Best Shop Vacuum for Dust Collection – The best shop vacs come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and price points. Nearly every store that sells tools also sells shop vacuums. These handy tools range from larger-capacity units to smaller, portable models.
We separate shop vacs from dust extractors based on hose size and intended use. Our picks for best shop vac for 2021 came from countless hours of hands-on testing and reviews. We then separated our picks into categories for various needs and applications.
Pros & Cons
- Easily Convert from Wet/Dry Vacuum to 210 MPH Handheld Blower
- 19-Foot Cleaning Reach with Hose and Power Cord
- Integrated Accessory Storage
- Extra Large Drain Port. Power Cord Length- 12 feet
- INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: 7' x 2-1/2" Secure Fit Hose, (2) Extension Wands, Utility Nozzle, Crevice Tool, Car Nozzle, Concentrator Nozzle, Blower Adapter, Air/Noise Diffuser, Standard Cartridge Filter and Foam Wet Filter.
Our best overall pick is the Vacmaster VBV1210 because of its many user-friendly features; including the 19-foot reach, which allows you to get to those stubborn, hard to reach places, the 2½-inch diameter hose that lets you pick up those larger sized objects with ease and the powerful blower. The onboard tools, which include a crevice tool, utility nozzle and two extension wands, are within reach because they are stored on the casters of the canister. Using the two wands and the crevice tool, you can reach the corners of ceilings and floors without bending over too much.
The 2-in-1 wet/dry vacuum comes with a powerful 5 peak HP motor that gives you enough power to suck up both those liquid spills and dry messes. Switch from the cartridge filter for dry particles, to the reusable foam filter for wet pick-ups quickly and easily.
Pros & Cons
- Cordless operation powered by 20V MAX battery
- Easily accessible, washable/reusable filter; tap or water rinse to clean
- Heavy-duty, crush-resistant, fully-integrated 5' (by 1-1/4" diameter) hose provides durability, flexibility, and ease-of-use
- On-board hose and accessory storage makes the vacuum easy to carry/transport
- 2-Gallon tank capacity provides enough storage to empty a toilet or clogged pipe
- HEPA rated wet/dry filter traps dust at 0.3 microns
- 31 CFM
The DeWalt 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac managed to stay a notch or two above most other models we tested. It produces 116 CFM of suction with 73-inches of water lift. In the end, however, we named this our best shop vac for construction because we tended to use it so much. It just works.
The hose wraps nicely and we love the long, 20-foot power cord. We ran it bagging concrete dust as well as bagless for water cleanup. It had tons of power in both applications.
Pros & Cons
- HEAVY-DUTY: Powerful 6.5 Peak HP provides extra power for large projects in the garage, shop and on the jobsite
- BUILT-IN BLOWER PORT: Rear blowing port on this wet dry vac allows for quick cleaning of leaves and grass clippings in your garage and outdoors
- OVERSIZED DRAIN: Built-in oversized drain on the wet/dry vac allows for convenient emptying of liquids
- DUAL-FLEX TECHNOLOGY: 2-1/2 in. diameter shop vacuum hose features Dual-Flex technology for 180-degree mobility at each end to resist kinking
- ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 2-1/2 in. x 7 ft. POS-I-LOCK Dual-Flex Hose, 2 Extension Wands, Utility Nozzle, Car Nozzle, Wet Nozzle, Qwik Lock Filter and Dust Collection Bag
- WARRANTY: 3 Year Limited Warranty
This heavy-duty shop vacuum is loaded with features to tackle those large projects. Its 6.5 peak HP and the 2½-inch diameter hose allows you to pick up the larger particles that are found in your garage or on your jobsite. Take the 20-foot power cord, the 7-foot hose and the 16 gallon canister and you’ll spend more time vacuuming and making quick work of cleaning your renovation site. To finish your clean-up, you have a large capacity drain for emptying the canister and getting on with the next job
The slightly bulkier wet/dry vac has a rear blower port. Connect the dual-flex hose to make quick work of cleaning up your leaves and yard clippings. You have two extension wands to attach to the crush resistant hose along with a wet nozzle, utility nozzle and a car nozzle. The Quick Lock filter system makes it easy to switch from dry clean-ups to wet ones.
Pros & Cons
- 2.5 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
- 2 Peak HP Motor
- 10 Ft. Cord With Cord Wrap
- Blower Function – Easy Conversion
- On-board Accessory & Hose Storage
- Note: It is a 1-1/4” diameter hose which will make it difficult to pick up leaves or other larger debris.
This portable wet/dry vacuum is perfect for your home. The 2.5-gallon, light-weight utility vacuum is compact enough to carry around while cleaning up your household messes. It comes with a 2 HP motor and will pick up both dry and wet debris. The auto shut-off feature prevents your canister from overflowing and damaging the motor, while the built-in air and noise diffuser help dampen the sound of the motor.
You can convert your Armor All shop vac to a blower and you will have additional cleaning and drying options. The onboard storage makes your accessory tools readily available. When storing your vacuum, you must clean the canister and then simply place the 6-foot by 1¼-inch hose inside. Wrap the 10-foot cord around the top handle and you’re done.
Pros & Cons
- 【STRONG SUCTION& HIGH PERFORMANCE 】4 HP motor provides maximum suction power for heavy duty pickup. Durable 3- gallon Stainless Steel container keeps long cleaning time of using. The powerful rear blower port instantly converts vacuum to power blower
- 【VERSATILE】Multiple accessories and 15 ft cleaning range(10 ft cord and 5 ft safety cleaning hose) allow to clean the dirt of different scenarios. Ideal for wet and dry pick-ups in your home, garage, workshop or vehicle
- 【PORTABLE】The lightweight and compact design(only 11 pounds) with a strong handle allows for convenient carrying. 4 Swiveling casters provide ease of movement in any direction
- 【USER-FRIENDLY】10-Feet power cord with cord wrap design for easy organization and storage. 4 Notches on the wheels for storing accessories conveniently. A large on/off switch with waterproof design for quick and safe access
- 【WHAT YOU GET】1 x Wet/dry vacuum, 1 x 1-1/4" X 5' Flexible hose, 3 x Extension wands, 1 x Crevice nozzle, 1 x gulper nozzle, 1 x Floor nozzle, 1 x foam filter, 1 x reusable filter, 1 x disposable dust bag
The powerful suction of the 4 peak HP motor on the Stanley SL18115 vacuum can outperform some of the more powerful vacuums in its class. You can find this workhorse on jobsites, and in garages or workshops. With 1,200 watts of power, you will be able to conquer your cleanups in minutes.
The 10-foot power cord and the three additional wands give your added ability to reach high places and/or the low corners. A crevice, floor and gulper nozzle are also included. A blower port is available on the rear of the vacuum; attach the 5-foot hose and you can remove yard clippings in a flash.
Pros & Cons
- Powerful 5.0 Peak Horsepower makes this portable shop vacuum ideal for professionals and contractors who need high performance in a compact package
- The ultra-flexible, 1-7/8-inch x 8-foot hose locks in place, is four times more durable than our standard hose, and fits 1-7/8-inch accessories
- The 20-foot power cord delivers extended reach and wraps around the ergonomic handle to provide comfortable transportation and convenient storage
- A patented Qwik Lock Filter Fastening System allows for hassle-free filter installation, removal for cleaning or replacement without the need for fasteners or tools
- Blower capacity offers versatile performance so you can switch to blowing leaves, dirt and debris from walkways, decks, warehouse floors and job sites
One of the smaller sized portable wet/dry vacuums is the Rigid 50313 4000vr. Coming In with a 4-gallon capacity, it packs a 5 peak HP motor, but at a higher price tag. The 8-foot hose and 20-foot power cord make it the longest reaching vacuums we looked at. However, the vacuum only comes with a car nozzle and a diffuser; no wands are included. This makes vacuuming floors both uncomfortable and nearly impossible.
If you need to utilize the blower, it is easily done. The Quick Lock Filter Fastening System lets you remove the filter for cleaning or replacing following your clean up sessions. When you’re ready to store your vacuum, you can wrap your power cord around the comfortable handle, but there is no onboard storage for the other attachments.
Pros & Cons
- High Performance Motor Provides Strong Power For Suction And Blowing Application, Quieter Operation
- 4 Gallon Capacity With Sturdy Handle And Light Weight For Easy Carrying
- Widespread Stainless Steel Base To Prevent Tipping, Built-In Storage Stage, 1-1/4” Accessories Hose Diameter
- Swiveling Casters Enable The Ease Movement In Any Direction, 10 Feet Power Cord Enable Wide Clean Range
The Porter-Cable PCX18406-5B is a lower end model for the homeowner. The 4 HP motor with the 1¼-inch diameter hose makes it an adequate vacuum for your everyday household clean ups. Switch the hose to the rear of the canister and you now have a blower for simple clean-ups.
You have the capability of wet pick-ups too, but since you only have a 4-gallon canister, you will be emptying your canister more often. The additional accessories can be stored on the dolly, but most often need to be removed when using the vacuum. The 10-foot power cord is loosely stored abound in the handle of the vacuum.
Best Shop Vacuum for Dust Collection – Shop vacs typically have a larger diameter hose and they don’t typically arrive HEPA certified (though some do). You don’t normally find automatic filter cleaning, and the motor tends to be smaller, so there’s less overall power. Those aren’t all the differences, of course, but it’s a good start. The best models take advantage of these differences and best the competition.
Our best shop vac reviews cover the gamut from compact models to larger vacuums destined for woodworkers in the shop. So what makes a good wet-dry shop vacuum? It depends on your needs. It’s going to be a balance of portability, airflow (CFM), suction power (water lift), and capacity for the most part. Add in included accessories, storage, and hose/cord management to bring it full circle.