Best Shop Vac for Woodworking

5 Best Shop Vac for Woodworking Reviews and Buyers Guide

If you do a lot of woodwork, it is important to have a vac that is able to deal particularly with the kind of messes left behind when you are done with your work. Many vacuums may seem like they can do the job but the truth is they cannot compare to the best shop vac for woodworking. A shop vac designed for this is able to suck up wood chunks, nails, as well as the finer messes like sawdust and it, will not get clogged or allow the dust to escape. This guide will help you make a choice from the top 5 that I have researched about.

5 Best Shop Vac for Woodworking



Editor Rating

Users Reviews & Price

Shop-Vac 9621600 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum


WORKSHOP WS1100CA Mobile Wet Dry Shop Vacuum


Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Blower


WORKSHOP WS1600VA High Capacity Wet Dry Vacuum


DEWALT DC515K Cordless Wet/Dry Vac


How to Choose the Best Shop Vac for Woodworking

Size / Capacity

You will buy a shop vac with a huge tank if the mess to pick up is big and you have a large space to store it. This is advantageous as you don’t have to empty the tank frequently and cleaning it up is easier. If your woodwork, workshop is small then you should purchase a smaller and portable shop vac that will be easy to store. In addition, weight is another factor to consider you should purchase a vac that you can be able to carry.


Here you should consider suction and airflow of the shop vac you are going to purchase. You should look at the performance of the vac, so as to know the performance rate of a shop vac you should understand the following aspects. The sealed pressure, this is the suction pressure and it is measured in inches of water, implying that how many inches of water can the vacuum lift in a glass tube. You should choose a shop vac whose vacuum utility is more than 75. The cubic feet per minute of the vac, this refers to the amount of airflow in the vac. If you wish to pick up fine debris like wood dust and chips you need a vac with a higher airflow. Air power, this refers to the amount of power which becomes airflow at the dirt inlet. This rating is very significant if you want to pick up big debris like bolts and nuts, in this case, you require a vac with higher air power.


If you use the wrong filter, you might have water or dust blowing back. The type of filter you require will be based on the kind of debris you want to pick up.

  • For larger debris buy a filter with a household filtration level.
  • For medium debris buy a medium level filtration filter.
  • For fine debris buy a fine level filtration filter.
  • For wet debris, you should buy a foam sleeve as your filter.

If anyone has got some allergies you should use a HEPA cartridge filter, depending on the kind of debris you expect cleaning up more often.

Hose Size

Hose length is an important aspect you need to consider when purchasing a vac, ensure that you can reach every place that you wish to clean, however, you should keep in mind that the longer the hose the less the suction. For large debris, you should buy a shop vac with 2.5” wide hose. For medium debris, you should buy a shop vac with 1.5” wide hose. For fine debris, you should buy a shop vac with 1.25” wide hose. A hose with a smaller diameter will work best for woodworking as it is perfect for sucking up dust due to its increased air velocity. Therefore the smaller the diameter the higher the suction the shop vac has hence it will have a greater cleaning power because it will be able to pick the smallest debris from the floor or the wood surface. Therefore we recommend that you should purchase a vac with a small hose diameter when picking up small debris.

Blower Port / Detachable Blower

You should purchase a shop vac with a detachable blower if you have more fall yard to clean or the areas to clean are hard to reach for easy cleaning. Buying a shop vac which has a blower port is excellent in cleaning hard to reach areas and will offer you excellent result that will give you a cleaning experience you have never had there before as you will be able to blow out the dust in those places.

Other Considerations

You should consider the price needed to purchase the shop vac within your budget this will determine the type of vac you purchase. You should consider other things that you can do with the vac other than collecting debris. You should read reviews by users, who have used some particular models and experts Other features to consider include; various pickup attachments, easy bag adjusting systems and longer power cords.

Recommended 5 Best Shop Vac for Woodworking Reviews

Shop-Vac 9621600 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 9621600 16-Gallon

Editor Rating:

This is a vacuum that combines a variety of accessories to make it suitable for different functions including woodworking. It has a special tool that can clean up your worktop fast and efficiently and its suction too contributes to that. With a 16 gallon tank, you can even use it to clean up an entire construction site full of wood shavings and sawdust. It can be moved around easily using the wheels and the tools can be stored onboard in the caddy

Highlighted Features

  • The motor is powerful with a peak horsepower of 6.25 and it has noise reduction
  • It has a number of accessory tools including aa wide nozzle with brush for wood residual
  • The tank maximum capacity is 16 gallons
  • It can be used as a blower with a concentrator nozzle which increases effectiveness
  • The electric cord measures 18 feet
  • The horse is 8 feet long


  • It cleans up wood residue fast and easy thanks to the strong suction and wide nozzle
  • Large tank capacity means more cleaning time before you need to empty the tank
  • It is a versatile vacuum which can clean up more than just wood waste
  • You can use it to blow leaves, pebbles or anything that may have needed sweeping instead of sucking.


  • The hose is not a tight fit so when full and you pull the unit by the hose, it comes out.

WORKSHOP WS1100CA Mobile Wet Dry Shop Vacuum


Editor Rating:

This is a mobile cleaning station with impressive storage and mobility features. Its flat top design offers you an extra work top or just a place to place your tools. Meanwhile, the unit has storage drawers for the accessory tools which makes it easy to transport the entire unit to a construction site or to store in at the workshop. 

It also has powerful suction and filter system which effectively handle wood dust. You can also use it for cleaning the car and professional cleaning tasks.

Highlighted Features

  • There is a drawer for the hose and a separate drawer for the tools as well as another for any other items
  • It has a hinged flat top which can act as an extra worktop
  • The hind wheels have brakes to prevent it from rolling away especially on an incline
  • The power cord is 20 feet long and there is onboard cord wrapping
  • Long handle for easy pulling of the unit
  • The drum can slide out for easy filter change and debris emptying
  • 6.5 peak horsepower
  • 11-gallon tank


  • It has extra storage space as well as space for the accessories
  • It will not roll away when on an incline
  • You can use it as a worktop
  • The suction is quite powerful
  • Changing the filters is easy and fast


  • It is bulky

Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Blower

Craftsman XSP 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet Dry Shop Vac

Editor Rating:

Like the name suggests, it is suited for a craftsman, so if you have a workshop and would like to clean up after your work, you will find this particularly suited for sucking up almost all types of debris, wood chunks, nails, bolts, wood shavings or sawdust, can all be gobbled up fast and easy. It is also good with liquids since it has a large 16-gallon tank

Highlighted Features

  • It has peak horsepower of 6.5
  • The tank has a capacity of 16 gallons
  • Onboard storage for the tools is available
  • It has a drain at the bottom
  • 20-foot power cord and 7-foot hose for a total reach of 27 feet


  • It has suction of 6.5 peak horsepower which makes it strong enough to suck up both liquid and solid waste fast and easy. In a workshop, you may appreciate how easy it is to clear debris like nails and chunks of wood.
  • The large drain makes it easy to empty the tank after sucking up liquid, you are saved the burden of trying to dump liquid out of a 16-gallon tank.
  • Speaking of 16 gallons, it comes in handy to suck up much more especially if you are dealing with floods or cleaning a swimming pool.
  • You can also use this to clean the gutters on the roof by simply attaching the gutter tool.


  • The gutter tool has to be purchased separately

WORKSHOP WS1600VA High Capacity Wet Dry Vacuum


Editor Rating:

This is a shop vac designed to be used at the worksite. It has powerful suction that will handle the different wood waste and it will also suck up any other messes around the worksite including wet ones. Its body too is designed to be durable and handle knocks. This is a reliable vacuum and it is not too expensive, it is actually the cheapest in this list but it still performs well.

Highlighted Features

  • It has peak horsepower of 6.5
  • It can contain maximum waste of 16 gallons
  • The power cord is 20 feet long
  • It handles both wet and dry waste and has a drain at the bottom for liquids
  • It can convert into a blower
  • There is onboard storage for all the tools and the cord can be wrapped neatly on the top
  • The body is designed from tough copolymer to make it resistant to dents and cracks


  • The strong suction helps to get the job done fast
  • It is durable and able to handle tough treatment at a worksite
  • All the accessories can be stored on the unit which makes them easy to reach when needed
  • It is reasonably priced yet it performs just as well as more expensive vacs
  • It comes with a 5-year warranty


  • The wheels are very small so debris like wood chunks can easily stop it from moving freely

DEWALT DC515K Cordless Wet/Dry Vac

DeWalt 1/2 Gallon 18V Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

Editor Rating:

If you need a portable shop vac for woodwork then this is an option you may want to consider. It is cordless since it runs on battery power and it can be used as a handheld tool for quick cleanups around your workstation. It is fairly light so carrying it along to the job site should be no problem and it deals well with fine wood dust ensuring it does not escape into the air as you vacuum.

Highlighted Features

  • It gives you the option of using the front nozzle or the hose
  • It has a half gallon tank which is easy to clean
  • It uses a Gore HEPA filter which traps 99.97 percent of fine dust at 0.3 microns
  • The filter can be rinsed with water
  • It uses a rubber hose which is flexible
  • It runs on 18-volt battery with extended battery life


  • There is no restriction on how far you can go since it has no cord
  • The battery runs longer than most cordless vacuums
  • It is lightweight which makes it easy to carry around
  • There is no worry about tool storage since the nozzle and the hose are already attached to the unit
  • The filter can be easily washed and reused


  • For a vac its size it is quite noisy


Hopefully, this guide has made it much easier for you to make a decision. These are the best woodworking shop vacs in different categories. For example, the Dewalt Cordless is my recommendation for a portable and inexpensive vacuum for woodworking while the Shop Vac 9621600 is a good all round vacuum since it has a number of accessories which makes it versatile. The WorkShop WS1100CA gives you more storage space and added work area and is generally suited for a work environment. You just need to compare your needs with the features provided and you can make a choice.

About the Author Rafael Porter

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