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Thread: Anything New in the Shop Vacuum World?

  1. #1
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    Anything New in the Shop Vacuum World?

    My 20 year old "ShopVac" vacuum gave up the ghost this past weekend. While it lasted awhile, that thing was way loud and lackluster in the suction department. Based on previous threads, I gather the Home Depot shop vacuums are good and quiet machines. I was going to check them out next weekend.

    Is there anything new in the world of shop vacuums I missed? I think the Festool system would be way beyond my budget, but I'd like something decent.

    I have a dust collector for my stationary power tools. I use my shop vacuum for handheld power tools and general cleaning up.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Toronto Ontario
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    If you're not willing to go the Fein route, how about a central vacuum connected to your shop?

    I have one and really like it, it is in the garage, with the exhaust going outside through a silencer.

    Aside from the Fein or Nilfisk, every vacuum I've tried seemed louder than can be believed, and seems to spew half the fine dust back into the shop.

    A friend of mine nick named his shop vac "Krakatoa".

    Regards, Rod.

  3. #3
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    I've thought of a new one a few times and if I get one it will have the built in pump for draining water for those occassions when I have to clean up lots of water. But until the present one dies, it is hard to justify a new one since teh dust collector does most of the work in the shop now.
    Lee Schierer
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  4. #4
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    Mar 2003
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    Monroe, MI
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    11,896
    I have one of the Ridgid Wall Vacs in my garage which I really like because of its portability and compact size. My only complaint is that you can only get the filter at Home Depot and last time I needed one the closest 5 stores were out of them. The did sell me the one out of the display though. When they were back in stock I bought an extra.

    I'd look at Fein and Festool in person before you write them off. They are pricey but the quality and quietness is a big deal to me.


  5. #5
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    If you plan to use the shop vac in conjunction with hand-held power tools, make sure to buy a model which has an auto-start feature. It will start sucking when you switch on the power tool. Eliminates running around to turn on two switches.

    I have a Fein and it comes with that feature.

    Gary Curtis

  6. #6
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    Fein is releasing a variable speed model to compete with Festool.

  7. #7
    I have a Ridgid 16 gallon and really like it. It does not spew dust back out because I use the .3 micron filter. Works really well for the Ridgid 5" ROS I have. I only wish it had the auto-start capability.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the tips. I was leaning toward the general shop vacuum because I also tend to use them for cleaning jobs around the house. However, you guys made some good points about such machines being lackluster when it comes to filtering sawdust. And that auto-start feature does sound nice!

    I wasn't even aware Fein made a portable vac. I would indeed like to look at one. Where are they sold? I've never seen them at Woodcraft or Rockler. I might be able to put off the purchase for a higher end machine.
    Last edited by Pat Germain; 09-23-2008 at 6:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Woodcraft carries Fein Shop vacs.

    http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=5804

    http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=2040

    http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=5252

    Also Check them out at Amazon (they have free shipping)

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...+turbo&x=0&y=0


    If my Ridgid ever gives up the ghost I want a Fein
    Last edited by Larry Browning; 09-23-2008 at 6:17 PM.
    Larry J Browning
    There are 10 kinds of people in this world; Those who understand binary and those who don't.

  10. #10

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Portland, Or
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    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pr_product_top

    This shop vac works great, I got two of these for the less than the price of one of those expensive vacs. Its all about cfm, and this thing sucks. I use the high efficiency bags so the hepa filter never gets dirty. You can sand inside with zero dust. I even use it for a drum sander dust collection. You can purchase an auto switch to use with the vacuum and hand tool for $30.

    My math says you can purchase the vacuum for $118, auto switch for $30, bags for $15/ 2 bags = $163.00

    good luck!
    Jason

  12. #12
    I second the Ridgid 16 gallon vac. They are relativiely quiet and they will suck the cover off a golf ball. I added a clearvue cyclone as shown in the pic. It rides on a shelf I added to the bottom. No more cleaning filters. It looks the same as the day I put it in. BTW the vac is on sale at HD for $99 right now on clearance.
    I almost bought another.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    The ridgid ones with SNR or "scroll noise reduction" are supposed to be noticeably quieter than the regular ones, but I haven't done the comparison myself.

    I've got a regular one with the Cleanstream washable HEPA filter. Almost no dust gets through that filter...love it.

    The noise isn't a huge issue, since when using the vac for dust collection normally I'd be wearing hearing protection anyways because of whatever tool it's connected to. It would be nice if it were quieter for general cleanup use though.

    Auto-switch would be nice...I think Porter-Cable has one with that. I keep thinking about rigging one up myself, but haven't yet gotten around to it.

  14. #14
    I use the auto start switch here for mine:
    http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=5855
    $34 and works perfectly.
    I did a noise sample test with the Ridgid with SNR and the shop vac 16 Gal equivalent. The Shopvac was quieter (according to my wife and friend), but the suction was much greater from the ridgid. As others have said, I use hearing protection in the shop when using a tool so noise is only an issue at clean-up.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
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    Get something that is "tool triggered," meaning a vac with an outlet that will turn the machine on when you turn the tool on. I have the Festool CT22 and love it (especially the disposable bags). It's great for the smaller tools like sanders, but I've also used it for my router table and tablesaw. If you want cheaper, I think Porter Cable still makes a tool-triggered vac. Bosch has a new one, too. For the money, however, I'd go with the Festool or a Fein.

    Jason

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Germain View Post
    My 20 year old "ShopVac" vacuum gave up the ghost this past weekend. While it lasted awhile, that thing was way loud and lackluster in the suction department. Based on previous threads, I gather the Home Depot shop vacuums are good and quiet machines. I was going to check them out next weekend.

    Is there anything new in the world of shop vacuums I missed? I think the Festool system would be way beyond my budget, but I'd like something decent.

    I have a dust collector for my stationary power tools. I use my shop vacuum for handheld power tools and general cleaning up.

    Thanks.

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