Different tools make different chips or sawdust. Routers and planers make larger shavings, and although they may be easier to clean up than the finer dust of saws or sanders, those larger chips spread debris over a larger area in a very short time. With the sander, the size of the dust particle coming off is about the same size as the grid on the sandpaper, so the finer the paper, the finer the dust. The finer the dust, the more it contaminates the area in ways that are both seen and unseen. What is seen is sanding swarf left on the surface, which has to be removed before any finish can take place. What is unseen are the smaller particles that hang in the air for hours or even days. In the workshop, this means these particles later descend on finished surfaces.
On a job site like someone’s home, that dust gets into and onto every surface. It gets into appliances and electronics. It gets into the HVAC system, and it gets into their lungs while they sleep. No one likes to live through a remodeling job because of the mess and the disturbance. A nuisance of dust is one disturbance that can be greatly minimized through proper dust extraction. In the shop or a home, dust control can’t be an afterthought, not if you want to save yourself the time, cost, and mess of dealing with it later. Dust control is an integral part of the Festool system and design philosophy, by collecting the dust as it’s made, where it’s made.
For us, as painters, the Festool system has three components. The sanders, the abrasives, and the extractors. The dust extractor is the heart and soul of the system. We don’t have to put up boundaries within a workspace anymore because we are able to work that clean. Nine times out of 10, we will get compliments about how clean the job was.
Festool offers a full line of dust extractors, optimized for the way you work. The CT Mini and CT Midi are Festool’s most portable dust extractors. The CT 26, CT 36, and CT 48 are Festool’s most capable and versatile mobile dust extractors. All of these units feature HEPA filters and carry full unit HEPA certification. Good dust extraction starts at the tool and ends with clean air being returned to the room. For Festool, dust extraction is the primary consideration of the tool design, whether it’s our jetstream and multi-jetstream pad designs for our sanders, or the efficient, internal shrouding and channeling that makes our tools able to capture the dust as it happens. Festool dust extractors have many features. One feature is the tool triggered auto-start capability. Whenever the tool is cycled on, the vacuum attached to it powers up automatically as well. Likewise, when the tool is cycled off, the vacuum also cycles off. Another quality to consider includes variable suction force, the ability to control airflow as it’s needed. This is particularly critical for sanding operations. The hose connection is designed to mate with all the different port types on all our power tools. This detail means you have secure connections and don’t need to waste time with makeshift solutions.
The SIS-Dock feature turns the CT into a mobile transport system. You can easily stack, secure, and move an entire set of tools at one time, which gets you into and out of the job site faster. In the shop, it contributes to workplace organization, which enhances efficiency by keeping the tools where you work. Unlike traditional canister style vacuums, the CT dust extractors feature a flat filter and containment area. This flat design enables greater capacity by keeping the filter out of the containment areas. When used in conjunction with Festool’s self-cleaning filter bags, the flat design allows the filter bag to function in a way that helps prevent clogging of the bag, for greater airflow. To ensure maximum suction performance, a ceiling gasket on the head unit creates a tight seal, which prevents leakage or loss of suction. The parking brake can be easily engaged and unlocked with the foot and provides a stable platform whenever needed. Cleaning sets further expand the dust extractor platform by providing several options, including large diameter hoses for increased airflow, nozzles, crevice tools, tubes, and floor sweeps.
There are many other accessories that can amplify the function of the CT dust extractors. The boom arm keeps the hose off the material and out of the way, ensuring that the surface is protected while dust is being extracted. The work center keeps all the tools and other things you need at the place of work, which reduces time lost searching for tools, and that provides more time to get the work done.
The dust extractors are phenomenal. Our first tool was the Domino, and that’s actually hogging out a giant hole. We thought, «Surely, we’re going to have to blow out all the mortises or dump them out before we go," and it’s completely clean. The mortise is totally done, ready for glue, it’s incredible.
Because that dust extraction is always pulling it up, you don’t run the risk of having little granules make marks in your lumber or a chunk of sawdust putting a streak in it too, so it’s amazing.
I was introduced to the Festool line at the end of 2012. Since then, I would use no other tools. I’ve gotten rid of all of my other dust extraction systems. I’ve got rid of all of my other sanding equipment. I’m confident that I’m going to get the results that I want.
In the shop or a home, dust control can’t be an afterthought, not if you want to save yourself the time, cost, and mess of dealing with it later. Festool offers a wide range of dust extraction solutions to minimize cleanup, improve finished results, and work more efficiently than ever. Whether in the shop or on the job site, increase your productivity with a Festool dust extractor.