Wet/Dry Vacuum Search Wet/Dry Vacuum Guide About

Wet/Dry Vacuum Buying Guide

Buying a wet/dry vacuum, like a Shop-Vac, can be difficult and confusing. There are hundreds of choices available. Complete specifications are difficult to find, and they are often wrong and contradictory. I was actually shocked at how many of the specifications on major websites were incorrect. Even to the degree that there were correct specifications, there were no good tools to find and compare all of the available models.

That's what the Wet/Dry Vacuum Comparison Advanced Search is designed to address. I spent hundreds of hours building a web-based software application to organize all of this information, and then hundreds more hours pulling all the information together--looking at multiple sources for most of the data, and resolving conflicting information by looking at the user manuals shipped with each vacuum (and even then, sometimes those were wrong, and I derived the correct information from other sources). The information here isn't guaranteed to be perfect, but I believe it is as close to fully correct as any source that exists.

Here you can do detailed searches to find just the right wet/dry vacuum for your needs, whether it is for a shop vacuum, HEPA vacuum, or general purpose wet/dry vac. You can also see exactly which filters and bags work with which vacuums—so even if you already have a vacuum, this is an easy way to find the right filters and bags for your model. PDF manuals are also available for most vacuum models. There are 32 different search criteria you can specify, and you can combine any combination of criteria you want for a search. So for instance, you can easily display the following:

All Wet/Dry Vacuums With:

Below are explanations of each of the characteristics of these vacuums that are searchable on this site.

Jump to:  Brand Name   Manufacturer   Model   Tank Material   Capacity   Motor Stages   Weight   Volts/Amps/Watts   Peak Horsepower   CFM   Lift (Sealed Pressure)   Air Watts   Noise (Decibels [dB])   Power Cord Length   Hose Diameter   Hose Length   Warranty   Wheels   Wall Mountable   Drain   Blower   Washable Dry Filters?   HEPA Filter

Brand Name

There are a number of brands of wet/dry vacuums today. While some brands, like Shop-Vac®, are actually manufactured by Shop-Vac Corporation, others are made by other companies. So, avoid the temptation to confuse brand and manufacturer. For the most part, most manufacturers try to obscure their connection with which brands they produce.

For instance, Alton Industries makes all Stanley and most Porter-Cable vacs, as well as most Dewalt wet/dry vacuums! Understanding these relationships can be important for your vacuum choice. You might love well Dewalt manufacturers its drills, but that would not be a reason to purchase a large Dewalt vac, since it's not manufactured by them—Dewalt licensed their brand name for vacuums to Alton Industries.

Or, perhaps you are looking at getting a 2.5 gallon Armor All vacuum. Knowing that both Armor All and Vacmaster are manufactured by Cleva, you might then take a look at the less expensive Vacmaster model that's the same size with the same HP motor. Nope, Armor All vacuums are not actually made by the same company that makes the spray-on protector for the vinyl in your car.

The relationship between brand and manufacturer is far more complicated than you would probably ever guess. For instance, DeWALT brand 120-volt vacuums are manufactured by Alton Industry, which licenses the DeWALT brand name for vacuums. DeWALT brand smaller battery-powered vacuums are actually manufactured by the DeWALT company. The DeWALT company is now a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker. Stanley Black & Decker manufactures CRAFTSMAN vacuums. There are also Stanley brand vacuums—those are manufactured by Alton Industry, who licensed the Stanley name for vacuums before Stanley and Black & Decker merged in 2010! Fortunately, this site makes sense of it all for you.

Vacuums within a brand usually share a common look, including color scheme, and typically use the same filters between different models of similiar sizes. Larger brands like Shop-Vac® and Vacmaster have multiple branded series of vacuums, each of which have a similiar look, function, and features.

Shop-Vac® Series