Towards the end of last year when the OSHA silica rules were going into effect we were getting lots of questions about dust extractors specific to Silica, how they are each viewed under OSHA’s Table 1 standards and of course how each performed head to head. At the time there were no head-to-heads out there on these vacs so the Coptool Team got on the case to put together a basic Vacuum Head-to-Head to help users gain more information.
Since our video first aired several manufacturers have made updates to their products with lower prices and/or included HEPA filters which is awesome news for everyone! Also two of our tool reviewing hero’s Pro Tool Reviews and Tool Box Buzz jumped on the case to do their own vacuum comparisons, with some great testing rigs and pointed out some additional information that we might have glossed over. We really think both of these groups do top notch tool test, Clint’s team at Pro Tool Review is always very detailed and Rob’s Crew are mostly professional contractors with some great insights.
TOOL BOX BUZZ – Vac Head-To-Head Post
PRO TOOL REVIEWS – Vac Head-To-Head Post
From our stand-point the more good comparisons, the better when it comes to topics like this that have real safety concerns as well as a lot of variables how they will be used. All 3 tests resulted in different winner, however there were some slight changes in competitors for each test and some differences of what features seemed to be ranked more highly.
Our test was specifically looking at dust extraction vacs to meet OSHA Table Silica compliance. Spoiler Alert: We gave the Milwaukee the win, this was in part because of the 3 stage HEPA filter which very similar to the Hilti (who declined to participate in our test) which was the winner for Tool Box Buzz. Finally Metabo was the winner for Pro Tool Review which we actually think their 2 filter system is superior to our winner, Milwaukee, in the aspect that it does not lose any suction during the filter cleaning cycle. When it comes to compliance under Table 1, the Milwaukee is rated for 6” tools (vs Metabo 5” tools) and simplicity that all their units have a HEPA filters, eliminating any confusion of which filter is in the vac on the jobsite. That view might have been a skewed view for us because many of our conversations on the OSHA silica compliance were with safety directors for mid-size to large companies looking to manage multiple crews and dozens of vacuums which had big concerns with different model and filter options, as 1 slip up potentially could result in very large fine.
Again for you, situation will dictate what is most important, one man band or buying for crews all over the state we think it’s great to have more information when making your final decisions. It is awesome to have comparisons like you’ll see from Tool Box Buzz and Pro Tool Reviews and we are always more than happy to share them and point our readers in that direction for more insights.
Looking Behind the Curtain on Construction HEPA Vacuums – Hopefully this doesn’t come as too big of a shocker for everyone but none of the big Tool Brands actually build their own HEPA vacuums. There are a lot of standards and testing that go into certifying a vacuums to be rated as HEPA and only a handful of manufacturer’s are actually able make these units but they of course build to spec for everyone else in any color you want red, blue, teal, green, purple with poke-a-dots if you’ve got the coins. If you are thinking wow those Nilfisk, Karcher and StarMix vacuums look pretty darn close to some of your favorite brand’s HEPA vacuums there are probably good reasons for that.