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Best Shop Vac for Woodworking

best shop vac

Looking for the best shop vac for woodworking in 2020? You’ve come to the right place. We review vacuums to make sure you get the shop vac that fits your needs. For woodworking with all the extra dust and debris, a regular vacuum just won’t do.

Commerical shop vacs made for woodworking are what you need and this is the shop vac guide for you.

The Best Shop Vac for Woodworking in 2020

Don’t have time to compare all the shop vacuums? Here’s our top shop vacuum for woodworking.
Gold. Best for Woodworking: DeWalt 10 Gallon Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter

Silver. Best Value for Woodworking: DeWalt 16 gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac/Acc

Bronze. Most Popular General Purpose Shop Vac: Vacmaster 12 Gallon Shop Vac

Honorable Mention. Most Affordable Shop Vac:  Armor All 2.5 Gallon Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum

Woodworking Shop Vac ReviewsRatingsCheck Price
DEWALT 10-Gallon Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter100+4.75
DeWALT 16 gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac
250+4.75
Vacmaster Pro 8 gallon Certified Hepa Filtration Wet/Dry Vac300+4.75
Vacmaster 12 Gallon Shop Vac2200+4.5
Armor All 2.5 Gallon Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum2000+4.5
Shop-Vac 5-Gallon Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum1500+4.5
Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum900+4.5
DEWALT 6 Gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac800+4.5
CRAFTSMAN 17584 6 gallon Shop Vac500+4.5
Shop-Vac 24 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Contractor Wet Dry Vacuum
30+4.0
TACKLIFE Wet Dry Vacuum
100+4.0

When looking at vacuums for woodworking, we specifically took into account the fact that woodworking especially when using power tools can kick up a lot of dust. Dust gets everywhere and can be harmful to breathe. Because of this, we gave special weight to shop vacs who had HEPA filters. These filters help to remove dust from the air and keep your workspace clean and breathable.

Many of the shop vacs that have HEPA filters are on the high-end in terms of price so we included some non-HEPA filter vacuum cleaners as well. These can get the job done at an affordable price especially for hobbyist woodworkers who may also need their vacuum to be a little more multi-functional. For professionals, we recommend high-grade shop vacuums with HEPA filters.

If you’re a woodworker, having a shop vacuum is a great idea because it makes cleanup much easier and cleaner than a regular broom. The tiny dust particles get pushed around with a broom but can be sucked into a vacuum and removed from your work environment for good. Getting rid of all that dust with a shop vac is even more important if you’re going to paint, stain, or varnish your woodwork. If dust loves to settle somewhere, it’s always on wet surfaces you don’t want them.

Even for relatively small jobs, we’d recommend upgrading to a shop vacuum instead of using your normal home vacuum cleaner. These vacuums are not designed to pick up debris that can be found in common woodworking areas. Items like nails, screws, and chunks of wood can damage and even destroy your typical home vacuum. If you must use a home vacuum, we’d recommend a vacuum that works well on hardwood floors as most working surfaces are concrete

We know it’s difficult to choose the best shop vac, especially one designed to meet all your needs. So in the below listings, we provided some detailed shop vacuum reviews to help you choose the best vacuum for you.

Now without further ado.

Here are the best selling shop vacuums for woodworking that you may need to have a look at:

 

Our editor’s picked the best shop vac to buy as the DeWalt 10-Gallon Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter.. It offers a strong motor with great suction, ample storage capacity, the all important HEPA filters, and a variety of attachments to make cleaning your shop, garage, or home a breeze.

For more detailed info on each shop vac, we put these shop vac reviews to help you find what best meets your needs and allows you to clean your woodworking space effectively. All of these vacuums are rated 4 stars and above so we’re confident they will be a solid addition to your woodworking area.

1. DeWalt 10 Gallon Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter

Our top pick for this list is DeWalt 10 Gallon Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter. Its killer feature is the automatic HEPA filter which makes this the best vacuum for woodworking. The HEPA filter pulses every 30 seconds to help remove particles like sawdust from the air. Less sawdust means a cleaner working space.

This vacuum for woodworking is also designed to collect spills, debris, and a wide variety of other materials so it also has multi-functional appeal. You won’t need this shop vac and another shop vac for other cleaning tasks. It boasts a 15 amp motor that’s capable of pushing out 140 CFM of airflow with variable suction. This feature allows you to control the amount of suction and power the vacuum is using. More power when needed, and less when you don’t.

The capacity of this shop vacuum is ten gallons which makes it smaller than some other vacuums on this list. If you’re running a large scale woodworking vacuum this unit may reach its capacity more frequently than others, but the HEPA filter will help keep the workspace clean and make for a better workspace for your team. For home or hobby use this vacuum has plenty of capacity.

This shop vacuum for woodworking also has a long kink-resistant hose to reduce clogging. This long hose will help you reach and clean out that hard to reach sawdust under workbenches and other areas in your woodworking shop. The large diameter hose also ensures that small wood chips, shavings, and debris like nails can be sucked up quickly. This will help keep your workspace better clean, and make for a more enjoyable work environment.

This vacuum also wins when we consider the versatility of being your everyday shop vacuum for your home. At 33 lbs with rolling caster wheels this vacuum makes moving it

Overall, this shop vac for woodworking is an excellent machine with a powerful motor, dual HEPA filters, and a long kink-resistant hose that allows you to handle different types of debris and messes. It has all the features of a great shop vac plus features perfect for a woodworking shop vac. We expect this vacuum will be your workhorse for years to come.

Pros
  • Automatic HEPA filters
  • The long hose provides easy reach under work benches
  • Powerful motor to suck up a range of materials
  • OSHA compliant
Cons
  • Price – expected for OSHA compliant professional grade

2. DeWalt 16 gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vacuum

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Pros
  • Largest vacuum cleaner
  • Most powerful motor
  • Three-year warranty
Cons
  • Bigger size makes storage difficult

3. Armor All 2.5 Gallon Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum

For woodworkers that are space-constrained and on a tight budget, the Armor All 2.5-Gallon Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum is the one for you. While you miss many features on other popular shop vacuums, this shop vac helps you get the job done while saving space and money. At under $50, you won’t find a better deal and from it’s made by Armor All, a known brand albeit not the most popular name in shop vacuum brands.

Versatility

Size does not matter! This compact Armor All AA255 wet/dry vacuum cleaner is a 2-in-1 tool. It easily converts from a vacuum cleaner to a blower. Good for drying motorcycles, car grills, wheels, rain visors. 

Transportability

At 7 pounds, who will complain of its weight?  Even my 5-year-old son can carry it. They designed the AA255 to clean the interior of your car. It is very portable that you can bring it inside the car to reach out to those corners. It is portable yet efficient for most jobs.

Durability

The 2.5-gallon polypropylene collection tank is a tough material with good heat resistance. The 2 years warranty is proof of the manufacturer’s confidence in its quality.

Efficiency

Don’t be fooled by the AA255’s size. Its 2 peak HP motor provides ample suction power that can lift stubborn debris like pets hair. The vacuum easily converts to a blower.  The auto shut-off valve detects if the tank has reached its limit to prevent overflow. Despite its powerful suction power, the AA255 is surprisingly quiet with its air/noise diffuser. It also has an onboard hose and accessories storage to keep everything organized and on-hand when you need them.

Accessories

Armor All aa255 has a 6 foot, 1.25-inch hose, a 2-in-1 Utility Nozzle with Brush, Crevice Tool, Deluxe Car Nozzle which allows you to reach tight spaces, Blower Nozzle with Adaptor, and Detail Brush.

Pros
  • Very Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Several Attachments
  • Quiet Operations
  • On-board storage for attachments
Cons
  • Small capacity
  • No strap to carry around
  • Under-powered

4. Vacmaster 12 Gallon Shop Vac

Vacmaster put out this great Wet/Dry Vacuum for those woodworking hobbyists who need a vacuum that can handle multiple tasks. This vacuum does not have a HEPA filter but for light woodworking needs it should not make that much of a difference. For large woodworking projects or commercial woodworking, we’d recommend a different shop vacuum but if you need a do-it-all tool for your home garage or shed, this shop vac has a little bit of everything for you.

Versatility

The Vacmaster VBV1210  is a 2-in-1 tool.  It’s a Wet/Dry Vacuum that easily converts to a powerful blower with its easy to use one-hand release and operation. Thus, saving you money as you are like purchasing 2 tools for the price of 1.

Transportability

The vacuum is lightweight at a manageable weight of 24.9 pounds.  It has canisters that will make it easy for you to move it 360 degrees.

Durability

The blue-colored tank is made up of sturdy polypropylene construction ideal for tough jobs as polypropylene has good fatigue and chemical resistance. The large 12 Gallon capacity is a perfect choice for a variety of tasks around the workshop or home.

Efficiency

The Vacmaster VBV1210 5 Peak HP motor makes dust collection and liquid spills easy to handle. With a blowing speed of 210 MPH to handle the toughest debris. What I like with this vacuum is the Extra Large Drain Port for easy and faster drainage of liquids. In other vacuums, you have to lift the tank and dump the liquid.

Accessories

It has plenty! It has the right accessories for that cleaning job. This shop vac has a 7’ x 2-1/2″ Secure Fit Hose. (2) Extension Wands. Utility Nozzle, designed to tackle a wide variety of dirt, debris, sludge, and mess. Crevice Tool that gets into the tight spots: between the baseboards, floor, carpet, aircon vents. Car Nozzle, used in cleaning car upholstery and interior corners of cars, vans, SUVs. Concentrator Nozzle for increased airflow in blowing away debris. Blower Adapter, Air/Noise Diffuser, Standard Cartridge Filter, and Foam Wet Filter that you can organize in the storage ports on canisters and its power head.

Pros
  • 2-1 vacuum for wet and dry
  • Powerful suction
  • Automatically shuts off when it needs to be empty
  • Lots of accessories
  • Quiet
  • 2-year warranty
Cons
  • No HEPA filter
  • Large so can be difficult to store
  • Wheels do not snap into place

5. Vacmaster Pro 8 gallon Certified Hepa Filtration Wet/Dry Vac

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Pros
  • Additional small vacuum for hard-to-reach areas like under bed, couch, or furniture.
  • Wet and dry cleaning
  • Powerful motor for carpeting
Cons
  • No cons right now

6. Shop-Vac 5-Gallon Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum

This shop vac is recommended for those who are a little bit rough with their tools and equipment. The body is stainless steel and will take a bit more punishment than most vacuums who have plastic shells. Stainless steel will dent whereas plastic shells risk being broken completely. The killer feature of this vacuum for woodworkers is the blower capability. This helps move that stubborn sawdust and other woodworking particles out of hard to reach areas for easy clean-up.

Versatility

The  Shop-Vac 5989300 has a blower feature.  Attach the hose to the rear blower port to blow leaves or dirt from those hard to reach places.

Transportability

It has top and side carry handles for portability. A full circumference dolly to prevent it from tipping for maneuverability.

Durability

Shop-Vac 5989300 has a durable, easy to clean 5-gallon stainless steel tank. It has 3 years warranty as proof of the manufacturer’s confidence in its quality.

Efficiency

Shop-Vac 5989300 offers a powerful 4.5 Peak HP motor. It offers a secure latch system, tank and lid are securely held together. It features an Onboard Accessory Storage to organize everything. It comes with accessories and filters. Although, it could have been better if a drainage port or system was included for easy emptying of the tank. It is perfect for domestic tasks and commercial demands.

Accessories

Shop-Vac 5989300 accessories include a 7-foot hose, 3 extension wands, a crevice tool, gulper nozzle for seats, upholstery, and carpets. Also included is a floor nozzle, plus cartridge filter, foam sleeve & filter bag.

Pros
  • Durable, easy-to-clean stainless steel tank
  • Blower functionality
  • Onboard accessory storage
Cons
  • No drainage system
  • Short power cord

7. Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum

Stanley is another well-known brand among professionals and DIY homeowners. Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum may look a bit like R2D2 but unfortunately, the vacuum lacks some of R2D2’s more advanced features. However, if you’re looking for a quality workhorse shop vac for woodworking, Stanley’s version of R2D2 will work for your home garage. Its solid body construction, blower feature, modest size and wet/dry capability will help make your vacuum cleanup a breeze.

Versatility

It has a rear blower port. To unsettle the dust particles that are trap in unreachable places such as windows top edges, doors, or in blowing leaves on the yard.

Transportability

It is lightweight at 8 pounds. Its swiveling casters make it easy to move around while cleaning. The SL18129 also has a sturdy, big handle for carrying ease.

Durability

Stanley SL18129 has a durable stainless steel 4-gallon tank capacity.  This vacuum cleaner can work more than 300 hours continuously.  It has a 1-year warranty.

Efficiency

The Stanley SL18129 vacuum cleaner has a 4 Peak HP motor. Although, you might need earplugs for extended use as the motor is loud. It features an accessory holder to organize the tools. Hose length is short at 5 feet, leaving you with little space to maneuver on corners or under spaces. But, the 10 feet cord and three extension wands make up for the short hose.

Accessories

Stanley SL18129 accessories include 1 pc. 1/4″x5’ super flexible hose, 3 pcs. extension wands, a gulper nozzle, floor nozzle, crevice nozzle, 1 foam filter, dust bag, 1 reusable dry filter.

Pros
  • Stylish durable stainless steel tank
  • Easy maneuverbility
  • Long power cord
Cons
  • Louder than other models
  • Short hose (but longer cord)
  • No drain port

8. DEWALT 6 Gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac

DeWalt is known for making quality tools and this 6 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac is no different. It works well for woodworking due to its blower capability, heavy-duty construction with caster wheels, and wet/dry vacuum flexibility. If you’re a professional or DIY woodworker, you know the quality you can expect from DeWalt and this shop vac will be your trusty sidekick for years to come.

Versatility

It has a Built-in blower port powerful enough to blow sawdust and debris from most workshops.

Transportability

The heavy-duty rubberized swiveling casters provide easy maneuverability in any direction while using the vacuum cleaner. It features a big handle for easy carrying.

Durability

The polypropylene 6-gallon tank is robust and durable. It has a 3 years warranty as proof of the manufacturer’s confidence in its quality.

Efficiency

DEWALT DXV06P has a 4 Peak HP heavy-duty motor. It features a big interior hose diameter of 1.875 that easily picks up most things even large debris due to its large hose size. With a hose length of 7 feet and a 10 feet cord for more reach while cleaning. It also features a built-in drainage system. The DEWALT DXV06P is quiet that makes it bearable for daily use.

Accessories

1-7/8″x7′ hose, two extension wands, cartridge filter, dust bag, floor nozzle, utility nozzle, crevice nozzle

Pros
  • Quiet operation
  • Large hose diameter to pick up larger debris
  • Built-in drainage system
  • Durable, well known commercial brand
Cons
  • No onboard accessory storage
  • Hose can be hard to handle
  • Requires bag when dry vacuuming

9. CRAFTSMAN 17584 6 gallon Shop Vac

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Pros
  • Wet & Dry cleaning
  • Powerful motor
  • Two-year warranty
Cons
  • No cons right now

10. Shop-Vac 24 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Contractor Wet Dry Vacuum


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Pros
  • Cheapest shop vac
  • Lightweight
  • Small profile
  • Wall mountable
Cons
  • No cons for this

11. TACKLIFE Wet Dry Vacuum

As with many of the shop vacuums for woodworkers, this vacuum features a blower to help you kickup sawdust from hard to reach places like under workbenches or blow down your workspace as sawdust tends to get everywhere. The long cord and attachments ensure you’ll be able to reach each and every corner of your workspace to rid it of dust, dirt, and debris. While not as big a brand name as others on the list TackLife’s vacuum made it as it has a rich feature set and a generous 2 year warranty.

Versatility

TACKLIFE PVC01A also functions as a blower, such as when you need to blow leaves in the yard or the walkways.

Transportability

It has 4 casters for easy movement, and a collapsible carry handle for easy carrying.

Durability

The 5-gallon tank is made of sturdy polypropylene.  It has an automatic power-off feature to protect the motor when the water level reaches its boundary. The motor is made of copper for peak performance and to assure its longevity. It has a 24-month warranty.

Efficiency

TACKLIFE PVC01A has a 5.5 Pek HP motor.  It has more than 17 ft. working range (10 ft power cord, 7 ft. hose, and 2 extension wands). It features an excellent four-layer filtration system for clean air. It also has built-in accessory storage.  

Accessories

7 ft Safety Cleaning Hose; 2 Extension Wands; Couch Suction; Small Flat Suction; Floor Brush

Pros
  • Quiet motor
  • Long cord
  • Auto-shut off features
  • Storage for tools
Cons
  • No drainage system

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