When it comes to dust extraction, you either love your system or wish you had a better one. The ability to effectively collect the dust that you’re creating is the make-or-break feature because that’s the entire point of its existence. I got my hands on the Bosch VAC140A Dust Extractor to help out with a few projects around the house and shop. I had plenty of cutting to do using Bosch’s CM8S 8-1/2″ Miter Saw that was featured in our Compact Miter Saw Shootout. Claiming suction power of 150 CFM, I also snagged the VAC011 attachment set to see how well this unit would do with vacuuming applications. We didn’t have the Bosch VAC140A back when we did our dust extractor vacuum shootout, so it was high time we put it to the test to see what it could do.
There’s a lot to love on the Bosch VAC140A. For example, automatic filter cleaning takes place every 15 seconds. If it works as advertised, this should prevent the majority of suction loss due to filter clogging. There is also automatic power tool activation. This feature has become a favorite among PTR reviewers by allowing the vacuum to be turned on in conjunction with the tool switch (it triggers the vac based on sensing the current draw from the tool). You may not realize just how nice it is to remove the noise between cuts until you finally experience it—plus it’s more efficient.
There are a couple of features that are available, but that I won’t be testing this time around. If you grab the VF120H filter, you’ll turn this dust extractor into an EPA compliant system for lead related renovations, repair, and painting (RRP). There’s also a Power Broker dial. This allows you control power and suction allocation between tool and vacuum in specialized applications (like sanding, where less suction may actually work in your favor). I’m not suffering from any power limitations, so I’ll be testing this with all the 150 CFM power it can offer.
Bosch VAC140A Dust Extractor First Impressions
The build quality of this system is excellent. Going with the 14 gallon model earns you a steel frame to go with the rubber wheels and heavier duty locking casters. There is a locked position handle that is very useful for moving this Bosch dust extractor around the shop. The Bosch VAC140A is on the heavy side, so you’ll appreciate the easy rolling and convenient handle. The polypropylene canister will also withstand more than I’ll ever throw at it.
The system is HEPA ready. Bosch’s stock filter isn’t HEPA rated, but the system locks down so that adding the appropriate filter upgrades it to HEPA certification. Getting to the filter is simple. Just pull the latch on the back and lift. You don’t have to remove the entire top housing to reach it. When it’s time to empty the Bosch VAC140A Dust Extractor, a pair of latches hold the top in place. Unlock those, and you’re in business.
The Bosch VAC140A comes with a hose just under 10 feet. I’d recommend the VAC011 accessory kit to pair with it. This will give you wand extensions, a vacuum head with interchangeable bare floor, carpet, and wet floor attachments, crevice tool, and brush tool. This will help handle all the cleanup—from the floor, to the tool you used to make a mess.
Bosch VAC140A Dust Extractor Additional Features
- L-BOXX integration creates a mobile work station
- Flat filter design takes up less canister space
- Push handle for easier movement
- Vacuum hose wrap keeps the hose under control
- Cord wrap keeps the cord under control
- On board accessory storage offers easy access and storage
Bosch VAC140A Dust Extractor Specifications
- Power Source: 120V AC
- Air Flow: 150 CFM
- Vacuum Suction Pressure: 242 millibars
- Weight: 38 pounds
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $669
Bosch VAC140A Dust Extractor Performance
If you’ve never used a automatic filter cleaning dust extractor before, don’t jump when it goes through its first cycle. Every 15 seconds, it’s going to sound like there’s a Hobbit trapped inside the canister knocking loudly to get out. I may have forgotten to mention this to my Bride when we first turned it on.
Being late in the evening, I wasn’t going back to the shop to try this out. We installed the carpet attachment to the vacuum head and proceeded to clean up the downstairs of my home. On carpet, you’ve got to understand there are no spinning brushes to help with collection. Still, I was really impressed with how well The Bosch VAC140A did on our floors. Perimeter brushes collected objects prone to tangling while the suction grabbed everything the brushes loosened up.
A couple days later, I finally had an excuse to do some cutting with and attached the system to our Bosch 8-1/2″ miter saw. First, I used the saw as normal with the dust bag to get an idea of what kind of mess it typically makes. It certainly caught more than half, but still left plenty to clean up.
When I installed the hose to the dust extractor port on the miter saw, it was easily a perfect fit. The hose was nice and snug inside the port with no room for particles to escape around the edge. It’s not surprising since both are Bosch products, but still nice to see the design effort confirmed.
Dust extraction wasn’t perfect. This had more to do with the sawdust that missed the extraction shoot rather than the suction effort of the Bosch Dust Extractor. There was noticeably less dust left on the saw base, however. I didn’t collect all the particles and weigh them for a statistical analysis. Just based on observation though, I’d say that the Bosch VAC140A collected an additional 75% more dust than with the bag alone.
I used the power tool activation feature. It takes about 1 second for the Bosch VAC140A Dust Extractor to kick on after starting the tool. This is such a short amount of time that you won’t need to adjust your tool use to wait for it. The system also stays on several seconds after the tool shuts down. This effectively cleared the dust extraction port so no sawdust fell back through.
Bare Floor Vacuuming
Having Bosch’s VAC011 Accessory kit made clean up a breeze. Many people like to take a compressor to blow off tools before putting them away. That can actually force particles deeper into the tool though. Using the crevice tool, I was able to effectively clean the miter saw and stand to my standards.
Switching out for the extension wands and bare floor vacuum head, dust and sand on the floor were also quickly removed. A note about the wand extensions—they’re plastic. Some people may argue with me on this one, but I’ll take plastic over metal here. Why? Plastic doesn’t allow static electricity to build up during debris removal. When I was using the Fein Turbo II metal extension, I had static electricity jumping a couple of inches into my hand.
Auto Filter Cleaning
So what about the Bosch VAC140A’s automatic filter cleaning? It’s not perfect either. When I finished cutting for the day, there was plenty of debris caught up in it despite its effort to remove performance-degrading material every 15 seconds. Still, I didn’t notice any reduction in power during use. Since its stated purpose is to provide fade-free power, I’d call it a success. After checking the filter, it took less than 5 minutes to go outside and clean it up. That’s a small amount of maintenance to ensure it’s ready to go in the morning.
I am extremely pleased with the Bosch VAC140A Dust Extractor. Top of the line suction power combined with several intuitive features makes this a great solution for professionals. The price tag is higher than most of Bosch’s competition. If you don’t need 14 gallons of containment, you can save a few dollars by going with the $599 Bosch VAC090A that stores 9 gallons. It’s got the same 150 CFM volume rating, Power Broker feature, power tool activation, and auto filter cleaning as the Bosch VAC140A. Although these systems are higher in price, we haven’t found too many portable systems that offers the level of performance you get from Bosch.
How does the power feature work? Does it cut power to the tool? I’ve read that these vacuums pop breakers when hooked up to powerful saws, but I also don’t want to destroy my miter saw by starving it of power