10 Best Small Shop Vacs in 2020

best overall rating
  • Made for cars
  • Wet dry vacuum
  • Easy to transport
premium choice rating
  • Corded and cordless operations
  • On-board hose storage
  • Flexible hose
great value rating
  • Stainless steel tank
  • Accessory products included
  • 4.5 horsepower motor

A shop vac is not necessarily the tool that you may be thinking of. If you have never seen a shop vac before, then you will be surprised by how compact these devices are and how useful they can be around the home. Whether you are looking for a reliable vacuum cleaner for your home, garage, or workshop, then you will be pleasantly surprised by the range of small shop vacs on offer.

As there are lots of options out there for small shop vacs, it can be quite hard to find the right one for your needs. This is why we have created this review so you can narrow down your options and find a wet dry vacuum that can be used around the home, garage or workplace no matter what kind of mess you make. These are professional standard vacs that can make such a difference to your cleaning routine.

View the Best Small Shop Vac, Below.

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1. Armor All AA255 Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum

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This small shop vac has been specially designed to effectively clean the interior of your car. It can be used to clean both wet and dry messes, making it highly versatile. This shop vac comes with all of the accessories needed to clear every mess in your home, and the lightweight body makes it easy to transport from the garage to your car. This wet dry vacuum can easily convert into a blower using attachments on the hose, which can be used to dry parts of your car, as well as being better suited to smaller vehicles like motorcycles and bikes.

This small shop vac has a 2.5-gallon tank, which is small enough to carry around but also enough space for you to clean out your entire car in one go. There is a 2 horsepower motor that offers a powerful suction making cleaning your car easy and quicker than ever before. This small vacuum has an automatic shut-off function that will detect when the tank is full and turn itself off to prevent overflow.

Why We Like It
  • Made for cars
  • Wet dry vacuum
  • Easy to transport
  • Powerful hose suction
  • Converts into blower
Motor
2 HP
Capacity
2.5 Gallon
Weight
7 Pounds
Our Verdict

This small shop vac is made to be used in the car as it is lightweight and easy to transport, with powerful suction for easy cleaning.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. DEWALT DCV581H Wet/Dry Vacuum

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This shop vac is one of the best as it can be used both corded and cordless as it is powered by an 18-20 voltage battery. It can also be connected to an AC outlet for longer running time. This small shop vac has a HEPA rated wet/dry filter that can capture various kinds of debris, including dust and liquids, with a 99.97 percent efficiency. The hose is durable and long enough to reach even tight corners. This makes cleaning your car easier and quicker than ever before, providing an all-over clean.

This shop vac has an easily accessible filter, which makes it easy to clean and empty out. This filter is removable and washable, making this vacuum a great long-term investment. This small vac has a heavy-duty, crush-resistant hose that offers a good reach and is flexible. This shop vac also contains on-board accessory storage to keep the hose and brush heads safe and in one location. The storage space is big enough to keep everything in one place.

Why We Like It
  • Corded and cordless operations
  • On-board hose storage
  • Flexible hose
  • Durable materials
  • Easily accessible filter
Motor
18 Volts
Capacity
2 Gallon
Weight
11 Pounds
Our Verdict

This small shop vac can be used as both a corded or cordless vacuum cleaner making it versatile, and the hose is very heavy-duty.

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Shop-Vac 5989300 Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum

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This is a heavy-duty small shop vac that has a large peak HP of 4.5 providing powerful suction, making it easy to clean your home or workshop. It is a wet-dry vacuum that is designed to be portable as it comes with a carry handle. It has a maneuverable full circumference dolly with four wheels, which makes it easy to move around the home. There are lots of accessories included with this vacuum, including a utility nozzle, blower function, filter bag, and crevice tool.

This is a highly versatile shop vac as it comes with three extension wands so you can reach all areas of your home or even car when using it. The tank is stainless steel, making this vacuum cleaner highly durable, and it is designed to last, so it is a good investment. The maximum tank capacity is 5 gallons, which allow you to clean for longer more easily.

Why We Like It
  • Stainless steel tank
  • Accessory products included
  • 4.5 horsepower motor
  • Versatile vacuum
Motor
1 HP
Capacity
1 Gallon
Weight
5 Pounds
Our Verdict

This small vac is durable with the stainless steel tank, and it has a powerful motor making cleaning quicker than ever before.

Editor Rating

4. Vacmaster Professional Beast Series Wet/Dry Vac

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This small shop vac is a brilliant option as it is a high-performance model made for professional use. This vacuum is designed to tackle the toughest jobs around the home, worksite, or shop with its 5.5 horsepower motor. The 5-gallon tank capacity offers enough room and time for you to clean the entire shop floor in one go, making cleaning easy and fast. It comes with an on-board hose and accessory storage making it suitable for even the smallest spaces. The hose itself is durable and flexible, offering a great reach of all areas.

This shop vac comes with 8 accessories making it highly versatile and suitable for every task, including a utility nozzle and extension wands. It is easy to use and can be quickly powered using the large dust sealed on/off button. This is a durable shop vac that is made to last a long time, and the filters are easily replaced. It has an 18-foot power cord that offers a long reach and provides extended cleaning and blowing up to 25 feet.

Why We Like It
  • Made for professional use
  • Includes accessory storage
  • High power motor
  • Long power cord of 18 foot
  • Large size tank
Motor
4.5 HP
Capacity
5 Gallon
Weight
15 Pounds
Our Verdict

This shop vac is made to a professional standard and has a heavy-duty motor, large cord, and a huge tank so it can pick up a lot of dirt.

Editor Rating

5. Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry Vac

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This is a very compact small shop vac making it suitable for various chores around the home, garage, and it can even be used in your car. This shop vac is lightweight, at just 5 pounds, and has a smaller motor with a peak HP of 1 so it can be easily transported around the home or garage. It is a wet dry vacuum cleaner that can be used to clean all messes, no matter how bad they may be as the hose is durable. It also comes with a wall-mount making it suitable for even the smallest storage space.

This shop vac is durable and dependable, making it a good investment. It comes with a range of accessories, including a crevice tool, filter bag, foam sleeve, and a floor nozzle. This makes it versatile so it can be used in small spaces as well as larger surface areas. The hose length can reach up to 4 feet, which is a great reach for such a compact device. This is a great value vacuum that is easy to use and is backed by a 2-year warranty. It is lightweight at only 7 lbs.

Why We Like It
  • Compact vacuum cleaner
  • Lightweight device
  • Easy to transport
  • Wall mount for storage
  • Includes accessories
Motor
5.5 HP
Capacity
5 Gallon
Weight
13.5 Pounds
Our Verdict

This small shop vac is very compact, and lightweight making it suitable for various areas around the home and features a wall mount for simple storage.

Editor Rating

6. Shop-Vac 2036000 Wet Dry Vacuum

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This small shop vac is a wet-dry vac that can be used to clear all kinds of messes, including liquid spills. This is a lightweight machine that makes every cleanup easier and more efficient. It comes with various accessories and filters, all of which are reusable, making it great value. This price is made even better with the fact this shop vac comes with a 3-year warranty. It is designed to be convenient and easy to transport around the home.

The 1600 watt motor is powerful and makes cleaning quick. The accessories that come with this wet vac include metal extension wands, dual surface nozzle, and a filter bag. This vacuum is easy to use and durable, so it will last a long period of time. It can also be easily converted into a blower using the attachments on the hose, making this a highly versatile device. The power cord is long enough to reach all areas required and allows for a total clean of your home or workplace.

Why We Like It
  • A wet dry vac for all messes
  • Convenient device
  • Easy to transport
  • 3-year warranty
  • Coverts into a blower
Motor
1600 Watt
Capacity
20 Liters
Weight
8.54 KG
Our Verdict

This small shop vac is very powerful and versatile as it comes with nine accessories, including a blower port, and is lightweight.

Editor Rating

7. CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 Wet/Dry Vac

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This is a very heavy duty shop vac, making it one of the best products in this list. It can be used around the home, in the workplace, and in a shop to make cleaning faster and easier. The 6.5 hp motor provides a great suction power, which can draw dirt, debris, and dust out from carpets and other surfaces, leaving your space cleaner than it ever has been. It has a built-in rear blower port that allows for quick cleaning of leaves and other debris in your garage or outdoors, even when the hose is still attached. This makes this vac highly versatile and a great investment.

This is one of the greatest shop vacs as it has a large tank of 16 gallons. This tank makes this a powerful wet dry vac that can be used to remove any kind of mess from your home, including liquid spills. It also has a built-in drain that is made to be oversized, so removing and draining liquids out of the vac is convenient and prevents you from having to get your hands dirty when cleaning. This vac has dual-flex technology allowing for 180-degree mobility at each end of the hose.

Why We Like It
  • Heavy-duty vac
  • Powerful motor and suction power
  • Large tank
  • Flexible hose
  • Effective wet dry vac
Motor
6.5 HP
Capacity
16 Gallon
Weight
26 Pounds
Our Verdict

This small vac is a brilliant option as it is durable and has a large tank of 16 gallons making cleaning easier as it can be done at one time.

Editor Rating

8. DeWALT 9 Gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac

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This shop-vac is a convenient device that has a large 9-gallon tank so it can hold a lot of water and dirt. This is one of the best vacuums as it is durable yet still made for portability as it has a carry handle and wheels with 360-degree rotation making transportation easy. It has large rear wheels that make it suitable for wide spaces. This is one of the best shop vacs as it has a 20-foot power cord providing you with a lot of reach, so no corner is left untouched.

This shop vac comes with an accessory bag that can be used to store all of your additional products, like the extra hose and the utility nozzle, with ease. It is lightweight for easy carrying, and it has an effortless operation with the large on/off switch. This is a multi-function shop-vac that has a large tank with a built-in drain making cleaning easier. The drain offers an improvement in cleaning out the vac as you won't have to get your hands dirty.

Why We Like It
  • Convenient vac and features
  • Includes accessory storage
  • Long power cord
  • Peak HP of 5
  • Multi-function shop-vac
Motor
5 HP
Capacity
9 Gallon
Weight
22.5 Pounds
Our Verdict

This shop vac is one of the best as it is highly convenient, as it comes with 360-degree wheels, accessory bag and carry handle making transportation effortless.

Editor Rating

9. Shop-Vac All-In-One Wet And Dry Vac

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This shop-vac is a great portable option for wet dry messes, whether they appear in your car, in your home, and around the workplace. Even though it is a compact vac, it still offers the power of any other machine, making it a great option for so many different people and the budget they are working with. This is one of the best vacs in the market as it is lightweight, with a motor with a peak horsepower of 2 and a 1.5-gallon tank. This makes it suitable for transportation and is light enough to be used by anyone.

This is one of the best shop vacs as it is great value and comes with a range of accessories to make cleaning easier. The hose is 7 foot which offers a good level of reach for such a small device, as well as coming with two additional extension wands for those harder to reach areas. It has a dolly with four wheels so it can be pushed around the shop floor as well as an 18-foot power cord for maximum maneuverability.

Why We Like It
  • Portable vac
  • 7-foot hose for great reach
  • Great value for money
  • 18-foot power cord
  • Accessories included
Motor
2 HP
Capacity
1.5 Gallon
Weight
10.4 Pounds
Our Verdict

This is one of the best small shop vacs as it is compact, yet has a long power cord and hose, as well as coming with various accessories.

Editor Rating

10. Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

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This Vacmaster shop-vac is one of the best as it offers a lot of power. Vacmaster is renowned for its high-quality products, and this small shop-vac is no exception. It has a 12-foot power cord with a cord wrap so it can be easily stored after use without damage. This 5 horsepower shop-vac comes with a long hose and various different accessories, including a crevice tool and on-board storage, so it is highly versatile.

This Vacmaster shop-vac can also be converted into a 210 miles per hour leaf blower simply by turning on the blower function. This makes it essentially a two in one product, which is excellent value and something worth investing in for your home or workplace. The hose is made to be durable and will not get tangled or break, ensuring that this device can be used for a long time. The power motor offers quick and efficient cleaning of your space, making this Vacmaster shop-vac one of the best options out there.

Why We Like It
  • Offers a lot of power
  • Accessories and tools included
  • Durable hose
  • Effective blower function
  • Long power cord
Motor
5 HP
Capacity
12 Gallon
Weight
24.9 Pounds
Our Verdict

This Vacmaster shop-vac is brilliant as it has a durable hose, a brilliant blower function, and comes from one of the best-established brands in the business.

Editor Rating

Small Shop Vac Buyer’s Guide

When you are on the search for a quality shop vac, there are various things you need to consider. There are certain benefits to each product that needs to be considered, as well as the cons which will differ based on your needs. We have highlighted the top ten options when it comes to shop vacs, but you will still need to narrow down your options further. This is why we have created this buyers’ guide.

There are a lot of benefits to using a vac like this, whether that is at your job, at home, or in the garage. These kinds of appliances are strong and can be used to pick up dirt, dust, and even liquid spills with their powerful suck. There are various things you need to consider in order to find the best small shop vac for your needs and we are going to address some of these in this guide.

What is the Best Small Portable Shop Vac?

Although all of the vacs in this review are small, there are some products that are made to be portable, and they can be used to take care of small spaces such as your car. Due to their smaller size, most of the vacs in this review will be suitable for your needs; however, when it comes to portability, our recommendation is the Shop-Vac  All-In-One Wet Dry Vac.

This is a lightweight device that has a 2 horsepower motor and a 1.5-gallon tank. This makes it light enough to carry around the home or workplace – and it even features a carrying handle to make this even easier. This is the top option for a portable vac as it comes with all of the accessories you may need when cleaning your home, workplace, or car. The hose also has a good reach, which is something you might not expect from a smaller device.

This hose offers a fine airflow and suction to pick up dry and wet messes whenever they appear. The motor does not have a large HP, so the vac doesn’t produce a lot of noise when it is being used. This is a great unit for those who need a smaller vacuum.

What is the Best Shop Vac on the Market?

We have highlighted the top ten vacs on the market right now, but it is clear that one of them is the best. The Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vac is our top pick when it comes to small shop vacs, as this is a durable and reliable product. You have probably heard about this brand from their advertising, and their reputation is great, making this product a great quality one.

This vac can be used to remove dry and liquid messes from your home, workplace, or garage, and it has a durable hose. This hose allows a lot of air to flow through, giving it a powerful suction that can make cleaning easier and more efficient. If you want to save time and see your money stretch further, then this is the best shop-vac out there.

Are Shop Vacs more Powerful?

In order to find the right shop vac for you, there first needs to be an understanding of what these devices are and whether they are more powerful than traditional vacuums. Even though all vacuums are designed for the same purpose, which is to suck up dirt and make our spaces cleaner, there is no denying that shop-vacs are more powerful.

Shop vacuums are made for professional use, and they are so powerful that they have even been used in construction and wood workshops due to the powerful suction they offer. They are designed with a high powered motor, which will provide excellent suction. One of the greatest things about these types of cleaners is the fact they can be used on dry debris as well as liquids.

This makes shop vacuums more versatile than their traditional counterparts. This can mean that they are more expensive, but they are certainly worth every penny, and they can make cleaning much easier. Even though shop vacuums are made for professional use, many people are purchasing them for their homes, cars, and garages due to how powerful they are.

A Note On Amazon

All of the reviews given in this article are honest, but it is important to note that it was written through the Amazon Services LLC Associates. This Services LLC Associates program will offer a small commission from brands, like Vacmaster, whenever their links are used. This has no influence over our opinions of the products.

Which Wet/Dry vac is the Best?

Most of the products in this review can be used for dry and wet debris, making them highly versatile and convenient. In fact, this is one of the reasons why shop vacuums are finding their way into regular homes as they can make cleaning much easier by handling all kinds of messes at once.

In order to find the right option for a wet/dry vac, you will need to consider the tank size as this will determine how much water it will be able to hold and therefore, how long it can be used for without needing to be drained. Draining the tank is something you will also want to consider, as you will want to find something that is straightforward.

The top pick for a wet/dry vac is the DeWALT 9 Gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac Cleaner. This vac can be used for both liquid and dry debris, and it has a large 9-gallon tank. This device has a straightforward operation, and emptying it is made effortless through the drain at the bottom of the tank. This means you can empty the vac out without having to come into direct contact with the dust, debris, and spilled liquids that have been cleared up.

Final Notes

There are some other factors you may want to consider when it comes to these devices, but relying on a shop-vac for your household cleaning will save you time and effort as they are incredibly powerful.

There are a lot of benefits to using one of these kinds of vacuums, yet they may be something that you have never considered before. In order to make cleaning easier and more efficient, you should invest in a shop-vac for a professional clean.

Expert Tip

Consider the weight and tank capacity of a shop vac to see how suitable it will be to transport, as the lighter it is, the easier it will be to carry.

Did You Know?

All shop vacs are wet and dry vacuum cleaners, and this name comes from the brand Shop-Vac, despite the fact that not all devices are branded this way.