This is the Festool CT Sys mobile dust extractor vacuum. It has since been updated with a different hose – this is a test sample from when it first launched.
I briefly reviewed this vacuum a couple of years ago, and my feelings about it have evolved a bit since then.
When the Festool CT Sys vac came out, they didn’t have Bluetooth activation yet. I used the dust extractor with some corded power tools, and appreciated the automatic activation.
But, my usage habits have changed, and I mainly use this dust vac with cordless tools these days. I have other corded and cordless vacuums, and I really like this Festool for installation tasks, thanks to its long hose.
Not only does it have longer reach than most cordless vacuums, it’s still extremely portable. The hose tucks into the docking area neatly, and I place the wrapped cord on top.
In theory I should be able to place another Festool Systainer on top of the CT Sys, but I can never get everything nice and neat to do that. That’s okay – I’m sure I can get things to fit if I wanted to, but I generally don’t have a need to. I keep the vac separate for easy retrieval.
I have been finding myself wishing there to be a cordless version of the Festool CT Sys vac. Then again, what would the runtime be like? Would I miss the automatic activation, or would they allow for the installation of a Bluetooth activation module if it wasn’t built-in by default?
Do you know what would be even better than a cordless CT Sys vac? One with hybrid power options, so it could be used corded or cordless, although that might be a bit ambitious to ask for.
I have other cordless vacs when I need cordless convenience, and use the CT Sys for specific tasks. I bet that I’d use it a lot more with power tools if it were cordless. This is one area where I have trouble with other brands’ cordless vacs – few of them pair nicely with the dust ports found on most power tools such as miter saws.
Most cordless vacs are designed to clean up a mess, rather than capture dust as it’s created. I suppose I tend to use this one more for dust creation than for cleanup, but the included nozzles also make for quick cleaning of drywall or sawdust that I missed during whatever cutting or drilling task I brought the vacuum out for.
Would you be interested in a cordless dust extractor vac from Festool? Should other brands get on the ball with this type of tool?
The CT Syst is currently priced at $400.
Can’t power tools off of a cordless vac the same way.
Possibly, but at great compromise with respect to size, weight, complexity, runtime, and cost.
Most brands don’t have a way to power corded tools using cordless power tool batteries yet. Those that do have very large power supplies that require multiple batteries, or smaller models that have very conservative power limitations.
Milwaukee Tool’s M18 Top-Off, for instance, has a 175W limit (https://toolguyd.com/milwaukee-m18-top-off-usb-ac-power-adapter-092020/), which would mean 1.6A max at 110V.
I have a bigger Festool dust extractor and I’ve looked at this vac several times. I agree that I’d like to see it with hybrid power. Usually Festool only comes out with a product if they can do it better or make it work with something else more efficiently. I don’t really see that happening with this product or with a potential future version with cordless or hybrid power. I’d like this mostly because it can stack with my other sustainers/tools and be organized and easy to transport.
I have the Dewalt corded/cordless vac, but it’s a bit anemic no matter what power source is used. For work we have a Milwaukee cordless vac (I can’t remember if it has dual power or not) and it feels more powerful and more organized than my Dewalt. I just ordered a few of the new Milwaukee pack out version vac because we can put it on top of the rolling pack out and make an organized and easy to transport system. I hope it’s decently powerful.
One do the Milwaukee vacs have dual power but I think they could add it to the Vacout pretty easy if they wanted.
They do not have dual power.
If Festool comes out with a cordless domino, a cordless vac would get it out of the workshop. Might need a Packout rolling toolbox style large battery to do it efficiently.
I wonder if Dewalt or Milwaukee will come out with Domino type tools.
They probably have to wait for the patents to expire and that seems to be many years away
Perhaps if sales are falling, and Covid manufacturing problems escalate. Maybe they might decide to sell the patent rights?
I’ll have my credit card ready, especially for a cordless M18. I’ve waited this long, so a few more years won’t hurt. If my timing is good, I can sell my benchtop hollow chisel mortiser for what a red, yellow or blue Domino will cost.
As soon as the patents expire, surely everyone will pump them out. I presume they’ll put the same effort into it as they’ve done with the biscuit jointer, multimaster and dowel doweller. I mean, I assume there’s in effort in making something worse when all you had to do was copy the original. 😂
I looked more closely at vacuums when the OSHA rules changed regarding dust extraction as it relates to silica. No cordless vacuum I found meet the air flow and filtration requirements for a proper dust extractor. IIRC, a HEPA filter with a self cleaning function was required, along with air flow of 129 CFM. I imagine run-time on a cordless vacuum meeting those requirements would be very short. As you mentioned, hybrid power could address that – providing cordless convenience for quick tasks, and run-time for longer duration work.
I think Makita is closest with no cigar here, with their XCV13 vacuum (and XCV04). They have the hybrid power option which has been amazingly fantastic, but it lacks their AWS wireless start. I have a few AWS tools now because they were equally cheap to their non-AWS counterparts, though I only buy non-OPE from Makita when it’s either not available from Milwaukee (drywall sander) or has a reason to get it over Milwaukee (better shroud compatibility and documentation thereto on the 9″ grinder). All they need is one more vacuum model that is both hybrid power and AWS, and they’d check the box of a cordless-capable remote-activation vacuum.
Have a Festool 26 with a Dust Deputy on top. A bit tippy.
Think this discussion comes down to
– indoors vs outdoors
– if indoors are you in a shop using corded tools anyway
– or, setting up in houses and mobility is important
Outdoors I don’t use a vac. Indoors for me typically means the shop where I don’t mind the cord or my high vertical center of gravity. If I did a lot in a house I would want something else and cordless would be on my wish list.
I have other CTs but I won’t get this one until they offer a cordless version. My mini/midi is portable enough for what I do in most cases so where this would really be useful for me would be working in one-off locations where it would be nice to just get to work rather than hunting for an outlet. I imagine I would mostly be using it with a drill or vecturo… possibly with a TSC55.
I owned that vac for four years. Sold it recently. It lacked in many ways, too small a bag, low suction, hose and cord would never again fit the hose garage correctly. Long life bag was terrible and would “fill up” and cause low suction from just fine dust but nearly empty in volume.
I would never own a cordless Festool vac because I have no interest in their batteries. Their cordless line is too limiting to invest in.
Use the Festool SYS-POWERSTATION to power both the vac and tool. Plugging the tool into the Festool vac’s triggered outlet controls the vacuum activation. Problem solved. No cordless tools required, yet the entire setup is portable, self contained and does not required an external power source.
Cordless vacuum is like the ice cream in the middle of the summer.
Very powerfull in the first minute…. then get me the cordless broom LOL
Cordless tools are great but where we need suction power the battery will weight 20Lbs.
Festool has showed new powerbank for that kind of purpose.
I’ve noted it here before, the Metabo AS 18 L PC (which is actually a rebranded Starmix Quadrix L 18 V) is a cordless HEPA vacuum in a systainer format. 74 CFM, 1.9 gal, filter cleaning function, 2 suction levels, can use bags. I’ve picked mine up for ~ $160 sans battery. Works well for light duty, + occasional use as extractor w/ tools. One feature which is GREAT, and stupid simple, is the on/off switch is a corner button – so super easy to turn on w/ your foot. W/ an 8 ah battery, works for some time. I rate it as highly as my CT36. Don’t know why it doesn’t get more love here in the US.
Here it is
Brian J. Baumgartner
I don’t see that being able to deliver adequate CFM to deliver full submicron filtering. I don’t think Festool would achieve true HEPA extraction in cordless, even with dual batteries. Not even the new Milwaukee dual battery vacs achieve nearly high enough CFM, and I would expect that company to be the one to achieve it if it was going to happen.