Wet Dry Vac: The Best Vacuum Cleaner Buyer’s Guide

wet dry vac

Some people think that a shop vacuum is only for places like workshops or mechanical garages.

This just isn’t true.

They can be great for homes too.

There are a few things to consider before making your purchase. There’s the obvious thing of your budget, but there is more.

What to Look for in a Good Vacuum

What Product Specs Do You Want?

There are certain specifications that each vacuum has. Depending on your cleaning needs, these could be positive or negative to you.


You should pay attention to how heavy you want your shop vac to be. Are you looking for one that you can carry around because you have multiple floors? Do you just have a large flat space and can use a bigger one because you will just roll it around?


Power Cord Length

If you end up picking a corded model, then you want to think about how long you want the power cord to be.

Do you need a long one because you can’t stand to unplug and replug it all the time? This could not matter to you because you have extension cords.


Tank Size

Shop vacs are larger than your average household vacuum. They have dirt containers called tanks. These tanks come in the size range of gallons. Think about the type of jobs you are doing, and that should decide your tank size.

Tank size also affects the weight of the entire thing and this is definitely something to keep in mind.


8 Best Wet Dry Vac of 2019

Here are some the best wet dry vacuums we found. We picked from a variety of prices and brands, so that hopefully there is something for everyone.

This vacuum has a 3 Peak HP motor that helps you finish jobs even quicker than before. It has a durable 6-gallon polypropylene collection tank. It can also double as a blower for your yard.

It has a dust sealed on/off switch for easy control and a top carry handle for balance. It has over 17 feet of reach. This is due to the 7-foot secure fit hose, 10-foot power cord, and 2 extension wands.

Vacmaster Professional - Professional Wet/Dry Vac, 16 Gallon, Beast...
  • Best-in-class suction power and air flow easily tackles tough jobs around the jobsite, shop, or in the Garage (400 air...
  • Integrated hose, accessory and power cord organization provide space saving, convenient and hassle-free storage
  • Includes 7 ft. X 2-1/2 in. Kink resistant hose, utility nozzle, crevice tool, (2) extension wands, floor nozzle with...

This vacuum has a 5 Peak HP motor and a 12-gallon tank. It has a has a quick release detachable blower with 210 MPH blowing speed.

It also features a top carry handle and an extra-large drain to empty liquids out quickly.

It includes a 7-foot hose, a 12-foot power cord with a cord wrap, 2 extension wands, utility nozzle, blower nozzle, air/noise diffuser, blower adapter, standard cartridge filter, and a reusable foam filter sleeve.

Ridgid 50308 6000RV Wet/Dry Vacuum, 6 gal, Red
  • Powerful 4.5 horsepower, high performance wet/dry vacuum
  • Long-lasting motor backed by the industries
  • Comes with accessory bag to keep all your attachments organized

This vacuum has a 6-gallon tank and a 3.5 Peak HP motor. It has 4 swivel casters for easy maneuvering. It also has accessory storage space on the top.It has a 7-foot tug along hose with positive lock connections. If you need it to, it can be also used as a blower.

Shop-Vac 5920611 Wet/Dry Vac

This vacuum has a 3 Peak HP motor and a 6-gallon collection tank. It’s perfect for cleaning houses and the inside of a car. It also can handle wet messes.

It uses 5-8-gallon collection bags, large cartridge filter, and a large foam sleeve. It has a 6-foot power cord and a 7-foot hose to stretch to the hardest of places.

It converts to blower by attaching the hose. It has on board cord and tool storage to keep everything neat.

Stanley 5 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum , 4 Peak HP Stainless Steel,1-1/4"x5...
  • 🏠【STRONG SUCTION & HIGH PERFORMANCE 】The stainless steel drum and 4 Peak Horsepower motor deliver the top-line...
  • 🏠【OVER 15 FEET CLEANING RANGE】 The 15 ft working range( 5 ft hose, 10 ft power cord and 3 extension wands)can be...
  • 🏠【WET AND DRY VACUUM CLEANER】Thanks to the 4 peak HP motor, this vac offers powerful enough suction needed to...

This vacuum contains a 4.5 Peak HP motor and a stainless steel 5-gallon dirt collection tank. It’s lightweight so you can carry it around the house.

It has a 10-foot power cord and a cord wrap to keep it organized. It also has 4 swivel casters so you can move it around in any direction with ease.  

Accessories that come with this vacuum are a flexible hose, 3 extension wands, crevice nozzle, utility nozzle, floor brush, reusable dry filter, and a foam filter.

Armor All, AA255 , 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum
  • 2.5 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
  • 2 Peak HP Motor
  • 10 Ft. Cord With Cord Wrap

This is one of the smaller vacuums on this list, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth your time. It has a 2 Peak HP motor and a 2.5-gallon tank. It also features an auto shut off to prevent overflow with liquid messes.

It has a 6-foot hose and a 10-foot power cord. It has on board organization for all the accessories that come with this vacuum. The accessories are a reusable cloth filter, reusable foam sleeve, a 2 in 1 utility nozzle, crevice tool, deluxe car nozzle, blower nozzle, and detail brush.

Bissell Auto Stain Remover Bundle
  • 12 Amp Wet/Dry Vacuum: Picks up both wet and dry messes in the garage, car, workshop, etc
  • Converts to blower; Cleaning System: Helix System. Suctions up wet and dry debris
  • Includes 7 Versatile attachments and accessory bag for cleanup on bare floor, carpeting, upholstery and much more

It has a 12-amp motor and a 4-gallon dirt collection tank. You can use this to clean up wet or dry messes in the garage, home, car, and workshop.

It can convert to a blower, cleaning system, and helix system. It has 7 attachments and an accessory bag. You can use the wall mounting kit to keep it out of the way. It has a 32-foot hose, so you can go anywhere, and it has a 6-foot power cord.

It also has a LED full water tank indicator so you don’t have guess when it needs to be emptied.

WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1600VA High Capacity Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner,...
  • 2-1/2-inch x 7-foot dual-flex locking Hose offers 180 degree flexibility at both hose ends. Locking tab keeps hose...
  • Qwik Lock filter fastening system allows quick and easy wet dry vacuum filter changes and contains an auto shut-off...
  • Accessory storage on the feet and top keeps vacuum attachments secure and within reach

This vacuum has a 6.5 Peak HP motor and a 16-gallon tank. It has Qwik Lock filter fastening system that allows quick and easy wet/dry vacuum filter changes.

There’s accessory storage on the feet and top to keep it all neat.

Accessories include a utility nozzle, wet nozzle, car nozzle, and 2 extension wands. It has a 7-foot hose and 20-foot power cord.

Comparison Table

Here is a comparison table so that you can see some key aspects of these vacuums and how they measure against each other.



Check Online

Craftsman 12004 6 Gallon 3 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac

Gallon Size

Motor Power
3 Peak HP

Vacmaster Professional - Professional Wet/Dry Vac, 16 Gallon, Beast...

Gallon Size

Motor Power
5 Peak HP

Ridgid 50308 6000RV Wet/Dry Vacuum, 6 gal, Red

Gallon Size

Motor Power
3.5 Peak HP

Shop-Vac 5920611 Wet/Dry Vac

Gallon Size

Motor Power
3 Peak HP

Stanley 5 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum , 4 Peak HP Stainless Steel,1-1/4'x5...

Gallon Size

Motor Power
4.5 Peak HP

Armor All, AA255 , 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum

Gallon Size

Motor Power
2.5 Peak HP

Bissell Auto Stain Remover Bundle

Gallon Size

Motor Power
12 amp

WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1600VA High Capacity Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner,...

Gallon Size

Motor Power
6.5 Peak PH

The Verdict

Any of these vacuums are good, there aren’t really any bad ones listed here. It will really depend on what you want to use the wet dry vac for.

Do you need a steady vacuum that’s out of the way when it’s not in use? Then the Bissell Garage Pro Wall-Mounted Wet/Dry Vacuum would be a good fit for you.

If you need a smaller one, then Armor All Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum is perfect. It only has a 2.5-gallon collection tank.

Think about how long you want the power cord, how much weight can you carry, and how powerful of a hose do you want. Don’t forget to think about your budget and what you are going to use it for.

If you answer all those questions, then you will find the perfect wet dry vac for you.


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