Best Shop Vacuums

Top 10 Rated Wet/Dry Vacs 2018

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Sometimes you have big messes that a regular broom, mop, or vacuum cleaner just can’t handle. Shop Vacs, or wet/dry vacuums, are invaluable tools when it comes to cleaning up tough wet or dry spills and messes around the house, garage, workshop, or car. Shop Vacs can handle sawdust and slick puddles because of their great suction power. As we rated our top ten Shop Vacs, we considered the following qualities:

1. Suction/blowing strength
2. Maneuverability and portability
3. Cleaning performance
4. Range and usefulness of accessories
5. Design
6. Value
7. Price

12 gallon
5 Peak HP
Detachable blower function
12 foot cord
7 foot hose

The Vacmaster VBV1210 is not only a powerful wet/dry vacuum, but it’s a incredibly mighty blower. We were pleased…read more


5 gallons
1.68 kW motor
12 lbs.
6-foot cord

Shop-Vac 2030500Because of its relatively small size, you’ll find the Shop-Vac 2030500 an indispensable tool around the house for cleaning up all sorts of messes in no time. This wet/dry vacuum is perfect for households…read more


ArmorAll AA255  8.5/10

2.5 gallon
2 HP motor
6 foot hose
10 foot cord

A lightweight, inexpensive wet/dry vacuum, the ArmorAll AA255 is a versatile cleaning tool, particularly for families with long-haired pets. It runs quietly and picks up so much hair…read more


6 gallon
3 HP motor
7 foot hose
12 foot cord

With a sturdy, durable design, the Vacmaster VQ607SFD rolls smoothly and gleams with its stainless steel drum. We were happy with how the 6-foot hose locks on securely…read more


5 gallon capacity
4.10 kW motor
7’ lock-on hose
16” crevice tool

Shop-Vac 587-24-62A solidly built wet/dry vacuum with a durable plastic drum, the Shop-Vac 587-24-62 has a 5-gallon tank and 4.10 kW motor. This Shop-Vac doesn’t disappoint performance-wise…read more


1 gallon
1.0 HP motor
6 foot cord

If you’re looking for a small, no-fuss wet/dry vacuum, then the Shop-Vac 2021000 is a perfect choice. It does what it advertises: cleans up spills and crumbs easily and efficiently…read more


Bissell 18P03  7.5/10

12 amps
7 tools
32’ hose

Bissell 18P03A versatile, powerful wet/dry vacuum, the Bissell 18P03 can be wall-mounted in your garage, and its thirty-two-foot hose can reach anywhere in the garage—making it ideal for cleaning the inside of your car or picking…read more


12 gallons
6.0 HP motor
Stainless steel
23 lbs.

Shop-Vac 5986200The Shop-Vac 5986200 comes in a durable, handsome stainless steel and has a 6.0 HP motor for extra power. We were pleased with its suction power; it handled wet and dry messes equally well. At nearly 24 pounds…read more


3.5 gallons
6 amps
2” cleaning path
20’ hose

Stanley SL18132If you’re looking for a compact, lightweight shop vac for quick cleanup jobs, then you won’t be disappointed with the Stanley SL18132. It’s only 3.5 gallons, but that’s enough…read more


5 gallon
3 HP motor
6 foot hose
8 foot cord

For a compact, inexpensive wet/dry vacuum, the Vacmaster VJ507 has more than satisfactory suction and blowing capabilities. It can handle small to medium cleaning tasks easily…read more


Shop Vacuum Buying Guide

Buyer’s Guide to Wet/Dry Vacs

As you shop for a wet/dry vacuum, the most important consideration you must look for is cleaning performance. You obviously want a Shop Vac that cleans up dust, debris, and puddles quickly, thoroughly, and efficiently. Here are some other factors to consider.

Size
Generally, the bigger the wet/dry vac, the more powerful the cleaning performance. Also, they have greater fluid capacity. If you plan to use this Shop Vac extensively for big cleaning tasks, then you’ll want a big model. However, if you have limited house space or need a vac for simple, everyday spills and cleaning, then a smaller model will work just as satisfactorily.

Noise
Many wet/dry vacuums, due to their incredible motors, are very loud. You’ll want to wear ear protectors if the vacuum runs at 85 decibels or higher. The Fein 9-20-25 Turbo-II notably runs at only 60 decibels, making it gentler on the ears.

Accessories
Shop Vacs almost always come with a hose, which should be long and flexible for maneuverability. Stiff hoses can make a vacuum tip over if it doesn’t have a stable base. Many Shop Vacs also come with a variety of attachments, such as a crevice tool for cleaning tight spaces in your car, a utility nozzle for large debris, and a brush for carpet. Extension wands can be a lifesaver if you don’t want to crouch or stand on tiptoes to reach areas. If a wet/dry vacuum comes with such tools, see whether it offers onboard storage or some other means of storing these attachments.

Hose Diameter
If the vacuum hose is wide in diameter (say, 2 ½ inches), it can more easily pick up large, bulky debris. Narrower hoses tend to have more clogging issues and take longer to clean.

Dust Bag
Even a standard dust bag can prolong the life of the filter and hold all sorts of heavy debris. The dust bag, which usually costs no more than $8, fits around the filter, improves the suction, and makes it easier to switch between the wet and dry functions.

Brittany Rowland Brittany Rowland researches new developments in Appliances, Kitchen and CE products features with a vigor to which few would aspire… but someone has to do it. See more about Brittany

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