Best Shop Vac Reviews

Whether you are in need of replacing your current shop vac or are looking to buy your first one it is an important decision.  You want the best performance for the money and the accessories included so you can use the shop vac to its full potential.  I have used many shop vacs and know that importance of having the right size, the ease of dumping the contents and most importantly how hard it SUCKS!

You want a wet/dry vac that has a filter that won’t clog quickly with fine dust.  It is a real pain to always have to pull the top off the blow or shake out the filter.

Some things you’ll want to consider.  The size, the horse power rating, the filter and the accessories.

When I was in my teenage years I didn’t have a lot of money.  I was proud of the shop vac I bought with my own money.  I ended up ruining it very quickly by using it to suck out the dirt, oil and gunk on the top of my vehicles engine when I was taking it apart to rebuild it.

I didn’t know it at the time but all that oil coated everything on the inside and it held onto the dirt and dust I later tried to suck up.  The vacuum was pretty much worthless after that so please understand that every product you will ever buy has a purpose it was made for and it will ruin if not used correctly.

Now, what I’ve done is bought a couple of smaller shop vacs that I keep in different areas.  I use one downstairs where I have my wood CNC machine (check it out here) and one in the garage.  I like not having to carry the thing through the house everytime I need it in the garage or downstairs.  It for me is more of a convenience.

Below I have listed out the top 5 Best Shop Vac Reviews to give you a quick look at each.  These shop vacs are available on and the pictures are quick links that will take you there.

Please hover over the link before clicking and look at the lower left part of your screen.  It will shows where the link leads so you know exactly where you are going for peace of mind.

#1 Armor All 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum, AA255Armor All Shop Vac

by Armor All

With more than 3,800 sales on amazon this is a top seller.  As with all Armor All products this shop vac is perfect for use on detailing your vehicle.  It seems they thought of everything.  It has a 2.5 gallon capacity with a 2 horse power motor.  It comes with a 6 foot 1.25 in hose and 10 foot cord.  The little Armor All features an auto shut off when full to protect from overfill.  When it comes to accessories it have both a reusable cloth and foam sleeve, crevice tool, blower nozzle, 2-in-1 utility nozzle and a detail brush.  This shop vac measures out at 14.10 x 10.37 x 14.36 Inches so it will easily be stored out of the way.


  • Small for easy storage
  • Multiple accessories for any vehcile detail
  • Not just for cars, can be used anywhere in the home
  • Cloth and Foam sleeve for wet or dry use


  • Like I said in for the Pros, this can also be a con if you want a larger shop vac
  • 2 Horse Power
  • 2.5 gallon capacit

With the above mentioned pros and cons this little shop vac is for everyone, even if you want or have larger shop vac needs. The low price makes this an easy buy.

#2 Vacmaster 12 Gallon, 5 Peak HP, Wet/Dry Vacuum with Detachable Blower, VBV1210VacMaster Shop Vac

by Vacmaster

It seems Vacmaster has thought of everything when it comes the their shop vac.  This 12 gallon, 5 horse power wet/dry vac has a 12 foot long cord and 2.5 inch 7 foot long hose.  The bottom of the tank has an easy to remove drain plug for wet applications. No need to tip the vacuum over to drain it.  It comes with a cartridge and a foam filter.

One of the coolest things about this vacuum is it’s not just a vacuum, it is a blower too!  Take the top off, attach the tube and you now have a 240 mph air blowing leaf blower.  This for me is huge.


  • Detachable motor and accessories for leaf blower option
  • 12 gallon capacity
  • 5 horse power
  • 2.5 inch hose diameter for larger sucking applications
  • Drain plug at base of tank


  • Larger capacity makes for taking up more storage space

This shop vac has everything.  As you can see I could only come up with one Con.  Most shop vacs take up space so unless you buy a mini shop vac, this will be an issue.

#3 Vacmaster 6 Gallon, 3 Peak HP, Stainless Steel Wet/Dry Vacuum, VQ607SFDVacmaster 6 Gallon Shop Vac

by Vacmaster

Another shop vac made by Vacmaster this 6 gallon shop vac takes up a little less room that the one above.  It has a Stainless Steel outer shell and is both wet and dry.  It has a 7 foot hose with a 12 foot cord.  Like the Armor All vacuum above it has a bunch of accessories including an air control nozzle, multi surface floor nozzle, 2 extension wands, crevice tool, round dust brush, reusable foam sleeve, dust bag and cartridge filter….whew, that was a mouth full!

This is probably one of my favorites.  It can do almost everything and is just the right size.  The one option I wish it had was the blower feature on the above Vacmaster.


  • 6 gallon capacity
  • 3 horse power
  • Stainless Steel for a professional appearance
  • 7 foot hose
  • Drain plug at bottom of tank
  • Slew of accessories


  • No blower option

This is an all around perfect shop vac.  It has a ton of accessories, looks professional, is not too big and more powerful than a mini shop vac.  This vacuum will make your decision difficult for the perfect vacuum

#4 Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry VacuumShop Vac

by Shop-Vac

This shop vac is a gallon smaller but more powerful than the vacuum above.  It has a 5 gallon capacity with a 4.5 horse power motor.  Like all the rest, this is a wet/dry combo and has a Stainless Steel exterior for a professional appearance.  It comes with a 7 foot hose, crevice tool, floor nozzle, 3 extension wands, cartridge filter, foam sleeve and a filter bag.  As you can see it has many accessory options but less than the ones above.


  • 4.5 horse power
  • Stainless steel exterior for professional appearance
  • Blower option


  • 5 gallon capacity
  • Less accessories
  • No drain plug on tank

I mentioned this shop vac has a stainless steel exterior but to me, it doesn’t look as professional with a lot of plastic surroundings.  The blower option is listed as a Pro but the motor does not remove to make it easily maneuverable to easy application.   I like that it has a stronger motor, although I would have liked to see it with at least a 6 gallon capacity.  The lack of drain plug means you have to tip it over to dry liquids from the tank.

#5 Craftsman 12004 6 Gallon 3 Peak HP Wet/Dry VacCraftsman Shop Vac

by Yesker

Everyone knows the Craftsman name.  This shop vac finishes the list of my top 5 best shop vacs.  It has a 6 gallon capacity which I feel is the perfect size.  It has a 3 horse power motor and is both wet and dry capable.  It quickly converts to a blower option but you have to carry the whole vacuum so it’s not easily maneuverable.  It says detachable blower but does not show that cool feature if so.  It has a 7 foot hose and 12 foot cord.


  • 6 gallon capacity
  • 7 foot hose


  • 3 horse power motor
  • Plastic tank
  • Typical accessories, nothing for unique applications
  • No tank drain plug

This seems like your run of the mill shop vac.  It is a good shop vac but you don’t get anything special with it.  That being said, Craftsman is a well known brand that should last you a long time.  There is no image available for this one for some reason unless you look at  The “No Image Available” is still a link that will open a new window for you.  I still wanted to include this vacuum because it is one of the best sellers on Amazon.

Time to decide on which one is right for you.

All of these shop vacs are under $100 and surely there is one that will fit your lifestyle.  There are some unique features with some and not with others.  All of these shop vacs have a 4 or higher star rating and all are the top sellers.  If I were to choose one vacuum out of the list I would have to choose #2.  This vacuum has it all and with only one con that I could find, it’s the top choice for me.

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12 Replies to “Best Shop Vac Reviews”

  1. Thanks for the great review on vacs. I have to say I like the “big boy” Vacmaster 12 gallon vac because of it’s capacity and versatility even if i’s more expensive. I’ll probably have to buy a vac before too long so I’m bookmarking your site for future reference. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks, this is very helpful. I have owned and rid myself of two shop vacs. I needed something to suck water out of my basement when rain comes in under the exterior door. Both were more trouble than they were worth. I’m pleased to see that these are all selling for less than $100. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love the 12 gallon Vacmaster! I am a DIY type of gal and I have a lot of tools in my garage, along with a shop vac I got from Home Depot eons ago. It does an okay job. But the hose is too stiff and it doesn’t have the attachments I’d like, which I cannot find back at the store. Silly but I even love the color of this one. I am sold! Thanks for the great review.

  4. Awesome review on the different types and what they are used for, this is going to save me some money. I want one for my car and truck and was just going to buy to one of the bigger ones because I didn’t want to waste my time looking at reviews and glad I actually came across this one. Straight and to the point of what they are used for.

  5. Hey,

    Great post and thanks for sharing.

    I work in the Rail Industry as an Engineer and I think these Vacs could definitely help when we examine the trains every month and have to keep up the cleaning each night.

    Thanks again for sharing and I’m going to recommend your post and site to my Boss.

    All the best,


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