Shop Vac vs. Vacuum Cleaner: What to Pick?

Shop vacuum cleaners are a great investment for buyers, especially due to the unmatched versatility that these units offer. Capable of tackling pet hair, dust, filth, and even liquids, a shop vacuum is ideal for sorting out all of the cleaning needs in your household. A shop vacuum is especially fitted for a home occupied by a big family. Parents and pet owners will finally have the tools to clean up any and every mess made by their family members and, with the help of a shop vacuum, the house can be left spotless even amid all of the chaos.

Shop Vac vs. Vacuum Cleaner

What’s even more astounding, however, is that despite all of the capabilities of these high-performing shop vacuums, they actually tend to be cheaper than traditional vacuum cleaners that are advertised everywhere you look. Certainly, some vacuums, like the Dyson, are fantastically effective, but there’s no explanation for the additional cost. Shop vacuums are of superb quality and will continue to function for ages.

In addition to the reduced price and increased durability of shop vacuums, buyers also have access to a plethora of attachments and functions with which the unit comes equipped.

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The Best Shop Vacuum Unit for your house

We know that buyers are individuals with their own sense of style and décor for their homes. That is why shop vacuums are so ideal – they can manage pretty much any surface! It is recommended that users invest in a unit with a 5-gallon tank and 4 to 5HP for ultimate performance.


Why a Shop Vacuum?

As stated above, shop vacuums have unmatched quality and long-term durability. Whereas dropping a regular unit may lead to exterior scuffing and internal damage, dropping a shop vacuum often won’t do any harm to the outside of the unit, nor the sturdy mechanics within.

In addition to this, shop vacuums are far less costly than the pricey, stylish vacuums all over TV. In general, the excess price of some units is all about aesthetics as opposed to performance.

Shop vacuums are also extremely multifaceted and can suck up just about anything from tiny particles to shards of glass and larger detritus. They can even clean up liquids. Whereas generic models may get blocked or broken after sucking up larger objects like coins, the shop vacuum has no problem with larger debris.

Shop vacuums can even take on balls of pet hair without causing any blockages in their piping or any further mechanical issues. Whether it is matted dog and cat hair or long strands of human hair, all will be sucked up with no consequence.


In addition to being suitable for all kinds of surfaces inside the house, shop vacuums can render your car’s interior pristine with the help of multiple accessories and features. The shop vacuum is even useful for outdoor areas like your patio and veranda, or especially dusty storage areas like your garage. Many can even double as a leaf blower for the garden!

Downsides of a Shop Vacuum

Despite all of the good qualities of shop vacuum cleaners, no product out there is perfect and, of course, there will be cons to using the shop vacuum as if it were a traditional home vacuum as well.

Firstly, shop vacuums tend to produce far more noise pollution than the average vacuum cleaner. This is inevitable, as with great suction power comes a powerful motor, comes loud propulsion sounds. However, this problem has reduced greatly over time. More modern shop vacuum units are significantly quieter than older models and we’re sure manufacturers are working to reduce the noise level as much as possible as we speak.

A second issue is that there is no way you can get every job in the house done effectively without making use of some additional attachments. You will therefore need to take time to consider the best attachments to purchase for what you’re working with at the house and this will, of course, be an added cost.

Thirdly, shop vacuums, on account of their increased power, tend to be a bit larger than the average vacuum unit and therefore potentially more difficult to lug around the house. There’s also the potentially increased likelihood of injury to the user’s back and feet as they try to maneuver such a device. This is why it is frequently recommended that users choose a 4 to 5HP range unit, as 5-gallon units are generally the same size as regular vacuums, or are only slightly larger.


On the other hand, large 12-gallon models are highly effective cleaners, and could easily take on a mansion in one go. If you are a professional housecleaner, it may be worth the excessive size of the unit for how efficiently it gets the job done, but if you are a regular homeowner, you generally won’t need this much power.

A final issue with the shop vacuum is that due to its unmatched suction strength, you could easily suck up objects that you’d rather keep, such as your socks, small toys, or jewelry. The suction may even be strong enough to completely lift your carpet. For this reason, yet again, a 4 to 5HP is ideal, as it gets a thorough clean done without any unwanted sock casualties. A 5HP motor is about equivalent to most lawn mowers, to give you some perspective on the potential at your fingertips.

The Best Uses for Shop vacuums

If your normal vacuum is quick to break down or malfunction due to clogging by hair or mechanical issues due to contact with liquids, a shop vacuum is definitely the right product to consider.

In addition to a reduced cost for purchasing such a unit, it has proven to take on many of the surfaces and debris that obstruct more expensive vacuums and stop them in their path.


A few of the many uses of shop vacuums are as follows:

  1. They can be used to inflate blow-up mattresses and pool inflatables. Whether you want to go camping with a comfy bed to sleep on or want to laze in the sun while floating on your pool’s surface, your days of huffing and puffing to blow up your mattress or floatation device are done.
  1. Unclogging your drain: The blower function can be used to push away clogs in your pipes or drainage system with ease, in addition to being useful in the garden for ridding your walkways of leaves.
  1. Fetching fallen items: If you’ve lost anything valuable down the drain, the intense suction power of the shop vacuum may be able to retrieve it.
  1. Killing or removing Vermin: the shop vacuum will have no trouble sucking up dead or alive ants, cockroaches, or other insects. Some are even capable of trapping rodents. This shouldn’t kill the little critters, and you may be able to take the tank away from the house for a humane release.
  1. Disposable bags: Shop vacuums can be used with a disposable bag, with a dust tank, or even with neither, depending on what you are vacuuming.
  1. Glass: if you’ve dropped your glass of wine, the vacuum can firstly pick up the shards of glass and, with a quick adjustment, can then suck up the remaining wine on the floor.

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