Having a small shop vac is a good idea even if you already have a main vacuum for the home. Small vacuums help out with quick cleanups like when a child drops crumbs on the floor while having breakfast. It is however not easy to find the best small shop vac since many that claim that title do not have the ability to actually clean well.
Price & Rating
1. Armor All 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum, AA255
Picks up wet and dry debris;Frequency : 60Hz. Able to clean up both solids and liquids Polypropylene tank holds 2.5 gallons 6 Amps/2.0-peak HP motor with ample suction power and easy conversion to blower function Auto shut-off detects fill limit and prevents overflow Top handle
2.Shop-Vac 2030100 1.5-Gallon 2.0 Peak HP Wet Dry Vacuum, Small, Red/Black
Acessories are 4′ x 1.25″ hose, gulper nozzle, crevice tool
3.Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry Vac
4.Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum
Stainless steel tank. Cord Length- 6 Feet. Hose Size- 1.25 inch Diameter
5.Shop-Vac 2030500 5-Gallon 2.25 Peak HP Aqua Vac Wet Dry Vacuum
1.Top and side carry handles
2.Rear blower port
6.Hoover CH30000 PortaPower Lightweight Commercial Canister Vacuum
Long 33′ SJT cable length for large area vacuuming. Hush 15 Inch Bagless Upright
This review is intended to guide you to find something that you will be happy with. The 6 options you will see have been carefully selected according to a number of pointers. You too will be able to make the right choice at the end of this guide since we have also included valuable information to help you make a choice.
But first of all let us be clear on what we are talking about. When we say small shop-vac, we are speaking of a shop-vac with a capacity not bigger than 5 gallons and usually the motors are not very big.
If you are looking for a small shop vac for your car, this Armor AA255 fits the description of a good vacuum for your car. First off it is small and easy to carry around as well as comes with the right accessories to help you to keep your car clean.
The AA255 though is not just for cars, it can also serve as a house vacuum for simple cleanups like sucking up cereal from the floor after breakfast or cleaning kitchen worktops. It may be small, but that does not stop it from being versatile.
With a 2 horsepower motor, it is probably not the strongest vacuum you can find but it still gets the job done. The small motor though also means that you will not have loud noise as you vacuum. The motor is also able to shut down automatically to prevent overflow, so you do not have to keep on checking to see if the tank is full.
Speaking of the tank, this shop vac has a 2.5 gallon tank which is sufficient enough for a small vacuum. If for example you are vacuuming a car, this tank would be ample for ordinary car vacuuming.
There is a 6 foot flexible hose which gives the person using the shop vac enough reach and the 10 foot power cord too will increase that reach. I will admit the 10 feet is not that long but for a small shop vac for minor jobs and cleaning the car, that should be enough.
The shop vac can also be used as a blower by simply using the opposite end of the part you use for vacuuming. If you intend to use it on a driveway to blow leaves, you will need to have an extension since most homes do not have sockets outside.
We already mentioned that it comes with accessories which make it a versatile tool and these include a floor tool, crevice tool, as well as a detail brush. These tools can be stored onboard for better organisation.
If price is a big issue for you when choosing a shop vac, you probably will find this one reasonable considering its features and ability. It is under $40 which is a lot cheaper than some other brands you may come across.
Storage should not be a problem when you use this 2030100 since it is able to hang on the wall. You just need to put up its hook and then hung it on the wall with its tools. This should be quite convenient, though it is not intended to be used while it is on the wall since the hose is not that long.
This portable shop-vac is easy to carry as it has the handle on the top and when it is not being used, the handle folds away neatly which makes it easy to slide into tight spaces say in a crowded car trunk. The handle is made from hard plastic so there is little risk of it breaking by mistake- you would have to be deliberately trying to break that handle to succeed.
When put to the test, this vacuum shows some real power both with wet and dry messes. Its 2.0HP motor is surprisingly strong and gets messes sucked up quickly making this a good vacuum to have handy, say in a busy kitchen where spills and drops occur frequently and will need cleaning up fast or in the garage as you handle your DIY projects.
This versatile shop vac can also be transformed into a blower by simply putting the hose on the exhaust opening., the amount of air produced is strong enough to blow away leaves from a drive way or get rid of dust in tight spaces where the crevice tool may not be able to reach.
The tank is 1.5 gallons which I believe is sufficient for small cleanups and it has a disc foam filter that can be reused so you do not need to worry about replacement for a long time.
There are a lot of similarities between this shop vac micro and the 2030100. They both can be hanged on the wall and have foldable handles on the top. But pay attention to the word micro, and you may have found a major difference. If you are into smaller than small shop vacs, then this would be your option, not that it is very tiny but it is a few inches smaller than most small shop vacs which sometimes makes the difference between being able to stash it in a trunk or having to carry it on the back seat when there is not a lot of space.
The motor is reasonably strong enough for simple household cleanups like taking care of spills or dusting furniture. You can also use it in the car and the tank should be able to handle the amount of dust before needing to be emptied.
There is a flexible 6 foot hose that will help you reach different spots in the house or vehicle but do not bend it too much as this will affect its suction. The hose also is not long enough for you to place the vacuum on the ground and vacuum, you will need to carry it in one hand as the other holds the hose, but still it is a great little vacuum with great power.
IF you prefer something that is best for bigger jobs, then this one would be more appropriate than the other 3 we have already looked at. With a 5 gallon tank, you probably could use it for the entire house and yet it does not compromise portability since it is still light enough to carry around and if you get tired of carrying it, say because it is full, you can wheel it around.
The first thing that will catch your eye is probably its stainless steel body. This makes it a good fit for use in a workshop where it may need to be a bit tougher than the ordinary vacuum. Its hard exterior also is easy to clean so even if it gets dirty, stainless steel can be easily cleaned.
With a 4.5HP motor, you can be sure that it packs a lot more power than the smaller motors and this can come in handy when you need to drain a blocked sink, it will do it a lot faster. The strong motor also means that when you transform it to work as a blower, it will produce twice as much air. Some people have even tried using it to blow up party balloons.
The filter too is quite impressive and in a workshop you can count on it to suck up fine dust including drywall dust and not let it escape into the air. The filter can be cleaned and reused.
The 5989300, comes with a number of useful accessories and all these can be stored on board so that when you are in the process of vacuuming, you do not have to walk far to get an accessory when its need arises.
It is also easy to use since it has an easy to access on/off switch.
The hose tends to clog when you are dealing with big debris say from a construction site
This is also called the aqua and that is because it is good for wet suction, if you live in an area that is prone to flooding, then this may just be what you should have ready to be called upon at anytime. It has a reasonably big capacity and yet it is still not to bulky, which is why it is in this category of best small shop vac.
The tank capacity is 5 gallons and you are able to either use it for containing wet messes or dry, but if you are working with fine dust or ash, you may want to have the collection bag inserted, which may slightly diminish the capacity.
The2030500 is easy to move around, thanks to the wheels, but you can also choose to carry it using the side handles or the top one. The top handle can easily fold downward for easier storage.
Even though it is recommended for use with wet messes, this vacuum is an all round vacuum so even vacuuming the house, office, or workshop, this is the tool to go for and it comes with a number of accessories to help you clean different places. These accessories can be stored onboard for convenience.
It may have just 2.25Hp motor but this is still sufficient enough to provide the suction you will need. This also means that it is slightly quieter than some of the other 5 gallon vacs that have stronger motors.
With a 6 foot power cord and 7 foot hose, you get a total reach of 13 feet which may be sufficient for a small room. If you do not wish to keep on switching sockets as you vacuum a wide area, then you will need to buy an extension.
The Aqua is a durable shop vac made from strong material and it is covered by a 3 year warranty so if there is any problem it will be fixed or you can get a replacement.
One of the best things about this Hoover CH30000, is the fact that it has a really long power cord. Unlike all the other small vacuums on this list this one is the only one with an over 30 foot cord. This gives you the freedom to move around and vacuum without having to change sockets.
This shop vac can be carried on the shoulder so that the other hand is free to move furniture that may be on the way or lift up objects so that you can clean under them. Considering its weight, you can vacuum without feeling the weight on your shoulder
This is a commercial vacuum mainly for above ground cleaning, even though it does have the floor tool that can do a good job on carpets. The thing is because it is more like a hand held vacuum, you may not want to be stuck cleaning the floor with it. I realize that I am inclined to bend as I vacuum the floor and doing that for long strains your back.
However it has good suction, 2.2 horse power and a long 33 foot cord which makes it easier to do your work. It comes with a number of useful tools and it is reasonably light. You can choose to use the reusable cloth bag or a disposable one. I also like that it can act as a blower.
Weight: You need to know how heavy or light it is because in most cases when you buy a small vac, you want to be able to carry it around with ease. You may be surprised how many heavy shop-vacs there are so make sure you are comfortable with its weight.
Power: Depending on what you intend to use it on, you will need a vac that has a strong motor to produce sufficient suction. The horsepower usually gives an insight into how strong the suction is. Look for something with 2HP and above. It is however important to know that the horsepower may not always be a precise indicator of the amount of suction produced, but that is a whole different guide altogether.
Size of the tank: It is a good idea to get a tank that can hold at least 2 gallons as that can take on the everyday messes that you may need to clean up. If on the other hand you want to use the shop vac as your main vacuum, you may need a bigger tank of about 5 gallons. A bigger tank would also be needed if you intend to use the shop vac for draining flooded basements as they tend to fill up fast.
Storage: I believe when you opt for a small unit, you are also considering being able to store it without too much of a fuss. Consider how easily the vac you are thinking of purchasing will fit into the storage space you have. Maybe you may prefer to have one that can be mounted on the wall, which will save you ground space. You will also need to consider where the accessories will be kept. In most cases onboard storage for the accessories is pretty convenient.
Price: You know best what you can afford so it would be a good idea to match what you can afford with what is available. Some people however make the mistake of choosing something very cheap in the interest of saving money but that usually does not work out well. It is advisable to get quality even if it means spending a little more but in most cases small shop vacs are affordable, even the good ones.
These small shop vacs can be divided into categories, there are the handheld ones and then there are the ones you need to pull around. With all things considered, the Armor AA255 is the best of them all with the right price and features.
If however you are thinking of getting one a bit bigger, then you will look at the 5 gallon canister ones and we would highly recommend the 5989300. This one is made from stainless steel which makes it easier to clean. Its performance is impressive and it is light weight as well, which makes it worth your consideration.
You can again go for something with a long cord and that would be the Hoover. But whichever you choose from here, you can rest assured that it comes highly recommended.