11 Best Shop Vac for Woodworking in 2019 (Review and Buyer’s Guide)

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Shop vacs are usually used for cleaning challenging areas such as workshops. Actually, shop vac is in itself is a registered brand and the name used extensively to describe any vacuum cleaner which is wet/dry. Our list of best 11 shop vacs is a blend of both industrial and home use shop vacs. After reading this review, you will have a better idea of what exactly a shop vac is, its functionalities, and answer to all of your burning questions regarding this machine. Let’s start.

comparison table: the best 11 shop vacs for woodworking

Shop vac nameHorse powerBest forBuy on Amazon
Vacmaster VBV1210 shop vac5HPBigger cleaning workBuy on Amazon
Craftsman 12004 shop vac3HPWoodworkersBuy on Amazon
Ridgid WD 1450 shop vac6HPIndustrial usageBuy on Amazon
DeWalt DCV581H shop vac1.85 HPWet/dry cleaningBuy on Amazon
Armor All Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum2 HPIts portabilityBuy on Amazon
Shop-Vac 5989300 Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum4.5 HPJobsite usageBuy on Amazon
Ridgid WD0670 Wet/Dry Vacuum3.5 HPPeople on a budgetBuy on Amazon
Vacmaster Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Vacuum3 HPDIYersBuy on Amazon
DeWalt Pro Poly Wet Dry Vacuum5 HPPro usersBuy on Amazon
Shop-Vac All-In-One Wet And Dry Vac2 HPHome related cleaning workBuy on Amazon
WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac6.5 HPShop ownersBuy on Amazon

Best shop vac reviews:

1. Vacmaster VBV1210 shop vac, the best one to buy:

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The Vacmaster VBV 1210 is an extremely durable, sturdy, and a versatile shop vac that is designed for bigger cleaning jobs. It is a two in one tool and it is so affordable. If you want to clear away a yard full of leaves, or if you want to clean your household mess, this equipment does it faster and efficiently. It comes with a 5hp motor that helps it to function as both a blower and a vacuum.

It produces 210 mph air speed  and the suction power is certainly enough to be used for most home cleaning jobs. This shop vac has a 12 gallon tank that lets you work in a large area without having to empty the tank often. It has some of the greatest caster wheels that you can use it to move it around when you vacuum. The Vacmaster VBV 1210 is supremely portable and you can move it from one place to another without having to lift it. The compact design makes it easy to handle and its lightweight in nature.

Although this equipment has a powerful motor, it isn’t noisy at all. Because of its sound diffuser, it is an ideal machine for both indoor and outdoor usage. When we speak of its performance, it is of the top notched quality. Finally, its body is constructed by strong and sturdy material and it can withstand a lot of abuse.

Pros:
  • Has a 12 gallon tank.
  • Powered by a 5hp high power motor.
  • Strong, sturdy, and reliable equipment.
  • Can be used as a blower as well as a vacuum.
Cons:
  • The hepa filter isn’t included with this equipment.

2. Craftsman 12004 shop vac, best for woodworking:

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If you are looking for a best affordable shop vac that is specifically built for withstand abusive usage, then the Craftsman 12004 shop vac is your best bet. Although it’s a small vac and you won’t be able to use it for professional use, it is a good machinery to have with you to deal with dirt, grime, and gunk around your house. Because it is smaller in size, it is a great choice for people who like to do DIY projects.

If you have a machinery that requires a dust collection system, then you have a wonderful shop vac that is exactly built for this purpose. This machine is powered by a 3hp motor and it will perform exceptionally well all around your house. Like the classier models, it can serve you both a blower as well as a vacuum. It is constructed by a thick plastic and the power button is protected from dust. You can move it from one place to another with the help of the caster wheels. All the attachments of this shop vac are solid and it is seriously easy to use.

The large on/off switch is an added benefit and the hose is easy to remove and attach. When it comes to accessories, all the basic shop vac accessories such as vacuum heads and extension wands are included.

Pros:
  • Powered by a 3hp peak motor.
  • Hose is easy to remove and attach when needed.
  • Consists a large on/off switch.
  • Made of thick plastic material.
Cons:
  • It isn’t built for professional use.

3. Ridgid WD 1450 shop vac, best industrial shop vac:

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The Ridgid WD 1450 shop vac is a high quality tool that is priced significantly low. It is one of the best professional model from the Ridgid brand. This is great for everyone unless you need a lighter vacuum. If you are a professional, then you will fall in love with this equipment after the first use itself.

This model is equipped with a 6hp motor which is the highest power range that you can expect from a shop vac. It is also built with noise reduction technology, meaning that it is quieter than all other vacuums at this price point. Like most other shop vacs, it can perform both as a blower as well as a vacuum efficiently. When we speak of its construction, it is made of thick, durable plastic.

The collection tank has two part design which you won’t find anywhere outside the professional group of vacuums. Its capacity is 14 gallons and you don’t have to empty it often. Like all the best shop vacs, it is equipped with caster wheels to move it around easily. Despite its big size, this shop vac is  easy to use and shift thanks to its caster wheels.

Pros:
  • 14 gallon collection tank available.
  • Powered by a 6hp high power motor.
  • Easy to use.
  • Made of thick, durable plastic.
Cons:
  • It isn’t a portable equipment.

4. DeWalt DCV581H shop vac, best wet dry shop vac:

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The cordless tools are the best handy product you should have if you are a professional. The DeWalt DCV581H shop vac is the best cordless shop vac you can purchase in the market as of now. It is a small, yet powerful shop vac which has adequate suction capacity. It is super quite when we compare it with all other brands of this same class. You can also use it as a mini dust collector.

Although you can’t do a real heavy work, you can pick up all kinds of dusts with ease thanks to its hepa filter. It also comes equipped with integrated tool storage. All in all, if you are looking for a small shop vac that efficiently completes your home cleaning needs, then this will be your write pick. The following video explains about how to use this shop vac effectively.

Pros:
  • Affordable pricing.
  • Best portable shop vac you can buy.
  • Three year limited warranty available.
Cons:
  • 2 gallon capacity is pretty low.

5. Armor All Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum, best electrical portable shop vacuum:

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If you are looking for a compact yet a powerful shop vac, then you will appreciate yourself for choosing this one. It generates a good amount of power, and it’s on par with the household vacuum cleaners. It is equipped with multiple attachments and a 6 foot hose that allows you to reach any type of mess in your home.

It also comes with a 10 foot long power cord. This vacuum has an auto-shut off feature, so there is absolutely no chance for overflowing. You don’t have to pinch yourself for assembling this equipment. It is easy to do it so. Like we have mentioned earlier, it comes with various attachments such as a rolling brush, a utility nozzle, and a crevice tool. Its compact body lets you store it anywhere you want.

Pros:
  • Compact body.
  • Comes with multiple attachments.
  • Has a 10 feet long power cord.
  • Everything is removable.
Cons:
  • The hose doesn’t always stay in place, which is a serious headache.

6. Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum, best job site shop vac:

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If you want to cleanup your shop, garage, or your workplace effectively, then you need this Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum. It is the best jobsite shop vac you can find in the market. Its designed with seriously noticeable flexibility and an exceptional agility to be used in a workplace. Also, if you are looking for a vacuum cleaner with more suction power, then a dry/wet vacuum is your best choice. Having said that, the Shop-Vac 5989300 wet/dry vacuum is a powerful vacuum that comes equipped with a 5 gallon tank, which is durable and made of stainless steel.

This equipment can handle anything between medium to large cleaning work that you are planning to do. It features a built-in top handle that makes it easy to transport it from one place to another a breeze. Designed to cleanup all sought of dry and wet mess, it delivers great performance through its 4.5hp peak motor. Also, the stainless steel tank will last for a long period of time.

This shop vac comes with 4 caster wheels that can be used in any surface, and you can cleanup any difficult to reach areas thanks to its 6 ft electric cord and three extension wands. If you are looking for a best shop vac that offers high class performance, your search ends here with this model.

Pros:
  • Powered by a 4.5 hp motor.
  • The 4 caster wheels can be used in any surface to move it around.
  • Has a 5 gallon stainless steel tank.
  • Sturdy, strong, and durable.
Cons:
  • It is difficult to assemble.

7. Ridgid WD0670 6-gal. Wet/Dry Vacuum, best inexpensive shop vac:

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Want to have a tool that is lightweight and clears away all types of mess in your shop efficiently? Want to spend less money for best quality? Then there is a solution made just for you. The Ridgid WD0670 6-gal. Wet/Dry Vacuum’s price is seriously affordable and it is extremely portable. You can use it both as a blower as well as a vacuum by simply repositioning its hose. It has an effective air filtration system.

This vacuum features a 360 degree rotatable caster wheels which helps you to move it all around your shop easily and effectively. It also comes equipped with an exceptional accessory storage design. Despite the fact that you won’t have too many accessories, each one of the wands and nozzles can be stored comfortably. When it comes to hose management, you don’t have to wrap it around your vacuum to prevent it from damage.

Instead, you can remove it and put it in the canister after completing each cleaning session. At an affordable price range, this shop vac is powered by 3.5hp high power motor. Finally, it is a perfect equipment to be used in garages, homes, and to complete small to medium cleaning tasks.

Pros:
  • Has a good suction power to complete small to medium cleaning tasks.
  • Powered by 3.5hp motor.
  • The air filtration system and the CFM  is really good for a shop vac that is priced as cheap as this.
  • The 4 caster wheels are included for added mobility.
Cons:
  • You should not expect to get a great value out of this shop vac in terms of power.

8. Vacmaster Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Vacuum, best shop vacuum for DIYers:

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When you are looking for a versatile and effective shop vac at an affordable price tag, this model is your best choice. It consists some great features to grab your attention. One among them is its 7 gallon stainless steel tank. It is equipped with a 3hp peak motor. It also comes with various tools and accessories to make your cleaning tasks a breeze. This includes a crevice tool, multi surface nozzle, and a utility nozzle.

All these tools are stored conveniently onboard. This unit is fixed on swivel caster wheels to provide exceptional maneuverability. It has a warranty of 2 years for domestic use and 90 days warranty for commercial use. All in all, it is a best shop vacuum for home usage in every sense.

Pros:
  • Equipped with a stainless steel tank.
  • Powered by 3hp peak motor.
  • Comes with swivel caster wheels for exceptional maneuverability.
  • Has a 2 year warranty.
Cons:
  • You can only use this shop vac for small to medium cleaning tasks.

9. DeWalt 9-Gallon Pro Poly Wet Dry Vacuum, best shop vacuum under $100:

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Looking for a shop vac that has premium features and can deliver exceptional performance, then you need to take a hard look at the DeWalt 9-Gallon Pro Poly Wet Dry Vacuum. First off, this shop vac is equipped with 5hp peak motor that produces 90 CFM. Secondly, among all the shop vacs we tested that falls under $100 category, this unit stood-out from the rest. The material with which it is built is highly commendable.

It features a 9 gallon tank and you don’t have to empty it often. There are several accessories included such as two extension wands, easy to wash cartridge filter, a floor nozzle, a crevice tool, utility nozzle, and a removable filter bag. You don’t have to worry about tool storage as it comes with an accessories storage bag. It is also equipped with 4 caster wheels and you can move this equipment all around your home with absolute ease.

When we speak of its hose and cord management, it is simply outstanding. Having said about its features, now we can safely say that it is a best pro class shop vac that is priced affordably and it is very rare to find a 9 gallon unit at this price point.

Pros:
  • Material used to construct this model is exceptional
  • Has a 9 gallon tank.
  • Three years limited warranty provided.
  • Gives you a solid look throughout the equipment.
Cons:
  • The length of the electric cord is shorter than many of its competitors.

10. Shop-Vac 1.5 Gallon All-In-One Wet And Dry Vac, best shop vac for house cleaning:

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Want to have a machine that gives you the power of the full sized vacuum in a handheld shop vac, then this model is going to be your ultimate pick. It has many features that are seriously important when it comes to home cleaning. You can clean stairs, kitchen, carpet, workshops, and boats with ultimate ease. It has 1.5 gallons of tank capacity that is enough for household cleaning.

This model produces 120 CFM and boasts an excellent suction power which is pretty good for home usage. The removable dust collection bag lets you clean debris real quick and dump the wastage efficiently. With the 18 feet cord length, you don’t have to move the unit as often. Along with this shop vac, you will get extension wands, multipurpose nozzle, a crevice tool, and a gulper nozzle. You can easily store and organise all the tools in one place with its built-in attachment storage.

The rust resistant body and the 4 caster wheels gives you a great experience when you want to move this equipment from one place to another. Powered by a 2hp peak motor, it provides a great solution if you want a small yet powerful shop vac that literally handles all of your household cleaning requirements.

Pros:
  • Really good build quality.
  • Powered by a 2hp peak motor.
  • 1.5 gallon tank capacity.
  • Provides a smooth usage experience.
Cons:
  • This vacuum is really loud.

11. WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac, best electric shop vac:

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Looking for a shop vac that is exceptionally good when it comes to cleaning large area and provide great features at an affordable price, then you must purchase the WORKSHOP WS1600VA shop vac. Don’t simply take our word.

Checkout the features we’ve outlined here and decide for yourself. Firstly, it comes equipped with 16 gallon tank capacity which is the highest we’ve reviewed so far. Apart from that, it has a 6.5hp 12 amp peak motor and it produces 169 CFM. It also has a 2.5 inch hose which is not only useful while cleaning, it plays a central role when it comes to removing debris from your yard. This model consists duel flex technology that allows its hose to flex 180 degrees without collapsing.

The locking tab helps the hose to connect firmly with the main unit. It comes equipped with a Qwik lock filter system that lets you interchange between three filters without facing any issue whatsoever. Like all other models, it has some commonalities such as onboard storage, large drains, and carry handles. The 4 caster wheels makes your job much easier when it comes to moving it from one place to another. When you want to use this vac as a blower, simply connect the hose to the output port and it will take care of the rest.

Pros:
  • Has a Qwik lock filter system which can be used for interchanging filters.
  • 20 feet cord length.
  • Has a powerful 6.5hp 12 amp motor.
  • 5 year limited warranty provided.
  • Exceptional suction power.
Cons:
  • This machine is little louder than all the others in this list, but that is understandable.

Buyers guide:

Shop vac in general is designed to be durable and versatile. There are some differences between a shop vac, a shop vacuum, and a wet/dry vacuum. Although we are not going to look in to these in detail, but it is worth noting. 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.

1. What are the factors you must consider when purchasing a cordless shop vac?

When you want to purchase a cordless shop vac, there are several factors you must consider. Why? It determines how much you’ll like your purchase and how much value you are going to get out of it. The first you have to consider is your battery. It is important to note that not all models include battery with their package. This means that you have to spend extra money to get the batteries to keep your shop vac functioning. Another thing you need to consider is the battery line. If you have a certain brand’s battery line, then it is wise that you buy the same brand battery. Also, you must consider the power of a particular model you are going to purchase. If you are going to work with wet and clumpy messes, then purchasing an above average power shop vac is the wisest choice.

2. Why is having a wet/dry shop vac is important in your home?

Wet/dry shop vacs can clean like a workhorse. The ability to clean wet and dry messes from your house to your workshop makes it incredibly valuable to have with you, and it is versatile as well. Although they are not as powerful as the jobsite vacuums, they performs necessary cleaning tasks efficiently. Also, these shop vacs are affordable and the price starts from less than $50. Unless you need the additional features this is the thing you must consider purchasing.

3. 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 equipments 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.

1. Cleaning hardwood floors, carpets, and upholsteries.

2. To deal with household spillages and flood.

3. When used as a blower, it unblocks sinks and bathtubs.

4. Cleaning out nails, shrews, and wood shavings from your workshop.

5. Removing garden wastage and snow.

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

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

  1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

5. What features you need to consider when purchasing a wet/dry shop vac?

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.

1. Extension wands.

2. Crevice tool.

3. Upholstery tool.

4. 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,

1. Auto-shut off. Prevents motor damage due to leakage.

2. Drain valve. Lets you dry the tank efficiently.

3. Swivel wheels. Provides excellent maneuverability.

4. Onboard storage. Lets you store and organise your tools in one place.

6. 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.

7. 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.

Conclusion:

There is a lot of information in this review and buyers guide, and it will always be a little overwhelming. The best place to start is to consider what the primary use of the shop vac will be. Then you can think about what accessories will enhance the capabilities of your shop vac.

Once you figure these things out, you can start looking at the other stuff and information to determine which one will ultimately be the best shopvac for you to purchase.

Thanks for reading The 11 Best Shop Vac review list till the end. It means a lot to us. We hope that our review article will help you pick the right product for your needs from our carefully selected products. As always, if you have any suggestions/recommendations, feel free to share it with us in the comment section below.

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