The 10 Best Shop Vacs

Sara Mandeed
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If you’re anything like me, there is nothing more satisfying than a well-kept garage. Or, for you young people, the shed. A tidy workspace is both functional and comfortable. That’s why I always make sure to have solid Shop Vacs on hand!

All of the listed Shop Vacs here are relatively affordable but have excellent ratings, powerful suction, and long cords. They also pack a lot of power for their price-range and are sold with generous warranties. I’ve listed them in no particular order.

NameCategoryProduct
Vacmaster ProfessionalBest OverallVacmaster Professional
Armor AllBudget PickArmor All
Shop-Vac 5989400 8 gallon 6.0 Peak HP Stainless Wet Dry VacuumUpgrade PickShop-Vac 5989400 8 gallon 6.0 Peak HP Stainless Wet Dry Vacuum

1. Vacmaster Professional

Our rating: 9 / 10

Vacmaster Professional

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Pros:

  • Affordably priced
  • Built-in Circuit Breaker
  • Includes a number of accessories
  • Includes a clear and detailed instruction manual
  • Well-built and solid

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a solid build up
  • Not ideal for hardwood or tile floors

The Vacmaster Professional Cleaning Machine offers all the practical features you need for a wet and dry vacuum cleaner. This machine has a 2.8 gallon liquid capacity and a 5.5 HP Vortex Motor which is great for sucking up liquids, whether they’re water, mud, sawdust or grass clippings. The instructions manual is easy to read and understand and it includes a number of helpful images.

The Vacmaster Professional is equipped with a 3 stage system that comes with a powerful motor, flexible hose and accessories. The motor can produce up to 5.5 HP. It has a series of fan speeds and air speeds that produce lots of suction power. You can adjust the suction power of the vacuum by changing the air speed setting, allowing you to vacuum a variety of items.

2. DeWALT DXV09P 9 gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac

Our rating: 9 / 10

DeWALT DXV09P 9 gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac

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Pros:

  • Durable construction
  • Comes with a removable blower attachment
  • Noise-free motor works great for both wet and dry use
  • 6-ft long power cord comes included
  • Overheat protection
  • Includes a large filter
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • No accessories included
  • Not as powerful as some other models

The DEWALT DXV09P is a great shop vacuum that is very easy to use and has a powerful motor that can handle any clean up job. This vacuum includes a 9-gallon poly tank with a 1.5-gallon secondary tank that makes it easy to empty.

The secondary tank is removable so you can use both tanks if you have some big messes to tackle. This vacuum also comes with a 35-foot long power cord that allows it to reach nearly any area in your shop. The power cord also features a retractable design so it will safely stay out of the way when you’re working.

Another nice feature of this vacuum is the 6-foot long hose that has an easy-release and retractable mechanism. The hose allows you to clean under and around areas without too much trouble. This vacuum includes an overheat protection valve, so it will automatically shut off if it gets too hot to prevent overheating or motor burnout.

3. CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac

Our rating: 9 / 10

CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac

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Pros:

  • Made from quality materials
  • Highly affordable
  • Comes with a five-year warranty

Cons:

  • You have to buy liners separately
  • Setup instructions are not very helpful
  • Fairly heavy

It's not easy to find a good wet/dry vacuum for a reasonable price. After reading through hundreds of reviews and comparing different models, our top pick was the Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 16-Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vacuum. This is a heavy-duty vacuum for residential and light industrial use. As it's a wet/dry vacuum, you can use it for wet cleaning, for dry cleaning, and for high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration.

The Craftsman features a detachable blower and a very robust carry handle, adding to the convenience and versatility. Its vacuum tube is 50-inches long, and it has a 10.25-inch diameter, and a filter bag that can hold up to 1.5 quarts with a replaceable pre-filter and post-filter. It also allows you to attach your own vacuum hose with its hose adapter. The vacuum is available in other variants as well, from a 4.5-gallon version to the 9.5-gallon version.

4. Armor All

Our rating: 8 / 10

Armor All

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Pros:

  • Innovative design
  • Transparent window to see the water levels
  • Comes with 12 accessories, including a crevice tool, floor nozzle with beater brush, and two extension wands
  • Comes with a 6-ft. hose and handle
  • 2 peak HP (high power) motor with air flow of 280 CFM
  • Weight of 28 pounds
  • 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • Aesthetic appeal isn’t as great as other products
  • Water tank capacity is small

Armor All’s wet/dry shop vac stand out from the crowd due to its innovative design. While most shop vacs have round plastic shields, this model features a thin, rectangular protective cover to prevent dust from entering the device. Due to this design, you can easily spot if there’s water build-up due to its transparent top cover.

It comes with a squeegee, crevice tool, and extension wands with a 30-foot cord and 6-ft. hose. Plus, you have the option of choosing from three different colors – red, blue, or silver. Although its aesthetics aren’t as appealing as other products on this list, its practical feature set and performance make it an excellent choice for consumers.

5. Shop-Vac 5895200 2.5-Peak Horsepower All-around EZ Series Wet/Dry Vacuum 2.5-Gallon

Our rating: 8 / 10

Shop-Vac 5895200 2.5-Peak Horsepower All-around EZ Series Wet/Dry Vacuum 2.5-Gallon

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Pros:

  • 3-stage filtration system
  • Comes with a hose, optional attachments, wall bracket, and storage
  • Long-lasting
  • Bags are easy to remove and clean
  • Comes with a 2.5-gallon tank capacity
  • Can be connected to a variety of other tools and accessories
  • Can be used for numerous purposes
  • Comes with a metal impeller

Cons:

  • Not easy to maneuver
  • Bulky
  • Not ideal for wet use as it does not come with a splash guard
  • High maintenance cost
  • Takes a while to assemble

The Shop-Vac 5895200 2.5-Peak Horsepower All-around EZ Series Wet/Dry Vacuum 2.5-Gallon is another top-selling option on the market. At 2.5 gallons, it is not quite as large as some of the other vacuums, but it still has a high-quality build and fantastic features.

Although the online images don’t do an excellent job of accurately portraying the colors, the Shop-Vac 2.5-Gallon vacuum has a Magenta/Gray color scheme. It is also more compact than several other brands of vacuum, with an excellent pricing point for anyone looking for a new vacuum.

6. Stanley 6 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum

Our rating: 8 / 10

Stanley 6 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum

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Pros:

  • Powerful, versatile, and lightweight shop vacuum
  • Easy to carry and store thanks to its compact and lightweight design
  • Works efficiently on wet and dry stuff
  • Includes HEPA filtration system for ultimate dust protection
  • Airflow rate of 5000 cubic feet per minute

Cons:

  • The built-in cord storage can get clogged after quite a few uses
  • The hose connector doesn’t have a rubber gasket
  • The suction power is too strong when turned up to the highest level

The Stanley 6-gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum has been making waves in the vacuum industry for some time now, and it’s no small wonder why. This wet/dry vacuum has been designed for longevity and is built to withstand wear and tear. It comes with a 4 horsepower motor and a 5-position handle which allow for various work positions when handling tricky tasks. In addition, the tool has an easy to transport and store design as it is lightweight and compact.

This vacuum has numerous quick-access parts, including an on-board accessory cup, which makes it ideal for pickup and cleanup. The vacuum’s expandable bellows are a great feature and allow for an extra-long reach. The construction of this vacuum is also easy on your wallet as it features a limited lifetime warranty.

7. TACKLIFE Wet Dry Vacuum

Our rating: 8 / 10

TACKLIFE Wet Dry Vacuum

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Pros:

  • Stainless steel material offers longer durability
  • Well-made for its price point
  • Comes with wide cleaning nozzle for versatility
  • Comes with drainage spout, wand, and wide mouth
  • Powerful and quiet operation
  • Easy to assemble
  • 6hp motor

Cons:

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty messes
  • Customer service isn’t premium

The TACKLIFE Wet Dry Vacuum, 5 Gallon Vacuum with Stainless Steel Pump and Tank, was created to provide professional and residential users with a tool that can be used for both wet and dry needs. It is a fully-functional vacuum cleaner with a 1.5 horsepower motor.

Its tank is made of stainless steel, which makes the vacuum more durable than plastic ones. It comes with a stainless steel motor that runs consistently. It also features a wide mouth that allows users to clean all kinds of messes with ease.

Moreover, it comes with a drainage valve spout, wand, floor nozzle, and two extension wands. In addition to this, the vacuum comes with a 30ft power cord and a one-year limited warranty.

8. Shop-Vac 5989400 8 gallon 6.0 Peak HP Stainless Wet Dry Vacuum

Our rating: 7 / 10

Shop-Vac 5989400 8 gallon 6.0 Peak HP Stainless Wet Dry Vacuum

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Pros:

  • 8 gallon bucket capacity
  • 6.0 peak HP motor
  • 3 amp 120V motor
  • Double tiered hose for versatility
  • ON/OFF switch
  • Carry handle
  • Swivel hose
  • Vacuum kit
  • Hose clamp
  • 1 1/4in. ID hose

Cons:

  • Price
  • May be too large/heavy for some to move around easily
  • Wet vacuum only

When looking for the best shop vac (or wet-dry vacuum) you have many different factors to consider. The model featured here, the Shop Vac 5989400 is a suitable contender for your needs when it comes to finding the best shop vac. The filter comes complete with a lifetime warranty and a number of excellent parts to help you clean up any messes.

This Shop Vac 5989400 model comes with just about every accessory you can think of. The versatility of the vacuum is excellent, with standard and swivel nozzles. There is also a wet/dry remote and blower attachment which ensure that you can tackle any jobs you have.

9. Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum

Our rating: 7 / 10

Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum

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Pros:

  • 3-year warranty
  • High-quality
  • Dual-stage filtration system
  • High-capacity

Cons:

  • Higher price compared to other models
  • 5-gallon size means it’s not the most portable shop vac around

The 5989300 Shop-Vac 5-Gallon from Shop Vac is a powerful and versatile solution for portable vacuuming. It has a stainless steel construction with a 6-foot hose and a 26-foot power cord. It comes with a wide range of accessories, including an extension wands, a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and a variable wand. All of these attachments allow you to clean upholstery, surrounding areas, and tight corners.

Like other Shop Vac brand shop vacs, the 5989300 features a HEPA filtration system. While HEPA filtration system isn’t absolutely necessary, it basically means that the air will remain clean with regard to allergens and other contaminants.

The high-quality stainless steel construction does a great job of preventing rusting or corrosion. It’s important to note that the 5-gallon size makes this a non-portable option. While this size offers greater capacity, it does mean you have to carry it around before emptying it into larger storage containers.

10. DEWALT 18/20V Max Vacuum

Our rating: 6 / 10

DEWALT 18/20V Max Vacuum

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Pros:

  • High CFM rate for suction power
  • Works on battery mode or AC power
  • Easy to use plug-in feature with quick release
  • Lightweight, weighing only 7.6lbs

Cons:

  • Very loud
  • Not ideal for bigger jobs
  • Plastic parts are a futile attempt at saving money at the customer’s expense

Tools don’t come much more powerful than the 10.8 V cordless wet/dry vacuum from DEWALT. It comes with most of the features you’d expect from a high-quality wet/dry vacuum – an effective filter bag, a flexible extension hose, and a car nozzle. You can run it in both AC and DC power modes with the included quick-connection plug that also works as a drain feature.

This vacuum is also highly maneuverable, which is especially handy in a garage or a workbench with limited space. It can be used to empty a car, clean up a welder’s mess, or just clean up kitchen spills with ease. The vacuum is lightweight at only 7.6 pounds, and it’s not at all bulky.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best shop vacs?

The best shop vacuums are ones that have attachments and filters that will help you keep your home clean and are easy to maneuver. Shop Vacs are the best thing you can have around the house. They help you clean up a tremendous amount of mess. They can fill cans that have been left out, under rugs and they also easily suck up water. On occasion you may need to clean out your Shop Vac and that is why it is important to know how to clean it. In order to be able to put this vacuum back in your shop, you need to know how to clean it so that it isn't emitting bacteria and we all want that right? Read on and find out how to clean a Shop Vac.

What is the most powerful shop vacuum?

The most powerful shop vacuum is the DEWALT D28115 1.5 Gallon 115 Amp 5.0 Peak HP Ultra-Lightweight Wet/Dry Vacuum. It features a 1.5 gallon tank and a maximum airflow of 94 CFM for optimal performances. This vacuum costs 84 dollars.

In addition, this model comes with a few accessories such as a crevice tool, a 2-Nozzle spray tool and a 11-Foot power cord. These accessories can be used to clean almost any place at home and in the offices.

The construction of this vacuum cleaner is suitable for heavy commercial use as it features metal housing and a metal impeller. It is also highly durable and very light. This is the best shop vacuum for the money.

What is the most powerful small shop vac?

When it comes to a shop vac, more power is better. It means you can get the job done faster and with a higher volume.

The best small shop vac is one with a motor that delivers a strong punch due to its size. It is always stated in horsepower (HP). HP determines how much suction the vacuum can create. Unlike other devices, the higher the HP, the more expensive the device.

A small shop vac should ideally have at least 5 HP. And at most, 10 HP.

Other factors to consider before selecting the best small shop vac are the hose, cord and filters. A shop vac hose should not be less than 12 feet. The power cord should be as long as possible with at least 10 or more feet. A 5-micron crevice tool filter is a bonus.

Are Hart shop vacs any good?

While we tend to prefer Ridgid shop vacs, we know that there are a ton of Hart fans out there. So is Hart a good brand? Well, if we’re talking about Hart and the majority of other brands, then not exactly.

But that’s not to say that Hart is bad; it’s not.

There are plenty of satisfied customers out there that swear by Hart, and they happen to be a central resource for many of the small shop owners around the world.

Below you will find the best Hart shop vacs. If you’re one of these Hart-loving people, then we have found the right vacs for you.

But first, let’s take a look at how and why they're different from other brands.

Conclusion

With all the choices on the market, it’s a headache trying to choose the right Shop-Vac. That’s why we’ve created this buyer’s guide to help you find the best Shop-Vac for your home. We’ve narrowed down the options and include product description and customer reviews to help you choose the best Shop-Vac for the type of job you need to get done.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Vacmaster ProfessionalBest OverallVacmaster Professional
Armor AllBudget PickArmor All
Shop-Vac 5989400 8 gallon 6.0 Peak HP Stainless Wet Dry VacuumUpgrade PickShop-Vac 5989400 8 gallon 6.0 Peak HP Stainless Wet Dry Vacuum