As self-proclaimed DIY enthusiasts and clean freaks, we’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest tools to make life easier; that’s why we couldn’t wait to dive into the world of shop vacs and find the best one for 2023. We’ve done our homework and tested these bad boys out so that you don’t have to! In this review guide, we’ll share our top picks, insider tips, and all the tricks for picking the perfect shop vac. So grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and let’s get down to the dirt on shop vacs!
Whether you own a workshop in your backyard or work professionally, shop vacs are a must-have. With so many models available, you might get confused about which product will work best for you. Major brands manufacture cordless shop vacs and stackable wet-dry vacuums for various levels of heavy-duty cleanup. Keep reading to choose the shop vac that fits your needs.
Large models deliver the quickest and most thorough cleanups, in part because they can hold greater dust, debris, and fluid. Consider the space available and choose the size accordingly.
It is a common practice that manufacturers overstate the capacity of the shop vacuums, so don’t rely soley on these claims.
Wet/dry shop vacuums are notoriously loud and can affect your hearing. For example, the Dewalt DXV05P has a noise rating of 75 dBA, which compares to a loud restaurant or your home vacuum. We recommend wearing ear protection to prevent hearing damage and paying attention to noise ratings.
If you are looking for a shop vacuum for professional as well as personal use, you should look for models that include accessories. Useful attachments may include a crevice tool to reach tight spots or an extended hose for greater reach. The Vacmaster VBV1210 has the best options and accessories package on our list.
Here are some of the basic specs to give you an idea of what you should look for in a wet-dry shop vac.
A typical shop vac defines power in terms of horsepower. If you are looking for a shop vac for personal use, it should be at least 1.5 to 3 HP. For a powerful, professional vac, aim for 6+ horsepower.
Suction capability is measured by the amount of liquid that a wet/dry vac can pull in against certain water pressure. The hose takes a toll on motor performance when it is submerged in water. We recommend a water lift suction power of around 50 inches.
Shop vacuums will only add to the noise of your workshop. However, there is a misconception that loud or noisy shop vacs are more efficient and powerful. You can find a lot of shop vacs that are powerful and quiet, and low noise levels are a convenient perk of smaller models.
Unless you go cordless, you’ll need to plug your shop vac into a power outlet. Therefore, you’ll want a long cord for a hassle-free cleaning experience. Some options on this list include extension cords with your order.
Shop-vac motors are built to demonstrate performance in terms of CFM or cubic feet per minute. This measures how much air the vacuum cleaner can suck in over a period of time. A non-commercial shop vac should have an airflow rating of around 90 CFM.
Just like with every machine, a shop vac also needs regular maintenance. You can increase the life of your shop vac with simple modifications that can not only make your machine quieter but also save you money on filters. Check the video from House Doctor Ray on some easy DIY upgrade hacks.
The best way to choose a shop vac is to do in-depth research, read reviews from customers, and check our guide. We strive to provide you with recent and updated information on the products. Here is what we considered while choosing the best shop vacuum.
Stanley built a shop vac that works great indoors, outdoors, and in the car. This portable vacuum has a peak 3-horsepower motor to fulfill your hardcore cleaning needs in cars, on sofas, in the shop, or wherever else your cleaning instinct takes you. The availability of the 3-in-1 crevice nozzles and a double filtration system make it a breeze to use in tight corners and hard-to-reach places behind furniture or tool racks.
It comes stock with a 10-foot cleaning reach and a 4-foot-long hose that allows you to clean dust or liquid from out-of-sight areas. It even has an impressive 3 gallon container; so you can knock out your cleaning in one fell swoop.
We picked Stanley for the top spot due to its portability and compact form. The best shop vac is the one that you don’t hesitate to use, and Stanley’s small size and convenient storage make it a joy to reach for.
An extremely affordable option on our list, this excellent portable wet/dry vac weighs just 7.48 lbs. It has 2.5 gallons of capacity with a 2200-watt output. With this type of raw power, you won’t miss anything while cleaning (including pet hairs). If you’re outdoors and simply need to disperse dust or shavings, you can utilize this option’s ability to blow air.
With onboard storage for nozzles and hoses that make transporting and storing easy, the four-foot hose and the ten-foot power cord make it easy to reach every nook.
This robust 4-gallon portable vacuum has amazing features. It has a 5-peak HP motor for extreme suction with a 7-foot-long ultra-flexible hose. It comes with a washable cartridge filter for both wet and dry cleaning (For wet cleaning, you can find the waterproof power switch at the top.).
The box-like shape and foldable handle at the top make it more convenient to store. It has the necessary space to neatly store the hose and 20-foot-long power cord.
For under 80 bucks, this vac is packed with a lot of good features that will make your life easy. Dewalt dxvo5p is ideal for small cleaning jobs. Powering this beast is a 4-peak HP motor that provides good suction (up to 5 gallons worth) and blowing pressure.
It has a 360-degree rotation rubberized caster that allows it to move easily. This versatile vac has a 7-foot hose and a 10-foot power cord. It even comes with washable and reusable cartridge filters.
The Vacmaster VBV1210 is an excellent 2-in-1 dry and wet vacuum. This 12-gallon vacuum, having 5 peak HP motors paired with 210MPH of blowing speed, is perfect for heavy-duty cleaning jobs.
With great sucking power, it picks up absolutely everything, including pet hairs. Furthermore, it comes with two extension wands, a utility nozzle, a blower adapter, and many more useful accessories. It has a 19-foot reach thanks to the hose and power cord, which means no need for an extension cord.
If you are looking for a heavy-duty vacuum, Craftsman is the way to go. It has 6.5 peak HP to perform indoor and outdoor tasks flawlessly and offers more than enough sucking and blowing pressure for any clean-up job. The oversized drain port allows for a speedy drain.
It comes with several nozzles such as car, wet, and utility nozzles for easy and deep cleaning. It has dual flex technology for 180-degree mobility to keep the hose from kinking. The length of the power cord is 20 feet, while the hose itself is 7 feet.
A: Yes, a wet/dry shop vac will clean almost any type of liquid, be it water, soda, feces, urine, or anything. However, you must ensure that you have switched it to dry vacuuming. Also, your vacuum should have the necessary filters and other accessories to do the job. A HEPA filter is the best one for this purpose as HEPA filtration offers a special design to filter out harmful allergens.
A: No, shop vacs are designed for heavy-duty suctioning containing larger pieces of debris, while normal vacs are primarily designed to clean carpets or floors. The regular vacuum will collapse if you try to suction up wooden or metal objects with it, but a shop vac is designed for this type of job.
A: It is wiser to look for higher horsepower as it translates to the shop vacs’ overall performance. Cheaper models can also boast a higher horsepower, but they will come with low-quality bearings and windings. A horsepower of 2 is the minimum requirement for a shop vac.