Best Shop Vac for Woodworking

Having a passion for woodworking is a wonderful thing. It gives you the freedom and ability to create and build anything that you want. We all know that getting into woodworking can be a messy prospect though, and requires a lot in terms of cleaning and keeping your workspace neat and safe.

If you don’t already have a reliable shop vac for your woodworking space, we are going to help you with that. Today we are going to be looking at five of the best and highest performing vacuums that are perfect for woodworking.

5 Best Shop Vac for Woodworking

Picture

Name

Price

WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1600VA

WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1600VA

Ridgid 50348

Ridgid 50348

Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet Dry Shop Vac

Craftsman XSP

Shop-Vac-5950800

Shop-Vac-5950800

WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1100CA

WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1100CA

Top 5 Best Shop Vac for Woodworking Reviews

1. WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1600VA

WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1600VA

Editor Rating:

This reliable and durable shop vac is great for woodworking, and provides plenty of versatility for both wet and dry cleanups. It has a really flexible seven foot hose with large opening so that you can suck up virtually anything. 

The hose and vacuum are equipped with a locking tab to prevent your hose from becoming unhooked while you are vacuuming. It is made of a durable copolymer that is resistant to all kinds of wear and tear, and has an easy emptying drain for wet materials.

PROS

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    This vac comes with a wide hose that is seven feet long hose that gives you 180 degree flexibility at both ends, so that you can use and take your vacuum anywhere
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    The vac has a locking tab to keep the hose attached so it can stay connected without falling off, while you are cleaning
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    It uses a quick-lock filter which is perfect for cleaning up dry or wet debris, and it even has an automatic shutoff mechanism that will prevent overflow during the cleanup of wet materials
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    The container of this vacuum is made from a durable copolymer that is resistant to cracks, dents, corrosion, and rusting
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    This shop vac also has a large drain for the quick and easy disposal of wet materials
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    It also has a blower function so that you can blow wood particles and unwanted debris out of your space for easier cleanup

CONS

  • It would be nice if the hose came with a longer attachment for more cleaning versatility

2. Ridgid 50348

Ridgid 50348

Editor Rating:

This heavy-duty vacuum would be perfect for cleaning up the debris from your woodworking projects. This is an exceedingly powerful vacuum that uses a 6 horsepower motor. You can imagine that this vacuum can pick up any big or small debris that is in its path. 

This massive and powerful vacuum also comes with a filter and a variety of attachments that make it easier to clean your shop space. It has a huge 14 gallon container so that you don’t have to worry about letting emptying your vacuum interrupt your cleaning.

PROS

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    This vacuum is incredibly powerful and is loaded up with a 6 horsepower motor, which can pick up just about any kind debris, of any size
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    Even though this shop vac is really powerful, it is also much quieter than you think. This model uses sound-suppression technology so that you don’t make yourself deaf while you are cleaning up your woodshop.
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    This vacuum has a huge 14 gallon capacity, so that you don’t have to worry about constantly emptying out as you clean
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    This vacuum comes with a few different accessories including different nozzle attachments and a filter
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    With this vacuum you also get a nice pushcart handle so that it is really easy to push around this heavy-duty vacuum, that weighs in at nearly 30 pounds. 

CONS

  • The accessory container that goes onto your vacuum can have a little trouble fitting
  • The last model of this vacuum actually may have been more powerful

3. Craftsman XSP

Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet Dry Shop Vac

Editor Rating:


This is another intensely strong and large shop vacuum that would be great for cleaning up the debris after you are done with your woodworking. This vacuum has one the largest containers that we are going to look at today at 16 gallons, and it is great for holding both wet and dry materials.

This large vacuum also has a powerful 6.5 horsepower motor so that you are hardly limited to the type and size of debris that you can pick up. It comes with a strong handheld blower that you can use to clear debris from your area, for faster pickup. This model also comes with several different nozzles and attachments that you can use to make the cleaning job easier.

PROS

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    This massive vacuum has a 16 gallon cleaning capacity that is perfect for cleaning up both wet and dry materials
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    This Craftsman vacuum also has a really powerful 6.5 horsepower motor so that it can clean up any mess that you have
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    This shop vac also comes with a detachable handheld blower that you can use to clear debris out of your workspace and help you clean up faster
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    This vacuum comes with a reusable filter and several different nozzles that you can use for just about any cleaning situation that you come up against.

CONS

  • The plastic hole connection on this hose actually doesn’t work that well and can cause there to be an air leak at the end of the hose. That results in a substantial loss of suction power

4. Shop-Vac-5950800

Shop-Vac-5950800

Editor Rating:

This compact shop vacuum is the perfect cleaning utility for smaller woodworking areas. It has an eight gallon container and an eight foot hose that gives you plenty of room in the vacuum and large cleaning range. This vac also comes with several different attachments that you can use for different surfaces and different debris. 

It comes with a filter and a filter minder that will help you maintain your vacuum’s performance and your filter.

PROS

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    This eight gallon capacity shop vac is a smaller than several other vacuums that we have taken a look at in this review, but is still sizable enough for a large workspace
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    This vacuum comes with an eight foot long cleaning hose and several different extension nozzles that you can use for a variety of different surfaces and scenarios
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    This shop vac also comes with a cartridge filter a collection filter bag so that you don’t have to buy them separately
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    This model has a six foot power cord that gives you just enough length to clean a smaller woodworking space
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    The filter minder that is included with this vacuum is a great way to maintain your filter for longer and get better performance out of your vacuum
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    It has convenient top and side carry handles for easier transportation

CONS

  • This vacuum is substantially smaller than other vacuums in this review, and it isn’t as powerful as some of the other options

5. WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1100CA

WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS1100CA

Editor Rating:

This awesome little shop vac provides the ultimate in onboard storage for all of your shop vac needs. There is storage everywhere on this vacuum for your hose, extensions, and all of the wonderful add-ons that this vacuum comes with.

The flat surface on the top and the locking rear wheels make this vacuum a great little work-space/vacuum while you are cleaning.

PROS

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    This awesome vacuum unit provides the pinnacle in organized storage for your shop vac. It has onboard storage for all of the great attachments that come with your shop vac.
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    This vacuum even has extra onboard storage compartments that you can use for holding additional tools and supplies
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    It also gives you a flat hinged top that you can use as a working surface while you are vacuuming and cleaning your shop
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    This model also has locking rear wheels to keep your vacuum from rolling around while you are cleaning one area
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    The slide-out drum on this vacuum makes for really easy filter changes and debris removal, so you don’t have any mess after vacuuming
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    Great for both wet and dry messes

CONS

  • This vacuum offers a lot in terms of storage and features, but not as much in terms of performance.

What shop vac did you like the best in this review? For us, that ended up being the Craftsman XSP. What we like the most about this vacuum is that it offers the best on three very important fronts: power, design, and simplicity. This vacuum gives you all the space and power that you need for cleaning in a simple design, with all of the attachments and extensions that you need to keep your woodworking space clean.

Woodworking: Choosing the Best Shop Vac

Power

One of the first things that you want to look at when shopping for a vacuum is the power. Read up on the voltage and the horsepower of the motor to get a better idea of what it’s cleaning performance is going to be like.

Capacity and Design

The capacity of the vacuum that you need is largely dependent on the size of your workspace and the messes that you make. For bigger messes in bigger workspaces, it is nice to have a large capacity vacuum so that you don’t have to keep emptying out throughout your cleaning process. You also want to make sure that your shop vac is made of materials that can handle both wet and dry materials, and that it won’t wear out, rust, or corrode.

Hose and Extensions

Extensions, nozzles, and hoses that are included with your vacuum are all very important. What’s the usable length of your hose? Do the extensions give you what you need in terms of cleaning your workspace?

Filter

You always want to make sure that you have a great filter on your vacuum. Your filter dictates your vacuum’s ability to capture debris in your workspace, and can either make your life easier or harder when cleaning out your vacuum.

About the Author Rafael Porter

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