Find the right solution for your needs
Whether you are a new homeowner or an avid woodworker with a busy shop, the
right wet/dry vac can go a long way toward making your daily cleanup tasks
easier. When making your selection, you'll want to seriously consider issues
such as frequency of use, capacity requirements, existing storage space,
typical cleaning duties and special features. Before you make your final
choice, ask yourself these questions:
Size, Capacity and Power
Wet/dry vacs are available in a wide range of types and sizes from portable and handheld units to large 18-gallon professional vacs. You'll want to look at both the capacity (measured in gallons) and the peak horsepower (hp). These two pieces of information can provide a good indication of just how suitable a match it is. Though it is often the case that higher capacity and higher hp go hand in hand, this is not always so. Small units with a high horsepower and low capacity often serve in demanding environments with restrictive space requirements.
Light-Duty Tasks: For small tasks and light household chores, look for a low-capacity unit in the 2-6 gallon range with a peak hp of 1 to 4.5. These vacs often feature a compact and lightweight design that is perfect for storing out of the way. Smaller, cordless units offer handheld convenience that is ideal for the car, boat or home. Others are mounted on casters for easy maneuvering around your kitchen or playroom.
Medium-Duty Chores: Medium range wet/dry vacs run anywhere from 8-14
gallons and are useful around the house, workshop, garage and more. With
anywhere from 5 to 6 hp of power, you can be assured of great suction coupled
with versatile performance. Some units convert to blowers for easy handling of
lawn and garden tasks such as leaf collection and clearing grass clippings or
for inflating air mattresses and basketballs. Use the unit to take care of wet
basements or clean up spills in the garage. This multipurpose tool is designed
to tackle a wide range of tasks.
Heavy-Duty Applications: Heavy-duty and commercial applications that
need intense cleaning power should look for a peak hp of 6 or more. These
units usually have an impressive 14-18 gallon capacity and are perfect for
busy shops, industrial cleaning and more. These vacs feature a sturdy cart or
are mounted on large casters for increased mobility. A wide array of included
attachments enables you to tackle a variety of surfaces and substances.
|Type of Application||Capacity (Gallons)||Horsepower||Important Features to Consider||Commonly Used For|
||Smaller tasks around the home, car or boat|
||Most indoor/outdoor cleaning tasks around the home or shop; wet basement cleanup to standard home and garden tasks|
||Heavy-duty and commercial use where maximum horsepower is required|
Quiet Operation: Gone are the days when you needed ear protection just to run your wet/dry vac around the shop. New motor technologies have introduced quieter operation without sacrificing airflow, providing strong suction that won't disrupt your environment.
Filters: The filter on your wet/dry vac helps trap dirt, drywall dust and other debris and prevents it from recirculation. Those who suffer from asthma and allergies will appreciate the extra protection of HEPA filters, available on some units, which harness more than 99% of dust mites, pollen and other allergens to help ensure that the air around you is clean and irritant free. Many filters also feature antimicrobial treatments to help prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and other harmful substances that can get into the air and create health risks. Pay close attention to the number of stages in the filtration system. The more stages available, the more control for maximizing performance with a wide range of debris types.
On-Board Tool Storage: Make sure you always have that needed attachment right at hand with built-in storage for all your nozzles and cleaning accessories.
Portability: Many units feature a high-end motor with smaller capacity to deliver the same quality cleaning power as your large wet/dry vac in a small, portable format.
Storage: When you have a small workspace, but you need powerful wet/dry cleaning capabilities, look to convenient wall-mounted units and other space-saving designs. These units often feature higher horsepower ratings with a small capacity for heavy-duty performance in more restricted spaces.
Cleanup: For larger capacity units, make sure that emptying liquid content is simple and easy with a built-in spout or drain for hassle-free cleanup.
Hoses, Nozzles and Attachments: To ensure continuous operation, consider the size of the hose and nozzle. With large, wide passageways, you greatly reduce the potential for clogs and blockages. If you plan to use your wet/dry vac on large substances like wood chips or other chunks of debris, make sure the hose and nozzle have a wide enough diameter to accommodate typical usage.
Good-quality extension cords make a big difference in maximizing your reach. When selecting an extension cord, choose one that is grounded and rated 13-amps or more for added protection and versatility.
Backup filter replacements keep your Wet/Dry Vac running at peak efficiency.