SO3: XXL Mega-Enclosure and Dust Collection

My Rigid Vac us pretty quiet… you have to get one of their better one ( $99 or up ) and they are relatively quiet… I just ran down to measure the DBs using an iPhone app ( don’t know how accurate it is ) and the reading taken from a 3 feet away was…

I use an aftermarket vacuum bag that is reusable… I don’t have anyway to measure the air exhausting from the vacuum but the bag is a thicker cloth type material. The suction remains pretty high until the bag really reaches about 80-90%% full. Much better than using a filter that gets clogged like a mofo

The Fein and Festool are significantly more quiet than the Rigid vacs with SNR quieting and they have a lower pitch sound. If you search reviews you can typically find the decibel levels recorded. Festool also offers anti static hose standard, not sure about the Fein.

I feel fortunate if I get 3 years service from a Ridgid, I’m on my fourth large Ridgid in 9 years.

My first Festool dust collector is over 15 years old going strong.


They are worth the money… I am just beating this one into the ground at the moment… I’m sure they are noticeably quieter than a Rigid.

Rigid in a box, 63 dB.

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Unfortunately, I need to switch the vacuum between two separate machines and move it to the back deck / carport sometimes.

In a box with wheels then?

It’s a long way from the basement to the rear deck up a narrow flight of stairs.

Hmmmmm, how about a smaller shop vac? I have a little 3.5 hp under my bench belt/recip sander, not too noisy.

Sounds like it’s time to go buy a few miles of ducting and get a HUGE dust collector!!! Haha!!! Please allow me to push anyone into buying more hobby “stuff”, this allows me to live vicariously through other people’s actions without filling my already too full shop with more machines :wink:

On a more serious note, the Fein Turbo 1 that I have is rated at 66 decibels, but I have yet to actually try measuring it. I have however been able to compare it with a 14 gallon Rigid with SNR and I’m sorry, but the Rigid lost. Rigid in a box could probably be a lot quieter, but mine developed a really shrill noise at less than 10 hours in operation so I gave up. Over this past weekend however I got a chance to cut some 3/4” maple plywood with a 1/4” single flute straight bit. I adjusted speeds and feeds as well as I could, but I’m pretty sure my neighbors have started a petition to make me move, it was incredibly loud!!! I worked on jet aircraft for about 10 years prior to moving to my current desk job, I know what loud sounds like :smile: I’ve come to the realization that the quietest CNC router is the one where the operator wears earplugs!



And I can’t hear my neighbors complaining either.


The blower motors are not that different between a Fein and any other vacuum motor. They are all brushed motors and the brushes wear out on all of them. If you got 15 years with one and 3 with another then you used one much more often or it was subjected to a tougher environment for 3 years. Some motors have longer brushes than others but they aren’t going to last more than twice the runtime regardless.

If you get the Ridgid that is advertised as quiet and add a router speed controller to lower the power (rpm) of the vac it will be comfortably quiet.

You only need about 50 to 80 CFM to get very good dust extraction if you use a dust shoe. The large Ridgid flows 200 CFM free flow and close to 70 or so at half power, depending on your setup.

Use a cyclone, bag filter, and pleated filter (alk three) to ensure very good fine dust filtration. With a decent cyclone you will never have to change a bag or filter and the vac will put out cleaner air than the shop ambient air.

The proof is in the pudding…

Noise and dust collection demo/testing

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Noise testing results…
More effective at lower to mid speed router settings which is what I use for 99% of my work.

If I remember correctly, these numbers were with the router running but not cutting. The video I posted above demos the sound attenuation with it cutting.

I wouldn’t want to work in my shop with an unenclosed router now that I’ve gotten used to this. It’s a night and say difference.


Ridgid and Fein or Festool are two different classes of tools. Apples to Oranges. For the record, my Ridgid vac sees a fraction of the hours of the Festools.

Add a decent anti-static hose , speed control, HEPA Filter, and Sound Enclosure Cost to the Ridgid, and the delta between the two is much less.

It would be interesting to see the actual results between the two or three quantified in the same environment and test equipment with a true cost comparison analyzed. If someone has the time and money Festool has a 30-day return policy. Not sure about Fein.

I presume you don’t own a Fein or Festool based on your responses. I can’t look in my crystal ball to see what you own or how you use it. My Crystal Ball shattered in 2012 while trying to look thru too much smoke and mirrors to get to the truth from one of my vendors at the time. I keep the shards in a Ziploc bag on my desk at my day job to help train junior engineers and project managers and explain about lessons learned. It doesn’t work very well any more.

Personally I’ve been down the road of trying to make the Ridgid better and quieter before. I spent a lot of time and money on that journey which could have paid for the Festool over the time which for me is a better investment.


I can understand your skepticism since everyone is an expert on the Internet. A little background… I was a mechanical engineer and project manager for almost 30 years. I spent 6 months working an air quality project for NASA regarding effects of 3D printing in space aboard the International Space Station. That research motivated me to take dust collection much more seriously in my shop. I left my job two years ago to develop my own products for licensing and sale. About half of the products I’ve developed are related to dust collection shop air quality improvements.

I have heard other guys say that their Ridgid didn’t last very long. Maybe Ridgid has improved their motors?? I have over 600 hours on mine and its still running like new. I had to replace my Dewalt router motor brushes a while back and my Ridgid has been collecting that dust from the beginning.

I don’t own a Festool or a Fein and probably never will because

  • They cost 5x more and use brushed motors. At the very best their motors might last 2x as long (maybe).
  • They have a lower flow rate than the Ridgid except with very high restrictions (mostly due to the small hose they use)
  • The filters are way more expensive and don’t offer any value over what I’m using now. In fact, using true HEPA just increases costs and lowers flow with no tangible benefit. My vac setup puts out air that’s cleaner than shop ambient air.
  • The hose is too small of a diameter and will clog with anything tool that makes many chips
  • I can take care of the noise and static issues with $20 and a hour of my time.

They don’t offer anything I don’t already have and cost 500% more.

I use a bag filter and a cartridge filter and a cyclone. I haven’t had to change the bag or even clean the filter yet since the cyclone catches 98% to 99% of the dust. If I ever do have to change the bag, its very inexpensive. The filter can be cleaned many times so the filter will probably last for decades with this setup.

Using a laser particle counter I’ve verified that the air coming out of my Ridgid 31693 WD1851 is cleaner than the ambient shop air which is cleaner than the outside air (particles 0.5 microns and larger). With that in mind there is no need to improve on the performance. Here’s a quick video showing the testing…

Regarding noise, The Ridgid I use has noise suppression foam in the impeller housing and outlet port so its much quieter than most vacuums even without any modifications. However, I use a DROK 4kW pwm controller ($15) to control the speed of my shop vac. I can effectively collect all of the fine dust at about half power. At that setting its not very noisy or annoying at all.

I ran a copper wire inside of my hose and attached it to an earth ground which eliminated all of the static buildup. Pretty much a free mod. that only took a few minutes.

I should probably copy this response. It seems like I’ve had a lot of people asking about this lately.


@Tshulthise This is my new favorite post, ever.


Here, here. Right on.

I’d add: I’ve removed the copper wire in the hose since I grounded my 611. Zero disconnects in 70 hours of running. Even with static fur on the hose and dust collector in my SO3 enclosure. Humidity at 8%.

My Rigid in a box is 7 years old, runs at 63 dB, 18 inches away from meter. It cost $99.99.


Here are some pictures of my enclosure. San Francisco had very limited space and rent there was so expensive so I built this enclosure with the ability to fold down in order to save some patio space. The entire setup was also built with sound proofing in mind so that I’m not bothering neighbors. Even the enclosure for my shop vac is nice and quiet. My wife and I just recently moved to Southern California and my CNC machine now sits in my workshop/garage where it belongs :smiley:.

I like to keep everything nice and tidy! I tried my best to tie and tuck all wires from view.

I would keep it covered when I wasn’t using it.

Here’s the dust deputy that I’ve got running out in the back of the enclosure. My shop vac is actually kept inside of the patio storage bin. I’m now running a bigger hose.