Summit shop vac, quiet like Fein but less expensive

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Review by Mark Colan posted 11-07-2010 04:51 PM 20358 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Summit shop vac, quiet like Fein but less expensive Summit shop vac, quiet like Fein but less expensive No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

A month ago, Peachtree Woodworking offered a Summit Wet / Dry Shop Vac on special for $180, though its regular price is $399. I have made do with my Shop Vac brand QSP vacuum for some years, but a few features here made me decide to try the Summit.

  • Its low noise: 65 db. This video gives you an idea of how much more quiet it is. Now that I have received it and compared it to my Shop Vac QSP (where Q means quiet!) I can say the Summit is much quieter, such that I feel safe in using it without ear protection. Note: Fein rates theirs at 60 db.
  • Designed for use with power tools: plug the tool into an outlet on the front panel of the vacuum, flip a switch to tool mode, and attach the hose to the power tool. Now when you turn on the power tool, the vacuum comes on. It says on for at least 6 seconds after the tools is turned off, to clear the hose. This works exceptionally well with my Porter Cable biscuit joiner, but not as well with my Triton router, which hurls the debris downward.
  • 5 micron dust filter really does keep the air clean during use.
  • Two speeds (controlled by a panel switch) allow it to run slower and quieter vs faster and more powerful. I suspect when they say 65 db, they probably rated the slower speed.

It seems well built, and I expect it will last a long time. It comes with a brush roller nozzle, a wide squeegee nozzle (which is useless, see problems below), and a long crevice nozzle. I also found a very handy rubber adapter that reduces the hose size to about 1-3/8”. The power cable is beefy, like it should be to support both the vac and a power tool.

I bought an extra filter cartridge and inner bag filter, because I have found it works well to have a spare, so you can wash one and not have to wait for it to dry.

There are also some problems which make this a 3 star review.

  • At the current price of $399, you can get a Fein shop vac for that much money. However, I paid less than half that. If it were available at the price I got it, I might give it 4 stars.
  • One brief page of instructions, which I find inadequate. Of course, I can still figure out how to use it.
  • The hose and accessories are non-standard; they will not fit either Shop Vac 2 1/2 or 1 1/4 sizes.
  • The brand is Summit, and the model is SWDV506, but the only thing google can find for Summit Shop Vac is the Peachtree site, and SWDV506 is not found at all. Peachtree offers only the vacuum and replacement filters, no other accessories. The vacuum is called “wet / dry”, but the instructions say you must use a special filter for wet, and this is not available at Peachtree, and google does not find anyone else selling accessories.
  • No upholstery brush.
With some time at Home Depot on a Saturday morning, I found the right material for make-shift adapters: a 2-foot section of plastic hose from the plumbing department, 1-3/8” OD x 1” ID. I cut off three pieces about 4-5” long to use as adapters. These hose sections fit
  • snugly inside the rubber adapter that came with the vacuum cleaner
  • snugly over both my Porter Cable sander’s dust tube and my Porter Cable biscuit joiner
  • snugly INSIDE an upholstery brush from an old vacuum we used to have
  • with a few layers of duct tape on the outside to increase the size to about 1.5”, it can be clamped into my Triton router, although it is not effective at grabbing the wood shavings, which the router throws downward

It is mysterious that I cannot find any other mentions of Summit brand shop vacs via google. I suspect it is a reverse-engineered Fein made in China as an inexpensive alternative, although at this time it is not less expensive. Who knows? Maybe the Fein attachments fit it.

At current prices, you are better off getting a Fein. OTOH you might keep your eye on Peachtree to see if they repeat the special.

I think I will keep mine since I got a good price and found a way to get around my problems. I will probably have to keep my Shop Vac for other purposes and its vast array of attachments for cleaning the car and other household uses.

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

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Mark Colan

211 posts in 3614 days

7 comments so far

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728 posts in 3611 days

#1 posted 11-08-2010 03:16 AM

Excellent review.

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Mark Colan

211 posts in 3614 days

#2 posted 11-08-2010 09:07 PM

I wrote to Peachtree with my concerns about availability of accessories. Their reply:

“We do have the extra filter for wet dry use but it is not up online at this time. We also do sell rubber fitting for the vac that will allow you to fit it to other tools. Our item # 521 and # 522 will do the job.

“We also have a mini power tool hose for it our item number 523 that has two different fittings that will allow you to hook up other items.

“We have sold over 250 units with no issue and we sell all types of fittings that will allow you to hook up just about any tool to your system. The problem is that even though Shop Vac has one size all the different tool manufactures have all types of odd sizes. If there is any thing else you need just let us know.”

This is helpful. I will certainly order a few of the rubber adapters on my next order.

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

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18 posts in 3536 days

#3 posted 11-09-2010 07:53 PM

Are the filters standard sizes? Might be good with a HEPA upgrade

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335 posts in 3642 days

#4 posted 01-15-2013 07:17 AM

Fantastic review Mark. Thanks for posting it. It helped me make my decision.

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

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418 posts in 2496 days

#5 posted 10-30-2013 09:03 PM

Mark, or anybody
I’m looking for a good, powerful, vac to take on jobs for clean up.
After having yours for this long would you recommend it?

Anybody else have a recomendation for something small but powerful that you would recommend?
I don’t mind paying more money for one if it’s going to be good and last. Not sure that I want to pay festool prices though.

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Mark Colan

211 posts in 3614 days

#6 posted 11-01-2013 08:53 AM

I have two vacuum cleaners in the shop (plus a dust collector). The first one I bought was a 6HP Shop Vac. Noisy, but reasonably powerful.

Since I got this quieter one (reviewed above), it is the that gets primary use in my shop. Yes, still happy with it. It is not as powerful at the 6HP Shop Vac, but it does the job in my shop. It appears that you can have quiet, or you can have super-powerful, but not both.

I would recommend not this Summit vacuum as DC. It has non-standard fitting sizes, and I think you need a powerful 2.5” vacuum (such as ShopVac) to do DC.

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

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418 posts in 2496 days

#7 posted 11-01-2013 01:03 PM

Thanks Mark,
I’m just looking for a good little vac to take on the job to do general clean up. Since I would be in a customers home in would be nice to be quite. I’ve had a couple but they just have no power and barely suck, (or maybe I could say they totally suck).

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