Using a regular vacuum cleaner to remove stubborn dirt and debris can be challenging. Nonetheless, a shop vac can fix this problem with absolute ease. It does so by offering plenty of sucking power that could even accommodate wet pieces of waste.
There are a lot of considerations when purchasing a shop vac, though. It needs to have plenty of power, a strong build, and an appropriate capacity.
The five small shop vac cleaners listed here were reviewed by our team of professional and home appliance and equipment experts. Despite their size, they offer sufficient power to execute the task expected from them.
Once you are ready and have found the best choice, be sure to click the buttons below to see their best deals on Amazon! With that, here are five of the best options that we rounded up especially for you.
1. Vacmaster Professional Wet/Dry Shop Vac
17.8 x 12.5 x 17.1 inches
This is an excellent small shop vac with a powerful 5.5 HP motor. With the wand kit, you can vacuum any surface or corner you need. It comes with a high water lift motor, as well. This will be helpful in picking up everything from dust to water. The compact size makes this shop vac easy to carry everywhere. It can also be converted into a blower by simply placing the hose in the appropriate port.
2. Shop Vac 2036000 Wet Dry Vacuum
12 x 11 x 12.5 inches
This is an excellent shop vac to have both at home and in your store. It comes with a compact design that will even allow you to hang it on a wall. The handle can be folded and brought up to make the machine easier to carry around. You also get a tool holder, a foam sleeve, a wall mount, and more. If you want to convert this vacuum cleaner into a blower, you just need to transfer the hose to the back.
3. Stanley SL18116P Wet/Dry Vacuum
13.8 x 13.8 x 20.47 inches
This is an excellent shop vac for both home and business use thanks to its 4 HP. This allows it to suck in both wet and dry items. It also has a considerable capacity of six gallons, which can accommodate a lot of debris. With the foam filter and reusable dry filter, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up the vacuum cleaner. It also comes with a user manual that is informative and easy to understand.
4. Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vac
18.44 x 20.52 x 24.49 inches
This is a powerful shop vac with a whopping 5 HP of suction. The detachable blower will generate 210 MPH of wind, which will clear off both leaves and dust. The large on/off switch will ensure that you will have no trouble locating it. The storage for the cord and the accessories maintains neatness and organization. The wands and accompanying accessories all have a tight fit and won’t fall off easily, as well.
5. DeWALT DXV06P Poly Wet/Dry Vac
15.5 x 19.5 x 16.5 inches
This reliable shop vac from DeWalt is worth getting with its peak 4 HP of power alone. Its crevice nozzle is useful for cleaning under the couch, behind car seats, and more. It also comes with both a hose strap and a cord wrap for keeping everything tidy. The rubber casters provide 360-degree rotation and a smooth motion. Its wattage of 135.5 W also means that this shop vac is efficient.
Best Small Shop Vacs - Buyer's Guide
Shop vac cleaners can wildly differ in how much horsepower they are able to generate. They can be as low as 2.5 HP or as high as 5. Even at the lower end of the spectrum, this type of vacuum cleaner can suck up more dust, dirt, and such compared to their regular counterparts. With that said, it would be best to make sure that you are getting the horsepower that is needed for your home or business.
How much your shop vac can hold will depend on its capacity. Small shop vacs can accommodate around 2.5 gallons of waste but this can go up to 5, 8, and so on. You will need to be the one to decide what the vacuum capacity needs to be for your particular uses.
High-quality shop vacs are typically made of premium plastic that is made thick and durable. This is to ensure that the contents and the housing will last a long time. Polypropylene is a popular choice due to its sturdiness and lightness, thus reducing the machine’s weight.
The size of the shop vac is not always directly proportional to the capacity, but the two qualities do often influence each other. High-capacity shop vacs are often bigger, so be sure to take this into consideration. If you need a compact and small shop vac, 2.5 to 6 gallons would do the job.
Different shop vacs come with different features, attachments, accessories, and so on. Some will have extra slots and ports while others come with bonus tools like leaf blowers and dryers. You could choose the standard shop vac with only one function, but you will always have options.
Best Small Shop Vacs - FAQs
A shop vac is a lot more robust and powerful compared to regular home or car vacuum. Ranging from one to five horsepower of peak output, these machines are designed for more challenging cleaning jobs. They also have more solid builds and are designed for longer, more demanding uses.
Many shop vacs are designed to be able to handle wet or liquid substances, but not all of them. This is why it is advised to check if the vacuum you are thinking of getting has this feature. Even then, they may vary in degree of the amount of wet materials they can handle relative to their capacities.
This would depend on your needs. Smaller units can go as low as 2.5 gallons while bigger ones can go as high as 13 gallons. You will need to consider what you will be using the vacuum for and the size of the area you plan to clean. For small apartments or offices, smaller shop vacs should suffice.
There should be no reason for you to not get a shop vac for your home, especially if it is the smaller variety. You can count on it to be a lot more effective at sucking up dirt than your regular vacuum cleaners. This will allow you to spend less time passing over corners or areas that are difficult to access.