Nothing quite beats a shop vacuum’s (aka wet/dry shop vac) convenience and power. We think having a shop vac handy is one of the biggest essentials in a workshop, regardless of what type of projects you’re working on. Whether you need to clean and clear a space in your home, office, garage, or entire shop, these are pretty versatile for surfaces if you grab a versatile model. Today we focus on budget-friendly shop vacs, more specifically the best models priced at $100 or below. Let’s see what we found.
Picking the best shop vac under $100
- Budget – If you came from our top 10 best shop vacuums guide, you’ll see there’s some pretty expensive models out there. Although in this particular guide we’re aiming for the best shop vacuum under $100, there’s still a decent difference between a model that’s around $30, and others that are right under our price-point. How much do you want to spend? We found some of each price-range to give you options.
- Vac power – This is measured in horsepower (HP), and we’ve seen the range of popular models in our budget go from 2 to 5. What are your intended uses? Do you have some heavy-duty applications you’ll need? Go higher if you can. Otherwise, even 2 HP can cover most common applications.
- Tank capacity – This determines how much dirt and other particles you want to get rid of your shop vac can store. Although you can get away with a smaller tank to save some money and merely dump it out while you’re using it, it depends on your preference. Some are under 2 gallons while others within the under $100 range can go up to 4.
The best shop vacuums under $100
The Shop-Vac 5986000 is one of, if not the best shop vacuum under $100 dollars for several reasons. It is a versatile shop vac because it can reliably clean wet and dry surfaces, removing all the different types of dirt, making your home, office, garage or shop clean in a quick and efficient manner. The top handle is sturdy and enables you to easily move this vacuum from one location to another. It comes with a large five gallon tank and a powerful 2.5 hp engine, which means that it will give you some pretty decent power for merely every type of carpet and surface. It’s tank is also stainless steel and the package comes with a 6 ft. power cord, rear blower port and some additional accessories (nozzles types, etc.). This is one of the most popular brands out there (for more reasons than their name being the same as what the thing is), not to mention it’s often found under $100.
The Vacmaster VBV1210 is definitely another one of the best shop vacuums under 100 dollars thanks to its versatility and power. If you wanted to spend some more money for extra power and stability, grab this one instead of the previous model listed. With its strong 5 hp engine, it will vacuum pretty much anything and everything ranging through every type of surface, which is great for large and heavy cleaning activities. This energy comes especially handy when you consider the fact that it comes with a detachable blower which enables you to use it both as a classic vacuum cleaner and hand blower. It has a long cord (12 ft) and hose (7 ft), which means it can easily reach into every corner without the need to constantly switch from one socket to another – just go around and vacuum, easily moving even on a rugged terrain thanks to the sturdy casters.
The Dewalt DCV580 is by far the best cordless shop vac, coming with power from (your choice of) a 18V or 20V battery. It’s a powerful and versatile vacuum that can reliably and easily clean wet and dry dirt, leaving all the surfaces pretty clean. It comes with a filter that can be cleaned and used repeatedly. The top handle is sturdy and enables easy transport from one location to another. At the same time, elements such as a crevice tool and nozzle tool attachment come with on board storage, which is convenient and makes it easy to convert your vacuum from performing one function into another. The tank holds 2 gallons of capacity and the hose is about 5′. Just keep in mind the battery and charger are sold separately (since it’s a cordless version), so you’ll want to factor that into your budget if you don’t have them already.
Armor All AA255
Up next, if you are looking for a wet/dry shop vacuum that is one of the cheapest out there worth looking at, then the Armor All AA255 is surely one of the best for you to consider. It is double functional, being able to clean in both wet and dry ways, and its two and a half-gallon tank enables you to clean some relatively large surfaces without the need to stop your work to refill it with clean water. This is a versatile vacuum because it can easily turn into a blower from a vacuum function. At the same time, it has a convenient automatic shut down function to disable the possibility of overflow. There is a diffuser for noise and air which ensures both quiet and effective work as well. Take a look at this one if you wanted to save as much money as possible. It holds 2.5 gallons and has 2 peak HP of power and is especially great for cars. It also made it into our best portable shop vacuum guide.
Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro
The Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro is listed last but not for a specific reason — it’s still definitely a great model to consider. What’s unique about this one is the “mini” label attached to it. It is an excellent choice for spaces that are small and don’t have much of a storage area because it is lightweight, convenient and easy to transfer around. It has a very compact design, and with its 1 gallon tank, 4.5 ft hose and 6 ft cord it will easily cover the most of cleaning area of your apartment, home or smaller workshops without the need to transfer from one socket to another during vacuuming. This is a shop vac with a disposable filter bag as well as a foam sleeve so you’re covered with longevity. Although super small and not as much power or space as the others, it may be the perfect solution for you when it comes to picking the best shop vac under $100.