10 Best Small Shop VACS in 2019 – Reviews with Buying Guide

best small shop vacs

Small shop vacs, also known as one of the most powerful vacuums on the market are nothing similar to a regular vacuum cleaner. These effective vacuums are wet-dry vacs, which allows them to have an ability to deal with the most complicated cleanups. While the top vacs for dust cleanup may require more power, small shop vacs will offer much easier maneuverability.

One of their strongest features is their portability. Hence, these small shop vacs are easy to handle and move around. Because they are so compact, lightweight and handy, the small shop vacs are much more convenient than lugging a massive machine around. They leave nothing behind and for the most part, it does not take a lot of time nor effort to get your messes all cleaned up.

Generally, the best shop vacs are composed of a small container with a common capacity of 3 gallons. Regardless of the fact that these shop vacs have a lower capacity, the truth is, their performance is really on a high level. For the small shop owners or the people working in small shops, these compact vacs are typically better options.

In case you belong in the above mentioned group of people, and you have a hard time finding a powerful weapon for cleaning up your small shop or workshop, seek no more.

Selecting a small shop vacuum is easier said than done since shop vacs are vastly different from the traditional vacs. But, do not worry – We are coming to your rescue!

Starting with the best picks and including their features as well as strengths and weaknesses, we have everything covered in this full review and buying guide.

This is the place where we discuss the top 10 small shop vacs that will help you make the right choice.

Top Ten Best Small Shop Vacs

Product NamePowerWeightRatingCurrent Price

1. Stanley SL 12125P Shop Vac

Image of Stanley SL 12125P Shop Vac

1.5 HP5.0 lbs4.4Check Price
2. Shop-Vac 5895200 All Around EZ Vacuum

Picture of powerful Shop-Vac 5895200 All Around EZ Vacuum in a review of best small shop vacs

2.5 HP12.0 lbs4.3Check Price
3. Armor All AA255 Shop Vac

Picture of Armor All AA255 Shop VAC reviewed for best shop-vacs

2.0 HP7.0 lbs4.2Check Price
4. Shop-Vac 2036000 Wet Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 2036000 Wet Dry Vacuum in a review of the top 10 shop vacs

2.5 HP5.0 lbs4.2Check Price
5. Shop-Vac 2030100 Wet Dry Vacuum

Image of Shop-Vac 2030100 Wet Dry Vacuum in a review of the top 10 best shop vacs

2.0 HP6.0 lbs4.0Check Price
6. Craftsman Wall Mount Wet Dry Shop Vac

Picture of the wet-dry vac Craftsman Wall Mount Wet Dry Shop Vac

2.0 HP7.35 lbs4.2Check Price
7. Vacmaster VP205 Portable Wet Dry Vacuum

Picture of the review of Vacmaster VP205 Portable Wet Dry Vacuum

2.0 HP8.4 lbs4.0Check Price
8. Stanley SL18128 Wet Dry Vacuum

Stanley SL18128 Wet Dry Vacuum as one of the best small shop vacs on the market

4.0 HP10.5 lbs3.9Check Price
9. Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry Vac

The tiny Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry VAC in a review for the best small shop vacs

1.0 HP5.0 lbs3.8Check Price
10. Workshop WS0250VA Compact Shop Vac

The effective Workshop WS0250VA Compact Shop VAC reviewed among the best small shop vacs

1.75 HP6.9 lbs3.7Check Price

 

Best Small Shop Vacs: Detailed Analysis

#1 Stanley SL 12125P Shop Vac

Image of Stanley SL 12125P Shop Vac

Starting with the tiniest wet-dry cleaner on the list, the Stanley SL 12125P is one of the best shop vacs and extremely easy to use. The vacuum has a weight of only 5 pounds.

However, do not let the numbers fool you. The fact that this vac works with a small tank does not compromise its performance. As a matter of fact, this shop vac is quite powerful.

Key Features

The Stanley SL 12125P model has a high-performance motor and works with a power of 1.5 HP. The power rate provides enough for a decent cleanup. This machine does not require batteries for functioning and will meet all your expectations for cleanup.

With a long power cord of 6 feet, this Stanley vacuum model handles smoothly. The length of the power cord contributes to the great reach of areas you can clean with this small vac. The cord can also be wrapped around the machine for easy storage.

Moreover, this model has a capacity of 1.5 gallons. In comparison with other small shop vacs, the scope is not great. However, if this machine is used in smaller workshops and premises, it best suits the needs of the user.

The Stanley vacuum weighs only 5 pounds and has a handle on the top of the vacuum. The extreme lightweight and the handgrip makes this vac one of the most compact shop vacuums on the current market.

Furthermore, the accessories that are included in the purchase of this model are a dry reusable filter, 1-1/4 x – 4-feet hose, foam filter, utility nozzle as well as crevice nozzle.

Pros and Cons

Among the pros of using this shop vac are the compatibility of this model and its lightweight. Here, we can also find the high-performance of the machine and the easy portability. This small shop vac is efficient and cost-effective, therefore completely worth the money.

The size of the container is worth mentioning as the only con of this Stanley vac model. For larger grounds, it can be considered too small, but if used in small workshops the vacuum should perfectly serve the purpose.

#2 Shop-Vac 5895200 All Around EZ Vacuum

Picture of powerful Shop-Vac 5895200 All Around EZ Vacuum in a review of small shop vacs

The Shop-Vac 5895200 is an all-round quality vacuum that belongs in the EZ series. This shop-vac model is a solution for versatile uses such as household and car cleaning, outdoor cleaning as well as heavy-duty cleanup of workshops. In short, this vacuum is perfect for every use.

Key Features

The Shop-Vac 5895200 is a wet-dry vac that offers a full-sized vacuum cleaner power. The motor features a 2.5 peak horsepower and a storage tank capacity of 2.5 gallons. These characteristics allow the vacuum to absorb everything in its way including dirt, trash and any other kind of remains.

This shop vac is among the best shop vacs because it is also largely used for wet platforms. It cleans liquid spills and even snow, which adds to its effortless performance. Additionally, this shop-vac has a hose that is 1-1/4 inches in diameter and 7 feet in length. The length of the extension wands increase the scope of the vacuum’s reach.

This compact shop vacuum weighs 12 pounds and due to its top carry handle it is convenient for holding. The vacuum cleaner also has small side roll casters that provide easy mobility. Not only can this vac be held while in use, but it can be rolled around the while cleaning, too.

This vac model includes various accessories among which you can found a filter bag, wall mount bracket, gulper nozzle, round brush, dual surface nozzle, crevice tool, and two separate extension wands.

Pros and Cons

The advantages of using this best shop vac are the numerous accessories before anything else. Thanks to these accessories, the abilities of this shop vac are very versatile, making it just perfect for any of the users’ needs. The pros also mention the onboard storage as well as the blower port placed in the back of the cleaner.

The disadvantages of this machine are the heaviness, which is 12 pounds, which may be uncomfortable for some people to lift it, and the fact that it can be considered expensive. This means that the number of people who can use this shop-vac is limited.

#3 Armor All AA255 Shop Vac

Picture of Armor All AA255 Shop VAC reviewed for best shop-vacs

The Armor All shop vacuum is one of the best wet-dry vacuums. Due to its ability to be used for different purposes, this vacuum cleaner is widely used.

This model is highly recommended for both, indoor and outdoor cleanup activities.

Key Features

The Armor All AA255 has a motor that performs with a power of 2.0 HP. Whether it is used as a vacuum machine, or as a blower, this shop vac works with a great force. The conversion to function as a blower is very easy.

The Armor All model picks up dry and wet debris and stores it inside a Polypropylene container with a capacity of 2.5 gallons. This means that the vac is able to clean liquids and solids, and neatly store larger amounts of them inside the tank.

Furthermore, the reach of this shop vacuum is broad, as well. The machine operates with a 10-foot power cord and 6-foot hose, which allows the cleaner to be moved around wider spaces. The hose is able to be kept inside the vacuum cleaner after you are done with cleaning because it can be placed inside the canister portion.

The device weighs 7 pounds and it is able to be transported when using the top handle. There also is an integrated automatic shut-off system that detects the fill limit and prevents the vac from overflowing.

The accessories of this vac model are the crevice tool, and brushes such as a detail brush.

Pros and Cons

Two of the main pros of this shop-vac are the fact that it is lightweight and portable. As a result, the users usually do not have any troubles moving the device around. This model also has a very powerful motor which allows the machine to be used as a blower, too, and within the purchase, a lot of great tools are included.

When it comes to the cons of the Armor All shop vac, there really is one – the absence of casting wheels. Although it is lightweight, this good shop vac is unable to roll, which can make it difficult for some users.

#4 Shop-Vac 2036000 Wet Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 2036000 Wet Dry Vacuum in a review of the top 10 shop vacs

This shop-vac is a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, extremely easy to use, lightweight and compact. This best small shop vacuum machine can be used for cleaning heavy-duty workshops, households, cars, and gardens.

This shop vac features many accessories and adapters that make this vacuum a go-to tool for any cleanup task.

Key Features

Performing with a motor power of 2.5 HP allows this best shop-vac to be a cleaning device that can be used as a vacuum cleaner and a blower. As a suction device, it can help clean the inside of a car, home or workshop, and as a blower, it can help blow dry leaves or any other kind of dirt.

When used as a cleaning tool, this small shop vac stores the debris inside a 2.5 gallon container. The tank is adequate for big amounts of solid and liquid compounds. The machine has the ability to suck up water and snow from the surroundings. Keep in mind, when it comes to using wet-dry shop vacs for removing fluids, a specific procedure must be followed. Otherwise, the device might be damaged.

This model of shop vac is a wall-mounted design, which means that the hose grants the cleaning coverage. The hose is 4 feet long with a diameter of 1.25 inch.

The device weighs only 5 pounds and is extremely light for carrying around. This adds to the compatibility and the mobility of this small shop vacuum cleaner.

Additionally, like any other vac, this model also includes accessories such as gulper nozzle, crevice tool, reusable filter, and foam sleeve.

Pros and Cons

The pros of this shop-vac include the extreme power of the motor that leads to versatile uses of the device. As mentioned above, the machine can be used as suction and blowing device. Due to its lightweight, this vacuum cleaner is very handy and compact. Another advantage of this vac is its reusable filter.

From all shop vac models, this one comes with the least accessories. Users find this to be a huge disadvantage to this vac cleaner.

#5 Shop-Vac 2030100 Wet Dry Vacuum

Image of Shop-Vac 2030100 Wet Dry Vacuum in a review of the top 10 best shop vacs

This shop-vac is quite similar to the previous one, with only a small difference in the device’s weight.

The wet-dry vacuum cleaner, which is one pound heavier than the former device, also represents itself as a compact cleaning tool that can be used for different tasks. Although a pound heavier, the machine is still considered easily portable.

Key Features

This model of shop vac gives the user the opportunity of decent cleaning since its motor works with 2 horsepower. This indeed is a small difference in the peak power between both similar machines. Regardless of the power, this device can still be used as a blower, too. Hence, the vacuum cleaner can be used as a suction and blowing device. The power of the motor allows the vac to work well enough to be able to cover smaller grounds, such as your workplace.

The tank storing the dirt has a capacity of 1.5 gallons. This size is not considered large and that is exactly why this best small vacuum cleaner is perfect for cleaning smaller areas. The device will definitely help you keep your workshop tidy, or other establishments for that matter. The shop vac is competent for absorbing solids and liquid compounds too.

In addition, the amount of reach is fair because this small shop vac has a 4-feet long hose. The machine is a wall-mounted design. As a result, the vac should be placed in the middle of the ground that is being cleaned so it can provide the best results.

In comparison with the former model of shop-vac, this vacuum cleaner weighs a pound more. The total weight is 6 pounds, yet that still does not compromise its portability. As a user, you can use the top carry handle to move the vac around the area effortlessly.

The crevice tool, the reusable filter, the foam sleeve, and the gulper nozzle are the accessories provided with the purchase of this model.

Pros and Cons

Simply, the pros of this best small shop vacuum are its versatility to be used for different cleaning tasks and the fact it is lightweight and easily transported. The motor is fairly powerful and will help the users perfectly clean smaller surfaces.

The only disadvantage of this small vacuum device is the capacity of the storage tank. Since it can store only 1.5 gallons of dirt, it is considered very small.

#6 Craftsman Wall Mount Wet Dry Shop Vac

Picture of the wet-dry vac Craftsman Wall Mount Wet Dry Shop Vac

The Craftsman wet-dry shop vac is yet another design of a wall mount vac. This vacuum cleaner is among the best-rated cleaning products of the current market. It is simple to use and has a common feature that makes the device a good asset.

Key Features

This shop vac model performs with a peak power of 2 HP. This motor’s force is not believed to be extremely powerful, but it does the job and provides a decent cleaning. Not only can the vac be used as a vacuum cleaner, but it also can be used as a blower. This means the wet-dry Craftsman shop vac is able to vacuum different kinds of debris and water easily, as well as help blow the dead leaves and other dirt away. Since this small shop vac is wall mounted, it can be greatly used for everyday house cleaning, or if installed outside, it can be used for cleaning the inside of the car.

The vacuumed trash and liquids are stored in a tank with a capacity of 2.5 gallons. This tank size is suitable for smaller workshops and other rooms.

Although the storage container is not immensely large, the vac still can provide the users with efficient cleansing. This model has a long hose, which ultimately helps to cover a wider scope of a surface.

This best shop vacuum weighs 7.35 pounds and does not have roll casters. The only way for it to be carried around is by using the top handle.

Pros and Cons

When it comes to the good sides of this vacuum cleaner, we must mention its high-level performance. The motor power allows the vacuum to be used for versatile tasks and the shop vac has a sufficient capacity. This small shop vac is very durable.

The bad side of this vacuum cleaner is its weight. Its weight is 7.35 pounds which is considered too heavy for carrying in hand.

#7 Vacmaster VP205 Portable Wet Dry Vacuum

Picture of the review of Vacmaster VP205 Portable Wet Dry Vacuum

The Vacmaster model is a wet-dry vac that has a high performance and can be used for different cleanup activities. This shop vac is designed to be carried around and is an incredible model of shop vac that is totally worth buying.

Key Features

This best shop vac is suitable for all kinds of cleaning, including indoor and outdoor cleaning. Because of its motor power of 2HP, this model can be used as a suction device and a blowing machine. It is very convenient and easy to convert the vacuum cleaner to a blower, and the device prevents itself from overflowing thanks to its integrated automatic shut-off system. This wet-dry shop vac helps cleaning household messes, workshops, yards, and cars.

All the debris and the liquids are stored inside a container that has a capacity of 2.5 gallons. This makes the vac perfect for using either at home or at work.

Not only does the small shop vacuum cleaner have a larger storage tank, but it also has a long cord and hose that increase the amount of reach. The hose is 4 feet long and the cord is 8 feet long. The cord wrap capability helps in the organization.

The Vacmaster portable vacuum cleaner is 8.4 pounds in weight and has a top handle to make carrying the machine a cinch.

Speaking of the accessories of this small shop vac, there are a lot of them included in the purchase. Here, the users can find a cord wrap, a crevice tool, reusable foam sleeve as well as reusable cloth filter, and a 2-in-1 utility nozzle. There also is an onboard accessory depository.

Pros and Cons

Expectedly, one of the biggest advantages of this small shop vac is the number of accessories available for use. Among the other pros of this vacuum cleaner, there is a powerful motor, which grants the users with effective cleaning, as well as the good capacity of the storage tank. All these features combined with the 2 years of warranty for the vac makes a smart choice when purchasing.

The only thing worth mentioning as a shortcoming is the weight of the product. The Vacmaster compact shop vacuum, even though containing a handle, is still believed to be heavy for some people. The shop vac does not come with roller trolley nor roll casters which can make the cleaning work harder.

#8 Stanley SL18128 Wet Dry Vacuum

Stanley SL18128 Wet Dry Vacuum as one of the top small shop vacs on the market

If you were looking for a vacuum cleaner that is designed for heavy-duty cleaning, this is it. This Stanley model is perfect for the purpose of cleaning larger spaces. This wet-dry vac is definitely one of the best and most powerful shop vacs on the market.

Key Features

This best small shop vacuum is considered one of the most powerful models because of  the size of its motor. Its motor performs with a 4HP peak power, making it exceptionally strong and effective for cleaning. The vac has the ability to clean both liquids and solids, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor areas.

As mentioned, this model can be used as a suction device, therefore it can help you clean snow, debris and different kinds of specks of dirt. All of the remains are stored in a storage tank with a capacity of 2.5 gallons. This size grants the users with the ability to clean larger home and workspaces.

Despite having a larger storage container, this shop vac has a long power cord and hose that increase the cleaning reach. The power cord is a long 10 feet and the flexible hose is a long 1-1/4 x 5 feet. The cord wrap design helps in the better organization and the storage of the power cord.

This Stanley best small shop-vac is not a lightweight type of vac and weighs 10.5 pounds. However, thanks to the 4 rotating casters, this vacuum cleaner is easily portable and moved around.

Additionally, some of the tools that come as an accessory in the purchase of this shop vac are the crevice and utility nozzle, the dry reusable filter, the three extension wands, the floor brush, and the foam filter.

Pros and Cons

The pros of this shop-vac are the power of the motor, which provides a splendid cleaning, the multiple accessories and the satisfactory capacity of the storage tank. The 4 swivel casters make the vac multi-directional, therefore the mobility of this shop-vac is at a high level.

When looking for weaker points of this shop vacuum, the size of the hose is worth mentioning. Since the machine is considered large, the hose, 1-1/4 x 5 feet in length, is considered too small compared to the size of the cleaning device.

#9 Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry Vac

The tiny Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry VAC in a review for the highest rated small shop vacs

Once again, we are coming back to the tinier shop vacs. This one is a model of vacs most suitable for cleaning smaller areas and it is considered one of the most compact vacuum cleaners that can be found.

Key Features

Because of its petite size, this shop-vac does not work with great power. Its motor has a 1 HP peak power that ultimately provides a decent cleaning. Due to its force, this wet-dry vac can be used for vacuuming different kinds of specks of dirt and liquid compounds.

The debris is stored in the storage tank that has a capacity of 1 gallon. This capacity size gives a proper cleaning but only in small grounds and workshops. The fact it can vacuum only 1 gallon of dirt means this shop vac, as a cleaning device, is not meant for larger spaces.

This shop-vac model is a micro wall-mounted model that is not able to reach many of your desired cleaning areas. The hose, on the other hand, is 4 feet long. It will provide you with a decent reach but within the mobility scope.

The micro shop-vac device weighs only 5 pounds and it is easy to carry around using the top handle.

The versatile accessories include crevice tool, wall mount bracket, gulper nozzle, tool holder, reusable disc filter bag, and foam sleeve.

Pros and Cons

In short, this model of small shop vacs is of average quality and functionality and mostly used for basic cleaning needs.

The pros of this vacuum cleaner are the high performance, considering its purpose, the durability, and the fact that its lightweight and perfect for cleaning smaller places and workshops.

Among the drawbacks, there is its collection capacity, which for a regular cleaner would be considered too small, and the power of the vac’s motor.

#10 Workshop WS0250VA Compact Shop Vac

The effective Workshop WS0250VA Compact Shop VAC reviewed among the great small shop vacs

As its name says, this compact shop vac is mostly suitable for workshop cleaning. The wet-dry vacuum cleaner will barely take away any storage space because it is extremely petite.  It can be placed anywhere in the room and still will not compromise your movement.

Key Features

This tiny model of a workshop vacuum cleaner operates with a 1.75 HP peak power and this motor force provides the users with a decent cleaning. When it comes to cleaning larger rooms, this device is not recommended for use.

This small shop vac has the ability to suck up debris, dirt, and liquids. It stores all the vacuumed trash inside a storage container that has a capacity of 2.5 gallons. The size of this tank is just perfect considering the width of spaces that are recommended for cleaning with this device. Moreover, this compact shop vac has a flat stable bottom. This design prevents the dirt that has already been collected to be spilled out.

The shop vac has a fair reach thanks to the power cord which is 10 feet in length, and the length of the hose which is 4 feet long.

This model has a weight of 6.9 pounds and an integrated top handle for effortless portability.

The purchase of this workshop vac includes various accessories such as a utility nozzle, a handy power hose, users manual, a filter bag, and a car nozzle. Since the hose of this shop vac is portable, it is not uncommon for it to get lost. In this case, we have some replacement hose picks you should definitely check out.

Pros and Cons

The strong points of this best small shop vacuum are the flat bottom and the adequate storage vessel. The shop vac comes with a warranty of 5 years.

The weakest side of this small shop vac is the length of the power cord which could be longer, which would therefore ease up the job of tidying up.

Bottom Line

Before you jump into purchasing a vac, stop for a second and think of the types of jobs you need that cleaning device for. Ask yourself whether you need a smaller or a larger device, think about the capacity, the reason why you a need vacuum or a dust cleaner and even think about the noise levels. We assure you will end up knowing exactly what you want and why you want it.

In case you need a vac for only basic needs, you should definitely consider buying a smaller vacuum cleaner. In case you need it for bigger cleaning projects, then do not be afraid to spend more money on a larger and well-performing shop vac that will best fulfill your needs. They are definitely worth the money.

The wet-dry vacs are convenient, long-lasting and powerful tools. Use our guide to be sure you make the right choice and you will not regret the money spent on it.

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