Best Shop Vacs for the Home and Garage

These picks come from trusted brands known for quality, power, and durability.

shop vac
A good shop vac can clean up any mess in mere minutes. Amazon

We’ve done the research and have found the best shop vacs for your needs. Choose from portable to high capacity for your home, shop, or job site.

CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17596 20 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac, Heavy-Duty Shop Vacuum with Attachments

Maximum power and capacity

The hose is durable and constructed to resist kinks and crushing. Amazon

The Crafstman 20 gallon wet/dry vac is your choice when you’re looking for maximum power and capacity. Its 20-gallon drum can tackle the big messes. The 6.5 peak horsepower motor provides the power needed for tougher jobs. Since 20 gallons of any liquid are extremely heavy, there is an extra-large drain so you don’t have to pick it up or tilt the vac to empty its contents. Transportation and storage are optimized with an onboard hose and an accessory storage system to keep it all together. The Qwik Lock filter fastening system allows for quick and easy filter changes. An excellent solution for heavy-duty applications.

Stanley 12 Gallon 5.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vacuum, 3 in 1 Shop Vac Blower,1-7/8"x6 Hose, Range for Garage, Carpet Clean, Workshop with Vacuum Attachments-SL18199P

22-foot cleaning range

The safety buoy automatically cuts the power to prevent overflowing the bucket, and a drain port makes emptying it easy. Amazon

The Stanley 12 gallon wet/dry vacuum can handle large capacity and deliver high performance. The 12-gallon drum is sufficient for tough tasks around the home or shop. The 5.5 peak HP motor is powerful and produces strong suction for dust, sawdust, wet carpets, kitchen or bathroom spills, and more. Its 16-foot power cord and 6-foot hose provide over 20 feet of cleaning range when coupled with the included cleaning wands. Swiveling caster wheels make movement easy in and around the cleanup site.

Armor All, AA255, 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum

Gets into the small spaces

The 10-foot cord and nozzle accessories are all stored on the unit itself for easy carry and storage. Amazon

The Armor All Utility vac will help you out with a variety of uses but is built especially with your car in mind. It’s lightweight and portable and holds a 2.5-gallon tank. The 2 HP motor provides more than enough suction for the 1.5” hose and attachments. It’s built for wet and dry pickup and is portable enough to go wherever you need it. Includes a 2-in-1 utility nozzle, a crevice tool for tight spaces, a deluxe car nozzle, a blower nozzle, and a detail brush for air vents.

Vacmaster Professional - Professional Wet/Dry Vac, 5 Gallon, Beast Series, 5.5 HP 1-7/8" Hose Jobsite Vac (VFB511B0201), Black

Power and portability

The onboard hose, accessory, and power cord storage make it easy to transport or stash away until you need it next time. Amazon

The 5-gallon drum is plenty for being on the go, and the 5.5 Peak HP motor offers the power of larger heavy-duty vacs. Its 1 7/8” premium hose is 7 feet long and kink resistant. Accessories include a utility nozzle, a crevice tool, an extension wand, a fine dust cartridge filter, a foam wet filter, an air and noise diffuser, and even a car nozzle. Coupled with the 18-foot power cord, the cleaning range is a remarkable 25 feet. The Beast vac is easy to carry around and provides the power you need for most tasks.

DeWALT DXV06P 6 gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac, Yellow

On the go

The ultra-durable rubberized caster wheels make it easy to get around from job to job, with 360 degree swiveling. Amazon

The DeWalt DXV06P offers a useful combination of power, capacity, and portability. It works well for most small clean-up jobs around the home, shop, or job site, with a powerful 4 peak HP motor and a 10-foot power cord. The hose is larger than most portable vacs and stores securely to the unit with a strap. Includes several attachments for a variety of functions, a dust cartridge filter for small dry debris or wet use, and a water-resistant on/off switch. Like the Craftsman, it has a drain plug so you won’t have to pick it up to drain the tank.


Keith Long is a contributing writer to Florida Travel & Life, an online brand that inspires active, affluent travelers, providing them with insider information on discovering the best of Florida. Informative and engaging, the website showcases travel destinations, arts and cultural venues, vibrant dining scenes, recreational activities, the great outdoors and the revitalized real-estate market. Keith loves sailing and exploring the islands of the Caribbean.


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