Author Topic: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5  (Read 2580 times)

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Offline masonwoodshop

  • Posts: 6
CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« on: November 17, 2022, 02:29 PM »
I'm stuck in a bit of a state of analysis paralysis and would love some thoughts from the community as I try to find the best dust separator for my setup.

I've becoming more all-in on Festool (track saw, routers, more to come) and have been loving my CT MIDI-I for dust extraction. I just recently bought the new SawStop CTS, which has a 2.5" dust port and while I understand small cyclones like those from Dust Deputy are ideal for shop vacs (I do have a Ridgid shop vac), I'm more interested in the Festool CT Cyclone as I could use it with my existing Festool tools (and avoid bag changes).

While Festool notes that the CT Cyclone is build for the 26/36/48, it's not difficult to get it to work with the CT MIDI-I (it even looks like the hose has changed to have a non-right angle end to improve compatibility). My thinking right now is to use the CT Cyclone on my CT MIDI-I, then use a 2.5" shop vac hose to connect from the CT Cyclone to the SawStop CTS (I'll use a Festool hose when using my Festool tools).

Is my logic sound or is it deeply flawed? Am I better off with a cheap Dust Deputy cyclone + bucket and using my loud shop vac?

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!

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Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 536
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2022, 03:20 PM »
Good evening (UK time) @masonwoodshop  - So here's my story;

I'm a professional woodworker. For many years throughout what now seems like ancient history, I used a Nilfisk 26/21 as a dust extractor. Great machine, super-reliable, great customer support, cheap and readily available parts such as motor brushes, a 25-litre capacity, power tool takeoff socket, and stupid-cheap aftermarket bags from eBay. Then - I took on a commission to build 8 x vast oak doors for a large old building, which involved a colossal amount of shop-based machining - way more than I'd ever had to do before. I was filling three or four bags a day.

Ouch.

So I bought the then-newly-introduced CT-VA-20 because I'd seen a video on YouTube and thought that it looked like a great money-saving gadget. It was of course - capturing almost everything which my routers, sanders, planer, jointer and other tools were producing - but I had this thing sitting on the floor next to the Nilfisk. Very cumbersome, very awkward, very impractical. It was at that point that I realised that it wasn't designed to be used with any old vacuum - it was designed to be used with a Festool extractor (which I'd always thought were crazy-expensive at around 3x the price of my Nilfisk, and had consequently always dismissed from my wishlist). So I drank a nice bottle of Rioja just to sharpen my mind, and - inevitably - placed a late-night order for a CT26.

Tip of the day - if you're unsure about whether to buy a new tool, drink a bottle of something nice. As you drain your final glass, you'll realise just what a great idea you had, how low your current credit card balance is, and how much this new tool will improve your life. As a 3-decades-plus pro, I've always taken the view that the purchase of a top-quality tool only hurts the once - on the day that you pay for it. The purchase of low-quality tool hurts every time you use it.

So anyway - the game changed from that point, and I generously donated the Nilfisk to my daughter for her house (she loves it just as much as I did, and I showed her yet again what a wonderful father I am). The cyclone sat T-Loc'd on top of the CT26, and effectively became an integral part of it. And now - I honestly couldn't imagine life without it. Since then, I can recall dozens of jobs which have involved emptying the bin multiple times a day, and every time I do that, I'm thinking "that would have been another ten-dollar Selfclean bag".

The most surprising aspect of it for me has been that Festool only claim that it captures heavier particles such as planings, sawdust or router debris. But it doesn't - it captures way more than that. I'm currently working on a kitchen job where there are large, heavily stained sandstone arches at one end of the room - so I had the sandblasters in, who did a great job, but left the entire kitchen an inch deep in blasting dust and sandstone. The amount of that dust which ended up in the cyclone's bin (and the associated lack of material in the CT26 bag) astounded me.

Downsides? Only one - it reduces the suction. Some very clever guys on this forum have done a variety of tests on this to calculate the actual % drop in airflow - but under everyday, real-world conditions, it doesn't make any difference. The only thing I do is that if I have a big cleanup to do at the end of a job, I'll use a regular soft sweeping brush to move sawdust into a pile, suck it up using the whole rig, then disconnect the cyclone and do the final vac-up using the CT26 'direct' so to speak.

I like it. A lot. I'm not a Festool expert so I don't know if it will T-Loc to the top of your extractor - but I know that other knowledgeable members will be along any time soon. And regarding your point about it supposedly only being compatible with the larger CT extractors - there's a video on YouTube in which our forum resident Peter Parfitt rigged up a CT-VA-20 to the little Systainer-sized CT-SYS. It worked.

I hope my little ramble helps.

Kevin
« Last Edit: November 18, 2022, 12:16 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1640
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2022, 03:32 PM »
To Kevin's point about experience with other Festool extractors, I have two CT-VA's, one on my CT-26 with a Workcenter, and one on my OG CT-MINI (with dials).  It attaches just fine to either one (although the MINI needed a 90-degree on both ends).

I've attached it to my CT-MIDI-I as well, and it's an even easier fit because the dust port on the MIDI-I and MINI-I is closer to the front of the extractor, and doesn't require a second 90 to attach to the MIDI-I.

Offline mikeomalley

  • Posts: 54
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2022, 04:03 PM »
Love this story Kevin, now I like a nice bottle of red but the positive affects have eluded me until now!


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Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 536
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2022, 04:07 PM »
Love this story Kevin, now I like a nice bottle of red but the positive affects have alluded me until now!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Slainte @mikeomalley !!!! I don't know if ALDI have made it to Ireland yet, but if they have - check out the 'Grapevine' range. Shiraz, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. £3.79 a bottle - and they all perform like angels kissing the inside of your mouth. Honestly - you'll buy SO much new stuff. I just ordered a Lamborghini, four new houses, a Rolex and a yacht.

Apologies to the OP. Anyway - cyclones ..........

EDIT - I also just ordered Angelina Jolie to come and be my new home help and gardener.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 04:14 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3782
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2022, 04:11 PM »
@Kevin, I did not partake of any tall glass until I settled for the Dust Deputy. But it works just as well as the cyclone. I went from replacing the bag every two days (A slight exaguration) to weeks to empty the drum. I not only saved the bag, but i had more time to satisfy my thirst.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline masonwoodshop

  • Posts: 6
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2022, 04:26 PM »
Haha, I'm loving these responses! I think liquid-based decision making started me down the Festool path and I don't see why that shouldn't change my decision making process now.

I generally don't like shop vac due to how loud it is (and no Bluetooth...I not a pilgrim!) but I still use it due to the cost of the Festool bags. With a cyclone (whether CT Cyclone or Dust Deputy), I think I'll increase my use of the CT MIDI-I, which would be nice.

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 536
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2022, 04:46 PM »

Liquid-based decision making started me down the Festool path and I don't see why that shouldn't change my decision making process now.


My profound respect to you, sir - spoken like a true FOG disciple. I hope that whichever route you take hits the spot for you. Greetings from a saturated, flooded-out England  [sad]

Kevin

Offline Mortiser

  • Posts: 156
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2022, 08:53 AM »
"So I drank a nice bottle of Rioja just to sharpen my mind..."

I'm going to have to try this because I've been debating for some time about the CT Cyclone for my CT-26. I like that if on occasion I need to roll the whole unit under my table, I can remove the bin, reducing the height, and just collect in the systainer. My only hesitation is what I read about loss of suction. But it also seems I have read somewhere that some people have been able to "tighten-up" or seal the parts connections in the cyclone and improve suction. When I've opened it up in the store, there does seem to be a lot of play between the parts and pieces.
Has anyone here tried "sealing" the pieces in some way to improve suction. I am sure curious to know.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 1209
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2022, 03:16 PM »
I will try to chip in with a bit different perspective.

TLDR: If you need to ask, the you should get the CT-VA and forget the DD.


The long:
-------------------
The DD and the CT-VA are actually different tools in their use cases.

The CT-VA is optimized for low-air-volume tasks while it *can* do middle-volume tasks. It restricts the airflow because that is the only way a cyclone can achieve reasonably good efficiency at low air volumes. A cyclone relies on air speed to do its work, and at low air volume - like when using a sander - the only way to achieve sufficient air speed is to make the cyclone internal "nozzle" low diameter. This in turn affects the high-volume tasks.

The DD, on the other hand, is optimized for high-air-volume tasks like planing, tracksaw use, Kapex use etc. The price to pay is that with sanding the efficiency of DD will be mediocre - the wide channels will not see sufficient air speed for the air cyclone to do its job.

This makes the CT-VA the more "universal" tool, as you can always remove it from the loop if the air volume is too low for your liking. You can however never get good efficiency for a sanding job from the DD.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2022, 03:28 PM by mino »
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Online ChuckS

  • Posts: 4002
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2022, 04:51 PM »
Snip

You can however never get good efficiency for a sanding job from the DD.

Are you referring to some kind of special sanding job or tool? If not, where is the empirical data to support that? None of the DD reviews I came across have ever remotely suggested what you said.

I myself have a shop vac +DD set up for sanders (Pro 5 and B&D)  as well as a sanding belt/disc, and it has never failed me in terms of fine dust collection.

Are we talking about a different DD?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2022, 04:54 PM by ChuckS »

Offline Vondawg

  • Posts: 494
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2022, 05:31 PM »
I’m with Chuck and my DD performs stronger than my CT-VA but conforms to the “system” for on site
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 1209
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2022, 05:37 PM »
Are you referring to some kind of special sanding job or tool? If not, where is the empirical data to support that? None of the DD reviews I came across have ever remotely suggested what you said.

I myself have a shop vac +DD set up for sanders (Pro 5 and B&D)  as well as a sanding belt/disc, and it has never failed me in terms of fine dust collection.

Are we talking about a different DD?
good efficiency to me => 90%+ as seen with the CT-VA

Also, the OP was specifically asking about the DD 2.5(") which is about +60% the max air volume (70% the air speed at low volume) compared to the regular DD.

Most reviews I saw considered 70-80% efficiency as "good" when reviewing the DD. (To me) that is better than nothing, but generally pretty bad compared to a CT-VA at 90%+. Second point being, most reviews /all I saw/ did not spend a couple days sanding flat surface at the lowest setting of the vac using high grits. Instead they tended to go for the mid-to-high volume work even for the original DD.

That said, I have removed "never" after reading after myself .. that was indeed too harsh and unjustified. Nothing against the DD, point was to make it clear these two are very different tools and the DD 2.5 is anything but a "universal" cyclone as it was asked to be. The original DD can be considered that from some pespectives but not the 2.5 version.

DD, especially the 2.5 version, is a high-volume cyclone. Oneida says so much. It is not in the same category as the CT-VA. Not even close and vice versa. In the same way the CT-VA does not come close to the air volume one can drive through the DD 2.5.

If I were to rate these:

CT-VA => very low to mid volume, best efficiency at low volume, can handle very low air volume and is ok-ish ("only" about 90% eff) at mid air volume. Cannot do high air volume. (i.e. will contain CT26 to the equivalent of using a D27 hose so to about 50% of max air volume).

DD => low to high volume, optimal at mid, cannot do very low well, can do high volume (i.e. will not constrain a CT26 much)

DD 2.5 => mid to very high volume, is at home at high volume (i.e. will not really constrain a CT26 attached with a 50MM hose)
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 536
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2022, 01:05 AM »
In my original post, I said that the CT-VA reduces suction - but in every day, real-world action it doesn’t make any difference. Take it from someone who uses a CT-VA between 2 and 6 hours a day x 6 days a week - it doesn’t. I personally feel that starting to throw around scientific airflow rates and percentage drops is overcomplicating things and probably unhelpful to a guy trying to make a decision.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 1209
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2022, 05:13 AM »
In my original post, I said that the CT-VA reduces suction - but in every day, real-world action it doesn’t make any difference. Take it from someone who uses a CT-VA between 2 and 6 hours a day x 6 days a week - it doesn’t. I personally feel that starting to throw around scientific airflow rates and percentage drops is overcomplicating things and probably unhelpful to a guy trying to make a decision.
+1

To quantify - the CT-VA reduces suction about as much as using the (default) 27mm hose does. So it is absolutely fine for everything where the 27mm hose works OK. Which is 99% of the time for me too.

Connecting a 50mm hose trough the CT-VA and expecting high air flow (as without it) is not a good strategy though.
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Offline RJNeal

  • Posts: 598
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2022, 07:23 AM »
Here’s my 2 cents FWIW.
I own two DD one with a shop made box with a footprint of a systainer and the other is a UDD
I like them both. They seem to do what’s needs to be done. These have been in service long before Festool came out with their CT-VA20.
If I needed a new one I would probably give festools a try since it seems a little more compact.

After reading all these spec about different volumes of air moving though the two different cyclones, it would be interesting to see a test with the Oneida in front of a Festool cyclone.
I’m more of a visual guy and the facts collected in the bin.
Rick.

Have you walked your saw today?

Online ChuckS

  • Posts: 4002
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2022, 09:14 AM »
Here’s my 2 cents FWIW.
I own two DD one with a shop made box with a footprint of a systainer and the other is a UDD
I like them both. They seem to do what’s needs to be done. These have been in service long before Festool came out with their CT-VA20.
If I needed a new one I would probably give festools a try since it seems a little more compact.

After reading all these spec about different volumes of air moving though the two different cyclones, it would be interesting to see a test with the Oneida in front of a Festool cyclone.
I’m more of a visual guy and the facts collected in the bin.
Rick.
I went to the Oneida site, and found the DD 2.5 an improvement over the DD that I've been using for years. I wouldn't think twice, and would get one if I'm in the market for another cyclone unit. Fine sanding is one of the key applications listed for the DD 2.5. Knowing the Oneida for its expertise in dust collection technology all these years, I have no reason to believe that the DD, old or new, is not effective for any sanders as I know them.

If something goes wrong in dust extraction in a DD setup, I'd more likely blame it on the tool itself, the vac or extractor, the hose (or connector), etc. than the DD.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2022, 09:24 AM by ChuckS »

Offline Mortiser

  • Posts: 156
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2022, 10:21 AM »
Thank you for your replies. All of them are quite informative. We do have some real experts, both technical and experienced, on here regarding dust collection.
Oneida has a good reputation with their Dust Deputy. Of Oneida's products I have considered the Ultimate Dust Deputy due primarily to static concerns. The negatives are that it appears quite tall and maybe a little unwieldy for rolling it around the shop, and I wish you could see the bin capacity.
The CT-VA solves those concerns and I am thinking now that the comments about suction loss I've seen on the web may be a little overstated.

Thanks for the info.

Offline SRSemenza

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  • Posts: 10108
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2022, 01:04 PM »
Hard to beat the form factor and ease of hook up with the CT-VA. Also easy to take off and put back on as desired.

Seth

Offline masonwoodshop

  • Posts: 6
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2022, 05:03 PM »
This thread has been far more informative than I anticipated and I'm glad I posted it! Right now I'm about 80% sure I'll the CT Cyclone route, with the other 20% being for a DIY Dust Deputy - now I just need to convince my wife that $579 CAD is an investment in my health and not ego to have more green in the shop!

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 536
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2022, 05:27 PM »
This thread has been far more informative than I anticipated and I'm glad I posted it! Right now I'm about 80% sure I'll the CT Cyclone route, with the other 20% being for a DIY Dust Deputy - now I just need to convince my wife that $579 CAD is an investment in my health and not ego to have more green in the shop!

@masonwoodshop This is the FOG. Non-informative threads don't exist here, and when members don't agree - they do (almost always) agree to disagree with respect and humility. So to repeat my advice - head down to the store tomorrow. You need a nice bottle of Rioja to confirm your final decision. And pick up a second one for your good lady to ensure that she agrees with you. Best wishes for your future, healthy-lungs-and-marital-harmony life.

Quote of the day = "I totally respect your opinion. Just as long as you respect the fact that your opinion is completely wrong ......".

Greetings from across the big pond.
Kevin
« Last Edit: November 19, 2022, 06:23 PM by woodbutcherbower »

Offline usernumber1

  • Posts: 242
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2022, 03:14 AM »
For a normal 'craftsman/woodworker' I doubt you will tell the difference*  between the CT-VA and either DD except in the ergonomics. The DD is pretty unwieldy compared to an integrated unit on top of the vac that packs nicely.

If you are a regular woodworker or contractor the CT-VA will serve you just the same except it will be nicer to use

*extremes where I noticed the DD gains an advantage
- suction advantage if vacuuming using two lengths of D36 hose or longer. Or any other flow restrictions like elbows or adapters.
- extremely messy jobs. Getting it in places you would not want your festool in. Vacuuming dirt, liquids or rocks : Because you just don't care and it works fine and it's easy to wash and the buckets are easy to clean and replace

The DD2.5 gains an advantage over the DD for sure. My vacuum also runs quieter since there is less restrictions and I can run extremely long hoses again. However it's even worse to pull around. I have not built any contraption I see many have. This would solve an issue of pulling around but it would not be compact at all.


Offline Willy Eckerslike

  • Posts: 16
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2022, 04:09 AM »
There are occasions where I wish I wasn't teetotal.  The Festool kit I would have.....

Online ChuckS

  • Posts: 4002
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2022, 10:54 AM »
https://www.amazon.com/vdp/0f423b5e5f334ad1a91b2d02abdd14d3?product=B09W68X4HJ&ref=cm_sw_wa_r_ib_mb_GdMw8XrziUW2C

The video suggests that one of my old DDs may benefit from an upgrade. All my DDs are used in a stationary mode.

As soon as Lee Valley carries the anti-static DD 2.5 product, I'll get one to try. It's just $54 at Amazon.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2022, 01:51 PM by ChuckS »

Offline NiteWalkerGR

  • Posts: 99
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2022, 09:25 PM »
Hey there Cole. I've been following your festool videos on youtube (NW).

In your shoes here I'd do one of two things:
1. Use a separate shop vac and dust deputy setup. Cheaper and easier setup.
2. I'd skip the festool cyclone and get the oneida designed for festool vacs instead. The festool allows for more stacking of systainers, but the oneida has better performance and is a bit cheaper. In my shop I use a dd 2.5 with my dewalt vac. It's amazingly efficient. It will literally be years before I need to change the filter bag in the dewalt vac.

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 642
    • In The Woodshop
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2022, 01:39 AM »
About two years ago I was in the market for a CT-VA-20. A woodworking friend of mine had one and the UDD, both working with a Festool vac. He was unhappy with the CT-VA-20 as it lacked the suction and dust collection of the UDD (and this would have been pre-2.5?).

I subsequently purchased the UDD, and have been very happy with its performance. Of course the CT-VA-20 does look sexier :)



Regards from Perth

Derek
Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on joinery, hand tools, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3782
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2022, 06:13 AM »
I have the DD from Rockler. It is convenient to put under my work bench and router tale and table saw. It has casters so I can roll round my tiny shop and roll it outside. It is collecting my dust and large particles. I can pickup nails from the floor but I do filter it by changing the drum when I do the floor. I use the dust and large particles for sanding my driveway. I find the nails are a bit unconveinient when rolling over with air inflated car tires. I am satisfied with my Rockler DD.
That is recommendation enuf for me.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Online ChuckS

  • Posts: 4002
Re: CT Clyclone CT-VA-20 vs. Dust Deputy 2.5
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2022, 02:59 PM »
Another video on the 2.5: