Miter Saw Hood Comparison: FastCap VS Rousseau
#6
  
   
   


There are two main miter saw dust hood competitors: 1) the $185 FastCap SawHood Pro and 2) the $150 Rousseau 5000. I was surprised to not be able to find anyone who has done a direct comparison of these two—so being a perfectionist tool nerd, I got both—here’s my notes:


Entering this contest, I was biased towards FastCap. I’ve been using their BestFence miter saw stand for 7+ years and love it. The craftsmanship throughout is impressive and FastCap’s customer support is the best I’ve experienced anywhere.

IN GENERAL

Both portable dust hoods have a similar size and collect dust about the same [although if you're using a dust collector, Rousseau's plastic 4" port has a definite advantage]. If one is better then the other on dust collection, you’d have to get overly scientific to tell—and at that point, the installer’s technique and model of miter saw would make a bigger difference. The real conversation is in the design details.

SETTING UP

FastCap’s stand out feature is it’s mounting solution that simply inserts into the two accessory holes on the back of your miter saw. It’s easy to set up, works well and is beautifully crafted with steel and machined aluminum.

Compared to FastCap, Rousseau’s mounting solution is a nightmare. The amount of custom fabrication required to get it on my saw stand [made by FastCap so roll your eyes] was unattractive. 

It’s worth noting that there is a YouTube video by Rousseau (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd9gw0rOQkQ ) that features a similar mounting solution as FastCap. This is how the first version of Rousseau’s 5000 was designed before FastCap made them stop for patent infringement. 

Rousseau now doesn’t use the saw accessory holes like FasCap— what Rousseau is shipping as of 2019 is two L shaped brackets that screw together forming three screwed connections: 1) to the stand, 2) to each other and 3) to the hood. These bracket require an available hole on your stand which my stand didn’t have.  Their instructions picture a DeWalt stand that has this hole—so having a compatible stand helps. Oddly, this important detail is not included in their marketing material and their popular YouTube video perpetuates misinformation. 

If your stand has this hole, you’re still not out of the woods—you still have a more complex set up requiring screwing Rousseau’s hood to their brackets in two places while holding the hood—arguably a two person job—compared to FastCap’s smarter and easier approach that one person can do without thinking. 


HOOD DESIGN

Installation aside, Rousseau blows away the FastCap in every other way. Rousseau’s hood is made in America and is high quality, durable and attractive. Even their logo is sensitively designed. 

On the other hand, FastCap’s imported thin white fabric feels and looks cheap. FastCap relies on velcro in the adjustment straps and also in securing each front corner around their mounting hardware—I wonder about the velcro’s future failure when exposed to constant dust. FastCap’s gaudy oversized logos further underline their underwhelming hood quality.

Rousseau’s general proportions have a further advantage: a few inches narrower and shorter allow it to fit against a wall a tad better. The Rousseau’s lower bellows is deeper creating a nice steep angle (about 70 degrees on most sides) for encouraging dust to fall towards their vacuum port. In addition, Rousseau’s vacuum port is a nice hard plastic 4” tube. 

FastCap’s lower bellows angle is less steep (about 45 degrees) and hampered by the elastic which encourages the fabric to bunch up, creating pockets for dust to collect. The FastCap dust exit at the bottom is merely a circle-shaped hole in the fabric with a flimsy drawstring.

SUMMARY

The FastCap DustHood Pro’s mounting solution is a pleasure to use and would easily keep up with daily installs and deinstalls, however, the rest of FastCap’s package has a hard time keeping up with the Rousseau. If you’re constantly installing your miter saw station and are fine with a less-than-expected quality elsewhere then consider FastCap.

Rousseau’s attractive hood is extremely well made and has functional advantages over the FastCap, however Rousseau’s current mounting solution is half-baked at best. If you need a portable dust hood that doesn’t hit the road frequently, and you have a compatible stand [see their instructions: http://www.rousseauco.com/assets/roussea...manual.pdf ] then consider Rousseau.

If you want the best solution then buy both and use FastCap’s mounting hardware with Rousseau’s hood—they are easily compatible. But then you’re paying $330 for a dust hood, which is nuts. This is the problem with being a perfectionist.

_________________


PERSONAL NOTE

As a customer, I can’t help but to feel like I’m on the loosing side of an invisible patent war. I respect both companies and wish they could leverage all the best ideas and design two products that each work well. I suspect the market is big enough to support this and both companies would flourish. 
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#7
  Re: Miter Saw Hood Comparison: FastCap VS Rousseau by Murray M ([size=small][color=#...)
Thanks for the review.
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#8
  Re: Miter Saw Hood Comparison: FastCap VS Rousseau by Murray M ([size=small][color=#...)
We have the Fastcap hood at work and it has been great at collecting dust. I have never used a Rousseau so I can't do a comparison. 

Thank you for the informative write up.
I no longer build museums but don't want to change my name. My new job is a lot less stressful. Life is much better.

Garry
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#9
  Re: Miter Saw Hood Comparison: FastCap VS Rousseau by Murray M ([size=small][color=#...)
I have the Rousseau hood and think it's the absolute best. In fairness though mine was purchased prior to 2019 so I have no experience with the newer mounting system. In keeping with the fairness mode, the pre-2019 model was a breeze to install and has worked flawlessly since the day it was installed. I don't understand why they would have changed the design but if it is a patent issue then that's a shame.
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#10
  Re: Miter Saw Hood Comparison: FastCap VS Rousseau by Murray M ([size=small][color=#...)
Nice review, thanks for posting it. I’ve owned the Rousseau hood for several years now, on a 12” Porter Cable saw mounted on the original Home Depot miter saw stand and I’ve been super happy with it. My only complaint is that the dust port doesn’t have any support around it, so in use the fabric would be sucked into the port, which closes the opening. I had to put some ballast in the bottoms to weight it down, which works fine. I would definitely buy it again.
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