Inexpensive shop vac recommendations and What do you use your shop vac for?

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Old 05-18-20, 04:44 PM
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Inexpensive shop vac recommendations and What do you use your shop vac for?

Hello
Any under $100 shop vac recommendations?

Also, how do you use your shop vac? what are some uses for such a unit? i have a 2 car garage that i thought i would use it in

I saw a 6 gallon 3.5 hp portable unit at lowes for around $50
the 12 gallon and higher hp ones are around 100-150
 
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Old 05-19-20, 04:31 AM
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I'd go to Home Depot instead and buy a Ridgid brand vac.
It comes with a longer cord and tougher hose then most low end vacs.
The two I have where used on job sites for clean up and still work perfect after many years.
I've used them for job site clean up, after removing the filter I've used them to suck out the water left in a toilet when changing one, cleaned out my truck, sucked a string through a long run of PVC pipe so I could pull some wires, sucked the salt out of a water softener.
 
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Old 05-19-20, 05:01 AM
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I have 3 shop vacs in the house.

The most useful one is what they call a car vac model, it's got a 25' hose, no wheels, is small and easy to move around.

It's used probably for 95% of the time, similar to this!

.https://www.farmandfleet.com/product...hoCSpoQAvD_BwE
 
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Old 05-19-20, 03:02 PM
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I think a lot of it is how you're going to use it.

If it'll get infrequent use like mine, I suggest a small one that's easy to tuck away in a garage or closet and I prefer the rectangular shape versus round because it stores in corner easier. I've had bigger ones with crappy wheels and for me, the long hose is always in the way, the vac flips over or the wheels were always falling off, and it was just a pain.
I got one like this - https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-4...070C/308058433 and I like it much better because it's easy to store and stays out of the way.
 
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Old 05-19-20, 03:44 PM
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I have a Rigid. I had two but one melted. If this one dies I will buy another Rigid. I use it mostly to vacuum in tne basement or whenever I need some serious suckage that the wife's household vac won't touch. I have also used it to suck up puddles in the basement.

My melted one was in my shop. Used mostly for sawdust.
 
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Old 05-19-20, 06:28 PM
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thank you all. i happened to be at lowes early morning today for another project and saw this one on sale so i bought it on impulse
https://www.lowes.com/pd/CRAFTSMAN-1...uum/1000649221

and now reading the comments, it seems like massive overkill. this sucker is massive. havent opened the box yet. may go for an exchange for a smaller one. lowes is closer to me and there is no one there at 6am

what do people use these massive ones for? it says 16gal 5hp
 
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Old 05-20-20, 12:05 AM
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As I noted, I have 3 shop vacs, the really big one is used for construction projects, the med sits under the basement work bench for local clean ups and the small hand carry unit goes all over the house when doing most every other project that requires spot clean up.

You need to define what it's going to be used for!

Dragging a huge vac around the house is a PITA!
 
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Old 05-20-20, 03:24 AM
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I have both sizes and use the small one when I have to carry it anyplace. The big one I use i n the shop for general shop clean up., I also have upgraded to a 20 foot hose for it.
 
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Old 05-20-20, 04:46 AM
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Thanks guys, what a great community where clueless guys like myself can take advantage of all your experiences!!

my problem is I don't have a clue

i will probably use it to clean the oil spills in the garage, maybe clean my hardwood floor in the living room and use it in the car and small spills, and as you correctly pointed out, a smaller unit is wayyy more useful for those projects.

It was kind of a random thought because my next door neighbor recently had their 2nd floor washer flood the whole living room and garage downstairs and they had to pretty much gut everything down. I have a similar townhouse, with the same setup and unfortunately the washer dryer sit in a closet type space on the second floor
i always fear that there is going to be flooding, and I thought maybe I should keep one of these, and I know it is silly, because if I am away for 5 hours and the leak happens during that time, a vac will do no good.

I should probably look for a thread or start one on tips on how to prevent such floods (i do have the best quality hose for the washer) and a drip pan.

Most seem to be in agreement that a smaller unit is the one that actually gets the most use!

i want to stay within $100 if I can ---and is it better to get one with no wheels?

what about filters ? looks like they are pricey too.

I would really appreciate recommendations from the following ones that are locally available for pickup today (there are many more choices online but I dont want to wait 4 weeks to get it in the mail with the current logistics situation)

saw a ryobi cordless, but the batteries probably wear out over time, but i am intrigued by the cordless ones.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Shop-Vac-6-...uum/1001430744

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Shop-Vac-5-...uum/1000351423

https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-4...4070/202077241
 
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Old 05-20-20, 05:21 AM
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clean the oil spills in the garage
I dont think I would be cleaning up anything like this with any of my vac's, they would be trashed.

There is no right or wrong selection, we cant know what your usage will be. As noted it's not unusual to have more than one, there is no one-size-fits-all tool for everybody, dont over think this!
 
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Old 05-20-20, 05:31 AM
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As many others have stated I also have three units. Large, medium and small. I use the small by far the most often. And for almost everything. The large one stays in the basement, the medium stays in the garage, but the small one flows me around like a dog.
 
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Old 05-20-20, 09:48 AM
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I once used a 5 gallon shop vac to suck 3/4 inch stone backfill from behind a retaining wall to get to a drain line 3 feet down. It was easier than trying to dig the stone out with a shovel but required lots of emptying.

not related to the above, but filters can be cleaned. Even paper ones can be hosed clean once or twice or the dust can be scraped out dry.
 
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Old 05-20-20, 02:26 PM
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Even paper ones can be hosed clean once or twice or the dust can be scraped out dry.
Those large 5 gal units. I never buy new filters. I have two. I hose them down, sun dry them and reuse them.
 
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Old 05-20-20, 05:49 PM
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I have two rigid vacs and really like them. They seem to be not as noisy as other brands. I use them for everything in the garage and shop. The one in my woodshop I used as a dust collector with the dust deputy vac cyclone. It works awesome!
 
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Old 05-20-20, 06:40 PM
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Best shop vac I ever used was something my uncle Frankensteined-together for working on fiberglass radar domes.
Take a metal lid from a spare 30 gallon bulk material drum and cut two 4" holes. Bolt a 15 amp motor & blower to the underside of the lid at one hole, stack two or three 1970s Dodge Dart air cleaners & chrome center over the motor/fan to keep it clean, and bolt 4" diameter nozzle/received to the other hole. Use a ten-foot 4" hose.
It sat on a flat x-brace with caster wheels from an office chair.
That thing would vacuum up anything from fine dust to a small pair of pliers.
Just run the shop vac until the drum is full. Grab another empty 30 gal drum from work, un-hook the metal lid with the motor assembly, blow the dust out of the automotive air cleaners, swap the lids with the new drum, and roll the full drum out for trash pickup.
 
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Old 05-20-20, 11:52 PM
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a spare 30 gallon bulk material drum
there is no one-size-fits-all tool for everybody
And there you have it, what every works best for you is the best tool to own!
 
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