Brand new Bosch semi auto vacuum VAC090s

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Review by Jonwilliam posted 04-19-2014 12:55 AM 14033 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Brand new Bosch semi auto vacuum VAC090s Brand new Bosch semi auto vacuum VAC090s Brand new Bosch semi auto vacuum VAC090s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I had some discretionary money to “invest” in a new tool and I settled on a vacuum. It was between the Festool ct 26-36 or the new Bosch line of vacuums. Vac140a/s, Vac140a/s. The “a” is for auto, the “s” is for semi-auto filter cleaning. I had to make a decision quick due to festool’s price increases the first of this month. So since I am also in construction (excavating) I went with the Bosch and so far am very pleased.

I already have a great ridged vacuum from the big orange store-the 16 gallon “6.5 hp” model for about $150. I’ve knocked the crap out of that thing, rain, snow, several(dozen) days left out in the sun, tossed it in the back of my truck, and have had it on the jobsite cleaning manholes. Never let me down. But I wanted something really nice. (almost makes sense right?)

I went with the Bosch over the Festool not because of price but of an edge in specs and the filter cleaning feature. I have a Festool TS 55 and OF 1400 so the fact that I’m $800 into Festool had no bearing on this. I want to give my own perspective on this. Plus since the Bosch vacs are so new (in the US) there is not one single review existing until I post this. I had nothing to go on so here it goes:

CFM 150
Static water lift 97”
Weight 28lbs
Cord Length 15’
Sound rating 70dB(at its highest with the auto clean models and always with the semi auto model)
Tool activated
Variable suction(only on auto cleaning models)
Amperage available to tool plugged into tool activated outlet 5.5a
Ability to stack and lock L-Boxx containters to vacuum in the same manner as the Festools’ do with systainers

Included in the box:
Tool Adapter
Semi-Automatic Filter Cleaning Actuating Nozzle
Main Filter
16’ x 35mm hose
Plastic bag
Anit static bend nozzle

Filter: The filter cleaning feature can be turned on/off. In the off position its obvious what it does: nothing. When on it kicks in due to loss of suction. So if the filter is partially/fully clogged or if you just put your hand over the end of the hose it starts to thump several times until its clean. The filter cleaning noise is much less than I thought it would be. Its quite muffled. There is a Russian video on youtube with the European version of the vacuum (gas35 or gas55) and a guy sucks up a pail full of dry drywall compound and still goes strong. Pretty awesome. The available filters are paper, Long life reusable, and fleece bag. 2 different main filters are available.

Noise: Its pretty quiet. As expected its quieter than my ridged vac or any budget shop vac. You cant even close to hear it over any tool its plugged into. I’ve never been around a Festool vac to compare the noise but at least on paper its quieter.

Suction: Pretty DARN impressive. Almost frightening with a 2-1/2” hose connected. Yes it fits a bigger hose just like Festool does. The included hose works well and fits my festool stuff spot-on.

Construction: Like a tank. I got the 9 gallon version and it has the smaller casters on the front and I can assure you they are well built. If you look at the 9 gallon version it looks like the front casters are under a plastic guard on the front. Its not. Its a reinforced, ribbed-trussed, at least 1/8” thick ABS plastic piece. I have no concern with durability there. I wouldn’t be afraid to drag this thing down a flight of stairs or fling in the back of a truck.

Cord: Very heavy gauge and soft/flexible.

Filter: Automotive style rectangular filter. It filters.

Ease of use: Filter access is great. Don’t have to take the top off. Just lift up the rear and it locks in the up position. Bonus of that design is that you can take it out quickly and see how much stuff is inside the vac. The “Tool activated”-”off”-”on” switch is large and makes nice audible clicks.

It has a flat top with a well placed carrying handle in the center. I was unsure about the hose storage with the bungee straps but jeez it works GREAT. Even with a big ol 2.5” hose. I have a L-Boxx and it locks as expected to the top of the vac.

It has 3 built in storage deals for the nozzle, tubes, and something else im not sure of on the rear of the unit.

I bought the unit from CPO Bosch for $549 with free shipping. I’m very pleased. Its definitely not like the droid looking vacs that they have been making. With the semi auto clean version I have I don’t have to dedicate this beauty to the woodshop(garage) but can use it for drywall and concrete cutting. I know the festool can do all of that—I just wouldn’t be able to bring myself to bring a festool vac on site to clean the cab of a dozer.

This thing is definitely designed for WORK. Suction, great construction, well thought out design. So if anybody is looking for an alternative to a Festool vacuum this one is a top contender. It has great features and is built heavily.

If you guys and gals want to compare the specs vs any other brand just google vac090a, vac090s, vac140a, vac140s to get started. For anybody on the fence-just buy the dang thing…its a hepa vac designed to handle even concrete dust! Sawdust is nothing compared to that.

*I have a bunch of pictures but it only lets me upload 3. If anybody has any question at all please don’t hesitate.


-- -semper fi

View Jonwilliam's profile


43 posts in 3419 days

16 comments so far

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3870 days

#1 posted 04-20-2014 03:37 PM

Looks like a cool unit. I was wondering on the sound. I have the ct33-e and got it with the domino when it came out. It would be nice to report back on how long the filter goes before replacing. Not being familiar with the Bosch line, do they have other accessories like a boom arm or tool storage. I do have some Bosch tools and have all served me well. Enjoy the new toy!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Dutchy's profile


3774 posts in 2972 days

#2 posted 04-21-2014 11:45 AM

Thank you for sharring. The filter as you said is automotive and to me it likes a VW spare part.


View Monju123's profile


2 posts in 4914 days

#3 posted 11-06-2014 01:02 PM

I am heavily invested in Festool and now I need a second vac. Will the Bosch hose fit onto Festool saws and sanders?

View Jonwilliam's profile


43 posts in 3419 days

#4 posted 11-09-2014 04:35 PM

Yes it fits Festool. That was one concern I had before I bought it also. I have a domino, router, and tracksaw and it works well with all of them. The vacuum has a “tool adapter” end that is a soft rubber and holds dang tight.

-- -semper fi

View Jonwilliam's profile


43 posts in 3419 days

#5 posted 11-09-2014 04:44 PM

To the question about the longevity of the filter, I’m still on my first one and it works just fine. Seems very well built. I use the auto-clean all the time and it works exactly as promised. The thumping isn’t loud at all. I’ve vac’d wood dust, metal shavings, spilled ‘this and that’ on the kitchen floor, paint chips, drywall dust, concrete dust and chips, and 3 days ago I used it to suck up the gravel and dirt that got into a catch basin on a street we are building.

I bought a pack of the fleece filter bags but still cant bring myself to use one. Seems kinda pointless with a self cleaning vac. I’ll probably put one in when we slow down in the winter and I can get back into woodworking mode.

Nice thing about the vac is that its meant for jobsite use , it feels like it’ll take a drop out the back of a pickup just fine.

Yes the vac has some storage on it, and you can click and lock on boschs’ LBoxx’s.

-- -semper fi

View Monju123's profile


2 posts in 4914 days

#6 posted 11-10-2014 01:12 PM

Google Bosch Gas35. That is the European model number, and the Bosch Utube video is much more informative than anything that I have found Stateside.

View 9x9's profile


104 posts in 2043 days

#7 posted 01-04-2015 05:49 AM

Was looking to upgrade from my 32 year old Craftsman 16 gal shop vac and your review was the clincher.

Xmas present from wife——- Bosch VAC090A dust extractor ($529 w/free ship) —— Great vac for my small shop. Only used it 3Xs so far. It’s replacing my 32 year old Craftsman 16 gal shop vac which nothing was wrong with it. It was time for an upgrade. Many many many many good features on the Bosch——-> low noise level (somehting like 70 db I think), tool plug in, storage for hose and attachments are few that I like most so far. Nit pick’n cons——> well there must be something wrong with it —- the 10 ft hose is to long for a vac that can be rolled around my small shop. Looks like 1/3 to 1/2 of hose will be left wrapped around the vac most of the time. And where the hose conects to the canister it would be nice to have a 90 so hose would wrap closer in. Like I say nit pick’n. AS comparing it to my 32 year old Craftsman 16 gal shop vac ———- well let’s not do that but the Craftsman served its purpose.

I’m new here—- glad to be a member. Thanks for all the post and reviews and woodworking info.

-- Youngsville, LA

View nn4l's profile


3 posts in 1929 days

#8 posted 04-26-2015 10:40 PM

Some concerns I have with the Bosch vac:
  • The VAC090S doesn’t have adjustable suction, but the A version does. The A version auto cleaning can’t be used with fleece bags, which seem to allow better suction, but the S version can turn off the cleaning for fleece bags.. Which is more important?
  • The VAC090A/S do NOT come with HEPA filter. It’s about $120 extra!. I won’t buy it unless it has a HEPA filter.
  • They don’t come with an anti-static hose. It’s about $120 extra!. Does it have anti-static connection to ground at the hose connector if you use a anti-static hose? How important is this? Add $120 + $120 and it is MORE expensive than the Festool one (which comes with both)!
  • I would add a Oneida dust deputy deluxe so most stuff never gets to the VAC090A/S. In this case does it matter if you use the supplied (poorly reviewed) filter vs. buying the (better reviewed) fleece ones?
  • Oneida makes a dust deputy version to custom fit on top of the Festool CT vacs, but not the Bosch (or any other) ones. Seems like this would be nice to have it all stacked as one. How important is this?
View nn4l's profile


3 posts in 1929 days

#9 posted 04-27-2015 09:33 PM

I’ve just talked to a Bosch tech guy about the unit.
  • Both A and S units can use their ‘cleaning’ with a fleece or plastic bag. They can not use it with paper bags. The A unit can disable the cleaning.
  • The supplied plastic bag has no air going through it, but is open at the top and lots of dust/stuff bypasses it and gets in the filter. So I would buy the fleece bags and throw away the plastic one – period!
  • The main purpose of the adjustable suction/power dial on the A unit is NOT to reduce the amount of vacuum if you don’t need it (a slider on the hose handles will reduce vacuum just fine). It IS intended to reduce power consumption of the vacuum if the tool that is plugged in to the vac takes too much current and would cause the circuit breaker to trip. By reducing the power of the vac you give more power to the tool and don’t go over the max power of the circuit you’re on. But do you really want to be forced to have less vacuum on a more powerful tool that needs all the vacuum it can get??? I think the best solution is to provide a circuit with a much larger max amperage to plug the vac into and avoid the problem and get max vacuum with the power hungry tools plugged in. By doing this you don’t need the adjustable suction/power dial at all and thus the cheaper S version is fine.
  • The units do not come with anti-static hoses or Hepa filters or fleece bags because they think the US market is too cheap to buy them (and I assume they’re correct – sigh!). It’s a shame since the European market has a version with both. You have to buy the anti-static hose ($125 or so) and Hepa filter ($120 or so) and fleece bags ($40 or so for 5) and throw away the others if you want them (which then makes the units probably MORE expensive than a Festool!). The units DO allow the static to be discharged through the vacuum inlet to the outlet plug.
  • Oneida has no plans for a dust deputy to sit on top of a Bosch vac (like they do for Festool), so you have to decide if you’re OK with their stand alone dust deputy. But the stand alone one will be a lot less prone to tipping over, as you tug on the hose using a tool or if you pull the vacuum around by it.
  • You can use a 35mm hose on all smaller tools that would expect a 22mm hose, with the same amount of vacuum (and avoid possible clogs where the tool joins the hose). You just have a heavier and less flexible hose behind your tool to deal with. I’m OK with that. Festool should have shipped their tool with their 36mm hose IMHO.
View Jonwilliam's profile


43 posts in 3419 days

#10 posted 04-28-2015 03:14 AM

Ok, ok, ok… look…I’m line the rest of you wanting the best for your dollar and heavily invested in the brands you trust. After having this vac for quite some time now I’d stack it against any festool anytime. Disclaimer: I have a domino, of 100 l, and ts55 festool. For the price without a terrible amount of digging on the Internet you can’t find a self cleaning vac for less with incredible quality? I just checked . The festool self cleaning vac is $825.

As for hoses, I use festool(their biggest size but dang short), fein, ridgid, and stock boschool and they all fit just fine and snug. All of them are various sizes.

As far as antistatic, I have never ever, not once had a problem with any of them including the home Depot rigid. To me it’s marketing. I used to think, “jeez I cant use Anything but antistatic.” Hindsight: i’d use that money for that fancy green hose for a nice chisel.

Furthermore…about bags and filters. I’m using the original filter…no bag at all. Still has scary suction with a larger hose. Keep in mind that a larger hose moves a ton of air compared to a small stock one. I used the bags for a small time and found that for the short amount of time in the off season that I get to woodwork that the stock filter works fantastic….and It cleans itself! I have vacuumed up so many unspeakable things even sucking out water from a toilet so I could change the wax ring. I wouldnt even consider that with a feestool. YES I know it can do it but psychologically I wouldn’t. This vac I’m not afraid to use it for its designed purpose…to suck things up and collect them, and at that it does a superb job.

Woodworking folks: get a self cleaning vac. It’s awesome. Even my wife who is a dollar store yard sale person says she wouldn’t buy a vac again that didn’t clean itselt.

Btw I have a dust deputy…haven’t used it once since I got this powerhouse.

Oh yeah, this is the first time I’ve posted on LJ with my phone so excuse the grammer and spelling.

semper fidelis

-- -semper fi

View Jonwilliam's profile


43 posts in 3419 days

#11 posted 04-28-2015 03:23 AM

I just read that part about the plastic bag. I have used it a few times. It comes with one yes. It’s for vacuuming up stuff(surprise), you take out the bag like a garbage bag, dump it out, put it back in, and carry on. It’s just a slightly more conveniently nvenient way of emptying out the basin vs lifting it up and shaking it over a dumpster. It’s just a reusable liner.

-- -semper fi

View nn4l's profile


3 posts in 1929 days

#12 posted 04-28-2015 12:27 PM

Thanks for the update. It’s good to hear from someone who has the unit and has used it. I’m just getting into woodworking and have to decide what to get based on what I read only, which doesn’t tell the whole story. I don’t know if the anti static hoses are really important or not, so I’d tend to take your word for it since you’ve used them. I can say that the Oneida people told me that their dust deputy hooked up to the Festool worked fine, and then Festool made some change which caused damage to some of them with a dust deputy. So they updated their dust deputy to make sure it had so little resistance in the path that it couldn’t possibly have any effect on the Festool. But that still doesn’t say how using A.S. systems are other than that issue.

I do agree that the self cleaning feature is great – whether automatic or semi-automatic, and would want it myself.

I did notice the Ct 26e on Az for $650 & free shipping (but only with 27mm A.S. hose). If you get it with a tool you can get 10% off that. But you’d want to buy a 36mm x 3.6m anti static hose ($155) to go with it IMHO. So for $740 (plus a tool purchase) you could get all that (with 2 A.S. hoses). The VAC090S without A.S. or Hepa will be a lot less ($440) and one 35mm hose is probably sufficient. But I still would want a Hepa filter (I now found for $105) and fleece bags ($40) which brings it to $585. The small dust that’s hard to see is very damaging to your lungs and I want to be as safe as possible there. So the Vac090s is still cheaper (with 1 non A.S. hose). If you add a 35mm A.S. hose (of arguable use now) ($125) it brings it to $710. That’s more of a wash since it’s slightly cheaper but the ct 26e has a 2nd smaller (27mm) A.S. hose (maybe of preferable use with some small tools???)

I’d still want to use a dust deputy, and find it preferable that you can just attach one on top of the Festool. If I got the Vac090S I’d probably get the same (Ultimate) dust deputy (II) and make an adaptor block of wood to fit it on top of the vac.

Regarding the suction power, I’d like to see a test of them in equal situations – both with fleece bags and Hepa filters without any hose attached. I’m not sure which would be stronger. The Vac090s claims 9.5 Amp and the Ct 26E claims 10 Amp so I’d be slightly surprised if the Vac090s won. If you use a bypass plastic bag and non-Hepa filter on the Vac090s you should get more suction, but only because you’re letting more stuff pass through which isn’t what you want. And using a smaller hose on the Ct 26e would give less suction, but that’s why I’d get the 36mm hose and use it instead (and I’d expect 36mm to give slightly better suction than 35mm if you ignore hose length).

View JohnInBrooklyn's profile


8 posts in 1290 days

#13 posted 03-31-2017 06:05 PM

Well, here I am two years later and I just purchased a VAC090A. I am happy with the performance, etc., but disappointed to read in the documentation that you cannot use the HEPA filter with the self-cleaning feature!
They claim the reverse air flow will damage the HEPA filter.

So my questions would be:
- what are the specifications on the stock filter? [?% of particles ?? microns in size].
Does anyone know?

- and….would it really damage the HEPA filter as they claim or are they being overly cautious?

- Would I use a fleece bag for this? [using the stock plastic one now]


View Jamo241's profile


1 post in 1184 days

#14 posted 05-11-2017 01:13 AM

A simple solution to the lack of a “lock top” festool style Oneida dust deputy attachment. ;). The lboxx 4 holds a 5 gallon bucket.

View JohnInBrooklyn's profile


8 posts in 1290 days

#15 posted 05-11-2017 07:01 PM

Great idea!
Then I wouldn’t have to use the auto-filter clean and whether it damages the HEPA filter.

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