Tool Talk #14: My Shop Vacuum Setup (ShopVac vs Festool CT26)

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Thomas Martinez says:

Its funny how people are so concerned about tiny micro particles with festool, yet have no worry about the air they breath outside every day that’ is truly contaminated and almost unavoidable!

陈宇 says:


Art Alcatraz says:

No demonstration? What a douche.

Slovenian Woodworker says:

i was planing too buy festool vac for quite some time.But price tag was huge.Afer a year with messing with one cheep vacuum i said f…. it and i buy CTL 26 e AC with auto clean option. In one word “Amazing” clean/noiseless work place/customers satisfaction

Howard's Channel says:

I’m one of those garage based hobbyists who have had both kinds of vacs. I’ve had the Festool CT 22 for ten years and I’m getting the CT36 in a few days. There’s plenty of Festool haters out there, just go to and read the venom spewing forth, but considering the quality of the unit, the entire system approach, the ability of using just one plug-it cord for virtually all their tools, the auto on/off, the quietness, the anti-static hoses, speaks volumes. If you don’t see the value, that’s fine. For the rest of us who appreciates fine engineering and everything that goes with it, the value goes way beyond the price of admission. There’s no doubt that they do cost more, sometimes a lot more but you do get what you pay for.

Terry Jull says:

Jay you make some great points. I own both vacs and the Festool is far superior when it comes to site work and drywall dust. Shop Vac is only useful with dust deputy with filter and no bag. As soon as you put a bag in the shop vac you lose power, Festool with bag is no power loss. Drywall dust and dust deputy doesn’t work, drywall dust just goes straight in to shop vac and filter is almost instantly plugged, Festool with bag will run with no power loss until bag is full. To cut down on the expense of the festool bags I have cut a hole in the corner to empty and rolled and clamped it back shut, so far it has worked however I’m not sure how long the cloth bags last doing this, but doing this two or three times the cost will be down around the cost of shop vac bags. If all your doing is shop wood working then Dust Deputy and Shop vac is definatley all you need, however for site work Festool is the only thing I take!

Den Seven says:

Ну как-то мало информации ты дал. Но мое мнение – не важно какой у тебя пылесос, важно какой в нем фильтр! 😉

Bulwul says:

Has anyone considered adapting a Dyson vacuum cleaner for shop use?The really do cyclone technology well.

Greg Trickey says:

I’d have to agree that as a general shop-vac, or even paired up with a certain Festool like the Domino, the CT probably isn’t a good choice. But, reading the comments, I think a lot of people are going to walk away and never consider it again. But, certain situations are the perfect match for a Festool setup.

For instance, I’m restoring an old Chris-Craft wooden boat. Several hundred board feet of mahogany, followed by many (MANY) coats of varnish. The CT paired with the new brushless ETS random orbital sander is a flat out dream. I’ll admit it was a hard pill to swallow to drop $1000 bucks to get into the game. Now, having used it compared to my old sander, I can easily say I would definitely pay TWICE as much.

The adjustable suction means you can make the sander glide so well it almost floats. Even working on the side of the boat is super easy. The dust collection keeps the paper clean and cutting for a long time, and really reduces the frustration of either having to change the paper out often, or working twice as hard with clogged paper. With the correct combination of sanding pad, interface pad, and paper type and grit, you can get it to cut as hard as you want without accidentally rounding over corners or being too aggressive.

I’m just a guy working out of his garage. But, I found a certain situation that the Festool was the best choice. I’d think that anyone that was doing a large project and needed the very best finish possible would be a candidate as well.

Again, I’d just hate for someone to walk away from considering it based on their situation because, like me, they had in their mind that it was an overpriced vacuum. I have an inexpensive shop vac that performs its duties just fine. The Festool CT isn’t that tool.

vemgm says:

Been trying to find the part to convert my shop vac to turn on when my mitre saw is used. Please help

Ryan Petzold says:

The E stands for Expensive

James Abella says:

Awesome and concise review Jay, you told me exactly what I wanted to know about the Festool vs. average shop vac. Thanks keep up the great work.

logun24x7 says:

Just FYI Shop-Vac has both HEPA rated bag and cartridge filters and a model that that has an on-demand auto off /on feature. Standard size hoses and tools for the shop-vac brand are 1.25″ , 1.5″ and 2.5″ … Note the intake on most shop-vac brand vac’s are 2.5″ so even if your unit came with 1.25″ hose and tools you can up-size to the larger tools if you have a need to. The Shop-Vac Brand is also made in America for those that want to support made in America products.

Sagau Beniamin says:

After buying 3 cheap vaccums in a timespan of 5 months,i realized i should have bought the right one from the beginning.The abuse my festool vaccum has got is far greater than other ones could handle..Just one small example is connecting a big heavy floor sander or a diamant grinder for concrate.As where the other vaccums would clog or have the bag broken after 2-3 minutes of use,festool keeps on going.I cannot be happier about it.As for a price…you cannot get a full equiped Mercedes for the price of a Nissan or a chinese car with plastic seats

mr t t says:

wow Jay an honest review , and not a festool add, like so many out there, well done. Off to buy shop vac now, txs 🙂

Michael Stockdale says:

The only thing I would take issue with is your statement that you don’t use the variable speed feature of the Festool. There are many times when sanding using a random orbital sander that full suction is just too much and often results in increased scratching and poorer dust collection because the sander gets “stuck” to the wood. I do not have a Festool extractor… Instead, I purchased a Fein collector when I found them on sale. So, I agree fully with the “overpriced / not a good value” evaluation. However, having the variable suction is a feature I would not want to be without.

Tweakwood says:

Okay, it’s expensive, but you just gotta love the quality of the festool. I own the CT26 and the Mini and wouldn’t part with them for the world. They are quiet, suck like crazy and with an added cyclone cost next to nothing in the filter bag department. Nice video, thanks for sharing.

Erin Kennedy says:

Just and FYI it is wicked easy to empty the vacuum bags. I have heard about people cutting the ends open and duck taping them closed but all i do is simply pour the dust out of the in-feed hole. I have re-used the same bag at least 8 times now for my Fien vacuum. (about half the cost of festool) I agree the higher end vacuums are not meant for your average joe. But as a contractor mine has paid for itself many times. customers are always impressed with a vacuum that turns on automatically with your tools. Get one referral because you keep a clean work space and the vacuum is paid off.

merica1942 says:

Every time I get an urge to go price check some of those festool vac’s I watch this video. You’ve saved me over a thousand dollars so far.

Carolina Hunting says:

Finally a guy being honest about Festool I’ve used several Festool products over the years and have yet to find one that justified the cost when I can buy the same tool that performs the same job at a fraction of the cost …..I appreciate your honesty Jay

Michael Prazak says:

the most important quote here i for what Festool is made – its not for the private person & hobbyist, festool is made for the contractor that goes from site to site and for these people its offering a very modular system. in m y country only professionals can buy Festool.

Tim Royal says:

Great and honest review Jay, thanks! Just some additional info… Rockler has a great adapter kit for the regular ShopVac to fit any small tool and HEPA filters are also available, though they cost $48 on the Shopvac website (I’m sure they are cheaper elsewhere). I need to get that domino… have the Beadlock system and have never used it because of the learning curve and setup… though I am determined to give it a go.

Tracy Farthing says:

As usual, a good, honest presentation. Thanks.

Edad Martin says:

I’ll agree that for a in the shop only , vac festool vacs are not necessary,unless you have many festool tools. A good shop vac and a dust deputy is a better way to go for in shop applications. Your vertical dust collection cart is the best space saving method also.
I use my ct22 for my festool saws and sanders when in a customers home.on site is where festool shines and that’s the way uber carpenters work,most everything is made on site.

Bobs Edge says:

Very good review. Thanks for doing it.

XC Painter says:

I have the same Shop vac, ($40 black friday, awesome deal!) use it tons at times through the year. I also have a CT MIDI. Attachments are what counts when cleaning work surfaces on millpacks or your work area. For prepping and spray painting mill work we have to clean OFTEN, and well. Like after sanding spackle and mdf primer, then we have to clean every inch of window liners, casings, door jambs, casings etc in order to caulk…
Festool does not make ANY brush attachment suited to clean wood work in large quantity or even a basic millpack paint job. I’ve tried the reg brush and diamond brush, disappointing big time.
I use Festool for dust extraction while sanding, Shop vac for work surface and job site clean up.

I use a vac bags for the Shop vac, never have to dump canister,. I use a muffler/diffuser on the Shop vac to quiet it and stop the air blowing out the back. Shopvac takes two different size hoses… I have the 2.5″ hose and the 1.25″ both hooked up so my small wand and brush atrachment are maneuverable compared to the 2.5″, although the 2.5″ brush attachments rock so I have one on the end of the 1.25″ wand, lol. And I beef up my attachments with extra bristles…
Watch my video I explain and show what I’m talking about.

Angie Overton says:

So I’m curious about the use of your domino. I’m looking to buy one and wondered if I actually NEED the Festool vac or if I can use a shop vac with it as well?

Red Beard says:

Thanks for the honesty. So many people spend way more money on a tool (oh whatever) and then will doggedly defend their purchase. Its gotten so bad that comments like “You get what you pay for” and “Buy once cry once” have become triggers for me. People (guys especially) are often too lazy to do the work and find out if the value is really there. Instead they look at it like an ego boost. “I paid a lot more for this tool so I’m obviously better than you”. And yet they are still turning out crap work.

Don’t get me wrong, Festool makes some quality stuff. But just paying a high price does not equate to value. Anyway, thanks again for the honest review.

steenfraosterbro says:

I have Festool vacs (2 units) and I also have the crazy expensive longlife bags for them (around $200 a piece where I live). I never ever regretted buying these, since they work perfect all the time and I don’t have to buy bags anymore. I also like that the vacs keep suction on for 5 seconds after you turn off your tool. Thanks for a great video ass always.

Jay Doubleyew says:

To Simple DIYr: Owning both Dominoes and having attended multiple (mfr) trainings I would offer to point out that because of the nature of its operation, the Domino REQUIRES dust extraction to be connected. I haven’t bothered to read if that is a warranty fouling situation, but it was stated emphatically and clearly as a “must” in the class. In practical use, I couldn’t see trying it any other way.

Caleb Struck says:

I have a festool , best decision ever

Glen Carroll says:

lots of good points here. I have a shop vac, but need to protect my lungs more. One micron or less is needed for safety , I will buy Bosch or Dewalt with heppa, both are crazy expensive in Canada. Cheers

Ted Alexander says:

Thanks for the information Jay. It would be nice to know if the Festool will outlive the shop vac. But as you stated, you can go through several shop vacs and still come out ahead.

Ryan E says:

Festool bags fill to 100% full and don’t rip. They’re cost per bag is actually cheaper than lowes or Depot for the crap bags shop vac uses. 100% incorrect information here.

Shop built says:

Great info, I was always curious what these festool vacs are all about.

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