This video will save you a lot of money. Dust extractors for beginners.

This video will save you a lot of money. Dust extractors for beginners.

Is the Festool CT Midi Dust Extractor any better than a standard shop vac? Let’s find out.

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50 Comments

  1. firpofutbol on December 31, 2022 at 1:42 am

    Everything Festool is OVERPRICED! (edit: except for maybe the corded track saw)



  2. Anonymous98 on December 31, 2022 at 1:43 am

    Try using the 12 year old Shop-Vac or the Cyclone to vacuum out the expensive Festool bag before getting ever thinking about getting rid of it. Those bags are probably made in Germany to ultra high-quality standards, and thus are likely reusable for years, so long as the contents of the bag are sucked out and properly disposed of periodically. Great testing technique – Great video!

    P.S. Harbor Freight makes a platform on 4 casters that will hold the Cyclone, but it costs about $10 – less with a coupon. But you wouldn’t have to spend time and money to build anything to make the Cyclone more convenient to use.

    P.P.S. Great comment on the perception of workers who use Festool and other really great brands of tools. There’s a really good finish carpenter in the U.K. who only uses Festool and other great brands of tools. From his choice of tools, and the organized and clean appearance of his shop, he has instant credibility, and in his videos he demonstrates that he really knows how to use these tools. His YouTube Channel is Bradshaw Joinery.😊



  3. STONE DECK INNOVATIONS on December 31, 2022 at 1:43 am

    Nice work.



  4. Esoteric Technology & Humanism - Helder Pinheiro on December 31, 2022 at 1:45 am

    I think I have a theory explaining Your measurements:
    the old machine is simply a more effective filter because of a layer of old dust particles over the filter membrane working as an extra filter layer entrapping additional dust more effectively – it costs less airflow because of higher flow resistance and consequently loosing working vacum flow and energy.



  5. Nick Poole on December 31, 2022 at 1:46 am

    So I love all my woodworking friends here and on IG. I think there are some tools that we, counting myself, fall into per pressure of buying. I also love all of my festool products the quality of each of them is unmatched. However, there is never one single brand that is the best at everything. I know I am in the severe minority in this, but the Festool shopvac is by and large a frivolous purchase, unless you are an installer that is working in customers homes. If you exclusively work in the shop, you should have piped dust collection and an air filter. If you aren’t there yet and you are using a shopvac, then it really doesn’t make sense to spend that kind of money on festool. Buy something that will allow you to do something new or more efficiently. Again, I know that everyone disagrees with me on this, but I work full time as a custom carpenter and I can’t justify that cost for my business. I try to avoid buying things because they are popular. Most of the time it doesn’t work, but in this case I can’t justify the value. This really is a good comparison to evaluate whether or not this is a tool you would want to invest in!



  6. Eventdash01 on December 31, 2022 at 1:46 am

    Clean the old filter and you will see dirtier air



  7. Zino66 on December 31, 2022 at 1:47 am

    I hooked another 20 ft hose to the exhaust port of my 18 years old Ridgid and let it vent outside my shop through a hole in the wall. 20 ft hose cost $29 from home depot



  8. Lighthouse Reflections Photography on December 31, 2022 at 1:48 am

    If I may add a comment here. Your tests were all done in a “controlled environment in that all 3 unit were in the same environment. My guess is that in a lab controlled environment you would probably see the same differences between them. Great video



  9. jesse holden on December 31, 2022 at 1:49 am

    I bought cheap wifi switches for all of my tool plugs. I use Alexa to turn the tools and the vacuum on. Very inexpensive to add a lot convenience.



  10. daddybear on December 31, 2022 at 1:52 am

    Great comparison. You provided so many details we often overlook when making a purchase.
    By the way, call me cheap, but I even find that orange cyclone expensive. 60 bucks for a plastic cap which is more than 50% of the cost of the shop vac itself



  11. ZZBUDZZ on December 31, 2022 at 1:53 am

    A 600 dollar shop vacuum …lol



  12. csenio10 on December 31, 2022 at 1:53 am

    If you are a very active hobbyist or professional, Festool will be favorable and win every time. I’m a serious hobbyist and I had a little buyers remorse after buying mine but after a week with it, I’ll never buy another shop vac ever again. I really like the sleeve on the Festool hose. It keeps the hose from catching on sharp edges possibly ruining your hard work. Another thing I like is the speed control. Very helpful and almost essential for finish sanding. The performance of a shop vac seems to degrade over time. Rather fast in my opinion. My Festool never looses performance even when the bag is full. And the bag will become a brick if you’re not keeping an eye on how full it is. There’s also no static discharge from a Festool hose. Festool bags are expensive but I just bought a reusable one that I empty outside with a respirator on. The list goes on why the Festool is better but you’d have to be pretty serious to n hobby or trade to justify the cost unless you have the money to spend. Before owning any Festool, I used to think they were way overpriced and the cost would be justified by performance. After purchasing my first sander, I was completely wrong! Imo the cost of their tools is completely worth it though I’d prefer not to spend so much 😂



  13. Navigator777777 on December 31, 2022 at 1:54 am

    Sounds like a clogged filter is the key to health?



  14. Straixin on December 31, 2022 at 1:54 am

    My least favorite thing about this video is the fact that I LITERALLY have never been shocked by my non anti static hose. I watched this video, got back to my shop to work and I’ve been shocked like 3 times in the last 29 minutes. What have you done to me…



  15. Sarit Sotangkur on December 31, 2022 at 1:56 am

    You can’t use different hoses to compare suction velocity. A smaller opening will naturally cause a higher velocity. It’s the same principle as putting your thumb over the end of a garden hose. To make a fair comparison, you have to take a pipe that’s roughly the same size as your anemometer and adapt a fitting for each hose to it, then take the measurement from the other end.



  16. Esteban Barbalarga on December 31, 2022 at 1:56 am

    Thanks



  17. Buggy Duggy on December 31, 2022 at 1:57 am

    We bought 2 festool vacs, they both burned up in less than a year. We do not use festool vacs anymore.



  18. Eric Breece on December 31, 2022 at 2:02 am

    I don’t know if someone already stated this in the 1000+ comments below, but what would help is measuring at the source (i.e., what’s being cut) vs. what’s not being captured by the filters.
    To put a finer point on it, you need to know the volume of particulates being produced (i.e., with no suction as a baseline), how much is lingering at the source (i.e., how much the suction isn’t capturing when on at the source), and then how much is coming out the other end (i.e., what you already tested). This may explain why the Ridgid is performing so well in your test; it’s not grabbing the same volume of dust as the Festool is at the source. Of course, they may do the same.



  19. Augustine Kar on December 31, 2022 at 2:03 am

    Festool Cyclone is $579 in Canada owch



  20. Chris Hornberger on December 31, 2022 at 2:03 am

    You actually have to throw out the tests on the 12 year old. 1) filter is clogged up and air flow is reduced, so assuming percentages are similar enough, the absolute number of particles will be lower. 2) the more clogged the filter, the more stuff won’t get through it. Think a few thousand tightly packed ping pong balls filling your hallway and try to walk down it, vs just loosely tossing a couple dozen ping pong balls in the same space.



  21. Brian B on December 31, 2022 at 2:03 am

    Great video , thanks for the time and info , I have the Bosch 14 gallon dust extractor Hepa ready with the hepa filter , its amazing , like you mentioned , just the noise level itself makes a difference , that plus the quality of the Bosch compared to the typical shop vac . thanks again



  22. richardsvacuumcenter on December 31, 2022 at 2:03 am

    Great content! Another idea is an old central vacuum canister unit. I come across old used ones all the time…so many that I often throw many away.

    The suction power is significantly higher since it’s using a tangential discharge motor rather than a flow through (like a a typical shop vac) and you can mount them on the wall. Many can be adapted to use a hepa bag as well. You can also port the exhaust outside which means zero emissions indoors!



  23. Fresh of Breath Air on December 31, 2022 at 2:04 am

    How do these compare with a typical used Delta or Craftex dust extractor for $150?



  24. Tony Ioannoni on December 31, 2022 at 2:05 am

    Great Video, and it confirms of what I always thought, AND NO NO NO, I will never buy any Festool tool, and here is why, I have a lot of general contractors in my family, they tested all the tools out there, they tried everything, and all of them now run Makita, AND NO, I will not buy any dust extraction "system" because you can do much better for almost no price, I have a food grade 55 gallon drum ($10), on top I put a Oneida Molded DIY Dust Deputy Cyclone that I paid $30, on a shelve on top I installed a old vintage Electrolux vacuum ($0), that thing sucks more than any new Shopvac without the noise, I have a remote wireless switch ($10) to start it from anywhere in my shop, and I have a combination of 2 1/2 inches PVC hoses for 70 feet (for large tools) plus multiples 1 1/2 vacuum hoses to vacuum the floor or to connect to small tools, I fabricated adapters from ABS that any hose can connect to any hose plus any tools, and I have no dust in my shop if I use my system, and if I do something and make a little dust I activate my 24 inch fan with a HVAC 24 inches by 1 inch square filter fitted on it, and it clears the dust really fast…in one year I filled the 55 gallon drum, almost no dust in my vacuum dust filter…. My philosophy in general, tools and stuff around, have to have a decent price, take a beating and still run optimal!



  25. Brad9plus on December 31, 2022 at 2:05 am

    Also most professional use the same tools home owner use, dewalt, Milwaukee, Rigid. Home owner aren’t watching contractors work.



  26. Phil Noreen on December 31, 2022 at 2:05 am

    Ridgid vac 29 ???



  27. Chad Aldridge on December 31, 2022 at 2:05 am

    What order did you use the shop vacs in? If you used the old shop vac 1st every time then it is starting with cleaner air while the other two are getting poor readings due to the amount of dust from the first test.



  28. Brad9plus on December 31, 2022 at 2:07 am

    Physician here…and former EHS professional who managed the occupational health in a lead refinery that’s way more dangerous than saw dusk. Focus on the source of the particulate…the cuts and minimize the exposure by wearing a face mask.



  29. Jack Newton on December 31, 2022 at 2:08 am

    College 😂



  30. Mdnghtrdr76 on December 31, 2022 at 2:09 am

    I enjoyed the video. One thing to note. The results didn’t completely surprise me. The main reason the newer rigid and the festool had higher readings was mainly because they have stronger suction. Stronger suction will also mean stronger exhaust flow. I think a better test would be to put the meter around head level. In other words roughly where your head would be when you cut normally. The amount of particulates in the air should show in favor of the festool at that point since it did have the better suction.



  31. BrandEver on December 31, 2022 at 2:09 am

    Whatever you go with, I would definitely recommend a cyclone of some kind if only to help extend the life of your filters



  32. Azza 179 on December 31, 2022 at 2:10 am

    It’s all well and good talking about Hepa filtration but surely when you consider the amount of sawdust produced by our woodworking tools and how only a certain amount of this is sucked up by the shop vacs then the rest of it is still flying around our workshops. I still wear a face mask even with shop vac



  33. TJohn7002_YT on December 31, 2022 at 2:12 am

    The more filter is getting clogged – then better is filters smaller particles, but the lower the filtering performance (m^3/min) is
    So this is why your old shopvac wins the PM counts competition



  34. Ken O on December 31, 2022 at 2:13 am

    Weird, I was already subscribed to this channel but I just looked and it showed I was unsubscribed.



  35. richardsvacuumcenter on December 31, 2022 at 2:13 am

    Also I would push back on that very last comment that “no one gets into wood working to save money.” I would disagree. I bought most of my tools on Craigslist and the money I saved building custom dressers for my children, bedside tables, walnut coffee table and many other things has without a doubt exceeded what I would have spent by purchasing these items from west elm (where my wife gets a lot of her inspiration). At $2k per dresser and $800 for the bedside tables. I figure I’ve built at least 10k worth of furniture items that will last us forever and be given to our children’s children. 😊 I estimate my shop tools at around 3k in total.



  36. Andrew Brown on December 31, 2022 at 2:14 am

    This is a great informational video~! I’ve been woodworking for 35+ years and I just took the dive into my first Festool purchase last month. My ETS 125 sander and CT 36 midi dust extractor order should come in next week. I guess I’ll find out first-hand what the hype is all about. 🙂



  37. Anonymous98 on December 31, 2022 at 2:16 am

    Try using the 12 year old Shop-Vac or the Cyclone to vacuum out the expensive Festool bag before getting ever thinking about getting rid of it. Those bags are probably made in Germany to ultra high-quality standards, and thus are likely reusable for years, so long as the contents of the bag are sucked out and properly disposed of periodically. Great testing technique – Great video!

    P.S. Harbor Freight makes a platform on 4 casters that will hold the Cyclone, but it costs about $10 – less with a coupon. But you wouldn’t have to spend time and money to build anything to make the Cyclone more convenient to use.



  38. Nate Sewell on December 31, 2022 at 2:17 am

    Clogged filters actually improve how well exhaust is filtered because it’s limits what can get out, but kills suction, it probably removed a LOT less at the source as a result… which is where you’re standing and breathing. A better reading at the exhaust is probably important but less important than the reading at the source.



  39. Alpha Force on December 31, 2022 at 2:18 am

    As others have already said it is likely the old "clogged" filter…and the festool thing is overpriced for what you’re getting. For around the same price you could have gotten a Powermatic PM1300TX, which is going to clean better than the festool or the shop vacs and it is relatively quiet. Plus, it has a metal impeller that won’t be damaged by big chunks of wood going through it. There are dust collectors from JET that are similar to the PM1300 which can be had for under $500. With these, the only drawback is that you’ll need a dedicated circuit for them OR you can do what I did and run 10 gauge romex with a 30A breaker and have them all on the same line. With 30A at 120V you can safely draw up to 3.6 kW of power on the circuit. It doesn’t cost much to do this, and you will not trip a breaker when starting up a tool or dust collector.



  40. Michael M on December 31, 2022 at 2:22 am

    College



  41. BrandEver on December 31, 2022 at 2:23 am

    If you want to go cheap and cleanish, get a cyclone (I really like the dust deputy) and cheap shop vac with filter and bag, for pretty darn clean and still cheap add an n95 mask.



  42. Everyday Adventures on December 31, 2022 at 2:23 am

    the best way is to ent the shop vac out side, that way you don’t need to worry about filters and you don’t need to worry about the quality of air the vac put back for breathing air.



  43. Blacktail Studio on December 31, 2022 at 2:24 am

    Really interesting video man! Nice to see the honest feedback on festool and some side by side comparisons.



  44. MarcosElMalo2 on December 31, 2022 at 2:26 am

    The main reason your test isn’t “scientific” is that your sample size is too low in two ways. The first is that you’re testing one of each filter system. A professional lab conducting a scientifically rigorous study would test multiple machines for each of the three systems. How many? Ten, fifty, one hundred? More? I don’t know, but there’s a way to calculate how many machines per system to arrive at a statistically significant number.

    The second issue is that you’re probably not conducting a significant number of tests for each machine (again, I don’t know how many tests per machine you’d need to conduct, but there is a formula for finding this out. A statistician could probably tell you.

    The reason you’d need to conduct all these tests with multiple example machines is it corrects for all sorts of variables that might be affecting your results.

    So we’re talking a buttload of time, effort, and money—which is why these sorts of tests are conducted by professional labs, paid for by the government or industry groups or individual manufacturers. For a test of these machines, they’d have a team of people working all day for however many days.

    It’s just not realistic for you or me to attempt scientifically and statistically rigorous testing.

    That said, I think your test is valid FOR YOU, because you were testing the machines you are using or going to use. I also think you made a good decision, and the reason is not the convenience factors you mentioned. (And I want to note that your anecdotal evidence IS evidence. It’s just limited evidence.)

    Because the Festool air filtration system is purpose built, it’s a safe assumption that they rigorously test their machines. They probably periodically test production runs. It’s probably a safe assumption that their safety standards are high because European Union (their main market). These assumptions are NOT scientific, but instead rely on faith in expertise. (And there are many folks that just don’t trust expertise and operate on gut instinct or react to DIY videos or marketing or whatever.)

    Anyway, I have been using my shopvac for years (without accessories) and I’m heartened by the idea that a dirty filter has been protecting me (even if there isn’t scientific proof for the idea). And even though my health is worth more than the cost of the Festool, it’s just not within my current means. But I think I have an economical solution, and the name of that solution is KN95.

    The last two years of pandemic have trained me to use KN95 (or N95) masks. I’m more comfortable wearing them than I was pre-pandemic. Sometimes I come home and forget to take it off right away. Wearing a mask no longer seems like a hassle. I already have a decent amount of masks squirreled away. (Also, my shop is well ventilated, so I don’t think (I hope) that these micro particles are not lingering.)

    Realistically, how much time do I spend generating and/or exposing myself to saw dust? I’m in my shop at the very most 24 hours a week when I’m deep into an ambitious project. Sometimes I’m in there 4 to 8 hours. Sometimes I’m not in there at all.

    Last weekend I had a health issue with excessive dust that took me out for half a day of recovery. So after that I’ve been wearing a mask and I’ve experienced no issues. That’s my anecdotal evidence that the mask is doing something. I just don’t know how much. But if it’s good enough for viral particles, hopefully it will be good for dust particles.

    I hope that anti-maskers read this comment and become mentally unglued. 😂



  45. Wascally Wabbit on December 31, 2022 at 2:27 am

    College! You can question your ability to properly apply a test, or your testing environment, or whatever. But if your ability level is a constant variable across all tests, the comparison may not be quantitatively accurate, but would still be qualitatively valid. You might not be able to definitively prove how each performs, but can show that they are are within a certain ball-park. Certainly, if you have the money, or are respiratory compromised, go for Gucci. But a budget system still offers some protection and worth considering. My only question would be one of scale. If you have a commercial cabinetry shop, could you hillbilly a system able to keep pace in that environment? This was a great vid!!



  46. Ferl Dean Bomia on December 31, 2022 at 2:28 am

    What do you see in the air (hanging) compared to the newest filter.



  47. Avvura on December 31, 2022 at 2:35 am

    Add me to the list of someone who has the HEPA filter for (Dewalt) Vac but i got regular bags.
    ope.



  48. Arnoldo Lorenzo on December 31, 2022 at 2:35 am

    $1,523? Wow. Thank you for your sacrifice to make this video. I salute you. 🫡



  49. Kim Scheibel on December 31, 2022 at 2:38 am

    You are *not* paying into the college funds for the kids of the Festool execs. They probably wouldn’t even know what a college fund is, because Germany of course provides free access to public universities.



  50. Rav3n on December 31, 2022 at 2:40 am

    An FYI for those who don’t have an anti-static hose: Plastic hoses gather electrons, creating a static charge, especially in cool, dry air. The reason it shocks people is because those electrons don’t have a path to ground, except through a tool or your body. It is easy to solve this problem for any hose. Just put a metal hose clamp or metal band around the hose, near where it attaches to the vacuum. Attach a wire to the clamp or band and tie it to ground. If a vacuum machine doesn’t have a three pronged, grounded cord, then replace it with one. They are readily found in local hardware stores or online. It may also be a good way of increasing the vacuum machines cord length, as many tend to be extremely short.

    If the hose needs to be easily/quickly disconnected from the vacuum, an open spring band (C-shaped) can be used, that snaps onto the hose. A spring band can easily be made using a piece of pallet banding or similar springy metal. Just be sure to sand off any non-conductive coatings. An actual spring can also be used. Solder or clamp a ground wire to one end of the spring. Wrap the spring around the hose and allow its end hook to hook back onto the end of the spring where the wire is attached. Of course, you could also use an alligator clip to attach to a spring, clamp or band. Lots of ways to solve for static electricity on hoses. No matter how someone does it, it is all about one thing, to give the electrons a path to ground and any conductive material will do that.

    It is possible that grounding the housing of the vacuum machine will work, as the electrons will flow from the hose, into the housing, if it is a plastic-to-plastic connection. However, some hoses use a rubber adapter, so this will prevent the electrons from moving to the vacuum housing, as rubber is an insulator. In that case, ground the hose itself.

    If you notice on the Festool, the end of the hose has a metal sleeve. That sleeve connects to a ground point inside the machine. Some may note that this is exactly how a person grounds themselves when working at an anti-static electronics bench. A conductive band is put on the wrist, with a wire that plugs into a ground point. The same idea will work on a hose.