Buying Guide

Best Wet & Dry Vacs for Cleaning

Size, Capacity, and Power

Wet/dry vacs are classified by capacity (measured in gallons) and peak horsepower (hp). They are available in a wide range of types and sizes from portable and handheld units to large 18-gallon professional vacs.

Tip: Small units with a high horsepower and low capacity work well in demanding environments with restrictive space requirements.

Size, Capacity, and Power Comparisons
Less Than 6 - Wet & Dry Vacuums
6 - 14 - Wet & Dry Vacuums
14 - 18 - Wet & Dry Vacuums
Description Small capacity (2 – 6 gallons) Medium capacity (6 – 14 gallons) Large capacity (14 – 18 gallons)
Feature/Benefits 1 – 4.5 hp Available as corded or cordless Can be handheld or caster mounted Quiet operation Ideal for smaller tasks around the home, car or boat 5 - 6 hp Has blower conversion capability Can handle everything from fine dust to large debris Best for most indoor/outdoor cleaning tasks around the home or shop, including wet basement cleanup to standard home and garden tasks. 6+ hp Can handle everything from fine dust to large debris Ideal for heavy-duty and commercial use where maximum horsepower is required.

Select a wet/dry vac that features on-board tool storage, storage or quiet operation to improve your capabilities.

  • New motor technologies provide quieter operation without sacrificing airflow and suction.
  • Filters trap dirt, drywall dust and other debris and prevents it from recirculation. Some units include HEPA filters that harness more than 99% of dust mites, pollens and other allergens. Many filters also include antimicrobial treatments that help prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and other harmful substances. The more stages in the filtration system, the more control for maximizing performance with a wide range of debris types.
  • On-board or built-in tool storage holds all of your nozzles and cleaning accessories along the side of the vacuum.
  • For easy storage, some vacuums feature wall-mounting capabilities for saving space.
  • Built-in spouts or drains that make emptying liquid content simple and easy for hassle-free cleanup.
  • Hoses and nozzles with large, wide passageways greatly reduces the potential for clogs and blockages.