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The Best Wet/Dry Shop Vacs: Suck it Up

The Best Wet/Dry Shop Vacs: Suck it Up

When things are too messy for your regular vacuum, it’s time to break out the shop vac. These vacuums are big, durable, and able to clean up both wet and dry messes. This is the kind of vacuum you want to have in your garage for when things get out of hand.

While shop vacs are useful products, they’re not easy to shop for. Every vacuum has unique features, and some are more powerful than others. So, how do you choose the best dry/wet shop vac? That’s where we come in. We’re going to take you through everything you need to know about shop vacs and show you some of the best choices around.

Things to Consider When Shopping for Wet/Dry Shop Vacuums

Shop vacs seem simple, but you need to consider a few features before choosing the right product. This is because shop vacs vary in power, size, capacity, and portability. So, we’re going to take you through a few features to consider before you come to a decision.

Storage Capacity

First and foremost, you need to consider how big your shop vac needs to be. There are many different sizes, but their storage capacity is measured in gallons. Smaller shop vacs can hold around two gallons, while larger products can hold upwards of 10 gallons.

If you’re going to use a shop vac often or live in an area that experiences flooding, we recommend a more extensive shop vac. On the other hand, if you want one to keep around the house for small projects, a two-gallon product will suffice.

Horsepower

The strength of wet/dry shop vacs is measured in horsepower, similar to small engines and cars. Horsepower is essential to consider because it determines how well the vacuum performs. While weaker vacuums can handle small debris and clean your car, to handle water, you should look for shop vacs with more power.

Power Source

Most dry/wet shop vacs use an AC power cord. Still, that’s not for everyone. Some shop vacs are cordless and run on batteries. These products are perfect for people that need to bring a shop vac with them to job sites. The only drawback to cordless products is the battery life and price.

Now that you have an idea of what features to look for, we’re going to take you through the ten best shop vacs around.

Top 10 Best Wet/Dry Shop Vacs 2021

1. Best Overall Pick: Armor All Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vac

Armor All Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vac

Why we like it: We love the Armor All Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vac because it's a great shop vac for any homeowner. If you don't have a lot of experience with these products and don't need one for work, this product is a great place to start.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Horsepower: 2
  • Capacity in Gallons: 2.5
  • Power Source

The Armor All Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vac is a small but formidable product. It comes with a decent capacity for its size and has plenty of attachments. It has an integrated hose, extra attachment storage, and a 10-foot power cord. While it’s not a flashy product, it gets the job done for a reasonable price.

What Sets It Apart

The Armor All Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vac is one of a kind because of the value it brings to the table. Most shop vacs cost more and come with similar features. Furthermore, it includes a built-in noise dampening system, which is usually found in more expensive products. It’s the best overall shop vac because it brings you above-average performance at a price everyone can afford.

Things to Consider

The Armor All Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vac is excellent, but there are a few things Armor All could have done better. First and foremost, it’s not the most powerful shop vac around. It only produces two horsepower, which is lackluster for most water-based applications. It also only comes with a 2.5-gallon capacity, which isn’t great. If you need a more powerful shop vac with better storage capacity, the Stanley Wet/Dry Shop Vac is a great alternative.

Who It’s For

If you need a shop vac to keep in your garage, this product is a great choice. It’s great for handling small basement floods and performs well for cleaning debris and cars. For any homeowner, this shop vac is a great place to start.

Pros

  • 10-foot power cord
  • Budget-friendly
  • Active noise cancelation

Cons

  • Only 2.5 gallons of capacity
  • Only two horsepower

2. Best Budget Pick: Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum

Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum

Why we like it: We love the Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum because of the options shoppers have. Almost everything about this shop vac is customizable to fit your preferences.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Horsepower: 4
  • Capacity in Gallons: 6
  • Power source: AC cord

The Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum is a well-rounded shop vac that’s great for most applications. The 4-horsepower motor is strong enough to clean wet carpets and vacuum most debris around the house. It also comes with a six-foot hose that gives you plenty of slack to reach tight spaces. It also comes with three extension wands and two floor-based nozzles designed for sweeping, traditional vacuuming, and tight spaces – like between the seats.

What Sets It Apart

Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum is unique because it gives you up to 20 feet of reach. Between the 10-foot power cord, 6-foot hose, and hose extensions, this shop vac gives you a lot of wiggle room. Plus, it’s one of the few products you can customize. You can change the size, color, and motor to fit your needs.

Things to Consider

The Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum is well-rounded, but it doesn’t work as a blower. Using a shop vac as a blower comes in handy if you need to get things out of the hose or sweep debris without sucking it up. It also doesn’t include noise cancelation, which makes the product noisier than other shop vacs.

If you need a shop vac that can also perform as a blower, the Armor All Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vac is a great alternative.

Who It’s For

The Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum is an excellent choice if you live in an area that’s exposed to flooding. It can clean damp carpets and clean up most messes without needing to be emptied. If you live on the coast or work in humid climates, this shop vac is one of the best options.

Pros

  • Comes with five attachments, three extension wands, and two floor nozzles
  • Powerful four horsepower motor
  • Customizable to fit your needs
  • Up to 20-feet of cleaning reach

Cons

  • Doesn't function as a blower
  • No noise cancelation

3. Best Premium Pick: Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

Why we like it: Vacmaster is one of the best shop vac manufacturers in the industry, and it shows. The company can produce premium products for a price everyone can afford.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Horsepower: 5
  • Capacity in Gallons: 12
  • Power source: AC

The Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum is one of the best shop vacs in its price range. The storage capacity is more than most products, and the five-horsepower motor provides plenty of power. It also comes with onboard accessory storage that holds the seven attachments it comes with.

These attachments include a secure fit hose, extension wands, utility nozzles, a car nozzle, a noise diffuser, and two filters. This shop vac also gives you 19 feet of cleaning length, which is plenty of slack for most situations. Plus, it can be used as a 210 MPH blower.

What Sets It Apart

The Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum is unique because it’s a budget-friendly premium product. Compared to most shop vacs, even at the same premium price point, it comes with more features and similar efficiency. Vacmaster is truthfully a master in the industry.

Things to Consider

It was challenging to find a flaw for this shop vac, but there is one issue. The cleaning length it gives you is inadequate compared to most shop vacs. Nineteen feet sounds like a lot, but you’ll find yourself accidentally unplugging it if you don’t have an extension cord.

Who It’s For

The Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum is an excellent premium product for shoppers that need to vacuum often. With a 9-gallon tank and powerful motor, you don’t need to worry about this shop vac leaving you hanging.

Pros

  • Premium product for a budget-friendly price
  • Comes with seven accessories
  • Powerful motor and excellent storage space

Cons

  • Only 19 feet of cleaning length

4. Best Horsepower Dry/Wet Shop Vac: Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac

Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac

Why we like it: We like the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac because of its powerful motor and generous capacity. It can handle the most massive messes with ease.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Horsepower: 6.5
  • Capacity in Gallons: 16
  • Power source: AC

The Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac is a heavy-duty shop vac. With a 16-gallon capacity, you’ll be pressed to find a mess you can’t clean up. It has a powerful motor that complements the capacity well and comes with additional accessories. There are three extension wands, a car nozzle, and two nozzles for carpets. It also comes with a reusable filter that collects dirt, and the hose is seven feet long, giving you a cleaning length well over thirty feet.

What Sets It Apart

The Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac is unique because of the capacity it has and the power it produces. While it’s not uncommon to see large and powerful shop vacs, finding one within an average price range is rare. This shop vac also has one of the most massive drains around, making it easy to remove any liquids from the storage tank.

Things to Consider

The Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac is well-rounded, but no product is perfect. Unfortunately, it’s not an excellent fit for anyone. The motor is too strong for some situations, especially cleaning the car. When you pair this with the circumference of the hose, it’s a recipe for disaster if you don’t use it carefully.

If you need a shop vac that’s easier to handle, the Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum is the right alternative. It comes with similar features, but the hose is smaller, and the motor is less powerful.

Who It’s For

The Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac is an excellent choice for people that need a heavy-duty shop vac. If you find yourself cleaning large messes often or being around frequent flooding, this shop vac is one of the best choices. Still, it’s not the best shop vac to keep around the house because the power can be overwhelming for some.

Pros

  • Large capacity and powerful motor
  • Oversized drain to empty the vacuum rapidly
  • Comes with plenty of accessories
  • Features a 2.5-foot thick hose for large messes
  • Can be used as a blower

Cons

  • The motor is too strong for some
  • Larger and more cumbersome than other shop vacs

5. Best for Cars: Stanley Portable Car Vacuum

Stanley Portable Car Vacuum

Why we like it: The Stanley Portable Car Vacuum is one of our favorites because it's perfect for cleaning out your car.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Horsepower: 3
  • Capacity in Gallons: 3
  • Power source: AC

The Stanley Portable Car Vacuum is an excellent product for what it is. While it doesn’t do anything impressive, it’s perfect for tackling small messes. It’s lightweight, features a carrying handle, and comes with a sweeper attachment. The motor and capacity are also above-average for its size, making it useful for cleaning up spills.

What Sets It Apart

The Stanley Portable Car Vacuum is unique because it’s affordable and useful. Cleaning out cars is not always easy, especially between the seats and center console. This vacuum gives you a sweeper for the floors, and the hose is small enough to fit into small spaces. Compared to other shop vacs, this one is leagues ahead for automotive use.

Things to Consider

The Stanley Portable Car Vacuum is great for your car, but that’s about it. While it will handle small messes in your garage, it doesn’t come with additional attachments or a long hose. If you’re looking for a more well-rounded product, the Armor All Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vac is a great alternative. It’s similar in price, but it’s a more balanced product.

Who It’s For

The Stanley Portable Car Vacuum is perfect for people that need a car vacuum or a portable product to keep around the house. While it won’t handle heavy-duty jobs, it’s compact and easy to store. Plus, it’s small enough to be useful in cars.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Decent capacity and power for the price
  • Includes a carrying handle

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavy-duty applications
  • Doesn't have wheels

6. Best Motor: Vacmaster Professional Wet/Dry Shop Vac

Vacmaster Professional Wet/Dry Shop Vac

Why we like it: We love the Vacmaster Professional Wet/Dry Shop Vac because of its motor. While its horsepower isn't the highest, it's engineered to scoop up water and debris better than competitors.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Horsepower: 5.5
  • Capacity in Gallons: 5
  • Power source: AC

The Vacmaster Professional Wet/Dry Shop Vac is a high-performance shop vac. It comes with ample capacity and has a motor that’s designed to pick up water and debris. It also comes with noise dampening technology and a handful of attachments. Some of the attachments include hose extensions, sweepers, crevasse tools, and more. It’s a comprehensive shop vac that works in almost every situation.

What Sets It Apart

What makes this shop vac special is the motor it has. It’s able to use less horsepower and a smaller hose to create the same result. This makes it one of the most powerful shop vacs in its weight class, which enhances portability.

Things to Consider

It’s a great shop vac, but it has a significant flaw. While the motor works well and it’s portable, it doesn’t come with any wheels. So, every time you move it, you’ll need to pick it up with the handle. While it’s only a minor inconvenience, it makes it a hassle to take with you on the go or use outside the garage.

If you like the power and accessories that this shop vac comes with, but prefer wheels at the bottom, the DeWalt DXV06P Wet/Dry Vac is a great alternative. The engine is a little weaker, but it boasts better portability.

Who It’s For

The Vacmaster Professional Wet/Dry Shop Vac is an excellent choice for people that need a professional-grade product. It’s perfect for taking with you on the go because of its lightweight and small size. While it lacks the wheels to roll, it’s an excellent product to keep on the back of your truck or in the garage.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • On-board accessory storage
  • A high-performance motor is excellent for water and debris
  • Functions as a blower if needed

Cons

  • No wheels on the bottom
  • Less capacity than larger shop vacs

7. Best for Quick Clean-up Jobs: DeWalt DXV06P Wet/Dry Vac

DeWalt DXV06P Wet/Dry Vac

Why we like it: This is one of our favorite shop vacs because of the storage capacity it offers. Unlike other shop vacs, you can remove the accessories without losing them or store other tools in it.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Horsepower: 5
  • Capacity in Gallons: 6
  • Power source: AC

The DeWalt DXV06P Wet/Dry Vac is a simple shop vac that functions as it’s designed. It can handle most messes that happen at home or on the job, giving you all the tools you need. There are plenty of attachments for you to choose from, some of which are perfect for smaller projects as well. It also comes with a massive tank drain that makes it simple to remove debris or liquids from the vacuum.

What Sets It Apart

This shop vac is unique because of the storage bag it comes with. Most shop vacs come with storage spaces on the vacuum, but the bag on the back is an innovative alternative. This is because you can store more than just shop vac accessories in it, like tools and other essentials. Plus, you can remove the bag to conserve space. We like how DeWalt gives you that option.

Things to Consider

This is a great shop vac, but it’s not perfect. While the storage bag is innovative, it doesn’t come without flaws. First and foremost, it doesn’t store everything in an orderly fashion. The accessories are loose, which makes it easy to lose them. If you prefer to keep things in a more orderly way, the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac is a great alternative. Plus, it offers better power and more capacity.

Who It’s For

If you have many tools and struggle to store them, this shop vac is a great choice, mostly if you work in the trades. Not only does it clean up messes on the job, but it offers storage for your tools if you need it. Plus, it functions as a blower that’s strong enough to clean things like sawdust.

Pros

  • Detachable storage bag on the back
  • Functions as a blower
  • Powerful motor
  • Made in the United States

Cons

  • The storage bag can lead to lost accessories

8. Best Simple Dry/Wet Shop Vac: Shop-Vac Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Shop Vac

Shop-Vac Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Shop Vac

Why we like it: The Shop-Vac Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Shop Vac is one of our favorites because of how simple it is. The shiny chrome finish is nice to look at, and there no additional features that lead to confusion.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Horsepower: 4.5
  • Capacity in Gallons: 5
  • Power source: AC

The Shop-Vac Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Shop Vac is a basic shop vac that does what it needs to. While it doesn’t come with any flashy features, it’s as sturdy as shop vacs come. It comes with five attachments, including three wand extensions and three nozzles for the car. It also comes with two filters and a dirtbag for dry applications. This shop vac also has wheels and carrying handles to enhance portability. Overall, it’s a simple shop vac that performs as advertised.

What Sets It Apart

This shop vac is unique because it’s simple. It doesn’t try to be anything flashy or over-the-top, which is beneficial for shoppers that need a reliable tool. It’s also unique because it’s manufactured by Shop-Vac, which is a company that’s been making these vacuums since 1965. With that said, you know that you’re getting a reliable product.

Things to Consider

While the Shop-Vac Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Shop Vac is excellent because of its simplicity, it doesn’t include innovative features. There is no additional storage, and the hose and cord are average in length. It also doesn’t function as a blower, which makes it ineffective at cleaning debris.

If you’re looking for a flashy shop vac with premium features, a great alternative is the Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum.

Who It’s For

If you’re looking for a basic shop vac, the Shop-Vac Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Shop Vac is a great choice. While it doesn’t come with any premium or unique features, it’s more reliable than most brands. When you’re getting ready to turn it on after years of use, you won’t have to worry.

Pros

  • Manufactured in the United States
  • More reliable than other brands
  • Comes with wheels and handles for portability

Cons

  • No premium or unique features
  • Doesn't function as a blower

9. Best Portable: DeWalt 18/20V Cordless Wet/Dry Vac

DeWalt 18/20V Cordless Wet/Dry Vac

Why we like it: The DeWalt 18/20V Cordless Wet/Dry Vac is one of the few reliable cordless shop vacs, which is why we love it.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Horsepower: 1.5
  • Capacity in Gallons: 2
  • Power source: 18V or 20V batteries

The DeWalt 18/20V Cordless Wet/Dry Vac is a cordless shop vac that performs and corded products. It features a two-gallon storage tank and a powerful motor. The battery life is average, but it makes up for this with versatility. It’s easy to take on the go, and the five-foot hose gives you enough slack to reach tight spaces. It also comes with a reusable filter that you can wash.

What Sets It Apart

The DeWalt 18/20V Cordless Wet/Dry Vac is ultra-portable. While corded shop vacs are mobile, this product is compact, and everything is on-board. This means you don’t need to store any parts separately, which saves space. It’s also lightweight and easy to carry, and you don’t need to worry about running out of cord length because you can move the vacuum.

Things to Consider

This is a great product, but it doesn’t perform well in every situation. Corded shop vacs have a clear power advantage and don’t rely on batteries that can die over time. It also has less storage space than most shop vacs, and the hose isn’t impressive. Still, what hurts this product the most is that everything is sold separately. You’ll need to get the batteries and accessories on your own, so it’s not ready for use right out of the box.

If you don’t need the portability, we recommend using a corded shop vac. A great alternative is the DeWalt DXV06P Wet/Dry Vac. It’s made by the same company but doesn’t rely on batteries and comes ready to go right out of the box.

Who It’s For

The DeWalt 18/20V Cordless Wet/Dry Vac is an excellent choice for people that need a portable shop vac for work. If you travel for work and own DeWalt tools, this shop vac is a great tool to keep on your vehicle. Plus, if you have some DeWalt 18V or 20V batteries already, you get everything you need right out of the box.

Pros

  • Runs on 20V or 18V DeWalt batteries
  • Exceptional portability
  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Batteries and accessories sold separately
  • Expensive
  • Less powerful than corded shop vacs

10. Best Stationery Shop Vac: Bissell Garage Pro

Bissell Garage Pro

Why we like it: We like the Bissell Garage Pro because it's the perfect shop vac to keep in your garage.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Horsepower: 1.75
  • Capacity in Gallons: 4
  • Power source: AC

The Bissell Garage Pro is a niche product that’s different than most shop vacs. While it performs similar functions, like working as a blower, it’s designed to remain in a fixed location on your wall. This makes its use limited and less flexible than other products, but if you don’t need to take it with you on the go, it doesn’t take up much space. It also comes with seven attachments, a hose that reaches 32 feet, and a two-stage filter.

What Sets It Apart

The Bissell Garage Pro is unique because it’s one of the few products with a wall mount. You’ll be able to hang it on your wall, which keeps it out of sight and saves room in your garage. We also like how Bissell is dedicated to helping great causes. For example, they make a donation with every Bissell purchased that helps save animals in shelters.

Things to Consider

While this shop vac performs well, there are a handful of problems that make it less appealing than some other options on our list. First and foremost, it’s not portable. With the wall mount, you’ll be stuck using it in your garage. Secondly, it only comes with a 5-foot power cord, which doesn’t give you a lot of cleaning length compared to other products. Finally, it’s more expensive than most shop vacs.

If you need a more affordable and portable alternative, the Stanley Wet/Dry Shop Vac is a great alternative. It has a similar storage capacity but offers more portability.

Who It’s For

The Bissell Garage Pro is for people that need a shop vac for home use. You can’t take it with you, but it outperforms most shop vacs in a garage setting. Plus, with the wall mount, you don’t need to worry about finding space to store it. This makes it perfect for garage use and things like cleaning your vehicles. Overall, it’s a niche product for people with specific needs.

Pros

  • Comes with a wall mount, which makes storage a non-issue
  • Power motor
  • Bissell donates to good causes when you make a purchase

Cons

  • No portability
  • Only comes with a 5-foot power cord, which makes it less flexible than other shop vacs
  • Expensive

Everything You Need to Know About Shop Vacuums: FAQ, Tips, and Buyer’s Guide

Shop vac being used in a car

Having a shop vac can make a difference in your life, at home, or at work. The ability to clean up any mess that comes your way is powerful. Still, some shop vacs are better at specific tasks than others, so we’re going to help you narrow down your choices. This way, you can choose the best dry/wet shop vac for you.

Comparing Power

When you’re shopping for a dry/wet shop vac, you need to consider how much power you need. There are big messes and small messes, and they require different levels of energy.

For small messes, like tiny chunks of debris, dust, and small amounts of water, a budget-friendly shop vac like Armor All Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vac is a great choice. While the motor only produces two horsepower, that’s enough to handle small messes and clean your car.

On the other hand, some situations call for a more powerful dry/wet shop vac. For example, basement flooding and jobsite applications need more suction to ensure cleanliness. So, for these situations, you’ll want to consider a product like the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac. It has enough power to clean up most messes, it blows debris away, and it’s still affordable.

Portability

Some shop vacs are more portable than others. So, take some time to consider what you’ll be using a shop vac for. If you’ll be using one for work and you travel, it’s essential to select a product that’s convenient but strong enough to get the job done. For portable shop vacs, you have two choices. You can go cordless or corded.

We recommend going cordless because it makes everything easier. A great example of convenience is the DeWalt 18/20V Cordless Wet/Dry Vac. It runs on DeWalt batteries, which means you’re not stuck with a cord. This makes it easy to traverse job sites without needing an extension cord.

Still, there are also portable shop vacs that come with cords. In this case, you’ll want to go with a product that gives you a lot of cleaning length. So, be on the lookout for a long cord and long hose. A great example of a portable corded shop vac is the Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum. It gives you up to 20 feet of cleaning length.

Shop Vacs Around the House

While portability and power are essential things to consider, every homeowner can benefit from the Bissell Garage Pro. It’s a shop vac that you can mount on the wall of your garage, and it comes with a 32-foot hose. You’ll be able to use it in your garage, in your driveway, or anywhere else you need to clean a mess.

Shop Vacs for Your Car

Cars are a hassle to clean. Regardless of your interior, most floors have carpeting, and the space between the center console and seats is difficult to reach. While most shop vacs can clean your car, some do a better job than others. Furthermore, you don’t want the shop vac to be too powerful, or you can damage your interior.

For this reason, the best dry/wet shop vac for cars is the Stanley Portable Car Vacuum. Aside from having “car” in the name, it comes with everything you need to clean your vehicle. It features a long hose, low power motor, and additional sweeping tools for the carpets.

Quick Tips for Using a Shop Vac

Most shop vacs are easy to use, but you should still take some time to familiarize yourself with them. Getting used to a powerful vacuum takes time, and proper maintenance is crucial. If you’ve never used a shop vac before, we’re going to take you through some tips to get started.

Use the Accessories

Shop vac being used on couch cushions

Shop vacs like the DeWalt-DXV06P-Wet/Dry-Vac come with many attachments and accessories. Every extra piece it comes with has a specific use and application.

What makes this tricky is that each attachment also has some drawbacks. One example is the extension wand, which gives you extra hose length. While it increases the size of the hose, you’ll lose some of the suction power. For this reason, you’ll want to avoid these tools for carpet cleaning or sucking up liquids.

Another example is the sweeper attachment. This is a standard attachment that almost every shop vac comes with. While it performs well on fuzzy surfaces and in the car, it’s not useful for reaching tight spaces. The good news is that none of these attachments will break the shop vac, even if misused, so take some time to experiment!

Change or Clean Your Filters

One of the more complicated things that shop vacs come with is a filter. Most products, like the Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum, come with more than one. Typically, one filter is for dry applications, and the other is for wet applications.

Luckily, you can clean most filters on your own. To do so, remove the bag and disconnect the hose from the vacuum. The filter looks like something you would find in a car, with some being in the shapes of squares or cones. Then, remove the filter and spray it down with a hose until debris is cleaned off. If you notice that the filter is damaged, then it’s time to get a replacement. Watch this video for a demonstration.

FAQ

How Powerful of a Dry/Wet Shop Vac Do I Need?

This depends on your situation. If you’re picking up small debris, a shop vac with a 1-2.5 horsepower motor will suffice. On the other hand, to deal with flooding or large messes, you’ll want at least 4.5 horsepower or more.

When Do I Change a Vacuum Bag?

Changing a vacuum bag is tricky because, with shop vacs, you don’t always know how full it is. Luckily, there is one way to figure this out quickly. If the suction isn’t as strong as usual, that’s the first sign that the shop vac is getting full. Most products also have a drain, so you can try opening that up to empty moisture or water.

How Often Should I Change the Vacuum Bag?

If the bag isn’t full, you should still change the bag every six months, especially if you’re cleaning debris that’s sharp. This will prolong the lifespan of the vacuum and keep the motor from getting damaged.

Can I Use a Dry/Wet Vacuum Without a Filter?

While you can use the vacuum without a filter, we don’t recommend doing so. This is because the filter is there to protect the motor and hose from getting damaged. Without the filter, the lifespan of the shop vac is questionable at best.

Final Words

Shop vacs are not an easy product to shop for. There are many price ranges, so it can be hard to determine which shop vac fits your needs. The good news is that most shop vacs perform the same task; it all comes down to what you’re looking to get out of it.

If you only deal with small messes in your garage or need to clean your car, a more affordable and less powerful shop vac is sufficient. On the other hand, if you’ll be using one frequently or dealing with flooding, you might want to consider getting a more powerful shop vac.