What is a Shoulder Vacuum and How Do They Work?

In this guide, we are going to be taking a look at shoulder vacuums, and defining what they are, what they do, and how they work.

Shoulder Vacuums

Reading this guide will give you a very good idea as to what a shoulder vacuum is, exactly, what it does, how it works, and whether or not you should purchase one.

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What Is A Shoulder Vacuum?

A shoulder vacuum performs the same basic function as every other vacuum, in the sense that a shoulder vacuum sucks up the dirt, dust, and debris that it comes into contact with. But, unlike most of the more traditional vacuum cleaners – upright and canister vacuum cleaners, to name two examples – shoulder vacuums are designed to be worn on your shoulder.

Since you wear a shoulder vacuum on your shoulder, shoulder vacuums weigh far less than most vacuum cleaners. Moving them around is far easier, allowing for more mobility and an easier experience using the vacuum cleaner to vacuum in tight and narrow spaces that you, normally, would be unable to reach.

Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Vacuum

What Does A Shoulder Vacuum Do?

As mentioned earlier, a shoulder vacuum is a lot like most other vacuum cleaners. It vacuums up dirt, dust, and debris, and keeps the surfaces in your home clean. But, unlike other vacuum cleaners, you wear a shoulder vacuum on your shoulder, usually by wearing a shoulder strap.

This set-up allows you to walk around, while wearing the shoulder vacuum, and to hold onto the vacuum hose. This vacuum hose is what’s used to vacuum all of the dirt, dust, and debris from the surfaces that you are cleaning. On this hose, there can be different tools and attachments, such as a floor head or a crevice tool, among various others, but you can also use the hose as it is, without any tools and attachments.

With a shoulder vacuum, you can vacuum in spaces that a regular vacuum is unable to reach. This could be a tight corner or a narrow crevice, as well as surfaces such as ceilings, walls, tables, chairs, couches; along with many others. Shoulder vacuums weigh far less than regular vacuum cleaners and they aren’t constrained to a large, bulky vacuum cleaner body.

Instead, shoulder vacuums are lightweight and mobile, allowing for freedom of movement and plenty of choices, with regards to what you vacuum and how you vacuum.

What is a Shoulder Vacuum?

How Does A Shoulder Vacuum Work?

Within the body of a shoulder vacuum, there is a motor. This motor is, generally, fairly small, as it needs to fit within the small body of the shoulder vacuum. This motor generates suction power, and all of this suction power flows from the motor, through the vacuum, and out of a vacuum hose/nozzle.

When the shoulder vacuum is on, and suction is flowing through the nozzle/hose, you can move that nozzle/hose across various surfaces, and it will vacuum up what it comes into contact with. This could be things like dust, dirt, pet hair; along with many other materials.

To enhance the vacuuming process, most shoulder vacuums come with different tools and attachments. These tools and attachments are designed to give you more freedom for cleaning particular surfaces and spaces. That way, it’s easier for you to vacuum in crevices or on upholstery surfaces, to name just two examples.

Since a shoulder vacuum is designed to be worn on your shoulder, most of them come with a shoulder strap. This shoulder strap can be placed on your shoulder, similar to a backpack, and this allows you to wear the vacuum and move around with it on.

Should You Purchase A Shoulder Vacuum?

The answer to this question depends on the vacuuming needs that you have. With a shoulder vacuum, you have access to a convenient, mobile, and versatile vacuum cleaning experience. This makes it easy to vacuum any space and surface within your home.

What is a Shoulder Vacuum

What must also be mentioned, though, is that shoulder vacuums are often less powerful than other vacuum cleaners, and they also tend not to clean floors as well.

Therefore, if you are going to be vacuuming floors and want power, shoulder vacuums aren’t ideal. But, if you want mobility and versatility, then shoulder vacuums are a great purchase.

Related Shoulder Vacuum Articles

Buying Guides
Best Shoulder Vacuum Cleaners

Single Reviews
Hoover CH30000 PortaPower Portable Shoulder Vacuum
Oreck Commercial BB900DGR XL Pro 5 Super Shoulder Vacuum

Comparison Articles
Hoover CH30000 vs Oreck Commercial BB900DGR

Info Articles
What is a Shoulder Vacuum and How Do They Work?
Backpack vs. Shoulder vs. Stick Vacuum Cleaners


In the end, a shoulder vacuum is a wonderful vacuum cleaner that allows for you to vacuum in just about any area/space, with ease. They are great if you need convenience, mobility, and versatility!

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