Thread Number: 75301  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Advice on Wet/Dry Shop vacs
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 991408   4/19/2018 at 13:16 (187 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

bajaespuma's profile picture

I'm looking for an really powerful shop vac to replace the Hoover 6744 that I inherited from my Father 25 years ago. The motor still works but most of the plastic parts have either broken or require replacement and I'm getting tired of hunting them down and paying for them. Any advice will, as usual, be tolerated.

  View Full Size

Post# 991418 , Reply# 1   4/19/2018 at 15:12 (187 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

kb0nes's profile picture
For our machine shop we only buy Rigid brand. The performance and longevity have been quite amazing. Our oldest vacuum is about 12 years old and there are days it runs for hours when we are machining phenolics and we use it as a dust collector. The rest of the time it handles slop work of machine and sump cleanout. We don't treat any of ours as full wet vacs though. The only complaint I have with Rigid is that you really can't get parts for them, had one a motor failed in and had to trash the whole thing.

I have a Stihl SE122 Wet/Dry vacuum at home and that is an amazing piece of equipment, but it was likely quite expensive (was a gift). It is so nice that if I were to do drywall work I'd go buy a Rigid so at to not trash the Stihl. I mostly use it as a canister vacuum for general housecleaning.

I likely wouldn't consider a Craftsman anymore, I don't find anything from that brand worth consideration. ShopVac brand is another that is cost cut to the point of being worthless

Post# 991756 , Reply# 2   4/22/2018 at 09:57 (184 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
Thanks for the info John

bajaespuma's profile picture

The Stihl models look too pretty to subject to the stuff it would need to suck up in my basement.


I went HD to look at the Rigid and I'm probably going to go with the 12 gal model. It occurred to me while I was looking at it that it would only cost twice what I'd have to pay for another filter for my old Hoover.

Post# 991757 , Reply# 3   4/22/2018 at 10:17 (184 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
We're hard on shop vacs.

panthera's profile picture

Very hard. Here's what I've found:

1) Current Shop-Vac® is worthless trash, purposely built to fail quickly. They do an extra thing with the switch which will cause a spot-weld to loosen. Seriously. To be avoided!

2) Old Shop-Vac® is worth the money.

3) Rigid is still good and their HEPA filter works quite well.

4) Anyone who buys Craftsman today gets what they deserve.

5) Old Craftsman is good stuff.


If I were you, I'd stick with the Hoover, pick up necessary plastic parts. You'll get enormously better service for less money.

Post# 991825 , Reply# 4   4/22/2018 at 22:17 (183 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
I bought an all plastic big 16 gallon 12 amp Shop-Vac in '97 and it's noisy and cheap. But it's never failed, so to speak. A few years later when I needed another to collect saw dust, I got a 16 gallon Rigid with a stainless can. The Rigid is much more quiet and just as powerful. 6.5 HP with "Scroll noise suppression" or some such. I like it a lot more than the Shop-Vac. It's got far better wheels and a nice handle with a bag for accessories. With the house came a very old Invincible dry shop-vac. It's more like a big canister vacuum cleaner, with big grocery cart style spoked wheels and a cloth dust bag. It still runs, has a cast aluminum base that probably would polish up nice someday. Probably at least 50 years old now.

I don't know if Rigid still sells the stainless model, but it's still probably a better unit than Shop-Vac.

Post# 991839 , Reply# 5   4/23/2018 at 01:55 (183 days old) by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

Someday I'll buy a Rigid only to vac the concrete patio and the laundry room.

Post# 991893 , Reply# 6   4/23/2018 at 15:17 (183 days old) by johnb300m (Chicago)        

johnb300m's profile picture
I'll endorse Ridgid as well.
I've got a small 4.5gal, and it's fantastic.
It's too "squatty" to work well as a wet vac, and too powerful because it sucks and blows liquid out the motor exhaust.
But if you get a taller Ridgid model, they're great.
They have the biggest hose diameter I know.
Their filters work great, and are easy to affix.
Their motors are powerful, and still made by Emerson today.
Decent warranties.

Post# 991908 , Reply# 7   4/23/2018 at 17:28 (183 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I currently have 2 wet-dry vacs. One is a Shop-Vac 10 gal. drywall vac that I've had for about 7 years. It's an industrial model that I paid over $100 for, and I like it very well. The other is a 16 gal. Craftsman, that I only use for wet pickup, as I found after purchasing it that there were NO filter bags available for it! Otherwise, it's OK. I had another Shop-Vac that I think was 12 gal., but I gave it to my neighbor when they had a flood, since it wasn't all that great.

Shop-Vac has 2 lines of equipment - the cheap home models, and the better constructed and more expensive commercial models.

Nilfisk is another brand you might consider. I don't have the wet-dry, but I do have one of their HEPA vacs I use inside, and like it real well. They are also sold under the Clarke brand. Expect to spend some money for one of these.

Post# 991914 , Reply# 8   4/23/2018 at 18:41 (183 days old) by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
This looks like the model I have.

Post# 991934 , Reply# 9   4/24/2018 at 00:44 (182 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

No matter what brand of shop vacuum you buy-when using it for dry pickup use the BAGS--much better than picking up debris in the drum only.The pleated filters clog quickly when used alone.And when you do go to wet pickup take out the pleated filter and use the foam one for wet use.NEVER use the pleated filter for wet pickups-you will ruin it for good!!And it will STINK!!!the bags will also help your motor-less chance of stuff going thru it.
In my vacuum collection have 3 shop type vacuums-a commercial grade 16Gal Shop Vac under the Dayton brand,and a Tornado external filter wet-dry vacuum.Both are very high quality and should last a home hobby user for his lifetime if either machine is given proper care.The ext filter vacuum uses a large bag on the fan discharge-15A motor-this thing is a BEAST!!!!The Dayton vacuum has a 12A motor-and full bypass.So any dampness from wet pickup won't go thru the motor.The suction fan and fancase is separate from the motor-the motor has its own cooling fan-same with the Tornado.The Tornado you can detach the motor and use it as a VERY powerful blower!
I haven't used Rigid vacuums since there isn't a Home Depot store near me-the one in Greenville closed many years ago.I understand learned from the neighboring vacuum forum that the Rigid vacuum and Sears ones were made by Emerson.the only Sears shop vacuums I remember is one my Dad had that used a large fiberboard tank and the motor with the bag filter over the fan intakes was in the lid.Since the drum was fiberboard-was dry pickup only-was mostly used to pick up sawdust.

Post# 992372 , Reply# 10   4/28/2018 at 12:54 by Xraytech (S.W. Pennsylvania, near Pittsb)        

xraytech's profile picture
Iím still using this 1980s Sears Craftsman 8 gallon vac.
Got it for $2 from a friends mom a few years back

  View Full Size
Post# 992379 , Reply# 11   4/28/2018 at 13:36 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
I have a Shop Vac 5 gallon I got as a gift back in 1997. Mostly just use it to clean out the car or for vacuuming out the A/C drain lines or spills. It's still in great condition as I cleaned it out after every use and washed the filters.

The only thing I don't like about it is how loud it is.

I would like to get one of the older Sears Kenmore carpet cleaners which can also be used as a wet/dry vac and had both a wet or dry power nozzle available.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy