I recently obtained a Festool CT36 Dust Extractor and wanted to share some initial impressions of it. So far I am really impressed with it.
My other dust collectors are a Rigid 5HP wet/dry vac with Hepa filters and a Delta full size dust collector with cannister style filter and cyclone stage.
Each of those tools has a very different dedicated purpose which could potentially overlap in functionality, but the CT36 has earned it’s keep.
- Collects noticeably more dust compared to a shop vac attached to a domestic tool
- Adjustable suction control (you can control how intensely the vac sucks up air)
- Nice solid rubberized fitting secures firmly to tools
- Tools can be plugged into the dust collector and it turns on and off suction with the tool — I really like this feature since it saves on electricity, noise, etc (albeit this is not a completely new feature as I’ve seen it on older Porter Cable and Fein vacs in years gone by, but they never had enough overall features to warrant the price)
- True Hepa certified unit (Great for all of us RRPs out there)
- Anti-static hose (I didn’t have high hopes for that, but compared to my porter cable regular plastic hose, it does make a difference in terms of what sticks to it)
- On unit storage for the hose and carry handle
- Kickstand to stop unit from rolling around
- Ability to lock some systainers to the unit — great for work on the go as you can package up what you need quickly into groups
- Long 3 prong/grounded power cord
- Replacable bags are great for when you are dealing with fine materials you don’t want blowing around your shop — fine wood, leaded paint etc
- Replaceable bags — helps the filters stay cleaner longer, but adds to cost of collecting dust. Looks like for RRP contractors there are some new bags that will allow for easier disposable that seem promising.
- I don’t see a blower mode (Something my rigid vac has which comes in handy every once in a while — like say when you are filling an office with packing peanuts as part of a morale event)
- Kickstand is all plastic and could be broken with a hard drop. (Mine arrived broken via shipping but Festool was great about sending a replacement — it was easy to install and works great)
- Price point is pretty high compared to a domestic shop vac and accessory kit to add on common functionality like the rigid pipes, crevice tool, floor tool etc are a separate option in their own systainer drives it even higher. Though once you get over the price hurdle it really is a well engineered machine and saves you time cleaning up especially at a job site.
Here is a small slide show of the CT36 Dust Extractor: