Choosing which model of dust extractor to purchase...


Ian Gagnon
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Hey everybody. Busy with work so haven't posted in a while.

 

I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a Festool CT purchase in the near future and would like to know what people use/like as well as their thoughts on my situation.

 

I currently have a nice dust collection system installed for all my main power tools. (TS, Bandsaw, Planer, Jointer, etc. I also have hoods for my drill press and my lathe.)

 

I have a nice shop vac with a Dust Deputy and an auto-switch that handles my small stationary tools (Oscillating belt/spindle sander, Scroll Saw which I actually use more with sanding strips installed than anything else, and my 24" CNC. And yeah, the CNC is super awesome and fun. Great for sign making or adding cool detail that would otherwise be impossible for me to do by hand or take forever. Built it myself and soooo glad I did.)

 

I have an additional 12' hose that I plug into that vac/cyclone setup for things like my Festool sander, or my handheld router, etc. I would just rather have a CT Extractor next to my bench for those hand tools, especially since I'm moving all my handheld power tools over to Festool over the next few years as they die out (which a few are on their last legs).

 

Here are my factors:

1. I will be adding a cyclone separator inline, so internal capacity of the CT isn't a huge concern.

 

2. My ceiling height in my shop is low (it's a basement). I measured to see if a boom arm attachment would even work in my shop at if it did fit, it would be quite literally scraping the overhead joists, let alone the lighting fixtures, etc.

 

3. I don't have the room or really the desire to use all of the work center attachments for the larger CT vac's. 

 

4. I do work outside my shop at least once a month that would benefit greatly from being able to easily take a CT with me.

 

With all those factors said, I'm leaning towards the MIDI. It's nice and compact for travel. Has the same CFM of suction as the CT26 and larger. At about 4 gallons of capacity I'm not worried about filling it in one day of work (the CT MINI is a little too small of capacity).

 

I keep thinking maybe I should go with the CT26, but there really isn't a reason why that I can think of. I won't be using any of the boom arm/work center attachments. With the cyclone before it in my shop there isn't a capacity issue/changing bags too often. The MIDI is still capable of utilizing both sizes of hose.

 

Is there anything I'm missing?

 

Also, since the MIDI costs less, I can upgrade another hand power tool with the purchase and still be inside my budget of $800. You can't package a CT26 with any tool that I need and be under $800.

 

Thanks everyone! I look forward to your input!

 

Ian

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Can you get the boom arm for the Midi?  With the boom arm on it, I really don't think you're going to want to be hauling it up a flight of stairs to take outside.  I have a boom arm on my CT26 and there's no way I'd try to haul it up and down stairs.  Just my opinion..

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The Midi is nice, and pretty lightweight. You'll have to decide how much you'll be hauling it around. The Midi hose exits through the hose garage, and doesn't have an external cord wrap. Two things to keep in mind.

 

If there's room, I would probably go with the 26 if I had the choice again (got my Midi for 40% off). Reasoning isn't the accessories, but the fact I could buy either the 36 or 48 tub later on for bigger capacity.

 

I've had my Midi for a couple of months now, solely dedicated to the sander, Domino and TS55. I'll have to check how full the bag is.

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It sounds to me like you've given all the reasons that buying the Midi is your best choice. I had one and really liked it until I found that I couldn't attach a boom arm to it. I sold it and upgraded to the larger Festool model. Based on the factors that you listed, the Midi sounds like your best choice here.

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Here's my portable, around $600 (with pro discount) dust collector.  It's on wheels, and will roll through regular doors.  Makes anything from a 16" planer to a 12" siliding miter saw, to a cabinet saw, virtually dust free.  We just place a rectangular opening near anything that is getting sanded. 

 

http://woodworker.com/3hp-dust-collector-mssu-961-339.asp

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