10 Best Shop Vacs for Woodworking

Professionals like woodworkers need a powerful vacuum to clean their dirty workshop efficiently. As you know, the sawdust and wasted-wood shreds make the cleaning a lot harder. Well, in this article, we are going to reveal a list of best shop vac for woodworking followed by reviews and a complete buying guide.

Many people make the mistake of going out to grab a random over-hyped shop vac, and in the end, moan for their unintentional blunder.

If you are struggling to clean your house or workshop and looking for a convenient solution, then you have landed in the right place. We hope your struggle might come to an end once you finished reading our coverage.

best shop vac for woodworking

Well, without further ado, let’s dive into the reviews and buying guide.

In a hurry? Have a quick look at the comparison chart of our top picks.

Comparison Chart of Woodworking Shop Vacs:




Latest Price

Vacmaster VBV1210

  • Size: 12 Gallon

  • Weight: 24.9 lbs

  • Horsepower: 5 Peak

  • Editor's Ratings: 4.8

Stanley SL18116P

  • Size: 6 Gallon

  • Weight: 13.4 lbs

  • Horsepower: 4 Peak

  • Editor's Ratings: 4.7


  • Size: 6 Gallon

  • Weight: 14.7 lbs

  • Horsepower: 4 Peak

  • Editor's Ratings: 4.7

Why Should Woodworkers Use a Shop Vac?

best shop vac samples

The shop vacuum cleaner is also renowned as a wet-dry cleaner. This machine has become one of the imperative tools for almost every household. Yet, if you are still confused about its benefits and being skeptical, this section is exclusively dedicated to you.

To Match Their Job Nature

Unlike other professionals, woodworkers require a bit more cleaning as their work creates a variety of products from wood, which leads to producing a substantial amount of wood trash. Thus, a perfect shop vac can assist them in cleansing.

To Enjoy Powerful Cleaning

A wet-dry shop vac is capable of cleaning the wet garbage as well. No matter how picky you become, there will always be situations to clean up wet messes. On those occasions, instead of mopping, you can just clean it with your handy vacuum.

When other vacuums are struggling with cleaning massive objects, a wet-dry cleaner can do it with ease. In those cases, any perfect shop vac can do the job comfortably.

Due to Its Budget-Friendliness

If you are a person maintaining the budget, then trust us, a shop vac cleaner will be a suitable fit for you. When you compare it among other cleaning options, you will find it comparatively cheap.

As It Offers Versatility

You can use a wet-dry cleaner as a pump as well. Just think this with your regular vacuum, which is not capable of doing it. The motor of it is efficient enough to blow air. Thus, it assists you in cleaning by blowing up the air from the hose.

To Experience the Potential of a Shop-Vac

There is no second thought that a shop vac cleaner is much more potent than a regular vacuum. Generally, it comes with a highly robust motor. The motor generates enormous horsepower.

As the tank is considerably sturdy and wide enough, clogging it with dust is nearly impossible unless you live in a desert or something. Furthermore, the hose that comes with the device is also capable of passing waste efficiently.

Because of its compact size, the machine is easy to move. So, a grown man doesn’t have to worry about the hassle of handling it.

After reading these advantages, you can easily predict the necessity of the product for your household. Indeed, this is a useful product in typical situations.

Best Shop Vac for Woodworking 2021 – Reviews

Vacmaster VBV1210, 12-Gallon Vacuum

Vacmaster VBV1210, 12-Gallon Vacuum

Our top pick shop vac for woodworking is Vacmaster VBV1210 for several reasons. We know, machines are meant to reduce our workload and make a particular job easier. The Vacmaster VBV1210 is no different. It has come with a lot of amazing features that can be very handy for any woodworker.

The unit comes with a durable build design that lasts longer than any other shop vacs. Furthermore, the performance of the unit offers consumers absolute satisfaction. No matter how much cleaning job you have after any sort of woodworking, the unit can tackle them with ease.

Vacmaster is not just a vacuum. It is also a robust 210 MPH blower at the same time. It provides two operating modes simultaneously.

The blower is detachable and can give a forceful blow. The tank capacity is 12 gallons, which is quite significant for the job.

For any household, a five-peak of horsepower motor is more than adequate; and that is what the product is offering. The draining-port of the machine is extra-large for quick disposal.

Highlighted Features

  • The blower is easily detachable.
  • Efficient with the work because of the powerful suction.
  • Accessories are also durable that come with the product.
  • The power supply cord is not long enough.
 Best value it creates for the users:  

If you are getting two machines at the price of one, then we don’t think you can ignore that product. Moreover, this shop vac includes a utility nozzle, car nozzle, air diffuser, standard filter, extension wand, and secure hose.

CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon Shop Vacuum

CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon Shop Vacuum

When dealing with big projects like woodworking, this model from Craftsman is another perfect fit for you. You do not need to worry about storage space anymore. The unit has enough canister space to amaze you.

The motor of the product is highly potent, which generates 6.5-peak horsepower. This wet-dry vacuum has a built-in blower port.

With the durable and lightweight build quality, it can be maneuvered anywhere. The tank capacity is around 16 gallons, and the suction power is 60 inches.

The power cord and the hose are about 10-ft and 7-ft long. Moreover, the accessories that come with the model are also well built. Altogether these make it the best shop vac for table saws.

Highlighted Features

  • Excellently suitable for large projects.
  • 180-degree mobility.
  • Oversized draining system.
  • The tank material is plastic instead of steel.
 Best value it creates for the users:  

This shop vac offers the absolute value for the money. If you are professional in the area of cleaning, then don’t hesitate to buy one.

Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Vacuum

This vacuum is a budget-friendly and comparatively small shop vac. Because of its compact size, this model from Shop-Vac is the best shop vac for woodworking, among many of them.

The product is pretty small and lightweight. It only possesses 15 lbs of weight. Product dimension is 14 x 14 x 21 inches. Although it’s a tiny model, yet the motor produces 4.5-peak of horsepower.

The tank is made of stainless steel; thus, it is completely rust-free. The tank capacity is 5 gallons.

This wet-dry vacuum also provides accessories. The vac has four caster wheels to reach the cleaning area.

Highlighted Features

  • It has a lid latch system.
  • Top and side carry handles give comfort.
  • Amazingly durable build quality.
  • Somewhat difficult to assemble it.
 Best value it creates for the users:  

Quite quickly, you can move it anywhere because of the flexible design. This product offers high-class performance to meet your demand.

Vacmaster Professional 12 Gallon, Beast Series

Vacmaster Professional 12 Gallon, Beast Series Shop Vac

Vacmaster professional is an ideal choice for professional work like woodworking, which requires wet-dry vacuuming. It’s arguably one of the best shop vacs for woodworking. Additionally, this product from Vacmaster is the best shop vac for orbital sander also.

This sturdy product comes with 12 gallons of capacity to deal with the toughest jobs. It can reach over 27 ft because of the long cord.

The 360-degree swiveling movement ensures the excellent mobility of the vacuum. 5.5-peak horsepower can be generated from the motor, which allows the owner to do flawless work.

The Vacmaster professional 12-gallon model provides nine essential accessories.

Highlighted Features

  • Easily removable wet messes.
  • It provides power with variety.
  • The product has a heavy-duty motor and a highly efficient filter.
  • Tank material is polypropylene instead of steel.
 Best value it creates for the users:  

The product is easily controllable and maneuvered around the cleaning area. It is an entirely professional model, so you have fewer things to worry about the performance.

Stanley 6 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum

Stanley 6 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum

This product is rated as a medium-duty shop vac. Stanley features this long-lasting product at a relatively reasonable price. If you are looking for a powerful unit in a compact size, this model is for you.

Stanley’s wet-dry vacuum is surprisingly simple to use. It can satisfy your daily need for cleaning by its powerful vacuuming ability.

4-peak horsepower and 75 cubic feet per min airflow can promptly do your job with desire comfort. Extra-large drain port ensures natural drainage of waste.

The filter can be removable without any hurdle, and maintenance is pretty straightforward.

Highlighted Features

  • Compact and attractive design.
  • Sufficient sealed pressure.
  • It provides an extended run time of 300 hours.
  • Lack of extra attachments.
 Best value it creates for the users:  

Stanley 6-gallon wet-dry vac is fully waterproof and probably offers the safest design. It provides several accessories as well. As this product features in “best shop vac for router tables,” you can still check this out for woodworking.

Stanley Shop Vac SL18115P, 5 Gallon 4 HP

Stanley Shop Vac SL18115P, 5 Gallon 4 HP

Stanley is a well-known brand in the industry of shop vac. This five-gallon machine is small yet a beast. This SL18115P model can expeditiously achieve the title of ‘best shop vac 2021’.

The motor of the vacuum contains a 3-peak of horsepower, which can produce superior suction power. The container’s capacity is suitable enough for the common area.

10 ft of power cord allows the machine to move around within the diameter. With spinning wheels, this lightweight model is portable.

Accessories storage caster keeps the tools of the device organized. The draining system provides hassle-free drainage and emptying.

Highlighted Features

  • Convenient and useful within the price range.
  • It has a Built-in power cord wrap.
  • Powerful blower port.
  • Lack of accessories.
 Best value it creates for the users:  

This model is equally perfect for the wet and dry pickups. Water-resistant design and sturdy material make it one of the popular products.

DeWalt DXV06P 6-gallon Poly Wet-Dry Vac

DeWalt DXV06P 6-gallon Poly Wet-Dry Vac

We can’t help but include this DXV06P model from DeWalt as it is an entirely deserving wet-dry vacuum to enter in the best shop vac for the woodworking’ list.

The product from DeWalt always grabs the attention of the consumers. This product has an ultra-durable rubberized caster that helps to swivel it on the surface with ease.

It has a 6-gallon tank capacity and it is available in astounding yellow color. The motor produces a 4-peak of horsepower.

The device’s suction power is sufficient to clean up in the garage, kitchen, storage space, attic space, and so on. Because of the ideally smaller design, you don’t need to worry about the storage.

Highlighted Features

  • Easy to dispose of the waste.
  • It ensures powerful suction and versatile applications.
  • It ensures flexible cleaning.
  • Somewhat heavy comparing to its size.
 Best value it creates for the users:  

The build quality of the product is good enough to serve you for at least 4 to 5 years. But it is up to you that how you maintain it for expecting such a long service.

TACKLIFE 4 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum

TACKLIFE 4 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum

Tacklife 4-gallon vacuum cleaner ensures overall operation with efficiency. Surprisingly with the noise diffuser, you will barely hear any sound from it while cleaning.

The four-wheel caster ensures convenient mobility, even in a multi-directional way. Cleaning is fun now with this product as it allows you to reach anywhere within 25 ft diameter.

It is easy to start and quite lightweight. Wind speed adjustment provides the control of both strong wind and breeze.

Automatic shut-off technology makes it even safer. Multifunctional brushes are included with the shipment.

Highlighted Features

  • Effortless portability.
  • Long-lasting design.
  • Easiest operating system.
  • Customer service is comparatively slower.
 Best value it creates for the users:  

No matter what you do like dry or wet vacuuming, Tacklife shop vac can assist you in every scenario. The blowing function of the product is also commendable.

Porter-Cable 5 Gallon Vacuum, 4 Peak HP

Porter-Cable 5 Gallon Vacuum, 4 Peak HP shop vac

If you are looking for a high-performance shop vac, this Porter-cable wet dry vacuum won’t disappoint you. At least we can assure you that. Its sleek design and convenient control will make you a fan in no time.

The tank capacity is 5-gallon and build of stainless steel. The cord is comfortably wrapped able to carry.

This product is a three-in-one vacuum cleaner. You can clean carpets, washroom, floor, and desk anything you want as the suction power is powerful enough.

4-peak of horsepower allows convenient washing and versatile operations. For further cleanup, you can reach up to 15 ft combining the 10 ft of power cord and the 5 ft of the hose.

Highlighted Features

  • Premium contemporary design.
  • Durable handle with cord wrap.
  • It has no complication for starting it.
  • Sometimes you may experience noise.
 Best value it creates for the users:  

The Porter-cable vacuum is suitable for home, shop, or any commercial place cleaning. For both dry and wet cleaning, it provides a one-button solution.

Stanley 3 Gallon Wet-Dry Vac, 3 Peak HP Shop-Vac

Stanley 3 Gallon Wet-Dry Vac, 3 Peak HP Shop-Vac

The company has achieved customer’s trust over the years as you can see, we are featuring the third product of their shop vac line up in this list. This 3-gallon variant from Stanley works as efficiently as the other models do.

This vacuum is arguably the best stainless-steel shop vac. The blower is reliable, which can produce an airflow of 80-CFM. There is no complicated method of using it.

Just plug it in power, attach the hose and you are ready to go. The motor has a 3-peak of horsepower that allows sucking all sorts of waste.

An extended run time of 300 hours has always been a desirable feature of Stanley’s vacuum. And this model is also bearing the legacy.

Highlighted Features

  • Novel design and lightweight
  • It has a clip lock mechanism.
  • The device has one hundred twenty volts of electrical rating.
  • Smaller power cord!
 Best value it creates for the users:  

The product has a double filtration system to give you maximum advantage. It has a long-life performance, which makes it the best shop vac system.

Best Shop Vac for Woodworking – Buying Guide

best shop vac buying guide

In this modern era of technology, choosing the best shop vac for woodworking is not the most straightforward task in the world. As there are many things to consider, sometimes you may feel dizzy while making a suitable decision.

But you know what? We have got you covered. We will demonstrate which traits to be considered and what you should take for granted. Now, let’s have a look at those real quicks.

Size of the Shop-Vac

Before choosing the one that suits your need, determining the size of the shop-vac is the first rule of thumb. If you need this device for your home, then industrial models won’t be a perfect choice.

In that case, a shop vac that possesses the capacity of 5-14 gallons will serve your purpose. However, we have chosen the vacs within a sweet spot from 3 to 16 gallons. According to your working area, you need to decide what will be best.

Functional Features 

Unlike the industrial models, standard shop vacs don’t have the luxury of power. But undeniably, the models are mentioned above can outperform many other cleansing models. Professional cleaners also prefer this machine over other cleaning equipment.

So, the features of the particular shop vacuum should be considered before taking it. There is very little difference among most of the models, yet those can’t be ignored.

Horsepower of the Shop-Vac

You cannot argue about the importance of the motor’s power when it comes to vacuum cleaning, especially when you are a woodworker. Horsepower determines the efficiency of any shop vac.

Yeah, mostly. The motor determines the power of the machine. It is nothing but simple math. Experts recommend the horsepower should be at least 3-peak for better results.

Attached Accessories 

Like pressure washers, shop vacs are available with few imperative accessories. But that doesn’t allow you to use all of them because each item is designed for particular work. Suppose you are cleaning by using a completely different accessory that is not suitable for the job.

Ultimately it will ruin the device. As those accessories enhance the machine’s ability, such as crevice tools, a variety of brushes, hoses, and so on, you cannot misuse any of them.

The durability of the Shop-Vac

The material of the machine determines the durability of the product. Most of the shop vacs use plastic. However, the tank is made of stainless steel.

Thus, those tanks are safe from catching any rust. Even you can use it in a moist environment without worrying about it. Because of these materials, you don’t have to think about the longevity of the product.

Your Storage Space

Before taking any particular shop vac, do consider the storage space that you have. Unless, after purchasing one, if you discover there is no space left in your garage to keep it safe, it would be a mess.

But somehow these machines come in a pretty compact size. That’s must be a massive relief for you anyway.

Suction Capacity

The suction capability is essential as it permits the vac to take a certain amount of water. The wet-dry vac can only take it within a specific amount of water pressure.

After you submerge the hose into the water, the vac’s motor will start working, but it affects its performance. So, the shop vac should have to maintain the suction power of at least fifty inches.

How to Operate a Shop Vac?

shop vac operation

We are assuming you haven’t used even a regular vacuum before. Hence, the operating system of a shop vac can seem rocket science to you. But we can assure you that if you are thinking like this, you are doing injustice with this device.

It is pretty straightforward to operate and quite handy to use. The whole cleaning process will require around thirty minutes, depending on the size of your cleaning area. Go through the steps one by one to get the essence of operating the shop vac.

Step One: 

Don’t forget to check whether it is empty or not. That is the first step for operating the shop vac in the first place. If you think the wet-dry vacuum can handle any sort of waste, that’s true. But before commencing the machine, cleaning it will give you additional benefits.

Step Two:

The filter of the shop vac has to be appropriately checked. It doesn’t allow dust from blowing out. While cleaning, if the dust blows, then instead of cleaning the surface, you will make the whole area dirty.

But if the surface is wet, don’t make the mistake of not removing the filter because the wet junk can ruin the filter.

Step Three:

In this job of cleaning, knowing which accessories are the perfect suit for a particular situation is essential. Every machine comes with several accessories. With those, you can clean any wet or dry surface, as the name suggests. So, make yourself comfortable with adequate knowledge of equipment.

Step Four:

After attaching the accessories, you need to plug them into a power supply. There should be a dedicated switch to turn it on. Push the button, and it is ready to clean. Yes, as simple as that.

Step Five:

When you are done with vacuuming, don’t wait for your next scheduled for emptying the tank. If the rubbish gets stuck inside, you will have a hard time removing it. Wet debris can produce harmful bacteria, as well. So, clean it properly and then reattach the filter.

How to Maintain and Store a Shop Vac?

woodworking shop vac maintenance and storage
Image Courtesy: buildingsomething.com

Maintaining any sort of machine is more complicated than making a purchase decision. Unless you are willing to change your shop vac frequently, the device itself needs some cleaning and maintenance.

Otherwise, after a while, you have to make a plan to buy a new one! Here some professional ways of maintaining the shop vac. Give it a check.

Alter the Filter 

Many homeowners, even professional cleaners, overlook the importance of changing the filter after certain intervals. But there is no way you can deny the necessity of it. For reaching the expected lifetime of a shop vac, the filter should be altered.

If you are a professional, then obviously your vacuum needs more frequent changing or cleaning to satisfy you with its capability.

Give it a Wash 

For woodworking purposes, the shop vac serves well. Thus, the machine itself requires proper wash. Frequent deep cleansing can enhance the lifetime of your shop vac. The filter can be cleaned with water, but some models don’t allow this.

Before attaching the filter, it needs to be washed. Otherwise, in the long run, it won’t serve you for the best.

Clean the Hose

You may clean the whole shop vac, but you don’t consider the hose for washing in the end. Believe us, no matter how thoroughly you have cleaned the vacuum machine. It will lose its suction power in a while.

If the hose gets blocked because of wet debris or excessive dust, don’t wait until the situation goes out of control. Do wash it thoroughly in a usual manner.

Keep it Safe

After using it, do not keep the device in a wet place. The shop vac itself deserves some cleansing as well. So, take a dry cloth and wipe each part of the vacuum cleaner. And remember, do not leave shop vac running for more extended periods.

The cord has to be wrapped up; otherwise, it can be damaged and can’t supply consistent power.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

We often asked some usual questions that you are struggling with. Here few of them are answered below. Go through them and see if any of these are floating in your mind as well.

Q1. Which filter to use for dry pickup?

Answer: The filter should be chosen according to the waste type. Suppose you are trying to pick up debris like essential things like gravel, wood, and so on, then use a filter with a conventional filtration system.

For middle-size trash, go for a medium filtration system. In terms of choosing a filter, you have to be picky enough.

Q2. Can I use a shop vac for cleaning the carpet?

Answer: Carpet is a complicated thing for cleaning. Don’t go with the look of the rug. It is probably the hardest thing to clean without ruining it. But fortunately, with a shop vac, you can wash your carpet. The vacuum should be empty and plugged. Start the process by sucking up the dry particles first.

Q3. Can shop vac be used for water?

Answer: In simple words, yes, you can. But we won’t recommend you to do so. While you go through the process, you have to face too much trouble. Not necessarily you have to clean a large area, yet if the situation comes like this, take a large hose to cover it.

Q4. How to measure vacuum performance?

Answer: There are some key features to evaluate the overall performance of a shop vac. Even for the top-rated shop vac for woodworking, these features should be compared. Such as,

  • Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)
  • Airpower (AP)
  • Sealed Pressure (SP)

Q5. What should be the accessories size?

Answer: The size of the accessories depends on the size of the shop vac’s hose. The hose diameter will be around 1.25 to 2.5 inches. So, determine the accessories size according to the tube. For instance, 1.5 inches of accessories will fit the vacuum of 1.5 inches hose diameter.

Q6. What to do when a vacuum offers no suction?

If your vacuum cleaner facing any problem and offers little to no suction, then you have to troubleshoot it. This is not a very common issue. But, as a machine, your vacuum may face troubles. So, click the link and learn how to fix a vacuum cleaner with no suction.

Final Verdict 

We are assuming, after going through every model and other essential details, you have already gained adequate knowledge about wet-dry vacuums. There is no denying that woodworking jobs need a smart and durable shop vac.

As the name suggests, the list is about the best shop vac for woodworking. Therefore, you can choose among these for your household or any professional interest.

In case of having any doubt regarding shop vac, do contact us. If you have the experience to share, then post it as well. We are happy to hear you out, any time!

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