If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best shop vac is we recommend the Vacmaster 12 Gallon, 5 Peak HP, Wet/Dry Vacuum with Detachable Blower. It’s the ultimate shop vac.
Keeping your workshop clean can be difficult. Maybe you need the best shop vac for woodworking clean up, maybe you love to make a mess in your garage and just need a good garage vac.
Of course you might even be one of those ultra messy people and you need the best wet dry vac on offer to make sure you don’t slip and slide your way to an injury. Whatever your reason or need a high quality shop vac is what you need. In this guide we will take a look at the most powerful shop vac options on the market today.
Here are the Shop Vacs we will be reviewing:
- Vacmaster 12 Gallon, 5 Peak HP, Wet/Dry Vacuum with Detachable Blower
What should you be looking for in a shop vac?
Depending on your situation you may be using your shop vac for simple cleanup jobs such as excess dust in your workshop or garage. On the other hand you might need the most powerful shop vac with all the wet/dry vac settings and reverse section features.
Many of the vacs we will look at share similar features but there are some differences so we have looked at some of the most important things you may want to including in your decision process.
Big jobs or small jobs or both? This may seem like an obvious thing to consider but make sure you think about it carefully. Don’t buy a shop vac and then discover you need one with twice the capacity to get the job done.
Do you need specialist filtration or the ability to switch filters? If you work with a lot of fine dust particles your needs will be very different to someone using it mostly for wet work.
Again like the other considerations it needs to be powerful enough to be able to take whatever you throw at it. A cheaper vac may save you a few bucks but not have the grunt needed for your work.
Tools & Accessories:
Lastly if you have a specific specialist need then you need to consider what attachments you need to use on a regular basis and ensure your vac is compatible so you don’t need to buy additional tools to get the job done.
If you intended use for your vac requires more mobility and ease of use without the need for the wet/dry vac feature then you may also wish to consider a backpack vacuum. You can check out our best backpack vacuum cleaner guide here.
Best Shop Vac – The Options
This is our favourite shop vac in this guide. It has the power, the capacity and the features needed to get a range of jobs done.
- 12 Gallon capacity (the hint is in the name)
- 7 Foot Hose for easy reach
- The tools/accessories storage is built in
- Great accessory pack including extension wands, concentrator and more.
- Detachable blower for easier manoeuvring
- 5 Horse Power at its peak
- Surprisingly quiet for such a big shop vac
- Due to the size of the tank it can get pretty heavy but this is a trade off versus the capacity
- The casters are loose fitted. This means they do not click into place so they can drop off if you life it. However the drain valve basically gets around this issue.
Moving to a completely different size of shop vac the Armor model isa far more compact offering.
With this in mind it is more suited to smaller jobs but does have a few nice features to use for things like cleaning your car or other vehicle. This includes a deluxe car nozzle and detailing brush.Pros:
- Small enough to carry so great for mobile use
- The motor delivers a surprising amount of power for 2 horsepower
- Auto shut off to prevent any blockages or overflow
- Noise cancelling features built in
- 6 foot hose so plenty of reach which is helpful for car detailing
- 2 Year Warranty
- A little small of heavy duty workshop jobs leading to frequent emptying
- Not as powerful as some of the other models we have listed here
- Clamps for the top are plastic which can have durability issues
- Hose storage could be better
Like our last model “the Armor” this Shop Vac is on the lower side of capacity. It does have a nifty feature which allows you to wall mount it which can be helpful.
- Removable wheel base section for easier carrying
- Wall mountable (handy for keeping it in the garage)
- 7 foot suction hose, a great size for a small vac
- Pretty powerful for a small vac
- Good range of tools/accessory attachments
- No valve to drain the tank from the bottom like the Vacmaster
- The hose does not clip into the vac itself so it can disconnect easily which is annoying
- The Dry filters can be tricky to replace, bag filters are better in this case
The smallest shop vac in our guide but not one to be dismissed to quickly. Overall this one is for those who need a small domestic wet/dry vac or a mobile unit for cleaning the car.
- Super portable due to its size, light and easy to carry
- 2 year warranty
- 4 foot hose which is not bad for a small vac
- Good range of tool attachments
- Comes with a wall mounting bracket for the tools
- A little too small for many situations
- Very noisy
- The hose is a little flimsy so can bend causing an air blockage and loss of suction
- Power cord needs to be longer
This Shop Vac sits right in the middle of our range here in terms of power, capacity and more besides.
Just like it’s smaller sibling above it has a removable wheel base which as we have already discussed is a greta feature. It is worth pointing out that this came really close to being our first choice.
- A lot of vac for the price tag
- Drain valve at the bottom for easy liquid empty
- Three different extension wands and a range of other accessory tools
- 7 foot hose
- Stainless Steel so much more durable than cheaper plastic models
- Not as much capacity as the Vacmaster
- Short power cord
- The tool storage sometimes gets in the way of the air output
- Small hose diameter is not ideal for some jobs
So Which is the best shop vac?
If you saw our top tip right at the start of this guide then you know we recommend the Vacmaster 12 Gallon, 5 Peak HP, Wet/Dry Vacuum with Detachable Blower as our ultimate shop vac with wet/dry vac and the detachable blower is just like an added bonus.