Ridgid Vacuum

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I purchased the Ridgid WD1450 "professional" wet/dry vac I was asking about last week. The quotes around "professional" are mine, as the ratings Ridgid provided were obviously designed for the "homeowner" type of user. I'd expect a professional vacuum to be rated according to scientific measurements like inches of water column and dB rather than Peak Horsepower (assuming weak horses, naturally) and arbitrary sound ratings.
As far as value for the money is concerned, it looks to be a good buy. For just over $100 you get a servicable and quieter than some shop vacuum. You'll still have to talk loudly to get over it, but it's nowhere near as bad as many of the others. If I had to guess, I'd guess the level was somewhere around 75-80 dB.
Included in the box is an upgraded filter (it said it had a VF5000, but it looks like the VF6000 HEPA filter was installed), small accessory kit, and a 2 1/2" hose. I was unimpressed with the included accessories: A wet floor sweep (might be useful, but you have to purchase a wet filter separately), small floor sweep that's all plastic (the ones with brushes work better), and a "upholstery" attachment that's really a blower nozzle.
An additional purchase was dust bags, because it just doesn't make any sense to me to get all dusty cleaning out a vacuum that's supposed to keep you from getting all dusty. They're not too cheap at 2 for $15, but it does take a while to fill one.
After connecting the vacuum to the table saw and cutting some dados, I noticed that not only was the process neater but the dado blade seemed to cut easier. I guess the vacuum pulling the chips away from the blade helped quite a bit.
There's only 1 speed on this vacuum, and no electrical plug in. If you must have those features, you'll have to buy something else.
Filtration seems to work correctly. Dust is trapped in the vacuum and not just pulled away from the work area and redistributed. I suspect that the Ridgid power head sees very few changes to be used on the HEPA certified models. (This is just my suspicion. I haven't looked much at the HEPA models and I could be 100% wrong. It wouldn't be the first time...)
Drawbacks include combination of the small casters under the unit and the long cord and short hose. This means the vacuum wants to follow you as you work, but often winds up getting caught on its own cord. The hose is not antistatic nor is it grounded, but not much static builds up anyway. It's certainly not enough to be annoying.
The wet filter is a separate purchase, so while there's a squeegee floor sweep included the vacuum cannot be used for wet stuff out of the box. A little annoying, but that's why I keep the Shop Vac around.
One plastic clip that holds the head to the bucket is a little tight (I used a prybar to get it off) but that seems to happen with most plastic clips. Maybe it'll loosen up after a few cycles.
The "jet stream" out of the back is designed for use as a leaf blower. I just don't see the point as a leaf blower is lighter than the vacuum, needs no filter changes, and just as noisy. To blow tools off using the vacuum, the best thing to do is set the vacuum hose in the direction of an air compressor blow gun and blow the dust into the vacuum. I consider the leaf blower feature to be just a marketing bullet point thing.
Overall, this is just a simple vacuum that's a good value for the money. It's not overly loud, but could be quieter. Dust control seems to be effective, with no noticable dust escaping out the exhaust. Ridgid's dust bags are on the expensive side, but perhaps aftermarket bags will solve that problem.
Puckdropper
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Try the little diffuser that they sell for the out port. It does cut the noise down quite a bit.
On 10/6/2011 8:44 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

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tiredofspam <nospam.nospam.com> writes:

any meaningful difference in sound level...
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Noise? They make noise?
I don't wear my hearing aids often in the shop. When an offensive noise comes along, I open up the battery doors with my thumbnail until contact is broken, and I can hear very little.
Noise, you say?
Hmmmmmmmmm.
Steve
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On 06 Oct 2011 12:44:47 GMT, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote: <snipped>

I tried using a shop vac years ago on my table saw. It helped, but I found it really didn't move the volume of air required for effective dust control. I also tried it on a portable planer. I had to empty if vac far to frequently.

I highly recommend a "CleanStream" filter.
http://www.cleanstream.com/products/landing_craftsman_ridgid.html

On the occasions I use the shop vac for water pick up I just remove the filter. The freezer I have in my basement requires manual defrosting. I use a heat gun to melt the ice build up and the vac to suck up the water.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Using the vacuum on the table saw is much better than nothing. I get a big pile of dust and chips under the saw in just a few weeks of use and walk in colored the same color as the wood I've been using.
The DeWalt 735 manual says not to use a vacuum with the planer for exactly that reason.

I'm not familiar with the product. What do you like about them?

I was incorrect about the wet use. Apparently it's good to go right out of the box. Just remove the filter (and bags if using them) and go.
Another marketing bullet point: Humidifier mode! Leave the filter in, and let the vacuum spray a mist out the exhaust port. lol
Puckdropper
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On 06 Oct 2011 22:12:09 GMT, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote: <snipped>

The have a HEPA filter rating, are washable and unless damaged last indefinitely. I've been using the same filter for about the last 15 years.
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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I have a low end Ridgid that works perfect on my old Craftsman Table Saw. The trick (for me) to make it work was to close off all the air holes around any of the penetrations using a combination of plywood and rubber. I also added a zero clearance insert. The result is that almost no sawdust escapes from the saw and what is captured gets sucked into my shop vac.
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On 06 Oct 2011 12:44:47 GMT, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

Are you going to buy the muffler?

Cool.
My all-plastic floor sweep on my Griz works like a champ. No brushes.

Weird. Tell us how dust you get wrestling the bag from the unit, eh?

Cool.
What, folks need an outlet to power their iPad which they use while vacuuming the shop?!?

From the sales lit, it appears that the filter alone lets it make the jump.

Can you cite a shop vac hose which IS grounded?

Interesting. The filters are considered washable. Why won't they work with wet material, I wonder?

Or break. BTDT with other plastic parts. <sigh>

Marketinggeekspeak.

Yer shittin' me! A shop vac using a BAG? Amazing. I thought only Uncle Fester's dust extractors (not called shop vacs) used bags.
Thanks for the review, mon.
-- I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues. --Duke Ellington
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I haven't decided yet. I didn't see it on the shelf when I got the vacuum, so I might have missed it.

If the Fein bag was any indication, it won't be too bad.

Yes! Can you imagine using the vacuum chamber for a speaker box to bellow out tunez while you vacuum? Add a couple more speakers and you've got a portable noise maker and vacuum. lol
Autostart can be nice for sanders and the like. Not too big of deal for the TS, though.

No, I can't. The Festool is supposed to come with an anti-static hose, but that's not grounded.

I was wrong about that. Remove the filter to vacuum wet materials. A little moisture with the filter installed won't hurt it, but too much may spray water out the exhaust.

That should be covered under "materials and workmanship" but good luck getting warranty service, eh?

I think the Festool comes with a bag while on all the others it's an option. It's a good one to take, though.
Puckdropper
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On 06 Oct 2011 22:29:04 GMT, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

I saw it in the accessory list when I perused the HD site that day.

I like the autostart Festool has on their suckers. Turn the tool on, the sucker starts. Turn the tool off, the sucker takes a few seconds to suck up what's in the hose and then turns off. Nice & convenient.

Especially if it's a design error, and everyone's broke.

Why? Dumping a smaller cannister into a 35gal trash can is a cinch.
-- I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues. --Duke Ellington
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As did I. I read about it in some of the Amazon reviews as well. I just didn't see it in the store when I got the vac.

I wouldn't buy a more expensive vac just for this feature... Rocker has one for $37.99: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 351

Maybe a molding error, but the design is common. Ah well, a spring clamp should do the job until the vacuum follows me around a corner.

It's still a dusty process. I get messy enough on my own without the vacuum dust helping. On the Fein, it seemed like I lost suction quickly due to the dust. With the bags, I could suck up more dust before losing suction. I don't know about this one, though.
Puckdropper
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Try this link for $20 as opposed to 35 http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00924031000P?
If you need more capacity (amperage) try the mbright line http://www.ivacswitch.com/index.action
On 10/7/2011 12:27 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

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tiredofspam <nospam.nospam.com> wrote in

Being a control freak, I prefer a foot switch. It allows me to run the vac easily for cleanup, and I can power the vac off a separate circuit from the saw/power tool. There are some cheap ones around, and some more expensive ones. A lot of the newer ones are plastic, and you have to make sure you get a "Push-On Push-Off" style & not one you have to stand on. The cheap ones work OK, but they are light & tend to skid around. I have one like this, which is metal, but is still too light:
http://www.linemaster.com/media/DataSheets/LIT-008%20Rev%20Bsm.pdf
They run around $20. More recently, I got one of these:
http://tinyurl.com/2annw8v
This is almost twice the weight of the other one, works great, but cost a good bit more (~$60).
Doug White
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tiredofspam <nospam.nospam.com> writes:

Cool - I like that it has a 'mode' switch and 2 accessory outlets.
However, I didn't see any listing of amperage (either tool or accessory) on the link.
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On 07 Oct 2011 04:27:14 GMT, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

It must be more popular than we thought, but lots of the reviews said this was a quiet vac.

You'd spend $47 (with shipping) instead of "investing" only $500 more?

<g>
Maybe the bags slow the collection of dust on the fiber of the filter. Enjoy!
-- I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues. --Duke Ellington
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Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> writes:

And often on sale for about $25
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Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> writes:

Home Depot sells a 'muffler' for Ridgid shop vacs for about $10. It is just real a small annulus of foam that attaches to the exhaust port.
It didn't make a bit of difference to sound level and if anything cut down the suction power a little. Since most of the noise on standard vacs come from the motor mounted on the top, it is understandable why adding a muffler to the air exhaust won't do much to muffle the *loud* Ridgid motor noise...
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I noticed a noise reduction when I put a hose on the leaf blower port. I might have had a nozzle attachment on it, but it worked with just an open hose.
It certainly wasn't enough of a reduction to keep permanently.
Puckdropper
--
Make it to fit, don't make it fit.

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On Thu, 06 Oct 2011 16:44:12 -0700, Larry Jaques

I use an iSocket on my SCMS, controlling a shop vac. It's a whole lot cheaper than Fe$tool.
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2005855/18215/ISocket-Vacuum-Automator.aspx

I use a plastic trash bag to line my shop vac.
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