
    According to what I have read from others (eg. John Miliunas), you should be running the Festool sanders with less than full power in the vac. John had to cut holes in the hose that when he used a Fein vac with a Festool sander. I don't (yet) own a Festool sander, so I can't verify this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Peacock
    <B>Pros:</B>
    ...
    Convient cord storage.
    I disagree. It takes me more time than I would like to wrap the cord around the holders and I have to be quite careful when doing so or the cord later gets unravelled. I would much prefere a retractable cord or, at least, a detachable cord.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 10-20-2004 at 8:56 AM.

  4. #4
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    Dennis,

    No need to thank me, I had a great time getting see and use this stuff. I think it is great that Festool wants to get the opinion and thoughts of real everyday woodworkers pro and hobbyist. I also appreciate you giving you time to conduct test as best as you can and share the results with other via the forum. I vaule the opinions that I read here very much. I don't always agree but I do value them very much.

    As you know I pretty much second what you stated in the review. You also noticed some stuff I didn't see. I would only add a couple of comments.
    Pros:

    If you completely buy in to the Festool system the DE is also doubles as a cart that all of your Festool Systainers can lock into. I don't want to open up the tool case debate here. In my opinion this feature would be very handy for onsite work. I hate lugging a bunch of stuff around when I go to a job. In my opinion this is a standout feature that might encourage me to purchase Festool.

    Compact and efficient use of space, would easily store under a workbench or outfeed table. You know that I am mindful of that kind of thing with the micro shop that I have.

    Cons: This thing is expensive. I thought I spent a lot of $$$ when I bought my Fein vac. But we all know that you get what you pay for.

    Those are just my obverstions with some opinion thrown in hope that helps.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  5. #5
    Hi Dennis,

    thanks for this thoroughly written review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pellow
    According to what I have read from others (eg. John Miliunas), you should be running the Festool sanders with less than full power in the vac. John had to cut holes in the hose that when he used a Fein vac with a Festool sander.
    I agree with Frank. There's usually no need to run the vac on full power when attached to a sander. And less power means less noise. But more important, the sanders might "stick" to the workpiece if suction can't be lowered.

    Regards,

    Christian
    "On Wednesday, when the sky is blue,
    And I have nothing else to do,
    I sometimes wonder if it's true
    That who is what and what is who."


    (A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh)

  6. #6
    "According to what I have read from others (eg. John Miliunas), you should be running the Festool sanders with less than full power in the vac. John had to cut holes in the hose that when he used a Fein vac with a Festool sander. I don't (yet) own a Festool sander, so I can't verify this".

    Frank,

    When using the 6" ros's, (that have more mass), I almost always use full power on the dust extractor. However, with the smaller sanders, that are lighter and have a thinner pad, I adjust the suction accordingly.

    Bob
    bob m

  7. #7
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    Nice write-up, Dennis! Thank you for a good and objective overview. The "bad" thing is, just like you did to me close to a year ago, you're doing again: Getting me hungry for a specific tool, namely another Fes! But, I shall resist! That and start praying my old screamer C-man takes a dump! Thanks again!
    Cheers,
    John K. Miliunas

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOB MARINO
    When using the 6" ros's, (that have more mass), I almost always use full power on the dust extractor. However, with the smaller sanders, that are lighter and have a thinner pad, I adjust the suction accordingly.

    Bob

    Bob:

    Can you tell me how many Db the Festool vacum is rated at when running at full power?

    Thanks
    Rich

    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking."
    - General George Patton Jr

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOB MARINO
    "According to what I have read from others (eg. John Miliunas), you should be running the Festool sanders with less than full power in the vac. John had to cut holes in the hose that when he used a Fein vac with a Festool sander. I don't (yet) own a Festool sander, so I can't verify this".

    Frank,

    When using the 6" ros's, (that have more mass), I almost always use full power on the dust extractor. However, with the smaller sanders, that are lighter and have a thinner pad, I adjust the suction accordingly.

    Bob
    I will test the vac tonight with the ES125 sander AND the ES150 and check this suction thing.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  10. #10
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    I have corrected the review on the "Pleasted Filters".

    Those filters are Pleated...they are <b>not</b> HEPA filters, they are <b>1 Micron Filters</b>....so If you missed that correction in the review....you didn't miss it here.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pellow
    John had to cut holes in the hose that when he used a Fein vac with a Festool sander. I don't (yet) own a Festool sander, so I can't verify this.

    I disagree. It takes me more time than I would like to wrap the cord around the holders and I have to be quite careful when doing so or the cord later gets unravelled. I would much prefere a retractable cord or, at least, a detachable cord.
    Frank,

    I'll be testing the sander/vac setup tonight with my own Festool sanders. We'll see how this goes.

    Cord storage....I was simply comparing the Festool vac cord storage to the cord storage on my other two shop vacs.....which is basicly none. Sorry if I confused you.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  12. #12
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    On the speed control question, I find that with course grits on the sanders, full-blast is no problem. But as the grits get finer, there is a definite, although subtle "sticky" effect on the tool. These vacs have a lot of "real" power. Further, turning it down just a bit doesn't seem to affect extraction effectiveness and also lowers the sound level even more. I gess I've been running it at about 3/4 most of the time with perfect satisfaction.

    I am considering replacing the adapter pigtail on the cord with a US-style plug...not because it's a problem...just for personal preference.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 10-20-2004 at 10:25 AM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker
    ...I am considering replacing the adapter pigtail on the cord with a US-style plug...not because it's a problem...just for personal preference.
    Jim, the plug on the end of the vac is a properly terminated 20A, US style plug. The electrics are designed to support the vac and an attached tool that combined draws more than 15amps, hence the requirement for a 20A 110V plug. In my shop the 110V circuits are 20A and so are the recepticals. When I use the vact in the house the pigtail is a great reminder not to load up the 15A circuits with too much current draw. I first became aware of the 20A 110V plug with some studio recording equipment I purchased a few years back.

  14. #14

    Thumbs up

    Dennis,
    Nice review. I have had mine for several months now and I really like it. To reinforce some of the comments about using it for dust collection and portable tools; I use a PC 5", 8 hole ROS and I have to turn the suction down to about the middle. When I first used it with the ROS, I had it at full power and I couldn't move the sander very well!

    I made several adapters to accommodate my Circular Saw, DeWalt biscuit cutter, Delta stationery sander, Jet OSS and of course the ROS.

    See them at: http://www.wooddreams.net/festool_vac.htm
    If sawdust were gold, I'd be rich!

    Byron Trantham
    Fredericksburg, VA
    WUD WKR1

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Wilson
    Jim, the plug on the end of the vac is a properly terminated 20A, US style plug.
    Ya know...I forgot to look carefully at the blade orientation and just assumed it was the 240v version, even though in retrospect, that doesn't make sense. Silly me! I have "real" 20a outlets on my 20a circuits so that deals with the issue of the pigtail poste-haste. Thanks for the heads-up!

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