Best Cheap Shop Vac

Looking for a quality shop vacuum can be difficult in a number of different ways. One of the most dissuasive aspects of getting yourself a quality vacuum for your shop is that it can be a really expensive investment. You have to be willing to shell out a lot of money to get a quality shop vacuum, right?

That isn’t always the case. In fact, all you really have to do to find great, cheap shop vacs is to shop around a little longer until you find an affordable vacuum that meets all of your needs. We will give you a detailed overview of some of the highest performing and cheapest shop vacs on the market.

First, let’s investigate some of the main features that you are will want to be looking for in your vacuum cleaner. 

5 Best Cheap Shop Vac




ArmorAll AA255

Armor AA255 Gallon Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5986000

Vac 2 - Shop Vac 5986000

Craftsman 12004 6 Gallon Wet Dry Vac

Craftsman 12004

Shop Vac 5892500

Vacmaster 5 Gallon

Vacmaster VJC507P Gallon Peak

Top 5 Best Cheap Shop Vac Reviews

1. Armor AA255 Gallon Vacuum

ArmorAll AA255

Editor Rating:

This nice, compact 2.5 gallon vacuum is perfect for your medium or smaller sized shop space. It has a two horsepower motor so that you have plenty of strength to suck up large and small debris. 

You have a blower function so that you can easily clear out or dry off your work area. It even has a noise suppressor that concentrates the airflow and keeps your vacuum quieter than other models. 


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    This is a large 2.5 gallon vacuum that has plenty of room in it for your shop.
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    This particular model is made for picking up dry and wet debris
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    This vacuum comes with a 10 foot power cord. It also has a six foot hose for added length.
  • This shop vacuum has an automatic shutoff function that automatically shuts down your vacuum when it reaches peak capacity
  • This vacuum is perfect for using in small shop areas and is great for using it in your car too, just keep in mind that you can’t plug it into your car
  • It has a two horsepower motor which is plenty enough power for cleaning up your shop area
  • The cloth filter on this model is reusable and it comes with a foam sleeve. The filter is really easy to clean off and place back into your vacuum.
  • Has a blower function so that you can easily blast away debris or dry off a space
  • It has a built-in air and noise diffuser that minimizes how much noise your vacuum makes


  • This vacuum isn’t that powerful.
  • This vacuum is smaller and doesn’t have a ton of length to the hose or cable, so it wouldn’t be ideal for a larger shop space

2. Vac 2 - Shop Vac 5986000

Shop-Vac 5986000

Editor Rating:

This five gallon shop vac is both large and durable. This particular model is built sturdy with a stainless steel container. It comes with three different extension wands, which you can use to clean in a variety of situations. 

This vac also has a built-in swivel dolly that gives you the ability to roll and position your shop vac anywhere. 


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    This cheap shop vac has a unique, stainless steel outer layer, which makes this vac exceedingly durable
  • This has its own built-in tank dolly with easy to use, multi-direction roll coasters so that you can pivot and place your vacuum any place that you need it
  • It has a six foot power cord which makes it perfect for small shop spaces
  • This shop vac also has a rear blower port so that you can adequately diffuse the excess air that is dispelled from your vacuum
  • This small vacuum also has built in cord and tool storage, so that you can take your vac tools and accessories with you everywhere that you need to go. 
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    It comes with three different extension wands that are useful in a variety of cleaning scenarios
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    This shop vac has a five gallon container so that you have plenty of room to pick up dry debris and wet messes too


  • It does not come with a brush nozzle attachment
  • The onboard storage is lacking and a little dysfunctional 

3. Craftsman 12004

Craftsman 12004 6 Gallon Wet Dry Vac

Editor Rating:

This Craftsman vac offer a lot when it comes to power and size. This is one of the larger, cheap vacs, when compared to the competition. This vacuum gets 17 feet or reach with its seven foot hose and its 10 foot power cord. 

It has a powerful blower function that is fantastic for cleaning your garage, porch, patio and other surfaces, and is effective for cleaning up wet and dry surfaces. 


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    This Craftsman vacuum has a large six gallon tank that is ideal for cleaning large work areas or shop spaces
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    It has a powerful three horsepower motor which is great for both large and small cleaning jobs
  • You can easily change this vacuum to blower mode, which makes it great for cleaning your yard, porch, patio or shop area
  • It has a dust-sealed on and off switch so that you don’t have to be concerned with debris getting in the switch of your shop vac
  • This model has a seven foot hose and a 10 foot power cord so that you have plenty of reach for cleaning your shop area
  • This vacuum is designed to pick up wet and dry messes in your shop


  • It would be nice if this vacuum came with attachments to clean smaller, tighter areas

4. Shop Vac 5892500

Shop-Vac 5895200 AllAround EZ Series Wet Dry Vacuum

Editor Rating:

This shop vac is super compact and powerful enough to clean your work space. This particular model has a 2.5 gallon container and works well with wet and dry messes. The key feature on this vacuum is that it comes with a wall mount so that you can save some space when you aren’t using your vacuum. 


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    This shop vac is affordable and extremely compact with a 2.5 gallon container for cleaning up your shop
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    What is really convenient about this vacuum is that it is made to save space. It comes with a wall mount so that you can easily mount your vacuum to the side of your garage or shop when you aren’t using it.
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    It comes with a top carry handle that you can easily us to transport your vacuum wherever you need it
  • This compact vacuum is great for picking up both wet and dry debris
  • One of our favorite parts of this vacuum is that it is built with noise suppression technology that makes it super quiet while you are operating it
  • It comes with several great extensions that you can use for cleaning a variety of different areas


  • The attachments and hose that comes with this vacuum are poorly made

5. Vacmaster VJC507P Gallon Peak

Vacmaster Gallon Peak

Editor Rating:

The VacMaster five gallon vacuum has an impressive peak horsepower of three, which makes it great for cleaning up large debris in your shop. It is affordable and come with a lot of great extensions and accessories that you can use for a plethora of cleaning scenarios. 


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    This vacuum has an eight foot power cord for added length. It also has a six foot cleaning hose so that it can cover an impressive 14 feet of space
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    This vacuum comes with several included attachments and features, including a three-piece extension wand, a noise diffuser, a two-in-one utility nozzle, a floor brush and more
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    It has a reusable cloth filter that is really easy to clean and replace
  • It has a blower function that you can use to easily clean your garage, work area or patio
  • Comes with a two year warranty


  • The top of this vacuum lid can come off easily, so you may have to weigh it down

So who came out on top in this battle of the best cheap shop vacs? For us that winner is the Armor All 2.5 Gallon Vacuum. This is one of the most reliable vacuums in this review. It has plenty of power, plenty of space and gives you great length via the power cord and the extension hose. The automatic shut-off feature is really nice as well, and this vacuum works well for dry debris and wet messes.

How to Select the Best Cheap Shop Vac


How large your shop area is will dictate the size of shop vac that you need to buy for your workspace. Be sure to get an adequate amount of vacuum capacity for cleaning your shop space. 


How much power do you need in a vacuum? Most of that is going to be determined by the materials and size of debris that you are going to be picking up. Whether that mess is wet or dry will also give you a better idea of the power that you need.


What kind of filter does your vac have? That is going to determine how well your vacuum is going to pick up and store debris. It will also let you know if you need to buy more filters or if you have a reusable filter. 


What accessories and extensions do you need for cleaning your workspace? Make sure that your vacuum comes with all of the extensions and accessories that you need for cleaning your work area. 

About the Author Rafael Porter

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