Selected Fein over the Festool Vac
I was in the market for a new shop vac after my old SHOP VAC died (thank god!). I posted a few questions her regarding experiences with Festool and Fein vacs all responses seem to give high praise to each. Since my local woodcraft now stocks both Fein and Festool vacs I did a quick head to head comparison of the Festool CT-22 and the Fein Turbo II and decided on the Fein since it was quieter, had a longer hose (4.5 feet longer), had a larger diameter hose, appeared to have more power and was considerably cheaper.
I have to admit that based on reviews and literature I was sold on the Festool and went to woodcraft to purchase the CT-22, but after I saw the 1″ diameter hose which is 11.5′ long on the Festool compared to the 1.5″ diameter hose which is 16′ long on the Fein Turbo II I was sold on the Fein. There were a few things that I liked about the Festool better, like the nozzle fitting that adapts directly to most of the Porter Cable sanders that I have, the flat canister base and the storage possibilities. But, since my main use will be sanding and shop clean up I think that the longer hose, larger diameter and quieter operation of the Fein will be well appreciated.
I ended up ordering a Fein Turbo II through Amazon since woodcraft didn’t have the Fein in stock. The price difference between the Fein and Festool was about $150 even after ordering a 1 micron filter and nozzel adapter, which makes the filtration comparable to the Festool. Another kicker was that Festool charges $20 to ship and charges state sales tax. Amazon avoids both shipping and tax.
The Festool is a slick machine that no one would likely go wrong with, but for my use, sanding and shop clean up, the small diameter hose troubled me a little. I know that the Fein 1.5″ hose is still on the small size, but I feel a little more comfortable with it.
Hope this helps anyone looking into the shop vacs.
Aaron, there is a larger dia hose available for the Fein. It plugs right in - 2.5" dia I think.
I also started out with an old shop vacuum, then bought the Fein Turbo II. It was a great machine, but I decided to switch to Festool, and I am very happy I did. I bought the larger Festool vacuum as a package deal with their saw.
The Turbo II is a great vacuum, and you won't be disappointed.
What made you switch? the package deal. Did you notice a difference in noise between the Festool and Fein.
I like Festool products better in general. Don't get me wrong -- Fein tools are nice. They are made very well. I had their right-angle sander, and it was powerful! But Festool products are just much smoother and more nicely designed. For example, the Festool sander has a stronger connection hose hooked up to the dust collctor. With the Fein, it would constantly pop off while in use.
To answer your question, yes, the Festool is definitely quieter. I purchased the CT22, not the Mini.
Also, the Festool has a much better dust-storing system. The Festool uses a bag. The Fein collects the dust inside like a big garbage can. I never liked this system as much, since you still have to empty it out into a larger receptacle, which usually sends dust flying all over the place. With the Festool, you remove the bag and close it up -- nice and neat.
Generally, the Festool products are just so nice to use. I own their saw, cutting table, jigsaw, router, two sanders, and a dust collector.
Edited 4/2/2004 11:56 am ET by Matthew Schenker
I also purchased the Fein Turbo II over the Festool and if I had to do it again I would probably purchase the Festool. I found the Fein to be an excellent vacuum but it has a few problems. I also have their sander which I purchased at the same time. I find the hose does pop off once and a while if your not paying attention. Fein also recommends you dismantle the sander every 300 hours for lubrication. This has to be done by a service center since you need special tools. That kind of sucks since I like to do my own matience after warranty.
But back to the vacuum. After about 4 years the motor went. What I then found out is the motors are riveted together and cannot be fixed. You must purchase a whole new motor. Here is Canada the vacuum is around $525. A new motor is $400. What I also found out is if you don't use the optional filter ($70) you risk ruining the bearings. If your seal around the bladder lets in any dust it travels right through the motor. My dealer is no longer selling these units due to what he conceives as to many problems with the unit. One caution is to pay attention to the plastic ring on the inner bladder. I know a few people, including myself, that have had problems with it developing little cracks that then let the dust through.
I did notice that the new Turbo III and Mini claim to use a different type of motor setup. I believe that both these units were released after the Turbo II.
"FEIN Turbo Cooling Technology: A dual-fan motor prolongs the life of the motor. One fan is sealed and creates suction, the other fan draws cooling air from outside and across the motor and exhausts the air."
I don't know if this is because of problems with the Turbo II or if it's just a change but this whole experience will make me go elsewhere when it's time to replace.
On the positive side the motor was a snap to change. Only took about 10 min.
Edited 4/2/2004 1:21 pm ET by HEMPSTALK
Thanks for the info I took both yours and other responses seriously and am thinking or changing my mind here. One of my biggest pet peeves was that I wanted the hose to fit well to other tools and didn't slip off during usage ( the Festool certainly did that and the local woodcraft said I would have to use a step adapter for the Fein, which I wasn't able to try) So I appreciate the info on your previous Fein. As I said before, I didn't consider use of other Festools in the future with the shop vac. I suppose it would be better to pair them with a Festool rather than Fein for fit. Since my order hasn't been processed through Amazon I think I will consider canceling and purchase the Festool.
I had posted a request on this forum a while ago for people who had experience with both Festool and Fein vacs. No one had direct comparison, only good comment regarding each. Thanks again for the info, I certainly don't want to live with an expensive shop vac that has a few shortcomings.
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