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Are the Bosch vacs worth the cost?

This topic contains 136 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by  Doobie 11 months ago.

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  • #525112

    Jpg-woodworking
    Pro
    Tallahassee, FL

    I’ve been using a small 6-gallon Ridgid vac and it’s not cutting it. Not enough power, loud, has to be emptied often, filter clogs easily, and no extra “features.”

    I’m a big Bosch fan and have been planning to pick up their VAC090A or S, but I find myself second-guessing now that I’m about to pull the trigger. Primarily because it seems that the “luxury features” may not be as useful as they first appear to be.

    The 150 cfm rating is significantly higher than what I currently have, but isn’t any higher than some of the larger Ridgid vacs I could pick up for a fraction of the price.

    The vac is HEPA rated when used with their HEPA filter, which is a big plus. However, you can’t use the filter cleaning option with a HEPA filter installed in it. It also mentions that it shouldn’t be used for asbestos. I don’t do asbestos abatement, but I do vacuum up some small amounts of attic insulation and other materials that likely contain as least some asbestos. This negates the point of both the filter cleaning and HEPA ability. You can use it with bags and the filter won’t need to be cleaned, but the Ridgid vacs can do the same.

    The “power tool activation” is another great feature that I would love to use. Unfortunately, it is limited to 7.5 amp tools with the power broker dial turned down, and 5.5 amp tools while using max suction. Other than my sander, all of my corded tools are 8-15 amps. It would be fantastic used with a miter saw, table saw, or router, but it isn’t possible even with a 20 amp circuit. Some sort of a relay would be nice, where you could plug a second extension cord into a separate circuit to run a 15 amp tool, and it would still turn the vac on when the tool is activated. This can be accomplished with the Fastcap remote, but it’s another gadget to buy and use and it’s applicable to any vacuum.

    The L-Boxx integration on the top is cool, but not that useful for my needs. I use too many tools at once to switch boxes out, and my work isn’t in large commercial buildings where mobility is a priority.

    What I’m left with is the noise reduction being the only real advantage, and then whether or not it is worth 4x the cost. With a lot of tools, I’m wearing hearing protection anyways, though the high-pitched droning is still fatiguing.

    Trust me, I’m a big believer in “buy once, cry once” and that purchasing high-quality tools is always a sound investment, but I’m struggling with what real-world advantage it gives me in this case.

    #525119

    CrpntrFeak
    Pro
    Globe, AZ

    I don’t own a Bosch so can’t comment specifically on a Bosch. I couldn’t find a Bosch that was close to the 4 gallon size which I use the most.

    Now as far as the other stuff, noise, tool integration, auto start, and auto clean, I can say the 2 Festools are absolutely worth it. For me anyway. I bought a MIDI and a CT 36AC

    Noise, the Ridgid I was using would whine over any saw I was using. It has great suction but very loud.

    The auto start saves having to think about turning on the vac. I had my own little system with a switch right at the saw but there were times I forgot to turn it on.

    Believe me, a vacuum is a hard purchase because it really only sucks right? But in the end no matter what you get, you will be happy. I would buy a good dust extractor over and over again instead of a cheapy shop vac

    #525126

    madman_us
    Pro
    Palm Springs, CA

    maybe some of your questions/concerns are answered here 😛
    http://bethepro.com/forums/topic/bosch-dust-extractor-lets-talk/

    "If you're going to do something, do it right the first time"
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    #525128

    Jpg-woodworking
    Pro
    Tallahassee, FL

    Thanks for the link madman, I’ll read through it tonight. I have read all of the reviews and YouTube videos I’ve found, which obviously show the features but not the limitations of them.

    #525129

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Yes, yes and yes. I own the 090A and love it. I also have a 16 gallon “6.5HP” Ridgid…the Bosch pulls more air.

    I’m not sure where the logic comes in on the power tool activation…I see that it’s labeled for mid sized tools, but I use it with my table saw and miter with no ill effects whatsoever. I’m completely comfortable continuing to do so.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #525132

    I got a Shopvac Professional and if I had the chance I’d take the Bosch. The Bosch has more vacuum lift than any of the shopvac-y vacuums but it also has really high cfm at the same time. with some tools, the DC would benefit more from vacuum pressure moreso than CFM. From my own experience anything that has better directed DC (Closer to the point of dust generation or well sealed) benefits from vacuum pressure more than cfm as it’ll catch more of the heavier chips.)

    I think you can safely use it with tools that are rated to draw 12-15 amps but I think that applies moreso for if they draw 5.5-7.5amps continously. Otherwise the guys using miter saws and tracksaws would be screwed (Festool TS55 pulls 10 amps, everything smaller than the CT33 has a much lower amperage rating)

    I have the FastCap remote. Its kind of a pain to turn on and off over and over. I do find a benefit in running the vacuum off a seperate circuit. The shopvac I use doesn’t “bog down” when I start the table saw up and I’ve tripped a breaker more than once in the past by running it off a 15 amp circuit. Now I run the table saw or any high power tool off a seperate 20 amp circuit and the vacuum on its own for the benefits of better DC.

    I’d like to have the L-Boxx integration. The Bosch vac becomes another horizontal surface once you put a L-Boxx on it.

    Noise reduction I think would be best for workshop users.

    #525150

    don’t own a Bosch so can’t comment specifically on a Bosch. I couldn’t find a Bosch that was close to the 4 gallon size which I use the most.
    Now as far as the other stuff, noise, tool integration, auto start, and auto clean, I can say the 2 Festools are absolutely worth it. For me anyway. I bought a MIDI and a CT 36AC

    Like CrpntrFeak, I own the same MIDI and the CT36. I own them for their size and features. My Festool’s are a delight to use but I have no doubt the Bosch vacs are worthy. Either brand, these are dust extractors which do a much better job than a shop vac.

    #525151

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I’d like to have the L-Boxx integration. The Bosch vac becomes another horizontal surface once you put a L-Boxx on it.

    Absolutely! I have an Lboxx 3 on mine most of the time that houses my ROS65 and a wide assortment of paper. It’s nice switching between grits when everything I need is at my fingertips.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #525158

    madman_us
    Pro
    Palm Springs, CA

    Thanks for the link madman, I’ll read through it tonight. I have read all of the reviews and YouTube videos I’ve found, which obviously show the features but not the limitations of them.

    yeah no problem. there are a few pages to read so that takes some time.

    I’d like to have the L-Boxx integration. The Bosch vac becomes another horizontal surface once you put a L-Boxx on it.

    Noise reduction I think would be best for workshop users.

    I don’t own one yet, but very soon…depends if a new tool hits our rewards list or not. otherwise I redeem one.
    I would have a L-Rack on top of the extractor for the accessories.
    On top of that maybe another lboxx with the tool I would use.
    Like Jon said ROS65 with different paper or the OS50VC.

    I watched a bunch of youtube videos and that extractor is really quite.
    compare to my current ridgid 14gal which is pretty loud.

    "If you're going to do something, do it right the first time"
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    #525208

    Jpg-woodworking
    Pro
    Tallahassee, FL

    I read the 26 page thread on here and it was quite helpful. I decided not to worry about using a HEPA filter or bags for general use, which means I can allow the auto filter cleaning to work as designed. If I need them for specific jobs I can turn it off and clean the filter as needed.

    It also seems like the “power tool activation” system is very conservatively rated. I understand that just because a miter saw has a 15 amp motor doesn’t mean it will draw 15 amps while cutting pine 1×2’s. Max amp draw will occur when bogging the motor down close to the point of stalling. It also seems like if the vac and tool draw too much, it will simply throw the breaker, rather than damaging the tool or vac by supplying too low of voltage like running off a small extension cord does. Can anyone confirm that this will not damage the tools, and that it works fine in most situations running miter saws, routers, etc?

    I did forget that the largest hoses for the Bosch vacs are 35mm, or 1 3/8″. While it seems that they are geared towards collecting dust from power tools, do they do an acceptable job as general “shop vacs” on jobsites? Sucking up drywall, tile, and wood chunks, etc? My Ridgid vac was constantly getting clogged with the 1 7/8″ hose that it shipped with, but it was largely due to the low suction power. It would jam up with leaves that it should easily be able to fold or break up if it had better suction. I have been using it with the 2 1/2″ hose lately and it doesn’t get clogged nearly as often. It can handle much larger pieces of wood, drywall, tile, etc, but it doesn’t have enough suction to pick up drywall screws now.

    #525210

    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    I haven’t used the bosch buy have been using a couple festool vacs for a while and they are great, I wouldn’t go back to a shop vacation. The festools that I am using have less cfm than the botch and the tool amp rating is lower bit I have never had a problem with hooking up a table saw or miter box. Although there are a few situations I would rather have a rigid shop vac than a dust extractor like I would rather have it on a table saw or power planer because even though the cfm rating may be higher on the dust exatracor, sometimes a bigger hose if does better. Also with those to tools they are pretty loud and I use ear plugs any way but 95% of other tools I would have a dust exatracor. They are totally worth it.

    #525248

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    I think the cost is well worth it when you look at the time saved cleaning up.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #525281

    Doobie
    Pro

    I have two Festool vacs. My first one since 2009 and a CT 36AC since. I can’t want to get the Bosch because of design functionality issues because of the way I know how the Festools operate versus how I understand how the different Bosch ones work.

    #525349

    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    I have the vac90s, and i have to say it is awesome. I really like using it and it works great for what i need, capturing sanding dust and jigsaw dust. I’ve even hooked it up to my planer and it worked like a champ.

    #525467

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    I have a 12V cordless and the 14 gal big vac. I like them both. The 12V is really like because it fits in an L-Boxx and I can take it anywhere. The drawback is the lack of a hose attachment to get in really tight areas. The big vac is awesome. Quiet and powerful.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #525474

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Yes, yes and yes. I own the 090A and love it. I also have a 16 gallon “6.5HP” Ridgid…the Bosch pulls more air.

    I’m not sure where the logic comes in on the power tool activation…I see that it’s labeled for mid sized tools, but I use it with my table saw and miter with no ill effects whatsoever. I’m completely comfortable continuing to do so.

    I think it would be careful on abusing the amp rating on the tool activation switch . My festool CT 26 had the switch burnt out in the replacement cost is almost as much is the vacuum . Not to mention you have to send it in to festival for repair . It died when using it in conjunction with one of our 12 inch miter saws . So I would recommend staying within the amp ratings on the tool activation switch it can get costly if you don’t

    #525618

    woodman_412
    Moderator

    I hesitated about buying my Bosch VAC090S because of cost as well but I wouldn’t be without it now. I’ve found it to be well worth the cost for what it gives in performance and features. The limit on amperage for power tools connected to it was a bit of a bummer but I’ve found myself using my ivac switch just about all the time now anyway, especially in the shop. I find the remote switch really convenient since I can turn it on and off anytime I want. I keep the remote clipped on my pants so it’s always easy to reach. For my full review on the vac you can check out the video review I did. At some point I’m going to be doing a quick shop tip video on how I use the ivac switch and why I like it.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #525887

    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    Yes, yes and yes. I own the 090A and love it. I also have a 16 gallon “6.5HP” Ridgid…the Bosch pulls more air.

    I’m not sure where the logic comes in on the power tool activation…I see that it’s labeled for mid sized tools, but I use it with my table saw and miter with no ill effects whatsoever. I’m completely comfortable continuing to do so.

    I think it would be careful on abusing the amp rating on the tool activation switch . My festool CT 26 had the switch burnt out in the replacement cost is almost as much is the vacuum . Not to mention you have to send it in to festival for repair . It died when using it in conjunction with one of our 12 inch miter saws . So I would recommend staying within the amp ratings on the tool activation switch it can get costly if you don’t

    thats too bad, i thought they had fuses that you could replace?

    #525891

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    I think it would be careful on abusing the amp rating on the tool activation switch .

    Too bad they charge so much when a simple part fails. You know you are getting gouged but can do nothing about it.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #551799

    Anonymous

    Bosch vac090s is rated 8.5 amp you said. I hook up my 15 amp tools table saw mitersaw etc with out problem pass 2 years.tool activation is bigggg plus I love it every bit of it and l box connection is very big plus also I just hate where the extension stay and they could of do something for the cord also

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