I wanted a compact cordless HEPA-rated dust extraction vacuum, and decided on the Makita XGT 2.1 gallon model, GCV02ZU.
This comes with the vacuum, dust hose with 2 adapters, and an AWS auto-activation transmitter for use with compatible Makita cordless power tools.
I bought into the Makita XGT 40V Max cordless power tool system, and thanks to recent highly aggressively-priced and free bonus battery promos, I have already have batteries I can use with the vac.
Makita’s unprecedented XGT tool deals are still ongoing, and I might buy another combo kit or the rear-handle circular saw just for the batteries.
That’s always a strange part of the cordless power tool industry, where you can sometimes buy cordless power tool kits or combo kits for less than it would cost for just the batteries they come bundled with.
Why I Bought a Makita XGT Cordless Vacuum
When it comes down to cordless HEPA dust extractor vacuums, I saw 3 options. Dewalt FlexVolt – which I have a test sample of and use on occasion for certain tasks – Festool, and Makita.
I wanted something more compact and suited for use in finished spaces, potentially with wheels or a rolling cart option.
This narrowed things down to Festool and Makita.
Festool’s CTC Sys cordless vacuum has disappointing specs and a bad feature set, in my opinion, and very limited battery compatibility. Early users have complained on social media about very poor runtime.
Festool is apparently also coming out with a larger Midi-sized cordless dust extractor, but they seem to have a battery shortage right now.
According to retailers, Festool’s 5Ah and 5.2Ah batteries are all backordered or on preorder right now, with a mid-May 2023 ETA.
A kit version of the Festool 36V CTC Midi cordless vacuum is estimated to launch at the end of May, and it includes 1 set of batteries. It’s priced at $978.
A pair of Makita XGT 4Ah batteries deliver 36V x 4Ah x 2 = 288 Watt-hours of energy capacity. A pair of Festool 18V 5Ah batteries deliver 18V x 5Ah x 2 = 180 Watt-hours of energy capacity.
The Makita is advertised as delivering 148 CFM and 92″ of static water lift, while the Festool cordless Midi vac delivers 109 CFM and 76″ of static water lift.
It’s difficult to estimate runtime in a comparative sense. Makita’s vac operates on 1 battery, or 2 in succession, and more batteries are readily available. Festool’s requires 2 batteries. Makita has higher capacity XGT batteries. Festool has a higher capacity battery available in Europe, but 5.2Ah and now 5Ah is the highest capacity battery they offer here in the USA.
Makita’s vac has a 2-filter setup and plastic collection bags. Festool’s has a HEPA filter and uses filter bags as with their other dust extractors. The Makita seems like it will be messier to empty, due to having a cloth pre-filter that drops into the collection chamber. Festool’s filter bags are more expensive to replace.
The Makita has a 2.1 gallon capacity, and the Festool cordless Midi has a 3.96 gallon collection capacity, or 3.30 gallons with a filter bag.
The Makita 2.1 gallon vacuum (tool-only) is $699, and the Festool will be $679 when it launches.
If I need batteries and a charger for the Makita vacuum, their current promos would have me buying the rear-handle saw kit at $299, where it comes with 1x 4Ah battery (18V 8Ah equivalent) plus a free bonus battery (expires 4/30/23). That would bring the total to $998 for the vacuum, 2x 4Ah (18V 8Ah equivalent) batteries, and a single port charger, plus a rear-handle cordless circular saw I don’t have immediate personal need for.
The rear-handle saw comes with 1 + 1 bonus 4Ah (18V 8Ah equivalent) batteries, the same as the 2 batteries included in the vacuum kit.
The Makita XGT 2.1 gallon vacuum is also available as a kit (GCV02PMU) for $1,099, with a two-port charger and 2x 4Ah (18V 8Ah equivalent) batteries.
While a 2-port charger might be convenient, another 1-port charger (I have several already) and rear handle circular saw for $101 less seems like a better buy to me.
If I want the Makita XGT 2-port charger in the future, it’s available separately for $199. The XGT rear-handle circular saw is also available as a bare tool for $264 at the time of this posting.
If I went with the Festool, that would be $978 for the 2-battery kit, which comes with 2x 18V 5Ah batteries, a charger, and Systainer tool box. As mentioned, additional Festool 18V 5Ah and 5.2Ah batteries are NOT available at this time. This means I would be limited to just the 1 set of batteries included with the kit.
Some of Festool’s cordless power tools look interesting, but their 18V system doesn’t appeal to me as anywhere as much as Makita’s XGT system. I don’t mind buying into additional cordless power tool systems, but Makita’s XGT vacuum seemed like the best option.
Additional factors went into my decision, such as the large power switch, the vacuum’s ability to run off one or two XGT batteries, and its compatibility with other Makita cordless power tools.
I picked up a Makita XGT cordless router for review purposes over the winter holiday deals season, and it doesn’t fit any of my universal or brand-specific dust collection nozzles. I also own an XGT cordless track saw.
Makita’s AWS wireless vacuum activation seems like a potentially useful feature, which is why I opted for the vacuum kit that comes with the transmitter. Each AWS-compatible tool requires its own transmitter, which are typically sold separately.
I really hope Makita eventually adds a remote control that can attach to the hose-end, similar to Festool and Dewalt.
That was one area where Festool has Makita beat. Festool has a Bluetooth remote, and also built wireless vacuum activation into their Bluetooth-equipped batteries.
Let’s say I’m drilling into drywall and want dust collection at the source. In theory I could activate a Festool vacuum while up on a stepstool, either via a hose-end or wrist-worn remote, or via Bluetooth battery-equipped cordless drill – if I had one.
With the Makita, I would have to go up and down and hit the power switch each time.
My Makita XGT Cordless Vacuum Purchasing Adventure
I ordered the vacuum through Acme Tools, during one of their 10% off sales.
The vacuum arrived – with shopping damage – and it included some extra freebies – an entire set of Makita XGT cordless vacuum accessories.
This was the HEPA vacuum kit as I expected, with the appropriate filters, an extraction hose, and 2 adapters.
Makita has other XGT 2.1 gallon cordless vacuums SKUs with a different hose, extension wands, and nozzles, and I received all of those accessories as well.
The cleaning kit version of the vacuum, GCV01Z, comes with a smaller diameter hose, extension wands, a floor nozzle, and crevice nozzle.
That was a nice surprise, but you should not expect the same.
I found a post on social media where someone else reporting having received HEPA dust vac and cleaning accessory bundles with their purchase as well.
The Makita vacuum itself arrived damage – one of the wheels was shattered during shipping – and so I sent it back for a refund.
Before I sent to back to Acme Tools, I looked over the XGT vacuum. This was my first experience with Makita’s 2.1 gallon cordless vacuum size, and was a little concerned about the actual pickup capacity.
There’s a HEPA filter (not shown here), a cloth filter, and a collection bag. The cloth filter drops down into the collection area, taking up some of the volume.
Would this be enough collection capacity for my needs? Makita also has a taller 4-gallon version, but it’s $150 more ($849 vs $699 for tool-only). $150 seems like a lot for what seems to be a larger plastic container, as the performance specs and other features all seem to be identical.
I spoke to Makita USA, to see what was going on with the extra accessories, and it turns out a small number of units are affected by what turns out to be some kind of packaging error.
I also expressed hesitation about the 2.1 gallon size, after seeing it in person, and Makita brought up the idea of a potential review sample. I didn’t hear back from them, and started to feel uncertain about the idea in the interim. While I still had second thoughts about the 2.1 gallon size, I decided to place another order.
I was curious about the cordless vacuum for ToolGuyd review purposes, but my initial purchase was also done with personal/ToolGuyd use intent.
My first purchase was made through Acme Tools, the second through Home Depot, in case I needed to make another return, as it’s a quicker process. I also wanted to see if there was a difference based on the supplier.
Makita said a limited number of boxes were affected, and it seemed worthwhile to try again.
I would accept getting exactly what is supposed to come with the dust extractor kit, but were hoping to get a box with the extra cleaning tools and accessories again.
Luckily, my second purchase of the Makita XGT GCV02ZU cordless dust extractor vacuum also came with everything – its regular accessories (dust hose with adapters), and the cleaning accessories.
The box art is wrong in both cases, but the contents were correct in that I did receive the dust extraction accessories I was expecting.
The additional cleaning tools were an unexpected bonus the first time, and I hoped for the same the second time around. I will likely use the accessories with cordless and maybe even corded vacuums from other brands, assuming there aren’t any compatibility issues.
With the cloth filter in place, I think the Makita 2.1 gallon vacuum would be too small for general workshop cleanup tasks, and so I plan to use it for tool-generated dust collection.
I have the Festool CT Sys (corded model) and appreciate your previous post as it kept me from buying the cordless version and being disappointed with the run time. I truly appreciate a number of feature of the cordless model: the remote vacuum start and Bluetooth batteries which come in the kit (versus having a model or AWS chip that only works with one product) are a great idea- essentially turning all tools into a Bluetooth model for dust extraction.
That said they missed the mark by designing the vacuum to only take up to 2- 4ah batteries – which is the driving factor on run time. I can’t think of many recent tools from the big brands where the tool physically cannot accommodate (regardless of how silly it might be to have a 12 ah battery on an impact driver) the physical size of the batteries. There are a few but to limit the option has me thinking the motor can’t handle extended run times or there is a heat dissipation problem (total speculation).
I’m glad you got the extra accessories. I understand the business model; but I’m tired of always having to by accessories to improve my tools performance. It’s one of the *bonus reasons I have thoroughly enjoyed my purchase of the Mafell KS 60. Yes it was very expensive; but its performance has been great and I haven’t desired or need to purchase a single accessory.
Vacuums tend to be tricky products. I don’t mind buying nozzles, hoses, accessories, or what-not if more specialized ones can better suit a task.
With Festool, I feel they designed the Cordless CTC Sys vacuum around the form factor, and not necessarily to suit the ways users have been using the corded model.
The upcoming cordless Midi is also looking to leverage the existing Midi form factor, with its Systainer-dock top base.
I like for corded vacs to have on-board hose and cord storage. But for a cordless dust extractor vacuum, I’m okay with losing hose storage if it makes the vacuum itself much more portable.
I ruled out the Festool CTC Sys for its lower performance specs, limited battery compatibility, and user complaints about poor runtime. The CTC Midi HEPA vac isn’t as portable as the CTC Sys or Makita’s XGT vac, and I prefer tools that can operate with 1 or 2 batteries installed over tools that require 2 batteries to operate. The Festool Bluetooth activation is a huge selling point, but not enough to offset Makita’s higher power, smaller size, and longer runtime benefits.
Festool filter bags are $39 for 5, Makita plastic collection bags are $11 for 10. So that’s roughly $1 each vs $8 each.
Makita doesn’t seem to have replacement pre-filters available yet, but there’s a model number (191V69-8). I heard good things about their parts department, and so I’m not too worried about that.
I think the rear handle saw kit is $299 not $199. ACME shows the original price as $399. I thought the same and almost picked the drill/ driver kit. It comes with three batteries for $349, not $249 as it is sort of implied.
Yes – the Makita combos are priced as marked. The rear-handle saw kit was $399, and the 2-pc drill and impact combo was $449.
I ordered the 2pc combo when it was $449 and Makita had their + 2 free batteries bonus deal going on. So I got 4 batteries (2 compact, 2 higher capacity), the drill, impact, and charger for $449 plus tax.
Now, you get the 2x 2.5Ah batteries (18V 5Ah equivalent), plus 1x 4Ah battery, but save $100.
The XGT batteries are $219 each.
The currently-$299 rear handle saw comes with 1 + 1 bonus such batteries. The $349 2pc combo comes with 1 bonus battery, plus 2 of the compact batteries, which retail for $159 each.
The drill and impact driver kits are each $429. I wanted just the impact, and the 2pc combo was $449 plus bonus batteries. Now, it’s 1 bonus battery and discounted to $349, making it silly to get the drill-only or impact driver-only kits.
The way $100 off plus a bonus battery is advertised can be confusing, but I can tell you the price is reflected in the price already, compared to what the kits were before the promo took effect in February.
Anything cordless IMO is a huge upgrade. The downside is the amount of batteries you have to have to keep up with continuous use of larger tools along with your typical cordless loadout. Couple thousand dollars worth of batteries by the time you’re there, worth it if you can though.
It’s a tough choice. On paper, the XGT vacuum appears to be on-par with my Festool CT 26 corded dust extractor vacuum. But, it would never suffice for extended usage applications, such as long sanding sessions, or use with a portable table saw. The same could be said about Festool’s upcoming cordless Midi saw as well.
I really like Milwaukee’s cordless shop vacuums, and hope they get into the dust extractor game too.
Great unit, if you have the batteries to run it. I bought mine in December. Two 4mAh batteries only provide about 30 minutes of runtime. They each take 45 minutes to recharge, 90 minutes total with a single bay charger. You can save some time by only running one battery while the other charges. The unit uses them in sequence (one at a time) and you can hear it power down and back up when it switches batteries.
I was lucky enough (with Stuart’s help) to score a XGT mower bundle with two 8 mAh batteries and a dual bay charger for $600. The batteries and charger purchased separately would have been $900 alone. The only downside being I will likely invest in move 40v Makita outdoor tools now instead of my intended path with Ego. I have their single stage snow blower, leaf blower and edge trimmer but just two 2.5 mAH batteries.
I mention with Stuart’s help, because it was his effort on my behalf that ultimately got the bundle in my hands. ACME canceled by original order due to “lack of shipping date” but likely it was it a pricing error. I had posted my annoyance in another thread and Stuart reached out and asked to help. He brought the matter to ACME’s social media manager who quickly resolved the issue.
I make ACME (using Stuart’s affiliate link) my first choice now, with the added bonus of relying less on Amazon.
Vacuum is always tricky due to the hose, the size, and the power required. After has been through so many, I put suction first and capacity last. I want something small but powerful to carry around. The easy to carry around is the most important factor as it is what decide whether I will use a vacuum or…swinging it. I use my M12 box vacuum now, but wish the hose/accessory storage is more efficient, and wish a second battery docking.
This vac looks similar to my Metabo HPT 36v vac. The lower collection box looks identical, also 2.1! The Metabo has a cfm rating of 124. I picked up a universal Hepa bag adapter for it at Menards$15-20. It has a large hose style band clamp that holds the bag to the motor. I haven’t used it yet, not sure how well it will work as of now.
I have had the xgt 4 gallon vacuum for a few months now the power seems to be similar to the makita corded vacuum with a little decrease in power about a minute before it switches over to the next battery .I use it to cut contertop stone with a 6in grinder weel. They do offer a cloth filter bag that fits good . Makita 195557-5 Filter Dust Bag… https://www.amazon.com
The flexvolt has a wheel kit you can buy for 50 bucks, and it has auto filter cleaning which the xgt doesn’t.
Good point, thanks!
I forgot that the FlexVolt is Tstak and not ToughSystem.
Koko The Talking Ape
I’d like to hear more about the decision to go cordless, from you or anybody else. IMO, vacuums take the biggest loss in functionality when going cordless of all the usual tools. Unless you spend a lot ($1,000 and up), you lose power or runtime or both. I’d guess one reason for that is that unlike saws, drills, etc., vacuums experience a full load whenever they’re turned on, whether or not they’re actually sucking up dirt.
And on the other hand, they don’t gain much from being cordless (unless they’re small handheld vacuums.) Shop vacuums and dust extractors are already bulky , so they come with hoses and long cords to make them easier to use. I’m not sure what you gain additionally by making them cordless?
Do I have that right? What am I missing?
I tend to agree with your comment that shop vacs and dust extractors are already large, and they involve a hose, so the benefits of going cordless are minimal–at least for me, I very rarely need a vacuum where there’s no AC.
That said, I think cordless vacs make plenty of sense for smaller models–things for cleaning up minor messes or your home. A family member purchased a Dyson V15 last year, they wanted something that was light and convenient as they were getting up in age and found it more difficult to use a full-size traditional vacuum. I’ve had several opportunities to use it and I love it, I ended up buying one too. It’s super convenient to just grab it off the wall and go without having to fool around with cords. Its cleaning ability is easily as good as as my corded vacuum and that was no cheapo. Its runtime is of course limited, but in my experience it’s plenty long enough to clean a few rooms even on Max. I find that I’m much more likely to use it because it’s so convenient. So instead of vacuuming being somewhat of a major infrequent chore it’s something that takes 2 minutes that I do a lot more often. I also have a small Dewalt wet/dry vac, it’s not very powerful but it’s compact and easy to grab for cleaning up after minor jobs. I use it often in my workshop for small messes. But for any sort of serious cleanup or dust collection? No, I don’t care for cordless right now, it’s too much money for not enough suction power. I’ll stick with a corded vac for the time being.
Thanks, MM. I’ve looked at cordless vacs from Dyson and other brands, and I can see how they could be convenient, but I personally couldn’t afford the premium for a cordless household vac.
But re shop vacs, I personally don’t see much upside for cordless, as you say, given the cost.
No doubt the Dysons are pricey. I had never considered them in the past due to the high price and my (incorrect) assumption they were more style than substance. But the combination of having used one and an excellent black friday sale made me give in.
The same happened to me – I bought one on sale and never regretted the decision.
I want to upgrade to one of the new higher-powered models, and will likely wait until next November unless a good deal comes up sooner.
There are other models that I’ve heard are nearly as good. With Dyson, part of the expense goes towards style.
I don’t care about style, and will come back to the brand for its reliability and availability of replacement parts and batteries.
Craftsman’s V20 cordless stick vacuum is also very good. ($199 at Amazon)
I find this surprising…that you got one on sale. In the past, Dyson would not allow sales, except when a new model came out, the previous were allowed to be on sale.
But this was years ago, so they probably changed their tune after the cordless stick vacs for home became such a hot market.
Koko, take a look at the Shark cordless vacs.
On Consume Reports, Dyson have high ratings, as well as Samsung, but they are also expensive. Shark has very good ratings but at half the price of Dyson.
BTW – Years back when Dyson got into the vacuum market, I had read an article (maybe Consumer Reports but not sure) on how Dyson revived the consumer home vacuum market.
Vacuums were cheap and no hype about them. Dyson came out and they advertised with Dyson himself doing the ads, in a way that made vacuums hyped, relevant and people bragged about their Dyson vacs.
They revitalized the vacuum market to where all the other brands started making their vacs look like Dysons; fancy vibrant colors, with sports car aerodynamics.
At the time, they first had plug-in standard vacs with cyclonic vacuums that claimed to suck equally if the bag was empty or full.
Then came their cordless stick vac, not sure if they were first with the cordless stick vac, but definitely changed the vacuum market bigtime.
I got one of those original stick vacs (might have been the V7), and it was OK, nothing spectacular. This first model the head only spun on suction, no power to the head at all. Since then they have come out with so many generations and improvements. years ago they stopped making the plug ins and only make cordless…due to their sales and success.
I pretty sold on theMetabo HPT 36volt vac. Three speed with 124CFM. It goes on sale for under $300.00 sometimes. It’s not a Hepa filter vac though. Nice Vac.
The newer version (not currently available in the USA) seems to have the appropriate filters for HEPA. (Not the actual certification) It might get released here eventually. Maybe. They do seem to be getting more aggressive about releasing new tools in the USA lately, but not all of them. Strangely, the 36v rear handle circular saw seems to be USA only.
I wonder if the new version’s filters are compatible with the older version. The Metabo HPT also looks very similar to the Makita. I wonder if they have the same OEM. A small chance the filters might actually be compatible.
The newer model also seems to have bluetooth activation, although that requires special magic BT batteries.
There are numerous applications.
In the workshop or outside, I often set up a tool for quick use, often cordless, and then drag a cordless vacuum over, as that’s a lot quicker than pulling out my usual dust extractor vacuum.
Most cordless vacuums are great for smaller cleanup tasks, but not so good when it comes to attaching to tools. HEPA filtration + long anti-static hose and an adaptable nozzle end is a better combination.
I have also found myself installing a lot of shelves and cabinets in finished spaces.
Compact cordless vacuums don’t have the reach for when working at shoulder height or on a stepladder, and they usually don’t play nicely with add-on hoses. They also don’t work well with different dust collection adapters.
I hate cleaning up drywall powder, and I also hate the smell of it as it lingers in the hour for a few hours.
This particular vacuum is much more portable than my dust extractor and shop vacuums, and it’s more versatile for tool-generated dust collection than cordless cleanup vacuums.
It’s all about convenience and suitability.
Is this a must-have? No. I’m at the point in my life where I always have too much to do. Can I move a corded dust collector around in the workshop, and improvise when working in finished spaces? Yes. All of that extra time adds up, and for me it made sense to get a tool perfectly suited for the tasks.
Thanks for your answer, Stuart!
Re compact cordless vacuums, I have one (the new DeWalt) and I love it. With the included accessories, it has all the reach I need (it can turn into a stick vac as needed.)
But I’m really talking about shop vacs. Why should they be cordless? What does (I’m asking) cordlessness add to a shop vac to make it worth the cost, assuming other factors like size and effectiveness are the same?
You say this particular model is more portable than your particular dust extractors, and I can believe that. But I believe there are other, cheaper corded dust extractors that are about the same size as this Makita cordless. Are they not just as portable, or is there something else to that?
You say you install lots of shelves in finished spaces, but don’t those spaces usually have power outlets? I don’t know, I don’t do that kind of work.
These are all honest questions. Thanks again!
I’ve been testing Milwaukee’s cordless shop vacuum, and so far it’s been perfect. Before that, I would use smaller cordless vacs when I could for quicker tasks, rather than dig out my corded vacs from the basement.
The Makita 2.1 gallon vac is very small – I don’t know of a comparably sized corded vac by other brands.
A couple of years of “this works but sucks in a bad way” proved a need for me. I tried a lot of other things first.
Handheld vacs have too-short hoses. Corded extractors can be a hassle to move around or up and down stairs, and I’m not a fan of the prepwork required to route dirty shop vacuum power cords in finished spaces.
The main reason though, is for quick cutting, routing, sanding tasks. I can set up a portable workbench quickly. I can pull out workpieces and a miter saw or other tool relatively quickly. I cannot quickly pull out a corded dust extractor vac, especially if it’s set up somewhere else for a longer sanding project or similar. Time and time again I found myself wanting a cordless dust extractor.
I wanted a cordless version of the Festool CT STS – https://toolguyd.com/festool-cordless-dust-extractor-vacuum-request/
But then they came out with one, with zero appeal – https://toolguyd.com/festool-ctc-sys-cordless-vacuum/ .
The corded model is great, but a hassle to use at times due to the cord and cord management. It’s rarely worth pulling out due to the hassle.
I bought into the XGT system already, and the features and capabilities of the dust extractor vac look to fit multiple needs and would address many past-proven frustrations.
Is it worth it? That’s a good question for ToolGuyd to answer. In this case, a paid-for sample seemed better than my potentially taking advantage of the offer for a free media sample.
The product seemed perfectly suited for my needs and wants, with the cost being the only hesitation.
Home Depot has the M-18 6 gallon regular vac $30 off, $21900!
Remember when a $70 shop vac would last a lifetime and extension cords weren’t something to complain about. It was only a few years ago. Now people will throw down $1000 for the same product—and hundreds more in a few years when the batteries need to be replaced! I was interested in this vac because I’m sick of searching for additional circuits when run my vac in combo with a miter saw or table saw. But, a thousand bucks for a disposable tool is just too insane. Unless your stuck in the corporate convenience matrix.
My dad had the same Shop Vac for what must have been decades. But, for what he used it for, and what it looked like, it rarely left the basement.
We also had a monstrous vacuum that handled everything but was a chore to move around the house, especially the stairs.
I use cordless vacuums all the time in the home, workshop, and for many types of tasks and projects.
I have a corded stick vacuum too, and used it maybe once since buying a compact cordless household vacuum ~6 years ago.
If you want to lug a 16 gallon shop vacuum around for anything and everything, by all means do that – one can make it work.
I bought this because it’s smaller, lighter, cordless, and is supposed to be quieter and far more effective at fine particle collection.
Is it a rip-off? I don’t know about that, but it was definitely a very painful purchase. The same was true for my Festool vac so long ago, but it has served me well over the years and proved worthy of its investment. I am hoping the same will be true here.
There are certain tools that are just expensive, and there’s not much that can be done about it.
All of the cordless HEPA vacs I know of cost way more than they should, but there’s not much that can be done about it.
Maybe Makita’s XGT tools and cordless HEPA dust collection vacuums will drop in price in a couple of years, but I cannot wait for that.
This had better last me many hundreds of hours of use – at the least.
I intend for this particular vacuum to take the place of several cordless models (mainly test samples) I plan to donate soon. I’ll know soon enough whether it was a good call or not.
I’m confused about the” vacuums are just expensive comment. “ I don’t think we should let corporate control of the marketplace off the hook so easily. Vacuums and vacuum components are just another opportunity to racketeer. It’s a plastic bucket with a fan on it for god’s sake. Albeit one that continuously draws a more substantial amount of power than your average cordless tool.
You basically point to this fact in your article. Why did you have to pay $150 more for the larger capacity vacuum? Because the plastic bucket is slightly larger? How is that anything but reprehensible? Fein does the same bad buisness with it’s Turbo I and Turbo II, but less egregiously.
But, go try and buy a new crevice tool for your Ridgid shop vac. You’ll pay around 10% of the the cost of fully equipped new vacuum.
Why aren’t fittings manufactured to allow pairing common plumbing parts? Why are are dust ports so wildly variable? Because the industry is more than happy to sell you fittings. The frustration this causes is partly the foundation of festool’s success. And a boon for Rockler as well.
Why hasn’t someone built the dust deputy into the body of a shop vac? Because it would be pretty tough to sell filters for that tool: —To be fair makita made some kind of attempt to do this with their dust buster—sadly a laughable failure.
This seems like a place where people who take power tools seriously have some interface with the corporations who sell them. Hinging the assessment convenience factors and pulling punches on the real BS ought to be called out by at least one crank in the comments.
There’s one thing to do about the fact that vacs and especially hepa vacs are overpriced—lament about it publicly. It’s a least as worth doing as detailing a box store return saga.
The sentiments you raised about the accessories goes to my earlier comment. I will say that having used the Makita cyclone attachment for several years has been a huge plus. 1. I’m 6’5” tall and most vacuums are painfully too short and 2. It keeps a lot of sawdust, hair, dirt, etc out of the filter and makes emptying the vacuum 100 x easier.
How many people buy shop vacuums every year? How many people buy separate crevice tools?
“Corporate control of the marketplace?” You’re in control of what you do or do not buy.
Hans, Although I generally vibe w your cynicism, I have a few points myself.
I own a makita stick vac w cyclone attachment, and the attachment kicks butt. The filters by the way, can be washed and reused many times.
Common plumbing parts are either metal, which is fairly heavy at these diameters, or pvc, which is pro-static, but also common plumbing parts have many standards themselves and are not necessarily any cheaper.
Festool did build a cyclone stackable case for the ct series vacs. By reports, it was pricey but worked.
HEPA is a compliance standard so there are associated bureaucratic costs to producing them. Sure, the filters are a racket, but it does what it’s supposed to do.
I don’t think there is enough general respect for the esoteric engineering that goes into anything regarding fluid dynamics.
No, you don’t need to spend festool money to get excellent dust extraction, but you do have to spend a lot of time doing the homework.
I own three corded and four cordless vacs. All of them have earned their place and most see regular, even daily use.
IME, HEPA is unsuitable for shop use because sawdust and grinding dust stop the filter up badly on the first use. Most of the great suction is gone in 30 seconds of use.
I’ve never had that experience with HEPA dust collector vacuums. Most have means of self-cleaning or multi-level filtration that helps maintain suction power.
It’s one of the major differences between shop vacuums and dust extractor vacuums.
I’ve used higher efficiency filters in shop vacuums before, and those do clog up quickly. Some resist clogging better, such as Cleanstream filters – https://toolguyd.com/cleanstream-hepa-shop-vacuum-filters/ .
I’m a big fan of Ryobi’s 40v line, but I kinda wish they were willing to move away from OPE in the way that Makita’s 40v line does.
Maybe a shop vac, or some heavy duty lighting?
Either way, this Makita looks like a fantastic cordless vacuum, albeit an expensive one.
I have a Flex VCE 33 (this one https://toolguyd.com/flex-9-gallon-hepa-vacuum-deal-062019/ ), fantastic dust extractor. It uses the reverse pulse method to keep the filter clean. I got it somewhere around 2014-15 at Acme. They had BF weekend sale for $230, just the vac. Come Cyber Monday, they were giving an extra $50 off on certain items, and I jumped on this for $180 + another $60 or so for the attachment kit.
It is awesome. Whenever I have changed the bag, I check the filter…it looks new!
Anyway, I really like the plugin tool outlet that allows the vacuum to come on when you start your sander or whatever tool being used. Not unique as I know other vacs have this.
BIG QUESTION. does anyone know if there is some kind of plug in adapter (for the onboard outlet) that would work like AWS? My biggest use for this vac is with my 9″ drywall sander, which is plug in. But I also have cordless tools I like using with this, like my track saw and some hand sanders and would love that they would make the vac go on and off.
Anyone know of such an adapter? (I know Makita makes for their tools, I am looking for something universal)
What about something like this – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004S9AI/?tag=toolguyd-20 .
Milwaukee has an elegant solution, but it’s double the price. https://toolguyd.com/milwaukee-vacuum-remote-0950/