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car/garage/shop vacuum: what's good?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I need one, I don't have a central vacuum at home, we have a dyson for the inside but it was too expensive to trash around the garage. Need one for general purpose use in my garage, car, shop area...

 

heard ridgid makes good ones, also heard good things about stihl and festool (but these cost more than I"m willing to spend). Trying to keep it under $200 for a good and lasting one...

 

what do you like and/or recommend?

post #2 of 6

I have a 12 gallon Shop-Vac wet/dry blower vac that I got at Lowe's for around $100.  Works great for what I need.

post #3 of 6

My Craftsman 16 gallon is in it's 15th service year - filters are still available.  Great gobs of power, reasonable accessory set.    Never had a problem but it's only been used for drywall dust twice.   

The only downside is that it won't fit through things like crawlspace/attic openings so I got a cheap no-name 6-gallon unit and kludged up a Craftsman style filter clamp for that.

 

post #4 of 6

Shop-vac brand is good, with accessories widely available.

 

Check the noise level.  Other things equal, go for the quieter vacuum.

 

What size lumps do you need to pick up?  If large, be sure to get one with the bin and hose big enough.  If not, the small handy size is good.  1.25" hose & tools vs. 2.5"diameter.

 

Is a removable blower useful for you?

 

Ignore the mainly phony horsepower ratings.  Look at the CFM, cubic feet per minute, air flow ratings (and, maybe these are just as phony).

 

Get a filter to suit the material you'll pick up.  Sawdust can use a more open filter.  Drywall dust needs a much finer filter.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

don't need big volume since that's not for anything specific like wood work, like general garage cleaning stuff around bench and cleaning the car.

 

good idea on checking noise level, I will take a look at that. also prefer one that's not attached to wall, and a removable blower doesn't really do me any good!

post #6 of 6

Buy the smallest one that will do the job you need. Unless you are doing big things (connecting it to a saw, cleaning up a flood), the vast majority of the time a smaller one is more useful than a larger one. At the same time, I would also suggest getting a much longer hose than you think you need. A small one allows you to hang it above the work bench too.

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