Best Shop Vac For Woodworking (Complete Guide with Top Picks)

best shop vac for woodworking

Woodworking is a wonderful hobby or profession, but unfortunately you can make a pretty large mess when working with wood. After you are finished, you may have sawdust, wood chips and wet and dry materials that you are going to need to clean up when you are done working. That is what makes finding the perfect woodworking shop vac so critical for keeping your workspace clean.

Today, we are going to give you some key features that you should be looking for when shopping for the ideal shop vacuums. We are also going to be taking a look at some of the best shop vacs that you can find for woodworking, so that you can make sure that you can get your work done, while making sure that your workshop stays clean.

The 5 Best Shop Vac For Woodworking

Picture

Name

Price

Shop Vac 5.0 Horsepower 12 Gallon

Shop Vac 5.0 Horsepower 12 Gallon

Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Blower

Craftsman Vac and Blower

Workshop WS1600VA 16 Gallon

Workshop WS1600VA 16 Gallon

Hoover L2310 GUV ProGrade Wall Mounted Utility Vacuum

Hoover Prograde Mounted Vac

Vacmaster 8 Gallon HEPA Vac with 2 Stage Motor

Vacmaster VK811PH Stage Motor

Top 5 Best Shop Vac For Woodworking: Reviews

1. Shop Vac 5.0 Horsepower 12 Gallon

Shop Vac 5.0 Horsepower 12 Gallon

Editor Rating:

This vacuum is ideal for using in both small and large shops. It has a peak horsepower of 5.0, which makes it much easier to clean up tough and heavy debris. If you need a woodworking vacuum for large messes, this vacuum has a large 12 gallon tank that you can use to easily clean up bigger messes in your workshop.

The other aspect of this shop vac that we really like is that the container, hose, and filter on this vacuum are waterproof, which makes it perfect for cleaning up both wet and dry debris. With this vacuum you are also going to get two extension wands, a lock on hose, 16 inch crevice tool, claw utility nozzle and a 14 inch wet/dry floor nozzle. If you have a large shop area and need some length to move around your shop, this vacuum conveniently has a 18 foot power cord that you can use to maneuver around your shop area. It gives you more freedom to move without having to change power outlets.

PROS

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    This shop vac has a large 12 gallon tank that is ideal for woodworking in large shops
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    5.0 peak horsepower engine, which is enough power to clean up mess around your shop
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    Excellent for cleaning up both wet and dry messes
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    Attachments include: two extension wands, a lock on hose, 16 inch crevice tool, claw utility nozzle, 14 inch wet/dry floor nozzle,
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    Uses and ultra web cartridge filter
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    Highly efficient disposable collection bag included with your vacuum cleaner
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    Comes with an 18 foot power cord
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    Built-in tank drain for easy emptying of wet materials
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    Side tank handles and top tank handle for carrying and moving your vacuum

CONS

  • The performance of this vacuum is a little lackluster compared to other vacuums in the same price range

2. Craftsman Vac and Blower

Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Blower

Editor Rating:

This woodworking shop vac may be just the perfect fit for your large shop. This model has a 16 gallon tank which has plenty of room for cleaning up any large mess that you may have around your woodworking area or shop. This vacuum is also convenient for using around your home, your garage and you can even use it for cleaning out your car.

This vacuum is incredibly powerful and durable, and is made to pick up wood chips and chunks, shards of metal, sawdust, drywall, broken glass, and even heavy nails. Another facet of this vacuum that we really appreciate is that it is great for cleaning up both wet and dry materials. The hose, the filter and the container of this vacuum are waterproof so that you can clean up wet and dry messes and even liquids. It has a large drain valve that you can use to drain liquids from your vacuum. Another convenient feature of this shop vac is that it has plenty of onboard storage for your vacuum extensions and other tools that you may use around your shop. It has a 27 foot cleaning radius so that you don’t have to constantly be relocating to other power outlets.

PROS

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    Large 16 gallon tank for picking up big messes
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    Perfect for your woodworking shop, your garage, and around your home
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    Made for cleaning up wood chips and chunks, shards of metal, sawdust, drywall, broken glass, and even heavy nails
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    Hose, container and filter that are great for cleaning up liquids and wet materials
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    Has a top tray storage feature that gives you the ability to easily store other tools that you can use with your shop vac
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    Has added storage for all of the extensions and attachments that you can use with your shop vac
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    Extra large drain that gives you the ability to empty liquids out of the vacuum- Comes with a seven foot cleaning hose
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    Has a 20 foot power cord which gives you an expansive cleaning radius

CONS

  • The filters aren’t very durable
  • You may have to clean or change out filters pretty frequently while cleaning

3. Workshop WS1600VA 16 Gallon

Workshop WS1600VA 16 Gallon

Editor Rating:

This vacuum has a large 16 gallon tank that is perfect for cleaning massive shop areas and woodworking areas. It has a powerful 6.5 peak horsepower motor which gives you plenty of power for cleaning up large messes that are either wet or dry. 

The quick-lock filter system on this vacuum makes is also really easy to switch out your wet and dry filters accordingly, for the shop mess that you are cleaning up. It has a large drain on it for liquid disposal, which makes it really easy to empty out liquids from your cleaning tank. One of the key aspects of this shop vac that we really appreciate is the durable, copolymer container that is resistant to dents and cracks, which makes it perfect for rigorous cleaning jobs.

PROS

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    16 gallon container for a large cleaning capacity
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    6.5 peak horsepower motor for ample amounts of cleaning power
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    Comes with a large, dual-flex locking hose that fits securely onto your vacuum
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    The hose gives you 180 degree flexibility at both ends of the hose
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    The locking tabs prevent your vacuum hose from leaking while you are cleaning up wet materials
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    Uses a quick-lock filter fastening system for wet and dry filters
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    Plenty of storage on the top and sides of the vacuum for your extensions and accessories
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    Durable copolymer drum that is resistant against cracks and dents
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    Large drain for liquid disposal
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    Blowing port that you can use to clean out your woodshop
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    List Element
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    List Element

CONS

  • This vacuum is large, so it isn’t the easiest to move around
  • The hose is kind of short in comparison to other models

4. Hoover Prograde Mounted Vac

Hoover L2310 GUV ProGrade Wall Mounted Utility Vacuum

Editor Rating:

This is the first wall-mounted shop vacuum that we are going to be taking a look at in this review. The greatest gift that you get with wall mounted shop vacs is that they save space and clear floor space for when you are and are not cleaning. 

It uses a powerful yet quiet 10 amp motor, that gives you enough strength to pick up heavy messes around your woodworking shop. It comes with seven different cleaning accessories that you can use for a variety of different cleaning situations. Another convenient feature that we greatly appreciate about this vacuum is that you don’t need any bags or filters to start cleaning. It is really easy to empty out when you are dealing with cleaning large messes.

PROS

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    Wall-mounted vacuum for easy storage and use
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    Clears floorspace and eliminates the need to find additional storage space for your vacuum
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    10 amp motor for cleaning up heavy materials and messes
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    Operates quietly, and is not as loud as other 10 amp wall mount vacuums in its class- Includes: two extension wands, one floor nozzle, two crevice tools, one dusting brush and one upholstery nozzle
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    Does not use any bags- Has a lifetime cleaning filter so you don’t have to replace or buy new filters
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    This vacuum is really easy to empty out and continue using for large messes

CONS

  • You have to remove and clean the filter pretty frequently
  • The suction is okay, but not the best for cleaning heavy materials
  • Better used as a car vacuum than a woodworking shop vac

5. Vacmaster VK811PH Stage Motor

Vacmaster 8 Gallon HEPA Vac with 2 Stage Motor

Editor Rating:

This is one of the smaller vacuums that we are going to look at in this review. Even though this vacuum only uses an eight gallon storage tank, this vacuum has a high cleaning efficiency rating. It uses a HEPA filtration system that has a cleaning efficiency rating of 99.7% on .3 microns, which means that it can pick-up the sawdust and debris that are too small to see. 

We really appreciate that this vacuum is great at picking up small debris so that you can leave your woodworking space or workshop clean. This shop vac also comes with a mircofiber pre-filter, foam filter sleeve, HEPA material exhaust filter and a dust collection bag which is easy to empty and change.

PROS

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    This is a compact vacuum that uses an eight gallon tank to clean up workshop messes
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    Uses a certified HEPA system that has an efficiency rating of 99.7%
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    Powerful two-stage industrial motor
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    Max water lift 106 inches- Max CFM of 125
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    Uses a microfiber pre-filter
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    Foam Filter sleeve included
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    HEPA material exhaust filter
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    High-efficiency fine-dust collection bag

CONS

  • Does not have that much suction power in comparison to the other shop vacs in this review
  • This is a smaller storage container, so it may not be good for cleaning up bigger shop areas

How to Choose the Best Shop Vac for Woodworking

Power

Depending on the types of heavy materials and debris that you are working with and creating when you are woodworking, you are going to need an adequate amount of vacuuming power for cleaning up your mess. The shop vacs that we are looking at today have varying amounts of power. Just make sure that you have the appropriate amount of power for being able to clean up your workspace.

Filter

What kind of filtration system does your shop vac use, and would it work for cleaning up the debris from your woodworking? When you are working with wood, you are already aware that it can create microscopic pieces of dust and debris that aren’t visible to the human eye. Make sure that you have a filtration system that can clean up even the smallest pieces of dust you are going to be creating.

You also want to check what kind of filter your vacuum uses. Does the filter need replaced or is it reusable? These are all things that you are going to want to consider when you are shopping for the perfect woodworking shop vac.

Attachments

What attachments does your vacuum come with and what attachments do you need for cleaning up your work area? Most shop vacs will come with different nozzles and extensions that you can use for cleaning up a variety of different areas.

Size

How large your shop or woodworking area is is another factor that you are going to want to consider when you are shopping for the right shop vac for you. Shop vacs come in a variety of different sizes, usually measured in gallon containers. Make sure that you have a vacuum that is large enough for your work area so that you don’t have to constantly empty your vacuum, while you are still cleaning. 

Cleaning Radius

Larger work and shop areas are going to require a larger cleaning radius. When you have a smaller workspace, you aren’t going to need as large of a cleaning radius from your vacuum. If you have a large workspace, make sure that your power cable and cleaning hose are long enough to clean your work area.

Conclusion

In our opinion, the Workshop Wet Dry Vac 16 gallon vacuum is the clear winner in this roundup. The reason that we like this shop vac better than the rest is because it has the

  • Size
  • Power
  • Cleaning radius
  • Attachments
  • Storage

That you need for cleaning just about any workspace, large or small. It is great for cleaning up both wet and dry materials and is one of the most durable shop vacs of any in this review.

About the Author David Perez

I have a passion for clean floors and living areas, so it is no surprise that I know a lot about vacuum cleaners and how to clean different surfaces. Sharing this knowledge gives me a lot of pleasure which is why I started this blog and I hope everyone who needs help will find the help they are looking for here.

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