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Out of all cleaning tools vacuum cleaners seem to be the most popular ones. Why? Mostly due to the fact that they are so efficient, versatile and come in a number of different variations. While regular vacuum cleaners are something we have all heard of, not everyone is aware of the so-called shop vacs.

What are these, and how do they differ from traditional vacuums? While there are many similarities between the two, the main difference is the fact that the shop vac is much more powerful, features a bigger hose and a sturdier canister, which means that it is ideal for cleaning work that requires more effort.

Shop vacs are mostly used in woodworking or on construction sites where large chunks of metal and wood need to be sucked into the canister. A good shop vac can work miracles when it comes to cleaning liquid residue off a surface. However, finding the right one for your budget and needs can be difficult. So in order to help you, we have made a list of the best shop vac cleaners that are easy to get your hands on.

Best Shop Vac Overall

Armor All AA255 

Armor All, AA255 , 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum

If you are looking for a shop vac that is suitable for cleaning the interior of your car, or your backyard, you are in the right place, as this Armor All model covers everything that you would possibly want out of a proper vacuum cleaner.

Looking at the main features, the thing we love the most is the large capacity 2.5-gallon polypropylene tank that is easy to empty, and ensures that the cleaning process is always safe and reliable.

Looking at its design, this shop vac is lightweight, portable and sturdy, highlighted by a 10-foot cord and an onboard accessory panel that will ensure you get all the dirt and debris spots without much effort. It also features a convenient blower function with easy conversion, in case you want to blow out leaves in your backyard. 

This vacuum cleaner is powerful and quiet, running on a 2 HP peak motor that will ensure even that tiny hair is picked up and removed from car seats and couches.

Overall, looking at the price and the portable design, this shop vac is worth your attention. Yes, it may not be the sturdiest and the filter foam could be better, but apart from that, it is a great offer for anyone in need of a good car vacuum cleaner!

Features

  • This powerful shop vac cleaner is going to ensure that no wet or dry residue is left behind, due to its 2 HP peak motor and a 2.5-gallon polypropylene tank that can endure through a lot of metal and wood chunks
  • It is highlighted by a 10 ft. cord and a wrap along with a hose storage box that will ensure great maneuverability and portability out of this shop-vac
  • It comes with an onboard accessory panel that includes hose, cloth filter, foam sleeve, blower nozzle and a detail brush that works great with both wet and dry residue
  • A convenient and portable design that is perfect for a car of any size

Pros

  • It is a lightweight and compact shop vac perfect for car and backyard cleaning

  • Features a long extension cord and a hose-storage box

  • It is easy to use and features a convenient on/off trigger

  • AffordableOffers great suction power for both wet and dry residue

Cons

  • It could be sturdier

  • The filter foam should be better

Best Eight-Gallon Shop Vac

Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum

Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum, 8 Gallon, 4.5 Horsepower, Stainless Steel Tank

If you are looking for a powerful shop vac that is just suitable for an environment such as woodworking or construction, this Stanley model seems like the right pick. First of all, it packs incredible power with a 4.5HP motor and 8-gallon bag that is suitable for wet/dry residue and materials such as wood, and metal sucking.

One of the best things about it is that it is easily converted into a blower, becoming the perfect tool if you are dealing with a lot of wood debris in your backyard. While a bit bulky, the design of it is made to last and is, as such, a great budget pick considering its affordable price.

With the strong handle and a long cord, you will be able to achieve perfect portability cleaning at a good distance away from your power source. We have to point out that while it is made of stainless steel, it doesn’t have the most convenient design, and you should be conscious about how you use it (follow the manual instruction).

Apart from that, while the caster wheels increase the portability of this shop vac, they don’t stay in very well. Overall this product holds great value and given the trusted brand that makes it, we give it a 4.5/5 rating!

Features

  • It is highlighted by a powerful 4.5HP motor that supports both the blowing and suction feature of this shop vac
  • Featuring a reliable on/off trigger so you will be able to achieve full control over it with little effort
  • It includes a strong handle and a long cord so you can easily transport and use this shop vac at a distance
  • A compact accessory panel

Pros

  • It is suitable for both wet/dry suction

  • Affordable product

  • Powerful running on a 4.5HP motor and 8-gallon tank

  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Not the sturdiest

  • Caster wheels don't stay in

Best 16-Gallon Shop Vac

Workshop Wet Dry Vac

WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1600VA High Capacity Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner, 16-Gallon Shop Vacuum Cleaner, 6.5 Peak HP Wet And Dry Vacuum

The whole point of shop vacs is that they offer a more powerful performance than regular vacuum cleaners, and you can be sure of this with the 16-gallon, 6.5 peak HP model. There are a number of innovative points that make this product worth your attention.

First, it is the 2.25-inch x 7-foot hose with which you will be able to achieve superb portability and flexibility of up to 180 degrees. One of its best features is the Qwick Lock system which ensures good filtration, and an auto-off mechanism in case the vacuum gets overheated, or its canister is overloaded.

Supporting its innovative design is the copolymer drum that allows it to be crack-resistant and waterproof. Another great design point is the drain port that supports its efficient performance, offering a suction of up to 1 gallon of liquid per second.

Much like the previous models, this one stands among the best shop vac offers due to the fact that it can be easily converted into a blower. While the attachments that it comes with are not of the best quality, and the vacuum is kind of loud, we still consider it a convenient choice for anyone on a tighter budget.

Features

  • Highlighted by a compact and attractive design easy to transport and work at a distance from its power source
  • Includes a convenient lock fastening system that will prevent dust and debris leakage and ensure that both wet/dry ingredients stay in the canister
  • Features an auto-off feature in case that the canister is overloaded and needs to be emptied
  • It offers compact accessory storage
  • Includes a drain port in case you are dealing with large amounts of liquid residue

Pros

  • Includes an attractive and compact design

  • Lock filter fastening system that ensures smooth performance

  • Affordable

  • Great suction for wet and dry residue

Cons

  • Loud

  • The attachments are cheap

Best Wet Dry Vac

Vacmaster 6 Gallon 3 Peak Shop Vac

Vacmaster, VQ607SFD, 6 Gallon 3 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

If all you are looking for is a portable and powerful shop vac for indoor cleaning because you are not satisfied with how a traditional vacuum performs, this Vacmaster model is a great alternative. It comes at an extremely affordable price, making it the perfect choice, whether you are on a more flexible or a tighter budget.

The first thing we love about it is an attractive design. This particular shop vac is extremely portable and is an ideal choice if you want to clean your house in less than an hour. As for its performance, it may not be as powerful as the previously mentioned models but still performs better than traditional vacuums.

It is highlighted by a 6-gallon tank and a 3 HP motor that operates smoothly and quietly. Much like its pricier competitors, this model comes with a dust-sealed switch that will ensure none of the solid or liquid residue leaks out of the canister.

Last but not least, you get a flexible locking hose that will help you make the cleaning process more enjoyable. You shouldn’t expect the amount of power that a 6 HP shop vac can offer, but for the given price and the compact design, this product is more than worth your attention.

Features

  • It is highlighted by a sturdy stainless steel 6-gallon tank that is perfect for indoor cleaning
  • It offers a 3 HP peak motor that runs smoothly and without a lot of noise
  • Locking hose and dust sealed switch
  • A portable and compact design that should offer heavy performance for at least a couple of years

Pros

  • Extremely affordable

  • Lightweight and portable

  • Comes with a locking hose and dust-sealed switch

  • Onboard accessory panel

Cons

  • Not as powerful as the other best shop vacs in this review

  • Cheap retractable cord

Best Mini Shop Vac

Shop Vac 1.5 Gallon

Shop-Vac 1.5 Gallon All-In-One Wet And Dry Vac ea

At the end of our list, we highlight one of the most convenient models of all. If you are looking for an indoor vacuum cleaner that can be mounted on a wall and transported a long distance from its power source, this is the right choice. The first thing that we noticed is the number of accessories that you get related to the price that you pay.

Apart from the 7-foot hose, you will have a floor nozzle, round brush, crevice tool, gulper nozzle, mount bracket, foam sleeve, and a sturdy filter bag. Incredibly versatile, portable and attractive, this mini shop vac is the dream of anyone who doesn’t enjoy the housecleaning process. The power of the motor is 2 HP, allowing this machine to do a great job with both solid and liquid dirt residue.

While there are certain cons, like the fact that it is pretty loud and may not feature the best filtration system, you are still getting a compact and convenient shop vac that should last you for some time!

Features

  • Highlighted by a compact and portable design with a flexible hose
  • It is wall mountable making it perfect for storage
  • Dent and rust-resistant tank ensuring reliable performance
  • Powerful suction for indoor performance.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable

  • Extremely affordable

  • Does great with both wet and dry residue

  • Long cord

Cons

  • Pretty noisy

  • Not the best filtration

Conclusion

We reviewed and highlighted the major features of the best shop vac models on the market. Now it is time for you to consider your budget and needs and choose one that’s right for you.

A product such as a shop vac can be of great help in both indoor and outdoor environments, as it packs more power than your traditional vacuum cleaner. Whether you are working in construction, or you just want to get your car cleaned in and out, getting one sounds like a great investment.

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API