If your workspace is like ours, you might have scraps of materials, broken glasses with spills, lots of dust everywhere, and other types of messes. But when you own a workspace, you need to make sure that it is clean and delivers a professional image to the customers. However, huge and lengthy messes can be difficult to clean and can be time consuming too, especially if you don’t have an effective cleaning tool.
If you use a mop, broom, or a normal vacuum cleaner to clean the largest messes, you would end up being exhausted and the results won’t ever satisfy you. Having a powerful vacuum cleaner for your household or business is a very wise decision as it is more powerful and durable as compared to a regular vacuum. These are versatile machines that can help you achieve a professional clean at your workplace or household.
There are numerous options when it comes to choosing the best and the most powerful shop vac. Also, we don’t want you to just go to the shop and get an over-hyped VAC that is just expensive and not worth it. To help you make a wise decision, we have formed this buying guide that reviews the most powerful shop vacs available on the market.
What Key Features To Look for When Shopping For a Most Powerful Shop VAC
A shop VAC is the term used for a ‘wet/dry VAC’ as it allows you to pick up solid objects such as wood scraps or nails and wet messes such as if there is a spill at your place. Since these machines are very handy when it comes to cleaning a workplace, their demand has increased and there is a huge variety available on the market.
When looking for a high-quality vacuum you must consider a few things. To make sure you get the right product according to your requirements, we have jotted down the following key features that you should look for in this machine:
- Size and Capacity
Size and capacity of a VAC is the most important attribute that you’ll need to consider. If your workspace or household is mostly filled up with large messes, or your garage is packed with wood scraps and other clunky objects, you’ll need a shop VAC with a large tank capacity.
However, if the main job of your machine will be to clean debris, dirt, pet hair, spills, or other small objects, then a shop VAC with small tank capacity would also do the job. There are compact and lightweight shop VACs available too. The small and compact vacuum cleaners have around 6 gallons of tank capacity while the larger ones have a capacity of 8 to 14 gallons.
- Tank material
The shop VAC tanks are made up of plastic or stainless steel. The plastic tanks are lightweight and they aren’t prone to dents either, while the stainless steel tanks are more durable and they can be cleaned properly too. If you have to clean a space that has heavy duty usage, then a stainless steel tank would be a better choice. A stainless steel tank is good for workshops, construction sites, garages, and body shops.
- Air power/ suction
One of the main factors that differentiate the shop VACs from the regular VACs is the suction power or air power. They are way more powerful than the regular vacuums as they have a very strong suction power.
Once again you’ll have to think about the nature of cleaning you need at your place. If you need to suck heavy and clingy objects such as nuts and bolts, then you’ll need a high power VAC that is capable of sucking them. The suction power of a VAC is determined by the air Watts or horse power (HP). For residential usage, you must go for a vacuum cleaner with 1 to 4.5 HP while for commercial purposes it should be over 6 HP.
Shop VACs come with a variety of accessories and features. Some accessories that could be really handy are allergy-friendly filters, built-in liquid pump, hose lengths and widths, blower, special filter bags, extension wands, and cartridge filters.
Again it all depends upon the usage and your requirements to choose the right accessories. For example, if you want to clean your car, you can go for the car accessories such as the detail brush and the crevice tool.
Another important factor to consider is the storage; where will you be keeping your machine? Since most of the shop VACs are not very compact, you’ll need a nice place to fit one in. Whether you plan to tuck the machine in the corner of your garage, or keep it in the cabinet of your basement, it is imperative that you first have a look at the machine you’re going to buy and then choose a storage option accordingly.
- Power sources
Shop VACs can be wired or wireless; you can have a battery powered one or the one that comes with a power cord. The battery powered ones are perfect for doing quick jobs and cleaning the hard-to-reach places. These can run for a limited period and are a good choice if you want noise reduction too. Vacuum cleaners with power cords are meant for the cleaning tasks that are time-consuming and need non-stop cleaning for extended hours.
Top 10 Most Powerful Shop Vac Reviews
The market is flooded with a plethora of options and thus it gets very challenging to choose one. To help you make a good choice, we’ve reviewed some best models available on the market.
Our top picks for the most powerful shop VACs include compact machines to larger models that are designed especially for cleaning workspaces. The products listed below feature a good balance of airflow (CFM), portability, capacity, and suction power. Following are our picks:
The Vacmaster Professional Beast Series VAC is a perfect choice for heavy duty cleaning tasks on a job site. You can use it for cleaning houses, garages, cars, and it can easily handle the small and large messes. The shop VAC is incredibly sturdy and boosts a wide range of handy accessories to clean the dirt and debris with ease.
It cleans all types of wet and dry messes very efficiently. It has been engineered to handle the most difficult cleanup tasks whether it’s at your garage, factory, workshop, or home. It is a versatile machine that is equipped with handy controls. The Vacmaster comes with 8 accessories that help you do the cleaning task as per your requirements.
Design and layout
The Vacmaster Professional has its entire body made up of polypropylene. The material is very durable and is crush-resistant too. The machine has an attractive black and yellow pattern that gives a decent look to the whole machine. It has a unique flat power head design with easy to read controls. The design also includes an integrated hose storage and a long 18-foot cord with a cord storage arrangement.
The canister on this model is a 5-gallon one. The motor pulls 102 CFM and 82.6’’ of water lift which is impressive for this small capacity category. The tank is rugged and is designed to resist various types of impacts on it.
The Vacmaster Professional doesn’t only feature a sleek and stylish design, it is also equipped with a strong suction power. It is equipped with a 5.5 peak HP high efficiency motor that makes sure that all the stubborn dirt and debris is collected. You can quickly and easily control the power with a big on/off switch that is dust-sealed to prevent any damage.
- It allows you to convert into a blower instantly.
- It is easy to carry around.
- It has a 25 feet of cleaning reach.
- You can switch it easily from wet to dry.
- There are lots of accessories to make cleaning effortless.
- It features an integrated hose storage.
- It isn’t equipped with any wheels.
- It is difficult to keep all the accessories in one place.
The Craftsman 16 –gallon wet/dry VAC is a mid-sized shop VAC that is suitable for large projects like garages, job sites, and shops. It is equipped with a powerful motor that features high suction power. It is also equipped with a wheelbase that allows you to move it smoothly while you efficiently clean the space.
The long power cord is very handy as it allows you to reach long distances. While the machine is plugged in, you can reach anywhere to clean your workspace. The Craftsman wet/dry VAC comes with lots of accessories which include a car nozzle, a utility nozzle, a wet nozzle, dust collection bag, and extension wands.
Design and layout
It features high quality materials and a nice black and red design with the ‘Craftsman’ logo in the middle. It is equipped with an oversized top carry handle that allows you to carry it around with ease. There is an accessory storage feature too and a built-in drain at the bottom. It comes with a diameter hose with dual-flex technology that resists kinks and crushing.
It has a tank capacity of 16 gallons which is ideal for those who are planning to do numerous cleaning tasks around the workspace. With this capacity it allows you to clean wet messes, food, nails, dry messes, wood chips, car’s interior, and other types of messes. The good thing about this large tank capacity is that you don’t have to empty it frequently.
The Craftsman Shop VAC is designed for heavy duty tasks as it comes with a powerful 6.5 peak HP. It can easily provide all the extra power that is needed for cleaning large areas. If you’re looking for a high-performance machine, you can rely on this machine for cleaning heavy debris and for sucking up water. You can also use its blower to blow dirt, debris, and leaves off your job site. It produces very little noise and allows you to clean in peace.
- It features a powerful suction for its size.
- There is a built-in blower port.
- It includes lots of accessories.
- It features a high capacity and horsepower.
- It is less noisy.
- It comes with a wheelbase.
- It is not very light.
- Material quality is low.
The Shop VAC Company has an amazing collection of powerful wet and dry VACs, and the 9633400is a mid-range and versatile vacuum cleaner from the collection. The machine allows you to clean tough messes as it is designed to handle big spaces very efficiently.
The Ultra Pro Series VAC is equipped with innovative features that make cleaning tasks easier. It is a powerful vacuum that works well for yards, garages, and other large spaces. It comes with a range of useful accessories which include a utility nozzle, a blower nozzle, an ergonomic elbow grip, a crevice tool, and a concentrator nozzle.
Design and layout
The mid-size VAC has a decent yellow and black design; the top cover is black and the body is yellow. It has a top carry handle and side tank handles too that allows you to transport the machine all around. The 18 foot long power cord allows you to reach everywhere and perform an uninterrupted cleaning for extended hours. There is a drain mounted at the bottom that allows you to empty the tank whenever you want to.
It has a spacious 12-gallon tank capacity that can easily pick up large and clingy debris and handle water removal too. It is a very versatile unit that can handle all types of messes; from oil spills or liquid leaks, to cleaning wood chips or sawdust from cutting lumber, it cleans everything efficiently. Apart from cleaning the wet and dry messes, it also comes with a detachable yard blower that allows you to blow away grass clippings and leaves.
It features a 6.5 peak HP motor that ensures efficient and quick cleanup of all types of messes. The motor is powerful enough to clean all types of wet and dry debris and make sure you do it in a short time without putting much effort into the task. The Shop VAC is a high-powered one with a large hose and a sturdy connection along with a big tank storage.
- It is easy to assemble.
- It delivers a powerful performance.
- It features adequate suction power.
- The accessories are very handy.
- It has a large tank capacity.
- It works as a leaf blower too.
- It can get noisy.
- It is a bit heavy.
The Ridgid WD1450 is a functional and reliable wet/dry VAC that is equipped with a powerful suction. It is equipped with a large tank, quiet motor, and the fastest liquid suction. The wet/dry VAC is adequately designed and is a good fit for cleaning your large shop or any other workplace. It isn’t noisy and can clean literally everything in sight.
The Ridgid wet/dry vacuum comes with a fine dust filter, utility nozzle, wet nozzle, car nozzle, and 2 extension wands. The attachments are made up of plastic but are quite durable and can last long if they are taken care properly. All the accessories fit nicely on the vacuum and improve the cleaning experience by far. You can also get the replacement filters easily on the market such as the foam filters or the 5-layer HEPA filters.
Design and layout
The Ridgid wet/dry VAC has as compact design and is easy to carry around. The tank is neatly designed in two parts and there is a large drain hole which you can use by twisting the cap. The top of the vacuum can be unlatched for easy cleaning. The power cord allows you to reach up to 20 feet and the 7 foot hose is also very long and allows you to reach the ceiling too. There is a cartridge filter for cleaning the dry messes which you can remove and clean.
The capacity of a wet/dry vacuum is always less than the volume of the canister. How much the machine can hold depends on whether you’re using a bag and how much space the filters take. The tank capacity of the Ridgid wet/dry vacuum has a capacity of 14 gallons which is large enough to accumulate a huge amount of wet and dry messes.
The motor of this shop VAC is one of the most powerful ones available on the market. It generates 256 Air Watts and 165 CFM which is a quiet solid figure. It has a 4.05 pounds of pull force but the water lift is not mentioned on the VAC’s website. It has an overall very balanced air flow and suction.
- It comes with a high quality dust filter.
- The 20 foot cord is very handy.
- The blowing feature helps in blowing various types of debris and sawdust.
- The tank capacity is large.
- The hose management is excellent.
- The motor is not detachable.
- It is very expensive.
The Workshop wet/dry VAC is a reliable and high quality shop VAC that delivers unmatched power and performance. It is very convenient to be used by commercial users and construction professionals as it is a heavy duty one. It is equipped with Qwik Lock Filter Fastening System that allows you to install or remove the filter quickly.
The hose is a dual-flex locking one that offers 180 degree flexibility at both the ends for better maneuverability. It is equipped with cartridge filters, utility nozzle, car nozzle, two extension wands, a wet nozzle, crevice tool, and dust collection bags.
Design and layout
It is equipped with a stainless steel drum along with a rough terrain cart that allows you to pick all types of wet and dry messes. The stainless steel drum is 0.024 inches thick; it is very durable and provides a professional and clean experience. The cart has a mobile design as it is equipped with large rear wheels that give it stability and allow it to move freely. There is a large drain port to spill out excess liquids, and an integrated blower that adds to the versatility.
A large capacity is very handy if you have a large area to clean, for example, to clean a car you’ll need a small tank but to clean a basement a large tank capacity is required. This wet/dry vacuum has a 16 gallon drum capacity with which you can clean up large areas with ease. However, the collection capacity is always different from the actual capacity as it depends on the type of mess being collected.
When the job is bigger, more power is required and this VAC is perfect for a big job. This vacuum cleaner is equipped with high suction and power and it quickly picks up around 1 gallon of water per second. The powerful 6.5 HP motor delivers an airflow rate of 107 CFM which is quite an impressive feature and can easily suck the hard and stubborn objects such as nails, wood chips, nails, and bolts.
- It features a solid hose of 2 ½ inches diameter.
- It features a very powerful motor.
- It is very portable.
- It comes with a storage bag.
- There are lots of accessories.
- It produces an uncomfortable static discharge.
- It needs replaceable bags.
The Dewalt DXV09P is a 3-in-1 shop VAC; it is a wet/dry VAC with blower feature. You can easily convert the wet/dry VAC into a blower; you just have to disconnect the hose from the vacuum port and connect it to the motor exhaust. It is very powerful and is easy to use and the good thing about it is that it is of perfect size. You can use it either at your home or at your workplace.
There are lots of handy accessories which include 2 extension wands, floor nozzle, washable cartridge filter, accessory storage bag, disposable filter bags, utility nozzle and crevice nozzles. The accessory storage is available in the form of a bag storage that hangs with a back handle.
Design and layout
The Dewalt wet/dry VAC features amazing build quality; it is equipped with rugged and sturdy components. The machine is equipped with castors that make it very easy to move. The power cord is only 10 feet long and if you need to clean a large area, you’ll have to use an extension. The cord wraps easily around the handle and the hose management is excellent too. There are heavy duty rubber straps that allow you to keep the hose securely around the motor housing.
This wet/dry vacuum is a mid-sized one and it is equipped with a 9-gallon canister. The canister is enough to help with cleaning a big area without taking too much space. It is a good fit for cleaning garages, shops, and houses. The tank capacity makes it perfect for small to large cleanups.
The Dewalt wet/dry VAC is equipped with a 5 HP motor that can pull 90 CFM. It also delivers 70 inches of water lift through a 7 foot 1-7/8 inch diameter hose. Though the motor is not too large, it offers a balanced airflow and suction. The CFM rating is a bit low as compared to other machines we have reviewed, but overall the VAC delivers good value for money.
- It is very powerful and can suck up almost everything.
- The onboard storage is handy.
- The castors make it easy to move around the space.
- It is neither too small nor too big.
- The attachments add to its versatility.
- The power cord is not too long.
The Stanley 3 in 1 shop VAC is a budget cleaner but the quality isn’t compromised. It is easy to transport and comes with a waterproof easy to access on/off switch. The wet/dry vacuum is not very loud in spite of being large in size. It is easy to assemble and comes with a manual too that helps you setup the machine.
It comes with lots of handy accessories including extension wands, floor nozzle, gulper nozzle, disposable filter bag, reusable dry filter with clamp ring, and a foam filter. As compared to other shop VACs, this one is a bit heavy, but the carry handle and casters make it portable.
Design and layout
It has a compact and attractive design; the yellow and black finish looks pretty awesome. The wet/dry vacuum is equipped with 4 swiveling casters that make it easy to move the machine around the space. The cord is 10 foot long and there’s a built-in cord wrap too for easy organization. It has a rear blower port technology which is very useful for blowing up saw dust, pet hair and other type of dirt.
It features a 6 gallon tank capacity which is good for daily cleaning tasks. You can use the tank for cleaning till long time and there is no need to empty it on a frequent basis. The 6 gallons capacity is enough to clean an entire room; you can wet and dry messes without emptying the tank frequently. The tank capacity is, however, not too large
The Stanley shop VAC is powered by a 4 HP power and it can easily handle high-volume pick up. The motor is a powerful heavy-duty one and it features maximum suction for heavy duty cleaning tasks. It features an airflow of 75 CFM which along with the high suction power, helps you remove all kinds of messes within seconds.
- It features swiveling castors for improved movement.
- It has a removable foam filter that can be cleaned and air dried.
- It is equipped with a bagless cleanup function.
- The accessory holder keeps all the tools organized.
- It has a compact design.
- It has a run time of 300 hours.
- The cord offers limited reach.
The Armor All AA255 wet/dry VAC is meant for cleaning small spaces such as a vehicle or a room. It is meant for cleaning small and stubborn messes that your handheld vacuum can’t clean. The VAC is designed to pick wet and dry messes and you can convert it into a blower too for removing dust or cleaning the grills.
The shop VAC is equipped with all the accessories you need to handle the nasty messes. The detailed brush is perfect for cleaning vents, dashboards, electronic components and other items. The Deluxe car nozzle is designed to clean the confined spaces and it makes sure that no hard-to-reach areas are left dirty.
Design and layout
The Armor wet/dry VAC has a very compact design and because of its lightweight, it is very portable. There is a top handle that is equipped with a dust sealed switch and there is a built-in air and noise diffuser too. The onboard accessory and hose storage allows you to keep everything organized and easily accessible. The cord is of 10 foot and the cord wrap feature allows you to reduce the clutter.
It is equipped with a 2.5 gallon polypropylene tank, which is good enough for cleaning an RV or car. But since the motor and the filter are located in the bucket body, you must keep in mind that the collection capacity is only 1.5 gallons. It can hold up to 1.5 gallons of wet debris and 2.5 gallons of dry debris as long as it doesn’t clog the motor.
It is equipped with a 2 HP motor which is powerful enough for cleaning all types of dirt. The shop VAC can’t pick up pebbles and other sharp objects such as nails or nuts and bolts. It will take multiple tries to suck pet hair and grass too. The nozzle of this vacuum cleaner isn’t designed to pick up leaves either.
- It is compact and lightweight.
- It comes with a long hose and multiple attachments.
- It is very affordable.
- The auto-shut off feature is very handy.
- It converts into a blower easily.
- No assembly is needed.
- The cloth filter clogs easily.
- Power cord isn’t too long.
The Vacmaster professional VAC is a very powerful cleaning machine and is designed for heavy duty construction or site cleaning needs. It features a 20 foot power cord that is easy to store because of the cord storage provided. The hose and the power cord together provide a reach of 27 foot which is very handy if you have a large space to clean.
It is equipped with 2 extension wands, crevice tool, utility nozzle, floor nozzle, fine dust cartridge filter, air and noise diffuser, and foam wet filter. You can also attach a detachable blower with an airflow of up to 240 mph.
Design and layout
The Vacmaster professional has a unique flat power-head design that makes it easier to carry because of the carry handle. There is an extra-large drain port that allows you to expel any liquid if you feel the need to do so. It is also equipped with wide-set casters and a perfectly balanced top handle that makes transportation easier.
The Vacmaster Professional wet/dry VAC has a 16 gallons capacity. However, this capacity reflects the tank volume and not the capacity during operation. The tank is rugged and can accumulate a large amount of wet and dry debris.
This Vacmaster wet/dry VAC features best-in-class airflow that easily handles tough jobs at your workplace. The amazing airflow allows you to suck any type of wet and dry masses without any trouble. Also, the VAC is very quiet and some users suggest that it is because of the muffler present. The motor is a 6.5 HP one and it delivers a powerful suction.
- It features superb airflow.
- It offers a long reach.
- The flat top design allows you to access tools easily.
- It can suck large and sharp objects.
- It operates quietly.
- It is too large and can be annoying if you have to clean small spaces.
The Bissell Garage Pro is an easy to use and versatile shop VAC. It is equipped with safety features such as a thermal protector that prevents overheating of the machine. The machine can pick both wet and dry messes in cars, workshops, and garages and can clean carpeting, bare floor, upholstery, and other surfaces.
It comes with 7 detail attachments for customized cleaning of a car. There are extension wands, crevice tool, precision suction tool, and others. The handy attachments allow you to keep your space spotless and mess-free after you’ve completed your projects.
Design and layout
It has a decent and versatile design that makes it very easy to use. It is also easy to assemble and mount because it comes prefabricated and there is no need for additional tools. There are side handles that allow you to empty the tank by unlatching the upper half.
It is equipped with a 4 gallon semi-translucent dirt tank. There are LED light alerts that let you know regarding the tank capacity. You see the red light when the water has reached its maximum capacity and yellow light when the dirt tank needs to be emptied.
The reverse airblow function is amazing as it allows the unit to act as a blower too. The machine is great for blowing leaves and other type of debris from workspaces. The 32 ft. long hose is one of the longest and it gives good access to clean the confined spaces and hard-to-reach areas.
- It has a bagless design.
- It can be easily mounted on the wall.
- The long hose allows you to clean hard-to-reach places.
- It comes with 7 attachments.
- It is very versatile.
- The filter clogs up easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use the shop VAC for cleaning my carpet?
Yes, you can use it for cleaning of carpet. However, remember that carpet is a difficult thing to be cleaned and you must be careful. You can use it to wash your carpet and make sure that the machine is empty and is plugged too.
Is a small shop VAC as effective as a large one for sucking nails, nuts and bolts?
No, it isn’t recommended to use a small wet/dry VAC for sucking nails and other sharp objects as it could cause damage to the machine. If you have a small shop VAC, it is better to pick up the nails yourself using a broom so that any harm to the machine is avoided.
How can we evaluate the performance of a shop VAC?
There are some units that allow you to measure the performance of a vacuum cleaner. You can consider these measurement units to compare the performance of different cleaning machines:
- Sealed pressure (SP)
- Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM)
- Airpower (AP)
How much does a powerful shop VAC cost?
The price of this cleaning machine vary according to the model and the manufacturer, but still there isn’t a big difference. You can buy a powerful and high-quality vacuum cleaner in the range of $40 to $170. Most of the expensive shop VACs will perform better than the low cost ones but it isn’t necessary that only the high-cost ones perform better.
As we come to the conclusion of the most power shop VAC review, we would state that all the models reviewed above are from reliable and renowned brands and can meet your requirements very well. All you have to do is to determine your requirements and then choose a wet/dry VAC accordingly.
The powerful and top-notch vacuum cleaners that are listed in this post feature high suction power and excellent versatility. All of the machines are best in terms of performance, but the winner is the Vacmaster Professional wet/dry VAC (our top pick).