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Tip writes: “I’ve been looking for something like this for years.  I already have a remote for the dust collector in the shop, but I wanted something to automatically switch on my shop vacuum like the the Fein and Festool dust collection vacuums.  But $400 for a shop vacuum?  YIKES!  I once tried to make one from some relays, didn’t work.  After all, I’m a cabinetmaker not an electrician.”

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“The $20 ‘Craftsman Auto Switch’ turned my $49 shopvac into a Festool – well, almost.   The auto switch has three outlets: one for the tool and two that are switched.  A toggle switch disables the switched outlets, and there’s a plug on the back for the power source.  When you turn on the tool plugged into the ‘tool’ outlet, the auto switch turns on your shop vacuum.  When you shut off the tool, the switch shuts off the vacuum after a two to three second delay to help clear debris out of the hose.”

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Craftsman Auto Switch [Sears]

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14 Responses to $20 Auto Switch + $50 Shop Vacuum = $400 Festool Dust Collection Vac

  1. Kevin Jack says:

    This looks pretty useful! I like that Craftsman comes out with innovative add-ons that save us tool mongers from having to upgrade tools (for a while).

    Best of all.. the price is right!

  2. Jake says:

    Awesome. I was thinking of making something like this myself too, but I can’t beat 20 bucks. Great tip!

  3. Michael W. says:

    Thanks for the share. That’s about 1/2 the price of the other units I’ve seen around.

  4. Mike R says:

    FYI if the link is broken search for Auto Switch or Sears item #00924031000

  5. James says:

    Looks like it’s not available in Canada. :-(

  6. Roscoe says:

    Would this work with a power strip so that several tools could use it?

  7. Stuey says:

    It’s not hard to make perma Sears links.

    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?pid=00924031000

    Just search for the “pid” in the URL and delete everything else after the “product.do?” part.

  8. AZ Engineer says:

    Great solution for an autostart vac but….. it’s no Festool. I personally own a Sear gazillion Horsepower shopvac and a professoinal WAP Drywaller vac. I use the Sears vac for for general cleanup, but I can hear it over the router. The WAP vac has more suction and inches of lift than the Sears, and it’s only 56 db. The Festool is nice, but it’s expensive, and it’s 72 db. A nice alternative is the Fein vac, it’s around 59db, and nearly as powerful as the WAP. It runs around $120 I think.

  9. MikeR says:

    Whoa whoa whoa, easy there… It takes a lot more* than auto-start to compare to a Festool :P

    *For the record, it takes twin HEPA filters with cleaner flaps, variable suction, quiet operation, an anti-static hose, air tool compatibility (not to power the tools, but that you can use Festool’s air sander and connect it to the ct22/ct33 and have it collect dust) AND auto-start (and then there’s still more).

    You could have at least compared it to a yucky Fein vac :)

    (Anyone want to buy a Fein mini-turbo? The older model)

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go hump my vacuum.

  10. Rob says:

    well there are small moduals used for running turn devices on via inductance
    we install them all time should work fine to make your own or to make several to run many tools or put it on the main feed into a small shop and if any plug in the circuit were turned on it would turn your vacuum on

    could easily get a air switch the works of air flow not pressure

    I’ll get a part and a proper name for you guys tomorrow we just call them booster fan switches

    very flexable idea yo just gave me sir thank you very much

  11. Dave says:

    This auto switch is a great idea. I’m going to try it on one of my old vacuums.
    But this doesnt turn the Craftsman into a Festool or even a Wap vac

    I’ve used Festool and Wap vacuums (now I think called Alto or Attix vacuums) for 20 years. I have a Wap from 1988 and it still works better than any Festool vacuum i ever bought or any other Craftsman or Rigid. My next vacuum will be another Wap or Attix because myself and the other drywallers and contractors i work with find the Wap to be far superior to the Festool. Way more durable and powerful.

    if you guys havent seen it there is a cool video showing a new Wap Attix vacuum with a selfcleaning filter system. the vacuum sucks up an entire 50 lbs. bag of Portland cement mix without using a bag. REALLY AMAZING.

    i saw this video at http://www.industrialvacs.com and was blown away. you should check it out.

    But thanks for the tips

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  14. Jc says:

    It generally doesn’t take much money or effort to turn *anything* into a Festool product.

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