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A-Check Cleaning Vacuums

Vacmaster 8 Gallon HEPA Vac VK811PH Review

Dust management at the job site is one of the most annoying things that absolutely needs to be done. Nobody likes having to pick up after themselves or others, but a clean work environment is a safe work environment. Especially when it comes to construction jobs where cement dust does not only pose a health risk but can also ruin your hard work.

Finding the right dust extractor can be a challenging job, considering the high number of dust extractors out there. So what about the VK811PH from VacmasterCould this be the right dust extractor for your line of workLet’s find out.



Awesome Suction Power

When it comes to vacuums and dust extractors, suction power is everything. After all, you’ll want your vacuum to pick up every piece of dust and debris without leaving anything behind. The VK811PH comes with a hefty 12-amp motor that generates up to 125 CFM through its 2-1/2-inch suction port with a water lift of 106 inches, making it one of the most powerful budget-friendly dust extractors available today.

Handles Wet and Dry Debris

Construction sites are in dire need of dust management systems that can handle all sorts of debris, from wet to dry, from tiny to large. The VK118PH can handle almost any sized debris you’ll face at the job site and can even pick up wet cement to give your work a clean, flawless finish.

Massive 8-Gallon Tank

While at the job site, everything is set to a specific time. Deadlines cannot be pushed back, and any delay can cause lateness in completing a task. In our experience, vacuums with smaller dust compartments fill much too quickly and require time to empty out the contents. However, with an 8-gallon tank like in the VK811PH, you can cut the number of times you need to do this, saving precious minutes and increasing work productivity.

4-Stage Filtration System (Including HEPA)

Picking up dust and chips is only half the battle. Every vacuum cleaner can lift dust from the ground, but not every unit is equipped with the proper filtration system to retain debris and prevent it from going airborne. The VK811PH, however, has more than just one filter, but it comes with a 4-stage filtration system which includes a HEPA cartridge, microfiber filter, a fine dust bag, and a filter for the exhaust – all of which are compliant with HEPA standards (at least 99.9% retention of 0.3-micron debris).

Portable and Maneuverable

One thing we found rather astounding about the VK811PH is that the 8-gallon unit, fully assembled, weighs less than 20 pounds! Combine that with the four caster wheels (two large rear wheels and two spinning front wheels) and you get a vacuum dust extractor that’s super portable and easy to maneuver across paved and tiled surfaces.

Includes a Ton of Accessories

Unlike so many other dust extractors on the market, the VK811PH comes with a comprehensive kit that includes every type of accessory required for cleanup in any situation. Apart from the unit itself and the HEPA-grade filters and collection bag, this kit comes with two steel wands, and elbow wand (also made of steel), and adapter for power tools, a combo floor nozzle, and an adapter for the accessories. Oh yeah, if you’re a horse enthusiast, the VK811PH kit also includes a horsehair round brush to keep your horse’s fur squeaky-clean.

Quiet Operation

Something that was quite a shock to us and numerous other customers was the quiet operation of the VK811PH. While running, the 12-amp motor emits only 81 decibels which, in truth, isn’t the quietest dust vacuum out there, but it’s easily drown out by the loud noises coming from your power tools. Be sure to wear earmuffs or headphones while operating this and any other tool you have at the workshop.

10-foot Crush-Proof Hose

At the job site, accidents can happen that can harm you and your power tools. The hose of a dust extractor is extremely prone to damage by becoming the landing pad of falling debris. We’re happy to report that the VK811PH comes with a durable, crush-proof hose that won’t break or snap in any way. The plastic port that connects to the unit, however, can experience cracking if stored in places without enough moisture. What saddens us about this hose is that it’s not anti-static so dust and thin wood shavings might get stuck in the inner lining of the hose.

Verdict

Overall, we feel that the VK811PH from Vacmaster is an excellent dust management system that will benefit anybody in woodworking or constructions. Its suction power (125 CFM at 106 inches of water lift) is more than enough to pick up every stray piece of dust and wet cement in the vicinity.




Categories
Cleaning Vacuums

FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner, 5.8 Gallon Review

Managing dust and other minuscule particles at the job site is an important part of construction, woodworking, and renovation projects. A dirty work environment is not only a safety hazard, but it can also significantly reduce work efficiency. When using power tools that produce dust, chips, and shavings, it’s a good idea to have a dust extractor on hand.

FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner, 5.8 Gallon Review

One dust extractor model that has remained one of the most popular choices since it was released nearly five years ago is the FEIN Turbo I. This is a lightweight, compact model with moderate dust storage capacity for light- to medium-duty construction and renovation projects. But what really makes this tool a viable option to handle your dust woesLet’s find out.



Suction Power

The FEIN Turbo I generates up to 151 CFM of suction power and 98 inches of water lift. For such a compact model, we were quite surprised that this tool is packing some pretty serious equipment. This tool is more than capable of picking up rather large wood chips and dried pieces of mortar.

This tool also comes with a 2-speed suction power dial – LOW and HIGH – which lets you set how much power you need depending on the tool you’re using. We’re happy to report that even though there’s not a lot of flexibility in a 2-speed mechanism, at least the different settings produce different amounts of suction power.

FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner, 5.8 Gallon

Filter

One of the more annoying things about this product is its filter. Despite being able to withstand clogging for extended periods of time, this tool does not have a self-cleaning filter feature which means you need to continuously purchase replacement filter bags – a good deal for FEIN but not for the user. You could attempt manually unclog the filter, but we tried doing it to no avail.

Dust Container Capacity

The Turbo I comes with a moderate 5.8-gallon container for holding onto whatever pieces of debris you’ve managed to suction. From our experience, this size container is perfect for light and medium projects where dust and chips don’t pile up into hills (hobbyist woodshop or home renovation). However, at construction sites where cement dust is a mounting problem, the frequency of having to empty out the contents of the Turbo I’s container can be an issue, especially if time is a factor in your work.

Caster Wheels

Most dust extractors come with caster wheels which help glide the unit across smooth surfaces, and the Turbo I is no different. However, what does set it apart is that it comes with four small caster wheels instead of two small front wheels and two large back wheels. This doesn’t do anything to hamper the balance of the unit which is good, but towing it behind you while working can be a bit troublesome.

Furthermore, the caster wheels are supposed to have a locking mechanism to keep the Turbo I from slipping and sliding away from you. We don’t know whether we got a defective product, but straight out of the box, the wheels were never able to lock. Thus the unit could not remain stationary.

FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner

Noise Levels

The Turbo I is one of the quietest dust extractor vacuums available. On HIGH mode, the motor generates roughly 66 decibels – the same sound level of normal speech – which is absolutely unnoticeable in the workshop. While cleaning up your workspace after a long day of work, the last thing you need is a vacuum cleaner blasting the music of its people in your ear (wear earmuffs to block the sounds of this and other power tools).

Hose Quality

One area that first-time buyers may disregard is the quality and design of the suction hose. The Turbo I features a long 13-foot hose. Pair this with the 19.7-foot long power cord, and you have a large radius of movement before needing to move to another power outlet. Another thing we noticed is that the hose will not disconnect when tugging on it.

However, unlike modern dust extractor models and even some from the recent past, this is not an anti-static hose, meaning that sawdust and cement dust will cling onto the inner lining. Cleaning the hose can be a hassle since you’ll need to wipe the exterior and run water through the interior to get rid of pesky dust specks.

FEIN Turbo I

Verdict

So what do we think of the FEIN Turbo IIt’s a great tool if time isn’t a factor in your work. Its limited dust container capacity and non-anti-static hose can make cleanup take much longer than with other models. Professional construction men and woodworkers, on the other hand, may want to seek a more efficient model with a better filter and better wheels.

FEIN Turbo I Review




Categories
Cleaning Vacuums

Makita VC4710 12-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum Review

A clean environment is a safe environment. A number of different things can go wrong at the jobsite if you don’t have the proper cleaning equipment. It’s best to play it safe and get a dust management system that can suction wet and dry debris, both off the floor and out of the air.

In this article, we want to look at one such shop vacuum that, according to commercials and customers, is a pretty darned good machine – the Makita VC4710. It meets OSHA standards for cleaning professional settings so you’re guaranteed a thoroughly clean workplace. Let’s find out what features this wet/dry vac has.



Suction Power

The VC4710 is equipped with a beefy 12-amp motor that produces 135 CFM of suction volume. It has a 92-inch water lift for picking up small, medium, and even relatively large pieces of debris. From the suction power alone, we can safely conclude that this machine is engineered for use in both woodshops and at construction sites. Sawdust and stray pieces of dried cement and metal chips won’t stand a chance against this wet/dry vac.

One of the most impressive things about the VC4710 is that when running for longer periods of time, the tool does not lose suction power, unlike many other of its competitors. This is especially helpful when dealing with piles and piles of dust and concrete.

Super-Quiet

Wet/dry vacs from the past were notorious for being extremely loud. Of course, the benefit of a thoroughly clean workstation is worth bearing suction noises, but prolonged exposure to loud noises is never good for your sanity. The VC4710 generates only 59 decibels – about the equivalent of normal conversation tones – which will basically be drowned out by the sound of your power tools. Of course, while working at construction sites and woodshops, you should always wear the proper PPE, including ear muffs.

Lightweight

The plastic casing, static-free hose, and internal components of the VC4710 have a dry weight of only 27 pounds. This is not the lightest wet/dry vac available on the market, but it’s light enough not to cause fatigue or rip muscles when lifting and transporting the unit to and from jobsites.

Variable Speed

On the control panel located on the front-facing panel of the VC4710, you can find a variable speed dial. You can adjust how much CFM to deliver based on what tool it’s currently hooked up to. One thing we found is that turning the speed dial does very little to adjust how powerful the suction is. The good thing is that it never strays too far away from 135 CFM. When it comes to woodworking tools, CFM overkill is always preferable to a lack of suction power.

Filter Efficiency

The VC4710 comes with a nano filter set that captures more than 99% of particles as small as 2 microns. This machine is compatible with HEPA filters, but you’ll have to purchase them separately. We’d recommend investing in the appropriate HEPA filters to grab and hold the maximum amount of microscopic particles (0.3 microns), but the standard filter works great, too.

Filter Cleaning

The filter set that comes with the VC4710 is reusable mainly due to the fact that this wet/dry vac has a built-in cleaning system which blows air back at the filter every 15 seconds from the opposite direction. This releases any particles that stay latched onto the filter and sends it to the storage compartment, effectively increasing the lifespan of the filter. This filter-cleaning system is what gives the VC4710 its consistent suction ability as the filter does not remain gunked up for too long.

Hose Durability

One area that many people tend to disregard is the durability of a shop vac’s hose. The VC4710 comes with a 16-foot static-free hose that’s flexible and can reach behind most if not all of your power tools. The thing we’d like to address is that the hose itself is extremely durable, but the plastic connection port to your power tools can crack rather easily. Exercise extreme caution when connecting and disconnecting the port from your power tools or making direct contact with rough surfaces.

Verdict

The VC4710 from Makita is an awesome wet/dry shop vac. It’s an extremely versatile tool that can be used in almost any professional setting where debris is a problem. Dust management has become a heck of a lot easier in modern times, and the VC4710 is proof that keeping a clean workstation does not have to be a headache.

This tool produces up to 135 CFM of suction power for picking up large and small debris. It’s extremely portable so moving it from tool to tool is a breeze. The only thing you need to watch out for is deterioration in the suction hose’s connection port since even a slight crack can significantly reduce the tool’s suction power. Other than that, this tool is completely reliable and makes cleanup super-easy.




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