Festool CT 22E

 Mobile Dust Extractor

 by

Bill Esposito

10 Feb 2006

 

Accessories:

 

I don't have much in the way of accessories but Festool offers a large variety of hoses, cleaning tools and other accessories for their dust extractors.

 

What you see mounted to the CT22E is the antistatic shop and floor kit.

This kit is of outstanding quality and includes 3  straight stainless steel tubes, one curved stainless steel tube, an aluminum floor sweep, a plastic deep crevice tool and a 1 7/16" x 11.5' antistatic hose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Operation/Testing:

 

This is going to be a rather short section as there really isn't much to test on a dust extractor.  But let's talk about operation for a bit.

 

I mentioned on page one of this review about the power requirements of both the CT22E and the tools you may have plugged into the automatic start outlet.  Additionally you will most likely be plugging the CT22E into a 15 amp wall outlet.  Here's what I've experienced.

 

I live in a 260+ year old house with some pretty poor electrical wiring.  When working on refinishing my knotty pine porch I discovered that I couldn't use the CT22E at full vacuum with the ETS 150, it would pop the 15 amp breaker all the time.  Of course the vac and sander weren't the only things on that circuit so what I had to do is run a 12 gauge 50' extension cord from a 15 Amp circuit where I could control what was on it.  That worked out fine as I was able to use all three sanders as well as the OF1400 router (1400 watts) with the CT22E on full. 

 

Later I went back and did some experimentation and found that I could cut back the CT22E to about half vacuum speed and run all the Festool tools even on that original circuit, thus confirming the variable power consumption of the vacuum motor.

 

Ok, back to performance.  I think that if you're using a router or plunge saw that you want the CT22E running at full vacuum.  When using sanders it all depends on the grit, the wood, the finish and the sander.  There are times when you'll feel your sander "sticking" to the work making it difficult to sand smoothly.  In those cases reducing the suction will bake a big difference.  If you find the sander "bouncing" on the work often increasing he suction will help.  The automatic start/stop feature of the CT22E is designed so that the vacuum motor starts shortly after the tool is turned on in order to reduce the startup load, and keeps running for a short time after you stop to tool in order to extract all the dust from the hose. 

 

The included 1" antistatic hose works well when connected to sanders and routers but I think you're also going to want a larger diameter hose if you plan on using it for general shop cleanup.  Large shavings and chips tend to clog the 1" hose while the 1 7/16" hose included in the above Shop and Floor Kit works well.   I do find that the 1" antistatic hose is a bit stiff and it can sometimes restrict tool movement.  What I do whenever I'm not concerned about static is use the non antistatic hose, item # 452877, which is much more flexible.

 

The antistatic feature works as advertised.  Prior to getting the Festool I was using my Fein to clean up my shop and in the winter I was getting zapped constantly.  Once I started using the Festool the static electricity was no longer a problem. 

 

As far as vacuum noise is concerned, when using the CT22E with a tool, I've never been able to hear the vac over the tool.  As a matter of fact, when I first tried the CT22E I had to actually lay one hand on the body of the vacuum to make sure it was starting when I started the tool.  Noise while floor cleaning is very tolerable even at full speed and I've read independent noise tests which confirmed the relatively quiet 72db figure at full speed.

 

Conclusion

 

The CT22E is a great vacuum and a great piece of engineering.  Those who appreciate quality and engineering will love this product. It now ships with HEPA filters which make it even more attractive.  It offers the convenience of auto start as well as the increased tool performance gained by having the variable speed.  As mentioned earlier, the down side is that you'll probably want to purchase some accessories to address some of the minor issues such as antistatic hose stiffness and the cumbersome emptying of collect water.

 

The CT22E is an integral part of the whole Festool system and will make a great addition for anyone interested in keeping the workshop, job site and their lungs free of sawdust.


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Copyright 2006, Bill Esposito.
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