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Which vacuum to use with dust extraction sander


(Andy Crichton) #1

Henry, Festools, Mirka, Feins, Vax, Numatic and a whole host of other brands supply vacuum units that will suffice for power sanding. Think about 5 things when speccing a vacuum - filtration, suckability power, capacity, ergonomics, noise, accessories

Filtration
Having done a fair bit of research, including seeking advice from a H&S expert who also sold and specced vacuums, there are 3 types of vacuum, related to their filtration capabilities.

The H-type Haz Mat safe units are 99.95% rated ie with suficient Hepa filters to contain 99.95% of all dust sucked into the cannister, that would be Festools post march 2012, and Numatic HZQ for example, two I am familiar with.

Then you have type G which to all intents and purposes are builder quality (and general decorating) which are good for 99.5% filtration.

Then standard vacuums with a simple bag and filter.

Having bought a Haz mat vacuum, unless you are wholly heritage sector restoration dealing with lead or asbestos, the 99.95% filtration spec isn’t worth the extra money.

Never use a vacuum without a bag, unless you want to shorten the life of the machine or prematurely clog up your (expensive) Hepa filters. The bag is counted as a filter.

Suckability
Any industrial vac has enough power to deal with dust extraction. In fact, commercial grade like a Henry are sufficient for power sanding. Your Miele home vac is OK too, for power.

Like any machine the more robust the motor the longer it will last.

Although powerful enough, you need to consider filtration and capacity before relying on a household vac for a complete house redec.

Numatic do twin motor units. Festools are quiet and dependable for hour after hour, Numatics are dependable too. If you are doing exterior work and continually vacuuming rubble and brick dust, I would get a beefy £200 Numatic twin motor vacuum for that particular heavy lifting, it is worth it.

Capacity
Henrys are powerful and lightweight, but they have a small capacity bag. With a CEROS and Abranet on extensive filled walls, it can fill in an hour. For odd DIY projects, or your entry into dustless sanding, it is a great vacuum, but constantly emptying does add to the cost if you are a pro. And if like me you are incapable of emptying bags before they get full, you will repeatedly stress the Henry if sanding a lot and often.

So when considering capacity, the industrial size vacs are my advice for serious users.

Ergonomics
Check out Jack Pauhl for 100 ways to improve the usability of a vauum cleaner. Bottom line, the Festools and Mirka models have been designed with the decorator in mind. I am not sure any other brands have. Certainly not the Numatic I have.

Noise
I suppose if you wear ear plugs, it doesnt matter to the user, but some units are noisier than others. Hum is better than roar.

Accessories
The vacuum extractor unit is just a box with a hole for a hose. To make it useful for decorating, you need hoses, head attachments (brushes, wide head, narrow head) ways to fit hoses to tools, extension cords, containers for tools… And you need ot be able to extend your extensions, etc

Festools and Mirka have thought about the accessories, Numatic have a huge range of upgrades that work across their range of vacuums, but you need to make sure your tools will attach to the hoses etc, and sometimes a roll of duct tape is essential.

I dont think there is a best value…

for decorators, for looking and being the part, spend out once on festools or mirka;

to do the job well but less integrated, £150-£200 industrial vacs offer the power and capacity,

£100 will get you up and running, may last several years, or may not.

This link will ring up a few articles on vacuum sanding units, including mods etc


(Martin Guest) #2

Extremely happy with my Mirka: on the up side it is powerful, “industrial”, and built.
On the down side, it is big, noisy and not particularly stylish.

It does the job that it has been designed for. It fits the CEROS perfectly and with an adaptor (which took some finding) fits my FESTOOL RO90.

It was more expensive than the FESTOOL extractor, but I wanted it specifically to work with my CEROS.


#3

I have been very happy with my Vax until it went up in smoke two days ago.

It has served me very well, its great with or without a bag, good for any water spills and can even clean carpets. The down side with it was its size and weight, not the easiest to carry round and is heavy.

Another minus point with it was how loud it was, not a vacuum you wanted to have running for a long time in a small room.

So been looking around and reading the above posts, which has given me a great insight on what’s around and the best buys.

I’m a bit old school and like to rub down by hand so not got any dustless kit, so as much as I like the frestools and other like it I don’t think it would be the way to go for me, maybe one day when I drag myself into the 21st century I will take another look.

So it’s down to either a new Vax or a Henry, got to say the yellow henry looks nice!


(J G Mason Decorator) #4

Hi Neil we have had our henrey now for about 4 years and it takes everything we throw at it, paid about £98 for it and it has been superb. To be honest i would struggle to work with out it.


(J G Mason Decorator) #5

Should add we don’t use it with the ceros got the extractor with that.


(Andy Crichton) #6

[quote]Quote from J G Mason Decorator on October 27, 2012, 13:09
Should add we don’t use it with the ceros got the extractor with that.[/quote]I think that is important caveat
. If you have no power sanders a Henry is brilliant but with Abranet ceros and toupret for example it doesn’t have the filters to keep up nor the capacity


#7

Just to say I have got myself a nice little Henry now, in Yellow, as I have not seen many in that colour on sites, so I will know who has walked off with it, if I cant find him, we all know what them chippy’s are like !!!

Thanks for the info and advice.

Neil


(Darren) #8

For the last 6 months or so I’ve been using a Nilfisk Multi 20T wet and dry extractor with auto power take off for most of my smaller power tools including a Mirka Ceros and Festool RO90 sander.

Its never going to compete with a Ceros or the larger Nilfisk extractors used by tape and jointers for industrial scale sanding, but for £90 inc VAT I reckon it’s a fantastic piece of kit for domestic work.

http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/nilfisk-multi-20t-wet-dry-vacuum-cleaner

Its lightweight and compact, the noise is bearable and not too jarring, the filters are ridiculously easy to clean with the flick of a switch, replacement bags are cheap and readily available. Also, when I bought the Festool RO90 sander [which I kind of regret] it was a bonus to discover that the hose and extact attachment supplied with the Nilfisk fitted it, so no need to buy a crazy priced Festool hose!!

The only minor downside I can think of is that the suction power is not adjustable so can sometimes cause the sander to ‘stick’ slightly to the workpiece when fine sanding.


(imaginarynumber) #9

[quote]Quote from Darren on November 1, 2012, 21:23
For the last 6 months or so I’ve been using a Nilfisk Multi 20T wet and dry extractor with auto power take off for most of my smaller power tools including a Mirka Ceros and Festool RO90 sander.

Its never going to compete with a Ceros or the larger Nilfisk extractors used by tape and jointers for industrial scale sanding, but for £90 inc VAT I reckon it’s a fantastic piece of kit for domestic work.

http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/nilfisk-multi-20t-wet-dry-vacuum-cleaner

Its lightweight and compact, the noise is bearable and not too jarring, the filters are ridiculously easy to clean with the flick of a switch, replacement bags are cheap and readily available. Also, when I bought the Festool RO90 sander [which I kind of regret] it was a bonus to discover that the hose and extact attachment supplied with the Nilfisk fitted it, so no need to buy a crazy priced Festool hose!!

The only minor downside I can think of is that the suction power is not adjustable so can sometimes cause the sander to ‘stick’ slightly to the workpiece when fine sanding.
[/quote]

AFAIK Nilfisk have been making the festool dust extractors since the days of Wap, hence the same 27mm hoses.

If anyone needs a replacement festool hose, consider the Nilfisk one. Their (identical bar colour)antistatic hoses can be found for a third of the cost.

That said, I do love my Festool dust extractors…

Why do you regret buying the ro90, I have the 125mm and 150mm and was considering the 90 as my next sander purchase?


(Mark West) #10

I bought a CTL midi a couple of months back and love it, it has way more power than my Henry ever did and is a joy to use.


(dave D9 decor) #11

I’d tried a Henry with Mirka hand sander for a while and it was certainly a huge advantage especially when sanding ceilings and walls and with very little outlay
Then after a recommendation for Festool leapt the financial hurdle and have never looked back. Festool Cleantec designed to extract the very fine dust from sanding paint and filler. Henry works better with bigger particles and for hoovering up floors etc.

And I find the functionality (on/off switch for extractor on the sander etc )of Festool kit easy, time saving and now actually enjoy prep work!
Everything about Festool is so well designed and engineered. I reckon I got my money back within three months on labour saving


(stevewestern) #12

Interesting.
I have a Henry and have just got a new
HEPA filter and bags which I believe will make it work better for the fine dust, although still no automatic switching.
How noisy is the Festool ?
I can imagine that having Henry making his usual noise will become hard work after a few hours…


(dave D9 decor) #13

Festool kit is quieter but its still two machines running: a power sander and dust extract!
personally i just like the way festool link all their kit to function as a fully integrated system and makes prep work so much easier and efficient
Festool comes at a price (!) but the old quote 'quality will be remembered long after the price is forgotten’
But I’m not saying Festool is better than other kit - the most important thing is vacuum dust extraction while prepping !


(Dave) #14

I am a bit late on this thread but as a Keen DIY person who is a perfectionist with OCD :stuck_out_tongue: I thought I would add my DIY perspective. I guess I straddle DIY and Pro but I am more in the DIY camp and not trying to elevate my skill level!

Like Darren, I started with the Nilfisk P20T, the T suffix denotes “tool stop/start” so if you are planning to follow this route please ensure it has the T suffix. It was fine and I was very happy with it until I had a bit of a shock. I was busy sanding away with a Deros when there was a loud bang and the room filled with dust! The hoover bag had somehow ignited and exploded which was surreal! I returned the unit but heard nothing more about it. I am sure it was a one off!

My OCD perfectionist gene then took control because I had the rest of the house to complete and what was I to do? I went for a Festool CTL MIDI as there was an amazing offer from http://www.powertool-supplies.co.uk/ I hope I am allowed to mention them by name.

The unit is quieter and more efficient and I like the adjustable suction. With my RTS400 I found it would often bounce if the suction was too strong, I can dial it down and that bounce stops.

For £200 I simply couldn’t say no and it has made my job so much easier, no cleaning up, or very little and no breathing in the rubbish from the surfaces I am sanding. If you can stretch your budget for one (if the wife allows as mine did) then you will not regret getting the Festool.

Dave


(Andy Crichton) #15

Can’t say fairer than that! Thanks. In terms of value for money, a dust extraction system is off the scale compared to standard sanding, brushing up / vacuuming after the event. Your wife has good judgement! Happy sanding.