Are you looking for a vacuum cleaner that can clean both your wet and dry messes simultaneously? Well, then look no further as this article was meant for you! We know how daunting it can be to find an efficient wet/dry vac in today’s market.
So, to make your decision easier, we have handpicked the seven best wet dry shop vacs that will surely give you a run for your money!
Most people are faced with the dilemma of owning a below-average vacuum cleaner that can barely clean their carpets. Did you spill baking flour on your carpet and can’t get rid of it?
Does your pet animal shed hair that’s impossible to remove with a regular vacuum cleaner? A wet/dry shop vac can solve all your problems.
Even drapes drenched in orange juice are no match for a shop. The models that we listed below contain all the essential features that make a wet/dry vac efficient.
What Is A Wet/Dry Shop Vac?
Wet dry shop vacs are powerful vacuum cleaners that can be used to clean both wet and dry messes. They usually have a large canister to store all the sucked-up debris. Some models are even equipped with a large drain in the tank, which helps you dump the liquids without having to tip it over.
Shop vac motor power usually ranges from 2 peak horsepower to 9 peak horsepower. They have immensely powerful suction capabilities, which enable them to suck up minuscule debris from the surface. They also consist of an integrated hose and a filter to avoid dust dispersion in the atmosphere.
Some top-rated models also include a blower attachment or an integrated blower port, to make them more versatile. The tanks are often made of polypropylene plastic for safe storage from debris. A lightweight and compact design is considered ideal as portability increases its efficiency.
Best Wet Dry Shop Vacs Review
Choosing a wet/dry shop vac without having essential information about them can be a challenge. Thus, to help you make the right decision, we have handpicked the best rated wet/dry vacuums below.
1. Armor All AA255 Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum
As the first addition to this list of reviews, we bring you this AA255 model, which stands out for its compact size. It is equipped with a 2.5-gallon tank that can store a large amount of debris. No longer do you have to empty the tank before you finish cleaning.
It also includes a cloth filter that allows you to suck up dirt and other minuscule particles effectively. In case you need a liquid mess, you can easily detach the filter. A foam sleeve is also explicitly provided for this purpose. Moreover, the tank is made up of durable polypropylene plastic.
It keeps the debris stored safely before you empty it. To make sure the debris doesn’t spill out accidentally, the tank is bolted down with latches. This versatile shop vacuum comes with six different attachments to carry out different types of cleaning. It also includes three different nozzles for individual purposes.
Apart from that, it runs on a two peak HP motor. This gives it enough power to clean on any surface. It has a rating of 53 cubic feet and has enough suction power to suck in even the most minute particles. If you were having trouble cleaning pet hair from the carpet, this vacuum is what you’re looking for.
Despite all that, it weighs only 7 pounds and can be stored almost anywhere due to its compact size.
- 2.5-gallon tank
- Made of polypropylene plastic
- 2 peak HP motor
- Compact size
- Comparatively less motor AMP\
2. Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
This next model of shop vacuum has an even larger tank that can hold up to 12 gallons of debris. It makes this model perfect for sucking up large amounts of water at a time. What makes it even better is that you can still move it around with all that water in the tank.
It’s an ideal wet/dry shop vac for domestic use. This is powered by a five peak HP motor that can easily carry out any household cleaning task. From thick carpets to wooden furniture, it’s suitable for all kinds of surfaces. Furthermore, it has another impressive feature that gives you better maneuverability.
A small set of wheels at the bottom lets you transport it effortlessly. It also has a top handle for this purpose. What sets it apart from other shop vacs is its detachable blower. This allows you more freedom of movement when you’re blowing leaves in your backyard.
Moreover, the blower comes with a special tool that enables it to blow efficiently blow dust off the pavement. This feature makes it a 2 in 1 device which can both suck debris and blow away dirt. It’s also equipped with a large drain at the bottom of the tank lets you remove the water from the tanks without tipping it.
This allows you to remove almost 12 gallons of water in less than a minute!
- 12-gallon tank
- Five peak HP motor
- Detachable blower
- Large drain for easy removal
- Debris may spill out if dropped
3. Shop-Vac 5979403 Stainless Wet Dry Vacuum
Third on this list is this amazing stainless wet dry vacuum. It has an impressive 8-gallon tank that stores debris with ease. A positive lid latch system ensures that the debris stays where they belong. Now, you don’t have to worry about dropping the tank accidentally while using it.
For added convenience, this wet/dry shop vac allows you to store the cord and other accessories on it. You can always keep them on hand and use them whenever you need to. It also has a durable design reduces the possibility of replacing this shop vacuum in the near future.
This company has been manufacturing vacuums and other accessories since 1965, and all their products go through rigorous training. Hence, this is one of the most reliable shop vacuums on this list. On top of that, it can be easily transported due to the top and side carry handles.
This also has a relatively compact size, which offers convenient storage. On top of that, it’s powered by a robust 6 HP motor. This makes it capable enough to carry out all the basic cleaning tasks around the house. It also includes a rear blower port, which allows you to attach an additional blower tool.
This feature makes this a multi-purpose vacuum for all cleaning purposes. Apart from being durable and powerful, its stainless-steel finish gives it an appealing look.
- Store cord and accessories onboard
- Durable design
- 6 HP motor
- Rear blower port
- Doesn’t include a drain
4. Vacmaster Professional Wet Dry Vacuum
Next up is this highly efficient model of wet/dry shop vacuum. Powered by a unique 5.5 HP motor, this is a highly potent shop vac that can suck up dust and debris effortlessly. With this model at your disposal, you can finish your cleaning tasks within a matter of minutes.
The immense suction power allows you to get rid of tiniest debris from any surface. It’s also equipped with a foam filter that makes it perfect for collecting large amounts of water as well. Apart from that, it has an 18-inch cord that offers you more freedom to move around while cleaning.
Now you can easily cover significant distances without having to carry it with you. It is aptly named “Beast” because of its ability to suck off dirt from all kinds of surfaces. For more efficient cleaning, it has a blower port that lets you use it as a blower as well.
With this attachment, you can blow dust and debris off your driveway in a short time. It even has some storage space on board so you can accessories and tools. On the other hand, it has integrated hose storage. You can just wrap the cord around and store it on board, so you don’t have to trip on it.
The 5-gallon tank on this “beast” can safely store debris because it’s made of polypropylene plastic.
- 5.5 peak HP motor
- 18-inch cord
- Integrated hose storage
- 5-gallon polypropylene tank
- Accessories storage need to be tuned
5. CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 Wet Dry Vacuum
Built for heavy-duty operations, this model is one of the most powerful of them all. You won’t believe how reasonably priced this shop vacuum is despite its durability. It’s built to withstand regular use for an extended period. This little machine is suitable for both indoor and outdoor cleaning projects.
It is equipped with a robust 6.5 peak HP motor that can carry out cleaning tasks efficiently. With such intense power, you can clean an entire garage or a workshop with time left to spare. The suction power is extraordinary and will come in handy when you’re trying to get rid of that stubborn little debris.
If that isn’t enough, it comes with a specialized blower port that lets you convert it into a blower. With this feature, you don’t even need to buy a blower for cleaning leaves and dust particles in your yard. Moreover, it’s equally equipped for cleaning liquids with the same amount of power.
It also has an oversized drain at the bottom for removing liquids from the tank. You don’t have to tilt it to get rid of it manually. Talk about user convenience! The hose on this heavy-duty wet/dry vacuum is based on an exceptional Dual-Flex technology.
This allows you better maneuverability when cleaning large areas. It’s also resistant to kinking, so you don’t have to worry about that either.
- 6.5 peak HP motor
- Specialized blower port
- Oversized drain
- Hose with Dual-Flex technology
- Has a comparatively bulky size
6. DeWALT DXVO9P Poly Wet Dry Vacuum
One of the best in the industry, the DXVO9P model, is equipped with a 9-gallon tank. The large storage space pairs up well with the five peak horsepower motor. This combination makes it a perfect wet/dry vacuum for cleaning workshops. It’s also equipped with a storage bag in the rear, where you can store all the necessary tools.
Besides being so immensely powerful, this device is also highly portable. It’s both lightweight and compact, which makes it easy to carry from one place to another. But who needs to carry it when you can just stroll it around? This shop vacuum rubberized caster at the bottom that makes it even easier to transport.
The swiveling motion of the casters also makes it easy to move in any direction. The amazing fact is, even though it’s such a powerful machine, it still works ever so silently. And besides having excellent suction power, it also does the job of a regular leaf blower.
This wet/dry shop vac is not only powerful and portable but also elegant. In fact, it’s so powerful that it can be used to suck water off wet carpets! That’s an almost impossible task but still plausible for this highly efficient machine. To make your job even easier, it’s equipped with a large drain at the bottom for liquid removal.
It’s also as durable as it is efficient.
- 9-gallon tank
- Rubberized casters for transport
- Works in silence
- Has a large drain
- Screws for mounting accessories not provided
7. WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1600VA
We end this list of wet/dry shop vacs with this WS1600VA model, which has pleased customers for years. This exclusive model comes with a 2-1/2-inch x 7-foot dual flex locking hose that allows you better maneuverability than any other. It is flexible up to 180 degrees on either end of the hose.
The hose stays securely attached to the vacuum cleaner while you’re carrying out your task. This feature allows you to move freely without worrying about dislodging the hose. Besides that, it also implements a Quick-Lock fastening system, which lets you switch filters for different types of cleaning tasks.
This model also includes a clever safety feature that prevents liquid overflow. It has an auto shut off float mechanism that turns off the machine automatically when tank is all filled up. They are also equipped with a large drainage system that allows the stored liquid to flow freely out of the tank.
A strong copolymer drum also makes this machine more durable as it can resist dents. This also prevents it from rusting, making it a highly durable shop vac. The WS1600VA model has such powerful suction that it can effortlessly collect 1 gallon of water every minute!
It’s also equipped with an integrated blower port, which noticeably adds to its versatility. The number of applications of this device will surely leave you admiring it.
- Dual flex locking hose
- Quick Lock fastening system
- Auto shut off float mechanism
- Can pull 1 gallon of water per minute
- Isn’t compatible with dust collection bags
Choosing the Best Wet Dry Shop Vac | A Definitive Buyer’s Guide
Before you jump into buying a wet/dry shop vac of your own, there are some key factors you need to consider. These factors will help you determine which one of these models is best suited for you.
Types of Messes
When buying a shop vacuum cleaner, you first need to consider what type of mess you need to clean on a daily basis. If your job requires cleaning on a construction site, you should get a heavy-duty model that has excellent suction and a large tank for storing debris.
This will save you the hassle of repeatedly emptying the debris while cleaning. If you’re cleaning after a pet animal, you should buy a vacuum cleaner that can not only suck minuscule debris off carpets but is also portable. It should also include a good filter.
If you have a large family and want to clean your household, you will need a proper combination of all the features above.
Dust and Allergens
Most wet/dry shop vacs aren’t equipped to collect the finest particles, so it will be wise to get one with filters. These filters will prevent the allergens and other infectious particles from floating around in the air while vacuuming.
In case you want to clean up a baking soda mess, it should have the ability not to let it blow all over the place. Regular filters in a vacuum cleaner aren’t powerful enough for this job. To collect fine particles such as flour, you will need an allergy specific HEPA filtering system.
When you use a wet/dry vacuum repeatedly, there is no telling the types of things it sucks in. All the different substances can create a certain repulsive smell inside the machine. This is because the substances can get absorbed by the plastic or the filters over time.
To make sure you can get rid of this repulsive odor, you should consider buying a model that can be cleaned easily. Some wet/dry vac models come with debris tanks that can be easily detached and cleaned thoroughly.
To make sure no lingering smells persist, make sure you clean it regularly. You can even choose to replace the filter, which can’t be cleaned otherwise.
The reason why tank capacity is essential is that a small canister will interrupt your cleaning tasks repeatedly. To make sure you don’t need to dump the debris every other minute, buy a model with sufficient tank capacity. You should also keep in mind where you will be dropping debris later on.
If the debris consists of fine particles, it might produce a dust cloud every time you do the dumping. Dumping a mixture of wet and dry substances can be even trickier. To make your job easier, you can use an impermeable material as a strainer to separate the two types of substances.
You can later discard both of them individually.
Distance to Power Outlet
When you’re cleaning your garage or any ample space, you certainly need to avoid tugging on the power cord. So, keep the length of the cord in mind when shopping for a wet/dry shop vac, to avoid this problem beforehand. If you’re cleaning around your apartment, then this might become a regular issue.
Only a vacuum equipped with retractable cords can solve this. However, storing such a long cord at the end of each task might prove to be troublesome. Also, make sure you consider the power consumption of your shop vac. A regular wall plug can only withstand certain amperage before breaking.
No matter which model you choose, versatility is a key factor to take into account. For example, buying a wet/dry vac with an integrated blower port will be highly beneficial. Your shop vacuum can not only suck debris off the carpet but also blow leaves and dust off your driveway.
A good wet/dry vac can have numerous more applications than you can think of. So, it’s better to choose a model that includes multiple features at the same time. These shop vacs are meant to last a long time, so make your decision with that in mind. Once you buy one, you’re stuck with for years on end.
Most of the good wet/dry vacs are equipped with a powerful motor. As powerful as they may be, they produce a lot of noise while operating. This can often prove to be an annoying issue. Therefore, you should try buying a model that includes an insulated motor or mufflers to reduce noise pollution.
Listening to a loud noise like that on a daily basis can seriously harm your hearing. Just imagine how harsh it can be to children’s ears. Having a noise reduction feature in shop vacs is certainly mandatory.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you use a wet vac on a shop vac?
Ans: First, you need to open up the shop vac from above by unlatching the lid. You will notice a cartridge filter that’s shaped like a cake and a flat lid cage. Carefully slide the cartridge filter over the lid cage. Take out the vacuuming hose and push the power switch to turn it on.
Q: Can I use my shop vac for water?
Ans: Yes, you can. However, to use the shop vac to suck in water, you might need to adjust it first. If it already has a dust filter on, remove it using the foam sleeve provided.
Q: What happens when you use a wet/dry shop vac without a filter?
Ans: A shop vac is only operated without a filter when sucking up liquid substances. If you use the shop vac to suck up dust and debris without a filter, it won’t as long as expected. It will also spread some of the debris into the atmosphere.
Q: Can you use a shop vac without a filter?
Ans: Yes, you can. Most models have a tank large enough to contain all the debris during the cleaning process.
Q: How long can you run a shop vac?
Ans: A regular shop vac can work up to 30 minutes consecutively.
If you have made it this far, it probably means that you have acquired all the knowledge necessary to pick an efficient wet/dry shop vac. There are several factors to consider and questions to ask to make sure you’re not wasting your money.
It is well worth the money, though, as a good shop vac can last you a lifetime. But make sure you carefully assess all the options and pick the one that caters to your needs. Hopefully, you have found the best wet dry shop vac for all your cleaning job.