Shopping advice: Festool dust extractor model?

I want to change the cheapo household vac that is currently plugged in my cyclone, for an actual dust extractor. And long story short I want to go Festool, after reading the multiple threads on this forum and for peace of mind/simplicity.

I have been looking at Festool dust extractor product range, and have a couple of questions:

  • I see many people got the CT MIDI, which indeed looks like a very good match. But did you get the “L” or the “M” version? I’m inclined to go “M”, as I am getting more and more concerned (or at least aware) of potential health issues linked with milling wood. This is only a hobby for me so my actual cutting time is very limited (1h a week tops), and I cut wood less and less anyway, BUT I spend a lot of time daily in the tiny garage where my Shapeoko sits, so by definition I breath in whatever remaining fine dust is suspended in the air.
  • I have no need to move it or use it with many power tools, this will be dedicated to the Shapeoko, actually it will sit inside my enclosure underneath the machine. That, and the fact that I have a cyclone upfront, made me consider the “CTL SYS” model. It seems to have close specs (a bit less CFM/pressure) and is very compact. But it does not seem to have variable power ? The specs state power consumption 1000W, bar none, whereas the other models have variable power. It’s also much cheaper than MIDI models. And then again it does not exist in “M” version, so that’s a compromise I would have to make. Did anyone go for that model and why ?
  • I have a 50mm (2") hose installed, larger than the stock hose that comes with the MIDI (the site states 27/32mm). I have been reading on tubing rules, and it seems to me that the 50mm will be better suited than this ~30mm stock hose, for using with a dust shoe. Correct ? Anything I should be aware of in terms of compatibility between the CT MIDI and hose size ?
  • Is the rated 70dB noise level (on the CT MIDI) at max power ? I assume so but the datasheet is unclear on this point.


I got a CT Midi w/ HEPA filter — not seeing the H and L models here in the US, the US site only lists “I”: — definitely get a unit which is HEPA rated

l only see on/off controls for the CT Sys, so no variable speed.

I’m currently using the bundled hose with my setup — at some point I’m going to replace my prototype Offaxislabs 3D printed dust shoe with something else, and when I do, I’ll switch to a larger hose — while my current setup works well on most jobs, it leaves behind a bit of material when cutting deeply with complex surfaces which occlude the air flow.

I think the CT Sys with a good cyclone hidden away in an enclosure would work well — I don’t mess with the power setting that much when it’s attached to my machine, just when wheeling it around to use as a vacuum for cleanup.

1 Like

Interesting, their international site has the L/M/H dust classes thing , but the American site is different.

The CT SYS looked perfect (cheaper but also 2x quieter), but it does not seem to have a M/HEPA-rated variant…bummer.

1 Like

I’m interstate so next to useless for any numbers or anything, but I went with something *similar * to this kit (bought from a local Australian dealer). It came with a standard filter and I purchased the HEPA filter separately. I couldn’t tell you right now if mine was the L or M model, however the HEPA filter didn’t cost much which puts them fairly well on par.

Mine came with two hoses, from memory a 27mm and a larger one, maybe 50mm? I run the 27mm from my suckit to the dust deputy, then the other from dust deputy to the festool.

I have not needed to empty the bag in over 3 years, I replaced the HEPA filter once, just cause.

I run it on minimum power, all the time. It has plenty of suction for my needs, I do probably 75% timber jobs, the rest aluminium. I can’t give you a number on the noise but it’s roughly on par with my 1.5kw air cooled spindle… once you’re cutting the noise of the endmill is louder than both of those.

The variable power is worth it for me, I use it 99% for the shapeoko but now and then it gets used for something else where I need the extra suction


Thanks for the feedback @WillAdams and @stutaylo.
I think I’ll go for the CT(M/HEPA) MIDI, to have it run near min power (nice and quiet) while milling but still be able to leverage the max power for the occasional job with other power tools.

I made a downdraft sanding table, it’s currently hooked to a shopvac but I could rework it to be able to plug the Festool instead, and get rid of the shopvac too.


One thing to keep an eye on for the future–Festool bags are kind of expensive, and they can fill up fast. Getting some sort of cyclone to put in front of the vac can pay of surprisingly quickly. I have an Oneida Dust Deputy, which works well enough but doesn’t actually hold onto the Festool hoses very well so they’re prone to falling off. Festool’s own cyclone probably works better. They’re both addons that stack on top of Festool vacs and connect via normal Festool hoses, so they’re easy to add later if you feel like you’re spending too much money on bags.


Agreed, which is why I mentioned a cyclone above.

I have the Oneida Ultimate Dust Deputy, and no problems with a friction fit of the Festool hose w/ right-angle adapter — the vacuum holds it in place well, but I don’t move it much.

Move reviews of the Oneida cyclone note it as being optimized for heavier debris such as one would encounter cleaning up after plaster or masonry work.

1 Like

Agree on the dust deputy, or the other cyclone separator off Amazon that others are having success with. I’m still on my original vacuum bag thanks to the DD


So I received my Festool CT MIDI, it works great.
However there is still one thing I need to figure out: most of the time it will be in the enclosure underneath my shapeoko. I have an external 220V power switch on a control panel, that I used to use to turn on my shopvac. I would like to do the same with the CT, but when powered it starts up in “sleep” mode, until a) the power button is pressed or b) another power tool plugged in its front socket is drawing power.

Is there any trick to make it start automatically when power is switched on ?

I definitely don’t want to have to open the enclosure bottom panel to push the button every time. I could plug a dummy power load in the CT’s power socket, but that feels lame. I also would like to avoid buying the expensive bluetooth command…the power switch on my control panel is what I want to use.

Ideas? I did read the manual, but did not find anything about this usecase.

You can’t set the power switch to “Man” so that it comes on when power is available?

If not, plug in a lamp and use that as lighting and power indicator?

Nope, the version I have has a tactile “Man” button, so when power is turned off and on again, one needs to push “Man” again.

A lamp is indeed probably the “least useless” power load I can plug in the CT to activate it.

1 Like