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Best Shop Vacs

If you love DIY and woodworking or work in construction sites, chances are you need to deal with a lot of dregs like wood chips and nails. Ordinary vacuum cleaners just won’t cut it—bring a shop vac into the fold instead. The shop vac is designed to suck in screws, nails and other tough debris from woodworking and and other related tasks. Get your own shop vac with some help from our guide we’ve put together based on our extensive research.

Buyers Guide

  1. What are the factors I need to consider when looking for quality shop vacs?

    Answer: You need to take into consideration the size of the vac, its material, power, the power source it uses, built-in blower port, accessories you might need, ease of use, price and the warranty of the product.

  2. Can I use the shop vac as a blower?

    Answer: Not all shop vacs are the same, however you can use the vac as a blower. You just need to pull its latches in back on the side and haul up the top part of the device. Take away the filter and the bag, close the lid then snap those latches back in position, Take away the hose from the suction port in front and secure that hose into the exhaust port.

  3. Do shop vacs require filters?

    Answer: Filters for shop vacs are usually reserved for tackling fine debris like sawdust. However, if you find yourself often using the vac for bigger objects, then you essentially won’t need filters.

  4. How do you clean filters for shop vacs?

    Answer: Only reusable dry filters for shop vacs require cleanup. To clean them, take away the filter, wash it with water well and dry it thoroughly before putting it in the shop vac.

Our Top Picks


Armor All AA255 2.5 Gallon Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum

  • For wet and dry cleaning
  • High-grade motor
  • Blower nozzle
  • Includes vehicle accessories

This Armor All shop vac model is quite versatile since it’s made to tackle wet and dry cleaning. It is ideal for cleaning vehicles. A plus of this product is that the package comes with proper accessories for cleaning automobiles and motorbikes. It can be converted into a blower too, which is another advantage. This model is good for both small and large spaces. Check out how it works in this demo.


Vacmaster VBV1210 12 Gallon, 5 Peak HP, Wet/Dry Vacuum

  • 12-gallon polypropylene tank
  • 5 HP motor
  • Quick-release removable blower
  • 240MPH blowing speed

The Vacmaster shop vac has garnered lots of praises due to its features and power. This model is quite versatile because of the inclusion of 2 extension wands, a specialized vehicle nozzle for areas that are difficult to reach plus a utility nozzle for other tasks. It also comes with a removable blower that gives off 240MPH of fantastic speed. For more details on the product, check out this demo.


DEWALT DCV581H 18/20-Volt MAX Cordless/Corded Wet-Dry Vacuum

  • Can work with AC outlet or go cordless
  • HEPA-rated reusable filters
  • 2-gallon tank capacity
  • Durable 5-ft. hose

A good shop vac allows for more power options. Take for example the DCV581H from Dewalt. This shop vac can operate using standard AC outlets or go cordless with a 18v or 20v MAX battery. It does its job quietly as well so as not to disturb other folks and comes with a convenient carrying handle. It includes HEPA-rated reusable filters thereby saving you dollars on filters. See how this vac operates in this demo.


Stanley 3 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum

  • Powerful motor
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • For wet and dry cleaning
  • Includes swivel casters

The Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum model is given a sleek, lightweight design so it’s easy to work with. For added maneuverability, the vacuum is also designed with swivel casters, which are four all in all. Many homeowners are also recommending this model due to the device’s high-grade power—it comes with 4 HP motors so it makes for excellent suction for both dry and wet cleaning. Get more insight on this vac through this product demo.


Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry Vac

  • Wall bracket for storage convenience
  • Fold-down handle
  • Wall mount tool holder
  • 4-ft. x 1 1/4 -inch hose

Due to smaller design of this Shop-Vac model, this is most ideal for small areas. Its motor provides 1 horsepower and is capable of taking in bigger dirt and debris. It’s also the shop vac recommended for tackling spills. Its 4 ft. hose alows for better reach and for easy storage, is designed with a wall bracket. The package includes several accessories like the crevice tool, a wall mount tool holder, gulper nozzle, foam sleeve and a disposable filter bag. Interested in this product? Watch it now in this video.


Hoover Vacuum Cleaner GUV ProGrade

  • Durable steel construction
  • 30 ft. hardwearing hose
  • 10AMP motor
  • 7 cleaning accessories

This vacuum cleaner from Hoover does its job decently. It is easy to set up and has power similar to that of vehicle vacuum cleaners. It operates quietly so you can clean your workspace even at night. The device’s filter is a snap to clean while the vac is easy to clear out. Lastly, this American-made vac makes cleaning stress-free in bigger rooms due to its 30 ft. hose. Check how it performs in this product review.

Our list of the best shop vacs in the business can help you immensely on your search. You’re going to need something much more heavy-duty than your normal household vacuum cleaner if you intend on keeping your workshop clean, so opt for one of these models that can handle the task.