What if I told you that you no longer have to deal with your bulky shop vac and its tangled cord? Nowadays, these machines have a lightweight design and are easy to use, although equally as large.
The best models are now cordless, allowing easier storage and better maneuverability since there’s no cord that could get tangled everywhere.
In the article below, you’ll find the best cordless shop vacs and a guide on how to pick one.
|PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Shop Vacuum PCC795B||20 V||9.5 lbs||17 x 11.9 x 13.9 in
|DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Vacuum Kit DCV517M1||20 V||7.25 lbs||8.4 x 6.5 x 18.9 in
|Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ 6 Gal. Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum||18 V||15 lbs||23.5 x 19.5 x 17.2 in
|Milwaukee 0880-20 18-Volt Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum||18 V||2.2 lbs||22.5 x 11.5 x 15.8 in
|Makita XCV11Z 18V LXT Wet Dry Dust Extractor Vacuum||18 V||10.1 lbs||10.7 x 16.9 x 12.3 in
Best Cordless Shop Vacs to Buy
PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Shop Vacuum PCC795B
This is a 2 gallon portable wet dry vacuum cleaner that can pick up both dry and wet messes. It’s a powerful machine that lifts everything from debris to hair, sending it straight to the 2 gallon tank.
This small shop vacuum offers portability as it’s cordless and battery-operated. It works with any Porter-Cable 20V MAX lithium ion battery, although it’s not included in the package.
This compact Porter Cable 2 gallon capacity cordless wet dry vac is designed for 34CFM’s of suction, featuring a long hose that allows some more reach. It also has a wraparound storage solution for the hose so that it doesn’t take up any additional storage.
It’s essential to mention that this light 2 gallon tank cordless wet dry vacuum is sold as a bare tool, which means no charger or batteries are included. This portable unit does have a hose and a washable cartridge filter.
- Sturdy design and 2 gallon tank
- For wet and dry messes
- Uses ion lithium batteries
- Sold as a bare tool
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Vacuum Kit DCV517M1
DeWalt is a recognized brand in the industry of cordless shop vacs. DeWalt DCV581H 20v max is a bit different from all the other models that the brand offers, as it’s portable and cordless.
DeWalt DCV581H 20v max includes a DeWalt battery that’s supposed to last a long time, but this depends on how frequently you use the shop vacuum. On top of that, this DeWalt also features a charger.
This small DeWalt DCV581H cordless wet dry vacuum includes a HEPA filter that traps up to 99.97% of particles at 0.3 microns. HEPA filter is among the best filter options, especially if you’re working with a fine dust that you’re sensitive to.
This compact DeWalt wet dry vacuum has another washable filter. It’s the one that protects the powerful motor, which is why it’s important to wash it frequently. DeWalt DCV581H cordless wet dry has the front utility nozzle and an extendable rubber hose.
- Easy-to-empty 1/2-gallon tank
- HEPA filter
- Comes with a charger and utility nozzle
- The battery drains quickly with everyday use
Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ 6 Gal. Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum
This cordless wet dry vacuum is quite large, so it’s suitable for bigger cleaning tasks and frequent use. Its 6-gallon tank is easy to empty, but you won’t have to do that as often since it’s as large.
It features the brand’s unique multi-size no-tip wheel design that helps the wet dry vacuum stay in place without tipping over. Plus, the wheels are 360° mobile, which provides some additional stability and maneuverability.
On top of that, this portable unit comes with onboard accessories which helps with storage. This ensures easy accessory storage, which also helps you not to lose them. The tools included are floor nozzle attachment, a hose, and an extension wand.
This small cordless wet dry model also has a few carrying handles that help with portability. Its canister opens at the top, and this design makes it super-simple to empty regardless of whether it’s holding dry debris or liquid.
- Capacity: 6 GAL tank
- Weight: 15 lbs
- Dimensions: 23.5 x 19.5 x 17.2 in
- For dry and wet messes
- Includes a floor tool
- Onboard attachments and easy accessory storage
- Batteries and charger not included
Milwaukee 0880-20 18-Volt Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum
Milwaukee 0880-20 is a cordless wet and dry vacuum that has plenty of suction power but doesn’t come with any batteries. It works with 18V slide-on lithium ion battery or NiCd batteries that you have to get separately.
This Milwaukee is equipped with a powerful motor that provides enough suction to pick up different debris in your garage and workshop. The airflow is constant so that there’s no loss of suction at any point. The Milwaukee also comes with a washable, reusable filter.
It’s important to mention that this small Milwaukee M18 cordless wet dry vacuum features a blower port, allowing you to use it as a blower. This is quite useful in a workshop environment, but you can also use it at home to blow leaves and pine needles.
The sturdy toolbox design makes it easy to use and place in your storage. Plus, the Milwaukee 0880-20 wet dry has handles for portability so that you can carry it pretty much anywhere.
- Filtration: HEPA reusable filter
- Weight: 2.2 lbs
- Power: lithium ion battery
- HEPA filter – reusable filter
- Hose storage and blower function
- Wide nozzle tool included
- The hose is considered short (2′)
Makita XCV11Z 18V LXT Wet/Dry Dust Extractor/Vacuum
Makita is another big name in the industry, so it’s a good option to consider if you’re looking for the best shop vac. It’s equipped with a powerful motor that delivers 57CFM and a 27-inch water lift of suction power. It uses 18V LXT lithium ion battery, but you’ll have to purchase it separately.
This compact unit comes with a HEPA filter and a set of power tools to deliver the best performance. With the recommended lithium ion battery, the wet dry vacuum should run for some 60 minutes before you’d have to recharge it.
Makita XCV11Z has an LED indicator that shows how much battery life you have left. Plus, it’s also important to note that this shop vac weighs only 10 pounds and has multiple handles. With such design, it’s easy to carry and transport, plus it allows for easy storage.
- Dimensions: 10.7 x 16.9 x 12.3 in
- Weight: 10.1 lbs
- Run Time: 60 min
- For wet and dry cleaning
- 27-inch water lift suction
- Brushless motor and lithium ion batteries
- Batteries not included
Finding the best cordless shop vac doesn’t among numerous good shop vacs always has to be as tricky, although there are many cordless shop vacs to choose from. In most cases, you should consider the power and tools the unit comes with, but there are a few other factors to think about.
Dedicate a few minutes to check the guide below as we help you figure out what’s the best cordless shop vac for you.
Battery Capacity & Charge Time
As you noticed, most workshop vacuums come without a battery, so you’d have to get one separately. If you’re opting for a rechargeable battery, you’ll also have to purchase a charger. You’re best off with 20-volt batteries as they’re more powerful.
Charge time is another thing you should pay attention to in shop vacuums. In most cases, it’d take at least four to five hours to recharge the battery before you can use your cordless vac.
Suction and power are other important factors you should think about. Without sufficient power, a shop vac cannot pick up the dirt you’re typically dealing with.
Most manufacturers list power in Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM) and suction pressure. This is for cordless shop vacs while corded vacuums have their power listed in Horsepower.
Filtration is vital more so if you’re prone to allergies. If so, you should consider getting a cordless shop vac with a HEPA filter. HEPA filter is by far the most reliable option that prevents any dirt from going back into your breathing space.
Tank Material & Drain
When it comes to durability and sturdiness, you should first pay attention to the tank material of the unit. Look for a cordless shop vac that’s made of hard plastic or stainless steel.
You should also consider whether or not it has a drain. Shop vac that can vacuum liquid is a bit tricky to clean unless it has a drain.
Hose length varies, so it’s best to first think about your needs and preferences. Try to figure out which would work the best for you before you start searching for a cordless shop vac.
A hose can be anywhere from 2′ to 10′ long, depending on the particular product and the brand. It should be at least 1.5 inches wide.
The first thing to consider when it comes to performance is what it is that you need. How much power would be sufficient for your needs?
Consider its peak power, as well as the CFM measurement we mentioned earlier. You should also think about its Air-Watts and since it’s what’s meant to pick up the big items. Don’t forget to think about its overall ease of use as well.
Cordless shop vacs are generally louder than vacuums we use in our homes. This is because they’re more powerful, so don’t be surprised if the vac of your choice is loud.
However, some noises aren’t as common. In other words, high-pitched sounds might be indicating a problem that needs addressing.
Nearly every cordless vac comes with onboard attachments for easy accessory storage. Some of the best cordless shop vac models come with an extension hose, crevice tool, utility nozzle tool, and an extension wand.
These are the most common tools and features, although some cordless vac items come with a few more or less.
Wet and Dry Suction
As you noticed, some of the best cordless shop vac models have a design suitable to clean both wet and dry messes, and some have powerful water lift suction. This is because they’re primarily meant for workshops and garages where there are often all kinds of things to clean.
A cordless vac that can lift liquid is far more useful in a workshop environment than any other, so you shouldn’t overlook this.
You can find a powerful shop vac in every workshop and construction site as it’s among the most useful cleaning tools to have around. These machines can clean everything from leaves to pebbles, depending on their CFM and suction.
However, it’s important to consider a few choices before making your final decision. You should consider your needs and preferences as well as the kind of dirt you usually have to clean.
Think about the size that would work the best for you since most great wet dry vacuums have a 2-gallon tank. This is a standard size, but you might also come across larger tanks.
Figure out which tools you need and whether or not you need the vac to work as a blower as well. Once you have an idea of what you need, you can use the info above to choose a powerful product if you haven’t already.
Sources and Resources
- Typical Shop Vac Can Curb Most Silica Dust
- Household Vacuum Cleaners Market Analysis By Product (Upright, Canister, Central, Robotic, Drum, Wet/dry)