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Best Wet/Dry Vacuums 2020 – The Ultimate Buying Guide and Reviews

When most people think of wet/dry vacuums, construction work and dirty jobs often come to mind. After all, this is what they’re often used for. However, a good wet/dry vacuum is quite handy to have around the house, as well.

They’re great for cleaning up spilled liquids or emergency water extractions from carpets when a regular household vacuum won’t do. They can pick up much larger debris without damage, and you can take them around outside for outdoor cleanup or car cleaning.

The versatility of a wet/dry vacuum is its greatest appeal, and a really good one can make your life a whole lot easier.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best wet/dry vacuums that are currently available for home and commercial use.

The 6 Best Wet/Dry Vacuums For 2019

ProductWeightEffectBattery Life 
5.6 pounds90 Air Wattsn/a
19 pounds1050 Wattsn/a
24 pounds370 Air Wattsn/a
29.6 pounds1440 Wattsn/a
30.6 pounds325 Wattsn/a
7 pounds740 Air Wattsn/a

Shop-Vac 2030100 1.5-Gallon Hang-On Wet/Dry Vac

About the Shop-Vac 2030100

Shop-Vac is one of the most well-known manufacturers of wet/dry vacuums. They’ve been around since 1953, and they produce a large line of durable and dependable vacuum cleaners and accessories for home and commercial settings.

The Shop-Vac 1.5-gallon Hang-On Wet Dry Vac is designed for home and apartment use. This lightweight, portable vacuum is ideal for cleaning up smaller messes inside or outside of the home or shop, as well as vehicle interiors.

This vac has a 6-foot cord and comes with a 4-foot hose with a 1.25-inch diameter, a crevice tool, a gulper nozzle, and wall mounting brackets. If you’re looking for a practical wet/dry vac that allows you to clean up small to average-sized spills without a lot of hassle, this might be the one for you.

While it packs a decent amount of power at 2.0 HP, don’t expect this little vac to clean up large volumes of liquid or debris without frequent emptying.

Our Thoughts

This wet/dry vac does everything you would expect it to, and its portability and light weight makes it a great choice if you want something you can easily carry around for small jobs around the house, garage, or workshop.

It has excellent suction power for both wet and dry applications, and the additional tools let you use the vac for almost anything. The mounting bracket allows you to hang the vac and accessories to save on space.

A few downsides of the vac are that because of the light weight and shorter cord length, the vac tends to tip over during use. It also requires frequent filter cleaning and emptying to maintain suction power. There is also no on-board storage for the tools or cord.

If you’re in need of a reliable wet/dry vac for small, casual jobs like cleaning the car or fireplace, we can recommend this product. With that said, if you need something with more capacity and suction for big jobs, read on for more powerful options.

RIDGID 1200RV 12-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

About the RIDGID 1200RV

The next wet/dry vac is a medium-sized basic model, and it’s more suitable for tough jobs that require professional-grade cleaning performance.

RIDGID is a well-known company that’s been designing tools since their inception in 1923, and their product lines are built to last and perform in harsh conditions. The 1200RV 12-gallon wet/dry vac has 5.0 HP and strong suction power for bigger cleanup tasks like emergency water removal.

The unit has a 15-foot power cord, and it’s situated on caster wheels for easy maneuverability. It comes with a utility nozzle, a car nozzle, a wet nozzle, and an extension nozzle so you can use it for most types of cleanup.

A few notable features it offers are a built-in storage area for the cord on the unit, a premium locking hose that won’t kink, crack, or come loose, and an oversized drain port for quick emptying.

This product works great for all types of cleanup at home or construction and work sites. It easily picks up dirt, debris, nails, water, drywall bits, and just about anything else. It also reverses suction to work as an effective blower, so you can blow away leaves and debris.

Our Thoughts

The RIDGID 1200RV is a sturdy product that handles pretty much anything you throw at it, without a premium price tag. This medium-sized vac is equally effective at home or at work sites for most types of projects.

The extension wands and attachments let you clean hard-to-reach areas, and the smooth rolling caster wheels allow the vac to go where you want it to.

This vac doesn’t have any major issues or glitches, but there were a few minor downsides to the product. It operates quite loudly, so hearing protection is recommended.

Another issue is the lid. It doesn’t have a gasket to seal it with the unit, and sometimes dirt accumulates there, making it a little difficult to secure.

If you’re looking for a similar vac that offers additional features, check out the next one on the list.

Vacmaster VBV1210 12-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

About the Vacmaster VBV1210

The Vacmaster VBV1210 has the same capacity and power as the RIDGID model above, but with a few extra features. This durable wet/dry vac has a quick-release portable blower that reaches speeds of up to 240 mph.

It also comes with a 7-foot long hose, two extension wands, a car nozzle, a utility nozzle, and a crevice tool. There is on-board storage space for the attachments.

This vac offers plenty of suction power for residential and commercial use, and it works great for everything from car detailing to water extraction. It’s also quite an effective lawn and leaf blower.

This Vacmaster model has a noise and heat diffuser, so it operates more quietly and with less heat and air output than some other vacs with similar size and power. There are HEPA filters designed for use with this vac, so it’s ideal for cleaning up dust and fireplace ashes.

The only downside of the vacuum is that some of the latches and clips are made from plastic, and with heavy use or in harsh conditions, they can loosen or break.

Our Thoughts

The Vacmaster VBV1210 is a versatile and reliable vacuum. It’s easy to operate and roll from place to place. It offers plenty of suction power for most tough jobs, and the medium size makes it ideal for use at work or home.

It also has plenty of filters to choose from for different types of jobs. If you’re looking for a vac that works for bigger jobs and larger pieces of debris for less than $100, the next vac on the list might be worth checking out.

Craftsman XSP 12-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

About the Craftsman XSP

Craftsman is a popular brand that manufactures quality tools that are built to last. Their powerful XSP 12-gallon wet/dry vac is no exception, and it works for particularly difficult jobs.

This vac has 5.5 HP and a 20-foot long cord that gives you a further reach without an extension cord. The unit itself is quite durable, and it has a quick-drain port that allows for quick and easy emptying.

You can roll the unit around easily with its smooth rolling casters, and get to hard-to-reach areas with the 7-foot hose and extension wands. The 2.5-inch diameter hose opening combined with powerful suction lets you clean up larger debris without clogging the hose.

Although this vac is ideal for heavy cleaning and water extraction, one downside is its very loud operation. This is to be expected with a powerful vacuum, and there are noise mufflers available to purchase separately for this unit.

Our Thoughts

The Craftsman XSP 12-gallon wet/dry vac is a well-rounded machine capable of cleaning up most indoor and outdoor messes. It excels at extracting water, picking up larger debris in the lawn, or working in the shop. Its powerful blower also makes it pretty versatile overall.

If you’re looking for an even bigger wet/dry vac for residential, commercial, or industrial use, this next product could be a better fit.

DeWALT DXV16PA 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

About the DeWALT DXV16PA

The DeWalt 16-Gallon wet/dry vac is a powerhouse that can help you tackle the toughest cleanup jobs anywhere you need it to. It has 6.5 HP and functions as a powerful blower.

The 20-foot power cord allows you to work at longer distances without an extension cord or frequent outlet changes. It has two large plastic wheels and two 360-degree caster wheels for transportation over most types of terrain.

It has ultra-powerful suction that will pick up almost anything, and it does so quietly because of its silencing muffler. The hose is 7 feet long with a 2.5-inch diameter for picking up larger debris.

The unit comes with a car nozzle, a floor nozzle, a utility nozzle, and two extension wands for versatility. There is a storage bag that attaches to the vac to hold all of the tools in one place. This vac also has a large drain port that makes it easy to empty the canister.

The DeWALT vac and all of its components are solidly built and sturdy, so it’s ideal for heavy usage in most environments. One issue to note is that the large plastic wheels can make the unit difficult to maneuver when it’s filled with heavy water.

Our Thoughts

The DeWALT 12-gallon wet/dry vac provides an all-around solid performance. It does everything you would expect of a good vacuum with very few downsides.

If you’re looking for a powerful yet portable wet/dry vac for car detailing or other small jobs, this last product might be the right choice.

Armor All AA255 2.5-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

About the Armor All AA255

Armor All is a trusted name in car care, so naturally they would provide a wet/dry vacuum to take care of your detailing needs. Their 2.5-gallon wet/dry vacuum is versatile and quite effective for cleaning a car’s interior or other smaller jobs around the house or yard.

This vacuum is lightweight and easy to carry around by the large handle on top wherever you need it. It comes with a 2-in-1 utility nozzle, a deluxe car nozzle, a crevice tool, a detail brush, and a blower nozzle.

The power cord is 10 feet long, and the unit has on-board storage for all of the attachments. This tiny vacuum has a lot of suction power, and it can pick up everything from sand and pet hair to larger debris and water without much effort.

The only downside of this vacuum is the relatively short cord, but an extension cord is an easy fix for this.

Our Thoughts

When all you need is a simple, smaller vacuum with ample power and versatile tools for cleaning your car, the Armor All AA255 is a great choice. At less than $40, this vacuum is more affordable than most other options.

It’s easy to use, provides a lot of suction, and it doesn’t tip over easily when you’re working at awkward angles.

Conclusion – The Best Wet/Dry Vacuum of 2019

Best Wet Dry Vacuum

A good wet/dry vacuum should be easy to set up and operate, provide good suction power, and make emptying a breeze. Good storage setups are important to consider, as well.

Choosing the best wet/dry vacuum is a personal choice and one that really comes down to what you’re intending to use it for. If you’re working in an industrial setting with big jobs, then we can recommend the DeWALT DXV16PA 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac.

This vacuum is up to almost any task, and it makes quick work of cleaning all types of debris. It can take a beating and continuously out-perform most other vacuums.

Wet Dry Vacuum Review

If you’re in the market for a smaller vac that packs a lot of power, the Armor All AA255 has to be the best choice. It has a lot of versatility and does an impressive job at cleaning up smaller debris and water.

Regardless of the vacuum you choose, there are plenty of great options designed to best suit your needs.

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