We have been reviewing a lot of Festools lately and the one thing I can say is they make incredible tools. Now if you already own a tool by Festool, I am not telling you anything you don't already know. If you're new to Festool and have been contemplating the jump, all I can say is they are worth every penny. For me Festool is to woodworking as what Hilti is to concrete. You will pay more, but you get great quality and a tool that will make your life much easier and produce for years to come. With that said, let's jump into the world of Festool and the CT MIDI Dust Extractor which is model 583376.
If you are looking for a dust extractor, I don't think anyone offers more of a variety than Festool. Currently, they have five different Hepa units that range from 2.6 gallons to 12.7 gallons. For this review we are using one of their smaller ones which is 3.9 gallons. Personally I like the smaller ones because it is easy to move around, carry from job to job and has more than enough room for my needs. Plus this unit has all the bells and whistles on the inside and outside.
On the outside of the unit, the first thing you will notice are the large wheels. For me this is a huge plus because there is nothing I hate more then trying to move a machine and it gets caught on a stone or power cord. With this unit, the large wheels makes this easy to move around. Once you get the unit in place, you can apply the foot brake. The foot brake allows the unit to stay in place and won't roll off while you're trying to work, so no more fighting the hose. On the top of the unit there is a nice handle to carry and move the unit around. In this area is also a very cool way to store your 11′ Anti Static hose and extra long power cord. Another cool feature on top of the unit is a sys-dock which allows the user to attach the Festool Systainers for easy storage.
On the front of the unit you will notice a power outlet. Plug in your tool and you're set. Once you start your tool, the dust extractor will automatically start. However there is a switch, so if you want it off, just switch it to the off position. Say you want to just use the extractor, you have the option of just turning the unit on without the tool, very cool. The last knob you will see is the suction volume. Now you can match the suction force to your application.
I have to say the dust extractor is a lot quieter than I expected. The unit has 137 CFM, but only has 62 dB on low setting. Even on the higher setting, the unit doesn't seem very loud compared to other systems we have used. On high it is 72 dB. Opening the unit up, you will see one filter and one dust bag. One nice feature is the tool-less filter access. If you need to change filters, it's a snap. The extractor has a lot of power for such a small unit. This has a 96″ static water lift which is solid for the size of the unit.
I have to say this unit is solid and very nice to use. The large wheels and extra long power cord means I wasn't trying to fight the unit. It stays in place and does an excellent job as an extractor. I didn't use this with any drywall, but I did with sanding and it did an awesome job.
Festool CT MIDI 3.96 Gallon Dust Extractor 583376
Overall if you are looking for a great Dust Extractor, the Festool CT MIDI is one of the best, lightweight, powerful and easy to move around. This machine does a great job sucking waste in and keeping it in the unit. The cord and hose management system feature makes it nice to store when not in use. The option to hold systainer on the top makes it a unique system. This is a well thought out design that would make any woodworker happy to own and use.