The small shop vacs are great and powerful vacuums that take most sophisticated clean up jobs as they’re wet-dry vacs. Portable and easy to use, they’re especially designed for the workshops and they’re going to leave any floor entirely spill-free.
The ideal small shop vac comes with a 3 gallon tank and impresses with its performance. However, when you go shopping there are plenty of other things to look at in a good small shop vac.
What to check on a small shop vac?
Small shop VACs weren’t created equal and there are some things to take under consideration when buying:
The power of your small shop vac is linked to what you need it for in the first place, but it should always come with a powerful motor which ensures enough suction. The horsepower is a good hint on how the strong of the vac truly is. Get something with 2HP and above. Even if the horsepower isn’t the most accurate indicator of the suction power, it’s still a good factor to keep in mind.
- Size of the tank
You should get a tank that can hold at least 2 gallons of mess. If you’re planning to use it as main vacuum, you should consider about buying a tank about 5 gallons. Go with a larger tank if you’re also thinking about using the shop vac for draining the flooded basements.
The material of your shop vac and how you take care of it play a big role when it comes to the life span of your small shop vac. Many of the models out there are made of plastic and come with a stainless steel tank. As they are dry wet vacuums, the stainless steel tanks are the safest choice when it comes to long lasting models. They are resistant to rust and corrosion, even after moisture contact.
Emptying the bin, washing the tank and drying it before use is mandatory if you want to extend the lifespan of your small shop vac.
If you’re going with a small shop vac, you shouldn’t have any difficulties storing it. However, you can also go with a wall-mount model which is going to win you some ground space. Don’t forget about the accessories as they sure mean more storage space.
Many of the small shop vacs come with several tools and accessories, which improve the versatility of the vacuum. Several types of brushes, hose, crevice tool- are only some of the accessories you need to use with your small shop vac.
When you’re using a small shop vac, chances are you’re going to move it around a lot. This is why you need to make sure that its weight is comfortable for your regular use.
No matter how badly you need a small shop vac, keeping an eye on your wallet is always a good idea. Don’t get cheap though as you don’t want to end up with a lemon. Even if you’re going to have to spend a bit more than planned, it’s always wiser to get a good small shop vacs. Most of the time, a good one is also affordable.
One last tip
The variety of models and prices may be overwhelming but as long as you know have in mind what you want and need, you shouldn’t have any problems when making the final choice.
TOP 10 Small Shop Vac Reviews
Don’t let the price of Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum, 6 Gallon, 4 Horsepower fool you, as the vacuum sure is a nice surprise for the buck you’re paying.
The wet/dry vacuum ensures amazing suction power, handling even the heavy-duty cleaning jobs. It comes with strong rear blower port, turning from a vacuum into a power blower in no time.
The design is great and the vac comes with swiveling casters which makes it so easy to move it in any direction. The vac also features an on/off switch and a waterproof design for fast and safe access.
The 6-gallon and the 4.0-Peak HP of the motor give you the image of a strong small shop vac that is good for many difficult jobs. The handle is strong so it’s easy to carry it around. The built-in power cord is 10ft. long and the vac comes with accessories holder for a better organization of your items.
The vacuum comes with disposable filter bag and reusable dry filter. It’s compact and portable and ready to take the heavy-duty pickup.
Here’s what we like the most about it:
- It has great suction power and 6 gallons’ tank
- It features a handle on top and swiveling casters
- It has on/off switch and built-in power cord
- You may turn it into a power blower really easy
The downsides are minor:
- The plastic latch isn’t durable
- It may tip over
As long as you remain focuses on the goods, you shouldn’t back down when running into this vacuum. Reliable, strong and with plenty of features on board, it’s a solid option and quite a bang for your buck too!
The popularity of Armor All 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum speaks volume and going through the details is going to help you understand what makes it so special.
The vacuum is going to pick up both wet and dry debris. It comes with a polypropylene tank which is able to hold 2.5 gallons and a 6Amps/2.0- peak HP motor with great suction power. In addition, it’s really easy to convert it to blower function.
The list of features continues with the Auto shut-off for detection of fill limit, reducing the risk for overflow.
The hose is 6ft long, whereas the power cord is 10ft. long, which is enough is many situations. The design is well thought out so the hose comes inside the canister area of the vacuum.
Easy to put together and to use, the vacuum also presents a top handle for easier carrying. The onboard accessory storage is great when moving it around and for later storage. The built-in air and noise diffuser explain why the vacuum isn’t very loud.
The vacuum also comes with a reusable cloth filter, making the cleaning a breeze. It features a reusable foam sleeve and comes with plenty of attachments. To top all of that, its price is amazing too.
Here’s what we like the most about it:
- It cleans both dry and wet debris
- It has a 2.5 gallons’ polypropylene tank and a 2.0 HP motor
- It features a top handle and onboard accessory storage
- It’s easy to use and comes with various accessories
The cons aren’t major:
- The craftsmanship may be improved
- Some doubt its durability
Beggars can’t be choosers and the vacuum still stands as a reliable, versatile, lightweight and easy to use small shop vac that has good suction of both wet and dry debris, without even breaking the bank. What’s not to like?
A penny saved is a penny served. Having said that, let’s start with highlighting that, for the money you’re paying, the Shop-Vac 2036000 2.5-Gallon 2.5 Peak HP Wet Dry Vacuum Small Red/Black is a good buy any given day.
The vacuum isn’t just affordable, but also lightweight and portable. It comes with a 2.5 peak HP motor and a 2.5-gallon tank. The 6ft. power cord has a cord wrap and the top carry handle is collapsible. As you can see, the vac is in fact loaded with good features. It even comes with a wall bracket for saving more space when stored.
The list of accessories doesn’t disappoint either. The vacuum comes with 4ft. hose, foam sleeve, crevice too and reusable disc filter. In addition, you may also turn the vacuum into a power blower as it features a rear blower port.
The all-in-one wet/dry vacuum is versatile and has a long reaching pulling force. And it’s all of that for less than $50.
Here’s what we like the most about it:
- The vacuum comes with 2.5 peak HP for the motor and a 2.5. gallon tank
- It’s a compact and lightweight dry/wet vac
- It comes with many accessories
- It’s portable and you may turn it into a power blower
The downsides are minor:
- The power cord is a tad short
- The build could be better
The good outweighs the bad and the small shop vac is a good buy especially if you’re not going for the most challenging cleaning jobs.
On the off chance you’re not using a small shop vac already, you should take a look at the Craftsman 12004 6 Gallon 3 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac.
The wet dry vac comes with a strong 3peak HP motor that can handle various cleaning jobs. The 6-gallon tank is made of polypropylene and has a durability feel to it.
Versatility is another box that this vac is going to check. Turning it to a blower for your yard/patio or shop is easy. Operating the vac is also a breeze as the vac comes with a large dust sealed on/off switch. The top carry handle ensures good balance to the unit and solves the transportation problem as well.
The vac comes with 7ft. hose, 10 ft. cord and you get to use 2 extension wands for the difficult the reach areas. There are no less than 8 accessories that come with the vac, increasing its reliability and versatility.
The engine is strong and the suction power is good too. The hose is rather big so the risk for clogging isn’t high.
For the size and power, the vac is quite lightweight and easy to use. It has a compact profile and storing it isn’t going to be difficult at all.
Let’s take a look at the good things:
- It comes with 6gallons tank and 3peak HP motor
- It features a top carry handle
- It’s lightweight and compact
- It has good suction power and it’s versatile
The downsides aren’t major:
- The filter could be better
- It’s not whisper quiet
Even if the vac isn’t all roses and rainbows, it’s still a valid choice for cleaning your shop or yard and its price may seal the deal for many.
One of the most popular options out there is the Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum.
Ready to take the heavy-duty cleaning, the wet/dry vacuum comes with a 5gallon tank and its motor has a 4.5 peak HP. The tank presents a stainless steel finish, taking the use for a long time.
The design is great and the full circumference dolly eases the handling. We also notice the top and side carry handles which makes it easy to move it around. The onboard cord and accessory storage sure increase its functionality and ease the use.
The small shop vac features rear blower port and positive lid latch. It comes with plenty of accessories: floor nozzle, gulper nozzle, 3 extension wands, crevice tool, foam sleeve, cartridge filter and filter bag. The hose is 7ft. long.
Lightweight and versatile, the small shop vac is an all-in-one multi-surface wet/dry vacuum which takes care of the cleaning and your wallet too.
Here are our favs about it:
- It has a stainless steel finish
- It features top and side carry handles
- It comes with many accessories and accessory storage
- It’s strong and reliable
The minor problems don’t worry us much:
- Installing it is a bit of a work
- It clogs easier than you’d want
All in all, as it’s affordable, powerful and dependable for most jobs, the small shop vac isn’t one to miss on when shopping.
If you need a power horse to clean up your house, but your money is tight, take a leap of faith with the Shop-Vac 5989400 8 gallon 6.0 Peak HP Stainless Wet Dry Vacuum.
The small shop vac comes with a stainless steel tank which is big enough for many. The design is well thought out and the vac features rear blower port, becoming a power blower really easy. It also features on board cord and accessory storage so you don’t have to worry about carrying around the attachments. Now that we’re on it, let’s pinpoint that the vacuum comes with various attachments: wet dry nozzle, foam sleeve, crevice tool, Gulper nozzle and filter bag.
The unit comes with top carry handle so it’s easy carrying it around. It also presents positive latch system and caster swiveling for more portability.
Unlike previous models, this one comes with a tank cap so you can simply take it outside and drain when you’re done with it.
The vac is easy to operate and its on/off switch is easy to access. the risk for tip overs is minimal as the unit presents a full circumference dolly design.
Putting it together is fairly easy and the vac is well made. It has a good weight for its power and does a good job on cleaning.
Let’s list the main good things:
- The tank is made with stainless steel
- It features a top carry handle and positive lid latch system
- It has caster swiveling for more portability
- It presents on board cord and accessory storage
The downsides aren’t major:
- The instruction isn’t model specific
- It sits on the loud side
However, for the power, reliability and good built, the small shop vac is a good buy, especially considering its price.
The 12 gallons of the tank should be enough for most users out there and the Vacmaster 12 Gallon, 5 Peak HP, Wet/Dry Vacuum with Detachable Blower brings plenty of good things to the table.
The small shop vac comes with a 7ft. hose and 12ft. cord with cord wrap. The motor has a 5HP strength and the vacuum comes with plenty of accessories. Air/noise diffuser, blower nozzle, blower adapter, standard cartridge filter, utility nozzle, car nozzle, 2 extension wands, crevice tool and reusable foam filter sleeve are the accessories you get. No worries about carrying them around as the vac features on board accessory storage on caster and head.
The quick release detachable blower presents a 210 MPH blowing speed and the extra-large drain port is going to help you be done with the draining faster and easier.
The build is good and the motor is double insulated. The vac also features an automatic shut off float valve and casters swiveling for easier transportation.
The top handle design is well balanced and the large on/off dust sealed switch is always easy to find for operation.
Let’s take another look at the pros:
- It has 12-gallon tank and a 5peak HP motor
- It comes with several attachments and on board accessory storage
- It features XL drain port and caster swiveling
- The suction power is good and the design is smart
The minor problems are easy to overcome:
- The user manual is really small and pretty worthless
- The blowing force is a bit limited
Regardless of the issues, the small shop vac is still one vac to rely on when cleaning your shop and it’s not going to empty your wallet either.
The DEWALT DXV10P 10 Gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum Yellow is quite the power horse when it comes to cleaning jobs and you should pay the extra buck for it.
The vacuum comes with a sturdy 10-gallon dual-stage build and it’s quieter than you’d expect from a vac of its size and power. The motor presents a 5.5 peak horsepower and the suction power is going to handle most cleanup jobs.
The design is smart and the vac comes with long lasting rubberized casters which provide smooth and quiet swiveling around your shop. The wheels have a sturdy build and the rubber seems to be durable. The cord is really long (20’) and comes with cord wrap for easier reach of various spaces.
The vac features a built-in blower port which is strong enough for blowing debris and sawdust from most workshops out there. It also features a built-in accessory storage bag which is attached to its backside. Non only that the accessories are going to be well organized, but they’re always within reach as well. The accessories are many: cartridge filter, 2 extension wands, utility nozzle, crevice nozzle, floor nozzle and dust bag.
On top of everything else, the tank comes with a built-in drain so it’s easy to get rid of the liquids picked up.
The handle design is smart and the vac is lightweight and easy to put together. It’s well made and has a durability feel to it.
Listing the most important qualities:
- It has a 10 gallons’ tank and 20’ power cord
- It comes with rubberized wheels
- It has a smart design and a good built
- It’s strong and lightweight
The downsides aren’t deal breakers:
- One got a broken plastic piece, but that’s one-of-a-kind situation
- Some find the inside dust bag difficult to put in
As long as you stay focused on the goods, which are so many, the small shop vac is always going to be a wise buy and a good investment for your shop.
Powered by an 1800W motor, the Karcher WD5 Multi-Purpose Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner with 1800W Motor is a sure “yes” when shopping.
The multipurpose wet dry vacuum cleaner features a top mounted filter that you don’t have to remove when planning some wet cleaning. You simply access the filter without recirculating dust. The filter is larger which ensures better filtration, especially in the case of smaller particles as fine dust. The design is smart and there are more efficient filtration and other elements that protect the motor, expanding its life span. In addition, the glass filled nylon container provides durability and amazing suction.
The motor is strong and provides impressive air flow into the 6.6 galling of usable wet or dry capacity. You may also turn the vac into a power blower when you want to remove dirt or leaves from your driveway. The self-clean feature is useful and a great addition to the vacuum.
The vac comes with many accessories: crevice tool, extension wand, hose, standard floor nozzle, hand grip nozzle, fleece bag and pleated filter.
The portability is also great as the vacuum comes with sturdy wheels which may be locked in parking position when you’re cleaning. Let’s not forget to mention the cable and accessory storage build-into the unit, for easier storage.
Lightweight, versatile, reliable and easy to maneuver, the vac delivers great performance most of the time.
Here are the best parts about it:
- It has a top mounted filter that you don’t need to remove for wet cleaning
- The motor is strong
- It comes with built-in accessories storage
- It’s lightweight and dependable
The downsides are no reason for you to change your mind:
- The hose is a tad smaller in diameter
- The blower could be stronger
Even if the wet dry vac does come with some flaws, it’s still pretty close to checking all quality boxes so you should take the plunge when shopping.
The more you’re willing to spend on your small shop vac, the more you should expect in terms of performance. The WORKSHOP Wet/Dry Vacs WS1600SS Stainless Steel 6.5-Peak Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner is one heavy-duty vac that is going to handle various jobs in your shop.
The design is smart and the vacuum comes with accessory and hose storage. The caddy bag on top helps you store the essentials within reach while cleaning.
The handle has an ergonomic design and the large rear wheels ease the transportation, even on rough terrain or stairs.
The 6.5peak HP of the motor explain the great power and suction. The tank is 16 gallons and the 24-gauge stainless steel drum explain the durability and efficiency of the vacuum. The mobile cart design and the large rear wheels ensure the stability and portability of the vacuum.
The 20ft power cord and the 7ft.long with 2 ½ diameter hose help you get in difficult to reach areas and the multiple accessories increase the versatility of the vacuum. Crevice tool, car nozzle, dust bag, utility nozzle-are only few to mention on that list.
The stainless steel drum gives it a professional look, whereas the Dual-Flex Locking Hose provides 180 degrees’ flexibility at both hose ends for easier use.
The vacuum comes with built-in blowing port and large drain port too.
Durable, strong and reliable, the wet dry vac is a good spend of your money.
Here’s what we like the most about it:
- It has a strong motor and large stainless steel drum
- It features wheels and a mobile cart design
- It comes with plenty of accessories
- It’s strong and versatile
The minor cons don’t hold us down:
- The screws on the wheels are a tad difficult to get into place
- It’s not a cheap vac
All in all, as it’s a heavy-duty small shop vac that is in for the long run, you should take the leap of faith and get it already.