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Dust Deputy + Fein Turbo I and Festool Mini

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Review by OnhillWW posted 08-28-2021 04:39 PM 991 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Dust Deputy + Fein Turbo I and Festool Mini Dust Deputy + Fein Turbo I and Festool Mini Dust Deputy + Fein Turbo I and Festool Mini Click the pictures to enlarge them

My intention for this review is to share my opinions contrasting two Dust Deputy (DD) dust collecting setups that I’ve built. The first is a Festool CT MINI + DD and the second is a Fein Turbo I + DD. If you have examined the many other reviews here and elsewhere for the Oneida Dust Deputy you will already know that this little wonder performs above most people’s expectations and that it is one of those devices that has a simple design and great performance. I really would have preferred to add a dedicated dust control system with duct work distributed throughout my shop however I am limited to a 20 amp 120 V service to my remotely located shop. Upgrading the service would require an investment that I am not prepared to make.
My first unit is married to the Festool CT Mini; I use this setup primarily with my Festool RO90 and Bosch 6” ROS as well as to clean around the shop and to detail our cars. I have been completely satisfied with the performance of this combination for all of these tasks. I decided to add dust collection to a pair of miter saws that I have in another part of the shop where I wanted to have a dedicated collector for this use as well as regular shop cleaning. I already had an older Fein vacuum that I have been using in my basement shop for years and have been completely happy with its performance but the shape of the unit does not lend itself to an easy or efficient conversion to accommodate the DD.

That’s the background info. Now I will describe each of the two builds followed by a short pro / con assessment of the components. My goal is always to use the smallest number of components, to move air the shortest distance, maximizing efficiency and do so in the most economical way. My view on selecting a vacuum is that the storage capacity of the vacuum is irrelevant because virtually no material ever makes it to the vac.
When I started my first collector, the Fesstool build, I purchased Oneidas’ 10 Gal. Dust Deputy Deluxe kit. This kit includes the DD, a Metal 10 gal can with a spring clip sealed lid, a 4 wheel caster set for the can and a 2.5” sturdy flexible hose with slip fittings on both ends. After some experimentation I decided that I wanted to minimize the footprint of the collector setup and make the setup easy to navigate through my cramped shop so I ditched the wheel kit for the collection can and mounted the can on top of the Mini. This was easily done by fabricating a plywood platform that I mounted on top of the Mini. I used 1.5” sch 40 pipe and fittings to make a riser from the Minis inlet to the top of the DD. After a couple of wraps of electrical tape was applied the hose provided with the Mini fit over the inlet to the DD.


WARNING Short Rant Ahead: I did wind up playing musical chairs with too many fittings to mate the DD to the PVC because we all know what a wild west it is out there when it comes to dust collection fittings; ID vs OD, tapered vs straight etc. etc. It boggles my mind that there is no standardization for fittings, hose and tool attachments, definitely a pet peeve of mine. You wind up kissing a bunch of toads and spending too much $$$ before you find your Princess. Eventually I wound up where I am and have been happy with the setup for the 3 or so years I have been using it. The DD is so efficient that I am still on the first bag and HEPA filter!! I do blow the HEPA out a couple of times a year and almost never observe any dust being released from it. This past winter while Covid housebound I stripped 2 rooms of their wallpaper resulting in more than a little spackle work. I used both sanders and I was amazed at how little dust wound up in the rooms and in either of the Minis filters. FYI – Mirka Abranet on medium to low speeds worked great for this task. When I started the new build I decided to go with a Fein partly because it was less expensive ($290 for the basic Turbo I w/o attachments vs $590 for a Mini) and as I have said I have been very happy with the performance and durability of my first Fein vacuum. I did give up some options like variable speeds but I’ll address that in my summery. I made a plywood platform for the top of the Fein starting by making a pair of spacers from two pieces of scrap wood planned to a thickness that filled the void between the top of the vacuum and the rim on the periphery of the top. The plastic top of the Turbo I has a number of screws set into deep recesses, a 3/8” dowel fits nicely into these holes so I installed 3 dowels into the wood spacers then attached the plywood to the pair of spacers.

OK , now I have a decent collection of orphaned and unused fittings which I have amassed over the years while trying to get the parts I wanted for any particular tool attachment setup. I found that a 90 degree elbow that I purchased from Oneida (they actually have a nice selection of fittings for sale and at very competitive pricing) fit nicely into the Fein hose inlet port, the same elbow would fit the top input to the DD. I also had the 2.5” hose that came with my original DD 10 gal kit set which I never wound up using ( which you can purchase separately for $17.00). With 3 of these elbows and the hose cut to length (unscrew end slip fitting from hose, measure – measure again and cut hose, reattach end to hose) I had the vac to DD plumbing completed. At the input port on the DD I again used another one of the Oneida elbows, I added a couple of wraps of electrical tape to help secure the fitting to the DD at the inlet as that joint would see some tugging and stress as the hose gets moved around from one machine to another and while cleaning the floor etc. I had a whip of hose (1.275” ID) with ends attached that I have no idea where or when I got it but it does look like one of the hose setups that Oneida offers. This slip fit securely into the elbow at the DD and terminates with a tapered fitting having two different ODs, one at 1.475” and the other 1.15” tapering to 1.18”, the ID here is ~1”.

While trying to build this setup I called Oneida and spoke to a sales rep (always helpful, I recommend using their experience when you run into a system design wall), I complained about the industries lack of standardization and the frustrating process of finding the right fittings. He commiserated with me over this issue and explained that is why they try to give complete specs on their fittings (ID, OD). He also gave me some valuable advice, that you can often solve a connection puzzle with automotive fittings, i.e. coolant hoses. Bingo. I had been trying to solve the riddle of how to get my hose to attach to each of my miter saws. I was attempting to solve this issue by using 2,3,or 4 fittings for each machine and none of the solutions had a 90 degree component which was something I really wanted. The fitting on the end of my hose, as I said, has a section with an OD of 1.475”, close enough to 1.5” that I was confident it could work in a fitting with an ID of 1.5”. My Delta saw had an OD on its dust port of 1.733” (close enough to 1.75” for me) while the Makita’s port OD was 1.456” so 1.5” was the goal. I searched on line and found one silicone rubber elbow with both ends sized to a 1.5” ID (fits the Makita) then found another elbow with one end at 1.5” and the other at 1.75” – Delta problem solved. Both fittings are thick yet compliant silicone and the hose end fitting fits into them very well, I did install a pipe clamp on the end of the Delta fitting to constrict the opening ever so slightly but still maintaining a slip fit.


Here are my Pros and Cons of the two vacuums in the systems. I will say that I like both of them so I will only point out variations that may be important to your particular need. For instance both vacuums are quiet, have auto on options, long cords etc. so no pro or con with regards to these and other shared features:

Festool Mini Pros:
• Variable suction: the unit has a knob where you can adjust the units CFMs
• The hose feels more rugged and has held up very well to abrasion and missteps over the years. The Fein feels perfectly functional, it is flexible but softer if stepped on, time will tell.
• There is a brake, in the form of a retractable foot that helps to keep the vacuum from moving if you want it to stay put – think vacuuming a car on a sloped driveway.

Fein Turbo I Pros:
• Less expensive
• The switch height is not as low to the ground; 9” on the Festool and 15” on the Fein. If you have issues with your back the 6” difference is a big deal. It was one of the main features that weighed in my decision.
• The Fein definitely moves more air. This is obvious while cleaning the floor, or bench top. I use the same cleaning attachments with both units so this is a fair assessment. For sanding I think both are probably equally competent.
• Caster system, this is a personal preference. The Festool Mini has a pair of fixed wheels and a pair of swivel casters while the Fein has 4 swivel casters, which makes the Fein much more maneuverable. If you plan on setting your collector in a location and rarely moving it around no advantage however if you plan to drag it around the shop it does have its advantages.

Dust Deputy Options:
My first DD purchase was the 10 gal. Deluxe kit ($200.00), while the second was the “DIY” bare bones version ($50.00) because I preferred to go with a metal collection can for my second build vs a plastic can and lid. The 10 gal kit option was almost 4x the cost of the DIY, I thought I could locate a metal can elsewhere and didn’t plan to use the hose and caster system so why pay for them. I found a metal can and lid on Amazon ($30.00). The Oneida can is much heavier gauge metal and will stand up to a lot of use. My econocan is much thinner metal so I reinforced the lid with thin plywood before installing the cyclone. Also, because of reviews stating that these cans tend to rust easily I spray painted the outer weld seam as well as the entire inside of the can. Additionally I made a ring from stiff 3/4” hose with a dowel joiner to fashion a doughnut that fit tightly half way down the tapered walls inside of the can to help resist collapsing. I tested the can without the ring and didn’t see or feel the sides of the can trying to collapse but better safe than sorry? In retrospect I think that had I gone with the Oneida plastic bucket with their reinforced lid I might be just as happy with less work on my part.

As that crazy rabbit said, “well that’s all folks”. I hope this helps someone navigate their way through designing a collection system for their shop.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad




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OnhillWW

312 posts in 2449 days



6 comments so far

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LittleBlackDuck

7924 posts in 2037 days


#1 posted 08-29-2021 10:53 AM

Great review onhill’.


.... I really would have preferred to add a dedicated dust control system with duct work distributed throughout my shop however I am limited to a 20 amp 120 V service to my remotely located shop. Upgrading the service would require an investment that I am not prepared to make.
- OnhillWW

I have run 50mm PVC piping to the corners of my workshop, which wasn’t overly expensive, and using a remote controlled power point I can get some suction in each corner of my workshop… I may loose a tad suction, however, it beats dragging the dusty around the workshop… When I need that extra sucker, I then resort to negotiating the obstacles.

For serious dust extraction from heavy machinery I still use an appropriate dust collector with 100mm ducting.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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OnhillWW

312 posts in 2449 days


#2 posted 08-29-2021 11:49 AM

Thanks LittleBlackDuck. Since you seem to have success with that approach I may try to run a section to my bandsaw which is in a location that makes temporary connections a hassle. I will try to report back with my results after I make the change.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

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LittleBlackDuck

7924 posts in 2037 days


#3 posted 08-29-2021 12:35 PM



Thanks LittleBlackDuck. Since you seem to have success with that approach I may try to run a section to my bandsaw which is in a location that makes temporary connections a hassle. I will try to report back with my results after I make the change.

- OnhillWW


I don’t use a “shop-vac” on my bigger machinery (like tablesaw, bandsaw, router, belt sander or jointer/thicknesser) where a lot of sawdust is created… they all feed a dust collector using 100mm PVC (and flexible hose)... Suggest you first try to see how much is picked up from your bandsaw using the normal hose before you go down the ducting path.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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Kelly

3755 posts in 4160 days


#4 posted 08-31-2021 02:05 AM

You do know you could have ran 440 three phase to your shop for the price of those two vacuums, right?

SNORT

MORE seriously, it’s nice to see a comparison of the Fein Tool vac and the Festool vac, and in a compact package. Both vacs have a dedicated following (I bought my first Fein product about fifteen years ago and became sold).

I love the idea of making vacuum-cyclone packages compact and useuable. That is, being able to be pulled out and used for any project with minimal effort.

I just did a post on my version, which places the DD on top, and love the fact the system eats dust and chips like they were going out of style.

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OnhillWW

312 posts in 2449 days


#5 posted 08-31-2021 02:33 AM

Kelly,
I have personally completely rewired 2 houses, I have 2 friends who are master electricians and a brother-in-law who was an electrician for the Long Island Railroad and all agree that due to topography and soil conditions it would be a project and going overhead is not an option. Believe it or not the only thing I feel I am missing being limited to 20A is a larger table saw, a dedicated dust collection system and a heater that could extend my season 4 weeks or so in the spring and fall. You learn to live with what you have, it is hard to miss something you’ve never had.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

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Kelly

3755 posts in 4160 days


#6 posted 08-31-2021 04:59 AM

Welcome to that club – the wiring thing. I pointed out to my wife that we installed 47 lights in the course of my having pulled about a thousand feet of wire in our current home. That involved trashing an existing stove circuit, because I moved the stove ten feet (ain’t no junction allowed there), swapping a lot of 15 amp wires for 20 amp and so on.

Then there is my last remodel for a client – a new panel, without which it would not have been possible to add two kitchen leap frogging above counter circuits (don’t you hate running the toaster and tripping the fridge), the individual fridge and dishwasher circuits, the two light circuits etc, etc.

As to friends and electricians, I have three. They, each, said the same thing, I didn’t need a 200 amp service for a little 1,800 square foot hobby shop.

Being an electrician, master or other, does not equate to being all knowing. Knowing what is needed in a given house or shop requires knowing the people for whom you are performing work. Too, it requires knowing something about the world you’ll be dealing with (e.g., machine work, woodwork).

My very experienced friends neglected the fact I’d have other friends over, and that could mean running both the 3 hp dust collectors in my shop. Of course, they did not count on the draw of two major pieces of equipment, two 15 amp collectors, a couple significant runs of lights, . . . Nor did they know about the platting station in the background, the car being charged and so on.

My experience with “experts” is, they are, but they, also, can be victims of what they are taught. Elsewhere on this site we can find instances when the “expert” went with code, which ONLY called for 15 amp circuits, but which is just a code minimum, and which created a hell for the one who relied on that “expert.”

In other words, only you know what they (the experts) need to know.

Twenty amps may be fine, to enjoy life. It seems probable you are not dealing with even an eight hundred square foot shop. You get to work and play. That works. I was there and many others here are and were too. You’ll find the solutions you need to grow, if you want to.

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