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Thread: An Old Friend Passes...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    5,321

    An Old Friend Passes...

    After twenty-five years of faithful, uncomplaining service, my Fein Turbo II vac finally quit. The motor developed a flat spot on the commutator, and was pretty much unrepairable.

    I looked around online, and pretty much decided that I'd either get a new Turbo II, or else the Festool 26. With a few questions unanswered, I went to Hartville Hardware (about a 40 mile jaunt for me) to get a 'hands on' look at the Festool.

    After looking it over, I also looked at the Fein. They had both the Turbo II and Turbo III on a really good sale (not so, the Festool - it was list price). Checking specs, the Fein Turbo III pulls more vacuum, and at a higher volume, than any of the Festools, and it was nearly $300.00 less expensive. Like the Festools, the Turbo III is variable speed, and has a 'tool actuated' feature.

    As a result, I got the Fein Turbo III for $422.00, and added a Cleanstream HEPA filter for an extra $29.50.

    Man, does that thing ever suck! I've got it connected to a Dust Deputy on a 10 gallon galvanized can, and with the vac at full power it'll collapse the sides of the can.

    Hopefully, this one will give me another 25 years of service...
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    Thanks for the research. My beloved Fein is getting cranky - the auto-start based on whatever is plugged in (my sanders) is flaky enough that I use an external control most of the time.

    Replacing the electronics shouldn't be a big deal - perhaps only requiring a cleaning since it is flaky but works sometimes. But Fein claims "no user serviceable parts" and doesn't have an apparent way to get inside it. I found the replacement electronics on line (most parts sources don't carry it) but the cost is nearly $200. For that I will continue to use the $15 controller from Sears. So with the unfriendly repair, I have been wondering what I would do if it finally died. I guess Fein is still the vacuum of choice.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,321
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    Thanks for the research. My beloved Fein is getting cranky - the auto-start based on whatever is plugged in (my sanders) is flaky enough that I use an external control most of the time.

    Replacing the electronics shouldn't be a big deal - perhaps only requiring a cleaning since it is flaky but works sometimes. But Fein claims "no user serviceable parts" and doesn't have an apparent way to get inside it. I found the replacement electronics on line (most parts sources don't carry it) but the cost is nearly $200. For that I will continue to use the $15 controller from Sears. So with the unfriendly repair, I have been wondering what I would do if it finally died. I guess Fein is still the vacuum of choice.
    Charlie,
    There are six Phillips-head screws accessible from the underside of the black 'dome' top of the vac. Removing them gives access to the 'innards.' The circuit board is actually only attached with nylon wire ties. But...at $200 plus, it sure wouldn't be economical to mess with.

    BTW: You probably already know this, but the ~$30 Cleanstream filter (HEPA) for the older Sears 16 gallon shop vacs will fit the Fein - both the Turbo II and Turbo III. Way cheaper than the Fein version!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,017
    Congrats on the new tool, and thanks for the comparison.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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