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Author Topic: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)  (Read 7486 times)

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Offline Random Orbital Bob

  • Posts: 21
CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« on: May 13, 2021, 01:14 PM »
Evening all, just taken delivery of a new CTL 26.

I love the general rake of features, its clearly well though through etc etc but......the suction is less than I was expecting given the hyperbole that tends to surround the festool brand generally.  I realise this is a little anecdotal but I have an ancient karcher and also a good old henry hoover, both which seem to "suck" when placing ones hand over the hose end, rather more than the new festool.  Its nothing silly, like its not turned on to full or anything.  I have the 27mm hose and I've used the lifetime bag to save on paper bag costs.  But its frankly, well.....disappointing!  Something of a genuinely new experience for me when trying a Festool for the first time. 
Am I missing something?

Many thanks
Bob

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3551
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2021, 01:54 PM »
My Festool vacs have a “suck dial” that can adjust vacuum pressure. On high, there is mucho suck. On low, very little.
Birdhunter

Offline Random Orbital Bob

  • Posts: 21
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2021, 02:16 PM »
Yes, I did say that said dial was on full power so regrettably that's not it

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3551
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2021, 03:27 PM »
I’m sure your dealer will replace the vac.
Birdhunter

Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 157
CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2021, 03:27 PM »
Are your other vacs sealed systems filtered to the same degree that the Festool one is?

I definitely don’t get the same kind of suction/airflow on my CT26 that I do on my Ridgid shop vac, but a large part of that is because, like nearly all shop vacs, it doesn’t have a micro-particle filter attached. The CT’s motor has to work a lot harder to force the same volume of air through a filter that’s much more restrictive so it can catch smaller dust particles that the Ridgid simply expels right back into the air.

Festool does make regular shop vac filters you can install if you don’t need the high filtration of the ones that come with the machine, but at that point you’re taking a very expensive dust extractor and essentially turning it into a regular shop vac, not getting the improved safety that makes it cost so much. (Also, depending on your country, doing this may make it illegal to operate in professional settings since it no longer meets safety standards.)

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2021, 03:56 PM »
have you tried it with the paper bag that came with it instead of the long life to see if it improves?

Peter

Offline Random Orbital Bob

  • Posts: 21
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2021, 04:15 PM »
Well firstly, thanks for responding folks, it is appreciated.

Oddly, yes I did just go out and do two tests:  One was hand over the suction hole with no hose attached and then secondly, with the paper bag rather than the lifetime bag.  The hand over the suction hole was very powerful, definitely more so than both my other cheapie shop vacs.  That suggests the hose is perhaps slightly less than perfect.  Its not blocked though as I've tested that.  I will say that the switch to the paper bag has also very slightly improved it but its almost imperceptible.  The life time bag is a pretty thick affair and I guess all that additional "wooly bear" stuff makes it have to work a little harder.  Hey ho.

Given I've got the 27mm hose, does anyone know what the difference might be, in terms of suction performance, by upgrading to the 36mm hose?  That might be the simple answer?


Offline Chainring

  • Posts: 103
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2021, 04:35 PM »
So, what have you used the CTL 26 for and is it not delivering satisfactory results?

Offline Random Orbital Bob

  • Posts: 21
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2021, 05:48 PM »
Fine with a TS55 and a domino.  It was more the general clearing up of extraneous dust that it seemed a little underpowered

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 1013
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2021, 06:41 PM »
Any of the Festool vac’s breathe much better with the 36mm un-tapered hose, thus cleaning up perform much better with this hose. So is my experience with both CT Midi and CT 26. I have not tried the 36 on the CT SYS - but I guess there will be huge improvement on that as well.

The tapered 32-27 hose is really a tool oriented hose.
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline Random Orbital Bob

  • Posts: 21
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2021, 07:32 PM »
That makes sense and there's no question it performed well on several 2.4 metre cuts of 3/4" marine ply.  The only visible debris left after the cuts was chips rather than dust.  My nose had no crud in after blowing and that's a real tell as to whether your lungs are protected.

Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 152
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2021, 07:36 PM »
I have a CT26, M class, and the suction is nowhere near my 42 litre Nilfisk M class.(which has a 32mm hose as standard). Doesn't matter when using with a tool, but definitely notice when doing general clean up.
I bought a 36mm AS hose for it and use it for most tasks, apart from sanding. Makes a big difference.
The only thing I don't like about the Festool vacs is the short run-on time. About half the time of the Nilfisk, Starmix etc vacs.

Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 157
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2021, 08:05 PM »
Given I've got the 27mm hose, does anyone know what the difference might be, in terms of suction performance, by upgrading to the 36mm hose?  That might be the simple answer?

Because I am a hopeless nerd dedicated public servant, I went out to put my CT26 to the test to see what various combinations of connections do to the airflow, using an anemometer. (All of these measurements were taken using the HEPA filter and a mostly-empty standard fleece bag.)

The results, or "exactly how much your vacuum sucks":



ConnectionEfficiency
Vacuum port (direct)100.00%
50mm (1m) hose89.53%
36mm (3.5m) hose 82.26%
50mm (1m) to 36mm (3.5m) hose77.14%
50mm (1m) to CT-VA to 36mm (3.5m) hose64.10%
27mm (3.5m) hose62.32%
27mm (0.5m) right-angle to CT-VA (direct input port)62.31%
50mm (1m) to CT-VA to 27mm (3.5m) hose61.75%
27mm (0.5m) right-angle to CT-VA to 36mm (3.5m) hose60.40%
27mm (0.5m) right-angle to CT-VA to 27mm (3.5m) hose60.04%
27mm (0.5m) right-angle to CT-VA to 50mm (1m) to 36mm (3.5m) hose55.98%

Key takeaways here:
  • Using the 27mm hose has a huge impact on your airflow
  • ...but it doesn't really matter whether it's a straight hose or right-angle
  • The CT-VA has about the same impact on your airflow as using a 27mm hose does, regardless of what you use to connect it to the vacuum
  • By the time you use the most likely configuration for a fully tricked-out CT (vacuum to CT-VA to 50mm boom arm extension to 36mm hose), you've lost almost half the airflow of your vacuum

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7662
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2021, 01:24 AM »
I am very not impressed by the suction of any Festool vac. They work fine as long they're connected to a tool, but they sincerely lack the oomph for general clean up.

Offline notenoughcash

  • Posts: 151
  • to many ideas, not enough cash....
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2021, 04:20 AM »
@Alex
my midi has got more suck behind it than any of the other hovers/extractors i have ever used, and i use it for general clean up all the time.

i dont find them lacking in oomph.
turns out that woodworking is 1% making things you'll use, 4% making bespoke high end firewood, 15% cleaning, and 80% looking for the bl**dy thing you just put down
PSC 420 EB, TSC 55 REB, CTL MIDI I

Offline mino

  • Posts: 533
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2021, 06:48 AM »
I think many are missing the point by testing with empty bags.

The "oomph" of the CT series to me is that the suck THE SAME regardless the bag being full or empty (hence the SelfClean bags branding).

They also FILTER the same. The standard self-clean bags are very clean ou the outside when you are tossing them out. Clearly they do proper filtering job across their lifetime. There are even folks which open them and reuse them a couple times like a long-life bag (!).

We have a couple cheaper Nilfisk-made vacs from various brands with the "drum" filters. These are still certified to L-class yet they all have the same behavior:
Vac suction drops well before the bag is filled (i.e. no self-clean) and when replacing the bag one can see the internals of the vac are way dirtier than on the Festool. The bags simply do not filter as well while getting blocked by dust easier to and the vac has to rely much more on the micro-filter. These are likely connected issues as a non-self-cleaning bag will naturally be loaded much more during use.

All this combined means the cheaper vacs have HIGHER running costs than my CTM 36 while providing less "worst case" suction. And that is before I account for the CT-VA used. They require much more frequent bag replacement, about two 5-bag packs of the "15-liter" Makita bags are needed take the dust one CT 36 bag can take. And the vacs also need much more frequent cleaning of the microfilter - i.e. labor costs.

We still use them as for tool-dedicated use they are fine. But the CT 36 is in a different class altogether.

Ref. Nilfisk, they also make higher end vacs comparable to CT26/36 series, but those go for comparable prices too ...

Ref. "Generic" shop vacs, we have gotten rid of all bar one which is used outside for car cleaning etc. What purpose is a vac which just takes the worst micro-dust and only spreads it around the air.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 06:52 AM by mino »
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7662
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2021, 07:43 AM »
@Alex
my midi has got more suck behind it than any of the other hovers/extractors i have ever used, and i use it for general clean up all the time.

i dont find them lacking in oomph.

Well, you're wrong.  [tongue]

Ok, everybody got his own experiences, great if it works for you. I got experience with 5 Festool vacs now, 22, 26, Mini, Midi and CT-Sys, and I find them all lacking. I have a used Nilfisk home vac I bought for 10 euros and it has a lot more power than any Festool vac I have ever tried. And same for any other home vac I owned or used.


Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7662
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2021, 07:45 AM »
The "oomph" of the CT series to me is that the suck THE SAME regardless the bag being full or empty (hence the SelfClean bags branding).

That was ok for me with the 22 and 26, but with the smaller vacs suction drops dramatically when they get to the half way point.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 533
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2021, 11:38 AM »
That was ok for me with the 22 and 26, but with the smaller vacs suction drops dramatically when they get to the half way point.
The Self-Clean apparently relies on the small pressure differential from the huge filter area and smaller ones have the filter area in contact with the bag about half as big.

Do you observe that suction loss as permanent, i.e. the filter truly clogs, or does an occasional manual-clean tap help?

Thinking of adding a Mini ...
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 157
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2021, 02:38 PM »
I have a used Nilfisk home vac I bought for 10 euros and it has a lot more power than any Festool vac I have ever tried. And same for any other home vac I owned or used.
That's to be expected: home vacuums aren't filtered like a proper dust extractor and so their motors don't have to work nearly as hard to get the same kind of airflow. Any home or shop vac using its standard filter should vastly exceed the airflow of a dust extractor with a comparable-size motor: if it doesn't, something is badly wrong with one of the two.

But comparing them is like comparing a sports car to a pickup truck: they're machines built for different purposes and intentionally make different engineering tradeoffs.

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 1013
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2021, 02:42 PM »
That was ok for me with the 22 and 26, but with the smaller vacs suction drops dramatically when they get to the half way point.
The Self-Clean apparently relies on the small pressure differential from the huge filter area and smaller ones have the filter area in contact with the bag about half as big.

Do you observe that suction loss as permanent, i.e. the filter truly clogs, or does an occasional manual-clean tap help?

Thinking of adding a Mini ...

No need to think, get it when you can. It’s an overall great vac. It doesn’t matter if another vac sucks a bump in your floor in shear power. Alex is pleased with his older model Mini, so are huge numbers of professionals, and the new Mini gets even better praise.

Thanks for your nerdiness @Cypren  [big grin] It confirms my experience.
I was in fact quite surprised by the small diameter tubing in the CT-VA when I first received it. The Oneida must be much better for larger chip/sawdust producing machines.. - Got me thinking a bit, although I have only tried it with the CT-SYS and my Bosch GEX Turbo. The bag almost choked the CT-SYS all the time by the collapsing bag..
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 157
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2021, 02:49 PM »
The Oneida must be much better for larger chip/sawdust producing machines.
I've been wondering about this as well and keep thinking about picking one up to find out. The CT-VA is great for handling the castoff from lighter tools, but when I'm using the HL 850 or the Kapex -- the things that throw off the most chips, where the cyclone would be most useful -- I usually need to hook them directly to the vacuum to get decent collection. At the same time, though, it really sucks to give up the VA's nice compact form factor and the ability to use the top as a rolling Systainer cart: I use that constantly.

The devil on my shoulder reminds me that I can solve this problem by just getting a second dust extractor, and my, doesn't that shiny new CT 48 AC HEPA look tempting...

Offline cpw

  • Posts: 309
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2021, 02:53 PM »
I use my CT26 for tools and for general cleanup, because having a separate vac for cleanup vs. tools doesn't make much sense to me.  The 36mm hose is much much better for cleanup.  Whether or not there is enough "suck" with a 27mm hose the fittings are too small and inevitably are a point for blockages if you have any splinters or things aside from fine dust.

I don't have a new smooth hose, but the 36mm hose is not significantly more difficult to deal with than the 27mm hose IMO.  My 27mm hose has been in storage since I got the 36mm hose, because thinking about switching them makes no sense to me.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7662
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2021, 03:03 PM »
I have a used Nilfisk home vac I bought for 10 euros and it has a lot more power than any Festool vac I have ever tried. And same for any other home vac I owned or used.
That's to be expected: home vacuums aren't filtered like a proper dust extractor and so their motors don't have to work nearly as hard to get the same kind of airflow. Any home or shop vac using its standard filter should vastly exceed the airflow of a dust extractor with a comparable-size motor: if it doesn't, something is badly wrong with one of the two.

But comparing them is like comparing a sports car to a pickup truck: they're machines built for different purposes and intentionally make different engineering tradeoffs.

They are made for the exact same thing, sucking up unwanted stuff.

The Festool vacs sure have better filtration. When you use a home vac, you have this vacuming smell all over the house and need to open a door or a window to get fresh air. You don't smell a thing with the festool vacs.

But as for trade off, the motor of the Festool vac is 8 or 10 times bigger than the Nilfisk. I expect more from that. I have worked with many other tool vacs, Bosch, Metabo, Hitachi, Starmix, and almost all of them were stronger than the home vacs I'm talking about, and a lot stronger than the Festool vacs.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 2061
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2021, 04:22 PM »
I'm actually stunned by the negative feedback about Festool CT's. I have used other vacs and own a Fein with a HEPA filter along with my CT48 and CTSYS. For my Festools, like the Domino, TS55, OF1400, OF1010, and sanders, I don't feel I've owned another vac which has done a better job pulling the dust in as opposed to leaving in the shop. I realize that some of the dust collection efficiency has to do with tool design, but I guess that's part of the picture. As for floor cleanup, certainly the 36mm hose works better, but, since it's an extra step (for which I'm sometimes lazy) I use the 27mm hose almost always and it works great for shavings and sawdust. Since I also turn as well as do other woodworking, I have a lot of shavings that aren't easily cleaned up with a broom and dustpan or other means in my shop. It's likely there are other vacs with more suction, but the Festool CT48 I have owned for at least 5 years does a completely satisfying job of keeping dust out of the air from my tools and cleaning up after I'm done. I would never use it for my router table, tablesaw, bandsaw, planer, or jointer but it's not designed to move the amount of air required for adequate dust collection for those tools.
Randy

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 689
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2021, 06:39 PM »
Total suction power is not necessarily the top goal. The variable dial to allow you to turn it down for sanders as well as the built-in tool-trigger are both things that the typical shop-vac does not have.
Along with the increased filtration, Systainer docking, hose garage, and bluetooth switch, there are advantages to being part of the "system".
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7662
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2021, 02:07 AM »
Festool vacs work great with a tool attached. Indeed, you don't need very high suction to make that work. I am very satisfied about the Festool vacs in that department, that's why I have owned 4 by now, and will keep on owning them in the future.

I work mostly in home renovation, not in a perfectly clean wood shop where you only have to saw and sand wood and then clean a perfectly flat, coated floor afterwards. Wood dust/chips/shavings is one of the lightest types of dust you can find and is very easy to vacuum.

But to renovate a home, there is a lot of demolition before. Out goes the old, in goes the new. This makes a lot of mess of varying types of dust, and a lot of stone and metal, which have a much higher density than wood. Not only is the volume of dirt a lot higher, but it is more difficult to suck up due to the higher density, and the rough nature of the floor, and now I find the Festool vacs are struggling compared to the competition.

When I go out on a job I need a vac that can handle both, I can't carry multiple vacs. Since they have variable suction, make it very strong on the upper end, and fine on the lower end.

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 100
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2021, 07:54 AM »
...the suction is less than I was expecting

I am not sure exactly what you were expecting, or if you mean pressure or airflow.   The static (zero flow) pressure of a vacuum is not going to be too much different between brands, but I am not sure that measurement is relevant to real world use anyways.   The airflow is closely related to motor amps.   Any way you can compare airflow to another vacuum quantitatively, the way @Cypren did in the earlier post ?    That would possibly give you an idea if perhaps there is a problem with your particular unit. 

HERE is a link to a quantitative comparison of vacs.  They test a CT36, but I am pretty sure the blower is identical to a CT26, just the size of the collection bag is different.   Strange that they show the Festool as being rather loud, I find it rather quiet (at least a heck of a lot quieter as my old Shopvac brand vac that I refused to turn on without first putting on hearing protection).

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 689
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2021, 08:06 AM »
Yeah Alex, I get what you are saying. We are all doing different things and have different expectations from the same tools. The whole Sys3 thing is a perfect example. Some of us are shop users and others are on the road and it does make a difference.
Personally, I would never use my CT26 on a post-demo clean up for the really course stuff, like nails, screws, etc like I would a cheap shop vac. I would pick up/sweep up what I could first and just the dust after.
I can certainly see not carrying both, not only because of space in the van, but because of the filtration difference. Shop vacs do great with the worst things, but they also seem to spread the fine dust better than the demo itself did.
When you are in someone's home or functioning office space, cleanliness is huge.

Like you said, for me in a huge, clean, well ventilated, smooth floored shop, dust collection is as much about not having to clean it up afterword as anything else. Sometimes it makes the cut better like with deep mortices with a router or Domino
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 689
Re: CTL 26 suction not quite what I expected (brand new)
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2021, 08:20 AM »
...the suction is less than I was expecting

I am not sure exactly what you were expecting, or if you mean pressure or airflow.   The static (zero flow) pressure of a vacuum is not going to be too much different between brands, but I am not sure that measurement is relevant to real world use anyways.   The airflow is closely related to motor amps.   Any way you can compare airflow to another vacuum quantitatively, the way @Cypren did in the earlier post ?    That would possibly give you an idea if perhaps there is a problem with your particular unit. 

HERE is a link to a quantitative comparison of vacs.  They test a CT36, but I am pretty sure the blower is identical to a CT26, just the size of the collection bag is different.   Strange that they show the Festool as being rather loud, I find it rather quiet (at least a heck of a lot quieter as my old Shopvac brand vac that I refused to turn on without first putting on hearing protection).

Also the vacuum/suction level drop during use. I frequently forget to check my bag, especially when I first got it, not realizing how much more debris it was taking in than my old shop vac that I used before it. I usually realize that it is getting full when swapping hoses between the usual tool hose and the one I keep plugged into my router table. When it gets full, some residue drops out when unplugging the hose, but if I don't make a swap to notice this? The CT still continues to draw at the same level of vacuum until the hose is full. Early on I did this right up to the point where the hose was so full that the chips had no where to go. It was totally my fault, but totally amazing that it could fill the hose and still suck.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation