10 Best Shop Vac Options for Wet & Dry Models [2020 Reviews and Buyers Guide]

Last Updated on September 2020

Whether you’re a business owner who needs to deep-clean their storefront or just a regular homeowner who wants to make sure that every speck of dust is sucked away when vacuuming, shop vacs are some of the best vacuums out there. They’re designed to provide powerful suction so that even the most stubborn dirt and dust is cleaned away.

With so many options on the market, finding the right one for you can seem nearly impossible. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 14 best shop vacs on the market to make your pursuit a little easier.

ProductDimensionsWeight

14 x 14 x 21 inches15 pounds

10.6 x 14.2 x 14.4 inches7 pounds

17.8 x 12.5 x 17.1 inches13.5 pounds

21.31 x 21.31 x 23.81 inches26 pounds

18.5 x 17.5 x 22.5 inches19 pounds

18 x 22 x 17.5 inches22.5 pounds

12.38 x 11.63 x 17 inches12 pounds

13.8 x 13.8 x 20.5 inches13.4 pounds

19 x 14.2 x 14.2 inches16.07 pounds

12.6 x 64.8 x 13 inches8.8 pounds

10 Best Shop Vacs

Shop-Vac 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP

Specifications

  • Capacity — 5 gallons
  • Cord length — 5 feet
  • Weight — 15 pounds
  • Dimensions — 14” x 14” x 21”
  • Voltage — 120V

If you’re looking for a powerful and portable wet/dry vacuum, look no further than this 5-gallon shop vac. Its motor allows it to reach a 4.5 peak horsepower, while the stainless steel tank is can hold 5 gallons of liquids and solids.

It comes with a 7-foot long hose, a crevice tool, three extension wands, a floor nozzle, a gulper nozzle, a cartridge filter, a foam sleeve, and a filter bag. That’s a lot of accessories, and you probably won’t need to buy another vacuum for at least a couple of years.

One of the most appealing features of this shop vac is its maneuverability, thanks to the four wheels (one on each corner of its base). This, combined with the 6-foot long cord, allows you to move the shop vacuum around quite a bit while in use, and this also means that you don’t need to keep unplugging and re-plugging it in.

Also, if you’re worried about storing all of those accessories away, don’t be. This vacuum comes with an onboard accessory storage compartment, so you can keep everything in one place and avoid cluttering your space.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easily maneuvered
  • Portable
  • Onboard accessory storage
  • Extra-long cord
  • Blower feature
  • Wet/dry vac

Cons

  • Smaller-than-average size

Armor All AA255 2.5-Gallon 2 Peak Utility Shop Vacuum

Specifications

  • Capacity — 2.5 gallons
  • Cord length — 10 feet
  • Weight — 7 pounds
  • Dimensions — 10.6” x 14.2” x 14.4”
  • Voltage — 120V

This is the perfect shop vac for the homeowner who appreciates a thorough vacuum cleaning. It’s very small and easy to store, and the cord is long enough to stretch away from any outlet to cover an entire room.

It’s not only great for the inside of your home, but it works well for cleaning your car, truck, or RV. This model even comes with a deluxe car nozzle specially designed to get into the tight spaces of your vehicle that would otherwise be impossible.

Additionally, it comes with a “detail brush” that is even finer and lets you get into places like the AC blowers of your car. The vacuum also easily converts to a blower and works as a wet/dry vacuum.

Again, don’t worry about storing or losing those extra accessories. Like the previous vacuum, this one comes with an onboard storage area for both the hose and your accessories. Thanks to its light weight, you’ll be able to pick it up and carry it with you wherever you go.

Pros

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Deluxe car nozzle
  • Detail brush
  • Easy blower conversion
  • Onboard organizer
  • Wet and dry pickup

Cons

  • Smaller capacity

Vacmaster Professional 5 Gallon Beast Series Shop Vac

Specifications

  • Capacity — 5 gallons
  • Cord length — 18 feet
  • Weight — 13.5 pounds
  • Dimensions — 17.8” x 12.5” x 17.1”
  • Voltage — 120V

If you need a powerful enough vacuum to suck up puddles of liquid, this may be the one for you. The Vacmaster Professional boasts a superior suction power that lets it lift liquids off the floor with ease without leaving a single drop behind.

While it is on the heavier side, it is still very portable due to its top-mounted handle and integrated onboard storage. This allows you to keep all of the accessories, including the hose and cord, neatly within reach.

The tank is made from durable polypropylene, which resists impact and corrosion. The blower port allows you to convert this 5-gallon wet vacuum into a blower with ease, while the extra-long 18-foot power cord extends the reach to an impressive 25 feet.

While it’s great for cleaning out your home and cars, it also performs outstandingly in a workshop setting, where there’s bound to be plenty of messes and spills. We should mention that you’d probably get the best use from it when used for small jobs and tighter areas.

Pros

  • Powerful suction capability
  • Portable
  • Integrated onboard storage
  • Tank is corrosion and impact-resistant
  • 25-foot reach

Cons

  • Not suitable for large jobs

Craftsman 16 Gallon Heavy-Duty Shop Vac

Specifications

  • Capacity — 16 gallons
  • Cord length — 20 feet
  • Weight — 26 pounds
  • Dimensions — 21.31” x 21.31” x 23.81”
  • Voltage — 120V

This heavy-duty shop vac provides you with extra power for larger projects. It is perfect for your shop, your garage, or a job site. It comes with a built-in blower port that allows you to quickly and easily convert it to a blower.

That means you can use it to dispose of leaves and grass clippings in your garage and your home’s outdoor areas. The built-in drain was made purposely oversized so that you can empty any liquid that you suck up quickly.

The unique Dual-Flex technology allows for 180° mobility at each end of the wet/dry vacuum and provides resistance to kinking. This Craftsman shop vac also comes with its own range of accessories, including a flex hose, utility nozzle, two extension wands, a car nozzle, a wet nozzle, a dust collection bag, and a Qwik Lock filter.

With the large capacity, it’s excellent for floods, large scale renovations, and building projects. It is also the perfect solution for taking on large cleanup projects. This model comes with an onboard accessory storage compartment and power cord organizers to avoid unnecessary hassle.

Pros

  • Extra powerful
  • Easily converts to a blower
  • Dual-Flex technology
  • Comes with multiple accessories
  • Onboard accessory storage
  • Wet and dry vacuum

Cons

  • Wheels may not function correctly

Shop-Vac 8-Gallon Stainless Steel

Specifications

  • Capacity — 8 gallons
  • Cord length — cordless
  • Weight — 19 pounds
  • Dimensions — 18.5” x 17.5” x 22.5”
  • Voltage — 120V

If you’ve got dirt, then this 8-gallon wet/dry shop vac has you covered. Thanks to its cordless nature, you’ll be able to move it around freely without having to worry about yanking on the cord when you get too far from the outlet; you also don’t have to worry about tripping over the cord when walking.

It is tough and dependable and comes with a wide variety of attachments that allow you to tackle all areas of your home and car. This shop vac is both sturdy and reliable, and the Shop-Vac Corporation is the world leader in the manufacturing of wet/dry vacuum cleaners.

Since the body is made from stainless steel, you won’t have to worry about getting a little rough with this vacuum. It can take a few hits now and then without showing any signs of damage or corrosion.

On the flip side, being made from stainless steel does make it a little heavier than your average shop vac, so you might want to consider another option if you don’t want to lug around 19 pounds of the shop vac.

Pros

  • Durable stainless steel body
  • Tough and dependable
  • Cordless
  • Wide variety of accessories
  • Compact
  • Easy to store
  • Wet/dry vac

Cons

  • Can be heavy to carry around

DeWalt DXV09P 9 Gallon Poly Shop Vac

Specifications

  • Capacity — 9 gallons
  • Cord length — 10 feet
  • Weight — 22.5 pounds
  • Dimensions — 18” x 22” x 17.5”
  • Voltage — 120V

This sturdy, 9-gallon wet-dry vacuum is perfect for large pickup uses. The powerful five peak horsepower motor on the wet/dry vacuum gives you just the right amount of suction to clean up any spill and mess without damaging the surface underneath, like a rug or carpet.

The casters are incredibly durable, and since they’re made from rubber, they allow for smooth swiveling and ease of movement. The 10-foot long power cord allows you to reach almost any cleanup area, and there’s a convenient wrap area on the machine to make storing much more manageable.

It features a built-in blower port powerful enough to blow debris and sawdust from any garage, workshop, or job site. The built-in accessory storage area is attached to the vacuum’s backside, which provides a convenient place for you to keep all of the added accessories organized.

The wheels are mounted to the body on four legs, so you don’t need to worry about the vacuum’s stability. It’s more than stable enough to be pushed and pulled around without toppling over every 5 seconds.

Pros

  • Ideal for large projects
  • Plenty of suction power
  • Durable rubber casters
  • Built-in blower port
  • Onboard accessory storage compartment
  • Stable and topple-proof
  • Wet/dry vac

Cons

  • Smaller-than-average capacity

Shop-Vac 2.5 Gallon All—Round EZ Series

Specifications

  • Capacity — 2.5 gallons
  • Cord length — 7 feet
  • Weight — 12 pounds
  • Dimensions — 12.38” x 11.63” x 17”
  • Voltage — 120V

If storage is one of your main priorities, then this vacuum has you covered. If you need to free up space in your closet, hallway, or garage, then just use the wall mounting feature to place the vacuum in an elevated position totally out of the way.

It is lightweight, portable, and easy to carry around. Feel free to simply pick it up and take it to wherever the mess is — you won’t encounter any problems. Don’t underestimate its power, though — the EZ series is more than capable of cleaning up any mess.

They are wet/dry vacuums, so you can use them for a variety of purposes. Bring it out when the washing machine overflows in the laundry room, or you’re noticing some serious dust ball underneath your refrigerator. This vacuum can do it all.

Its only real downside is its small capacity, as it’ll only be able to hold 2.5 gallons before you’ll need to stop and empty it. This should not be an issue for everyday household purposes, but it can become frustrating if you’re trying to use it for more heavy-duty jobs.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Wall mountable
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Rear blow port
  • Onboard tool storage
  • Replacement filter available
  • Wet dry vacs

Cons

  • Low capacity

Stanley 6 Gallon Vacuum

Specifications

  • Capacity — 6 gallons
  • Cord length — 10 feet
  • Weight — 13.4 pounds
  • Dimensions — 13.8” x 13.8” x 20.5”
  • Voltage — 120V

Stanley is one of the world’s leading suppliers of heavy-duty vacuum cleaners. They focus on production, R & D, and sales of vacuum cleaners. They have been producing innovative, high-quality cleaning solutions since 1843.

This is one of the more versatile vacuums on this list, having a 6-gallon capacity–more than large enough for everyday use around the house, while not being too big. It is also more than enough to be used around the garage and shop, where it’ll be needed most.

It boasts a 4-horsepower motor, which allows it to suck up some extremely tough messes and spills. Weighing in at just under 14 pounds, you’ll be able to carry this Stanley vacuum cleaner wherever the mess takes you, or you can roll it there on its maneuverable wheels.

The wet/dry vacuum has 16 feet of cleaning reach thanks to the 10-foot power cord and 6-foot long hose, so you can reach and clean further without needing to unplug the machine. The drain port is extra-large so that you can easily empty the dust bag when necessary.

Pros

  • 4-horsepower motor
  • Capacity adds to versatility
  • 16-foot reach
  • Easy to maneuver
  • 300 hours of continuous work
  • Extra-large drain port
  • Wet/dry shop vac

Cons

  • Does not vacuum liquids

Tacklife 5 Gallon Stainless Steel Vacuum

Specifications

  • Capacity — 5 gallons
  • Cord length — 2.1 meters
  • Weight — 16 pounds
  • Dimensions — 19” x 14.2” x 14.2”
  • Voltage — 120V

The stainless-steel body on this Tacklife vacuum makes it supremely durable and allows it to withstand quite a bit of wear and tear. The 17-foot working range makes things extremely convenient and negates the need to unplug the vacuum when cleaning large spaces.

It boasts a unique automatic power-off protection feature that activates when the sewage capacity reaches its critical point. The multiple filtering mechanic extracts liquids, while the cartridge filter captures dust directly into the tank. Be sure to clean the filter regularly to remove the dust that it catches.

It can perform three functions, wet/dry vac and blower. First, it can perform dry suction, which lets you suck up things like paper, glass, leaves, etc. Then, there is wet suction, which enables you to use the vacuum to clean up any spilled liquids. Finally, it can perform a blowing function, which lets you dry your surfaces with ease.

The body and wheels are quite sturdy, so you can push and pull this vacuum around while cleaning with no problems or toppling. Don’t worry if it does topple over now and then — it can handle it.

Pros

  • Stainless steel body
  • Sturdy base
  • 17-foot working range
  • Automatic power-off protection
  • Multiple filtrations
  • Three functions–wet/dry vac and blower

Cons

  • Small in comparison to similar machines

ASHJ201 4.8 Gallon 4 Amp Ash Vacuum

Specifications

  • Capacity — 4.8 gallons
  • Cord length — 8.5 feet
  • Weight — 8.8 pounds
  • Dimensions — 12.6” x 64.8” x13”
  • Voltage — 120V

Equipped with a dual filtration system that makes use of a fine dust pleated filter and a coarse dust pre-filter, the ash vacuum cleaner can effectively trap dust and other dirt particles during the cleaning process. This prevents them from polluting your breathing space and entering your lungs. For more information on welding fumes and safe breathing [Read our Fume Extractor Buyers Guide]

Using this machine is as simple as it can be. All you need to do is place the aluminum intake nozzle into the pile of cold ash that you wish to dispose of, turn the switch on, and sit back as the powerful 4-amp motor provides enough sucking power to make the ashes disappear entirely.

The canister is extra-large and can store up to 4.8 gallons of ashes. The powerful motor can generate a maximum of 500 watts of power, which is plenty more than what you need to dispose of some pesky ashes.

As you may have already guessed, this isn’t exactly your average vacuum cleaner. It is explicitly designed to suck up cold ash from fires, wood stoves, pellet stoves, fireplaces, BBQs, fire pits, etc. That way, you don’t have to clean them up by hand.

Pros

  • Dual filtration system
  • Traps dust during the cleaning process
  • Easy to use
  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to store
  • Extra-large canister

Cons

  • Only suitable for cleaning ashes

Size Matters

The bigger shop vac models will usually provide you with the quickest and most thorough cleaning, and they generally come equipped with more features and accessories. However, you might need a smaller size, even a miniature, if you don’t have much storage space in your home.

Watch Out for Your Ears

A wet/dry vacuum can reach volumes of up to 85 decibels, at which point you should be wearing standard ear protection.

Accessories

If you’re going to be using your vacuum to clean both your house and your car, for example, then you’ll want to look at a model that comes with accessories that will suit your needs. Some models come with a crevice tool for tight spots, which work well for cars, while others come with better attachments for cleaning liquid messes.

The Filter

You should aim to purchase a shop vac with a pleated filter, as they are the easiest to change out. They are also much less likely to leak dust than other kinds of filters.

Amazon

There are several places to buy welding accessories, such as shop vacuums online. However, for worry-free return policies, transparency in terms of product quality and customer service, and fast shipping, head over to Amazon.

When you browse on Amazon, you can see what previous buyer reviews on the product they bought, and find out everything spec wise on the items quality, protective features, and comfort. You don’t need to go out to compare prices or features.

If you have problems with purchasing from Amazon, their customer service is excellent. You can also quickly and easily return to them.

Finding the best shop vac for you is not as difficult as it seems, once you’ve got a basic understanding of the way they work and which ones perform well doing specific tasks. We hope that this review has made your next decision a little easier.


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