This was a fun article that I wrote that really focuses on some of the more specialty tasks that shop vacs (wet/dry vacs) have to offer because some models are better suited for different materials and perform much better than others. I looked at some of the different vacuums that were ideal for water/liquids, cars/detailing, ashes and so on.
There were some really great competitors out there but I gathered some of the best models for their specialty tasks that makes the article a useful tool for people out there looking for a shop vac that will perform better in a certain area. Hope you like it!
The PowerSmith PAVC101 had some of the best reviews out of all of the other shop vacs out there that were designed for picking up ash. It also seems to have solved some "issues" people were having with some of the other models out there.
The larger canister can hold quite a bit of ash, compared to some of it's competitors and was one of the "issues" people had (canisters were not large enough). It uses a steel canister, an important feature for hot ash and even has a filter that is fire resistant.
This PowerSmith vac had an overwhelming amount of reviews on Amazon's website (over 1,800 in total) and an average rating of 4 stars at the time.
I forgot to mention, the filter is a 2 stage one and really keeps the finer particles of dust inside the canister and out of the air, like it is supposed to and has a two year warranty, not that impressive but still a nice gesture. This PowerSmith Ash vac was the best model I found for picking up ashes (no competition) and is highly recommended.
The small, compact Armor All wet/dry vac was one of the best vacs out there for cleaning out cars, trucks, suvs, whatever you happen to drive! It is very compact, making it easy to actually store in your car at all times and has a very powerful suction to it, from what many, many reviewers have stated.
It uses a 2.5 gallon canister, plenty big enough for most vehicle's messes and has a 6 foot hose, so it can reach most of the areas within a vehicle from a "centralized" location. It also comes with a 2 year warranty and was priced under $40, at the time, making it irresistible.
There wasn't a whole lot to this Armor All shop vac but it had all of the essentials that made it one of the best models out there for the car. Oh, the reviews are worth looking at too, having more than 2,400 people giving it nearly 4.5 stars on Amazon.
The Shop-Vac 2021000 (micro) was the perfect fit for people who need a functional, multipurpose and compact shop vac. It isn't very big, so storing it is easy to do and it proves good suction on both wet and dry materials.
It doesn't come with a whole lot but has the "essentials", as you can see in the picture on the right. It uses a 1 gallon canister and comes with a two year manufacturer's warranty. Out of the more than 410 people that left reviews for this Micro Shop Vac, it averaged 4.3 stars, not too shabby...
Small, powerful and a couple of attachments made this shop vac one of the best models out there for boat-owners. It is simple and gets the job done, that's it.
The Workshop WS1400CA had one of the highest cfm outputs out of all of the vacuums I found which is a major reason why most shop vacs fail when it comes to picking up pet hair. It had a whopping 143 cfm and comes on a cart, (which you can see in the picture on the right) which makes toting it around the house a lot easier.
It comes with a ton of different attachments, even though I would have like to seen a brush type of nozzle included which works better for picking up hair. It comes with a larger diameter hose that prevents the hair from building up and clogging the vacuum, a must-have feature.
It also comes with a 5 year warranty and is rated to last around 870 hours, a very high life span in comparison to other models. This also stood out in the review category and had nearly a perfect five star rating on Amazon, left by 58 people (at the time).
Using a wet/dry vac to suck up leaves is a task in itself and you'll need a large canister, plenty of power and have an easy to manuver base. The Hoover Backpack Vacuum C2401 is a perfect fit for a task like leaves.
It weighs about 10 lbs. and is wearable, making it a much more versatile vacuum and an easy choice when vacuuming outside. It is a commercial model, so it has plenty of power to even pick up the wet leaves.
It uses a bagless canister for quicker and easier disposal of the debris and comes with a 48 foot power cord to allow for a very generous range of motion.
It is also very quiet, when compared to other shop vacs out there (66 decibels) and had an admirable 4.2 star rating on Amazon from more than 300 people. This was my top choice for vacuuming up leaves outdoors and beats any traditional shop vac, hands down!
The Shop-Vac 5986100 was a really good fit for the job and (from what I found) the best shop vac for picking up water. It has an "essential" drain plug on the bottom of the unit and is made from stainless steel, to prevent rust from forming.
It also had a smaller hose diameter than some of the other models I looked at which helps in sucking up liquids in general (according to the research I found).
I also found that many people used it for water and other liquids and stated that it did quite well for that particular task.
This was a tough one to pick because there were a few different models out there that were great at picking up liquids but this one beat them out and stood out a little bit more, mainly due to the specific feedback I found from people who used it.