View Full Version : Shop Vac Questions / Recommendations


bunghole
05-14-2010, 02:52 PM
I currently have this:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00917925000P?vName=Gifts&cName=Dad&sName=All&psid=FROOGLE01&sid=IDx20070921x00003a

But it is loud and doesn't save as much space as it originally seemed. Or my garage is getting smaller :) Works OK. The hose seems cumbersome and is always knocking things over because my garage is a mess now.

I'm looking at replacement options. I was thinking about getting a Ridgid with the detachable blower:

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/WD1670-16G-Blower-Vac/EN/index.htm

But it is probably too big and until my garage situation is resolved (ie organized), it isn't going to roll around too easily, but I would like the ability to clean a large area when necessary.

Then I though that maybe I could get a small roll around and supplement it with something ultra-portable for quick bench cleanup. Maybe something like this:

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/WD4522-Pro-Pack/EN/index.htm

I guess I'm just thinking out loud and asking for advice. Are the Ridgids noticeable quieter than the Craftsman that I have? What is this "Scroll Noise Reduction" that Ridgid touts? Is it just a gimick?

I hate fighting with hoses and I would desire a vac that had a good storage solution for the hose and accessories.

Any and all thoughts / recommendations appreciated.

Thanks!

babzog
05-14-2010, 03:33 PM
I got a Ridgid 6hp unit last year for $100 on sale. Love it!

bunghole
05-14-2010, 03:54 PM
How big is it, both gallons and dimensions? Also, what is the sound level like?

Thanks.

Arachnotron
05-14-2010, 04:12 PM
I have the big Rigid and love it. The diameter is ~21" and it's not too loud. I bought mine this year, but my dad has had the same one for years and it still works great.

babzog
05-15-2010, 10:49 PM
+1. This is the unit I bought (http://www.amazon.com/Ridgid-WD1450-14-Gallon-6-Horsepower-Vacuum/dp/B001MBADFI) but like I said, I paid $100 for it on sale at HD.

Noise is tolerable... the muffler makes little to no difference (borrowed one to see)

ddawg16
05-16-2010, 12:00 AM
The Rigid gets my vote as well.....but make sure you get the larger 2 1/2" hose......

I would also suggest buying the foam 'glove' that goes around the filter....especially if you vac up saw dust.....

ossaguy
05-16-2010, 12:42 AM
For over at the woodshop,I needed something with a HEPA filter,so I bought a new Rigid vac at HD,and bought the HEPA filter there.Then I went to Rockler and bought the Oneida Dust Deputy,which is a cyclone setup made for home shop vacs that goes between your vac and hose .

With it hooked up, all of the dust/debris goes into the cyclone,and the solids spin down into a simple 5 gallon bucket,and the relatively clean air goes into the vac,so very little ends up in the tank,and the filter doesn't get plugged,meaning always good suction.

Quick and easy to empty the 5 gallon bucket.

I ended up mounting it to the side of the vac,with a swivel wheel under the bucket for support.There are several different ideas on how to set one up,as the instructions show.

I don't have the Rigid model handy,but it was about $100.00, It's WAY quieter than my old craftsman.

The Oneida Dust Deputy complete goes for around $100.00, and they also offer a DIY kit with just the cyclone for around $60.00 that you supply your own bucket and hardware. I used the Rockler 20% coupon that comes out every now and then,so I ended up buying the complete kit.


I also bought the new SE122 Stihl wet/dry vac for my job,and it's more heavy duty.It's super quiet at only 62 decibels,and has a lot of nice features.You could see the specs on the Stihl USA website.It's made in Germany,and the fit & finish refects that.

I really like it,but they don't make a HEPA filter fo it,although it looks like it's the next particle size down.

It costs more,though.


Steve

Vinko
05-16-2010, 04:47 AM
The Rigid gets my vote as well.....but make sure you get the larger 2 1/2" hose......

I would also suggest buying the foam 'glove' that goes around the filter....especially if you vac up saw dust.....

I've never seen these, only the bag. Bag's a PITA to put on, so I never do. Is the foam available at Home Depot?

IH82BL8
05-16-2010, 07:42 AM
I have a Craftsman 10-gallon that I bought 16 years ago. It still functions like new. I upgraded all 4 casters because one got bent and no identical replacement was available.

ket-tek
05-16-2010, 02:48 PM
I currently have this:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00917925000P?vName=Gifts&cName=Dad&sName=All&psid=FROOGLE01&sid=IDx20070921x00003a

But it is loud and doesn't save as much space as it originally seemed. Or my garage is getting smaller :) Works OK. The hose seems cumbersome and is always knocking things over because my garage is a mess now.



Not sure how a wall mounted vac isn't saving you much space? I have the vacmaster wall mounted vac with the remote control and have been loving it. It's fairly quiet, is plenty powerful and the remote is by far the best feature.. I use it mainly for vacuuming out cars and cleaning off the workbench, and have not brought my monster roll around shopvac out of the shed into the garage since I got the wall hung.. I did purchase extra hose to use with the vacmaster so I can reach most of the garage (it comes with 21ft of hose in two parts one stretch and one standard, I bought an extra standard to go with it)..

It has a quick release to pop it off the bracket to carry it around, has a electrical cord wrap on the back, and it built to hold all the attatchments and the hoses on the vac it self. I don't have the hoses stored on it the way it is designed to, because I mounted it jambed up against the wall/garage door track and don't have the room too..

I also have the toolbox rigid you mention and it works well, I keep it in my work van and it's great on a job, and it stacks/stores easy in the van as a roll around is cumbersome to carry in a service van where storage space is tight. I have never used it at home that I can recall..

Here's a link to a great vac comparison thread:
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26226

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2466/3572326204_a49f1292a2_o.jpg

dfndr
05-16-2010, 05:32 PM
Is the Kobalt at Lowe's for $99 the same as the Vacmaster hang up model?

ket-tek
05-16-2010, 05:54 PM
Is the Kobalt at Lowe's for $99 the same as the Vacmaster hang up model?

No it is not. This was discussed in a previous thread somewhere, and though it does seem to be a close design and is the only other hangup vac I've seen with the remote control option. The remote control wand does seem strikingly similar.

The kobalt vac uses bags. And atleast for me that is a deal breaker as I have no intention of buying overpriced bags or hassling with changing them out.

The vacmaster is frequently put on sale at costco for $99 as it was when I bought mine.

MN4x4
10-11-2010, 01:04 AM
Another vote for the Fein. I used mine a lot yesterday while refinishing our front door. I was using a 5" Porter Cable random orbit sander, and IT was louder than the Fein.

Edit: The Fein also has an electrical outlet on it that you can plug a tool into. Whenever you turn on the tool, the vac starts automagically.

One suggestion if you are interested in the Fein - make sure there is no pile of dust or near you when you find out the price for the first time. You'll suck in more air than your shop vac! At least I did...:shocking:

nehog
10-11-2010, 09:03 AM
I got a Ridgid at HD... Good price, lasted about 15 minutes, the quit, dead as a proverbial doornail. I've yet to call the warranty line, I'm not sure it is worth the cost of shipping to them for repair. I could take it back, but it was on sale and I can't replace it for what I paid. Crap!

I do know (exactly) what's wrong with it, and could fix it myself too... (The thermal fuse in the motor blew)

Bottom line is that even the best names seem to have dropped to minimal quality in the last few years. Bummer.

MichaelP
10-11-2010, 09:44 AM
I could take it back, but it was on sale and I can't replace it for what I paid.

If they have the model, they'll simply exchange yours for a new one.

I, however, suspect that you're the lucky one who managed to get the $19.99 deal on a nice discontinued model that was discussed recently. Am I right? :)

nehog
10-11-2010, 05:54 PM
If they have the model, they'll simply exchange yours for a new one.

I, however, suspect that you're the lucky one who managed to get the $19.99 deal on a nice discontinued model that was discussed recently. Am I right? :)

Actually it was $18.99... So shipping it to Ridgid will cost me more than I paid for it I suspect. :lol_hitti

Charles (in GA)
10-11-2010, 07:56 PM
Get a Gore Cleanstream filter, made with Gortex fabric. I mail ordered mine, but I saw them in Lowes or Home Depot the other day for about the same price.

You just rap them gently on the inside of a trash can and most of the crud falls out of them. Then take a hose to it (the wet/dry version), looks like new when you are done.

Charles

http://www.cleanstream.com/products/landing_craftsman_ridgid.html

Lhorn
10-11-2010, 09:00 PM
I've got the biggest Rigid that they sell at HD. It was the one with the stainless tank. They seemed to go away for a while in favor of an all plastic tank, but last I saw the metal tank ones were back. I think it works real well. It not quiet but it's lower pitched than my smaller Hoover brand shop vac so perhaps a little less annoying. I've heard very good things about the bigger craftsman vacs as well. (Are they all made by Emerson?)

There's a little plastic and foam thing you can get that plugs into the exhaust opening and is supposed to quiet the vac. It's worth it because it was only about 10 bucks if I remember but frankly doesn't make a huge difference.

7echo
10-11-2010, 09:21 PM
What 1969 and MN4x4 said.

Fein

Matt M, PA
10-11-2010, 10:16 PM
If you need a wet vac, this won;t cut it....but I just got a Metro Vac 'n Blo. For car work, it's great. Mounts to the wall, 24' of hose, loads of accessories, very, very quiet...and while I've never bought anything that does both of these and made me happy...it both sucks and blows. Great for drying out wheels, door handles, etc...much better than a leaf blower. Finally, it's much smaller than the other wall mount vacs.

MichaelP
10-12-2010, 12:11 PM
Actually it was $18.99... So shipping it to Ridgid will cost me more than I paid for it I suspect. :lol_hitti

I'd try to ask them to send me the thermal fuse. If they refuse, I'd buy one locally.

FIRE UP
10-12-2010, 12:40 PM
To the OP.
Brand new here and just checking things out. I read all the posts/answers to your post and I'd like to throw in my 2 cents. I've had a few shop vacs over the years and all have worked to some degree. Each has had their drawbacks and plus's. I'd like to recommend the one I have now. It's from Costco and it's a wall mount with 30' of hose. It's incredibly quiet and has great suction. It's basket type filter system and is super easy to empty the basket and replace it. It does blow too but, the way I've got it mounted, I can't use the blow feature.

I'm going to change that soon. But, again, it's a great unit and I'd do it again in a heart beat. I can't remember just what was paid for it, (Christmas gift a year ago) but, I'm pretty sure it wasn't all that much, maybe $100 or less. Anyway, good luck.
Scott