best shop vac for woodworking

Best Shop Vac for Woodworking – Review & Buying Guide

Looking for the best shop vac for woodworking? Then, this post is what you’re looking for.

We understand that it can be frustrating choosing the perfect vacuum for you because of the many options available. We have compiled the top 8 shop vacuum so you don’t have to spend much of your time to find the perfect one for you.

Stanley SL18116 Vacuum

Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5


  • Best for fine filtration and drywall dust
  • Maximum suction power
  • Easy draining
  • 4HP-motor
  • 6-gallon capacity
  • Swiveling casters

The Stanley SL18116 Vacuum is a fashionable-looking kit. Practically speaking, many would want to get this product because it is quite cheaper, although one should also understand that because of the cheap cost, it does not provide quite a lot of features as compared to other vacs in this list.

It has a dimension of 13.4 x 13.4 x 20.8 inches and it weighs about 15.4 pounds. Despite its weight, you will probably not notice it since this product work on casters. Its capacity reaches a maximum of 6 gallons and the length of its cable is 10 feet. The hose is a bit shorter with a length of only 6 feet, although depending on where you intend to use it, this might not be an issue for you. You will also love the accessories that come with this product. There are available tools and they are neatly kept around them.

It comes with a 4HP-motor. It also has the dry/wet option. Several filters are also attached to this vac and these will be used for the various options. A washable cloth is also included so you can use it for the dry vacuum and a vacuum bag is also used to gather the dust. The water suction includes a washable foam filter. Remember that this vac does not have a drain for the water, hence, you should not fully load it.

Stanley SL18116 Vacuum also comes with a durable handle that is very useful for moving and lifting. Some attachments are beneficial in the car, house, or anywhere you might require their usage. 


  • Has a 4-HP motor
  • Compact design
  • Multiple functions


  • Only 1-year warranty

Workshop WS1600SS Vacuum

Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5


  • Convenient liquid disposal
  • Easy filter changes
  • Easy to transport
  • Stainless steel drum built
  • Large Drain
  • Qwik Lock Filter

This Workshop WS1600SS Vacuum is recommended for the true woodworkers who are taking extensive projects. Its tank is devised from an excellent quality, lasting stainless steel and it can cater a maximum of 16 gallons. Attached with a motor that operates at 6.5HP.

It comes with a powerful hose that has a diameter of 2.5 inches and a length of 7 feet. What is even more impressive about the hose is that it can be employed with the enclosed nozzle, car nozzle, wet nozzle, two extension wands, or crevice tool. You will literally have everything you need when you buy this vac.

However, the superior performance of this vacuum has been made possible because of some bigger components. To begin with, this vac has a storage compartment where you can conveniently store your hoses.

The four casters bragged by this item are surely something to recognize as they will help you in carrying your work wherever you need it. Its handle has been made with a comfortable design, which is important as it can completely determine the distinction when it comes to comfortably use the vac. Also, it has large rear wheels coupled with a 20-ft power cord which contributes to exquisite portability.

Considering all these things, Workshop WS1600S Vacuum is certainly exceptionally powerful. Correspondingly, it is best for heavy-duty or industrial applications. Everybody wants to get a vacuum that operates excellently with the minimal effort exerted by us. This vac comes with supreme suction and power and can take up one gallon of water per second. It sounds amazing, right? Nevertheless, you should put into consideration that this vac requires replaceable bags, and securing these bags can get very costly especially if you have plenty of vacuuming to perform.


  • Powerful hose
  • Has a 6.5HP-motor
  • Best for heavy-duty application


  • Bag replacement can get costly

Shop-Vac 5979403

Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5


  • Easy to clean
  • Provides powerful cleaning
  • Produces satisfactory output
  • Has top and side carry handle
  • Tank drain
  • SVX2 Motor Technology

Having an 8-gallon capacity tank, the Shop-Vac 5979403 is one of the prominent average-sized vacuums. A lot love this product because of its dry and wet cleaning capacity. Yes, you got it right. This product can refit both wet and dry clutters. And you cannot question the output because this vac does its job wonderfully, thanks to the remarkable 175 CFM airflow with a peak air of 320 watts.

However, you cannot determine how much amount of power this product is controlling from how portable and lightweight it is – this is despite having a stainless steel body. Designed with four caster wheels, it carries handles on the side and the top; thus, shifting this item around the workshop will be a lot convenient.

Nevertheless, one of the most essential parts of any Shop vac is the hose. The Shop-Vac 5979403 has that. With a length of 7 feet and a diameter of 1.25 inches, its hose can be employed with a floor nozzle, crevice tool, foam sleeve, gulper nozzle, cartridge filter, and one of the three extensions wands. Overall, considering its remarkable traits and features, powerful performance, and enduring build, this machine is the best option for people who are aiming to invest in a dependable Shop-Vac for the next years to come.


  • Powerful performance
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent-quality suction


  • The power cord is short

DeWALT DXV06P Vacuum

Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5


  • Cleans thoroughly
  • Best for smaller venue clean-ups
  • Easy movement
  • 6 gallons capacity
  • 4-HP motor
  • Rubberized casters

DeWALT DXV06P Vacuum would make the best choice if you are searching for a machine that is both powerful and credible enough for your requirements. In fact, this product is very popular in the DIY and construction industry ever since its outset. 

One thing that you have to learn first about this product is the capacity of the tank which can accommodate a maximum of 6 gallons. Complemented with a motor that produces a peak power of 4HP, this machine is the best cleaning tool for both small and average-size workshops. 

This vacuum also has the dry and wet cleaning ability. With extensive suction capabilities as well as a lightweight body to start, handling the little messes and pileups in the workshop is going to be easy. Its rubberized casters let you smoothly move it around the workspace. Additionally, the 10-inch power cord comes with important attachments to let you reach even the most impenetrable spaces.

Considering the features of the DeWALT DXV06P Vacuum, it is logical to believe that this product is simply one of the best small-size Shop Vacs available in the market. Particularly citing its affordable price, it is logical to think that this vacuum is something you should look out for, specifically if you are aiming to get a simple cleaning solution for little woodworking projects.


  • A huge capacity for large-scale usage
  • Excellent-performance motor
  • Smart build quality


  • A bit big

Shop-Vac 5989300 Vacuum

Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5


  • Easy storage
  • The quick machine set up
  • Mild-noise when operating
  • 5-gallon capacity
  • Small size
  • Has filtration elements

The Shop-Vac 5989300 has a 5-gallon tank capacity. Among the stainless steel vacuums of Shop-Vac, this model is the smallest. Thus, storing it is never a problem when in a smaller home. This machine is best for vacuuming a vehicle or wimp out walkways.

This machine requires a bit of setting up. It will only take around 5 to 10 minutes to finish the assembly. This dry and wet vacuum possesses all the essential filtration elements which imply that there are practically no clutters you cannot clean. You will have a foam sleeve, a dispensable filter bag, and a barrel-designed cartridge filter.

However, one thing you might want to consider is the length of the power cord which is only 6 feet. You will surely need an extension cord to proceed with your task. The hose, on the other hand, is quite long enough at 7 feet. 

Shop-Vac 5989300 brags a 4.5 peak power motor, which is best for a small dry and wet vacuum. Given that it only evokes 9.9 amps, there is no need for you to get anxious about it slipping up the circuits in your home. When blowing or vacuuming, you will notice that the level of noise is not that disturbing as compared to other vacuums.


  • Easy to use
  • Not extremely loud
  • 3-year warranty


  • A bit bulky

Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Vacuum

Star Rating: 4.5 out of 4


  • Devised with chiropractor
  • Extremely versatile with its essential tools
  • Removes 99.99 percent of particles
  • Extra-long power cord
  • Has HEPA filters
  • Cleaning accessory pack

This model operates quietly which means that you can use it without disturbing the people around you. It is extremely lightweight as it only weighs not more than 10 pounds. It was devised with a chiropractor to enhance good posture and lessen the chance of back injury while using it, making it to be one of the most convenient backpack vacuums on the market. 

This machine has an extra-long and rapidly-changed power cord that allows you to go further before switching outlets. It also comes with a 4-inch upholstery tool, a 2-inch dusting brush, an 11-inch floor tool, and a 6-inch crevice tool, all making it extremely versatile.

The attached HEPA filters can get rid of 99.97% of particles to achieve a better quality of air. Nevertheless, the extension hose may get hard to maneuver because it is not malleable and can be seized on furniture and objects.


  • Has HEPA filters
  • Lightweight
  • Assessed by a chiropractor


  • Smaller dirt bin

Vacmaster VQ607SFD Vacuum

Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5


  • Best for tasks around the shop, home, or garage
  • Easy clean-up
  • Simple blower conversion
  • 3-HP motor
  • 12-ft cord length
  • Stainless steel tank material

If you are looking for the perfect Shop Vac for woodworking, then you should seriously consider getting the Vacmaster VQ607SFD. Featuring its weather repellent stainless steel 6-gallon capacity tank, this vacuum is not really light but cannot topple over too.

Nevertheless, it is lightweight and simple to move around when contrasted to its construction. With this vacuum, it would be possible to clean any type of floor all because of its multiple-floor nozzle. However, the versatility does not simply end there, thus picking up dry and wet messes is never a concern to this vacuum.

This vacuum works impressively as it can suck in the entire dirt in the house through its powerful 3-HP motor. If you are worried about transporting this vacuum, then its top handle will give you the best assistance as it contributes to an ideal transport design.

Everyone wants to finish cleaning as quickly as possible, and that is the reason why this vacuum attaches a huge drain port for fast emptying. You may also transform this thing into a blower by utilizing one of its accessories attached to the box.


  • 6-gallon capacity
  • Lightweight
  • Has multiple-floor nozzle


  • Quite expensive


Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5


  • Best for medium-sized tasks around the job site, home, or garage
  • Cleans well
  • Easy emptying of liquids
  • Versatile
  • Blower port
  • Oversized drain

The CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17590 is an average-sized vacuum that works well despite its affordable price. It is a wet and dry vacuum that exhibits a remarkable 4.25HP motor and a large drain for easy purging of liquid. Compared to other vacuums, this is quite heavy at 15.5 pounds. It has a 10-foot power cord and a hose of 7-foot. The hose is not very long, nevertheless, it is still considered good.

This vacuum has an enduring 9-gallon polypropylene gathering tank that can be moved easily because of the 360-degree swivel casters. The in-built large drain is best for picking up wet dirt such as seepage of light flooding.

Moreover, it comes with a great assortment of attachments. It has a utility nozzle, locking hose, wet nozzle, car nozzle, and locking extension wands. You will also have a multi-purpose filter and a bag for dust collection, which can be conveniently attached through the Qwik Lock filter fastening mechanism.


  • Replaceable filters
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use


  • Stout hose

Buyer’s Guide

Whether you are looking for a Shop Vac to replace your old one or it is your first time buying it, it is always best that you make yourself informed about the common things to consider before buying. To help you get the best Shop Vac, here are some things to remember:


The hose is the most essential component of the Shop Vac. Aside from sucking up all kinds of debris, it should also endure the test of time as it may often collect sharp and rough debris. The hose should be long enough to permit easier movability. Particularly if you are cleaning up corners that are hard to reach, it would be helpful if you have a lengthy hose that could crawl its access in. A broader hose is ideal for people who are handling massive messes since they can seize bigger quantities of dirt and debris.


Know how much dust you create when you are doing a project. That information will discern just how much power you require for your shop vac. Shop Vac works to clear the produced dust. The higher horsepower this machine possesses; the more dust it can seize.

However, if you want to purchase a Shop Vac that could be used for multiple purposes, it would be best if you get a vacuum with a 4HP-motor. This kind of vacuum will let you clean up both the dust and heavier debris such as big pieces of wood.

You may also consider getting a machine with a 5HP-motor if you do not want to be bothered with too much cleanup. Fundamentally, this kind of machine is devised for industrial level, construction-grade cleaning. It may not be practical to buy this kind of machine if you intend to use it in your small workshop.


Another important thing to consider when buying a Shop Vac is the tank as it will discern how much dust and dirt you can clean through it. When checking the tank, you will have to assess two things: the construction material and the capacity.

Most Shop Vacs have tanks that are built from strong, lasting plastic. This kind of construction contributes to an easier transfer and is destined to last long. However, if you are looking for an industrial-type Shop Vac, then it is recommended that you go for tanks that are built from stainless steel since they are exceptionally durable and strong.

With regards to the capacity of the tank, it should depend on the intended usage of the machine. Shop Vacs come in three various sizes. Commonly, you can a Shop Vac with an average-size tank since they are appropriate for most outdoor and indoor uses.


Shop Vacs are obtained with wet and dry composition, and you can also find some models that can handle both dirt. If you particularly want this kind of Shop Vac, then you must see to it that it has two filters: one is intended for dry debris and the other one is intended for wet debris.

The dry filter is designed with HEPA with a collection bag and cartridge. On the other hand, a wet filter has a foam sleeve that lets the tank take into spills inside the tank.


When buying the best Shop Vac, it is also necessary that you check the included cleaning accessories. These accessories come through hose attachments and they can be extremely helpful. Other accessories that you must check out are extension wands, floor brushes, crevice tools, and upholstery tools. Each of these accessories has a unique function, thus, do not forget to check into them to determine whether you will need them.


Certainly, you would like your Shop Vac to have the ability to stand up smoothly. It can be frustrating if the vacuum is susceptible to slipping and spilling dust on the floor. That will simply invalidate the purpose of its existence.

Hence, you must guarantee that your selected Shop Vac possesses a firm base. Shop Vacs with broader bases and smaller bodies are likely to be stable when compared to machines with slim and tall bodies.


One of the wonders of Shop Vacs is that a lot of them can guzzle debris together with dust and dry debris. This can be extremely helpful, specifically in multiple-use workshops. But as expected, Shop Vacs that can deal with dry and wet debris are likely costly.


Nearly all dry-wet vacs are offered with a warranty. The warranty makes sure that you can have your product repaired later on in case you encounter some issues. Although some units are offered with a 2-year warranty, other dependable models may give a 5-year warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get my Shop-Vac to clean our carpet?

Carpet is not an easy thing to be cleaned. Luckily, with your Shop Vac, you can initiate the washing of your carpet. Your vacuum must be emptied first and then plugged. Begin the process by guzzling the dry specks first.

Can I use Shop-Vac in water?

Yes. However, we will not advise you to do it. While you are in the process, you will have to encounter a lot of difficulties. You will not necessarily clean a huge area, however, if the case happens to be like this, consider taking a big hose to wrap it.

What type of fuel should I use for my Shop-Vac?

Shop Vacs may use electricity, gasoline, or propane, depending on the level of performance.

Do I need a filter in my Shop-Vac?

Regardless of the kind of Shop Vac you are using, a good filtration mechanism becomes necessary. Fundamentally, the filter helps to keep the dust away from you. They seize the tiniest dust in the system. If by any chance you suffer from allergies, then maybe you should first consider the type of filtration mechanism used by the Shop Vac before purchasing it.

Are those with bags better?

It all goes back to personal inclination. Bagged vacuums are more ideal for collecting dirt, debris, and dust, while those with no bag are ideal for the environment because you are disposing of less waste.