Does my vacuum former need a filter to keep debris from entering the vacuum pump?

The vacuum pumps most of us are using were mainly designed to be used by the heating and air industry to remove air and moisture from HVAC systems. They are designed to handle small, tiny, amounts of debris. While adding a filter will catch small pieces of lint, hair, dust, and other debris that fall onto your vacuum former, we are of the opinion that the filter is overkill and not necessary. Regardless of what people say, your vacuum pump has to work harder to pull a vacuum through that filter. Therefore, the filter is restrictive in our opinion. The primary contaminate contained within the vacuum pump oil is moisture, condensate and humidity from the air. The filter being pushed by our competitor will not filter out moisture and is merely a way to add additional revenue. Save your money and change your vacuum pump oil more often. However, because demand drives the market, the ThermaPress VF1 can easily have a filter added to the vacuum line if you just feel like you need a filter. Again, we do not sell it with the VF1 because we truly believe you do not need it and will tell you so. In fact, most of the user manuals that come with the vacuum pumps will tell you to change the oil often. (see our other FAQ about vacuum pump oil). It is really ironic that people have been purchasing an expensive filter to protect a cheap Chinese vacuum pump that already has metal shavings and filings in it from the factory. Yes, that is correct. If you take one of these brand new Chinese pumps apart you will see it has metal shavings in it from the factory. But if you feel like you have to have a filter, you can purchase one from Vac-Motion. We recommend that if you are going to buy one, at least get the 1/2 inch inlet filter so it is not as restrictive on your vacuum pump. We feel that having compressed air at your workbench is much more important than a vac filter. You will use the compressed air to blow dust and debris out of your vacuum former before it can be sucked into the vacuum line and the compressed air is used to speed up the holster making process by blowing cool air onto the membrane so your kydex will cool and set faster, therefore increasing your production rate.