Painting Product Review

Festool CT-26 HEPA Vacuum

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Head Of The Class

Festool CT-26 HEPA Vacuum – Simply put, the Festool CT-26 HEPA vacuum has two main qualities- it is expensive, and it is WORTH IT.  I would call this one of very few items we actually find indispensable. The Festool vacuum and sander system is an industrial strength machine, made for heavy use under difficult conditions. While we purchased it as an extra safety guarantee for lead paint removal, we have found it to be far superior to any other vacuum systems we have used. We now use it on almost every job where dust containment is a concern. For years we used standard power sanders attached to shop vac systems, and found that HUGE amounts of dust still found it’s way into hvac ducts, furniture, etc…(So bad, in fact, that we often had to use zip pole systems to isolate rooms where sanding took place.) Even when our old systems caught most dust, some fine particles always ran right through the system, and unfailingly found their way throughout the entire house.  With the Festool system, we have found that such a high percentage of dust is captured, we are often able to sand even skim coated walls while leaving almost novisible residue either in the air, or on the floor.  This seems to be the result of a higher power motor, coupled with perfectly designed companion sanders matched to the system. (The system even has the ability to run two sanders at once, without loss of suction on either.) Multiple holes in the sandpaper sheets allow almost all dust to be removed by the vacuum, and the built in HEPA filter removes even particles so small that they might go unseen. (This is of particular importance with lead based paint, or when we have allergy sensitive clients.) Add to our list of favorite qualities is that this system is far quieter than any ordinary shop vac we have used, and that its components are far more durable, and you have a nearly perfect tool.  If I had to find complaints regarding the Festool, I can find only two. First, the system and refill items are more expensive than other manufacturers- but as stated, quality at this level comes at a price, AND the system pays for itself with both safety and increased productivity. Second, I would like the speed control dial on the RTS 400 EQ sander moved out from under my thumb, or provided with a lock so speed won’t be accidentally changed during use. And there you have it folks, out of 10 months of near daily use, those are the only complaints I could come up with. This tool is as good as it gets, and is worth the price of admission. **As is the smaller version – we have recently added a Festool “MIDI” to our growing fleet. This lighter, more compact unit has a little over half the capacity but the same suction power. It is ideal for ideal for smaller jobs, and we find the hose attachment (locating in the top, rather than on the front like the CT-26) to be an improvement.**

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