Author Topic: FLEX Vacuum  (Read 1445 times)

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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4323
FLEX Vacuum
« on: December 04, 2019, 03:14 PM »
What comes with the FLEX vacuum and what do you need to connect the hose to Festool equipment? To a TS saw and to a sander. Looks like that might require two different add-on hose endings?

My 20 year old Fein vac blew the armature yesterday and the Flex seems to be the best replacement but I want to get everything needed at once.

In particular, I don’t want to buy a bundle of bags if one is included because the vac will be permanently connected to a cyclone.


“Okay boomer, watch the video”  [huh]

I watched the Acme unboxing video and learned that the vac comes with one unidentified hose end (don’t know what it will fit) and two different collection bags.

It also comes with attachments to hold the hose and cord but the parts that will allow a Systainer to sit securely on top are an extra $30.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 04:10 PM by Michael Kellough »

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Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 871
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 04:00 PM »
I just bought a Flex BCE 44 L AC from CPO on their "Oops" Cyber Monday Sale.  They honored the price mistake and it arrived today.  (They have since fixed the price and are out of stock.)

It came with a 32mm anti static hose but the tool end is designed for their drywall sanding system.  There is a universal stepped adapter 445.029 included that can be trimmed to three different diameters.

You can purchase a Flex adapter for Festool as follows:
   
27mm SAD-C 27 AS 461.628
36mm SAD-C 36 AS 461.636

They also make a replacement tool end for at least the 27mm SAD-27 AS 382.736 but I couldn't find one for the 36mm.

The existing hose end just threads off the Flex hose.  There's no lock tab like Festool hose ends.

FWIW - I checked a Festool 27mm tool end and it is too small to go onto the Flex hose.

The vacuum comes with one fleece bag and one plastic bag for coarse material.

It does come with side brackets to hold the hose and a bungee to hold the cord.

The L-BOXX adapter 445.169 to hold a Systainer is NOT included.  I will likely get one and attach a SYS ToolBox.

They also make a steel loop handle 445.150 that bolts on the bottom and back.  I'm on the fence about this.

The machine is made in Hungary and built like a tank.  So far, I'm VERY impressed.

Joe
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 04:32 PM by deepcreek »
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4323
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 04:22 PM »
Thanks @deepcreek

The Acme video indicates that it comes with one hose end. Did yours from CMO? If so, what does it fit?

The adapters you list are what we need but where in the world US can we get them?

In the meantime I assume/hope we can use an existing Festool hose.

Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 871
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 04:30 PM »
@Michael Kellough

Yes, mine came from CPO.  See my post above as I have added more info.

Acme sells a lot of the parts and accessories.  Be careful as they are using incorrect photos for some of the items.  Check www.flex-tools.com for correct photos.

I'm still trying to source a US supplier for the replacement hose end rather than the adapters.

I checked and both my 27mm & 36mm Festool hoses connect to the Flex vac.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 04:56 PM by deepcreek »
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4323
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 04:36 PM »
Thanks for the info.

I’ll just get the vac and the L box adapters and make do with Festool hose etc.
Hmm, actually since I’ll be using the same cyclone I only need to get the existing hose to fit the Flex vac.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4323
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 04:45 PM »
I wonder if this tool adapter for the similar Milwaukee extractor will fit the Flex hose. Looks like there are some differences in the hose ends.

Acme also has two similar looking Nilfisk AS adapters and they cost half as much...
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 05:37 PM by Michael Kellough »

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 406
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 04:52 PM »
I'm looking for a vacuum cleaning set for this. I see Flex has the 445053 but it's $90 for three extensions and 5 fittings. Any suggestions for an equivalent set?

Doesn't look like there is any on-board features to hold these tools like a shop vac - right?

Was going to replace my Craftsman vac with this for general cleanup, track saw, SCMS, Domino, router ... I use my old but strong CT33 for fine dust.

Mike

Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 871
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 04:54 PM »
That looks exactly like the old Alto adapter I had for connecting my 1.5" ShopVac hose to my 27mm tool ports.  It does not fit the Flex hose.
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 871
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 05:04 PM »
@Mike Goetzke

I think there is a bracket to hold the Flex giraffe drywall sanding pole but otherwise no onboard tool storage.

Festool makes a couple of cleaning kits that come in a systainer which can be stored on top with the L-BOXX adapter.  I'm sure it costs more than $90 though.

I have an older stainless ShopVac floor wand that I just leave assembled and store in a corner of the shop.
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1073
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2019, 06:59 PM »
Received my Flex vac today. I am very pleased with this purchase. Thanks again @DynaGlide for the heads up.

Here are some un-boxing pics.





It is a big box and well packed with folded and formed cardboard instead of Styrofoam for packing.

The vac end of the hose is a standard fitting. Here it is plugged into my CT22.



Here's the vac inside and out of the box





Undo a latch on each side of the vac and the motor unit lifts off the tub. Inside are the manual, a fleece bag, a plastic bag, the two "ears" for the cord storage and a rubber adapter that fits on the tool end of the hose.



The rubber adapter is pliable and has steps molded in. The first step is too small to fit anything Festool but the next step looks like it should fit a sander vac port. So cut that first step off and it looks like it might work.



Ron

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1073
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2019, 07:12 PM »
Here are a couple links to very useful documents.

Nilfisk manual

http://www.nilfiskvacuum.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/User-manual-ATTIX-33-44-EN.pdf

Nilfisk Parts List

http://www.nilfiskvacuum.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Parts-List-Attix-44-IC.pdf

Nilfisk Service Manual - detailed pictures of internals, disassembly instructions, wiring diagrams

http://www.nilfiskvacuum.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Service-manual_ATTIX-33-44-VHS-40-42_ver2.pdf

Nilfisk blue line catalogue - accessories on page 114, hose systems on page 148

https://documents.nilfisk.com/Nilfisk/Nilfiskblueline/INT/catalogue/2019-blue-line-cataloue/#/

azzido over on the garage journal did the leg work for these


Ron

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 406
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2019, 07:35 PM »
Unboxed mine when I got home and best bargain on a tool purchase ever! Out the door goes my shop vac. This it built well, have plenty of suction, and is super quiet.

Only issue is it made me jump when I turned it on - the auto clean filter mechanism is quite loud and unexpected.
 
Thanks again @DynaGlide

Mike

Offline ProCarpenterRVA

  • Posts: 96
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 08:26 PM »
I'm glad to see you guys are jumping on the deal with Flex. I have 3 vacs and 2 are Nilfisk

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk


Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 1097
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 08:40 PM »
Thanks  @deepcreek  and  @rvieceli  for your detailed posts!

I've been watching these Flex machines since the 33 was first posted for $239 on the Garage Journal.  I was real tempted, but not enough to pull the trigger since I already have several Festool vacs.  That deal went away, but was soon replaced by the 44.  At $180, resistance was futile and I'm waiting for my delivery.  It was scheduled for today, but delayed until tomorrow.  In the meantime, I also picked up the cutaway version of the Giraffe sander from CPO and bought the systainer mount, handle, and some extra bags on Acme tools.  I guess I ended up going in all the way!   [eek]

Mike
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 08:41 AM by mike_aa »

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4323
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2019, 09:00 PM »
Sure wish my Fein vac died a few days earlier so I could catch that wacky low price.

I’m a bit worried about the low 550 watt rating of the tool port (it’s 2400 watts for the 220 volt version) but I know Festool has ridiculously low ratings printed on the outlet doors of the CT vacs and we regularly pull many more amps than “allowed”. The long 16 gauge power cord might not allow the same?

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 571
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2019, 09:42 AM »
Glad some of you were able to get in on this deal. Mine came in yesterday and my reaction was much the same. This thing looks and sounds like a Festool CT. I particularly liked the design of the cord and hose storage, the carrying handles at the base, and the heavy duty locking wheels. Sadly my time with it was short lived as I let it go to @Rob Z . Upon texting him some pictures he hastily made his way over as I think he thought I was serious about changing my mind about selling it to him.  [big grin]

When the UPS guy delivered the VCE 44 vac he surprised me with a VCE 33 as well. My father snuck it in as a Christmas gift that I wasn't expecting when I told him about these vacs a while back. I'm glad I got to play with the VCE 44 that went to Rob for a bit as I'll have to wait until Christmas to unbox mine.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4323
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2019, 09:48 AM »

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 571
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2019, 07:24 AM »
I got my L-Boxx/Systainer adapter in and it fits perfect. Not as easy to use as say a CT hose garage for attaching Systainers but once it's on it isn't going anywhere. Well designed.

Has anyone done leg work on cheapest place to get bags, etc? What does the Milwaukee 8960-20 have in common when it comes to hose diameter and tool end accessories? I see it's 8 gal vs 9gal and 12 gal of the VCE 33 and VCE 44, respectively, assuming a shorter base but identical motor housing.

What about Nilfisk tool ends, which ones to get, if any?

Buried in the comments section on Toolguyd.com I found this comment:

"These guys have all fittings for the vac: https://www.centecsystems.com/home-shop-vacuums/
Good prices; awesome help!

Nilfisk dust bags fit inside. Best price I’ve found is from these guys: https://www.dustdeal.com/
Even tho they are international, they are still affordable; very helpful, too.
Rick"

I'm curious about this set from the centecsystems link:



Assuming it fits on the FLEX hose end then it'd make attachment to my DeWalt miter a breeze. The other piece in the kit looks like it'd fit 27mm tools.

Matt
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 406
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2019, 08:58 AM »
@DynaGlide

Thanks for your update. This weekend I installed the Boxx/Systainer bracket. Agree, very nice integrated design. Both my Boxx/Systainers fit nicely.

For fittings - I just ordered the Flex 27mm and 36mm adapters (461628/461636) for $26+tax at Lowe's. If they fit looks like those centecsystems fittings are about same price with shipping but you get an additional hose adapter.

I found if you install the included three step Flex adapter in combination with a Bosch VAC004 vac adapter I had allows you to use 2-1/4" cleaning tools. I'm able to attach two straight extensions and use crevice tool, floor sweep...etc (tools from my previous Craftsman vac).

Found the Bosch VAC0990AH vac is very similar to the Flex but found the hose end fittings are more expensive than the Flex.

The OEM felt bag is very impressive quality - almost looks like a re-usable bag.

Mike



Edited - FYI looking at various hose diameters I looked at hose flow area differences (I realize the hose end fitting play a big part in flow restriction too):

27mm = baseline = 1.0
32mm (Flex) = 1.4x (1.4 times the area of 27mm hose)
35mm (Bosch) = 1.7x
36mm = 1.8x
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 09:16 AM by Mike Goetzke »

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 571
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2019, 01:44 PM »
Over on Amazon I see the Cen-Tec is offered with more information. Their hose is 1.25" (32mm) same as the FLEX as far as I can tell. The flared adapter I posted above look to fit over, not inside, some of Festool's lineup such as the TS55. I'm unable to link to the images but I found them here:

https://www.amazon.com/Cen-Tec-Systems-94181-Universal-Collection/dp/B07P8WBRM2/

Probably better off getting the FLEX 27mm and 36mm adapters @Mike Goetzke posted.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline festal

  • Posts: 2
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #20 on: Yesterday at 05:03 PM »
Got the 33 model for $250 on black friday.  Working out of 1 car garage so space is at a premium and 44 was too big :)

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 406
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #21 on: Yesterday at 05:20 PM »
These are much nicer vacuums than I expected. My plan was to replace my Craftsman shop vac with the Flex 44. I have a CT33 that is probably 12 years old and although it is dusty I have babied it by using it mostly for sanding, mortising, and sometimes with circular saw & pre-seperator. I was going to use the 44 for rougher duty like I used my shop vac but now I'm thinking the opposite - use my CT33 as my shop vac replacement.

Mike

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 571
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #22 on: Yesterday at 05:23 PM »
These are much nicer vacuums than I expected. My plan was to replace my Craftsman shop vac with the Flex 44. I have a CT33 that is probably 12 years old and although it is dusty I have babied it by using it mostly for sanding, mortising, and sometimes with circular saw & pre-seperator. I was going to use the 44 for rougher duty like I used my shop vac but now I'm thinking the opposite - use my CT33 as my shop vac replacement.

Mike

If the current draw isn't an issue then go for it. My FLEX 33 will be my travel around the house as needed. But I plan on setting up a Ridgid shop vac in the garage for messier stuff. I just can't use such nice HEPA vacs for general clean up
Instagram @matts.garage