Our top 10 list of shop vacs, also known as wet-dry vacs, can be a real lifesaver in so many different situations. Whether for cleaning out air conditioning ductwork or even a flood situation in your home, these awesome cleaning machines will suck up virtually whatever you throw at them. However, when it comes to today’s ever-expanding world of shop vacuums, all are by no means created equally.
Portability, longevity, efficiency, pick up power, the ability to properly contain and stay sealed while in different operation modes – these are just some of the various attributes that can make or break a shop vacuum. So, how does one know which shop vacs are the best and which are bombs? Follow along with our review, and leave all the testing to us.
1. Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum
The model 5989300 by the actual namesake Shop-Vac company is a formidable worker with its 5-gallon storage tank and 4.5 peak horsepower motor. The tank on this unit is made of a durable stainless steel shell and houses a filtering system that works very well and stays secure no matter the activity. A good set of casters and onboard-storable cleaning tools also compliment the unit nicely.
2. ArmorAll 2.5 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum
The famous maker of automotive maintenance and cleaning supplies, ArmorAll, actually makes a very nice wet-dry shop vacuum that is designed for smaller jobs and compact work areas. This 2.5-gallon vac works off of a 2 peak horsepower motor and comes with a good variety of onboard utility tools as well. Even better, this unit has a nice auto-shutoff switch that prevents overflow when the going gets tough. Overall, this is a very solid and affordable mini shop vac unit that works in spaces many of the other, best shop vacs even cannot comfortably get into.
3. CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 Heavy-Duty Shop Vacuum
Craftsman provides us with one of the stronger picker-uppers on our list with the model CMXEVBE17595 Heavy-Duty Shop Vacuum. This unit is able to pull debris like heavy mud and muck with ease using a powerful, 6.5 peak horsepower motor. Aside from just reliable power, though, this model allows for a convenient 16 gallons of waste storage for those really big jobs. A solid top snapping system and lower drain combined with a nice, hard-shell body and a patented anti-kink hose design make this one a heavy-hitting winner.
4. DeWALT 6-Gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac
There is plenty to boast about in this top shop vac option by DeWalt – the 6-Gallon Poly model. Four peak horsepower does this machine well, and its built-in blower port loses no power when put to use in blowing off surfaces. At the same time, the caster system on this unit made it one of our favorites in the area of portability, as it is strong and able to withstand countless work environmentss and demands. Finally, the effectiveness and simplicity of this unit’s filtration system make it an all-around excellent shop vac choice.
5. Vacmaster VQ607SFD 6-Gallon Wet Dry Vac
For those looking for a low-cost performer, look no further than the Vacmaster VQ607SFD 6-Gallon Wet Dry Vac. Adorned in a stylish, chrome exterior shell, this 3 peak horsepower shop vacuum is just the right size and power rating for all those jobs around the house. Secure, onboard storage, a weather-proof design for extra rugged environments, and even an exclusive dust-shield system built around its controls to seal out debris intrusion are some of the great attributes provided by this unit. A comprehensive two-year warranty sweetens it all up even more.
6. Stanley SL18115 Wet/Dry Wet Dry Vacuum
The Stanley SL18115 is, for its 5-gallon capacity, more than powerful enough to get some serious work done. This is because of this unit’s 4 peak horsepower motor and drag-reducing internal design. Smooth-rolling casters, a stainless steel tank body, and a reliable extra accessory set also make this unit a great option in affordable shop vacs right now.
7. Vacmaster Professional 12-Gallon, Beast Series Wet/Dry Vac
As the series name of this professional-grade Vacmaster vac suggests, this unit really is a wet-dry cleaning beast. 12 gallons of waste storage space and a formidable 5.5 peak horsepower motor combine to get virtually any cleanup job done in short order. This unit is composed of an ultra-strong polypropylene build and even comes with a 20′ cord. This is much longer than most other shop vacs offer and prevents those constant extension cord woes.
8. Shop-Vac 5895200 2.5-Peak Horsepower AllAround EZ Series Wet/Dry Vacuum
This wet-dry vacuum by Shop-Vac is probably best described as raw, affordable, compact power. With its compact and lightweight, 12 lb. total size, it uses 2.5 peak horsepower to easily pick up messes into a storage tank capacity of 2.5 gallons. Three years of comprehensive, in-home warranty service along with an overall design that is very solid and lacking breakable, exposed parts assures the user of ultimate reliability. An included cleaning accessory kit and a long, eighteen-inch cord are even more reasons to celebrate this compact Shop-Vac model.
9. CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17590 4.25 Peak Hp Wet/Dry Vac
Hitting our list again is Craftsman, this time with the mid-size, 9-gallon, 4.25 peak horsepower model. This wet-dry vac provides adequate suction and a very secure lid system while also providing an oversized bottom drain for quick draining and a very handy, quick-lock filtration system inside. The included extension wand sections and other accessories are all well-made and with a total empty weight of just 15.5 lbs. and fluid casters, this mid-size unit is impressively portable for its class.
10. Shop-Vac 2030100 1.5-Gallon 2.0 Peak HP Wet Dry Vacuum
Yet again, Shop-vac really gets it right here in the ultra-compact line of shop vacuums. This 1.5-gallon, 2 peak horsepower workhorse really works hard in the very smallest of spaces and is also perfect for ladder work. For stationary or off-the-ground purposes, the unit even comes specially designed for wall-mounting. This versatility coupled with a strong overall build, a simple but effective filtration system, and two years of full warranty service makes the model 2030100 a top pick in affordable compact shop vacs right now.
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By BCR Writing Staff