The Top 10 Best Shop Vacs
Thanks for taking your time to read our reviews of the best shop vacs currently available on the market. We have researched these vacuums so as you don't have to, and included only those with the highest buyer satisfaction ratings.
Please note that in the table below, we have included our ranking, the product name, an average buyer satisfaction rating, the size in gallons, the cord length and the motor size as those are the most important elements.
The buyer satisfaction rating we get from looking at all the websites that sell these products and working out the average buyer satisfaction ratings.
Shop Vac Top 10 Comparison Table
We have done summary reviews of each of these shop vacs below.
No 1 - Vacmaster Professional Wet/Dry Vac 5 Gallon Beast Series
- This Vacmaster has a rugged 5 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
- 5. 5 Peak HP High Efficiency High Water Lift Motor
- Integrated on board hose storage 7 feet x 1-7/8" kink resistant hose
- 18' Cord with Cord Storage
- Easily Converts to Blower
- Extension wand
- Utility and car nozzle and crevice tool
- Fine dust cartridge filter and foam wet filter
- Noise diffuser
- CFM: 102
This one does get the highest customer satisfaction rating, and overall they believed this one to be the best value for money. It does get the name of being "the beast," and most buyers seemed to agree with that.
No 2 - Vacmaster Beast Professional Series 14 Gal. 6.5 HP Steel Tank Wet/Dry Vac with Cart
- 14 Gallon stainless steel tank
- 6.5 Peak HP Motor
- Best-in-class suction power and air flow easily tackles tough jobs around the jobsite, shop or in the garage
- 20 feet cord with cord wrap
- Has a 7 ft. x 2-1/2 in. kink resistant premium hose, utility nozzle, floor nozzle, professional floor brush, crevice tool, 2 extension wands, fine dust cartridge filter, foam wet filter, accessory bag, and air and noise diffuser
Buyers have overall given this shop vac a solid rating and there are a few thousand of those ratings and reviews to go on. There were some niggly complaints, but quite a number of those are about other issues rather than the vacuum itself
No 3 - Dewalt 6 Gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac
- This is a portable 6 gallon wet/dry vac ideal for small clean-up jobs
- The heavy duty 4 HP motor provides just the amount of suction needed to most any cleanup job
- Has casters that allow for ease of movement
- Has a 10 feet power cord with cord wrap
- Has a blower port to blow sawdust and debris
- Has a carrying handle
- Has a waterproof on/off switch and dust cartridge filter
- Has a built-in tank drain
- The hose is 7 feet by 1-7/8"
Buyers really do seem to like this Dewalt model, and the main complaints are about receiving damaged goods rather than about the vac itself. This is a small portable vacuum that the majority of buyers think is high quality, and from a very well known brand
Craftsman 17612 4 Gallon 5.0 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac, Portable Shop Vacuum with Attachments
- This shop vac has a 5.0 peak HP that provides the power of a large vac in a small package - this makes it a great choice for the home, auto, jobsite and garage
- The storage beneath the wet dry vac drum keeps shop vacuum accessories in one place
- It comes with an extra long 20-foot power cord
- It has a dust-sealed on/off switch
- It comes with the following accessories 1-1/4-inch x 7-foot Pos-I-Lock Hose, Car Nozzle, Crevice Tool, Combo Brush/Utility Nozzle, 2 Extension Wands, Accessory Caddy and Cartridge Filter
This shop vac is pretty new to the market, but we will continue to update it when more information is available. So far it is getting very good ratings.
No 5 - Armor All, AA255 , 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum
- This vac has a 2.5 Gallon polypropylene tank
- It has a 2 Peak HP Motor
- Comes with the standard 10 Ft. cord with cord wrap
- It is easy to change to a blower function
- Comes with on-board accessories such as car nozzle, detail brush and hose storage
- Works as both wet and dry
This is a small compact vac and the majority of buyers say that it does a good enough job for their needs. Any complaints we found were about the product not working as it should or breaking down. Some people did get a replacement under warranty.
No 6 - Stanley SL18910P-3 Wet/Dry, 3 Gallon, 3 Horsepower, Portable Car Vacuum
- The manufacturer classes this 3 gallon vac one as having maximum suction power for heavy duty pickup
- Has a 3 HP peak motor and a 10 feet cord
- It has a larger capacity of over 11 L, making it ideal for small clean-up jobs
- You can vacuum both wet liquid spills and dry debris, dust, saw, dirt or, just wrap the power cord on top handle after using, conveniently
- It has a 4 ft. hose, and a 6 ft. power cord
- Comes with 1-1/4"x4’ hose x 1, 3 in 1 crevice nozzle, gulper nozzle, foam filter, and a reusable dry filter
No 7 - Stanley SL18115 Wet/Dry Wet Dry Vacuum
- This model has a 5 gallon steel container
- It also has a 4.0 peak HP motor with an airflow of 85 CFM
- Has a rear blower port
- Comes with a 10-foot power cord with built-in cord wrap
- It has casters for easy movement
- The hose is 5 feet by 1- 1/4-inch
- Comes with two extension wands, crevice nozzle, gulper nozzle, floor brush, foam filter, cloth bag with clamp ring, and dust bag
No 8 - Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry Vac Portable Compact Micro Vacuum with Collapsible Handle
- The manufacturer states this is a lightweight and portable wet/dry micro vacuum
- That explains the 1 horsepower motor with a 1 gallon tank
- It has a 6-foot power cord with cord wrap
- It comes with a top carry handle & wall brackets for space-saving storage.
- You get a 4-foot by 1-1/4" hose
- You also get a crevice tool, gulper nozzle, tool holder & foam sleeve reusable disc filter bag
No 9 - Vacmaster, VP205 Portable Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
- 2.5 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
- It has a 2 Peak HP Motor
- Has an 8 feet cord with cord wrap
- On board accessory storage
- It is easy to convert to a blower
No 10 - Dewalt DCV580H 18/20V MAX Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuum
- This wet/dry vacuum has a 2-gallon tank
- It is an 18v/20v Cordless Wet/dry Vacuum
- Comes with a washable/reusable filter
- It has a hose and accessory storage makes the vacuum easy to carry/transport
- 31 CFM
Shop Vac Buyer's Guide
Just below we have included some important tips when it comes to buying a shop style vac. When we were doing our research, we paid a lot of attention to what buyers actually said.
That included the complaints and the disappointments they had after they had bought and used the product. Based on all of that information, we have created what we think is a very useful shop vac buying guide.
Length of the Corded Lead
Initially this may not seem like a key feature, but of all the complaints that buyers made, this was the number one gripe. This is of course the lead that plugs into the electric socket and allows you to power up the vac. The complaint was that most of these were simply far too short.
It is of course possible to plug these into an extension lead and that is in fact what most people end up doing. However you don't want to have to do that if the vac is permanently located in your workshop. So our advice is to watch out for the length of this lead as they can vary quite a bit.
Most of these leads are anything between 12-18 feet, and even that is short. However some can be as short as 4-6 feet and that is just a bad design in our opinion. We have included the cord length in our table comparison at the top of this article.
Length of the Hose
Like the electrical lead above, another source of complaints was the length of the hose. The standard size for these is around 7 feet and that seems to work well for most people. However there are many of these on sale where the lead is much shorter, and that restricts its use.
More importantly is the diameter of the hose. For a shop vac to be useful you want to have as wide a diameter as possible. The majority of shop vacs will have a diameter of 1-1/4", but the better design is something like a 1-7/8" design.
It really does depend on what you plan on hoovering up with your vac. Some buyers want one that will pick up small pieces of wood, and for that you will need a wider opening.
Size in Gallons
If you have read our article above, you will have noticed that the vacs are all measured in gallons. The principle behind that is, that the gallon measurement is "supposed" to represent the amount of liquid that one of these vacs can accommodate when doing a clean up.
We have found, and this has been verified by buyers, that no shop vac will be able to hold the stated amount. This gallon measurement is closer to the actual size of the vac. In other words a 6 gallon vac will be slightly bigger that a 5 gallon vac.