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Everything You Need to Know About Best Portable Shop Vac

Last Updated: 08 July 2021

The huge messes can be time-consuming and challenging to clean. Rather than utilizing an ordinary vacuum for cleaning, there comes the need to use a powerful vacuum to clean even the most challenging surfaces. A shop vacuum is an ideal equipment to handle the most substantial messes.

Today's small portable shop vacs are a far cry from what they were in the past. They are no longer noisy and cumbersome to handle and use. The portable shop vacs from today are compact, reliable, relatively noiseless, powerful, and convenient, making them simple to use anywhere where they need to use specialized vacuums.

Before selecting one, you need to understand the benefits and advantages of each one and how to use them correctly to gain a maximum and productive output.

Home Maker Guide created for informational purposes only. Thus, we neither endorse you in any way to buy specific products in our reviews, nor making you act like it’s written in our guides. We are reserving the rights for you to make your personal decision.



Editor-in-Chief of the Home Maker Guide
small portable shop vacs

Top 10 Best Portable Shop Vacs: Comparison Chart

Best Overall: CRAFTSMAN Heavy-Duty Shop Vacuum Review

  • HEAVY-DUTY: Powerful 6.5 peak HP provides extra power for large projects in the garage, shop and on the jobsite
  • BUILT-IN BLOWER PORT: Rear blowing port on this wet dry vac allows for quick cleaning of leaves and grass clippings in your garage and outdoors
  • OVERSIZED DRAIN: Built-in oversized drain on the wet/dry vac allows for convenient emptying of liquids
  • DUAL-FLEX TECHNOLOGY: 2-1/2 in. diameter shop vacuum hose features Dual-Flex technology for 180-degree mobility at each end to resist kinking
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 2-1/2 in. x 7 ft. Pos-I-Lock Dual-Flex Hose, 2 Extension Wands, Utility Nozzle, Car Nozzle, Wet Nozzle, Qwik Lock Filter and Dust Collection Bag

High Water-Lift Motor: Vacmaster Professional Wet/Dry Vac Review

Vacmaster Professional
  • 5 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
  • 5. 5 Peak HP High Efficiency Motor
  • Integrated Hose Storage
  • 18' Cord with Cord Storage
  • Easily Converts to Blower

Super Performance: Milwaukee 0880-20 Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum Review

Milwaukee 0880-20
  • Included Components: Shop Wet Dry Vacuums
  • Power Source Type: Battery Powered
  • Works on all Milwaukee 18V slide-on batteries, Li-ion or NiCd
  • The powerful motor to provides strong suction and air flow
  • The tool box design provides easy transport and storage

HEPA Filter: DEWALT 18/20V Max Vacuum Review

  • Can operate corded with an AC outlet, or cordless by an 18V or 20V MAX battery
  • HEPA Rated filter traps up to 99.97% efficiency
  • Washable/reusable filter
  • Premium XR Lithium Ion pack provides up to 33 percent more capacity than standard 20V MAX battery packs
  • 3-LED fuel gauge system allows immediate feedback on state of charge

Disposable Filter Bag: Stanley 6 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum Review

Stanley 6 Gallon
  • 【LARGER CAPACITY】Stanley SL18116P Wet / Dry Vacuum has a larger capacity over 22 L, makes small clean-up jobs a breeze for you as you don’t have to empty the bucket frequently any more
  • 【VERSATILE & POWERFUL】Thanks to the 4 peak HP motor, this vac offers powerful enough suction needed to almost any cleanup jobs in vehicle, jobsite, workshop, garage, basement, van, house, etc
  • 【3 in 1 FUNCTION】With this versatile vac you can vacuum both wet liquid spills and dry debris, dust, saw, dirt or blow leaves away(use blower port), just organize the hose and power cord on top handle and side wraps after using, conveniently
  • 【FARTHER CLEANUP】With over 16 ft of cleaning reach(6 ft hose, 10 ft power cord and 3 pieces of extension wands) it’s easy to do a farther cleanup for you without unplugging the unit, while it has four swivel casters for convenient and easy manoeuvrability
  • 【WHAT YOU GET】Stanley SL18116P Wet / Dry Vac x 1, 1-1/4"x6’ super flexible hose x 1,extension wands x 3, gulper nozzle, floor nozzle x 1,crevice nozzle x 1,foam filter x 1, dust bag x 1, reusable dry filter x 1, 12-Month Warranty

Dual Clean-Up Modes: DEWALT 20V MAX Portable Vacuum Review

DEWALT 20V MAX Portable
  • Gore HEPA wet/dry filter of DEWALT cordless vaccum traps 99.97% of dust at 0.3 microns
  • Dual clean-up modes of DEWALT 20V vacuum allow for debris removal with either the front utility nozzle or extendable rubber hose
  • 1/2 gallon tank with heavy-duty latch is easy to empty and clean
  • Washable filter; Tap or water rinse to clean
  • Heavy-duty rubber hose provides durability and flexibility

Synonymous with Quality: Stanley 3 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum Review

Stanley 3 Gallon
  • 【LARGER CAPACITY Stanley SL18910P-3 Wet / Dry Vacuum has a larger capacity over 11 L, makes small clean-up jobs in car a breeze for you as you don’t have to empty the tank frequently any more
  • 【VERSATILE & POWERFUL Thanks to the 3 peak HP motor, this vac offers powerful enough suction needed to any cleanup jobs in car with its 3 in 1 crevice nozzle, all accessories features on-board storage for easy transport
  • 【2 in 1 Function With this versatile vac you can vacuum both wet liquid spills and dry debris, dust, saw, dirt or, just wrap the power cord on top handle after using, conveniently
  • 【FARTHER CLEANUP With over 10 ft. of cleaning reach(4 ft. hose, 6 ft. power cord) it’s easy to do a farther cleanup for you without unplugging the unit, while it has a sturdy top handle for convenient and easy carrying
  • 【WHAT YOU GET Stanley SL18910P-3 Wet / Dry Vac x 1, 1-1/4"x4’ hose x 1, 3 in 1 crevice nozzle x 1, gulper nozzle x 1, foam filter x 1, reusable dry filter x 1, 12-Month Limited

Collapsible Top Carry Handle: Shop-Vac 2036000 Wet Dry Vacuum Review

Shop-Vac 2036000
  • Collapsable top carry handle
  • Accessories are 4' x 1.25" hose, gulper nozzle, and crevice tool
  • GOT DIRT? Shop-Vac's full line of products includes cordless, rechargeable wet dry vacuums, automotive vacuum systems, air movers, attachments & more. Whatever the job, Shop-Vac has you covered!
  • AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL: Shop-Vac offers the most complete line of vacuum cleaners, bags, filters, attachments, kits, & other cleaning tools available for home, industrial, & commercial applications.
  • TOUGH & DEPENDABLE: Shop-Vac Corporation is the recognized world leader in wet/dry vacuum cleaners. Since 1965, we have made innovative, high quality vacuum cleaners, filters, bags, & other accessories.

Brushless Extractor: Makita XCV11Z Wet/Dry Vacuum Review

Makita XCV11Z
  • Powerful BL Brushless motor delivers 57 CFM and 27 inches water lift of suction using an 18V LXT Lithium Ion battery (battery not included)
  • Filter cleaning system is designed to maintain optimum suction efficiency and longer filter life
  • Efficient HEPA filter captures 99.97% of particulates. 3 microns and larger
  • Up to 60 minutes of continuous run time using an 18V LXT Lithium Ion 5.0 Ah battery BL1850B (battery not included)
  • L. E. D. Battery indicator shows charge level for 18V LXT Lithium Ion battery

Complete Vac Organization: ArmorAll AA255 Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum Review

ArmorAll AA255
  • 2.5 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
  • 2 Peak HP Motor
  • 10 Ft. Cord With Cord Wrap
  • Blower Function – Easy Conversion
  • On-board Accessory & Hose Storage

The Ultimate Buying Guide for the Best Shop Vac

The Ultimate Buying Guide for the Best Shop Vac

Hopefully, our best portable shop vac reviews and buyer’s guide help you find the best portable shop vacuum cleaner for your needs. If that hasn’t happened yet, you don’t have to worry.

This buyer’s guide for the best portable shop vac is designed in the way to help you completely understand these portable machines so that you can find a model that’s right for you. We delivered the information you need to understand in-order-to get the most out of your portable shop vacuum and end up with the most reasonable one.

What is the Purpose of a Shop Vac?

A Shop Vac is a particular vacuum that contains a powerful motor that can suck up more substantial bits of trash. These kinds of rock-solid vacuums are frequently utilized at construction and timber working sites, as they can get more massive objects effortlessly.

These Shop Vacs ordinarily include an exceptionally huge bucket like an inside that generally has wheels joined to it to permit it to move around without any problem. From inside, it contains a big hose that is utilized for suctioning up massive objects. Some Shop Vac frameworks are likewise built to be utilized to suck up water from overflowed zones too.

Difference Between a Shop and Regular Vac

Difference Between a Shop and Regular Vac

We can differentiate between Shop-Vac and regular Vac by understanding their look, power, and, most importantly, versatility.

The Look Difference

A regular vacuum cleaner has a tall stature with the suctioning mechanism on the base. The regular vacuums operate through a handle, and trash goes into a built-in sack. With a Shop-Vac, the stature is somewhat shorter, rounded looking, and mostly on wheels that enable it to move around locations rapidly and without facing any problem.

The Power Difference

Shop Vacs have a more elevated level of suction compared to a regular vacuum. It is because Shop Vacs have a higher power. Some of the best portable wet dry vacua contain an on-board power system, and this power source is known as a portable shop vac battery.

Shop Vacs have a ton more suction power to get more substantial objects. Regular vacuums can only convey the power to suctioning up modest amounts of dirt, hairs, and other small particles.

The Versatility Difference

Best Portable Shop Vacs are known for their ability to pick up water and other complex substances from the floor efficiently. However, this feature is not a part of every single best portable wet dry vac.

The best portable shop vacuum can be used in many different ways, like vacuuming out car interiors. The best vacuum for tile floors helps to deliver the floor maintenance and repair ease. Top-tier shop vacuums pick up more dust than any other equipment used for similar purposes.

What Are the Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Portable Shop Vac?

Size and Dimensional Considerations

What Are the Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Portable Shop Vac

The most significant element of your best portable shop vac 2021 is its size. In case you’re searching for really portable equipment, you’re not going to need to drag around an immense machine. Ensure you’re putting resources into a shop vac that is adequately small-size. Fortunately, you can get extraordinary power in a small size.

Power of Portable Shop Vac

Power is another enormous element that will influence the amount you eventually appreciate utilizing your shop vac. Furthermore, the size of the shop vac you need is going to restrain how much power you can receive in return. However, small-sized motors produce less power.

The Versatility of Portable Shop Vac

Until recently, wet/dry vacuums competed almost entirely based on power and size. But now you can blow leaves, pump water, attach them to power tools, or get quieter models.

Accessories of Portable Shop Vac

The accessories that accompany your shop vac can include some value. Long power cords are the priority in most cases, and the standard length of cords is between ten to fifteen feet. Extra nozzles are also helpful and increase the value of the overall vacuum, as it extends the scope of tasks that can be performed by the portable shop vac.

FAQ About the Best Portable Shop Vac

What are the Uses of a Portable Shop Vac?

A clean workspace is an efficient workspace. It’s insufficient to keep the entirety of your tools in their proper areas. Scraps of material, paint, and other different kinds of things can rapidly transform a workspace into a disaster area.

A shop vac can suction up the water generally without any problem. Since it is lightweight and portable, you can convey it to each corner of the spot to evacuate water. The shop vac’s canister can hold gallons of water before you need to go outdoors to purge it.

What Size of a Wet/Dry Vac Would be the Most Appropriate for Me?

What Size of a Wet/Dry Vac Would be the Most Appropriate for Me

Portable Shop Vacs come in a wide range of sizes, generally measured in gallons. The bigger the portable shop vacuum, the more it can clean up. The intensity of the vacuum engine will likewise influence the amount it can suck up.

It would help if you decided on the power and size you need depending on the size of the space you need or need to clean. These top of the line choices will take care of your business and can be small and affordable, yet bigger jobs may require one of the quality heavier-duty picks on our list.

Is the Portable Shop Vac Compatible with My Vehicle?

Keeping a car perfectly fit takes a great deal of routine maintenance and cleaning. While the vast majority of cleaning is performed around the outside of the car and in the engine, you can’t overlook the car’s interior if you need to expand its value and lifespan. A car’s interior rapidly gathers dust. For fast and routine cleaning for the car, you’ll need a car vacuum.

Verdict and Our Recommendation for 2021

We hope that our best portable shop vac reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you better understand portable shop vacs and have helped you find the most suitable model you’ll like having at a price you love. Did one of our best portable shop vacs on homemakerguide.com speak to you?

It’s our priority that you found the best portable shop vac – 2021 here. Our top portable shop vacuum choices are exceptionally best for the buyers interested in high-end portable shop vac experience.

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How We Tested
Our reviewers spend 15+ hours testing the best portable shop vacs available in the market. They test these portable shop vacs on different surfaces to get a complete experience. They noted the most important and exceptional features of each one according to their sizes and power. Furthermore, we outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
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