8 Best Shop Vac for Woodworking- Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Any woodworkers workshop, whether a DIY enthusiast or professional carpenter, needs to have the best shop vac for woodworking to ensure that the working area is clean and free of sawdust and other tiny wood wastes.

image of the best shop vac for woodworking in useAs you would expect, there are many shop vacs out there, and that’s where most buyers find problems-selecting the right product. Other factors, such as prices, play a role in the type of shop Vac that you are going to acquire.

I understand how frustrating it can be to choose the right product. That’s why I have reviewed the best shop vacs for woodworking that you can find in the market today.

I’ve also provided buyers’ guides with different features to consider so that the best return value for your investment in a shop vac. Here’s my list of the best-rated items:

1. Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum

The overall best shop vac for woodworking on this list is the Shop-Vac 5986000. It is a top-quality product constructed using a durable unit of a mixture of ABS plastic and stainless steel tank.

The 5986000 comes with a 4.5 PHP motor that is powerful enough for any general-purpose vacuum; it can be an effective dust collection system or a powerful water pump.

​The rear blower port of this shop vac contains a screw and lock mechanism that lets you remove and safely lock your extension wands. Besides, the unit has three extension wands that provide extra versatility in the job.

The stainless steel tank has a capacity of 5 gallons, which is big enough and won’t call for frequent emptying. Another impressive feature of the tank is the ability to stand time and take beatings; it uses disc filters for dry items and foam sleeve filters for the wet ones. Above all, you can remove the disc filters, clean and reuse them.

The Summary of Top Features

  • The unit comes with a power of up to 4.5 PHP which makes it great for multiple usages
  • It comes with accessories such as 3 extension wands, plus cartridge filter, crevice tool, gulper nozzle, 7-foot hose, foam sleeve, floor nozzle, plus filter bag.
  • The Shop-Vac Corporation is a reputable world leader in wet/dry vacuum cleaners since 1965.

Pros

  • The unit is affordable.
  • This shop vac comes with a 5 gallons stainless steel tank.
  • It has a Hose diameter of 1.25 inch that is compatible with a wide variety of extensible wands.
  •  The unit has a base roller for portability.

Cons

  • It has a relatively short power cord standing at 6 feet.
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2. WORKSHOP Wet/Dry Vacs WS1600SS Stainless Steel 6.5-Peak Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner

This shop vac is for serious woodworkers working on large-scale projects. The tank of this unit is impressive as it is crafted using high-quality and durable stainless steel. Its capacity is also a large one that stands at 16 gallons. On the other hand, the motor produces a power of 6.5 HP at its peak, making it capable of picking up to 1 gallon of water each second.

So how does this machine pick up so much water in that short time? Well, the highly efficient hose does it all. It measures 7 feet in length with a diameter of 2.5 inches. You can use this hose with the included utility nozzle, car nozzle, wet nozzle, crevice tool, or two extension wands. Technically, you get everything you might need in one package!

Furthermore, the handle in this machine has an ergonomic design, which makes the difference by increasing the comfortability of the unit. The sizable rear wheels on this shop vac plus the 20-foot power cord, are critical in its portability.

Overall, this is undoubtedly an extremely powerful Shop Vac with perfect features for industrial or heavy-duty operations.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It comes with a large 16-gallon tank and 7-foot long hose
  • The drum of this machine is stainless steel for durability
  • Its hose comes with dual-flex locking capability that improves maneuverability
  • The tool has a powerful 6.5 HP motor
  • It comes with large rear wheels that can be rolled over stairs or rough terrain

Pros

  • It’s powerful
  • The unit comes with a massive 16 gallon 
  • You can move it about with so much ease

Cons

  • Some users complained of the “extra-large” wheel
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3. BISSELL Garage Pro Wall-Mounted Wet Dry Car Vacuum/Blower With Auto Tool Kit

This unit from the Bissell is the best shop vac for woodworking if you are working on a budget and desire a tool with great features. Having used this machine on multiple occasions, I’d say that it delivers beyond its price, making it a good investment for your woodworking store.

As you’d expect from any other top vacuum cleaners, this machine can help you with both dry and wet dirt/waste. The motor that you find on this machine is a powerful one with a dependable 12-amp; this sucks up all the dirt and deposits it inside its large 4-gallon tank. The tank is semi-translucent. Hence you can tell when to empty the tank.

Oh, I have to mention that you can convert it into a blower. All you need to do is to switch up the hose attachments, and you’re set. Speaking of the attachments, this vacuum cleaner comes with 7 extensions that make it clean almost all manner of messes in your workshop.

From my experience using this tool, I found it a steal mainly because of its wall-mounting capability! It makes it easy to store in the work store.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It has a semi-translucent tank plus LED water tank indicator that eliminates unpleasant surprises
  • The hose of this machine measures 32 feet long for enhanced convenience in movement as well as maneuverability
  • It comes with 7 different hose extension attachments
  • The shop vac uses a 12 amp motor and a 4-gallon tank for wet/dry cleaning

Pros

  • The tank is semi-translucent for easy reading of the dust levels
  • The machine comes with 7 hose extensions
  • It’s affordable 

Cons

  • Some users complained of mechanical issues.
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4. Ridgid WD1450 14-Gallon 6-Horsepower Wet/Dry Vacuum

Capacity wise, the WD1450 from Ridgid is a beast, boasting of up to 14 gallons room. This shop vac is for both wet and dry usage. It comes with a long 20-foot cord with a long reach.

This unit has a powerful 6 HP motor capable of delivering a powerful suction capacity on wet and dry areas.

One fantastic thing about this shop vac is that regardless of its high power rating, it produces reasonably low noise, especially if you compare it with other similar shop Vacs. The low noise has a lot to do with better engineering of the motor and its efficient overall design.

​This product comes with four heavy-duty swivel casters that will provide a 360-degree motion effortlessly.

​Finally, this unit uses a secure and firm Tug-A-Long fit that holds accessories even during heavy-duty usage.

Watch the video below on how to use a rigid shop vac:

The Summary of Top Features

  • It has a fine dust filter that picks up dry materials plus small amounts of liquid
  • The unit has a 20 ft. cord wraps under the pull handle for storage
  • Its pull handle plus casters provide the much-needed maneuverability. Also, the side handles offer grips to lifting
  • The blowing feature in this unit blows away sawdust and other wastes
  • It has a powerful suction that handles tough job-site clean-up

Pros

  • It has a quick-release mechanism that allows you to remove accessories easily.
  • The unit has a reasonably low SNR noise level.
  • It can be used as a blower by just pushing a button.

Cons

  • It has a large dimension, which makes it awkward to carry around.
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5. DEWALT DWV012 10-Gallon Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter

The DeWalt DWV012 is up there with the very best product on this list. It’s great for professional usage with a lot of features to offer. This unit comes with a sizeable 10-gallon dust tank plus HEPA filters that makes it among the best dust collection systems you can get for your woodworking workshop.

The motor of this shop vac is powerful, with a rating of 15 Amps. It is so powerful that it can deliver a powerful 140 CFM airflow. You will be surprised by how easy this power tool swallows every small solid material like rock chips from your shop.

HEPA filters are common only in professional shop Vacs, and this model of DeWalt has the same. It quickly absorbs tiny particles of sawdust that you cannot see with your naked eye. Besides, the DWV012 comes with an automatic filter control system that cleans the filters after every 30 seconds hence ensures continual operation.

One final and fantastic feature of this unit is the provision to connect it to a power tool for automatic on and off dust collection ability.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It comes with Automatic Filter Clean pulses every 30 seconds for prolonged operation
  • The tool has a powerful 15-Amp motor that delivers 140 CFM of airflow for maximum suction
  • It comes with Power Tool Actuation that controls the On/Off operations of the vacuum cleaner 
  • The unit has a telescoping handle for easy transport

Pros

  • It’s of high quality and durable
  • The tool has a long extractor wand and dual filter system for maximal filtration.
  • It comes with two HEPA filters
  • This shop vac has 2 front rollers and 2 large side wheels that enhance portability and movability.
  • The tank of this shop vac is large, with a capacity of 10 gallons.
  • It is compatible with power tools that have dust ports. 

Cons

  • It does not have a blower function. 
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6. CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17607 16 gallon 6.5 Peak Hp Wet/Dry Vac with Detachable Leaf Blower

Here is another best shop vac for woodworking, especially if you are looking for one with a large dust chamber capacity. It is a 16-gallon shop vac that does an excellent job when it comes to cleaning debris. This unit is a 2-in-1 vacuum that cleans through vacuuming as well as blowing the debris.  

The motor of this shop vac delivers 6.5 peak horsepower, which is sufficient to clean all kinds of debris and other particles. Furthermore, this unit comes with a dual-flex hose that provides the flexibility of up to 180°. 

Another priceless feature of this unit is its oversized drain located at the lowest point of the canister; this makes it easy to empty the liquids you’ve collected. 

Additionally, the vacuum comes together with a 7′ long hose, 2 extension wands, car plus utility nozzles, a wet nozzle, a crevice tool, locking blower wand, and a diffuser. 

The Summary of Top Features

  • It comes with 6. 5 peak HP
  • This shop vac is a 2-IN-1 VAC machine with powerful features such as a detachable blower for removing debris from your workshop and outdoors
  • It has a DUAL-FLEX HOSE WITH POS-I-LOCK that provides 180-degree flexibility at the hose ends for maneuverability plus in securing the attachment of the hose to vac drum such that it does not pull loose during use

Pros

  • It has dust collection and filter included 
  • This shop vac comes with a large 16-gallon canister 
  • Comes with four wheels 

Cons

  • It weighs up to 30 pounds.
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7. Tacklife Wet Dry Vacuum PVC01A

Tacklife PVC01A is a 3-in-1 shop vac with a design that allows it to pick up dirt, sand, wood chippings, liquid spills, as well as metal shavings. This unit comes with a rear blower port that lets the user blow out any dirt that might not be easy to reach.  

This shop vac is a wet-dry vacuum with a 5-gallon tank. Besides, it has a hose and accessory storage that ensures everything is ever at hand. 

The cleaning range of this unit measures 17 feet. Additionally, the shop vac comes with a 7′ long extension hose, a floor brush, two extension wands, a filter bag, a couch tool, and a small flat tool. 

What makes this unit the best shop vac for woodworking is the Buoy technology, which automatically shuts off when you go past the level in the bucket. This automatic action is excellent for the protection of the motor, ensuring its durability. 

The Summary of Top Features

  • It comes with 3 IN 1 MULTIFUNCTIONAL 5.5 HP that offers powerful suction. 
  • Its 5-gallon collection capacity is large enough for extended cleaning 
  • The unit comes with a full cleaning range of more than 17 feet that allows you to reach farther without necessarily removing the device
  • It comes with various accessories for different cleaning needs such as a vehicle, garage, workshop, house, basement, etc
  • The shop vac has a SAFETY BUOY TECHNOLOGY that automatically powers off whenever the weather level in the bucket goes beyond the standard.

Pros

  • The filters are washable
  • It comes with rotating wheels 
  • The unit has an automatic protection switch

Cons

  • It’s relatively heavy.
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8. Vacmaster VBV1210, 12-Gallon 5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum with Detachable Blower

If you’re interested in a “cool” shop vac, then you should go for the Vacmaster 12 Gallon Shop Vac (VBV1210). One outstanding feature of this unit is that it comes with a small portable blower that you can detach from the unit.

Considering that you can detach it, you get the flexibility of using this shop vac on other duties other than just a standard shop vac. Additionally, this model comes with a large 12-gallon tank. Its frame is, however, slender enough to wheel it around obstacles with a lot of ease. Moreso, this model comes with an extra-large drain, something that will prove handy if you ever have to clean up a massive water spill.

The motor has a 5 horsepower at its full load, which is extremely powerful. A drawback of this shop vac is the cord, which is only 12 feet long. As much as most people love this machine, it gives them so much flexibility when they use it with an extension cord. 

If power and portability interests you, then this is the model to get.

The Summary of Top Features

  • You can easily convert it from Wet/Dry Vacuum to 210 MPH Handheld Blower
  • It has a 19-Foot cleaning reach with Hose and Power Cord
  • The machine comes with an Integrated Accessory Storage
  • It has an extra-large drain port

Pros

  • It has a large tank
  • The machine comes with quick-release blower
  • It has an extra-large drain
  • The motor is powerful

Cons

  • The cord is short
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Best Shop Vac for Woodworking Buyer’s Guide

I would not advise that you walk into a store and just buy any shop vac. You need to do some research and a comprehensive understanding of the unit before settling for one. Here are some factors that you need to consider in the process.

1. Tank Capacity

It is one of the very first things I’d consider in a shop vac. If you are working on large scale wood projects, it’s likely that you will have so much sawdust in your workshop. If that’s the case, it will be helpful if you acquire a shop vac with a big tank capacity- for prolonged debris cleaning without the need for frequent emptying.

2. Suction capacity

A shop vac with more significant horsepower is the ones with higher suction capacity. As you would expect, the units with higher suction capacity are more expensive. Therefore, you should choose one depending on your needs other than the prices.

3. Mobility

In case you are moving with your shop vac from one place to the next, you should go for a machine that has wheels.

4. Size

You don’t have to own a big shop vac, especially if you are not into heavy-duty woodworking projects. Small-sized shop vacs are great for casual usage.

Uses of Shop VAC

A shop Vac comes with a lot of versatility. This powerful tool has so many applications that I have highlighted below.

Grooming Pets

If you haven’t used your shop vac for grooming your pet, you are probably underutilizing it. As much as a regular vacuum cleaner is a great asset when it comes to sucking in possible stray hairs on your pets, however, if you are looking for the best cleaner to eradicate most of the hair on your pets, then you use a shop vac.

Watch the video below on using shop vac for grooming pets

  • Versatile Bucket

If the need arises that you need a bucket for mopping the floor of your workshop, you can always convert the base of your shop Vac into a helpful bucket.

  • Drying of Surfaces

Considering that shop vacs have powerful suction capabilities, you can use them as drying tools as well. If your furniture gets wet, for example, or you happen to have washed them and are looking to make them dry faster, you can always use shop Vac. These machines are great at drying of material, and you will be surprised at how quickly you complete your drying tasks using them.

  • Bag Sealer

In case you are looking to store food inside a sealed bag, you can choose to use a Shop Vac to suck away the air. It does work in no time.

  • Water Pump

I use my shop vac as a water pump almost every other day. The ease at which this power tool sucks away water is magical. It will be a bad idea if you use your shop vac for emptying a large pool.

Conclusion

A Shop Vac is a versatile tool that you should have if you are a woodworking enthusiast. Besides using it as cleaning in your woodworking shop, you can also use it as a water pump, sealing of bags, and many other uses within your homestead or workshop.

There are so many of these tools out there, and each comes with their specific functionalities. Having used dozens of these tools, my overall best shop vac for woodworking is Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuumthis machine answers virtually all questions that you’d ask in a shop vac.

This review consists of only the very best shop Vacs out there; I’m sure that any product you will settle for in this list will serve you right.

Kindly share your thoughts on the products as well as experience using them in the comment section below!