Homeowners and contractors alike depend on the take-no-prisoners, heavy-duty suction power of a wet/dry vacuum. From sawdust in the workshop to an overflowing bathtub, a wet/dry vacuum can make easy work of a tough mess. Although Consumer Reports does not currently test wet/dry vacuums, we have put them through their paces in the past.
We sucked up screws, wood pieces, and heavier debris in a demanding test of suction. A one-gallon spill tested their wet-cleaning ability. We compared how well they picked up simulated wood flour, and then measured how much of that dust leaked into the air. Finally, we judged the ease of use of each vacuum’s features and accessories. Use this guide for determining the right model for your needs and budget.
Top 7 Wet Dry Vac
- 12 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
- 5 Peak HP Motor
- Picks up wet and dry debris;Frequency : 60Hz. Able to clean up both solids and liquids...
- 2.5 gallon storage tank and 2 horsepower motor with an auto shut-off to prevent overflow
- 5 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
- 5. 5 Peak HP High Efficiency Motor
- Sturdy 9 Gallon wet/dry vac ideal for large pick-up applications 9 Gallon poly container
- Powerful 5 peak horsepower motor provides just the amount of suction needed to most any...
- High performance motor provides maximum power
- Light weight compact design for easy carrying
- Novel and compact design make it powerful and portable
- Sealed pressure (Inches of water): 52-inches
- Heavy-duty: powerful 6.5 peak HP provides extra power for large projects in the Garage,...
- Built-in blower port: Rear blowing port on this wet dry Vac allows for quick cleaning of...
What You Need to Know
Major brands are pushing stackable and cordless wet/dry vacuums and other new designs as they try to get wet/dry vacuums out of the basement and into the kitchen and living room. But cleaning ability should be your primary concern.
The largest models generally delivered the quickest, most thorough cleaning and the most capacity, and they tended to be the best equipped. But you may need a smaller, lighter vacuum—perhaps even a mini-sized model—if your home is shy on storage space or has more than one level.
Don’t Believe Capacity-Claim Hype
Most of the manufacturers overstated the fluid capacity of the vacuums we tested, some by as much as eight gallons. While those claims may correlate with the size of the vacuum’s collection area, our measurements are based on actual vacuuming until each vacuum’s internal float rose high enough to block further suction.
To Protect Your Hearing
All of the wet/dry vacuums we tested were loud. Some reach 85 decibels, the level at which we recommend wearing ear protection to prevent hearing damage.
Wet/dry vacuums are relatively basic. So choose one based on your cleaning needs, your storage—and how far you’ll need to move it. Here are the types of wet/dry vacuums to consider.
Mini-Sized Wet/Dry Vacuums
These sacrifice the most performance and capacity for the least weight and easiest storage.
Small Wet/Dry Vacuums
Consider these if you’re willing to sacrifice performance and capacity for easier portability.
Medium-Sized Wet/Dry Vacuums
These offer a good balance of performance and compactness.
Large Wet/Dry Vacuums
Powerful and best equipped for challenging cleanups. They hold the most debris but can be heavy and bulky—especially when full of water.
Wet/Dry Vac Cleaner Buying Guide
Wet and dry vacuum cleaners come with a wide range of attachments and features. With that said, you need to consider the following things when buying your cleaner:
Reaching messes – Your cleaner should be able to reach all the messes in your workshop, garage, or other places.
Water filtration – This is to ensure that you get clean air and make your cleaner easier to switch from dry to wet filtration.
Capabilities beyond vacuuming – Some of the products function like deep carpet cleaners and floor scrubbers.
What is the right size of a wet-dry vacuum cleaner?
Generally, these products come in large, medium, small, and mini size. A smaller model takes up less space when storing and is easier to move around while a larger model has a big capacity and offers better performance.
Why does my wet/dry vacuum blow dust backward?
There many reasons for this such as a hole in the filter, dust being extremely fine, and issues with installation. Check these things and your vacuum will work effectively.
Which is the right filter for the wet surface?
You should use the foam sleeve for wet places and you can even add an extra tear-resistant collecting bag.
Why is my wet/dry vacuum losing suction power?
There are many reasons for this but the main one is a blockade in the airflow. Ensure that everything is working effectively and the hose is not obstructed.
Are wet/dry vacuum expensive?
It will depend on the model you choose and where you buy it. Some models can be quite expensive while others are affordable. The features will also determine the price of the vacuum.
Which surfaces can I use my wet/dry vacuum?
You can use it to vacuum different floors including laminate, hardwood, tile, concrete, and other places.