What with all the hoopla lately regarding the new OSHA guidelines for acceptable levels of silica dust exposure, we’ve been on a mission to find the best products that conform to the new safety standards. As part of that commitment, we recently ran a head to head shootout between OSHA-compliant dust extractors that include HEPA filters and auto filter cleaning to see which models would work best for your jobsite and your budget. To follow up that article, we’ve been looking at each of those featured models a bit more closely than the shootout allowed. Today, we’re looking at our second place finisher, the Hilti VC 150-10 XE Dust Extractor.
While everything we’ve looked at so far enters the market at or below the $600 mark, Hilti mixes things up with a model that runs $899. Hilti generally makes a really well-built, dependable tool that also tends to fall on the pricier end of the spectrum. So, to some extent, this price point should not come as much of a shock. But still, a three hundred dollar price difference is no small thing. We’re left wondering what the Hilti offers that causes the price to jump up like that. Does the performance justify the increased price? Let’s take a look at what the Hilti VC 150-10 XE has to say for itself.
Just like all the other dust extractors in our shootout, Hilti has equipped their model with HEPA filter capability. While you can use this dust extractor with a HEPA filter, your $900 purchase price will not include any HEPA filters, so you’re going to have to purchase them separately. That said, with the HEPA filter installed, this dust extractor will filter out dust particles 0.3 microns and larger.
Auto Filter Cleaning
The Hilti VC 150-10 XE also features automatic filter cleaning. OSHA requires a cleaning mechanism for concrete applications, and auto filter cleaning is the way to go on portable dust extractors. However, some models incorporate this feature better than others. Hilti utilizes a reverse airflow method for cleaning the filter. The unit pulses a reverse airflow every 15 seconds, which knocks the dust loose from the filter.
Auto Tool Activation
The Hilti features pass-through power, which allows you to plug a power tool into the dust extractor. The benefit to running a tool off the vacuum’s power is that the extractor will turn on when you start up the tool. When you quit running it, the extractor waits gives you a few seconds of additional suction and then shuts itself down. The Hilti VC 150-10 XE provides up 11 amps of power to whatever tool you’re using, which is a marked improvement over every other model we looked at. You will, however, need to connect to a 20-amp breaker if you plan on running that much power.
The cord/hose wrap system is a feature that seems overlooked by most of our manufacturers. Hilti’s integrated cord-wrap system is pretty good, though the VC 150-10 XE could still use a lot of help when it comes to the hose.
We tested each model to see how much suction it produced, as well as testing for the overall effect of suction power and CFM. To learn more about the nuts and bolts of our testing procedures, I’ll refer you back to the Dust Extractor Shootout. For the time being, it suffices to say that we tested suction through a water lift test, and we tested the vacuum effect through debris collection. We also tested each area with a clean filter installed before running 20 pounds of concrete dust through it and doing the test again.
With clean filters installed, the Hilti VC 150-10 XE is our winner in the water lift test. It could lift water 85″ up a 2-1/2″ pipe. However, after some use in concrete, the Hilti dropped to 81.50″, which is a 4.1% loss of power. It still easily topped our charts on both tests.
We also tested these extractors while their auto clean functions kicked on. The VC150-10 XE showed the largest loss of performance during filter cleaning, losing just over 35% in the water lift test.
We looked at the clean area each extractor was able to totally clear, as well as the area that was partially affected by the extractor’s volume generation. Again, the Hilti VC150-10 XE led the pack in both areas with a clean filter.
After inhaling concrete dust, the Hilti lost a step and came in just behind Metabo could do in our clean area testing. It moved back into its familiar spot at the top in the partially affected area. However, we did notice that Hilti exhibited the largest drop in performance with a dirty filter.
Over the span of all of our testing, the VC 150-10 XE lost 7.5% power with a used filter. Even though it loses a higher level of performance than others after use, it’s the still the top performer overall at any stage.
If power is your ultimate goal, then you might be best served by the Hilti VC 150-10XE. Hilti not only provides the most CFM suction power, it also provides the most pass-through power for your tools. Truly, this dust extractor has some serious professional level power.
However, this model drops some points because of the dip in performance it exhibits during its cleaning cycle and after pulling in concrete dust. But even though its performance dips more than the others, it’s still the best overall at any stage of use.
At $899, it’s nearly $200 more than the next most expensive model. If you absolutely need the most available power from your dust extractor, the Hilti VC150-10 XE will be the best you can buy. However, there are other options at the 150 CFM level for less.
Hilti VC 150-10 XE Dust Extractor Features
- Hilti AirBoost filter technology for consistently high suction performance
- Filter cleaning can be switched off to reduce noise and increase water capacity
- Built-in socket enabling automated simultaneous operation with electric tools for improved working convenience
- 150 CFM level to comply with most OSHA regulations
Hilti VC 150-10 XE Dust Extractor Specs
- Model: Hilti 3563661
- Motor: 9 amps
- CFM: 150
- Tested Water Lift: 85.00″
- Capacity: 10 gal
- Hose Length: 16′
- Cord Length: 22′
- Price: $899
- Warranty: 20-2-1 warranty