Looking for the best shop vac? This is the guide for you.
Getting a shop vacuum for either households or business is a good idea because shop vacuums are heavy-duty, durable, and more powerful than a regular vacuum that they can pick up broken pieces of ceramic or glass, say, without getting damaged.
A shop vac is usually a high-end unit with more horsepower to suck up larger dust bunnies that make it useful for cleaning commercial or industrial areas.
But, Choosing the best shop vac is a challenging task as there are different types of vacuums with different features available by many brands in the market.
So what type of vacuum you should choose? What features it should have? and how much you should spend on a great shop vac? Let’s find out…
In case you are short on time, our editor’s picked one from all the models we have discussed below. You should buy Shop-Vac 9633400 because it offers great features, performance, and options to make cleaning your shop, garage, or home breeze.
Best Shop Vac 2019
Check out these shop vac reviews with latest innovative components that are designed to meet your needs and to to help you do your best work. All of these vacuums were able to pass our strict criteria that make this list valuable for you.
1.Shop-Vac 9633400 12-Gallon
Our top pick for this list is Shop-Vac 9633400 12-Gallon that is designed to collect spills, debris, snow and a wide variety of materials. This shop vac is the absolute best choice to tackle bigger rooms or extra tough messes.
The dirt capacity of this vacuum is twelve gallons that allow you to keep cleaning for longer times before having to empty it.
Furthermore, the unit is equipped with a powerful 6.5 HP motor that allows the vac to handle many different types of debris and messes that you encounter while cleaning.
But that’s not all…
The unit brings plenty of accessories including a large eight-inch utility nozzle, crevice tool that helps cleaning tough spots and several different filters to filter the air and keep the small things from damaging the inside.
Furthermore, the vac can also be used as a blower by reversing the motor to clean outside areas. The eight-feet hose provides extended reach to clean stairs.
Overall, this shop vac is an excellent machine with a powerful motor and a handful of features and accessories that allows you to handle different types of debris and messes that makes it a good shop vac.
2. Ridgid 50348 1400RV Wet/Dry
The second excellent shop vac is Ridgid 50348 that is designed for bigger rooms and larger messes.
The 14-gallon capacity and the 6.0-Peah HP motor makes Ridgid 50348 the largest shop vac to buy. This item features four caster wheels at the bottom the make the maneuverability easy, and a handle on the top and a level foot-hose.
The Ridgid 50348 has a strong exterior that provides extra protection while maneuvering the vacuum around, thanks to the high impact plastic construction.
The exterior houses a powerful motor to tackle common messes around the home and garage.
The Ridgid comes with a three-layer filter system that takes care of fine particles like drywall dust, bacteria, and dust mites and other dangerous dust from spaces after large projects or disasters.
Regarding accessories, the Ridgid brings a range of nozzles for cleaning difficult-to-reach areas like cars or on liquids. To make you feel confident about your investment, the Ridgid also offers a three-year warranty.
Overall, Ridgid is a powerful and durable vacuum constructed with powerful plastic and offers amazing features compared to other vacs available on the market.
3. Shop-Vac 5986100
Looking for a strongest, powerful yet affordable shop vac? Then Shop-Vac 5986100 is the best-budget shop vac for you. This less costly machine comes with the bare minimum in terms of performance and accessories to deal with the basic tasks.
But reduced price tag doesn’t mean lower quality as the unit is crafted with the same material used for more expensive vacs.
Being an inexpensive vacuum it does offers fewer features like an eight-gallon tank and five-horsepower motor. But regarding performance, Shop-Vac 5986100 is on the lighter end. As a starter vacuum, the price is hard to beat.
The Shop-Vac 5986100 features a stainless steel tank that increases durability which most other cheaper vacs don’t have.
Regarding attachments, the unit comes with two standard nozzles and extension nozzle. Plus, the unit is capable to rotate 360 degrees thanks to the easy roll casters allowing you to pull the vacuum in any direction while vacuuming.
Overall, Shop-Vac 5986100 offers excellent performance and comes in durable construction and range of accessories without breaking the bank.
4. Craftsman 12004
If you are looking for a smaller vacuum to deal with smaller spaces or projects, there’s nothing better than Craftsman 12004. This vacuum is completely designed to serve tiny areas and also save some money that you spend on expensive vacs which are unable to clean small places.
The Craftsman 12004 has the capacity of six-Gallons which sounds fair to clean small spaces and comes with a three horsepower motor that offers superior suction to deal with small spaces and jobs.
Due to small capacity, you won’t be able to clean an entire garage in a single session, when it comes to cleaning single room/apartment or a small project Craftsman 12004 is a solid option.
A slight downside of Craftsman 12004 is the short 17-foot power cable but the seven-foot hose combined with the length of the power cord can help you clean wider areas but for more, you might have to switch outlets frequently.
The best part about Craftsman 12004 is that it can be used for outdoors, by activating the lawn blowing function you can take care of patio, yard or driveway. Although the motor is not super strong, but still capable to deal with heavier materials like dirt and wood scraps.
The unit also brings a cartridge filter to remove dust particles from the air and a foam sleeve filter to deal with watery messes.
Overall, Craftsman 12004 is a great little piece of equipment that doesn’t have extraordinary horsepower, but when it comes to cleaning up gardening messes, tidying up your shop, cleaning away water, or other small to medium cleaning jobs there’s no alternative to this. That said, this affordable shop vac can take care of any mess better than some higher-priced units on the market.
5. Vacmaster VQ607SFD
This professional looking small vac is a Versatile and portable unit that is perfect for most jobs at home, garage or at the office.
Being a small unit, it’s best suited for small to medium messes without frequent emptying sessions. The stainless steel construction houses a powerful enough motor that provides necessary suction for household projects. Plus, the smaller size makes it easy to store in a small apartment, office, or at the garage.
The Vacmaster at such price tag seems durable compared to other similar options.
Furthermore, the water-resistant construction allows you to clean in bad weather. Plus, if you have a garden or tree in your backyard then you can easily take care of large piles of dead leaves in minutes with this machine.
The lid is reinforced with heavy duty tank clips that stop air leaking. Similarly, it contains a contoured control handle that is sturdy and makes it comfortable to lift the vacuum anywhere with all-direction casters.
Overall, Vacmaster is an ultra-lightweight unit that comes with premium features can perfect to take care of hard floors, carpets, walls, car interiors, and tight crevices. With such a lower price tag and amazing cleaning options, Vacmaster is a worthwhile investment of your money.
6. Stanley Pro Stainless Steel
Here we have Stanley Pro Stainless Steel that comes with increased side of the storage tank, thus allowing you to work longer and prevent frequent emptying.
This vacuum is neither small not large but a middle option that comes with the eight-gallon tank. Eight gallons is common for the majority of vacuums that make the vacuum cleaners capable of handling common messes.
However, this unit is on a powerful side with 6.5-horsepower motor that efficiently tackles larger, heavier materials making this vacuum ideal for cleaning, offices, shops, and the home.
Furthermore, Stanley Pro Stainless Steel also comes with an air filter that takes care of the harmful molds, mildew, and bacteria and makes vacuuming smaller rooms a simple task.
Like other shop vacs, Stanley Pro Stainless Steel is capable to take care of large wet and dry spillages.
Lastly, it brings a portable secondary one-gallon vacuum to clean hard-to-reach areas.
Overall, Stanley Pro Stainless Steel is a great medium capacity machine that comes with a powerful motor, efficient filter, and can take care of a large spill.
7. Shop-Vac 5873410
A vacuum is called heavy duty when the capacity increases over ten-gallon. At such large capacity you can ideally clean small industrial and commercial areas including residential applications.
This flagship model by the manufacturer comes with the great build quality and capability to clean challenging tasks and that’s why it’s known as Shop-Vac.
This vacuum is equipped with a 6.5-horsepower motor that makes the unit capable of surviving the abuse of professional applications.
Similarly, the vacuum doesn’t require any extension to clean open areas as the 20-foot power cord combined with 12-foot hose gives considerably enough reach to work around any room or space. Regardless of the larger size of the vacuum and the high-power motor, the system is quiet that using it in the crowded spaces or an apartment with neighbors won’t be an issue.
8. Emerson WS1600VA
The Emerson WS1600VA is an absolute business vacuum that boasts the largest tank of 16-gallon capacity to deal with much bigger jobs.
If you’re cleaning needs are beyond the home use, then selecting Emerson WS1600VA is a logical decision.
The large storage capacity and a plethora of attachments are important to deal with professional cleaning activities making this machine versatile around the shop or worksite.
The vacuum cleaner can withstand professional abuse, thanks to the durable copolymer drum construction that prevents cracking and dents from impacts.
Accessory wise, Emerson WS1600VA brings standard set of utility, car, wet and extension nozzles. Plus, the vacuum makes switching filters quick and simple, thanks to the Qwik Lock fastening system. Similarly, it has an auto shutoff float mechanism that maintains the balance while sucking wet stuff and avoid overflowing the unit.
The Vacmaster VBV1210 is another largest shop vac that is designed to take care of plenty of messy materials.
The vacuum is heavy at 17 pounds which can be harder to maneuver compared to smaller machines. Features casters base to move in 360 degrees making this vacuum portable when rolling the machine around, but casters can fall off if you lift the unit up.
The unit is a vacuum and detachable blower at the same time with a staggering blowing speed of 240mph it offers good value for the money.
The bottom of the vacuum contains drain port to remove fluids that you’re collected instead of hoisting it up to pour liquids out.
Regarding accessories, the unit comes with cord wrap, double insulated motor accessories, utility nozzle, and a concentrator for pulling out stubborn stains.
10. Armor All Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum
Armor All Utility is a professional grade shop vac that offers incredible amount of suction makes this unit a good example of reliability and versatility.
This vacuum is perfect to use inside a car but it’s not only limited for detailing and cleaning cars it can sweep every nook and cranny either you use it in your home or the garage.
With some accessories, it brings it can be used for motorcycles as well. The most impressive feature of this unit is vacuum to blower conversion that makes this machine suitable to clean up both solids and liquids.
Owning a shop vac like this is a great advantage as it offers unlimited uses and has built-in air and noise diffuser minimizes volume.
This powerful little beast features a 2 horsepower motor that turns off automatically when it detects that the tank is full.
This larger and more robust device is a decent portable shop vac and the 10ft cord combined with six-feed hose allows the vacuum to reach in tight corners to pick up debris like nails, wood chippings, and screws.
Overall, this vacuum allows you to deal with several type of cleaning work without stooping or bending too much. You don’t have to worry about bucket-shaped body and bulkier appearance as it boasts super flexible wheels to move in any direction. This vacuum requires no assembly while using the first time.
11. Shop-Vac 1.5 Gallon All-In-One Wet And Dry Vac ea
Some people don’t want a hefty size machine either due to the place you live in or the task you need the vac for. Big machine are heavy and cumbersome to operate that can be difficult to navigate on a daily basis.
So a great alternative to this issue is Shop-Vac 1.5 Gallon All-In-One Wet And Dry Vac. This vacuum might not be the most powerful cleaning solution but it’s better than average machines when it comes to leaf removal or general debris cleaning.
This little unit features 2 peak horsepower motor and the unit is wall mountable that makes easy storage and quietly operating too.
This mini shop vac offers unique benefits at such a reduces price tag that you will never be at a loss again while washing machine decides to floor or your dog knocks over your water.
This vacuum can soak up any spillages and accessories can be neatly stored on the vacuum.
12. DEWALT DCV581H
This cordless wet/dry vacuum offers quiet operation and works on ab 18v or 20v MAX battery or an AC outlet.
It features a HEPA rated wet/dry filter that traps dust with 99.97% efficiency at 1 micron. The best part is that the filter is reusable, washable that saves you extra cost.
The heavy-duty crush-resistant body makes the vacuum durable, flexible for all kind of usage.
The vacuum is offers enhanced mobility and easy transport and the dirt tank empties quickly. Simply pull the lid and dump the content which can be mechanics tools, power drills, screws or anything heavier.
The vacuum also brings a load of attachments including battery and charger.
Choosing a top-rated shop vac with limited knowledge can be difficult as there are different factors involved when it comes to buying the best shop vac. So, from power and effectiveness to size what type of vacuum with what types of features you should choose? Let’s find out.
Size of the vacuum is an essential element to consider. If you need a small shop vac for your backyard it shouldn’t be bulky or heavy because the heavier it is the bulkier or cumbersome it becomes to drag.
Similarly, if you want a large shop vac of the industrial-sized beast then determining the proper weight can be sensible to know as well.
Picking out the right machine for your needs becomes easy when you are less worried about the factors involved.
Messes can be of different shape and sizes, so you should be aware of this fact. For this, you should get a unit that removes both liquids and solids easily. Sometimes you have to deal with spilled drinks in your car or at your workshop.
A vacuum with wet/dry functionality can be a better option to deal with big liquid messes.
Similarly, easy cleaning requires a drainage spout at the bottom of the vacuum to get rid of all the dirty water collected.
Integrated Blower Port
Some vacuums are equipped with the integrated blower but do you need to blow debris from decks and garages or sucked up a mixture of mulch and screws from carpeting. If you don’t then a vacuum will be a lot cheaper. But if you need this additional part it can be handy.
The capacity of a shop vac plays an important role. The shop vac capacities range from 2-6 gallons are smaller, 6-14 gallons as a medium, and 14-18 gallons as high capacity. Being a homeowner you need to decide what is sufficient for most indoor and outdoor cleaning tasks.
Air power, or air-watts, describes the suction power of the vacuum. The higher air power makes the vacuum capable to suck up heavier objects like nuts and bolts.
The tank size of the vacuum matters as well. They are made up of plastic or stainless steel. The plastic tank is lighter and less prone to dents, but on the other hand, tanks constructed with stainless steel offer durability and easier cleaning.
A hose is not suitable to clean all surfaces. Depending upon your demands, you should look for certain attachments that can make your work easier. If you want to clean car, then go for a vacuum with extensive car accessories like a crevice tool, detail brush, and an extension wand to clean every corner of your vehicle.
Similarly, if you want a vacuum for backyard then get one with an integrated blower port to make sure you get things with less hassle.
The motor of the vacuum can make or break the vacuum. The amount of horsepower and/or the wattage describes the power of the motor. The high-performance motor will cost more keep in mind.
Cleanliness of the vacuum devices how efficient a vacuum cleaner is. The vacuum shouldn’t have limited reach, it should make you uncomfortable with constant plugging/unplugging. Let’s see what other components are involved in the agility of a shop vacuum.
Hose: The more flexible a hose is, it will drastically reduce the amount of work without diminishing the suction.
Power Cord: The longer the power cord is the less you have to worry about switching outlets but it also produces tangling issue. But with most of the vacuums cord can be wrapped around the unit.
Battery-operated: Vacuums powered by battery offer unlimited reach but only for a specific period of time because batteries can run out of juice in a few minutes. Similarly, battery-operated machines are good for noise reduction and help you deal with tricking vacuuming tasks.
Easy of Use: A vacuum cleaner should be easy to use, easy to empty, should have drain ports for easy emptying and the handle should be comfortable. It shouldn’t be dragged around.
Advantages of using a Portable Shop Vac
There are various advantages of a shop vac ranging from Multi-functional to easy drum emptying to Washable and reusable HEPA filter better than disposable filters to take care of allergens. Let’s look at a few advantages.
A vacuum should be portable enough that it could take anywhere from one room to another without getting frustrated.
Sometimes dirt gets stuck in car wheels and the vacuum should be able to lift up particles from the dashboard, upholstery, the floor, in between cushions, and other areas effortlessly. Such results are possible with an upright vacuum that deals with car interior conveniently and effectively.
Shop vacuum cleaners are smaller and shorter that makes them easier to store in a closet, no matter if it is on an overhead shelf or inside a box with other cleaning supplies.
A vacuum should be capable to suck up dirt and debris from all floors and surfaces. To use the vacuum on the carpet you can turn on/off the brush. No need to adjust brushes or anything.
A great shop vac is the one that can take care of bedsheets, desks, countertops, upholstery, work benches, window spills, and much more. Plus, it should be light enough to take anywhere and it should be stronger to withstand the abuse of daily use and it should be capable to reach in between cushions from sofas and vacuum seats of stairs.
The vacuum we recommend is then the Workshop WS0301VA that offers exceptional performance for every situation, comes with built-in dustpan has Wide-mouth hose avoids clog and range of other tools to make cleaning easier.
That’s all for this best shop vac guide. I hope you will be able to make a better selection with all the vacuums we have selected for you and an amazing full of knowledge buyer guide to help you understand what makes a vacuum better for different tasks and what features to look for and so on. So now it’s your personal preference to choose a vacuum cleaner that suits your requirements and budget.
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