Which Shop Vac is Best? Let's find out!

if you're as good at making messes as i

am you're going to want a good shop vac

we have seven different brands today

some costing quite a bit more than

others so let's get the testing underway

and see which brand is the best

we'll see which shop back vacuums water

the fastest we'll find out which one

creates the most suction

we'll test which shopvac has the largest

capacity we'll find out which one

vacuums 50 pounds of sand the fastest

and the final event will be a grudge

match hooking up the vacuum lines in a

head-to-head contest

and letting them slug it out at only 88

the heart brand is the least expensive

shop vac that we'll be testing

16 gallons and 6 peak horsepower limited

3-year warranty

9-piece accessory kit made in china

shopvac handle

extension wands wheels 3 nozzles foam

wet filter

assembling the heart shop vac was very

quick and easy installing the wheel kit

with four screws and the handle with two

screws took less than two minutes

hose inlet diameter is about one and

three quarter inches the hose locks into

position by sliding into position and

then twisting clockwise

i used a crane scale to weigh each of

the vacuums and the heart is pretty

light at only 20.2 pounds

peak horsepower is a term used in the

wet and dry vacuum industry for consumer

comparison purposes

it does not denote the operational

horsepower of a wet and dry vacuum but

rather the horsepower

output of a motor including the motor's

inertial contribution achieved in

laboratory testing

in actual use the shopvac motors do not

operate at the peak horsepower shown

there are quite a few online calculators

for converting amps to horsepower

according to the power use meter the

heart is around 11.4 amps

assuming 99 efficiency which is

extremely optimistic the heart shop vac

produces around 1.6 horsepower at 11.4

amps and 115 volts i placed the sound

meter 36 inches from the center of the

electric motor and the noise level is


decibels at a price of 95.42 the second

least expensive brand we'll be testing

is made by stanley

5.5 peak horsepower and 12 gallon one

year limited warranty

stanley is made in china the stanley

comes with two extension wands and three


the grab handle was already installed

and installing the wheels took about a


just like the heart the stanley's hose

diameter is about an inch and three


the stanley was even lighter than the

heart at only 16 pounds which includes

the weight of all the accessories

the stanley is only making around 1.3

horsepower at 9.6 amps and is a little

quieter than the heart at 79.6 decibels

at a price of only 99.99 the barrow

brand is tied with the ridgid as being

the third least expensive brand we'll be


six pig horsepower and 14 gallon it

claims to draw 10 amps

flow rate is 115 cfm made in china

since the bow brand is guaranteed heavy

duty i wanted to know more about the

warranty but i couldn't find any


on the packaging according the

instruction manual limited 90-day


the barrel comes with two extension

wands and four nozzles just like the

stanley it only took about a minute to

install the wheels

the hose end on the heart and the

stanley are about one and three quarters

of an inch but the bowers is a half

inch larger diameter at two and a

quarter at 19.2 pounds the bower is

slightly heavier than the stanley but

lighter than the heart brand

at 10.2 amps the bower is making around

1.4 horsepower

the bauer is extremely noisy at 87.5


also costing 99.99 is this ridgid brand

six and a half p horsepower and 16

gallons hose diameter is two and a half

inches the ridgid is made in mexico the

ridge it comes with a full lifetime


unlike the other brands the ridgid has a

removable electric motor which can be


as a leaf blower the ridgid has two

extension wands plus a leaf blower

attachment along with three nozzles

ridgid claims their hose is two and a

half inches but the hose ends are only

two and a quarter

installing the wheels and the plastic

bracket that steps into position took

under two minutes at 24.6 pounds the

ridgid is quite a bit heavier than the

previous three brands

at 12.3 amps which is around 1.7

horsepower the ridgid is the most

powerful yet of the four brands

it's a little noisier than the heart and

the stanley at 82.4 decibels

at 101.49 the craftsman is the third

most expensive brand we'll be testing

16 gallon six and a half peak horsepower

three year limited warranty

made in mexico air volume is up to 185


the craftsman includes a vacuum bag two

extension wands and three nozzles

just like the bower the hose end is

about two and a quarter inches in


assembly takes around three minutes and

includes installing the wheel kit the

grab handle and a couple of brackets

that'll keep the hose contained when not

in use

the craftsman was slightly lighter than

the ridgid at 23.2 pounds

it was also slightly more powerful at

13.1 amps which is about 1.8 horsepower

and slightly quieter at 81.5 decibels at

a price of 124.99 the second most

expensive brand we'll be testing

is made by shopvac 14 gallons six and a

half peak horsepower powered by svx2

advanced motor technology five-year

warranty assembled in usa

of u.s and global components the shopvac

brand includes a large vacuum bag

two extension wands three nozzles along

with a brush and a squeegee attachment

the shopvac claims to be assembled in

the united states but this shopvac

required far more assembly than any of

the other brands including the wheels a

bracket for the large wheels

a handle and a couple of smaller

brackets assembly is still pretty easy

and takes less than 10 minutes

the hose end is two and a quarter inches

at 28.4 pounds the shotvac is the

heaviest yet

it's also a little less powerful at 11.8

amps or 1.6 horsepower

it's the second noisiest shot vac at

83.5 decibels

and the most expensive brand we'll be

testing at 143.37

is made by dewalt 14 gallon six peak


three year limited warranty one year

free service 90 day money back guarantee

11 amps 110 cfm 32.4 pounds

the dewalt brand is made in china the

dewalt includes a vinyl accessory holder

two extension wands

four nozzles and a large vacuum bag the

hose end is two and a quarter

inches it takes around five minutes to

assemble the dewalt which includes

installing the wheel kit

the accessory holder and the handlebar

the accessory holder seems a little

undersized for all the attachments

at 32.2 pounds the dewalt is by far the

heaviest of all the shop facts

at 10.9 amps it's not as powerful as the

ridgid the craftsman or the shopvac

brand it's the quietest shop vac at only

75.6 decibels

so the dewalt is the quietest at 75.6


stanley second and the craftsman in

heart tied for third if you're planning

to lift or carry the shop vac and weight

is a factor the stanley is the lightest

at only 16 pounds bauer is second

lightest at 19.2

part third at 20.2 craftsman fourth at


and rigid fifth at 24.6 higher wattage

or amperage is usually marketed as more

powerful and better

not surprisingly the shopvacs with the

highest horsepower ratings all rated for

6.5 peak horsepower at the highest


the craft's been finished first at 13.1

amps rigid second at 12.3 and shot back

third at 11.8

all of which were rated for 6.5

horsepower however there is a big

difference between power use or what we

just measured in power output or real

world performance

so let's get into some testing and see

if these numbers really matter when it

comes to vacuums two very important

factors to consider include airflow

and vacuum suction so we'll first

measure airflow or how much air each

brand is able to move

in our next test i'll position the hose

on each shop vac so the air is blowing

out of the shop vac and into this test

stand air will enter

the top of the box then go around an air

deflector and finally enter and travel

through an 8 inch wind tunnel

inside the wind tunnel is a wind meter

which will measure the air speed in

miles per hour

and the heart is off to a great start

with a peak speed of 10.45 miles per


the stanley did do nearly as well with a

top air speed of only seven miles per


so hart holds on to the lead and the

bauer's airspeed was 10.1 miles per hour

so the heart brand holds on to the lead

and the ridgid is definitely moving a

lot of air at 12 miles per hour

taking the lead away from the heart

brand and the craftsman takes away the

lead from ridgid with a very impressive

13.1 miles per hour

and a shot back at 10.5 miles per hour

isn't going to be enough to take away

the lead from the craftsman

and the dewalt did just about the same

as a shop vac at 10.4 miles per hour

so the craftsman takes the top spot at

13.1 miles per hour rigid second at 12.1

miles per hour shot back third at 10.5

so the top three shopvacs with the

highest peak horsepower ratings took the

top three spots

while airspeed is very important equally

important is suction

suction is what allows a shop vac to

pick up things while airflow moves them

into the vacuum tank

so in our next test we're going to see

how much suction each shop vac applies

to a rubber ball

shopvac design and build quality have a

huge impact on suction

for example a lid that doesn't seal well

like this lid on the heart brand

it might have a powerful motor but air

leaks around the lid prevent good


i'll take an average of three samples

for each shop vac and the heart brand

which has fairly good air airspeed

really struggled

with suction at only 4.4 pounds build

quality of the stanley does seem

slightly better than the heart but

there's definitely room for improvement

even though the stanley brand has the

lowest horsepower rating and a much

lower air speed it actually outperformed

the heart brand at 4.8 pounds

the build quality of the bower

definitely seems better with a much

tighter lid and bucket fit

the bar had slightly less air speed than

the heart but check out the lift 10.2

pounds more than twice as much as the

heart and stanley very impressive

the ridgid has a much larger diameter

lid and bucket than the bower which

means there's more opportunity for air

to leak

unfortunately the lid just doesn't have

a very tight fit the detachable motor is

also another area prone to leaking

and the ridgid has great airspeed at

12.3 miles per hour but just doesn't

have very good lift compared to the

bower at only 5.8 pounds so bauer holds

onto the lead at 10.2 pounds

just like the ridgid the craftsman has a

very large diameter lid and bucket

making it more susceptible to air leaks

however it doesn't have the detachable

motor like the ridgid and the craftsman

did better than the ridgid at 6.4 pounds

of lift and moves into the second

position behind bauer which did quite a

bit better at 10.2 pounds

the shotvac has a smaller diameter lid

and bucket compared to the rigid and


it also seems to have a better lid to

bucket fit than most of the other brands

so the shopvac brand moves ahead of the

craftsman with a pretty good 7.8 pound

pull but that's not going to be enough

to take the lead away from bauer

wow the build construction of the dewalt

definitely seems the best with a very

tight fit between the motor and the


it also has a smaller diameter lid and

bucket compared to the ridgid and

craftsman and the dewalt did the best

yet narrowly beating the bauer at 10.4


so the dewalt came in first at 10.4

bauer's second at 10.1

shop vac third at 7.8 and craftsman

fourth at 6.4

the air filters have been removed so

let's test the wet vacuuming capability

of each of the brands next in a

side-by-side showdown

i've added food coloring to the water

stanley is on the left and heart is on

the right i'll start the clock and at

the five second mark the test will begin

and both shot vacs are guzzling down the

water but the stanley is definitely

faster than the heart brand

and the stanley emptied the five gallon

bucket in seven seconds and the heart

was pretty far behind at nine seconds

ridgid is on the left and bauer's on the

right the ridgid has a better air speed

than the bower but the bar has better


poofy water definitely requires a lot of

suction and good air speed

both brands are doing great but the bar

is gulping down the water quite a bit

faster than the ridgid and it's better

for the wind at just under six seconds

and rigid at seven seconds

shot back is on the left and craftsman

is on the right craftsman has a pretty

big airspeed advantage and shot back has

a slight suction advantage

and his craftsman for the win at nearly

six seconds and shot back at seven

let's compete the dewalt against the

bowers since they are pretty evenly

matched dewalt is on the left and bowers

on the right and both brands are very

fast but dewalt is in the lead

and it's dewalt for the win at just

under six seconds and barrow once again

finishing up just behind the wall

the craftsman and the barrett both

finished very close to six seconds so

let's have a tie breaker

craftsman is on the left and bauer's on

the right and this is definitely the

closest race yet with both brands moving

the water very quickly but it's barra

for the win over craftsman

so dewatt finished first bower second

and craftsman third the stanley ridgid

and shotvac

all tied for fourth at seven seconds

according to the fine print the bucket

size does not indicate

actual wet capacity i'll wait each of

the buckets before and after the test

and we'll calculate the actual capacity

by dividing the total weight

by 8.34 pounds which is the approximate

weight of one gallon of water

testing the heart brand first and the

heart brand has a 16 gallon bucket and

did fairly well holding a total of 12.2


and the stanley which is a 12 gallon

bucket held 9.4 gallons of water so the

heart brand holds on to the lead

the bar which has a 14 gallon bucket

stopped picking up water at only 9.5


so the heart brand holds on to the lead

the ridgid with a 16 gallon bucket the

same size as the heart brand

did the best yet at 12.5 gallons testing

the craftsman next

and the craftsman which is a short and

wide bucket just like the ridgid just

about cleaned out all three buckets with

a very impressive 13.9 gallons of water

and takes the lead from ridgid

shopvac which is a 14 gallon bucket stop

picking up water at 10.8 gallons and the

craftsman holds on to the lead

the dewalt which also has a 14 gallon

tank did the best yet of all the 14

gallon shop vacs holding 11.6 gallons of


so the top three all had 16 gallon

buckets the craftsman came out on top at

13.9 gallons rigid second at 12.5

and the heart third at 12.2 the dewalt

shopvac and bar each have 14 gallon

buckets and came in fourth

fifth and six respectively i'll

reinstall the air filters for the final

test and we'll see how quickly these

shop vacs can lift 50 pounds of sand

beginning with the heart brand

air filter efficiency hose length and

build design are all factors that impact


the heart brand really struggled the

hose clogged several times during the

test and temporarily stopped making


we finally finished the job at 78

seconds the stanley which has both

better suction and a shorter hose than

the heart brand did a lot better

easily picking up the sand in only 40

seconds nearly twice as fast as the

heart brand the barrel which has about

the same air speed as the heart but a

lot more suction totally crushed this

test with a very impressive 31 second


the ridgid has better air speed but a

lot less suction than the bower and it

really had a big

impact on performance as a ridgid needed

longer than the bower to pick up the


the craftsman has a little bit better

air speed and suction than the ridgid

and both were factors as the craftsman

picked up the sand in only 38 seconds

and moved into second place behind the


the shopvac has a 10 foot hose while

most of the competition has a 7 foot

hose the extra hose length really slowed

the shot vac which needed 63 seconds to

remove the sand

so far bauer is in the lead but the

dewalt does have a slight edge over the

bar for air speed and suction

and dewalt totally crushed this test

with a 28 second finish beating the

bower by three seconds

so the dewalt came in first at 28

seconds bauer's second at 31

craftsman third of 39 stanley fourth at

40 and ridgid fifth at 43.

let's kick off the grudge match with

hart brand to the left and stanley on

the right

and the stanley didn't waste any time

knocking the wind right out of the heart


powering the left and stanley on the


and this wasn't even a contest with

baron knocking the wind out of stanley

in a quick one-two punch to the gut

power on the left and rigid on the right

since the barrier's overpowering the

ridgid i powered it off and then back on

again to see if it could recover

and it still overpowered the ridgid and

the barrier is getting cocky as it's

letting the ridgid deliver punches to

the gut

it just laughs as it knocks the wind

right back out of the ridgid so it's

barra for the win

it's barrow on the left and craftsman on

the right and the bower has been warned

for unsportsmanlike conduct but the bear

just doesn't seem to care

once again the bowers up to its old

trick and just laughs off the gut

punches it just knocks the wind right

out of the craftsman

barrow on the left and shot back on the


and the barrel brand tells the shopvac

and its svx2 motor to eat dirt as it

totally sucks the wind right out of the

shopvac brand

and it's down to the final match with

bauer on the left and dewalt on the


and this has turned into a real slugfest

with back and forth blows to the gut

but after several rounds of back and

forth blows is dewalt for the win

so which shop vac is the best that

really depends on what you're looking

for if you need a shop vac that has a

lot of suction for picking up water and

really heavy items

the bar is going to be hard to beat as

far as performance but on the other hand

my biggest concern with it it only comes

with a 90 day warranty

i really have a lot of respect for

companies that stand behind their

products in 90 days just doesn't seem


especially when you consider the other

brands are offering between

one year three year or even a lifetime

warranty in my opinion the best overall

shop back is the craftsman

it has terrific air speed very good

suction and

a very good warranty all the videos in

this channel are viewers suggested so if

you have a video idea i hope you'll take

time to leave a comment

thanks so much for watching and please

take care and i'll look forward to next