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Thread: Are the Bigger Festool Dust Extractors capable of replacing a traditional DC?

  1. #1
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    Are the Bigger Festool Dust Extractors capable of replacing a traditional DC?

    Hi,

    I have a Jet DC1200 that I use in my 2 car garage shop. I simply move a flex hose from machine to machine as needed. However this is awkward and takes up a lot of valuable floor space, and the thing is loud as a jet taking off (aptly named tool). I don't have any exceptional needs - my machines are all what most of you have - a 6" jointer, a Dewalt lunchbox planer, Sawstop 3 HP PCS, Laguna SUV 14" bandsaw, a Bosch glide chop saw, and a Hawk scroll saw. I really only use the DC on the table saw, the planer, and the jointer. I tend to use a shop vac to clean up after any other sawdust messes I make.

    So given this use, and having no idea how powerful the Festool large extractors are, is it possible to replace the DC with a Festool machine? Does the Festool generate enough airflow to use on a tablesaw or planer? Can I either use a 4" hose with the Festool, or adapt down to the size they use? Is that just not going to cut it? I suspect it would be underpowered, but I figured I would ask. Any other considerations? I change the bag on my DC about once a year, so smaller volume containers on the Festool machines doesn't really concern me. Any other issues that I am not thinking of? Can I use a cyclone separator with a Festool Vac?



    Thanks in advance folks. Much appreciated.

    Joe

  2. #2
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    Any of the Shop Vacs/Festool extractors are going to struggle with the large volume chip and dust producers (planer, jointer) even if you put a mini-cyclone in front. The spec for the largest Festool states 137 CFM. Even a table saw typically requires 400 CFM.

  3. #3
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    Not even remotely close. 2 different jobs, 2 different machines.

  4. #4
    They're easily overwhelmed by the volume needed, I tried it for a brief moment on my bandsaw.
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  5. #5
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    As you have figured out by the responses the short answer is no. If you have a lot of 2.5" dust ports on smaller machines that you don't want to enlarge there is something that takes the takes the place of a hand power tool dust extractor and a small machine DC, the Oneida Dust Cobra. It won't work on larger machines due to volume but it has much more volume than a vacuum but with less suction but works great in a woodshop for everything that needs less than 250 cfm (or is simply ported so small it makes a standard DC basically useless). Not cheap but takes the place of a vacuum, is quiet and can easily be plumbed into the whole shop for a whole shop vacuum and is HEPA rated as well.
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  6. #6
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    Dust Collectors and Shop Vacs/"extractors" work on different principles. The former moves large quantities of material using large volumes of air at low negative pressure. (low suction) The latter moves smaller amounts of material with small volumes of air at high negative pressure. (high suction) Unless you use only small tools, you will not be satisfied with the results of substituting the (excellent) Festool vacs/extractors for a properly sized dust collection system. As was already noted...different tools for different purposes.
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  7. #7
    Agree with the responses. I have an Oneida DC for my table saw, jointer/planer, band saw and router table; a Festool CT36 for my various Festool sanders and Kapex mitre saw. The Festool vac (and any similar vac) cannot replace a Dust Collector for the large tools, it is not even close.

  8. #8
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    Make no mistaken, larger Festool vacs doesn't mean more suction. I believe all the Festool vacs have the same suction and CFM minus the CT mini which is a bit less. The only difference between them is the capacity of dust/chips they can hold.

  9. #9
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    Not to hijack the thread, but I have a somewhat related issue, in that I'm wondering if a DC can efficienly replace a shop vac system.

    Specifically, I've been using a shop vac (100 CFM) with a long enough hose to move it around to my table saw, router table and ROS, all of which have 2.5" dust ports, and that's worked well enough. I recently got a Jet drum sander and, knowing that the shop vac wouldn't work well for that, bought a Rikon 1hp DC (650 CFM). The drum sander and the DC both have 4" ports.

    My question is, is it foolish to port the DC down to 2.5" for the tools with those size ports, or should I just keep using the shop vac for them?

  10. #10
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    Nick,

    This is kind of a contentious question, and one that is asked all the time. I have a hybrid saw that has a 2.5" port on the blade shroud. To allow use with my DC (blower+SDD cyclone) I made a manifold that connected the 2.5" port and a 4" port that drew its air from the undertable saw body. Since I use 6" pickup hose, the combination of the ports allows more air to flow than a 4" hose would. At some point I will also hook up an overarm pickup to the manifold as well. In combination with the other two, that will approximate the area of the 6" hose and will allow full air flow the DC is capable of.

    In your case unless you supplement the air flow, I would not use the DC hooked up to just the 2.5" port. The DC will get some of the chips and dust, but the airflow will be severely limited. The shop vac would probably do much better in that application. I also use a shop vac + Dust Deputy for all of my smaller tools.

    I've found that even 4" duct on most dust collectors really doesn't flow as much air as the DC is capable of moving. 6" duct is where most of the DC's we use should be. Will the 4" pipe and pickups work with your Jet sander, yes, just not as well as 6" would.
    Last edited by James Gunning; 01-13-2017 at 10:45 AM.

  11. #11
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    Thanks, James. I've only used the table saw (2.5" port) with the 4" dust collector a couple of times, and really didn't notice a difference in how much dust it left behind, compared to using the shop vac. I'm sure the shop vac, which goes through a Dust Deputy and the HEPA filter inside the vac, results in a healthier situation than the DC, which for the time being just uses a 2.5 micron bag.

    I guess the best thing is to try to match the port size of the collection machine to the port size on the tool, although that's more hunch than any kind of educated opinion.

  12. #12
    My table saw is a lot smaller and less powerful than yours (it's a Ryobi BT3100) but my shop vac with DD works fine for it. It has a 2.5 inch port. I also think it will work for the dust port of the CMS but not for an enclosing hood if you use one of those. I don't think it will work well with the jointer or planner. I used to use a 1hp DC that, at the end, had a cartridge filter. It didn't do very well with my jointer. I never tried it on the lunchbox planner. I just use my shop vac at this point and sweep up after the planner and jointer.

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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Decker View Post
    Not to hijack the thread, but I have a somewhat related issue, in that I'm wondering if a DC can efficienly replace a shop vac system.

    Specifically, I've been using a shop vac (100 CFM) with a long enough hose to move it around to my table saw, router table and ROS, all of which have 2.5" dust ports, and that's worked well enough. I recently got a Jet drum sander and, knowing that the shop vac wouldn't work well for that, bought a Rikon 1hp DC (650 CFM). The drum sander and the DC both have 4" ports.

    My question is, is it foolish to port the DC down to 2.5" for the tools with those size ports, or should I just keep using the shop vac for them?
    Interesting question, sometimes yes and sometimes no!

    The 2.5" port is going to kill most of the flow on a 4" hose so it is not ideal. On the other hand:

    I once had a Craftsmen 13" planer which had a 2.5" port. It came with a big cloth bag to attache and had a blower inside the planer, it essentially did it's own 'dust collection'. The bag of course was not exactly 1 micron so a lot of dust got through and was not at all ideal. Hooking up a 4" hose with an adapter to 2.5" worked absolutely fine though as the machine was forcefully blowing essentially every chip through that port.

    I've currently got a Grizzly 12" drum sander that has the dreaded small port so I use a 4" hose necked down to 2.5". Seems to work fine, the output of the sander is purely fine dust which is light and basically directed off the drum right at the hood, the airflow from my cyclone that gets through the small port seems to effectively pull all the dust into the hose - no problems.

    Something like a table saw on the other hand is a little different. If it is a small portable saw they often have the small port. The sawdust basically falls towards the port and will be collected but there is no extra flow to grab the fine stuff let alone anything above the table. It'll sorta work but if you could modify for a larger port you are going to be much better off.

  15. #15
    To get almost all the dust on a table saw you need to collect over the blade as well as from the blade shroud or cabinet below the blade. I've never done it because I haven't had a big DC and currently use a shop vac. I don't think I can get enough suction on the shop vac to do 2 2.5 inch hoses but I'm trying it on the router table. I haven't used it enough yet to know what I think. If you can get sufficient flow for 2, 2.5 inch lines and your table saw has an effective shroud around the blade directing most of the dust into a port, it might work OK for the table saw. I think they require a bunch of suction if you have to pull out of the cabinet, typically out of the bottom. But if there is a port from the blade area, you'd get most of the dust with a bag over that port and you don't need huge suction in that area.

    Planners and Jointers need a lot of airflow because they generate a lot of debris. Table saws and most sanders do not generate near the debris of a planner.

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