Workshop vacuum cleaner recommendations?

Any recommendations for a workshop vacuum for the following?
- typical sawdust extraction from power tools - sucking up sand, cement dust and lumps from between bricks - quiet enough to be used in a confined space - blow facility, preferably via a separate port
On getting stuff from between bricks, I am repointing a wall and the old lime mortar is very crumbly. Any time I scrape away the existing cement dust more dust and lumps are pulled down. A vacuum should hopefully clear the cement and sand away and leave it clean. A domestic vacuum fails to clean out the spaces, which is why I am looking for something more powerful.
On the blow port, I've seen what looked like a good workshop vac with a blow facility but it basically blew the air back the way it had come. I think I would rather the air kept going in one direction.
We had a domestic vac years ago where, in order to get it to blow, the hose had to be attached to a different point on the housing. That seemed more sensible to me as it was easy to change and avoided spitting any dirt back out again (being after the bag and filter) but perhaps I am old fashioned!
I've never had a workshop vac before. I guess it would be convenient if there was a way to have it stop and start automatically when the power tool it was being used with stops and starts. But I don't know if such a facility exists. Failing that, some way to start it remotely might help, in case the machine is a long hose away from the tool being used.
Is there anything else I should look out for in a first workshop vac?
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James Harris


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I remember those.We had one called vactric, and it came with a paint sprayer as well.
Mind you it weighed a ton and was not exactly lean on power either. Eventually it managed to disintegrate its compressor even though it was made of metal. metal fatigue I suppose. It was very handy for those making model planes out of balsa wood for sucking up the dust. Brian
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Brian Gaff wrote:

I never got much dust when I was balsa bashing nearly 44 years ago. I visited the local club about 4 years ago when I was thinking of taking the hobby back up. The snobbery was still there - I'm sure you know what I mean. Seems that they mostly buy polystyrene kits these days and just glue them together. To me that would take all the fun out of the hobby.
Brian: When you were doing the hobby, did you ever read anything by Captain Gordon Whitehead in the magazines? I knew him well. http://www.rcmf.co.uk/4um/electric-rc-tech/gordon-whitehead-tiger-moth-mods-to-fit-outrunner-motors/?PHPSESSID=n7vakugulg8jlsuj9cbv5u6sn6

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On Saturday, 1 October 2016 18:08:46 UTC+1, James Harris wrote:

Can't beat it.
http://bit.ly/2dkQfsO
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On 10/1/2016 6:08 PM, James Harris wrote:

I (only) have the very basic Wickes/Earlex plastic "wet and dry" which is cheap and fairly robust. It will suck and blow and will take a "two inch" hose as well, which is handy for more bulky stuff.
BUT, it's a bit noisy, and no remote switching.
ISTR that there is a vaccum which has a 13 amp socket on it, if you plug your tool into it then you can switch both off at once.
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On 01/10/2016 20:06, newshound wrote:

You can always make you own remote switch fro any vacuum:
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/Current_activated_switch
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John Rumm expressed precisely :

No need to make one, the energy suppliers gave many of these away, usually intended to switch all the periferals off when the desktop was turned off. The are like a plug in adator, with a master socket and 1 or 2 slave outlets.
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On 02/10/2016 10:27, Harry Bloomfield wrote:

...

I can find pre-made current sensing switches in America but not the UK. Do you have a link to one?
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On 04/10/2016 13:53, James Harris wrote:

There are any number of master / slave sockets about. e.g.:
http://www.homebase.co.uk/en/homebaseuk/energenie-6-gang-master-slave-extension-lead---18m-448302
Many are of dubious quality though!
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On 01/10/2016 18:08, James Harris wrote:

Bought one of these today, has a power socket & blows. https://www.aldi.co.uk/p/72115/0
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Dave - The Medway Handyman

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David Lang wrote:

This one and its "lidl" brother get rave reviews on the woodworking forums that I frequent.
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On 01/10/2016 23:05, Bob Minchin wrote:

Yes, I have the Lidl version, and it's very powerful/versatile. It's also quite big and noisy, and the paper bags are £16.50 for 5 via some convoluted ordering system. I use some generic ones (about a pound each) from ebay, but they split easily.
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On 02/10/2016 03:55, RJH wrote:

...

I saw on the Aldi site a reviewer say it was very noisy. I'd rather pay more for a quieter one because I think the noise would eventually drive the user crazy!
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On Sun, 2 Oct 2016 11:47:54 +0100, James Harris

Other than ones where the vacuum unit is fixed outside and the pipe plumbed through the wall I have never come across one which could be described as anything but very noisy.
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On 10/2/2016 1:22 PM, Peter Parry wrote:

I've always been impressed by how quiet the Henry family is, given their excellent suck. But of course they don't blow.
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On 02/10/2016 20:48, newshound wrote:

IMO Henry's are well thought out and properly made. Quiet. Good suction. Manual wind. Long hose.
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On 01/10/16 18:08, James Harris wrote:

I have a Nilfisk Aero 26. Wet and dry, separate port for blow, auto switch for power tools. Price from screwfix was good and the bags and filter are cheap from Screwfix

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On Sat, 1 Oct 2016 21:53:29 +0100, DJC wrote:

I've a Nilfisk (25 IIRC) with the PTO. Trouble is, when using the Bosch multitool the vac. slows down as I reduce the speed of the tool, so basically it's useless for that. Haven't yet needed to use it with the SDS.
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On 01/10/2016 21:53, DJC wrote:

I just got one but it doesn't seem to have much power. The mains lead is quite thick but maybe that's because of the slave power port. What did you think of how powerful yours was and did you find any way to boost it?
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On 05/10/16 15:50, James Harris wrote:

Seems powerful enough to me, certainly as good as the 2000W Miele I use for normal domestic duties.
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