Both the tool (and its price) are extraordinary.

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Review by thiel posted 01-09-2011 07:22 AM 6204 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Both the tool (and its price) are extraordinary. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

With my new shop in the house (as well as a bit of asthma in both me and the offspring) I’ve needed to invest a lot more money and time into dust collection. I installed a JDS 2hp unit and plumbed piping—even with a reducer which provided benchtop extraction—but I quickly found that I find the noise of the large unit “worth it” only when running the big tools.

For the small tools—and particularly the sander—I had been using a combination of a small Dewalt shopvac I’d gotten from Tooliday, and a Ridgid blower vac purchased from the borg a decade ago.

Interestingly enough, my wife finds the noise of the JDS and even planer running for even a half hour entirely tolerable…. but when I sand for a while, she begins to bang on the floor and demand serenity.

So… I bought the Festool extractor. I investigated the Fein, which appears to be quieter (and a bit cheaper), but if I was already spending an arm, I figured I’d through in the leg to get additional features like a hose garage. This is my first Festooltool.

Simply put, the vac delivers. It is very quiet on low, and basically sounds like a good household vac when turned all the way up. The included hose is small diameter, but long, and it natively fits all my PC tools’ dust ports (interestingly, my sander, plate joiner, and circ saw are all PC). The routers (Rigid and Triton) need adaptors. The auto start/stop works perfectly. The cord is extra heavy duty (thicker than most tools) and the unit is both stable and easy rolling.

When sanding, there is no visible sand in the air, and tacking the resulting piece yields a barely registerable “flour dusting” of sand if you give it the white glove test. No swarf is left behind. What’s more, I cleaned out my sander before the operation, and when I visually inspected its innards after sanding for half hour or so, I could find no residue trapped inside.

(And mind you, this is with an old and crappy PC “Quicksand”—without even having perfectly matched holes in the sandpaper.)

I know immediately that I’ll need bigger hoses and fittings if I’m going to use it on the floor. Interestingly, the factory hose fits my excellent “Miele” household vac’s fittings (and the dust bag is the same material, so perhaps they make this thing?) I’ll be shopping around.

I find it entirely believable that this level of dust extraction will keep my sander cooler and will make the sandpaper last longer. If that’s true, I should breakeven around 2083. Still, I’ll live to that age because of the health and happiness that this ridiculous shop vac brings.

-- --Thiel

View thiel's profile


410 posts in 4065 days

8 comments so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3847 days

#1 posted 01-09-2011 04:22 PM

There is no question about it – Festool makes a great dust extractor. I have one and I am incredible impressed with how well it works.

If you have another arm to spend, I will recommend a Festool sander. The best are the Rotex RO 125 and RO 150.
They have a design that runs air in a center hole and out the outer holes of the sand paper. This helps prevent the sand paper from clogging and causes the sandpaper to stay cooler. The sand paper lasts a lot longer this way. They are also dual mode which, IMO, is a great feature. For me, the 125 (5”) is big enough and I don’t see the need to pay the extra for the 150 (6”).

Festool makes some great tools. Some are just very good tools. Others are truly revolutionary. I put the dust extractors, rotex sanders and plunge saw in the revolutionary category.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3733 days

#2 posted 01-09-2011 09:36 PM

i see that they solved every problem i have with my ct22, the previous model. like nowhere to put the cable and hose! wish mine had that

View Daniel Dugan's profile

Daniel Dugan

13 posts in 3938 days

#3 posted 01-10-2011 01:31 AM

Thanks for the review. I love my CT22 – got it when I installed 3/4 inch T&G throughout the house. Worked beautifully with all the sanding.

@GReedo, I purchased the accessory hose storage for the top of the CT22 and have been happy with that.

-- -Daniel. "To be, rather than to seem" (not my words, but I like them)

View Ellen's profile


136 posts in 5218 days

#4 posted 01-11-2011 04:34 AM

Just recently, we purchased the vac and sander from Festool and could not be happier! I wish all tools were built this way! Those Germans!!! We are working on a big table made of Makore and the dust is a killer. We purchased the plunge cut saw, hooked it up to the rails and the vac and smelled NOTHING! And it cut like butter. I could not be happier with the system. I keep saying you can spend money once or 2 to 3 times, so while it costs more, in the original purchase, it costs the same. The entire system is unbelievable. Look for great deals on our Bosche jig saw and Makita random orbital sander on ebay. Probably even more items, as we collect Festool.

I thought it was extravagant to buy the systainer from Festool, but their organizers are the best. I purchased an organizer one from hardware store and every time I pull out the the drawers, they pull all the way out and dump the contents. The systainer has stops, won’t spill, sits on top of the same container as their other tools and locks on. It comes with dividers as well as plenty of labels and label covers. Rock solid!!

Can you tell I am sold?

-- Ellen --

View mmh's profile


3680 posts in 4495 days

#5 posted 01-12-2011 07:19 AM

I’m also a proud owner of a CT26 Dust Extractor and have purchased both size hoses to connect to other machines such as a spindle sander. There is still some noise from the whistling of the air vents in the sander’s body but it’s much more tolerable than the previously used wet/dry vac. More info at

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View thiel's profile


410 posts in 4065 days

#6 posted 01-18-2011 05:58 AM

Well… it’s been a couple weeks and I don’t regret it :-) ... except now I’m hungry for a Festool sander!

-- --Thiel

View thiel's profile


410 posts in 4065 days

#7 posted 01-24-2011 04:17 AM

One more thing. On a whim, I pulled the larger hose off my Rigid vac and installed an ID converter (it’s like an inner diameter union for connecting two standard size shop vac pipes. With that attachment, the hose fits perfectly in the Festool…. so now I can just use all my Rigid attachments.

One other thing… the suction is incredible when it comes to dust and chips… but the festool vac will not pick up a single screw or nail on the floor. Weird. The rigid did it no problem…

-- --Thiel

View StraightCut's profile


7 posts in 3088 days

#8 posted 02-23-2012 06:28 AM

Thiel, can you post a picture of this or put up a link for this ID converter, I’d like to see what it looks like, might be worthwhile for an alternative hose/attachments.

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