Fein somewhat recently updated their Turbo shop vacuums. There are still 2 sizes, the Fein Turbo I, and Fein Turbo II, with the difference being in tank capacity. The I has a 5.8 gallon tank, and the II has an 8.4 gallon tank.
Fein sent over a test sample a while back, but I could never make up my mind as to whether to recommend it or not. It’s always tough when this happens.
I recently started using it again, and came up with some solidI love how quiet it is, and how easy it is to move around. I recently bought another Shop Vacuum, and the darned thing doesn’t have a carrying handle! Pull on the top, and the motor pulls out for a blower function. pros and cons to consider.
I have owned a Festool CT 26 dust extractor (currently $650 via Amazon), which I bought for $550 back in 2011 before it was HEPA certified.
At the time, I debated about whether a Festool dust extractor of Fein shop vacuum would be better for my needs. I needed something better than a traditional shop vacuum, and ultimately went with the Festool.
If you’re in the same boat, or simply looking at the Fein Turbo vacs and wondering if they’re suitable for your needs, consider these pros and cons.
Why You Should Buy a Fein Turbo Vac
1. It’s very well built
Yes, it’s made of plastic just like other shop vacuums, but it feels sturdier. And it should for how much it costs.
I yanked the hose a little to pull the vac around a corner and into a room. I thought it was was going to get stuck at the corner, or worse – topple over. Its curved front allowed it to effortlessly glide around the corner.
Fein engineers cut no corners in determining how much to cut the corners. Little touches like this make a huge difference in simplifying work.
2. It works really well
Again, for how much you pay, it had better work well, and it does.
3. It’s very quiet – quieter than any other vacuum I own
I can’t use my household vacuum without hearing protection, and most of my portable work vacuums are also uncomfortably loud. I certainly can’t use a shop vacuum without hearing protection.
But somehow the Fein Turbo vacs are quiet. So quiet that I didn’t feel a need to wear earmuffs.
I’ve heard that these vacs were quiet, but actually hearing how quiet they are is quite surprising.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Fein Turbo Vac
1. It’s expensive
And so are the consumables. This is something you should be okay with before seriously thinking about the pros and cons.
2. No variable suction
There’s a vacuum release dial on the hose, for when something gets caught in a nozzle and you need to release it without reaching over to the power switch.
But other than that, there’s no variable suction.
3. Auto-start is limited to 6A tools
There’s a warning on the vac that says you shouldn’t use the Auto-start feature with tools that draw over 6A, or there’s risk of fire.
But consider this. You have a 15A outlet, right? The Turbo Vac has a 1100W motor, which roughly breaks down to ~ 9-10A max draw. Let’s say 9A.
If your vacuum is drawing 9A of power, and your power tool 6.1A of power, the total current will be over 15A, creating an overload situation.
That Auto-start feature is a convenience for smaller tools or heavier tools being lightly worked.
Is my Festool CT 26 any better in this regard?
There’s conflicting details about what my Festool CT 26 can handle. According to the user manual, the power consumption is 2.9 to 8.3A, and total connected load for the vacuum plus an attached tool is 12A.
The max rating of a connected power tool is 3.7A, but if the suction power is adjusted to the lowest setting, the maximum current draw for a connected power tool can be as high as 9.1A.
The reason for the 12A total connected power is because the vac’s max power consumption can reach 10A.
I’ve really enjoyed using a Fein Turbo II these past few days, for clearing up during packing and moving prep. It’s picked up dust, mysterious sandy-type material, wood chips, sawdust, metal chips, and Cheerios.
I love how quiet it is, and how easy it is to move around. I recently bought another Shop Vacuum, and the darned thing doesn’t have a carrying handle! Pull on the top, and the motor pulls out for a blower function.
I love that it comes with a really long power cord (18′) and hose (13′), and that I can use a bag and HEPA filter for really good 2-stage dust collection. The bags are a little pricey, but will help protect the far pricier HEPA filter from having to be cleaned too often or replaced prematurely.
It’s a great vac. There are some potential downsides, depending on what you’re looking for. I would say its quietness, suction power, and build quality are its greatest aspects.
Price: $299 to $599
A Turbo I is $299, a Turbo II HEPA with accessory set is $599, and there are other models in between.
Buy Now(via Amazon)