A Note on Nilfisk

The latest toy to arrive in my workshop!

Earlier this week, my new vacuum arrived in my workshop – it’s the Nilfisk-Alto Aero 25-21, in case I haven’t mentioned it before…! 😉 I placed the order online Tuesday morning and was a little disappointed when the despatch confirmation dropped in to my inbox Wednesday lunch time. Usually, D&M Tools are next-day, regardless of which service you pay for… Not that I payed for delivery, of course. As their sub-£99 delivery charges are sky-high compared to most other online retailers, I always make sure that any order I place for them qualifies for free delivery [in this instance, I bought five spare filter bags, more filters for my dust mask, 6in. sanding discs and a can of WD-40, in case you were wondering!]. This also means that they don’t get my custom for small orders (and, I’m sure, many of you are the same). Still, I was relieved when the order turned up early on Thursday morning – at 7.45, to be precise! Just I was setting off for college!

That’s not to knock the standards of their service or quality of the products they deliver. On more than one occasion, I’ve been on the receiving end of some excellent after sales service from D&M. Now, on to the Nilfisk

These filter bags make emptying a breeze and prolong the life of the cartridge filter. For 'wet' pick up, you should remove these bags and just fill the drum.

Before purchasing this, I owned a Record Power RSDE2-A extractor, with built-in auto-switching for 230v power tools. Plenty of power and double the capacity of my new machine. But, the noise was a bother and as a second extractor [in addition to my ADE1200 chip collector], it really was too big for my small space. All I really wanted was something more ‘compact’ that could easily be used with power tools, where the collection capacity isn’t as much of an issue. If you were looking for something to use alongside larger, stationary machinery then, I’d still recommend the Record Power extractors for your consideration. That’s where the 100mm hoses come in to play; they’re too large for your router to random orbit sander. I also hear the Camvac extractors are worth a look – Rob would be the bloke to ask about that!

A handy organiser for all the household additions is included. It also gives you something to wrap the mains lead around!

Although I haven’t given it much of a run yet (I’ve spent most of today fiddling with my mortiser, for the final time!), I’m impressed by what I’ve seen of the Nilfisk vacuum so far. It is slightly bigger than I was expecting but, again, it’s only half the size of my previous model so, I’m sure I can find a home for it, somewhere. In terms of the noise it generates, I have to admit it doesn’t sound as quiet as my mum’s “Hetty” vacuum – if it wasn’t pink, you can bet I’d have had that one in the workshop already!! Our house is full of pink tat and, quite often, this space within my four-walls is the only place where I can truly feel ‘at home’!! Back to the noise… It definitely lacks the ‘high-pitched wine’ of the Record machines that I have used and does include a couple of neat features, as well as a bundle of accessories for cleaning around the house. Mum’s vacuum also has a rewindable mains lead to keep things tidy. If only someone could come with a convenient means for storing the hose…

Maximum power tool rating is 1,800w, which will cover most tools except for large routers. I'm a little wary of this, given that the motor is 1,400w - how does that equate to a 13amp/2,200w supply?

What did surprise me, having read the manual, is that the manufacturers state this vacuum should not be used to collect “hazardous dust“… And yet, on the same pages, they claim this is ideal for use with power tools (there’s even a woman doing a bit of sanding on the box)… Perhaps I’m just being pedantic but, whenever I’ve had a lecture on Health & Safety at college, it has also been made clear that ‘wood dust’ can be hazardous to one’s health! Dust from MDF and many hardwoods can spontaneously combust; and yet, they again state that this vacuum should be not used to collect this kind of waste…

One of my next jobs will be to manufacture a few simple adaptors for connecting the 40mm hose to various power tools and some of my bench top machines. Nilfisk do supply a stepped reducer but, as it always the case, I’m sure to find this will only fit some of my tools and not others!

As I look forward to working in a cleaner, safer environment, I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my future findings with this latest purchase. My only regret so far is that I didn’t buy it sooner – the price suddenly rose £10 only a few weeks ago. At least, I still made a substantial saving off the RRP, thanks to D&M!

…And I haven’t even mentioned the self-cleaning filter!!

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