• What to look for in a shop vacuum

    If you love working on DIY projects in your home or business, a shop vacuum is essential. Also known as shop vacs or bucket vacuums, these high-powered vacuums are ideal for cleaning up chunky debris and wet/dry messes.

    What is a shop vacuum?

    Shop vacuums are high-powered, specialized vacuums that are designed to handle heavy-duty debris. They're great for situations where a regular household vacuum just won't be able to vacuum everything up, or where a household vacuum cannister would be too small to be convenient.

    Shop vacuum cannisters, filters, and bags are generally much larger than those of a household vacuum, so if you're vacuuming up a very large or very messy area, they make clean-up easier. They're a staple in construction areas, woodworking rooms, garages, and more.

    Wet/dry shop vacs in particular, are popular for cleaning up messes with both wet and dry debris, such as clogged gutters and recently washed floors.

    How does a shop vacuum work?

    Shop vacs work similarly to regular household vacuums, but with more size and power. They use a high-powered motor to suction up dirt and debris from an area, including larger items like wood chunks and nails. Most shop vacuums are made up of a bucket-shaped vacuum canister as well as a tough, flexible hose with attachments, which is how they get their "bucket vacuum" nickname.

    The bucket, motor, and vacuum of a shop vacuum are typically on wheels, which makes the vacuum easy to move along with you as you clean.

    What should I consider when buying a shop vacuum?

    Like different household vacuums, different shop vacs vary in their uses and benefits. Some models need to be flipped upside-down to be emptied, while others contain a filter and bag that can be removed. Size, weight, and attachments also vary by model.

    When purchasing a shop vacuum, consider the length of the vacuum hose, the size and power of the vacuum itself, and the vacuum's ability to handle wet and dry materials before making your selection.

    Do I need a shop vacuum if I don't have a workshop?

    Shop vacuums are great to have around even if you don't have a workshop at home. While they're ideal for cleaning up workshop messes that include large volumes of dust and other objects, shop vacs can be helpful for other home or office use as well. If you don't have large workshop messes to clean up, consider a portable or handheld version, which might be easier to use for small tasks.

    Wet/dry shop vacuum models are perfect for cleaning household spills, DIY project messes, and dirty gutters at the end of every season. They are also excellent for cleaning car mats and carpets, which may require more suction than your household vacuum can provide.

    For messes that are too large for your household vacuum, make sure to reach for a handy shop vac.