Professional Builder’s Lee Jones looks at the latest in dust extraction technology from Festool.
Dust is one of the most serious health and safety issues facing the industry, with the respiratory disorders that can be the consequence of exposure wreaking a devastating human cost. Indeed, the debilitating list of ailments related to this hazard are extensive, including silicosis, asthma, emphysema, mesothelioma, cancer, allergies, skin and eye damage, blood conditions and nervous system damage.
Festool has always championed dust free working and the manufacturer already offers an impressive portfolio of equipment – but there are limitations. When it comes to creating a healthier working environment, tradespeople can choose to make use of dust bags attached to machines, but these are only really effective where relatively little airborne material is being produced or on exterior jobs. A corded unit is certainly more effective, but there’s obvious issues where mains power is not available – and in manoeuvrability.
The CTC SYS in the Systainer format seeks to address these problems with a cordless extractor for cordless tools, providing genuine independence and greater mobility. Available for dust classes L and M, and powered by two 18V battery packs, there will ultimately be five different variants to choose from. It’s compact design and minimal weight – at only 8.8kg including the two batteries – means it’s easily carried. Moreover, a shoulder strap not only makes for easier transportation between and around sites, but also leaves both hands free, which means you can be using a tool whilst the extractor is doing its vital work comfortably positioned about your person.
If it is to provide the right level of protection exactly when required communication between the tool and extractor is essential, and this is achieved with a Bluetooth autostart function, which is simply activated with the press of a button on the CTC SYS unit. As soon as the tool starts the dust extractor will then itself turn on. In addition, a handy remote control positioned on the suction hose saves you walking back to the extractor. It’s a Systainer, so will connect easily with the rest of your Festool tool storage units and is compatible with the Bott vehicle system.
If you think that cordless will equate to a loss of power then think again, because the manufacturer has maximised the available suction with a 36V turbine built into the unit. Operated by two 18V battery packs, it delivers a level of performance that is comparable to mains machines, whilst the suction can be adjusted over three levels, providing the right amount of power for the application, and prolonging battery life.
A smooth suction hose design makes it exceptionally flexible, whilst preventing damaging snags on anything around the jobsite. There’s two dust nozzles included, and filter changing is very straightforward.
For further information on the Festool CTC SYS cordless extractors in the Systainer format visit https://www.festool.co.uk/