How Many of You Regularly Use a Shop-Vac? Which Brand/Model is Your Favorite?

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Forum topic by SoonerMike posted 10-30-2014 05:47 PM 1244 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 736 days

10-30-2014 05:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop vac vacuum question

I can’t afford to get a fancy dust collection system for my new shop, so I’m shopping around and doing research on shop vacs. I’m just wondering what everyone is using, and what you like/don’t like about the one you have.

-- I'm pretty sure this'll work.

18 replies so far

View Soonerdg's profile


12 posts in 1806 days

#1 posted 10-30-2014 06:01 PM

I use a Rigid 5HP shop vac for all of my dust collection right now. I like that it has good airflow and a 2.5 inch hose. I don’t like that I have to move it and connect it every time I change tools. Other than that it’s servicable dust collection until I get a bigger unit.

-- "Life is a matter of luck and the odds of success are in no way enhanced by extreme caution." - Erich Tropp, German U-boat Commander, 1945

View JerrodMcCrary's profile


85 posts in 1028 days

#2 posted 10-30-2014 06:06 PM

Harbor freight has a dust collector for about 180 if you use 20% off coupon. The reviews say it is good. That is what I want to purchase next for my shop. Most shop vacs are around $75. I was just going to put it out there in case you didn’t know about harbor freight.

View OhioMike's profile


73 posts in 1584 days

#3 posted 10-30-2014 06:19 PM

I use the Ridgid 14 Gallon wet/dry vac. Great tool and quieter than other vacs in that price category. I use it with a dust deputy and connect to my 10 inch bandsaw and my benchtop belt/disk sander.


View lepelerin's profile


471 posts in 1746 days

#4 posted 10-30-2014 07:29 PM

Ridgid 14G wet-dry, with thein baffle. works great so far.

View ChrisK's profile


1794 posts in 2503 days

#5 posted 10-30-2014 07:38 PM

I have an old 12 gallon? Craftsman, maybe 20 years old now. Anyway, I use that for my router table and 12” CSR saw.

-- Chris K

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


4031 posts in 1620 days

#6 posted 10-30-2014 08:50 PM

14Gal “Shop-Vac” brand wet/dry vac.. used pretty much every day for the past 10+ years. Don’t use it for dust collection though. At the end of the day after working in the shop, I just vacuum up the chips and turn off the lights :)


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View distrbd's profile


2220 posts in 1868 days

#7 posted 10-30-2014 09:14 PM

I use the Ridgid 14 Gallon wet/dry vac. Great tool and quieter than other vacs in that price category. I use it with a dust deputy and connect to my 10 inch bandsaw and my benchtop belt/disk sander.


- OhioMike

+1,very good vac/set up.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8101 posts in 2850 days

#8 posted 10-30-2014 09:25 PM

For a shop vac, I use two craftsmans. The work only on the Rigid spindle/belt sander and the router table. Of course, for general clean up, too. For the TS and SCMS, planer and jointer, I use the HF DC and a smaller Jet DC that I can roll around.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Redoak49's profile


1820 posts in 1410 days

#9 posted 10-30-2014 10:26 PM

I really like the fact that on some of the Ridgid vacs you can buy different filters for them including a HEPA version that would be great to use with a sander.

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2111 days

#10 posted 10-31-2014 12:40 AM

I own 3 of those 14 gal Ridgids and love em. I bought the 16 gal Ridgid and returned it the same day as it didn’t seem to have near the suction of the 14. Odd, but just reporting my experience.

I use the panty hose “pre filter” someone here recommended and it cuts down on how often I need to clean paper filter.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 1925 days

#11 posted 10-31-2014 12:46 AM

Ridgid, lifetime warranty, I’ve been through four over twenty years. Buy once and forever have a shop vac and leaf blower. Can’t beat that…

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View hoosier0311's profile


702 posts in 1446 days

#12 posted 10-31-2014 12:54 AM

I have two of them get multiple uses. One very old Craftsman and another even older black and Decker. The craftsman is the better unit ( Of my two anyway) I think the next one I buy will be a rigid with 2 1/2 hose and the better filter set up.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View distrbd's profile


2220 posts in 1868 days

#13 posted 10-31-2014 01:02 AM

I use the panty hose “pre filter” someone here recommended and it cuts down on how often I need to clean paper filter.

- gfadvm

Thanks for reminding me,I haven’t done mine yet.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View 6mmBR's profile


28 posts in 756 days

#14 posted 11-01-2014 10:34 PM

I’m using a Shop Vac 5HP 12 gallon vacuum attached to a Rockler Dust Right. Almost all of the stuff sucked up winds up in the Dust Right rather than the vacuum. I just move it from tool to tool, since I’m just using one at a time anyway.

I put a 12” dust hood underneath my table saw, but I need to tune that up a bit. I’m still getting dust on the motor and some on the table. I think if I weatherstrip the saw base, and maybe enclose the back leaving some air intake holes it might get better.

View realcowtown_eric's profile


554 posts in 1358 days

#15 posted 11-01-2014 11:42 PM

I’ve got 3 or 5 shop vacs…lost count

Noisy beasts, but they suck!...I prefer the metal body canisters, the plastic ones seem unnecessarily bulky, and original hoses just have no flexibility at -30C, so I generally use lee Valley hoses for their flexibility and lower loss of suction. and even though they have smoother insides, the odd bit of “too long” chips causes them to plug up

The foam and fabric filtration generally get’s tossed in favour of pleated filters.

Shop use finds them too noisy. I don’t use their bulky plastic wands, rather use GS metal wands from older house vacs, the ones with the bristles on the heads.

a 2.5” shop vac hose is a real kludge….too stiff, plasticy fragle and clumsy unless you never move it or use it cold from the truck, but even so, loss of suction due to it’s rough interior, and more notches for debris to get caught up one.

With Shop vac, when the motor pooches, and it will, the remedy is to replace the whole top end, they don’t supply individual parts, and they change models so frequently, that there’s generally a waiting period of a week rwo two before they can supply.And I’‘ve had one crap out on me after two hours….remedy was to send it back to factory
(my cost)
and wait till they sent it back! ......try explaining that to a client!

Shop has a single horizontal bag attached to side of TS A(off floor, and I have to switch off hoses for planer/chop saw/band saw but the low sound level is so much more preferable to shop vacs.


-- Real_cowtown_eric

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