Category Archives: Good Vacuum to Buy

Looking for the best shop vac for the money? Try these.

When buying a wet dry vac, you are choosing a versatile cleaning machine for a wider range of applications than a general home vacuum.

Unlike a standard vacuum we use at home which can only pick up dry materials, a wet dry vacuum, some people call it shop vac, has the ability to tackle dry as well as wet messes.
Shop vacs commonly are more sturdier, heavy duty, they generate powerful suction, some can pick up shark items that might damage a standard vacuum, such as a nail. And they feature larger capacity. You can easily find 6,8,10,12,16 gallon shop vac on the market, even vacuums with capacity of over 20 gallons. But a standard dry vacuum usually holds less than 1 gallon.

There are different types of wet dry vacuum cleaners, some are corded, some are cordless; some are handheld, some are upright, some can be wall mounted; some are for home use while some are commercial, industrial shop vacs for plumbers and workers;some are for woodworking,dust collection,and some are good for water removal.
And there are also many brands to choose from. For people who have no personal preference, you can have a look at the products from DeWalt,Stanley,Craftsman,Shop-Vac,Ridgid,Milwaukee,Festool,Vacmaster,etc., these are the top rated brands.

If you don’t have the time to do the research, below are some of the best selling items you can take into consideration. They are relatively good quality vacs on the market.
And of course, you should always know your cleaning needs first to choose the best one that fits your needs.

Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 – a large capacity shop vac for garage, shop and on the jobsite.

Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 Shop Vac Red/Black
image from manufacturer

The Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 is a 16 gallon 6.5 peak horse power heavy-duty wet dry vacuum which is designed for garage, shop and on the jobsite, best for home projects and renovations.
It has 2-1/2-in diameter cleaning tools, 7 ft. hose, built-in drain for emptying liquids, built-in blower port, onboard attachments storage, comes with 2 extension wands, 1 utility nozzle, car nozzle, wet nozzle, dust collection bag.
It is rated at 190.8 CFM and 12 amps. For the noise level, it is rated 71.8 decibels with the hose attached.
The retail price usually is less than $100, this is inexpensive when compared to a standard vac.
You can use it for multi surface – gutters,carpet or hard floors such as concrete, tile floors,hardwood,etc.


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If you want a larger job site shop vac that are mainly for large projects, you can also consider the 20 gallon model CMXEVBE17596.

2 DeWalt DXV10P – perfect size vac for most cleaning jobs.

DeWalt DXV10P Shop Vac in Yellow/Black
image from manufacturer

If you think a 16 or 20 gallon shop vac is too big and too loud, but still want one that can handle both small and serious work,you can consider a smaller one, such as a 10 gallon vac.

The DeWalt DXV10P 10 gallon shop-vac has a 5.5 peak horse power motor, 20 ft. power cord, built-in blower port, built-in drain,built-in storage bag,built-in hose wrap,features aluminum casters, rubber wheels, waterproof power switch. Comes with 1-7/8″x7′ hose, 2 extension wands, 1 cartridge filter, dust bag, floor nozzle, utility nozzle, crevice nozzle.


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3 Vacmaster VF408 – a compact size shop vac with HEPA filter for house use.

Vacmaster VF408 Wet Dry Vac in Blue/Black
image from manufacturer

Not every time you need a large wet dry vacuum, sometimes, a compact one is a better choice to get the small jobs done, such as the Vacmaster VF408.
The VF408 is under $100, if you are looking for an affordable wet dry vacuum, this one is a good choice. It has a 4 gallon tank, can be used with or without a bag, comes with tools for different jobs. If you want a wet dry vac with HEPA filter to prevent spreading dust in the house, then this vac might meet your needs, because it uses a HEPA exhaust filter.


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To learn more, you can download the manual –

4 DEWALT DCV581H – a small size and portable wet dry vacuum

image from manufacturer

If what you need is not only a small one, but also a portable one that you can move it around freely without being limited by the cord, you can consider a cordless, such as the little DEWALT DCV581H or the Milwaukee 0880-20.
The DEWALT DCV581H can be used as a corded with an AC outlet, or a cord free with an 18v or 20v MAX battery.
It has a 5 ft. hose, a crevice tool, wide nozzle tool,HEPA filter, and 31 cfm.
It is a little shop vac, holds only 2 gallons. Its suction is so so. But it is convenient for quick pick ups such as removing drywall dust without dragging out your bulky full size machine.
You can use it to vacuum saw dust, sand dust, car interiors, boat cleaning, floor mats, general home use, etc.
This one can also be used as a blower.


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If you need a smaller vac, there are mini items on the market, such as the DeWalt DCV517 which holds only 0.5 gallons, this mini handheld wet dry vac is convenient for small jobs when it is a pain to drag out the bulky shop vac.

If you need one for removing spills, pet urine odor and stains from carpet, then a wet dry vacuum does not fit, what you need is a carpet washer, such as the (#ad) Bissell Big Green or the (#ad) Hoover Carpet Cleaner FH50251.

Shark NV680,NV682,NV683,NV681 vs NV501,NV500,NV502,NV500CO what’s the difference?

There are some big differences between the Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away Speed NV680 series and Rotator Professional Lift Away NV500 series. If you are deciding between these vacuums, maybe you would be interested in reading the information below.

images from manufacturer

Powered Lift Away vs Lift Away
This difference could be an important buying factor for some potential customers. The NV680 series feature Powered lift away whereas the NV500 series only have lift away function. With Powered lift away, you can lift away the pod and still can use the Powered nozzle or some other powered tools, whereas the Lift Away NV500 series only allows you to use suction powered attachments when in lift away mode. If you want to vacuum low profile furniture with the motorized brush, then the NV680 series should be a better choice.

The Professional NV500 series look bulkier. They have larger dust container, bigger nozzle, and are heavier. Whereas the Rotator Powered Lift Away Speed NV680 series are compact, have a 0.9 dry quart dirt bin, weigh about 13.3 pounds that is roughly 2 pounds lighter than the Professional. If you want a slim look and lighter upright, then you may want to consider the Powered Lift Away Speed.

The power specifications of the Rotator Powered Lift Away Speed are 120V, 60Hz, 800W, 6.7A versus 120V, 60Hz, 1200W, 10A on the Professional series.

Surface Selector
The Speed have a surface selector on the handle that allows you to choose between Hard Floor and Carpet setting, when setting to Hard Floor, the brushroll will not spin, when setting to Carpet, the brushroll will spin.
Whereas the Professional does not have the surface selector, instead, it has a brush on/off button located on the top on the vacuum pod.
Both of them have a suction control slider on the handle.
If you like a more convenient control, then the Speed should be better, if you like a traditional control, then you may want to choose the Professional.

The Speed is backed by a 7 year limited warranty versus 5 year limited warranty on the Professional.

You can download manuals from to learn more about these Rotator vacuums.
Shark NV681 Manual –
Shark NV501 Manual –

The Shark NV500, NV502, NV500CO, and NUV560 are identical to NV501 except for the color and accessories.
The Shark NV680, NV682, NV683 are the same as NV681 except for the color and the tools they come with.

Shark NV801,NV803 vs NV501,NV502,NV500 what’s the difference?

images from manufacturer

Brush System
This is a major difference between the DuoClean Speed and Rotator lift away, the DuoClean Speed has dual brushrolls – one bristle brushroll and one soft roller. While the Rotator has only bristle brush.

Lift Away Design
Though both of them have lift away design, the DuoClean Speed has Powered Lift Away function that allows you to use Powered tools including the motorized nozzle when in lift away mode, whereas the Rotator only allows you to use air driven tools.

Surface Selector vs Brush On/Off + Suction Control
The DuoClean Speed has surface selector that allows you to choose between Hard floor, Carpet&Low Pile, Thick Carpet&Area Rug. It has NO button to turn off the brushrolls, and no suction control. However, the brushroll speeds and suction power vary according to your surface setting.
Whereas the Rotator has Brushroll On/Off control as well as a separate suction control collar, so you can clean floors with suction only or suction with brushroll, and adjust the suction power to meet your cleaning needs such as vacuum delicate things with weak suction.

Dust Cup Size
The Rotator has larger dust cup which holds 1.3 dry quarts to the fill line versus 0.9 dry quarts on the DuoClean Speed.

Power Specifications
The DuoClean Speed power specifications are 120v,60hz,1150w,9.5a versus 120v,60hz,1200w,10a on the Rotator.

The DuoClean Speed has a 7 year limited warranty versus 5 year limited warranty on the Rotator.

Learn more by reading manuals:
Rotator Lift Away NV500 Series Manual –
DuoClean Powered Lift Away NV800 Series Manual –

Shark NV801 vs NV681 what’s the difference?

images from manufacturer

Both of the Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away Speed NV681,NV680,NV682,NV683 and Shark DuoClean Powered Lift Away Speed series nv800,nv800w,nv801,nv803,nv801q,uv810 are compact Shark upright models, they are lighter than the full size and have a smaller dust container. These 2 series have similar things such as the Powered Lift Away mode that allows you to lift away the vacuum pod and use the Powered nozzle to clean floor in the meantime. And both have LED headlights, swivel steering, HEPA filter. But what is the difference between them that might influence your purchasing decision?

Below we will discuss the main difference between them.
Brush System
The DuoClean Speed features Shark’s DuoClean technology which combines a bristle brush roller and a soft roller to clean both carpet and hard floors.
Whereas the Rotator Powered Lift Away Speed has only the bristle brushroll.

Floor Setting
The DuoClean has 3 surface settings – Hard Floor, Carpet&Low Pile, Thick Carpet&Area Rug, and the brushrolls are spinning in all of the 3 modes, however, the spinning speed is not the same, when in Hard Floor mode, the brushrolls spin slowly.
Whereas the Rotator has 2 settings – Hard Floor and Carpet. And the brushroll does not spin in Hard Floor mode.

Suction Control
The Rotator has a suction control slider on the handle that allows you to release suction to get variable suction power to meet different cleaning needs.
Whereas the DuoClean has no separate suction control, it seems that 3 preset cleaning modes provide different level of suction power. Hard Floor has the highest suction power.

Cleaning Path Width
According to Shark product specification, the DuoClean Speed clean path width is 8.5-inch versus 10.5-inch on the Rotator Powered Lift Away Speed.

Power Specifications
The technical specifications of the DuoClean Speed is 120V, 60Hz, 1150W, 9.5A versus 120V, 60Hz, 800W, 6.7A on the Rotator Powered Lift Away Speed.

The Shark nv800,nv800w,nv801,nv803,uv810,nv801q are the same except for the color and accessories.
The Shark NV680, NV681, NV683 are the same as NV682 except for the color and the tools they come with.
If you want to learn more about these Shark upright vacuum models, you can read the manuals.

Shark NV681 Manual –
Shark NV800 Series Manual –

Shark NV801,NV803 vs NV831,NV835 what’s the difference?

images from manufacturer

The major difference between the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift Away NV830 series and DuoClean Powered Lift Away Speed NV800 series is the size. The NV830 series are full size whereas the NV800 series are compact size. The full size has larger dust cup which holds up to 1.5 dry quarts versus 0.9 dry quarts on the compact size. And the full size has wider cleaning path and are over 2 pounds heavier.

Other differences between them are the headlights and power switch location.

Led lights
The NV830 series have lights on the nozzle and handle, the lights on the handle are useful when vacuuming weak light spots with the attachments for above floor cleaning.

Power Control Location
The DuoClean Speed has the power control on the top of the lift away canister while the DuoClean has the power switch on the handle for finger tip control.

Otherwise, they are similar. Both of them feature powered lift away, DuoClean technology – a bristle brushroll to clean carpets, and a soft brushroll to pull in larger particles and directly engage floors, swivel steering, Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, HEPA filter, 1150 watts and 9.5 amperage.

Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Speed models comparison
NV800 series manual –
Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away NV830 models comparison
NV830 series manual –