Best Shop Vacs 2021

Cleaning challenging areas, especially workshops, has never been easy. But a shop vac simplifies this challenging task. However, not all shop vac can do a perfect job, we know this, so we researched on the best shop vacs money can buy.

If you are in need of the best shop vacs, you should read through, to get yourself acquainted with what is out there.

BUYER’S GUIDE

Shop vac in general is designed to be durable and versatile. So, the next time you purchase a shop vac, just keep this in mind and consider your requirements seriously before shelling out cold cash. Now that is out of the way, let’s jump in to the buyers guide to aid you select the perfect model for yourself.

Why you should invest in a wet/dry shop vac for cleaning your home or your workshop?

A wet/dry shop vac was first developed to clean large messes in the workshops and industrial environments. But nowadays, shop vac manufacturers have added residential and light duty equipment that can be used for commercial purposes.

The major advantage of this type of a vacuum is its ability to clean both wet and dry messes. Then there are other reasons you need to have a shop vac in your home. They are as follows.

  • Cleaning hardwood floors, carpets, and upholsteries.
  • To deal with household spillages and flood.
  • When used as a blower, it unblocks sinks and bathtubs.
  • Cleaning out nails, shrews, and wood shavings from your workshop.
  • Removing garden wastage and snow.

What types of wet/dry vacs are available in the market?

Shop vacs are usually powered by gasoline, propane, or electricity.

  • Gas shop vac

It is designed for industrial use and it produces serious power. While gasoline models are for outdoors, many propane models have been generally used in a household setup as well. But both these fuel-based shop vacs release a large amount of fume. So, they are less popular.

  • Corded shop vac

This type of shop vac draws its power from a standard wall power outlet. They do output industrial grade power but they are extremely safe to use.

Also, they are so popular that you won’t experience any difficulty in finding it in both physical and online stores. Many corded shop vacs comes with at least 10 feet cord length, so mobility is not going to be a problem.

  • Cordless shop vacs

These models are typically smaller and can be used for domestic and car cleaning purposes. It gives you flexibility in terms of mobility, but their runtime will be determined by its battery capacity.

Also, many cordless shop vacs comes equipped with ac/dc adapters. This allows you to plug it in an external power outlet for extended runtime.

Here’s a list of features you must consider when buying a wet/dry shop vac.

Size

The size typically determines the power and capacity of a shop vac, as well as to get an idea of whether it can be used for commercial or an industrial work.

Airflow

Usually, the airflow is expressed in CFM, the abbreviation for cubic feet per minute. This means how much air a motor can draw in when it is functioning.

If you want a high-performance shop vac, look for a model that has more than 90 CFM. Many manufacturers will not reveal this fact directly, so use this article as a guidepost in selecting a powerful shop vac that can fulfil all of your requirements.

Hose length

You should check both the diameter and the length of the hose before purchasing one for yourself, as it is directly connected with the capacity and the power of a shop vac. The hose length is different from one unit to another.

If you want to reach remote corners, then a longer hose is perfect. But the longer the hose, the lesser the suction power is. So, if you want more power, aim for a model that’s hose length is short.

Filter

Wet/dry shop vac comes with two filters, one for wet debris and one for dry debris. So it is imperative that you check the type of filter it comes with.

The wet filter is designed with a foam sleeve to retain the spills in to the tank, whereas, the dry filter is designed as a hepa filter with a cartridge and a collection bag to remove dry debris.

Accessories

When you are looking for a best wet/dry shop vac, you should consider its cleaning accessories as well. Every great unit must come the following accessories to make your cleaning job easier.

  • Extension wands.
  • Crevice tool.
  • Upholstery tool.
  • Floor brush.

Horsepower

Horsepower is seriously the ultimate factor you need to consider when you are thinking of purchasing a shop vac. You have to think of what purpose you are going to use it for and select accordingly.

If you are going to have smaller cleaning tasks, then you can purchase a shop vac that has 1/2hp. And if you are going to use it for industrial grade tasks, then you must go for 4/5hp motor.

Tank capacity

It all boils down to the purpose for which you are going to use this machine. Smaller tasks, and you don’t need a bigger tank capacity. If you use the machine for bigger cleaning tasks, then obviously you need a larger tank capacity.

However, if you are going to use your shop vac on a regular basis, consider buying a shop vac with a bigger tank capacity. It is recommended as it reduces constant emptying.

Tank material

Almost all shop vacs are designed with durable plastic. This makes it easy for you to carry it around your home with ease. Also, these plastic made shop vacs are going to last longer and they are extremely durable.

There are stainless shop vacs are available which are going to be helpful when it comes to heavy-duty work areas such as construction sites and workshops.

Blower

Many shop vac models have a blowing feature. Either they have a blower port or a detachable blower. Cleaning a yard full of leaves and removing debris from the hard to reach areas is really easy with this feature.

Other important features include,

  • Auto-shut off. Prevents motor damage due to leakage.
  • Drain valve. Lets you dry the tank efficiently.
  • Swivel wheels. Provides excellent maneuverability.
  • Onboard storage. Lets you store and organise your tools in one place.

What is the use of having a wet/dry shop vac in your home?

If you are looking for a machine that is going to be used as a garage vac, then you need a model that consists a 6/12 gallons of tank capacity. The 2/4 tank capacity shop vacs are good for indoor usage.

How Much does Replacement Filters and Bags are going to cost?

Most people tend to overlook the fact that the cost of replacement bags and filters are little higher. Not every model needs a replacement bag/filter, but it is a good practice to look for its price before buying one for yourself.

BEST SHOP VACS

  1. Shop-Vac 5979403 8 gallon
  2. Craftsman 12004 Six-Gallon
  3. Vacmaster, VQ607SFD, 6 Gallon 3 Peak
  4. Emerson WS1600VA
  5. Shop-Vac 3942300 5 gallon 4.0 Peak HP Wall Mount Wet/Dry Vacuum
  6. Vacmaster VFB511B0201 Five-Gallon
  7. Shop-Vac 5895200 2.5-Gallon
  8. Shop-Vac 2021000 One-Gallon
  9. Dewalt DCV581H Two-Gallon Shop Vac
  10. Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Blower
NAMES FEATURES WHERE TO BUY
Shop-Vac 5979403 8 gallon

B075MY3QMX

Cord Length: 12 Feet

Hose Size: 1.25″ Diameter

Warranty: 3 Years

Tank Drain

Stainless Steel Tank

GET IT ON AMAZON
Craftsman 12004 Six-Gallon

B07HQY53GS

5 peak hp

Compact size

Easy filter replacement

Easy to transport

GET IT ON AMAZON
Vacmaster, VQ607SFD, 6 Gallon 3 Peak

B003M2J3GK

Tank Size: 6 Gallon

Amps: 7

Peak HP: 3

Voltage: 120V-60Hz

Cord Length: 12′

GET IT ON AMAZON
Emerson WS1600VA

B00FX35YNC

169 CFM airflow

Sealed suction of 46″

265 watts max airwatts (overall suction)

Auto shut-off float (to prevent overflow during wet pickups)

Large drain

GET IT ON AMAZON
Shop-Vac 3942300 5 gallon 4.0 Peak HP Wall Mount Wet/Dry Vacuum

B07QPBYKRP

WALL MOUNT VACUUM: This wall mountable wet/dry

ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 18-foot Lock-On hose, 1.25

GET IT ON AMAZON
Vacmaster VFB511B0201 Five-Gallon

B074BR5RV9

Motor: 11Amp, 120V~60Hz

Peak HP: 5.5†

Tank Capacity (gal): 5*

CFM: 102‡

Water Lift (in): 82‡

GET IT ON AMAZON
Shop-Vac 5895200 2.5-Gallon

B0040LT71S

Cord Length: 18 Feet

Hose Size: 1.25″ Diameter

Warranty: 3 Years

Wall Mountable Design

Hand Held Design

Blower Feature

GET IT ON AMAZON
Shop-Vac 2021000 One-Gallon

B004UQVQ0I

Cord Length: 6 Feet

Hose Size: 1.25″ Diameter

Warranty: 2 Years

Wall Mountable Design

GET IT ON AMAZON
Dewalt DCV581H Two-Gallon Shop Vac

B00DD1UQ3Y

2 Gallon tank capacity

Motor: 1.85 peak HP

Airflow: 33.55 CFM

Weight: 11.06 pounds

Corded/cordless options

Washable, reusable HEPA filters

GET IT ON AMAZON
Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Blower

B00LYF1T9G

3 peak HP motor

6 Gallon capacity

Weight: 15 pounds

Large dust sealed on/off switch

Top carry handle for balance

GET IT ON AMAZON

Shop-Vac 5979403 8 gallon

B075MY3QMX

The Shop-Vac® 8 Gallon* 6.0 Peak HP** Stainless Steel Wet / Dry Vacuum features a durable, easy to clean, stainless steel tank. This vacuum provides you with powerful cleaning for picking up wet or dry messes in your garage, workshop or basement. Attach the hose to the rear blower port to blow dirt out of those hard to reach places or grass clippings from your sidewalk.

PROS CONS
Multiple attachments Manual is difficult to understand
Powerful suction
Can rotate in 360 degrees
Stainless steel formation
Portable

 

Craftsman 12004 Six-Gallon

B07HQY53GS

The CRAFTSMAN 6 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac, featuring a 3.5 peak HP motor, is a great lightweight and small capacity vac for the home and garage. It’s a great match for cleanups ranging from draining flooded dishwashers, to cleaning out a vehicle, boat or RV, to picking up broken glass, dirt or debris from a home renovation.

This wet dry vacuum easily stores away with its compact size and on-board hose, accessory and power cord organizers that reduce overall storage space. Swivel casters let you get around easily, while the rear wheels keep the vac upright on rough surfaces.

This 6 gallon shop vacuum also features on-board hose storage plus accessory and power cord organizers that help eliminate unneeded hassle and reduce overall storage space. The quick Lock Filter Fastening System makes removing and installing wet dry vacuum filters quick, easy and secure.

PROS CONS
Easy to move Lacks extra attachments
Powerful suction for its size

Vacmaster, VQ607SFD, 6 Gallon 3 Peak

B003M2J3GK

The Vacmaster 6 Gallon Stainless Steel wet/dry vac is ultra-lightweight, powerful and portable. Use at home, in the garage or at the office. The stainless steel tank offers a more professional look to the machine and will stand up to the rugged demands of your job. Powerful 3 Peak HP motor delivers the suction necessary for all your household projects.

PROS CONS
Easy to move around Not as powerful as the Vacmaster VBV1210 and the Vacmaster VFB511B.
Relatively quiet May topple over
Attractive design
A decent number of attachments
The suction relatively strong

 

Emerson WS1600VA

B00FX35YNC

This WorkShop vac looks to be stouter, which could make it more stable and less prone to tip-over. It also has the hose attachment to the top, which is different than what is usual. This could make it easier to empty and manage during certain types of cleanups, or it could be a bump in capacity.

The WorkShop looks similar to the Ridgid WD1280, but with a bump-up in capacity and power rating, and I believe an extra nozzle too

PROS CONS
Massive tank capacity None
WORKSHOP vacuum cleaner
Quickest suction vacuum
Quick Lock Filtering System enables quick wet and dry vacuum filter changes.
The base contains a large base port to an empty wet mess

Shop-Vac 3942300 5 gallon 4.0 Peak HP Wall Mount Wet/Dry Vacuum

B07QPBYKRP

Shop-Vac 3942300 has a dirt tank capacity of 5 gallons, which qualifies it as a medium sized wall mount shop vac. This shop vac comes in a lightweight plastic construction. The tough plastic makes it dent-free, rustproof and corrosion resistant.

Shop-Vac 3942300 is powered by 4 HP motor that delivers excellent suction. There’s a cartridge filter that traps dirt and leaves the air clean. Wet debris are taken care of by a foam sleeve. The vac is fitted with a top handle for improved portability.

The hose measures 18 inches long to provide long reach. With a diameter of 1.25 inches, the hose makes a good choice for sucking fine debris. This shop vac comes with additional accessories to handle a variety of tasks.

PROS CONS
Foldable carry handle for easy portability Quite loud you may need to use hearing protection
Excellent suction for wet and dry pickup
Greater power to size ratio
Easy-to-clean filters using blower or compressor

Vacmaster VFB511B0201 Five-Gallon

B074BR5RV9

The portable Vacmaster Professional Beast Series 5-gallon* wet/dry vacuum is designed to tackle the toughest messes on the jobsite, around the home, or in your vehicle. The compact 5-gallon* tank makes it easy to take anywhere and the high performance 5.5 Peak HP† motor makes sure the job gets done.

The on-board hose, power cord, and accessory storage allows you to keep all of your attachments organized and in one place, and makes portability even easier.

This wet/dry vac comes standard with a wide array of accessories so you have the  tools to get job done no matter what.  Turning this vac into a blower to remove debris from your garage, yard,  or workspace could not be easier – all it takes is a simple conversion.

PROS CONS
Integrated hose storage Hard to place all the accessories in the storage area
Portable design
Easily converts to a blower
Range of included accessories

Shop-Vac 5895200 2.5-Gallon

B0040LT71S

The Shop-Vac® 2.5 Gallon* 2.5 Peak HP** All Around EZ® Wet Dry Vac has the power of a full size vacuum with the convenience of a hand held model. Use this vac “All Around®” the house to clean carpets, stairs, kitchens, blinds, ceiling fans, workshops, vehicles, or anywhere you have a wet or dry mess.

PROS CONS
On-board storage Weighs about 12 pounds
Multiple accessories
Rear blower port
Sturdy construction

Shop-Vac 2021000 One-Gallon

B004UQVQ0I

The Shop-Vac® 1 Gallon* 1.0 Peak HP** Micro® Wet Dry Vacuum is lightweight and extremely portable. It is great for quick wet or dry pick up jobs in your home, garage, workshop or vehicle.

PROS CONS
  • Ideal for smaller places
  • Capacity too small
  • High performance
  • Motor power could have been better
  • Lightweight
  • Durable

Dewalt DCV581H Two-Gallon Shop Vac

B00DD1UQ3Y

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.

PROS CONS
Can be used as a cordless vacuum The power cord is shorter than in most shop vacs
Light and compact Suction is not the best
Reusable filter
HEPA filtration
Heavy-duty build
Onboard storage for easy transport

Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Blower

B00LYF1T9G

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.

PROS CONS
Most compact shop vac The tank can hold only six gallons of liquid and wet mess
Good for wet and dry clean-ups
Easy to convert from vacuum into a blower
Moderately priced unit

CONCLUSION

If you really want to enjoy using a shop vac, you must get the best one. This guide has helped you with a list of reliable shop vacs, you have so many options to choose from. Try one of these reviewed shop vacs, and you will be pleased you did.