Buying the best shop vacuum can be a very wise investment, not to mention efficient if you do a lot of cleaning wherever you may be. Although our reviews are geared towards power tools, It isn’t just for those who are into power tools or building things entirely — it can be for most applications you can think of when it comes to keeping things tidy, such as home use, cars, woodworking, help with dust collection, pet hair and more. When it comes to shop vacuums in particular however, there are countless popular models in the market, but which shop vacs are actually worth looking at for the money? In this article, we review the top 10 best in the market to help your buying process.
How to choose your shop vacuum
- Money – Your budget is an obvious choice at being the #1 most important factor when it comes to shopping for a vac. Although we highlight the best shop vacuums under $100 in our separate budget-friendly guide, we cover all price ranges below.
- Horsepower – The power shop vacs we have are typically measured in HP. The average peak HP is 6, which we recommend trying to stick to.
- Corded or cordless? Some come cordless, others corded, others with both! Do you plan on traveling a lot? Don’t want to hassle with a cord in general? Keep those questions in mind.
- Capacity (gallons) – This is pretty important when it comes to picking the best shop vacuum. Although you’ll obviously be able to empty these things out, clean them and get going again, at which point do you want the capacity to end? The mean capacity of the most popular shop vacs is around 6 to 10 gallons.
- Additive features? Filter systems, mobile casters, flexible or collapsible parts, quietness, bagless, overfilling protection, and more. Which do you want to include in your purchase while sacrificing some of the cost? Portable shop vacuums are quite popular as well.
The top 10 best shop vacs for the money
To start off our list and make it to our number pick as best shop vac in the market, the Ridgid WD 1450 is a very highly rated vacuum with not only a great build but powerful motor. It has a pretty large capacity with a compact design for easy handling and holds the ability to vacuum up to the capacity of a 14 gallon drum. The key features of this one include a 3-layer fine dust filter, casters with 360 degree mobility and a dry vac that can help clear a wide variety of job sites.
This is also in our opinion one of the best shop vacuums because it has a fine dust filter that can capture the most dust particles you’ll face. It is equipped with a 7 inch dual flex feature to resist collapse. For an uninterrupted cleaning, the WD 1450 also has the capability to clean powerfully to blow debris from any part of the house – sidewalks, garages or decks.
The scroll noise reduction provides an easy and quiet mode when handling the operation. It has a 6.0 peak HP motor that offers energy to suck debris and clean the jobsite. Alongside its powerful machine, the swivel casters allow for 360 degree mobility making this one of the best Ridgid choices among vac users.
Vacmaster offers a convenient shop vacuum here with its 5 HP motor that can do an effortless job with the press of a button. Remove the hassle of cleaning as this shop vac allows you to quickly remove extra debris with its blower function (like the previous model listed). The Vacmaster VBV1210 can deliver a 210 MPH blower and some other main features include a dust sealed switch and a large drain port.
There is also a 12 foot cord with a detachable blower that allows for quick dust removal. The easy drain feature is what makes it so simple to operate. It eliminates every mess tidily with its powerful suction and is mostly engineered to handle heavy tasks at home. From the blower to the vacuum – the two in one tool makes every job easier and also comes with a 2 year warranty. This another one of the best shop vacs out there and the user reviews will back up that claim.
One of the best in its class for a few more bucks than others – the Bosch VAC090A is a powerful extractor for debris. The combination of its powerful motor and suction energy allow the tool to quickly pick up dust – dry or wet. You can pair it with a HEPA filter if you’re in the mood (that can be purchased separately). This shop vacuum is an incredible unit with an automatic cleaning system that can filter every 15 seconds.
It is also equipped with a heavy-duty wheel and metal frame, which is compatible with all kinds of work sites. On the specs, you can rely on its 10 foot vacuum hose and can neatly work with the plastic bag and flat filter. An adapter nozzle is already included in the purchase as well.
Lastly, it features a filter that is designed to maximize the capacity of the canister. It is also lightweight because it’s designed to be portable and easily stored. It automatically shuts down when the water reaches the standard level. If you want one of the best shop vacuums in the world where money doesn’t matter, take this and don’t look back — we all know that Bosch brand name, too.
Up next and yet another one of the best shop vacs today, the Armor All AA255 picks up that pesky dirt – wet or dry. It has a 2.5 gallon storage capacity to hold the mess and is equipped with a 6 foot hose with a detachable feature. It is also enhanced with automatic shut down when the water overflows (you may need this more than you think). Capable in handling the debris, this shop vac has 2 horsepower motor with a noise diffuser. The built-in air diffuser provides a powerful suction when doing heavy work. The purchase includes a reusable cloth filter and blower nozzle and it takes only a few minutes to assemble the parts and use the unit.
As a utility vac, it has everything you need for pickup. All accessories are included to handle a complete and convenient cleaning session right out of the box. Change the switch and it becomes a great blower, too. It is designed to be portable, so you can travel with it anytime — coming in as ideal for jobsites or individuals that require constant mobility.
The Craftsman 12004 is equipped with a 3 peak HP motor and has a durable 6 gallon volume tank to make for easy collection. The tool is convertible to a blower and you can (most commonly) use it for a patio, shop or yard. It’s a bit smaller than the rest if you’re looking for a more agile model.
The secure fit hose allows for easy cleaning as it is supported with a 10 ft cord and also 2 wands for extension. The on/off switch is just one tap away and it takes up a large volume of debris. As one of the best reviewed vacuums, it can be used in dry or wet conditions. Despite having a weight that is relatively light, this vacuum can do huge work with manageable balance. The 12004 shop vacuum manages large pickup in the tank and holds up to that solid Craftsman construction simultaneously.
As one of our favorite brands. the DeWalt DCV 581 H can be operated using a cordless battery or with a corded outlet. The two functions are great features since not many shop vacs have the options included in their build. Its filter is HEPA certified with an efficiency that reaches 99.97%. Plus, it has a washable filter for efficient cleaning. The 5 ft. hose is crush resistant and the storage is for easy handling.
As a handy product, it comes with a compact design and easy instructions to assemble. The storage is integrated in the unit for easy mobility when you need to transfer it to another work site. The battery performance is also one thing to be noted. It brilliantly powers the vac and you can use each mode conveniently using its cordless system, let alone sports the overall DeWalt build and brand logo/colors we all love.
Dustless Technologies 16003
The Dustless Technologies 16003 is one of the best shop vacs in the market due to its reviews by users to raise our confidence when it comes to trusting it’s longevity. It consists of an outer and inner filter, micro filter, tear resistant bag and durable machine. The vac is operated with a rod that can hold a capacity up to 40 pounds. It is equipped with a 11.5 amp motor for a long-lasting and heavy-duty application.
There are many additive and extra features that come with this quality vacuum if you’re looking for that, such as a baffle to hold water and a check ball for overfilling prevention. It is able to capture tiny particles up to 0.5 microns. The vacuum system allows filtration without an opening barrel to create a dust friendly working area. It is suitable for homeowners or contractors who need effective and efficient tools to control dust.
The shop vacuum is no ordinary vacas it works with sanding fine dusts. Unlike a traditional shop vac, the dustless technologies have the baffles and filters that remove dust that could clog. Dangerous dusts are pulled in due to the airflow restriction. This is a relatively fancy vacuum that’s worth the money if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line model. It also made it to Popular Mechanic’s best shop vacuums article.
Another Ridgid model vacuum we couldn’t ignore. This one offers a practical system to do heavy tasks alongside a convenient carry handle allows easy grip for users as they lift the vac to their vehicle. Attached to the handle is the long 20-inch cord for the user’s convenience. The Ridgid WD 1851 has a bucket tool organizer with a powerful motor that goes up to 6.5 HP. Not to mention it’s quick and can take a gallon per second.
The motor features noise reduction for a quieter mode when operating the machine. For higher demand in heavy-duty, there are two drums provided in the motor. A fine dust filter is attached inside with a 3 layer system to capture dust in the hardest areas like dry walls. Ridgid has become a well-known tool brand to help complete heavy tasks (considering they have two appearances in here). It’s a reliable piece of equipment provided with a lifetime warranty to ensure it functions properly.
Craftsman is one of the most reliable brands when it comes to shop vacuums and makes yet another appearance in here. This one has a 16 gallon volume and is powered with a 6 peak HP. The hose diameter is 2.5 inches – large enough to do heavy chores in your working site. Compared to other types, this tank size can hold a larger volume than the average shop vac market.
You can covert the unit into a powerful blower with 170 mph maximum. The purchase includes a utility nozzle, lock hose and paper filter. The Craftsman 9-17761 vacuum is detachable for easy cleaning after removing the dust and is just another solid model to take a look at when it comes to shopping around for the best with your needs taken into consideration.
The PAVC101 is specifically designed to clean ash from your fireplace. It is also applicable to clean barbecue grills and pallet stoves. It’s listed last due to the restricted use of these but is way too solid not to at least include in here. The canister can hold ashes up to 3 gallons. The purchase includes additional accessories along with a 16 ft cord for regular cleaning. The Powersmith is also ideal for a blower with its quiet yet powerful 10 amp motor. The noise level doesn’t reach 79 db – it should really be a quiet machine to work with.
As previously stated, the PowerSmith PAVC101 is stated to be ideal to clean dust and ashes in wet or dry conditions. It is also equipped with replaceable filters and washable parts. The accessories are on board and it’s great for storage or carrying, too. Although last in our best shop vacuum guide, it isn’t necessarily one you should ignore.