Author Topic: Simple dust extractor question  (Read 1463 times)

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Offline Tg6392

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Simple dust extractor question
« on: December 02, 2019, 12:14 AM »
Hello, I am new to the festool world and about to buy my first extractor. Reviewing the specifications, it appears that the MINI/MIDI and the CT 26,36, etc. are all very similar machines, with the main difference being capacity and 7 CFM between the two. I plan on buying the cyclone unit as well. My question is, if pairing with the cyclone, why would I get anything besides the MINI if I am okay with the 7 CFM loss? If it's the dust bin of the cyclone that fills up, that is going to fill at the same rate no matter what extractor it's attached to. It seems I would not benefit from the extras capacity of the larger vacs. Any flaws in my thinking?

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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 02:13 AM »
The cyclone will take a huge amount of the larger particles out before they would get to the extractor bag. Some of the finer particles will still get through. The fine dust that gets through will eventually become an issue as far as extractor efficiency is concerned as it will clog the fine holes in the dust bag. This can be seen by a discolouration of the bag.

I have used the CT Sys with the Festool Cyclone interceptor and they work well together. However, the small dust bag in the CT Sys still need to be changed but not so often. My estimate is that I would have been changing the dust bag of the CT Sys about once a week before getting the cyclone and now it is once every 6 weeks. If I have been vacuuming plaster dust this goes down significantly. I know when the bag needs to be changed because the tone of the extractor motor and (I think) the by-pass mechanism means that air flow through the dust bag is being reduced.

So, a larger dust bag will give you more time between bag changes. With my CT26 (a fantastic extractor) I have the Oneida UDD. With that setup I change the dust bag once a year. I empty the UDD about every 3 to 4 weeks and its usually has between 1 and 2 cu ft of dust in the bag.

If all my extractors were stolen I would buy a CT26 first and then think hard about which second, smaller, extractor to buy - probably the CT Sys again.

Peter

Offline Tg6392

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 10:54 AM »
Thanks Peter for the detail.

How would you compare the UDD to the CT Cyclone? In my head the UDD is probably a superior device, because of it's design and Oneida's experience in that technology. It appears to be better sealed, as well. However, I cannot stand the look of it, I hate how the tube comes in from the top. It will take up a lot of space in my shop and I really want to avoid that. Do you feel the Cyclone has similar performance? It sounds like you have not used the UDD and the Cyclone on the same extractor, but just wondering if you had any anecdotal evidence around this.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 01:47 PM »
The UDD is better but, as you say, it takes up a lot of room and looks clumsy.

The Festool CT Cyclone works well enough and certainly takes care of most of the debris. I have not tried mine for an extended period with my CT26 and so I cannot give you a accurate answer on performance compared to the UDD.

I would go with whichever fits into your shop and accept that you may need 2 or 3 bags a year in the extractor if you choose the CT and only 1 if you choose the UDD.

Peter

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 08:47 PM »
I bought a CT26 and had the Festool cyclone from day one.  Honestly it's never worked super great.  I generally find myself still having more stuff in the bag then in the cyclone.   I had envisioned the tub filling up a lot and not much in the bag, but the tub just doesn't fill. It could have to do with the work I do, I may just be making mainly fines that pass thru.   Because of this I have passed on getting one with my second CT26 that I use on my table saw.  I probably should try it some on the table saw just to see what it does with it on it.  There is a bit of a packaging issue as just the CT fits perfect under the saw. It was pretty amazing the shear size some of the chunks of wood that were in the bag that had made it thru the saw, the Wye, the hose and into the vac.  No way that stuff would get thru the cyclone.

I went with the CT26 has it was the smallest big vac. At the time, the blutooth was new, and having the button is something you just don't want to use a vac without it once having it.  When buying a second vac, having the same model was something I wanted so I use the same bags. One of them is 110V, the other is 230V, but the consumables are the same.   The CT26 also means it has good capacity if not using a Cyclone.   

The MIDI wasn't something I gave much thought too. I guess it's a little more compact. I think I would just go to a Sys-Vac if going smaller.  The new one is also less appealing as it doesn't have full mechanical controls, there is a screen and a membrane control panel IIRC, so that's a non-starter.

I'm not using my tools 24/7, I'm mainly weekend, but even then it's hardly every weekend with no non-stop work, but for sure, I am in no way on path to offset the cost of bags with the cyclone.  The cyclone cost about the same as buying almost 50 bags,  I'm still using my first one (having dumped stuff out of it a several times). 

So where I'm going is the cyclone might not be a great buy for some folks.  I think I imagined filling the container many times a day, and only ever needing one bag.  That's just not reality.  A CT26 holes a lot of stuff.   I just don't find myself filling it up like I would a shop vac.  Doing it over again, I might pass on the cyclone until I found myself going thru a lot of bags.

Offline piglet55

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 07:46 AM »
A couple of links that can be interesting if you're looking for a Festool Vac + cyclone.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ct5R6_bj80&feature=youtu.be

Offline JimD

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 02:42 PM »
Without looking inside I cannot be sure but the Festool "cyclone" looks like it is really a Thien baffle.  I built one years ago for my DC and it helped with larger debris but not with fine dust.  If it is really a short cyclone it will suffer the similar issues.  Cyclones need to be fairly tall to work well.  Laguna Cyclones (DCs) are shorter and users report they do not get fine dust well, for instance.  Tall cyclones are not very space efficient, however. 

I am not trying to dispute Peter's comment about the bag filling but I have used my Rigid shop vac/SDD combination for drywall dust (mainly using the Festool hand sander) and noted that the cyclone got a lot of the dust - a surpising amount to me.  But I am sure that more of that dust made it through to the shop vac than would normal wood dust.  I doubt the Festool "cyclone" would get hardly any of it. 

My point is just that dust separation devices that work well, cyclones, have to be tall with the outlet on the top and the inlet on the side to work well.  You can get better packaging with a thien baffle but you will not get nearly as much fine dust. 

Offline AIPDX

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 11:11 PM »
The only reason to buy Festool Cyclone is to save money on dust bags. Since Festool Cyclone runs at $375 (if I am not mistaken) you would have to produce quite a lot of saw dust to get a meaningful return on investment. If you are a professional who lives off woodworking and have a workshop at home or at your shop, if you know that you would be producing dust in large quantities, it could be a worthy investment to save costs in the long run. If you are a hobby woodworking, I cannot imagine why on Earth you would need this gadget. A package of bags can easily last you a summer season or longer, as they are quite large, even for Midi. Your ROI would be 5+ years, and you get no extra benefit from the Cyclon (you still need a bag, but most dust ends up in the Cyclone, and for this you will "enjoy" the process of removing it from the Cyclon's container instead of just removing and throwing away the bag.

The main reason for buying a larger dust extractor is the same, to use larger dust bags to save on their cost, and to check less frequently if the bag is already full.

I have a midi, two CT26, and one CT36. Midi is my favorite extractor by far (due to its smaller size and weight),and it doubles up as a household vacuum. In retrospective, I would not buy the CT26s as they are too bulky (unless you have a permanent workshop). CT36 was bought for the drywall sander. I remodeled my house over the time span of 4 summers, and used maybe about 4 packs of bags during that time. It is still less than the cost of the Cyclone (did I mention that it takes some space, too?).

Offline Tg6392

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 11:24 PM »
Thank you all very much for the replies. I've decided against getting the cyclone, mostly based on your suggestions and feedback.

I also learned that once you install/use the cyclone, the unit is no longer HEPA certified. That was basically my entire reasoning for paying the Festool premium vs. just buying a cheaper extractor and putting a "HEPA" filter on it. I have some lung issues already which is why I'm willing to spend the money on a fully sealed unit. It would defeat the purpose for me to put the cyclone on there.

Now my decision comes down to the CT26 or the MIDI. I like the capacity of the 26 (now that I won't be using the cyclone) but the MIDI is the "new" 2019 model. I like that the Bluetooth is included, and I wonder if the touchscreen panel and filter redesign are potentially upgrades from the older 26. I guess I don't know enough about Festool as a company - do they always release the best features on the flagship model and then trickle down the features over time, or are the new MIDI/MINI units a sign of what's to come on the next release of the 26?

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2019, 02:16 AM »
The Bluetooth module is available as an accessory for the CT26. It is very easy to fit. In the UK I think it is just over £70. It is so useful that I would not hesitate to get it again. It is particularly useful for clean-ups where you want to start and stop a lot of times. It is also useful for cordless tools. You should be aware that Festool have batteries which have Bluetooth built in so that when the tool is started it sends a signal to the extractor to start up.

I have a 5m hose with the Bluetooth switch attached near the action end. With an centrally positioned CT26 I can almost get to every part of my workshop and not have to worry about walking back to the CT to start or stop it.

It is also great fun if young children visit the shop - with the Bluetooth switch behind your back or in a pocket you can issue a voice command to your extractor or even wave a piece of wood like a magic wand and start the machine.

Peter

Offline PeterK

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2019, 08:42 AM »
If the vac will just sit in a shop then go with the CT 26 or 36. If it will travel around the house or elsewhere occasionally go with the Midi. I have the earlier CT33 and it is large and heavy. When bag is half or more full it is extremely heavy. My Midi is very easy to carry around, compact, doesn’t bash your legs when carrying. Mine gets all kinds of use in remodeling projects.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2019, 12:42 PM »
I use my FT cyclone with my CT 26 in my shop. Ive yet to need to empty the bag. Ive emptied the box many times.

Don demonstrates it quite well in these 3 videos





« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 12:52 PM by jobsworth »

Offline RKA

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 01:23 PM »
@Tg6392 Having both an older CT26 and newer Midi, capacity and portability are still the differentiating factors I would focus on if I were buying right now.  If capacity and portability didn't matter to me, then I would look at price, factoring in the cost to add BT to the 26. The panel control changes and filter cleaning mode aren't big enough to be decision makers to me.
-Raj

Offline harry_

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2019, 06:23 PM »
@DeformedTree

I hate to say this, but your issue sounds like crossed hoses.

Never you mind what makes me think this. [embarassed]
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. This is not an offer to sell securities. May be too intense for some viewers. No user-serviceable parts inside. Subject to change without notice. One size fits all (very poorly).

Offline Gregor

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2019, 01:17 PM »
I also learned that once you install/use the cyclone, the unit is no longer HEPA certified. That was basically my entire reasoning for paying the Festool premium vs. just buying a cheaper extractor and putting a "HEPA" filter on it. I have some lung issues already which is why I'm willing to spend the money on a fully sealed unit. It would defeat the purpose for me to put the cyclone on there.
Why would the Festool pre-separator remove the HEPA certification of a VAC? I could get that it, worst case, reduces airspeed at the business end of the hose (and through this reduce extraction efficiency), but I see no way how it could defeat the end filter of the extractor (which is what HEPA iirc is about: particle size of anything coming out again with the exhaust air).

Offline harry_

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2019, 05:06 PM »
I also learned that once you install/use the cyclone, the unit is no longer HEPA certified. That was basically my entire reasoning for paying the Festool premium vs. just buying a cheaper extractor and putting a "HEPA" filter on it. I have some lung issues already which is why I'm willing to spend the money on a fully sealed unit. It would defeat the purpose for me to put the cyclone on there.
Why would the Festool pre-separator remove the HEPA certification of a VAC? I could get that it, worst case, reduces airspeed at the business end of the hose (and through this reduce extraction efficiency), but I see no way how it could defeat the end filter of the extractor (which is what HEPA iirc is about: particle size of anything coming out again with the exhaust air).

If I were to venture a guess it would be because you lose "containment" whenever you go to either empty the bin or change the bag.
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. This is not an offer to sell securities. May be too intense for some viewers. No user-serviceable parts inside. Subject to change without notice. One size fits all (very poorly).

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2019, 09:33 AM »
It also might simply be that the cyclone itself is not certified witch would make the combination not HEPA rated.


Seth

Offline Gregor

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2019, 04:41 AM »
It also might simply be that the cyclone itself is not certified witch would make the combination not HEPA rated.
While that might be the case there is no technical reason that adding a cyclone will turn a HEPA motor filter in a VAC into one that's suddenly not filtering to the specified size anymore. So, unless you need to have a signed paper for CYA BS reasons, that missing rating can be safely be ignored without any ill effects to your body.
IMHO, YMMV, yada-yada.

Online Alex

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2019, 05:43 AM »
It also might simply be that the cyclone itself is not certified witch would make the combination not HEPA rated.
While that might be the case there is no technical reason that adding a cyclone will turn a HEPA motor filter in a VAC into one that's suddenly not filtering to the specified size anymore. So, unless you need to have a signed paper for CYA BS reasons, that missing rating can be safely be ignored without any ill effects to your body.
IMHO, YMMV, yada-yada.

HEPA certification is always about the entire system. It is no use having a super duper HEPA filter if another seal in the vac is not as rigorous and spews particles all around.

Offline HandyDen

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2019, 08:10 AM »
If the vac will just sit in a shop then go with the CT 26 or 36. If it will travel around the house or elsewhere occasionally go with the Midi. I have the earlier CT33 and it is large and heavy. When bag is half or more full it is extremely heavy. My Midi is very easy to carry around, compact, doesn’t bash your legs when carrying. Mine gets all kinds of use in remodeling projects.

I agree with this 100%.  I had the older Midi with no BT availability.  I sold it and bought the 26 for larger capacity and the ability to add BT (which I did - it was so easy and useful).  However, as a handyman, I travel with the 26 and it’s a little too big.  Now that the Midi is available with BT, I’ll be selling my 26... :-[

Offline Gregor

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2019, 04:16 AM »
It is no use having a super duper HEPA filter if another seal in the vac is not as rigorous and spews particles all around.
Sure. Only that adding a pre-separator onto the hose neither changes any seals in the vac, nor can a pre-separator spew any particles as it'll always be at or below room pressure.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Simple dust extractor question
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2019, 10:15 AM »
I can’t speak to “HEPA certification” but the goal of using more effective filtration is to prevent the redistribution of harmful particles into the environment via the machine’s exhaust. Even if the CT (or other) cyclone had a big crack in the side it would not reduce the effectiveness of the HEPA filter, just the efficiency of the vac. The CT cyclone is still at negative pressure while the vac is running so nothing will escape.