Bother homeowners and contractors rely on the super powerful suction that a wet dry vacuum offers. Unlike a standard vacuum cleaner, a wet dry vacuum can handle the heaviest and dirt and debris, and can also pick up water with ease. Whether you are cleaning up sawdust in your workshop or you have a flooded water that you need to clean up, a wet dry vacuum will make the process of cleaning up virtually any mess a piece of cake.
While a wet dry vacuum is certainly a handy tool to have, finding the best one for your specific needs can be pretty challenging. There are a wide array of options available, which can make choosing the best machine for your specific needs a bet confusing, if not daunting. In order to help you on your quest for finding the best wet dry vacuum, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. In this guide, you will find out everything you need to know about wet dry vacuums, including the different types that are available, the things that you should take into consideration when purchasing one of these tools, the features that they can offer, and the best wet dry vacuum brands. After reading this guide, you will have all of the information that you need so that you can find the best wet dry vacuum for your specific needs.
Types of Wet Dry Vacuums
If you are shopping for a wet dry vacuum, in order to choose the best one for your needs, the first thing you need to know is that there are different types available. While the general function of a wet dry vacuum is to provide powerful suction that can pick up both dry and wet materials, these tools differ in their size and their portability.
There are four main types of wet dry vacuums, which include:
- The mini sized wet dry vacuum
- The small wet dry vacuum
- The medium sized wet dry vacuum
- The large wet dry vacuum
Below, you will find a detailed description of each of these types of wet dry vacuums, which will help you choose the best one for your specific needs.
The Mini Sized Wet Dry Vacuum
The mini sized wet dry vacuum is the smallest of the four types of wet dry vacuums. Though they can only pick up less than 6 gallons of dirt, debris or liquid, their small size and light weight makes them super portable. The mini wet dry vacuum is ideal for cleaning up a quick spill in the kitchen or in the bathroom. This is also the least expensive of all wet dry vacuum cleaners.
The Small Sized Wet Dry Vacuum
The small sized wet dry vacuum is a step up from the mini version. It has a capacity of up to 6 gallons and can be used to clean up both small wet and dry spills. While this type of wet dry vacuum is slightly larger than the mini version, so it is a little bit heavier to pickup; however, it is still lightweight enough to be able to move around with ease and neatly tuck away in a closet for storage.
The Medium Sized Wet Dry Vacuum
The medium capacity wet dry vacuum can hold up to 14 gallons of wet and dry spills, including saw dust, food and liquid spills. This is the ideal wet dry vacuum for cleaning up debris inside and outside of the home or in a garage. Though it is larger than the previous two wet dry vacuums, moving it around still isn’t very difficult. It also requires more storage space; however, it can be easily be stored in a closet or in the corner of a garage.
The Large Sized Wet Dry Vacuum
This is the largest of all wet dry vacuums and it can hold more than 14 gallons of wet and dry dirt, debris and spills. It is the ideal choice for shop owners, landscapers and even plumbers, as it can be used to pick up even the biggest and heaviest messes with ease. While the large sized wet dry vacuum is the best choice for cleaning up big, heavy messes, it is also the biggest and bulkiest machine – especially when it is full of water – which can make it difficult to move around. Also, because of its large size, this type of wet dry vacuum requires the most storage space.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Wet Dry Vacuum
In order to choose the best wet dry vacuum for your needs, there are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration. Some of the most important things that you are going to want to consider when shopping for a wet dry vacuum include the capacity, the diameter of the hose, and the items that you will be using it to clean up. By taking these factors into consideration, you will be able to choose the best wet dry vacuum that will suit your specific needs. To learn more about these and other factors that we think are the most important to take into consideration when shopping for a wet dry vacuum, please keep on reading.
The Capacity of the Wet Dry Vacuum
One of the most important factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when shopping for a wet dry vacuum is the capacity of the machine, as the capacity will directly impact the amount the machine can pick up before it needs to be emptied. If you plan on using it to clean up large messes, such as large piles of saw dust or a large puddle of water, you will want to have a larger capacity; however, if you only plan on using it to clean up spot spills, than you can get away with a smaller capacity machine.
The Items You Will Be Cleaning Up
Another important factor to take into consideration is the items that you will be using your wet dry vacuum to clean up. Will you be using it to clean up large items, such as large chunks of wood, or will you be using it to clean up smaller items, such as fine saw dust. The larger the items are that you are going to be cleaning up, the bigger the capacity you will need for your shop vacuum, as larger items will take up more space in your shop vacuum.
The Diameter of the Hose
The diameter of the hose is also an important factor to take into consideration. In order to pickup most items, you will need a hose that has a diameter of about 2.25 or 2.5 inches. The smaller the hose is, the greater the likelihood it will clog.
The Length of the Hose
You also want to think about the length of the hose. You don’t want the hose to be too short, as you will need to have the main unit of the wet dry vacuum right on top of you while you are cleaning up, which can get in your way. Also, if the hose is too long, it increases the risk of the hose tangling and even becoming clogged.
The Length of the Power Cord
The length of the power cord is also an important factor to consider. The longer the power cord, the more flexibility you will have, as you won’t have to be right on top of the power outlet while using it; however, longer cords, just like hoses, can tangle easier. A short cord will limit your mobility, as you will have to be right on top of the electrical outlet in order to plug the device in.
The Noise the Wet Dry Vacuum Makes
You should also consider the amount of noise that the wet dry vacuum makes. While all wet dry vacuums will make some degree of noise, different models definitely make more noise than other models. The best wet dry vacuums make noise that is equivalent to a standard household upright or canister vacuum. The more powerful the device is, the more noise it is going to make. If it makes 85 decibels or more, you should wear ear protection to ensure that you don’t damage your hearing.
The Placement and Size of the Wheels
Wheels that are wide set will prevent the wet dry vacuum from tipping over while it is being used. Larger wheels are easier to handle and move around.
A Drain Valve or Spout
A drain valve or a drain spout is a wise idea to have. Without one of these, you will have to take the lid off of the wet dry vacuum and tip the tank over to empty it out, which can make a big mess. Keep in mind that large capacity wet dry vacuum that has a full tank can be very heavy when it is filled with liquid, so a drain valve or a drain plug is definitely going to make the tool easier to use.
The Cost of the Wet Dry Vacuum
Lastly, you are going to want to consider the cost of the wet dry vacuum. These tools can vary widely in price, so you want to make sure you know how much you want to spend before you start shopping. Generally, the larger the wet dry vacuum and the more features it offers, the more expensive it will be. Make sure you know how much you want to spend before you start shopping so that you can avoid overextending your budget.
Features Wet Dry Vacuums Can Offer
There are a number of features that wet dry vacuums can offer. These features are intended to make the wet dry vacuum easier to use and improve its efficiency. As mentioned above, the more features that a wet dry vacuum offers, the more expensive it will be. It is important to understand the features that are available so that you can determine whether you want or need them, and if they will be worth the added cost.
Here is a look at some of the top features that wet dry vacuums can offer.
With a blower, you can use your wet dry vacuum to do more than just suck things up, but you can also use it to blow things. With this feature, you can turn your wet dry vacuum into a leaf blower, for example, which can be quite handy.
If you are planning on vacuuming up water and other liquid often, than a pump is a feature that you will definitely find handy.
A HEPA Filter
If dust pollution and air quality is a concern, look for a shop vacuum that comes equipped with a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter offers better filtration and will remove smaller particles from the air, thereby improving the quality of the air.
The more attachments a wet dry vacuum comes with, the more versatile the tool will be. Look for different nozzles, such as crevice (for cleaning tight spots) and utility (for cleaning up bulky debris.) A squeegee attachment can help to clean up spills more efficiently. A dusting brush will allow you to clean up dust more efficiently.
The Best Wet Dry Vacuum Brands
There are a number of manufacturers that produce wet dry vacuums, which can make it hard to determine which brand to buy. If you want to buy a truly durable device that you can rely on, than you are going to want to purchase one of these brands.
Craftsman is one of the best known names in the power tool industry. Their wet dry vacuums are some of the highest quality on the market. They are powerful, well constructed and offer a range of features that make them truly versatile.
Another highly trusted name in the wet dry vacuum industry is Stanley. They offer a wide range of wet dry vacuums with a variety of features. They are very versatile and are trusted by all who use them.
Another highly regarded producer of wet dry vacuums is Shop Vac. This company produces outstanding tools that are reliable, durable and can pick up a wide range of dirt and debris. They are also extremely versatile and offer enough power to pick up the biggest messes.