How to Choose the Right Shop Vac for Your Heavy Duty Cleaning

While traditional vacuum cleaners are designed to do basic cleaning jobs, Shop Vacs, also known as Wet Dry Vacs are the cleaning process to a whole new level. You can use a vac to clean your car, for your business, for your garage, or to clean the mess at work. Each vacuum cleaner is designed with a specific purpose in mind. In this article, I’m going to show you some of the factors that you should consider before investing in a shop vacuum cleaner.

shop vac guide

1. Shop-Vac Capacity

If your daily projects are causing big problems and messes or if you have a wood business in your garage, a large capacity tank is better suited to your needs. The smaller portable vacuum cleaners are easy to stow away and are perfect for living in limited storage spaces.

2. Noise levels

Wet-dry vacs are notoriously known for being loud almost to blow out your eardrums. If you truly appreciate silence, then you should pick the quietest shop vac. Unmuffled shop vacs are as loud as 85 decibels while those equipped with mufflers are as quiet as 60decibels. Noise levels above 80 decibels often require ear protection. If you can’t find a vac with low noise ratings, you can always spend extra $10 for an add-on muffler.

3. Performance

The second and most important factor that you should consider when choosing the quietest shop vac is the performance. When I mention power, I’m certain that the first thing that pops up in your mind is the peak horsepower (PHP) right? But horsepower isn’t the only rating that you should compare when choosing a wet/dry vac. When it comes to performance, there are three sub-factors that you should consider.

a) Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) –

If the reason you want to invest in a shop vac is to clean fine debris such as dust or wood chip, then you should pick a dry wet vac with the highest CFM rating. CFM typically measures the max airflow the unit can achieve at its largest opening.

b) Sealed Pressure (SP)-

This factor should only worry you if you’ll be using your vac to clean water messes. This factor is measured in inches of water. Anything with a sealed pressure rating above 75 is considered a good option.

c) Air Power or Air watts

Are you going to use your shop vac to pick up bulkier debris such as bolts and nuts? If the answer is yes, then the Air Power rating of a shop vac is an important factor for you. Go for a unit with a higher air watts rating for best results.

4. Detachable Blower

If you need to clean hard-to-reach or hard-to-clean areas, you can use a cleaning port and a removable blower. Shop vacs with removable blower are excellent foliage blower. So if you buy a vacuum with a removable blower, you only have to buy two tools in one. If you need to clean a hard-to-reach area, it’s a good idea to clean it.

5. Tank Drain

Are you planning to collect a lot of water? If so, you want a tank drain. This additional opening in the tank allows you to empty the tank into a drain easily. It is sure that it will make your life easier. You may want to consider one of our suction pumps. They move large amounts of water (with their garden pants) by pumping them through their normal garden hose to a drain or other location.

6. Materials Used

Shop Vacs tanks are designed either using stainless steel or pure plastic. Plastic tanks have their advantages- they are lighter and are not prone to dents, unlike metallic vacs. On the other hand, stainless steel vac tanks are durable and cleaning them is simpler. This would be a matter of personal preference, and so I’ll leave it to you to decide which material is the best for you.

7. The type of filter

Always ask check for the right filter for your vacuum shop. If the wrong filter is used, there may be dust and water in the air. For the collection of large waste, look for filters with a general filter rating or better and for medium debris, buy medium or high filtration and for better sedimentation, a precise filtration level. It is recommended to use a foam cover on the filter. In case of allergies, HEPA cartridge filters are available.

Final thoughts on choosing a shop vac

Choosing a shop vac shouldn’t a daunting task anymore. With the above factors to consider, you should be able to pick the right one that satisfies your needs. Click here to read more articles on how to make your home a better place. Thank you.