Not everyone needs a massively powerful wet/dry vacuum cleaner in their garage or workshop. Sometimes, depending on your hobbies, you need something that can do a shop-vac wet/dry job in a less-than-traditionally-sized small shop vac package. So this is particularly true if storage space is an issue.
If you have an area that needs regular vacuuming but is small and requires you to manoeuver your vacuum and attachments in tight spaces. So how do you pick the Best Small Shop Vac? Check out the following buyer’s guide and product reviews. There is sure to be something here for everyone's small shop vac needs and of course hopefully within your budget.
Nobody makes shop utility vacuums quite like shop vac. Their longstanding reputation for quality and utility is what has made them a household name for the better part of 40 years. Their small shop vac Model 2030100 lives up to its illustrious name by being one of the most portable Shop Vacuum currently available for consumer use.
Ideally suited for cleaning up sawdust and debris in the garage or workshop. This small shop vac is equally useful for cleaning up big spills in the kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere else you need a wet/dry cleanup. The shop vac 2030100 has a 1.5 gallon capacity and a 2 HP peak motor, providing plenty of power and volume for storing waste. Additionally, the 2030100 comes fitted with reusable disc filters that come in a wide variety of filtration levels. It includes a foam sleeve for more efficient wet vacuum functionality.
This model is wall mountable for convenient storage inside your home or workspace. It doesn’t get underfoot or in the way when not in use. If compact size and reliability are your primary concerns when buying a small utility vacuum cleaner, the Shop Vac 2030100 model is worth checking out.
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Have an older small shop vac unit, and they fixed the two most significant problems with the former model. The side clips are much simpler to use in the newer material, and they placed a twist lock connection to the hose that replaced the older hose connection that required 2-1/2 hands and 3 attempts to reassemble. Anyway, these vac items are great for cars and other small vac jobs. For the moderate price of this shop vacs, I got this and expelled my old unit to crisis wet pickup duty. At the risk of over promoting this, however, I do find it very useful to have two of these, one for wet pickup and the other for dry pickup. For wet pickup, you have to remove rubber holding ring and the cloth filter over the foam filter core, do the job, take the headpiece back off, let the foam filter draining off and dry out over a couple of days, then add back to the filter and holding the ring for dry pickup use. It is simpler to have one for each task. And yes, neglected to consider that this new mini shop vac 2030100 has a blower attachment as well as vacuum one.
For the more accessory minded user who prefers not to have to carry their small shop vac from place to place. The Shop-Vac All-Around EZ comes with built-in casters and a wider variety of cleaning accessories that allow it to tackle any cleanup job you can throw at it.
Included are a 7-foot hose, two extension wands, a bare/carpeted floor nozzle, gulper nozzle, crevice tool, and a round brush. The All-Around EZ provides everything you need to tidy up messes both in the house and the workshop. Furthermore, it is wall mountable to conserve space in the home or shop. You don’t have to worry about tripping over it or finding a place to put it when it is not in use.
Best of all though, it is filter bag compatible and comes with a foam sleeve for protecting your dry filter when doing a wet cleanup. This mini shop vac complies with the made in USA standard and offers a wide variety of accessories for and filtration options. You can purchase them separately to customize your All-Around EZ to fit your specific needs. This lightweight and Portable Shop Vacuum utility vacuum offers more for your money than other similar models in its class. It will give it a look when you start shopping for your mini shop vac.
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Although I've had a full sized Dyson for years, there are always situations that call for wet vacuuming, individual attachments, or the need to blow a lot of air through something to clean it out. Canned air doesn't cut it when you need to blast air through a dryer vent hose to flush out collected lint. Enter this small shop vacuum. Its inadequate enough to hang on a wall but has ample power for most jobs, easy to open and empty and just super convenient in smaller spaces. There's an output port to blow on one side and an input port with suction on the other side. Great for the garage, server rooms, play rooms or whatever. It does a great job at an affordable price and hangs out of the way on a supplied wall bracket when it's not in use.
“Heavy duty” and “compact” are generally considered mutually exclusive terms, but this is not the case with the Vacmaster VF408 utility vacuum cleaner. In addition to a five peak horsepower 2-stage motor, this tiny powerhouse also has a 4-gallon collection tank that can handle even large spills and wet cleanup.
Furthermore, this Vacmaster VF408 comes with three extension wands, a round brush, crevice tool, and flat floor attachments for its 7-foot hose. It also has a foam filter sleeve for better-wet cleanup, a dust collection bag, and HEPA exhaust filter, which is great for dirt and Dust Collection, and debris inside the collection tank rather than spreading them back into the air.
Better still, all filters are washable, and accessories can all be easily stored right on the vacuum housing. Ideal for keeping everything you need in easy reach. With its large rear wheels and versatile front casters, this little utility Small Shop Vac. It can make maneuvering outdoors or over any flooring surface easy. If you already know you will be doing some heavy duty clean up around the shop on a regular basis but don’t want to have to store a larger vacuum, the Vac-Master VF408 deserves a first look.
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Just great! I'm in my 60's and it is a ideal size for me to lift, wheels roll really well, easy to move, very robust. I like the hose attachment for it screws onto the base which makes it safe, unlike other vac that can push in and come out when pulling the machine around. I was able to clean my porch, which was full of dust and leaves from the winter, without any issues. The small shop vac got up the dirt and dust and dirt first using the vac bag included then transferred the bag and sucked up the water I used to wash the pouch entrance down. This can be Tough work for someone of my years, though this vac made it easier. But i would say, that although it says its 4 gallon it holds less than two gallons of fluid before needing emptying.
Designed with the automotive user in mind, this handy mini shop vac is an ideal size for use in and around your car or truck. Its two peak horsepower can pick up virtually any mess you may have in your car, and its 2.5-gallon capacity. Will ensure that you don't spend more time emptying the tank than you do cleaning up messes in your car, shop, or home.
Extras with this Armor includes numerous accessories that are ideal for anyone who needs to deep clean the upholstery and small spaces in their car or If they are cleaning up a wet mess. Also, there is a gulper nozzle, two different style crevice tools, a round brush, and a detailing brush for getting stubborn dirt and grime out of tight places. It also has a reusable cloth filter with a reusable foam sleeve for easier wet/dry cleanup. It has a built-in overflow shut off to keep your cleaned up mess contained.
What makes this an excellent car, shop, or home utility vacuum is the fact that it has a 10-foot power cord and a 6-foot hose. This long cord means that you won’t need to worry about having enough to reach anywhere in your car while you are cleaning. If you enjoy doing your car work or need a handy small shop vac for around the house, definitely check out the Armor All AA255.
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AWESOME! I bought this little chap to vacuum the car which is FULL of PET HAIR. My dog goes in the car every day to/from work with me. So there is so much dirt and hair everywhere (even though I use a bed seat cover). Using all the tools and attachments and a fair amount effort on my part, I was able to eliminate about 75-85% of the pet hair from the car seats. I could still vacuum some more to keep removing, but it was a lot of scrubbing. The vac has a small attachment brush for the car console space, and it works great without damaging anything. I'm happy with this bargain and would suggest!
Another heavy duty yet compact utility vacuum cleaner. This model WS0400 is a little cleaning dynamo that is ready to help you keep your workspace clean no matter how big a mess you have made. Additionally, the Qwik Lock Filter Fastening System makes it easy to go from dry to wet vacuum cleanup. With the correct filter the WSO-400VA.
It also features an auto-shut-off feature to prevent your small shop vac from accidentally overflowing and spilling the liquid/mess you just cleaned up all over your freshly cleaned floor or workspace.
Best of all, this small shop vac WSO-400VA has a 5 HP peak motor and 4-gallon capacity. You can generally spend more time getting the mess up with fewer passes than vacuuming the same area over and over again between frequent breaks to empty the tank. All in all, this is a reliable shop vac that can handle big jobs despite its small size. Don’t overlook it in your search for that perfect small utility vacuum.
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I love this little guy. Its a small shop vac, lightweight, and easy to carry around. I don't like using my house vacuum outside, or even in the garage because it gets slightly dirty. This one can be assigned to the dirtier tasks in the garage and cleaning up the cars. It has lots of suction and does not struggle with spider webs and garage grime. Works excellent in the vehicles, and the attachments help to get all the stuff out from under the seats (how does it all get under there anyway?). I've used shop vac that will genuinely suck up water if something has leaked or spilled. Handy, but those things are gigantic and bulky to use. In the case of trying to save room, if I do get a few water leaks, I'll lend or rent a big vac for cleanups. This one sits freely on a rack in the garage. It will vacuum up wet spills and is easy to clean.
This Vacmaster has best in class suction power named the beast it got a professional look and feel to this mini wet dry vac. It comes on swivel casters wheels which allows it to spin 360 which makes it difficult to tip over when in use. Its black color and rugged look make this model, not only look appealing, but the build quality is also excellent too. With more onboard features it looks a superb vac from Vacmaster.
This model is classed as a professional series vac so will be able to take on cleanup jobs where ever you would need it; whether that's shop or garage or maybe on a job site. This Vacmaster will be ready to tackle the toughest of situations. It comes with a 12-gallon tank and has plenty of accessories to help on any task. The flexibility of these tools that come with the Vacmaster will enable it to reach over 27 feet if required. It has 7 hose and 20ft power cord length. This cord allows you to move with this vac without having to keep replugging the unit.
The suction on this vac does what it says on the tin, very powerful and not too noisy. The cord and hose are on the body of the unit which means moving location or transporting the vac is simple and easy to do.
The filter on the mini shop vac is fine but does not come with HEPA filter as standard. And has a disposable internal bag for debris as well as the round filter cartridge. These are ok but can stay attached to the suction port inside the tank. The manufacturers of this vac could have thought this through a bit more in the design of this Vacmaster. Would suggest for dust and pollen sufferers that the filter would need upgrading to the HEPA filter which you can purchase separately. The cord and hose have plenty of reach. It has attachments for a pointed nozzle, and several floor attachments (both wet and dry) All in all a small powerful shop vac at a sensible price point.
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I can see why this unit gets five stars. The suction is the same or more than a car wash vacuum, and that is with the noise muffler installed. The hose and attachments storage may be my favorite thing. Whoever designed this vac did an excellent job on every detail. They even put a velcro strap on the power cord to hold it wrapped up. As soon as you start to unpack it, you realize this is the one. I just got it so I can't tell how long it will last, but judging by the quality probably a long time. This unit got better reviews than the more expensive units of the same brand!!! When I ordered it, they were out of stock, so I was prepared to wait. So then it was delivered two days later. Happily surprised.
We have another Workshop wet/dry vac to review its different to the WS0250VA model and has a few different features and has a larger tank capacity so lets take a look what it got to offer. The first noticeable difference is this Wet Dry Vac WS0610VA come with caster wheels which swivel 360 degrees ideal for the mobile users; this is also useful to keep the base of this mini shop vac off the floor surface which will keep it dry if you are dealing with wet messes.
The tanks made with copolymer which is more robust than other polypropylene materials which improves its impact strength against dents and cracks. The 6-gallon tank is rust resistant and has a large drain port, which is handy for quick disposal of any liquids. Also, it has auto shut off fitted which prevent overflow when using on wet messes. The size of this mini shop vac Wet Dry WS0610VA is small enough to store away under a bench or in a small space with the height being only being 20 inches.
This shop vac comes with standard qwik lock filter bags which are ok to get you started. Unfortunately, if you need the HEPA filter cartridge, these are not supplied with this shop vac. It does comes with accessories and these stores neatly on the small shop vac canister body.
The 7-Foot x 1-7/8-inch diameter quick-release locking hose is easy to detach from the unit. The main concern we found was the accessory kit that comes as standard with this small shop vac are missing the components for the wet portion of the vac cleaning, which means having to purchase these separately which we believe is an oversight on their part which is unfortunate and a bit disappointing with the shop vac. We asked Workshop to answer this question and they told us:
"Yes, all our vacs can be used as a wet vac without a wet filter when picking up clean water. If you are picking up water with debris and dry materials, you need to have a filter installed in the vacuum".
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I gave my new small shop vac 3.5 HP, 6 gallons wet/dry vac a try this weekend cleaning out my vehicles. It took 5 mins to unbox and setup. You need to install the wheels on the bottom of the canister and install the dust bag; then you're ready to go. One feature I'm extremely pleased with is that the hoses and extensions have a quick release mechanism, which is much more convenient than what you see on most other brands. The power of the vac was on par with what I've seen from other similarly powered models. Overall, this unit is very compact, which is helpful for storage and using it in tight spaces. One point to consider when buying this or any other wet/dry vac is the cost of replacement filters.
This one is a mini shop vac by Stanley and has a compact design, but still, has power and is a portable vacuum. We are looking at the 3-gallon model, but they do have vacs from 1 to 12 gallon capacity in their range. At only 8.8lbs it one of the lighter portable vacuum considering it's 3-gallon tank, but don't let the size fool you, this mini shop vac is great for patio work with the suction surprisingly good for such a compact vacuum.
It boasts 3.0 HP, and the hose is 1.25 so smaller diameter than other mini shop vac we've looked at here; however, it still packs a punch. If this did have a larger hose like a 1.5 or even 1.75, this would make this a much better vacuum. That said, we are looking at a variety of different mini shop vac, and this one still has some great features. This Stanley vac has a flat base so sits nicely on the floor. You have to carry it around if you are moving around to clean messes in different areas. That's easy enough to do with this if you are vacuuming dry messes.
The hose can be little stiff and can tend to tilt the vacuum which can affect the suction power. However for the flexible portability of this vacuum it does has many advantages and multi-use from being used as a car vac, truck vac, house vac, lots of areas where you need a quick and easy cleanup vac to do the job, then this may be the one that is perfect for you. Plus it won't break the bank; as it is competitively priced.
Comes with accessories include 4-foot long flexible hose, and gulper. The filter is a reusable dry filter with mounting ring and a foam filter. The carrying handle is conveniently situated and is comfortable to move around. So we have a mini shop vac that's compact portable but still has good suction and power for the price. Maybe something to consider if it meets your needs.
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Knowing that Stanley has taken a hit lately (their own responsibility for inferior quality), I was a bit dubious about this vac. It was the right size and price, so I took a gamble. It is a nice mini shop vac and seems to work well for what I use it (sawdust). It has a good feel and stability (I dislike it when they keep leaning over) and the accessories fit and seal perfectly. While it claims 4.5 peak HP, the hose is only 1.25 inches thick, there is only a certain amount you can clean with it. A larger hose, like 1.5 or 1.75, would make this a much better vac. Anyway, it works well in our cellar, and I like the hose it has. This is one Stanley I will support.
This is from shop vac EZ series of wet/dry vacuum and has a 2.5-gallon tank and comes supplied with two types of filters; foam sleeve and bag type filters. Its an all in one small shop vac designed with the home users in mind, and has a 2.5-gallon tank which is sufficient enough for most small vac jobs around the house. Comes supplied with brackets in case you want to wall mount the vac for safe out of the way storage.
The vac sits on a four-wheeled base, and the wheels can be unscrewed and removed if you don't want to use them, this will leave the vac sitting flat on the floor surface. It also has a blower port which is a bonus for clearing leaves and debris away. The accessories and filter include 7'x 1-1/4" friction hose, (2) extension wands, dual surface nozzle, crevice tool, gulper nozzle, round brush, foam sleeve, collection filter bag.
The filter system comes with two filters one is a paper bag type, and this is for dust and dry debris and the mesh filter for wet vacuuming, these will need upgrading to dry filter bags at some point. We have mentioned before that the bag filter is not as good regarding the suction of the unit compared to the filter discs. The downside here is the filter bags have to be purchased separately.
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Great small shop vac. We live in an old farm house - the cellar has brick walls and a concrete floor so there is always grit and bits of old mortar, etc. Plus the cement floor is not finished off smooth so there are all those little pits and holes found in old cellars - this has plenty of power to clean out the holes and pick up all the grit, even the smooth dirt tracked in by boots, etc. It's one of only a very few this size that I could find with casters so I really wanted this one to have power. It does, plus it rolls easily, doesn't tip over going over the old worn wooden thresholds and is even rather quiet! I'm also pleased with floor accessory.
For my money, I’d purchase the Shop-Vac 1.5 Gallon All-In-One. It’s wall mountable, got plenty of power, and come with all the accessories, that I would ever need to clean up wet and dry messes around the house or out in my garage. Best of all, it has casters and an 18-foot cord so I can move it around the kitchen or workshop without having to worry about unplugging it and replugging it in elsewhere to get a mess cleaned up. When you do decide to purchase a small utility vacuum to use around the house, give the Shop-Vac 1.5 Gallon All-In-One the first look. It is an excellent value given both its features and its price point.
Many features and differences in technical specifications can be overwhelming. So finding the right small shop vac for you boils down to just a few simple feature categories. Here are the main features and capabilities you want to take a closer look at when it comes to buying a small shop vac:
The primary thought process for obtaining a small shop vac is so that it will occupy less space when not in use and be easy to maneuver. To that end. It may be you want to check out the actual dimensions of any small shop vac you are considering for purchase. To make sure it will be small enough to store easily in your workshop or garage. And it will still be easy to lift, carry, and move around in a smaller workspace. That research is going to be down to you, your knowledge of your workspace. A lot of small shop vac are compact enough to work effectively in lots of small areas you may be planning on using them in, so the size of the small shop vac is a consideration for the space you have available.
Size is going to be the trickier of these two considerations, as knowing the average amount of clean-up you need. What to do with this small shop vac can be confusing depending on what you intend to use it on. If for example you are mainly only cleaning up Wood Shavings Or Sawdust, then these can both tend to be higher volume, and you may fill up your shop-vac faster than you anticipated. But if you need to clean up other shop waste that is more powder consistency. You may not need quite so much capacity thanks to the lower density of this material. Plan to purchase enough size for your typical cleanup jobs.
How much suction and airflow does your small shop-vac need? If you are generally only performing dry low-density cleanup, then you probably don’t need quite as much. On the other hand, if you are looking at high density and potentially wet cleanup, then you will need to consider getting something with a little more “oomph.” And would be looking for a small power shop vac. There are three features you will need to look at when you are searching for a small power shop vac to fit your needs:
Sealed Pressure: Cleaning wet messes means that you need higher sealed pressure power. If your potential small power shop vac is over 75 SP, it is considered to be a high-end utility vacuum.
CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): The finer the debris, the higher you want your CFM. The measure of how much airflow your small power shop vac can process via its largest intake.
Air-watts/Air Power (AP): Tend to pick up more heavy/solid debris like screws, nuts, and bolts? Go for the model with higher AP, as it will do a better job of lifting and pulling those items into the storage tank.
The filter for your shop-vac is as important as any of its technical specifications. After all, if you install the wrong sort of filter for your cleanup job, it can cause further problems and more than likely going to spread that water, dust, and other debris back out into the air again anyway. Here’s a quick guide to picking the right filter for your small shop-vac:
Large Low-Density Debris: General household filters are fine for this kind of job.
Moderate Density Debris: Stick to medium filtration levels or finer for this kind of stuff if you want it to stay in the tank and not spread all over the place.
Small/Fine Debris: Definitely purchase a filter with a fine filtration level to contain powdery substances like plaster or fine plastic shavings.
Wet Debris: Get a foam sleeve for whatever filter you already have installed.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air filter) filters are good choice if you suffer from Allergies, and a HEPA collection bag. This filter is a good idea when cleaning up after pets. Some filters can make sure they vacuum away any fine dust particles that are airborne which if you are prone to these things when doing cleaning jobs, then this is something to consider when choosing your small shop vac.
Collection bags in general—while not essential for dry cleanup—make a big difference when it comes to emptying your tank after tidying up around your work area. If your small shop vac doesn’t include the right filter for your regular cleanup, get the correct filter yourself and make sure you change or wash it as needed between cleaning sessions. A shop-vac only functions well when it is maintained and in good working order.
Sometimes sizes can be difficult to gauge, so it will take at the most common shop vac hose sizes and make a comparison to something that we are familiar with we find this helps. So here are the basic three dimensions with:
1. 2.5" (opening size about the size of a baseball)
2. 1.25" (opening size about the size of a golf ball)
3. 2.5" (designed for Industrial and Commercial products)
With this in mind, let's look at which hose size are best to use for cleanup jobs Use a 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" hose to clean car interiors or for Dust Collection on power handheld tools like sanders and jigsaws. For general cleanup, wet/dry a 2 1/2" hose is the preferred choice here.
The Shop-Vac universal Tool Adapter allows you to connect virtually any power tool with an exhaust port to a Shop-Vac wet/dry vacuum. With a 1-to-2-inch diameter range, the adapter custom fits onto any vacuum cleaner's standard hose end. Made of soft, pliable plastic, the adapter can be cut to many different diameters.
If you have further question regarding the hose sizes, you can check out the manufacturer website where you can search the product specification and see what different size hoses they have for the product you are interested in buying.
By using a smaller mini shop vac, it has the benefits of using for general use around the home and will also do a cleanup job in the workplace as well. The compact design of these mini shop vac enables them to be small enough to store away quickly and easily. Here a quick look at what to look for when choosing a mini shop vac.
Depending on the surfaces you are cleaning the wet/dry shop vac is a good pick. A vac that can vacuum wet liquids and will also have the suction power to deal with dust and debris is a better option. And a mini shop vac which is portable or has a lengthy power cord that will give you more working space. The hose size for mini shop vac is beneficial if it's 10 ft in length. Other shop vacs can have longer hoses like a wall mounted vac and some cordless shop vac models.
If you are using the mini shop vac indoor, the noise will be a consideration as you don't want something that is too loud leading to having to wear ear protectors. Aiming for a shop vac with a noise level around 50 dBs is a reasonable level. Air quality is another area to check when looking for a mini shop vac, having a HEPA filter will help with any dust pollution especially if you are using it in your garage or workshop.
Q. Can HEPA filters be washed and reused?
A. Depending on the HEPA filter you have, some models say washable and some don't. At this time there is no evidence to say that they will work well after washing. So replace with a new one would be what we would suggestion here.
Q. Can you use a small shop vac without the filter?
A. Some models you can, more so if you are only running clean water through them.
Q. What does peak horsepower mean?
A. The horsepower (PHP) of a mini shop vac is the output power of the motor which is tested is research laboratory.
Q. Can shop vac filters be washed?
A. If it is a reusable filter then you can wash it off and use it again, make sure it dry before refitting.
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.