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Which Shop Vac has the Most Suction? Tried and Tested

The truth is that every workshop makes use of some sort of dust suppression and cleaning equipment, and that equipment is usually a shop vacuum. Cleaning equipment such as shop vacuums are widely used. When I recently needed a replacement, I looked around for guidance but came up empty-handed. This is why I tested several options to provide you with more information to make an informed choice. However, which shop vacuum has the strongest suction?

One of the strongest shop vacuums is the Ridgid HD1600. With its 16-gallon capacity, the Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 Wet/Dry Vac also features powerful suction. A shop vacuum’s suction power reduces as it becomes clogged with dirt and debris, especially if a filter or bag is being utilized.

Now that you know the most powerful shop vac on the market, you might be curious about some other powerful shop vacs. Here are my thoughts on some of the most well-known shop vacs on the market today.

Which Shop Vacs Have a Lot of Suction Power?

The various shop vacs and their claimed CFM are listed in the table below. There’s more info down below that I hope will help.

Shop-Vac CFM Price
The Ridgid HD1600 161 costs $140.
$178.90 for a Ridgid WD1450 Wet/Dry Vac 150
Wet/Dry Vacuum, 150-Quart (Craftsman CMXEVBE17595), $131.49
$139 for the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac XSP-148 Set
Wet/Dry Vacuum, 16-Gallon, Professional Series, Vacmaster Beast: $149.99
Price: $135.00 for the Bissell Multiclean Wet/Dry Vac 135.
Wet/Dry Vac, 16 Gallon, DeWalt DXV16PA, $139.00
List of commonly purchased shop vacuum cleaners and their respective pricing

Ridgid HD1600

The Ridgid HD1600 is the most powerful vacuum available. It has a large capacity (up to 16 gallons) so you won’t have to empty it out too often, even if you use it frequently. This shop vacuum can be used without a bag or filter, but having one installed makes it much easier to empty the unit without getting your hands dirty. At a price of $126-$141, this shop vacuum is on the higher end of the price spectrum. The price tag may seem steep, but this is the best rigid shop vac and more than justifies itself in terms of the amount of power it provides.

Ridgid WD1450 Wet Dry Vac

Also, another powerful shop vacuum is the Ridgid WD 1450 Wet Dry Vac. A maximum of 14 gallons of soil and trash can be stored inside. It’s excellent that it can get rid of wet messes, too, because accidents happen at the worst possible times. This shop vacuum can be used with or without a bag. It costs between $138 and $261 and has slightly less power than the Ridgid HD1600.

Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

Suction power is not an issue with the Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac. It has a capacity of up to 16 gallons and can clean up both dry and damp stains. This workshop vacuum may be used without a bag, although one can be used if desired. Prices for this robust vacuum cleaner start at $110 and go up to $138.

Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac Set XSP

If you need a powerful shop vacuum, go no further than the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac Set XSP. It has the capacity to contain up to 16 gallons of dirt and debris, and it is very effective at cleaning up damp spills. It is not necessary to use a bag or filter with this vacuum. While you may expect to pay around $139 for this shop vacuum, the actual price may differ depending on where you buy it.

Vacmaster – Beast Professional Series 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

Shop vacuums with a lot of suction power may be found in the Vacmaster – Beast Professional Series 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac. Shop vacuums offer a lot of suction power and will clean up any messes you or others make. The exact amount of suction strength varies by model. They cost between $95 and $224, making them more expensive than the majority of the shop vacuums here. However, the superior construction of this series more than justifies the premium price. Since there is a wide variety of choices, you may find the shop vacuum that fits your needs and your budget. Learn where to find low-cost tools by reading my post.

Bissell MultiClean Wet Dry Vac

Powerful suction is one of the Bissell MultiClean Wet Dry Vac’s many strengths. The cost might be anywhere from $125 to $150. Over a hundred customers have given it 4.5 stars on various websites, indicating their satisfaction with the product. A shop vacuum like this one will serve you well for a good long while, even if you use it every day for a decade. This vacuum can be used for both dry and wet cleaning without the need for a bag or filter. This lightweight shop vacuum is a great option for on-the-go maintenance.

DeWalt DXV16PA 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

The DeWalt DXV16PA 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac is another outstanding shop vacuum with a decent level of suction power. This shop vacuum is one of the more pricey options on this list, with a price tag of $187 to $342. When it was tested, this shop vacuum produced 116 CFM of suction and 73-inches of water lift, so it has the power to clean any wet or dry mess that is caused in your home or workspace. You can use this shop vacuum with or without a bag or a filter.

How is a Shop Vac Suction Measured?

A shop vacuum’s suction power is indicated by the height of water it can raise when the vacuum is sealed.

In the embedded video, you’ll learn how manufacturers evaluate the sucking capacity of a shop vacuum. Companies use this method because if a shop vacuum can lift inches of water, then it will be able to pick up any wet or dry messes that are produced in workspaces. Check out these tips for reducing dust in your garage.

It is also in cubic feet per minute that one can gauge the suction strength of a shop vac. How much air is drawn into the shop vacuum through its various ports (such as the hose and the vent next to the motor) is quantified in cubic feet per minute. You’ll need to invest in a powerful shop vac with a lot of cubic feet per minute (CFM) if you want to get a vacuum with a long hose. A shop vac’s suction power is proportional to the cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating.

Watch the video below to understand how shop vac manufacturers evaluate vacuum strength.

What Causes a Shop Vac to Lose Suction Power?

A shop vac may lose its suction power if it is full, the filter is dirty or obstructed or the hose is clogged. If all of these elements have been checked it may be a case that your shop vac is getting old and requires replacing.

Many causes can cause a shop vac to lose some or all of its suction force. If you notice that your shop vac is not vacuuming up items or debris that it typically has no issue taking up, then examine the areas listed below to determine if they are causing the shop vac to lose suction power.

Dirty Filter

If the filter in your shop vac is clogged with dirt and debris, the suction force of the engine will be reduced, and the vac will not perform as effectively as it typically would.

Shop Vac is Full

Shop vacs lose suction power when they are full or nearly full of dirt and debris because there is not as much room for air in the container. If the shop vac bag is full, the vacuum will be less effective.

Clogged Hose

Your shop vac’s suction power will diminish if the container is either completely or almost full of dirt and debris. This is because there won’t be as much room for air to move around in there. If the bag in your shop vac is full, you won’t get as much suction.

Clogged Hose

If your shop vac is not cleaning up any dirt or debris and looks to have no suction force, then the hose may be clogged.

Old Shop Vac

If your shop vac is old, especially if it is more than 8 years old, then the engine is likely worn out, and it will seem to have almost no suctioning ability.

How do I Fix a Shop Vac’s Suction?

Dirty Filter

Remove the filter from your shop vac and clean it with an air blower if the vacuum seems to have lost suctioning strength because of dust and debris. If that doesn’t fix the suction problem, try a different filter. You can get a replacement filter for your shop vac at any hardware store or online, but how you swap it out will vary by model and manufacturer.

Shop Vac is Full

If you haven’t emptied your shop vac in a while and it has lost suction power, it’s probably full. Emptying the shop vac’s base into a large trash can will restore its suctioning power. Your shop vac’s suctioning strength should return to normal once you’ve emptied the debris from the container’s base.

Shop vac bags should be removed when they become full, discarded, and then replaced.

Clogged Hose

If you think the hose of your shop vac is blocked, you can inspect the inside by disconnecting it from the machine itself. The hose’s obstruction should be plainly visible. If you can see through the hose without any obstructions, then it is not clogged and the hose is not the cause of the shop vac’s ineffective suction. It is important to clear any obstructions that may be present. A long object to poke the clog out to the end of the hose and a flashlight to locate it may be necessary.

Old Shop Vac

If nothing you’ve tried seems to be causing your shop vac’s loss of suctioning strength, it may simply be old and worn out. When used often, a shop vac will wear out in roughly 8 years. A new shop vac should be purchased if your existing one has lost suctioning power.

It’s best to consult an expert if your shop vac is not very old but has suddenly stopped sucking. What’s wrong with your shop vac, and how much it will cost to fix it, can be determined by speaking with them.

Should I Purchase a Shop Vac?

Shop vacs are incredibly helpful when you need to clean up enormous messes. They are also beneficial when you need to clean up various shavings that a professional vacuum would struggle to pick up. A commercial vacuum’s motor will wear down and eventually stop working if it is used to pick up wood dust or different types of shavings repeatedly, even if you believe that it should still work.

A shop vacuum has numerous potential applications. My family uses a shop vac to clean our automobiles, and it does a fantastic job. Cars might not get as clean if they tried to clean them with their household vacuum instead of the shop vac that we use.

The only real drawbacks to owning a shop vac are the fact that they collect a lot of dust and debris and are somewhat large. A shop vac usually has dust and other particles stuck to it when you first encounter it. The numerous tiny crevices in a shop vac make thorough cleaning next to impossible. Fortunately, a shop vac isn’t meant for domestic usage, so its filthiness isn’t usually a big deal.

Because of their bulky nature, shop vacuums are inconvenient to store in most homes. However, there are smaller shop vacs on the market, so they don’t have to take up a lot of space if you don’t think that you need a huge shop vac.

Even a huge shop vac can be stored in a closet or a tiny alcove, where it will be out of the way but yet convenient to use. If you have a closet or corner that you can place the shop vac in, then you will not really need to worry about how much space it takes up. Nonetheless, a large shop vac may be tough to keep in a cramped garage.

In a hurry? No problem with a shop vac! Using a shop vac to clear up a mess that would take 10 minutes by hand takes only seconds. A wide variety of shop vacs are equipped to handle both wet and dry debris, making them useful for a wide range of cleaning tasks.

Conclusion

If you have any reason to believe you will make use of it, a shop vac is an investment worth making. Even though they are pricey, they will endure a long time and effectively clean any mess.

When properly cared for, shop vacs normally only need to be serviced once every few years at most. Shop vacs, even when they suddenly stop functioning as well as they usually do, are usually simple to repair and restore to full power, which is especially useful when you don’t have much time to do so.

 

 

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