Table of Contents

Best Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners 2021

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and to bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most cases I receive referral commissions. Eventually, I may earn enough to buy a beer or two 🙂

Vacuum cleaners can only handle a certain quantity of dry things such as dust, crumbs, dirt, and debris. When things get messy with liquids and sticky spills, though, a wet/dry vacuum comes in handy. 

These vacuums are not only more capable than typical vacuums in terms of what they can clean, but they also integrate cutting-edge new technology that keeps your home connected while cleaning. We’ve compiled a list of the best wet/dry vacuums for cleaning any room.

Wet/dry vacuums, often known as shop vacs (not to be confused with the brand Shop-Vac! ), take on chores that other vacuums can’t. Because the motor is isolated from the airflow, it will not short out like other vacuums when wet.

How to Use a Shop Vacuum (Wet/Dry)


Since there are so many different varieties of shop vacs—corded and cordless, bagged and bagless, upright and roll-along—it’s wise to study the instructions that come with the model you buy. 

That being said, wet/dry vacuum cleaning is as simple as filling up the water tank, adding detergent if there is one (optional). Cleaning the target area using the appropriate settings on the vac and attachments of your choosing, and then emptying and rinsing the tank before storing it. 

Shop vacs are powerful enough to absorb water without leaving a sloshing mess, and most have quick-drying capabilities.

Benefits of Shop Vacs

Shop vacs are the ideal floor cleaner in industrial and professional environments, such as large offices, hotels, and other businesses with high foot traffic, because of their multi-cleaning capabilities and power. 

When the cost of a professional carpet cleaning service is comparable to, if not identical to, the cost of a good shop vac, there’s no reason not to invest in one. These suckers have excellent suction, can clean wet or dry surfaces, and have shown to be a good investment time and time again.

Learn about the features and options to look for in a high-quality shop-type or home-type vacuum in this post, and don’t miss our list of the best wet/dry vacuum options.

Recommended for You: Best Small Shop Vacs

#1 Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum


Similarly, the Shop-Vac 5989300 Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum is a fantastic product that provides excellent build quality and performance.

With a 5-gallon storage tank and a 4.5 peak horsepower motor, the model 5989300 from the actual Shop-Vac firm is a formidable worker. This unit’s tank is built of a sturdy stainless steel shell that incorporates a filtering mechanism that works effectively and remains secure regardless of the activity. 

A decent set of casters and cleaning supplies that can be stored aboard round out the package well.

Reliable Features and Durability

This Shop-Vac model has a lot of power and a lot of features that you can count on. It’s a mid-power machine with a low price tag that’s capable of handling a variety of home tasks, including those in the garage and kitchen.

When it comes to the design, this model features a stain-free steel shell with a 5-gallon tank capacity. With this capacity, you can clean the entire house without having to empty the tank over and over again.


It also comes with some essential extras like a dust bag and a foam filter. In the event of wet use, the foam-filter comes in helpful. The vacuum component is mounted on a dolly platform for optimal movement; also, you can remove the vacuum portion at any moment and carry it using the robust handle on the top of the housing.

The power output is enough for cleaning up little garbage, but due to the low 1.25-inch hose diameter, it is limited in its ability to cope with heavier debris.

You can trust on this beast for any wet duties, such as light-duty water cleanup. But bear in mind that there is no drain, thus it isn’t designed for wet use, and we don’t advocate it.

Product Specifications:

  • Tank Capacity: 5 gallons
  • Power Cord Length: 6 ft
  • Accessory Storage: Onboard
  • Peak HP: 4.5
  • Item Weight: 12 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 14″ x 14″ x 21″
  • Tank Drain: No
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Amperage: 9.9
  • Material: ‎Stainless Steel
  • Special Features: ‎Bagged
  • Warranty Description: 3 year


  • Comes with a powerful 4.5 horsepower motor.
  • The four caster wheels can be utilized to move it around on any surface.
  • The stainless steel tank holds 5 gallons.
  • Sturdy, durable, and long-lasting.


  • It’s difficult to put together.

Where to buy Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum

#2 Stanley SL18116P Wet & Dry Vacuum


If you’re looking for a model that’s both lightweight and powerful, this is the one for you. After seeing the possibilities of this tool, you will no longer feel the need for a standard vacuum cleaner.

This SL18116P STANLEY Wet/Dry Vacuum is great for all of your shop needs. This vacuum is an essential piece of equipment for all your cleaning needs, featuring a 6-gallon poly container, 4.0 peak MAX HP, a 10 ft. power cable, and rear blower port technology. 

The 6-gallon shop vac boasts swivelling casters for easy manoeuvrability and a rear blower vent design. It’s tough and solid, and it’s designed to last. It features an industry-leading heavy-duty motor that delivers maximum suction force for heavy-duty pickup.

What to Look Out for in Stanley SL18116P

Unfortunately, while the cartridge filter is excellent, the vacuum’s capacity to pick up minute particles in the first place is suspect. Although public assessment is favourable, a lack of suction strength appears to be a recurring theme. That can be a significant disadvantage to man in a vacuum category that is highly reliant on horsepower and raw suction power.

Despite this, the accompanying bag can pick up a lot of medium and large trash, and the vacuum is also relatively waterproof. That’s a good thing because instead of relying on a drain port, you’ll have to physically pour out the canister after sucking up water.

Product Specifications:

  • Airflow: 85 CFM
  • Body: Durable Polypropylene
  • Double Filtration System: No
  • Hose Length: 5 ft
  • Peak Motor Horsepower: 4
  • Power Cord Length: 10 ft
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Wheels: True
  • Tank Capacity 6 gal
  • Cord Length: 10 ft
  • Accessory Storage: Onboard
  • Weight: 13.4 lbs


  • Users like how light it is to carry and handle, making it more convenient to use on a regular basis.
  • Each castor’s attachments may be simply stowed on top of it.
  • The included attachments can be used for a variety of activities.


  • The hose is extremely short, making it ineffective and difficult to maneuver.
  • It’s a little tough to clean and reattach the filter.

Where to buy Stanley SL18116P Wet & Dry Vacuum

#3 DEWALT DCV580H 20V MAX Cordless Wet & Dry Vacuum


This cordless wet/dry vacuum, powered by a 20-volt lithium-ion battery, maybe just what you’re searching for if you require a light-duty shop vac. With a weight of about 8 pounds, this vacuum is easy to transport from room to room, and users can use it in places where there are no electrical outlets, such as garden sheds.

This lightweight vacuum has a 2-gallon collecting tank and measures 17.25 inches long, 13.12 inches tall, and 12.31 inches broad, making it easy to store on a shelf in the garage or workshop. It has a 5-foot flexible hose and a carrying handle on top.

Users will get a crevice tool and a wide nozzle tool attachment for cleaning messes in a variety of places

Use it Cordless or Corded

What distinguishes the DeWalt Vacuum Cleaner from the competition? For starters, its air watts max at 325, which is quite impressive for a shop vac of this size. Finally, it isn’t wireless. In the correct situation, this is useful, but having a 6-gallon capacity is significantly superior. 

Simply put, it’s better suited to minor chores. You may also use this shop vac corded or cordless, which is a unique feature. This means you can use it even if there isn’t a power outlet nearby.

Efficiency & Speed

Efficiency, on the other hand, is a different story. It’s much more efficient and faster than portable vacuums, but because it’s smaller, it’ll take longer to clean larger areas. However, in small workshops, it’s excellent. 

Instead of relying on air tools and air compressors to blow away sawdust, it sucks it up from your power tools and bare tools—saw blades and other hand tools. What it isn’t is a shop vac with a HEPA filter. It has a wet-dry filter, but that’s all it can do.


Smudges are substantially reduced by using a matte finish over hard plastic. The Ridgid Vacuum Cleaner is built of stainless steel and can withstand a lot of abuse. The 20-foot power cord is a major letdown.

Product Specifications:

  • Manufacturer: ‎Dewalt
  • Item Weight: ‎8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.25″ x 12.31″ x 13.12″ 
  • Power Source: Corded or ‎Cordless
  • Volume: ‎2 Liters
  • Voltage: ‎20 Volts
  • Hose Length: ‎5 Feet
  • Special Features: ‎Washable/reusable filter
  • Usage: ‎Dual action
  • Battery Cell Type: ‎Lithium Ion
  • Warranty Description: ‎3 years

Where to buy DEWALT DCV580H 20V MAX Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuum

#4 WORKSHOP WS1400CA Wet Dry Vacuum


As with all Workshop Wet Dry Vacuums, the WORKSHOP WS1400CA is a powerful wet-dry shop vacuum with incredible features. It’s also among the quietest vacuum cleaners in the Workshop range. 

It is developed to achieve the ideal balance of sealed suction and airflow, which is made possible by the use of real-life dry and wet messes in their testing.

Recommended for You: Best Commercial Industrial Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaners 

Portable and Convenient

No need to be concerned about taking this massive wet/dry vacuum outside; the Workshop WS1600SS’s huge rear wheels and easy-grip handle make handling the vacuum simple and safe from tip-overs. With an empty weight of roughly 38 pounds, this heavy-duty vacuum is easy to manoeuvre with just a tilt and push.

Designed to Handle Big Messes

The cart design of this particular Wet and Dry Vac creates a solid platform for simple manoeuvring. With its big rear wheels and ergonomic carry handle, as well as the sturdy cart handle, this exceptional item is made to manage large messes, as we’ve seen in its features.

The 2-piece construction provides further stability, while the large drum (14 gallons) provides ample area for a variety of cleaning activities. When you’ve finished dealing with the big wet mess, the vacuum has a drainage port on the bottom where you may drain all kinds of liquids. Isn’t that impressive?


When you need vacuum attachments the most, they always seem to vanish. Small vacuums have no room for them, so you store them in a box. Mid-size vacuums offer “on-board” storage, which is a lovely touch, but the attachments are frequently in the way or rattle-free. 

The Workshop WS1600SS handle comes with a pouch that holds all of the nozzles and attachments, as well as two sleeves for the hose extension wands, keeping everything organized and accessible.

Product Specifications:

  • Manufacturer: Emerson Tool Company
  • Part Number: ‎WS1600VA
  • Item Weight ‎23.4 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎20.38″ x 20.25″ x 34.5″
  • Color: ‎Gray
  • Style: ‎Vacuum
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Voltage: ‎120 Volts
  • Hose Length: ‎7 Feet
  • Batteries Included: ‎No
  • Batteries Required: No
  • Warranty Description: ‎5 years


  • 143 CFM airflow and 47-inch sealed suction for efficiency
  • 14 gallon capacity
  • Large rear wheels for easy mobility
  • Convenient drainage port


  • Does not have built-in suction control

Where to buy WORKSHOP WS1400CA Wet Dry Vacuum

#5 Vacmaster Professional Wet & Dry 5 Gallon Vacuum


Anyone seeking a vacuum cleaner for his automobile shouldn’t be surprised to see another VacMaster model. This business specializes in producing incredibly well-rounded products at a fraction of the cost of the larger brands. 

This device may also be used as a blower and is suitable for both wet and dry cleaning, which adds to its appeal. The VacMaster Beast Series Professional Vacuum offers excellent value for money and should be included in any top five vehicle detailing vacuums list.

Vacmaster Beast’s Motor and Cleaning Capabilities

The motor is a high-efficiency 5.5 peak HP motor with a lot of suction power.In fact, after you’ve washed your cloth car upholstery, this vacuum is fantastic for cleaning it. 

Still, putting that much power into a poorly constructed engine will result in one problem: overheating. During wet cleaning, this is a much bigger concern. 

Many consumers have complained about problems with the vacuum, particularly during the wet cleaning phase, where the vacuum overheats after only a few minutes of cleaning. Even yet, this isn’t a common problem.

The dirt tank is 5 gallons, which is plenty for cleaning your car and garage. The integrated hose and cord storage, paired with the handle on top of the “BEAST,” makes it exceptionally easy to carry around.

Cleaning Efficiency

The 18-foot power cord eliminates the need for a large hose, similar to some wall-mounted vacuums. The hose is 7 feet long and made of crush-resistant EVA. This is great for cleaning around the hard terrain of your car.

The possibility of using a blower here greatly increases the cleaning potential. It’s easy to switch on and is perfect for blowing leaves out of your garage or larger dirt particles out of your car before you get into the finer cleaning.

You’d think that the low price would imply little or no accessories, as some other brands do, but you get a surprising amount of value for your money here. Take a look at what’s inside your package:

  • EVA hose with a 7-foot kink-resistant length
  • a nozzle for everyday use
  • A tool for cleaning crevices
  • Special automobile nozzle (doesn’t scratch plastic)
  • Filter cartridge for fine dust
  • Wet cleaning foam filter
  • Highly efficient Dust bag
  • Noise Diffuser

Product Specifications:

  • Item Weight: ‎13.5 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎17.8 x 12.5 x 17.1 inches
  • Size: ‎5-Gallon
  • Color: Black
  • Material: ‎Polypropylene
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Wattage: 320 W
  • Item Package Quantity: ‎1
  • Number Of Pieces: ‎1
  • Hose Length: 7 Feet
  • Cord Length: ‎18 Feet
  • Special Features: ‎Corded
  • Warranty Description: ‎5 year limited warranty


  • Extremely powerful motor
  • It’s possible to turn it into a blower.
  • Ideal for cleaning damp and dry surfaces in your car and garage
  • It comes with a lot of extras.
  • Really low-cost
  • 7-foot crush-proof hose, 5-gallon soil tank


  • After prolonged use, the motor overheats.
  • There have been several concerns with water cleaning that have been noted.
  • There is no HEPA filtering.

Where to buy Vacmaster Professional Wet & Dry 5 Gallon Vacuum

#6 CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 Heavy Duty Wet/Dry Vacuum


This machine is capable of handling large-scale renovations, floods, and even flooring. This is a fantastic and versatile vacuum that is built to provide you with the greatest cleaning experience possible. 

The CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 is great for cleaning up larger areas. You can use it on your job site, in your garage, or anywhere else where you need more power.

Many more novel features are included in the CMXEVBE17595, such as the Qwik Lock Filter Fastening System, which allows you to simply change the filter. Overall, this is a fantastic cleaning tool with all of the necessary functionality. It comes with a wheelbase, unlike the Vacmaster VWM510, so you don’t have to buy one separately.

Storage on-board

The CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 has onboard storage for all of the attachments and hose, which you will appreciate. This will assist you in keeping everything in order. You won’t have to deal with any messy scenarios like you would with other vacuum cleaners.


The vacuum hose comes with DUAL-FLEX TECHNOLOGY, which allows for 180-degree movement at each end to prevent crushing and kinking. This means you can use the hose without fear of it being damaged. In addition, it will last longer than any other hose in this price range.

Long Power Cord


The CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 has a 20-foot power cord, allowing you to reach further distances. Unlike other vacuums, you do not need to carry the complete unit when carrying it. It will be easier for you to complete your cleaning task as a result of this. You can also reach further while the gadget is still connected.

High Suction Capacity

This machine is made to handle heavier cleaning jobs. It’s ideal for construction sites and garages. This is a heavy-duty machine having a peak horsepower of 6.5. This increases the amount of power available for huge jobs in the shop, garage, or on the job site. For those looking for a high-performance vacuum, this is the ideal solution.

Product Specifications:

  • Item Weight: ‎26 lbs
  • Dimensions: ‎21.03″ x 23.8″ x 26.7″
  • Tank Capacity: 16 Gallon 
  • Horsepower: 6.5 Peak HP
  • Style: ‎Wet/Dry Vac
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Wattage: ‎1440 W
  • Hose Length: ‎7 Feet
  • Measurement System: Metric
  • Batteries Required: ‎No
  • Warranty Description: ‎3 year limited warranty


  • Strong suction 
  • Suitable for heavier work 
  • Includes a wheelbase
  • Strong motor
  • 20-foot power cord
  • Quieter


  • Large size
  • Poor grade of materials.

Where to buy CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 Heavy Duty Wet/Dry Vacuum

#7 DEWALT DXV04T Portable 4 gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum


DeWalt provides a solution with a new 4-gallon model if you’re looking for ultra-portable for rapid cleanups or auto interiors. It has a peak horsepower of 5 and produces 90 CFM with a water lift of 50 inches. 

This one is nice because it comes with a 20-foot cord to offer you extra reach and a 2- to 7-foot flexible hose to make working in small spots simpler.

4-gallon Canister Capacity

This model is on the smaller end of our wet/dry vac range, yet it’s perfect for quick, little cleanups. Its small size makes it extremely portable, so you won’t have to wrangle an uncomfortable shape and a slew of supplies when switching from one clean-up to the next.


The DeWalt 4-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac may be converted to a low-power blower with a short repositioning of the hose. This function is included in every model we looked at in our buying advice, so it’s not special.

Hose Management

The DeWalt 4-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac comes with a flexible hose that can be extended from 2 to 7 feet. The hose rolls up and stows away in a little storage chamber on this shop vacuum.

Because the hose is designed to fold, it may be stored in a considerably less space than other shop vacuums.

Cord Management

A 20-foot cord is included with this wet/dry vacuum. With a wire this long on such a compact box, there’s a lot of room for storage to go wrong. That is not the case in this instance. The cord is securely wrapped around the unit’s sturdy tabs at the back.

Product Specifications:

  • Manufacturer: ‎Dewalt
  • Item Weight: ‎13.23 lbs.
  • Dimensions: ‎12.5″ x 15″ x 19″ 
  • Size: ‎4 gallon
  • Color: ‎Yellow
  • Style: Wet/Dry Vacuum
  • Power Source: ‎Corded Electric
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Wattage: ‎140 watts
  • Measurement System: ‎Metric
  • Batteries Included: ‎No
  • Batteries Required: ‎No


  • Flexible hoses may be shrunk to 2′ for small spaces or stretched to 7′ for larger spaces.
  • Outstanding storage design maximizes the amount of space available.
  • Excellent construction quality with a good cable wrap and a good hose storage place at the back.


  • The trade-off for superior design/quality is a higher price point for the class.

Where to buy DEWALT DXV04T Portable 4 gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum

#8 MILWAUKEE’S 0880-20 Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum


Look no further than the Milwaukee M18 if you’re searching for a convenient, powerful, and versatile wet/dry vacuum. All of the attachments and the host are stored inside this machine, which is packaged in the shape of a toolbox. As a result, it takes up extremely little space and is quite portable. 

This equipment is also capable of handling a wide range of wet and dry cleaning tasks. You can’t go wrong with the M18, whether you need to suck water out of your boat’s bilge or want portable dust collection equipment.


For a small vacuum, the 0880-20 boasts a surprising amount of power. Sawdust, small screws, wood chips, and drywall dust may all be sucked up with 45 CFM using a 1 1/4″ hose.

Because the hose is smaller than that of a standard big corded shop vac, you won’t want to use it on a lot of heavy wood chips because it will clog if overloaded. It’s ideal for little jobs and pick-up work because of its compact shape and modest weight (about 10 lbs).

The Milwaukee 0880-20 Cordless Lithium-Ion Wet/Dry Vacuum is a worksite clean-up tool. It boasts a powerful suction motor for both wet and dry applications. Accessories such as a utility nozzle, flexible hose, crevice tool, and a utility nozzle are included with this hand vacuum.

The battery in the 0880-20, on the other hand, may provide up to 30 minutes of runtime after a full charge.

Product Specifications:

  • Manufacturer: Milwaukee
  • Item Weight: ‎2.2 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎22.5″ x 11.5″ x 15.75″
  • Material: ‎Plastic
  • Power Source: ‎Battery Powered
  • Measurement System: Metric
  • Certification: ‎Certified frustration-free
  • Batteries Included1: ‎No
  • Batteries Required: ‎Yes
  • Battery Cell Type1: ‎NiCAD
  • Warranty Description: ‎5 years

Where to buy MILWAUKEE’S 0880-20 Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum

What Should I Look for in a Basic Shop Vacuum?

Although power specifications differ from one device to the next, several essential features are universal. Take a look below for a basic notion of specs to use as a starting point for your next purchase. If you do decide to purchase a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, look for one that has parameters that are identical to or better than the ones stated below.

Power Usage

A normal shop-power vac’s draw is always measured in amperes. In this case, more is better. You should aim for at least 12 amps, and preferably more, with a larger storage capacity tank to avoid having to empty it every hour or so.


In the case of shop vacs, the formula is usually the same, regardless of how big or little they are. If you’re a homeowner, your wet-dry vac should be between 1.5 and 2 horsepower. If you work as a contractor, your HP should be at least three.

Sealed Suction

The suction capabilities of your wet dry vac is defined in terms of how much liquid it can draw in against a certain level of water pressure. When the hose is submerged in water, the vacuum’s motor performance suffers significantly.

As a result, your wet-dry small shop vac should have at least 50 inches of sealed suction power.


Shop vac motors, like air compressors, are designed to display performance in terms of CFM. This is the amount of air a vacuum cleaner can suck up in a given amount of time. To be safe, your little shop vac should have a CFM rate of at least 90 to be able to outlive any filter, hose-related, or other resistance during long cleaning sessions.

Accessories or Not?


Your shop vac may or may not come with an extra accessory kit, depending on the type and manufacturer. Pipes, cleaning heads, and a variety of additional attachment ports are among the accessories that make each rash cleaning session a breeze.

The devices, also known as power tools, can be added to the vacuum hose to increase/regulate air wattage, extend the vacuum’s reach, and so on. One thing to keep a lookout for is whether or not the manufacturer includes any accessories with a fresh new shop vac purchase.

This is more of a suggestion for first-time users, but I believe it is vital in the long run. Many individuals make the mistake of trying to pull the shop vac by the hose. There’s no danger in doing so, but there’s a reason why the shop vac’s body has a handle at the top.

If you pull the wet-dry vac by the hose, there’s a good risk you’ll tip the whole thing over. Because they were too indolent to use the handle in the first place, several users ended up physically destroying the unit. When the shop vac hose head is dragged at an unusual angle, it can break as well.

The Final Word

While wet-dry shop vacs were designed for use in locations like building sites, where builders must deal with a variety of debris, they make a terrific addition to any home’s cleaning equipment.

Because you can clean any type of mess with just one machine, these cleaning machines make dealing with any type of mess simple and quick. A shop vacuum can be used to pick up spilt milk, spring clean the fireplace or deal with sawdust heaps from a home DIY project.

Do you have any personal experience with a wet-dry shop vac? In the comments area below, share your ideas and suggestions with the community.

Recommended for You: Best Central Vacuum for 2021 According to Cleaning Experts

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join the SmartVacGuide community to receive the latest news & free stuff

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This