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What sucks the best?


Oct 23, 2020
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I'm in the market for a new shop vac. Wanted to see if anyone here has any suggestions on what does the best sucking?
Disposable, cheap and loud = Ridged
Quiet and sorta spendy = Fein
Super quiet and super spendy = Festool
Battery operated = Milwaukee
Go Dyson bro. Yes they are expensive, no they aren’t designed for shop vacs. But I’m recommending this for you, not me.

I have an older ShopVac brand, might be 20 years sold. It’s loud and it sucks...good.
I've tried most brands. Always disappointed. I usually use my harbor freight dust collector in the shop. I use the house vac on car cleaning etc.
I've had good luck with the 5.0HP Rigid brand, run 'em 'till they drop!
I do wish someone would make a decent shop vac hose though, that plastic sucks and not in a good way.
I have a 30 year old craftsman ,big one I hate that thing,always in the was fall over when pulling the hose.
used a Dewalt battery powered one at work to clean a computer it seemed ok.
I have a craftsman. It does not have much power, changed filter to no avail. And the top barely stays clicked onto the bottom, so if you are not careful the goddamn thing will unsnap and dump the entire contents onto the floor
Rigid is owned by Emerson, who has a massive vacuum business. I've preferred my Rigid tool box style one way way over any roll-around shop vac branded one. Partially because I keep my place way too cluttered for anything to roll, partially because it feels like better quality.
at the shop There's an orange and black rigid, a red n black craftsman a blue and gray shop vac and a red and black 2 gal one, a yellow and black 2 gal one and an old gray craftsman, they all suck and are built cheap as fuck. I like the bucket topper model from homedepot cause they are as cheap as all the others should be. I'd give them all up for a kickass dust collection / central vac setup.
I started buying the Ridgid ones after helping a buddy of mine with some tile jobs. He does restaurant work and will hose down the floors with scalding water and shop vac it out of the grout joints along with all the rotten food on a regular basis.

I went with the 14 gallon models with their “noise reduction” deal. It doesn’t drive you crazy but you still can’t easily talk over it. Did fine getting ~ 150 gallons of algae/dirt/leaf filled water out of our abandoned pool once the sump pump could no longer run.

The orange and black flexible hoses are way better if you’re primarily dealing with sawdust. They clog up more than the hard plastic black ones if you’re doing large leaves or big ass chunks of tile and concrete.

For a woodworking shop, a true dust collector does seem to be the way to go. I bought one but haven’t gotten around to installing it yet.
I have a craftsman. It does not have much power, changed filter to no avail. And the top barely stays clicked onto the bottom, so if you are not careful the goddamn thing will unsnap and dump the entire contents onto the floor

Had some other cheapie vac, motor bearings went in a very loud, shrieky manner. Got a craftsman as a gift, was a turd, struggled with it. Got a stanley, has a stainless body and yellow handle, just OK, not impressive whatsoever. Have a basic rigid brand at work that actually works pretty damn good. Would buy a rigid again.
I think mine's a ridgid?
spent 40 bucks on it (used) because I needed it right now
usually they're free, contractors seem to throw them away all the time, I've even passed them up in dumpsters before

get one that came with the 2" hose from the factory, the ones with the little 1" hose don't have enough filter area to suck good with the 2" hose put on them
I like my Ridgid 5.0hp/16 gallon. I got it with the car detailing accessory set and the normal hoses, It's quiet enough for me and works fine for cleaning cars an th bench/drill press etc...
I have a ShopVac brand that kicks ass. But here's my secret. It has the same size motor as one of the bigger ones but it's only like a 2.5 gallon container. For me, it's GREAT because it's twice as easy to store. I find that very valuable since I go weeks without using it but it sucks just as much as it's big sister.
I have one of these:


Dual motors, ridiculous suction.
I have a Kobalt wall-mount one, got it cheap from some guy at a swap meet. Aside from the switch on the unit, it has a remote control in the handle to turn it on and off. As a vacuum it's nothing special but I wish more units had that remote thing, it's really kind of nice to not walk over to the unit everytime.
Another vote for the Rigid 5 hp. I had an actual Shop Vac and it was pretty meh, replaced it with a Craftsman which was way better but it lost the magic smoke. GF bought me the Rigid, it's not quiet the hose is too stiff but it will suck a golf ball up if I ask it to.
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