A shop vac is a remarkable invention. Not only will it pick up dry messes like a vacuum but it can also be used to pick up wet messes as well. And many people turn to one of these devices when they’re looking to blow up their favorite pool toy or air mattress, so it goes without saying that they are quite versatile machines.
Of course, as amazing as these cleaning tools are, some models are better than others. Some of them are durable and come packed with features and others aren’t quite as good. Which is why it’s important to choose the best shop vac possible. With that in mind, I’ve selected ten models which I think are some of the best ones available.
10. Micro Wet/Dry Vacuum (2021000)
This wet & dry vacuum may be small but it’s durable and gets the job done. It has a 1-gallon capacity and can pick up a variety of wet or dry messes quickly and efficiently. This lightweight vac is lightweight and portable, so it can easily be carried directly to the mess it needs to clean. It also comes with a wall bracket that allows it to be stored in a convenient location. Other features found on this unit include a fold-down carry handle, a 6-foot long power cord, a 4-foot long 1-1/4-inch hose and a tool bag to keep everything together.
9. ShopVac 8-Gallon Vacuum (5989400)
With an ample 8-gallon size, this vacuum is ideal for most uses around the home. It has a stainless steel tank with a positive lid latch system that keeps it secure while in use and also has a rear blower port. It has a handy drain port that prevents the whole unit from having to be tipped to be emptied out and has top and side carry handles that make it easy to transport. This model has on-board tool storage to keep its accessories close at hand, accessories which include 3-extension wands, a crevice tool, floor and gulper nozzles, and a 7-foot long 1-1/4-inch hose.
8. All Around Plus 4-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum (5870400)
This vacuum is a great compromise between size and convenience and has a number of features which make it ideal for home use. It features an ultra-quiet 9-amp motor that provides the unit with more than enough suction power to tackle both wet and dry messes. This unit also has an 18-foot power cord, an easy-to-reach on/off button and an 8-foot lock-on hose. It has a 4-gallon size and is easy to carry around the house. It comes with two 1-1/4 inch extension wands, a wet/dry nozzle, dual service selector nozzle, a round brush and a crevice tool.
7. ShopVac Wall-Mount 3.5 Gallon Vacuum (3940100)
This 3.5-gallon wet/dry vacuum has a 3-peak horsepower motor that can deliver more than enough power to pick up most household messes. This vac has a 6-foot power cord and an 18-foot by 1.25-inch diameter hose, so it can reach even the hardest to reach locations. This unit can also be mounted on the wall using the tool storage bag and wall hooks that come with it. It also comes with an assortment of tools which include a crevice tool, round brush, a gulper nozzle and a 10-inch wet/dry nozzle. A nice assortment of accessories to go along with a well-designed wet/dry vac.
6. ShopVac Wall Mount 5-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac (3942300)
Easily wall mountable, this wet/dry vacuum is ideal for anyone who wants the convenience and power of one of the vacuums close at hand. It features an 18-foot long hose which has a 1.25-inch diameter and comes with a variety of accessories which include a 12-inch nozzle with brush, a crevice tool, squeegee inserts, a round brush, a tool bag and a gulper nozzle. This unit also has a top carry handle which makes it easy to transport to and from the scene of the mess. All things considered, this 5-gallon unit is ready to prove itself useful and to provide many years of service.
5. Armor All 2.5-Gallon Utility Vacuum (AA225)
This 2.5-gallon utility vacuum is designed for light household chores and can easily pick up light messes around the home thanks to its 2-peak HP motor. Although it isn’t very big, it has one big thing going for it and that’s the fact that it’s lightweight and portable. This model comes with a 10-foot power cord and a 6-foot hose, so it can be used on even hard-to-reach areas and operates quietly and efficiently. Other features which can be found on this vacuum include an auto-shutoff feature which prevents it from becoming overfilled and on-board accessory storage.
4. All Around EZ 2.5-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac (5895200)
Although this vac only has a capacity of 2.5-gallons, it packs more than enough power to handle most household chores. It’s equipped with a 2.5-peak HP motor that can pick up both wet and dry messes and comes with a number of accessories which include two extension wands, a crevice tool, a round brush and a gulper nozzle. This vac also comes with a wall mount bracket, so it can be attached to a wall and kept out of the way. Other features found on this model include a 7-foot by 1-1/4 inch hose, easy-roll casters, and a top carry handle.
3. Craftsman 6-Gallon 3-Peak HP Vac (12004)
This wet and dry vacuum not only has enough power to motor through most household chores but it also has an impressive cleaning reach. It features a 3-peak HP motor that can pick up wet and dry messes with ease and a 10-foot power cord and 7-foot secure fit hose that allows it to reach into tight corners. It also comes with two extension wands, a dust-sealed on/off switch and a durable 6-gallon collection tank. All of these features combine to give the user an impressive vac that will help them get their work done without a whole lot of hassle.
2. ShopVac Wall-Mount 5-Gallon Vacuum (3942000)
This 5-gallon vac has the power and the features needed to power through even tough household jobs. It features a 4-peak HP motor that can pick up both wet and dry messes and has an 18-foot by 1.25-inch lock-on hose that comes with a number of accessories including three extension wands, a 12-inch nozzle, a gulper nozzle, round brush, and crevice tool. It also comes with a wall mount bracket so the vacuum can be mounted up and out of the way. Another key feature of this unit is that it is very portable and easy to carry from one end of the home to the other.
1. Vacmaster 5-Gallon Vacuum With 2-Stage Motor
A key area that many wet/dry vacuums fail is motor power, fortunately, this one excels in that particular area of operation. It features a 5-peak HP 2-stage motor that delivers all the power a person needs during their cleaning chores. This 5-gallon vacuum also comes with a wide array of accessories which allow it to tackle several different types of jobs. These accessories include a 10-foot flex hose, an 11-foot standard hose, 2 extension wands, a combo floor nozzle, crevice tool, car nozzle and a round dust brush. This vac also features super-quiet operation, a remote control on/off switch and a wall mount so it can be stored out of the way. Features which make it one of the best shop vac models available.
Buyer’s Guide To Shop Vacs
Shop vacs have to be one of the more versatile pieces of equipment available. They can not only be used for both wet and dry messes, but some of them can be used for other purposes such as blowing leaves. Having said that, however, not all of these devices are the same—some are better than others. If you really want to find a shop vacuum that suits your needs, then you are going to have to take some time to think about some of the features you’ll want the shop vac to have.
In this guide, we’re going to take some time to talk about some of the more important features of these machines. We’re going to discuss the features that you may want the machine to have and talk about the features that you may be able to do without. After all, only you know what type of shop vac you need, so let’s give you the tools you need to make the best decision possible.
Step One: Decide On The Size You Need
Shop vacs come in a variety of different sizes. There are small ones that are suitable for use around the house and are easily stored, and then they’re larger ones that are designed for bigger messes. Only you can determine what capacity shop vac you need, but you should compare the vac’s size against what you need the machine to do. If you have a lot of projects in your garage or workshop, then you should consider getting a large model. On the other hand, if you have limited space or simply need a shop vac for smaller jobs around the home, then a smaller capacity model most likely will do.
Step Two: Decide On Main Hose Length
The next feature that’s going to determine whether you’ll be satisfied with a particular model or not is the size of the hose. Now, when we say the size of the hose, we not only mean the length of the hose but we also mean the width of the hose. Although you’ll definitely want to choose a hose that has the length you need to accomplish the jobs you need to get done, it’s also important to get a hose width that’s also large enough for the job. Typical hose widths start at an inch in diameter and go up to 2.5-inches in diameter.
Obviously, the larger the hose’s diameter, the more material it will pick up. However, you should keep in mind that some vacs may not have as much suction as other ones because they don’t have enough power for the width of the hose. After all, the larger the hose’s width, the more powerful of a motor your vac is going to need to avoid a decrease in suction. We’ll talk more about that in the next section.
Step Three: Decide On The Power Of The Motor
The power produced by the motor will determine how much suction a particular shop vac has. However, as we briefly discussed in the previous section, pure horsepower isn’t the only thing that’s going to determine how much suction a shop vac produces. A shop vac with a lot of power but with a larger diameter hose may actually have less suction that a shop vac with a little less power and a smaller diameter hose.
Fortunately, in most cases, you aren’t going to have to figure out the amount of suction a shop vac provides because the manufacturer usually supplies a rating. And this rating is CFM. When shopping for a vac, look for a shop vac with the highest CFM, or cubic-feet-per-minute, rating available and more than likely you’ll get the power you’ll need.
Step Four: Think About Models With Drains
There are some shop vacs which are equipped with water drains and there are some which aren’t. And deciding on whether you want one with or without a drain is mainly just personal preference. However, we would like to offer a bit of advice on the subject. While small shop vacuums are easy enough to use without having a drain, it’s almost a necessity to have a drain on a large shop vac. Of course, you are free to purchase a large shop vac without a water drain, but don’t blame us when you get tired having to lift and dump it out every time you use it. Trust us, the larger the model, the more necessary a water drain becomes, so don’t skimp on this simple but quite useful feature.
Step Five: Decide On The Necessity Of A Blower Port
Although this feature is completely optional, if you intend on using your shop vac for outdoor autumn yard work, then you are going to want to get one with a detachable leaf blower. If you want to be able to blow dust out of the way in your workshop, then you are going to want to get a model with a blower port. And it’s as simple as that. If you need either of these features, then be sure to get a vac that has them.
Step Six: Stainless Steel Or Plastic?
The final thing that you are going to want to decide on is whether you need a stainless steel shop vacuum or a plastic one. Although there’s a case to be said for both models, stainless steel ones tend to be more durable to use and clean. However, they are also usually heavier and more expensive than plastic models.
In order to choose between these two shop vac versions, you are going to want to weigh all of the variables and decide which one is better suited for you and the work you need the vac to do. That’s the only way that you’re going to end up with a model that can power through your heaviest workload and provide you with years of service.