Auto-start functionality has been a staple in dust extractors for years but has always relied on a power cord being plugged into the tool for it to work. If you own a Festool CT extractor, you now have the option of turning it on via remote or a tool equipped with a new Bluetooth-enabled battery. The remote control CT-F I/M set is an affordable plug-and-play conversion kit that allows you to turn on the extractor remotely without having a tool plugged into it. In addition to the remote-control functionality, Festool has two Bluetooth-enabled 18V battery packs that will start the extractor automatically when the respective tool is turned on. Officially, Festool says that module installation should be “carried out by a qualified electrician.” But I can report from personal experience that it’s as simple as unscrewing two screws, pulling out the blank face plate, plugging in the new module, and then reinstalling the two screws (be sure the extractor is unplugged before you begin). The kit, which can be retrofitted onto the CT 26, 36, or 48, costs $80 and includes a Bluetooth reception module, one remote control, and two straps (for mounting the remote to a hose). Additional remotes (CT-FI) can be purchased for $45 each. Bluetooth-enabled 18V batteries are available in 5.2 Ah ($110) and 6.2 Ah ($125) sizes. —C.E.
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