Our Pick for the 4 Most Powerful Shop Vacs

Our Pick for the 4 Most Powerful Shop Vacs

Shop vacs are a special kind of vacuum specifically designed to aid in woodworking and construction cleanup. The difference between a shop vac and a regular vacuum is that shop vacs are meant to suck up large chunks of dirt, debris, and even water and wet messes with their high-powered motor. Most traditional household vacuums are designed for dust and other dry debris.

Whether you’re looking to clean up your own flooded basement or an entire construction site of wet and dry debris, you can’t achieve this with a standard vacuum – this is where heavy duty wet dry shop vacs come in handy. We’re going to take you through our picks for the four most powerful shop vacs, so you can make an informed purchase decision about a product you won’t regret buying.

What Should I Look for In a Shop Vac?

We’re going to focus on both air power and horsepower for our top picks in this article. Airpower or air watts refers to the suction power of the shop vac. A powerful motor largely contributes to whether or not your wet dry shop vac has great airpower so make sure it is powerful enough to clean up all kinds of messes.

Additional factors to consider when choosing a shop vac include gallon capacity and the tank material. Shop vacs come in small (two to six-gallon tanks), medium (six to 14-gallon tanks) and high capacity (14 to 18-gallon tanks). They are made from either plastic or stainless steel and each has its benefits and drawbacks.

The 4 Most Powerful Shop Vacs

1. Vacmaster VFB511B0201

VACMASTER VFB511B0201>>BUY ON AMAZON<<

If you’re looking for a small tank capacity of five gallons and a tool that is incredibly lightweight and portable then the Vacmaster VFB511B0201 may be for you. You don’t get much more portable than this shop vac, weighing in at only 13.5 lbs. and measuring 17.8 x 12.5 x 17.1 inches.

This shop vac has a variety of excellent features, including a 5.5 peak HP high-efficiency motor, an 18-foot power cord for extended cleaning and blowing, and a rugged polypropylene tank making it less resistant to impact and corrosion. The Vacmaster VFB511B0201 easily picks up a variety of dust, debris, screws, and mulch with just one quick pass and is easily converted to a powerful blower with just the push of a button.

Product Specifications

  • Tank: 5 gallons
  • Peak Horsepower: 5.5
  • Hose Length: 7 feet
  • Power Cord Length: 18 feet
  • Accessory Diameter: 1-7/8″
  • Included Filtration: Fine dust cartridge filter
  • Air watts: 320
  • Weight: 13.5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 12.5 x 17.1 inches

Check the price on Amazon here!

2. Shop-Vac 5989500

>>BUY ON AMAZON<<

If what you’re looking for is a shop vac that can easily clean up big messes both around the house and in the shop, the Shop-Vac 5989500 may be the model for you. This shop vac contains a 12-gallon tank capacity to limit emptying times and a powerful 5.5-peak horsepower motor that gets the job done quickly. The Shop-Vac 5989500 includes a selection of seven different accessories so you can customize your tool to fit the extent of the needed cleanup.

Another great feature of this product is that it includes SVX 2 motor technology, which not only allows it to work powerfully but also quietly at the same time. The rear blower port of the Shop-Vac 5989500 turns your shop vac into blowing mode in seconds, allowing you to efficiently finish the job.

Product Specifications

  • Tank: 12 gallons
  • Peak Horsepower: 5.5
  • Hose Length: 8 feet
  • Power Cord Length: 18 feet
  • Accessory Diameter: 2-1/2 inches
  • Included Filtration: Cartridge filter
  • Air Watts: 320
  • Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 21 inches
  • Weight: 15 lbs.

Check the price on Amazon here!

3. RIDGID 50348

RIDGID 50348>>BUY ON AMAZON<<

Not enough good things can be said about the RIDGID 50348. It truly offers everything you need for a powerful shop vac while still remaining relatively portable. This shop vac contains a powerful, 6.0 peak HP motor with a 14-gallon tank making trips to empty out the tank much less frequently so you can focus on the cleanup at hand.

The RIDGID 50348 is great for getting into the hard to reach, narrow spaces of your household or workshop with its 28-foot total reach, including a generous extension cord. Because this model contains a 14-gallon tank, it’s larger than other models at a whopping 25.8 inches tall. This model is considered one of the largest on the market; however, it still weighs less than 32 pounds. It has a lot of convenient features, too, including a top handle, four wheels, and a sturdy cart so portability shouldn’t be an issue.

Product Specifications

  • Tank: 14 gallons
  • Peak Horsepower: 6.0
  • Hose Length: 8 feet
  • Power Cord Length: 20 feet
  • Accessory Diameter: 2 ½ inches
  • Included Filtration: Fine-dust filter
  • Air Watts: 320
  • Dimensions: 19.8 x 19.8 x 25.8 inches
  • Weight: 31.4 lbs.

Check the price on Amazon here!

4. CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595

CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595>>BUY ON AMAZON<<

The CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 is one of the most powerful shop vacs on our list, with its heavy-duty 6.5-HP motor. This model is more than capable of sucking up heavy screws and other bulky debris in seconds and stores  a lot more water than a small shop vac in its 16-gallon tank.

One of the best features of the CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 is the 2.5-inch by seven-foot hose with added POS-I-LOCK dual-flex technology. A couple of the benefits of a hose of this size include the fact that it will not kink or crush easily and has a lot of flexibility.

Although the hose is one of this shop vac’s strong points, it’s also one of its few negatives. It’s one foot shorter than the other models we’ve listed. That said, this model includes two extension wands. When attached, they give the hose a maximum length of 17 feet. If you’re looking at large shop vacs, this one is definitely a contender.

Product Specifications

  • Tank: 16 gallons
  • Peak Horsepower: 6.5
  • Hose Length: 7 feet
  • Power Cord Length: 20 feet
  • Accessory Diameter: 2 ½ inches
  • Included Filtration: Cartridge filter and dust bag
  • Air Watts: 320
  • Dimensions: 21.3 x 21.3 x 23.8 inches
  • Weight: 26 lbs.

Check the price on Amazon here!

Which is the Best Shop Vac for Me?

The four shop vacs we’ve included on this list are all powerful tools; however, they all contain slightly different levels of horsepower as well as different tank sizes and features. Think about what you need your shop vac for and which features you would most benefit from – do you need accessory storage and a stainless steel tank? A utility nozzle? A crevice tool? When you’ve decided, click the links above and have your shop vac delivered right to your door. It’s that easy!

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