Woodworking and construction projects are messy work. Not only do sawdust and cement dust create a slipping hazard, but if inhaled, they could potentially prevent you from ever breathing normally ever again. The problem is that there is no deficiency of minuscule particles in woodshops and construction sites. The best thing you could do, apart from wearing the proper PPE, is to have a dust extractor on hand.
Dust extractors are sort of like shop vacs, but they’re super-portable and can move around the job site easily. Festool has been one of the more popular dust extractor manufacturers, and it’s not hard to see why – German engineering and extreme attention to detail make all of their dust extractor models worthy of light- and heavy-duty dust control. The 574930 CT 26 from Festool has been praised heavily by woodworkers and construction workers alike, so let’s see if this tool really is deserving of all the applause it receives.
The CT 26 is equipped with a 10-amp motor that produces up to 137 CFM with a 97-inch water lift. Compared to other dust extractors, this isn’t the most powerful motor and suction power available, but it works well in picking up all sorts of debris. It also has a variable speed function which lets you adjust how much suction power the unit generates.
The most annoying thing about cleanup has to be emptying the storage container, where all the dust and debris reside. What’s worse is when the dust extractor comes with a tiny dust compartment, meaning you’ll have to empty it frequently before resuming cleanup. The CT 26 comes with a 6.9-gallon compartment which is better-suited for smaller workshops. If your power tools produce a ton of debris, then the 6.9-gallon storage may feel a bit inadequate.
Wet and Dry Applications
This dust extractor can be used to pick up both wet and dry substances. This means it can be a great addition for woodshops and professional construction sites. The anti-static hose can be attached directly to woodworking power tools to suction up dust before it has a chance to go airborne, and by detaching the hose, you can use it to pick up wet cement and other moist debris.
Auto-Shutoff for Safe Use
Moisture is not a power tool’s friend. Even the smallest droplet of water can wreak havoc on electrical components, which we why we’re glad that the CT 26 comes with an internal sensor that detects how much moisture is stored in the dust compartment. When moisture levels get too high, the motor will automatically shut off, indicating that it’s time to empty the bin.
The CT 26 comes with a filter bag and a HEPA-grade filter with a 99.97% efficiency of capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns. HEPA filters are the best when it comes to preventing sawdust and cement dust from going airborne, reducing the risk of inhaling toxic substances and suffering from impaired vision.
Maximum Maneuverability and Portability
Many portable dust extractor models have maneuverability problems. Even though they’re lightweight and compact, their wheels can get clogged with dust, inhibiting its ability to glide across smooth surfaces. This problem does not exist in the CT 26 with its large wheels and two front casters. If you want to keep the unit stationary, simply tap on the foot brake to prevent the wheels from turning.
Onboard Storage Compartment
When it comes time to put the CT 26 away, you don’t need to worry about where to store the hose. This dust extractor has an onboard garage where the hose and other accessories fit for maximum organization. This is also a helpful feature to have for worry-free transport. You’ll never forget the hose, additional HEPA filters and filter bags ever again.
Even though this is a separate feature, it’s something that you should consider. You can purchase a Bluetooth module to control the CT 26 from a distance. Starting and shutting off the tool can be done with a push of a button. The module increases the convenience of the CT 26 and doesn’t improve the tool’s performance in any way, but it’s still a neat feature to have.
Overall, we think that the 574930 CT 26 from Festool is a great dust extractor. The most notable things about this tool are its compliance to HEPA standards and the Bluetooth module. The suction power and storage capacity make the tool better designed for lighter-duty sites where dust and debris are not produced in huge quantities. However, for the DIY-er, the CT 26 is a pretty awesome tool to have.