Whether you’re a contractor or just have a small home shop, clean-up is one of the most important parts of the job. Sawdust is a carcinogen and a fire hazard, and you need to keep it out of your work area and especially your home. You could settle for the bare minimum and get a dry vac and run around your shop cleaning up every ten minutes, but it sure would be nice to get one that works as a dust collector and a wet/dry vac too. And if you’ve got a small home shop, why not find one that’s quiet enough to use inside the house as well?
If you’re seriously interested in a quiet wet/dry shop vac, the Fein 9-77-25 Turbo III Wet/Dry Vacuum might be the perfect fit for you. Although it’s designed to be used primarily as a dry vac, it can be converted for wet use as well. It has a convenient auto-on switch that’s suitable for use as a dust collector with any of your shop tools.
Plus, as possibly the quietest vacuum of its size, your family can use it inside the house without having to wear hearing protection. A really long cord and hose and a hard-to-tip-over design just make it even easier to use inside or outside the house. It’s a little pricey, but it’s really flexible and doesn’t have tons of useless features, so you’ll feel like you really got your money’s worth.
Three Vacuums in One
The Fein 9-77-25 Turbo III has so many uses that it’s really three vacuums in one. The best part is that not every option comes with the base model, so you only pay for what you’re going to use. (A lot of people complain about this, but if you’re never going to use a particular feature, why should you have to pay for it?) The Fein Turbo III performs well in each of these three areas:
- As a wet/dry shop vacuum
- As a dust collection unit
- As a home vacuum
It’s a really good machine in each of these categories, but put them all together, and you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.
It’s a Wet/Dry Shop Vac
The Fein 9-22-25 Turbo III is a sturdy vacuum that can stand up to lots of abuse when used daily around the shop for general clean-up. Suction varies depending on your hose or attachment, but out of the box it can be used for just about any cleaning job. If you’re going to use it as a wet vac, you do have to get a foam filter because the included felt filter is not up to the task.
When fitted and used as a wet vac, though, it gets great suction; it’ll get to the bottom of your pool or your basement from the top of the stairs with ease. With a capacity of 12 gallons wet and 14.5 gallons dry, it’s a heavy duty machine that’ll do pretty much anything you’d ever want it to do in your shop.
It’s a Dust Collection Unit
As a dust collection unit, the Fein 9-22-25 Turbo III is ideal because of its low dB rating and the auto-on switch. First, the noise: there is none! This machine is just as quiet as a normal home vacuum. You can turn it on and keep the conversation going, and you don’t have to wear ear protection (of course, you still should). In addition, the Fein Turbo III has a dual motor system – one to provide the suction, and the other to keep the primary motor cool – so this motor will run a lot longer without getting hot.
The included felt filter only filters up to 5 microns, so if you’re using the vacuum mostly for drywall and dust, you ought to get a HEPA filter for it. Don’t get the Fein HEPA filter, though. You can rig up a CleanStream filter with a bolt for less than half the cost. If you work with a lot of dust, consider getting an external cyclone system to catch most of the debris and dust out before it even hits your vacuum filter. This makes clean-up even easier and really prolongs the life of your filter, bag, and motor. With care, you ought to be able to use this unit for 10 years or more.
The auto-on switch is really convenient. I haven’t tried doing this, but you can probably rig it to work with multiple devices and dust collection ports using a power strip and a hose splitter. In any case, when you turn it on with the auto switch, it stays on for a few seconds after you turn the tool off, which helps keep your workspace and hose perfectly clean.
It’s a Home Vacuum
The Fein Turbo III weighs less than 25 pounds, and the mechanism that locks the hose to the body is quite secure, so your kids can drag this vacuum around easily. A 16′ cord and a 10′ hose give you a good-sized reach on both ends, and a low center of gravity makes the machine stable.
It’s worth mentioning that when you turn the vacuum on, you don’t get a puff of dust or whatever it was that you were last vacuuming from the hose. This is really nice to know in case you’re sanding something not too wholesome in the shop – like paint or lacquer – right before your kid grabs the vacuum to clean up spilt oatmeal. It’s just extra peace of mind.
Customer Praise and Complaints
Out of the dozens and dozens of reviews of the Fein 9-77-25, this machine has 4.5 out of 5 stars. Here are some of the most common praises and complaints:
- It’s really as quiet as they say it is!
- There’s a lot of cheap plastic in some of the parts, especially in the rim of the reusable filter and some of the hose attachments.
- Although Fein brand parts are expensive, you can get rubber pipe reducers to make your existing accessories work, and there are other brands of bags and filters that are cheaper and only take a little modification (if any) to work.
- It’s easy to put together and easy to clean. If you aren’t filtering fine dust, you don’t even have to use a bag. Just dump it like a canister vacuum.
- Fein uses a non-standard hose size, and it’s confusing to figure out what you need in order to make it work with what you have. Trying to describe it with words is even more confusing. My advice? Just wait until you see the hose, and then you can figure out what you need.
Where to Buy It
This is a high-quality machine, and it’s going to set you back a few hundred dollars, but if you average the cost over the lifetime, you’re looking at an average daily cost of a few pennies. On Amazon, there are competitive third-party prices and some used ones available too. Ordinarily I wouldn’t recommend purchasing used, but many customers have had their Fein Turbo IIIs for a long time, so it’s probably not as risky as some other used purchases might be.
- Related post: Hoover SteamVac Carpet Washer Review