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When thinking of wet dry vacs people usually instantly start imagining large, clunky shop vacs that you might see in on a construction site or a workshop of sorts, but this doesn’t have to be the case. There are much more portable wet dry vacs available and easily accessible these days on the market. All perfectly suitable for cleaning both dry debris and liquids like water. A Vacuum used to be a device designed for cleaning dust and small pieces of debris, but times have changed and technology has progressed, and so the wet and dry vacuum rises in popularity as more and more people become conscious of the convenience of having this cleaning technology in their home, garage or workshop.
Though smaller, more portable vacs usually don’t have the same capacity or power as their larger, more heavy duty suited relatives, they can still be extremely useful is many situations like quick cleanups after accidentally spilling something or cleaning up your car. It’s a decent idea to have one of this in your car at all times, especially if you have children on clumsy friends.
Even though they might not look the same, varying in size and shape, portable wet dry vacs work quite similarly to a regular, industrial grade one.
The Vac has a motor supplying the power for the internal fan and as it receives the power it sucks air up in and through the hose, grabbing debris or liquid along for the ride. For this device, the beauty lies in the simplicity of it, making cleaning easier than it’s ever been before.
Here’s a chart you can quickly review for those of you in a hurry:
14 x 5 x 7 in
17.3 x 7.7 x 6.1 in
10.2 x 10.2 x 11 in
14.2 x 8.1 x 5.3 inn
10.6 x 14.2 x 14.4 in
Of course, there are features that differ. Because you’re gonna be suctioning liquid, these portable vacs need to be designed so that they keep liquids from touching and interfering with their internal, electrical components. Some models come with a filter cartridge made to separate fluid and dry debris while different models might come along with liquid collection cups meant to be attached to the end of your vacs hose. What you should choose is all dependant on you and to help you make this, especially for beginners, difficult choice, is the buyers guide on the bottom of the article.
Top 7 Best Portable Wet Dry Vacs –
Holife looked at its most popular portable model and thought: ”We can make this better” and they did. They increased the sucking power of this portable wet dry vac to two kilopascals, adding up to a total of 7, creating an effect of unstoppable suction. It’s now possible to vacuum up 100 millilitres of spillage coming along with the wonderful addition of a rubber jar, letting the user clean up a bowl his or her pet spiller or a cup they accidentally knocked over with ease. The vents of the machine are on its side meant to prevent any suctioned dust or debris from scattering.
Dust, food crumbs and etc are not a problem in the slightest for this Holife Wet/dry vac, the motor creates a cyclonic suction, separating fine dust from larger particles and debris. This portable vac comes along with 2 whole cloth filters (reusable ones), so it’s possible to be using one while the other’s washing, allowing you to eliminate down time this way, especially if you’re a regular user. The 500ml capacity of the quick release cup is a solid competitor for other handheld vacuums of similar sizes.
Though this model of The DeWalt Wet Dry Vac is a bit clunky/rugged Weighing in at roughly 13 pounds it’s still easily portable and carried by most people. The design of the vac resembles a toolbox and is made of plyresin plastic, meaning it’s very durable and you’d have to try pretty damn hard to beak it. It comes with a very secure, grip-hinged handles which makes it very easy to maneuver the vacuum while using it for cleaning in your home or garage. The durable latch on the front is also there to prevent harm from the bag or filter of the vacuum.
In the interior of the toolbox lies a 5 horsepower motor capable of generating suction speeds of up to around 90 cubic feet per minute powered on as by a simple flip of the water-resist switch. For dry debris and dust vacuuming it’s possible to place in a 4 gallon capacity paper bag or even connect the vac straight to a extractor unit. The filter grabs hold of any particles capable of damaging lungs and is easily washed and ready to be used over and over.
If you don’t feel like going to the carwash to get your interior cleaned you can easily do this at home using this portable wet dry vac made by Armor All. Turn the power on and boom, you’re ready to go with a 2.0 hp motor roaring, ready for cleaning,
Weighing in at about 7 pounds this wet/dry vac isn’t difficult to carry, though still not extremely light. The durable handle is made for securing a tight grip and the long, 10 foot cord should be more than you’ll ever need. It comes along with multiple extra accessories as well. A crevice tool for getting into any nooks and crannies that might be giving you trouble, a flexible tube and a soft brush for dusting your dash. It’s a shame that there isn’t an extension tube, since this is something a lot of other wet dry vacuum models do come with.
This wet/dry portable vac by black+decker charges fast and is always ready to serve whenever you need it. Containing a 9.6 volt battery it charges in 10 hours or less. A huge plus to this model is that instead of having to fumble around with a long cord always tangling at every possibility, just place the small device on its wall-mountable charge station. It comes with a light that shows you when it’s done charging.
Weighing in at a laughable 1.4 pounds, you could probably walk with this thing in your hand all day and not even notice. The power control feature is a switch that you slide instead of having to hold it down while in use. The handle has a nice round, comfortable design made for laying in the palm of your hand comfortably and you can place it in an upright position like a cup or a bottle whenever you need to put it down for whatever reason.
This micro Wet/dry vacuum made by Shop-Vac is great for work in your car, home or garage. It’s motor has a horsepower of 1, capable of creating around 45 air watts of suction vacuuming power. It comes with a off-on switch that makes controlling the power output of the vac simple and understandable. The 6 feet long cord allows you to work in a solid radius.
The hinged handle of the top of the vac makes carrying the unit around easy and effortless and sine it weighs only about 5lb there should be no problem what-so-ever toting it around. It comes with two different wall mounts, one for the vacuum itself and the other is meant for the wide gulper nozzle and crevice tool.
This sleek and stunning vacuum packs a punch. This Homasy Wet/dry vacuum has a stormy looking, translucent grey dirt cup and a beautiful silver body. In the interior of this portable vac is a motor of 90-watts, capable of producing 6 kilopascals of vacuuming power on the single slide of a power switch.
The handle is designed to reduce hand fatigue and you won’t have to chase after fine debris, since the outlets are situated on the sides of the vacuum. A brush and a crevice tool comes along with the vac, which is always a great bonus + you can get a insertable rubber jar for wet work like water spills.
A truly handy helper, the The BLACK+DECKER HWVI225J01 Wet/Dry Hand Vacuum gloats a vacuuming power of 14 air watts + plus a power switch which doesn’t require you to hold it down. The handle is looped for making use more comfortable and it weighs in at just under two pounds. 1.92 to be exact. The teal blue, grey accented colouring of the device makes it a aesthetic, desirable addition to your trusty crew of home appliances.
Its dry capacity is 23.7 ounces and we capacity is 6, so you won’t have to be interrupting your cleaning frequently just to empty its cup. This portable vacs nozzle is large and wide, making it perfect for larger messes + it comes with a squeegee accessory for spills. Also, the filter is reusable and washable, which is going to save you a decent amount of money.
Buyer’s guide for Portable Wet Dry Vacs
Having a vac capable of taking care of both wet and dry work is a very convenient thing to have laying around the house, though, quite obviously, not every vacuum is the same regarding quality and performance. For readers wanting to get the most out of their money, we’ve put together this relatively short guide so you can get a grasp of the basic ins and outs of wet/dry vac features.
Charge and Run Time
Even though it does not take very lengthy amounts of time to take care of a mess like a small pile of dirt or a cereal spill, the charge and run time of a wet dry vac is a valid thing to consider. If the vac’s got a cord, then you can work for however long you need without worrying about battery life, without needing to pause.
On the other side, a cordless model will provide you with at least 20-25 minutes of run time and shouldn’t take more than 6 hours to charge in most cases. While not a crucial addition an indicator for how much battery you’ve got left is helpful. Be mindful of how long and how often you think you’d use the vacuum. If it’s not a rare occasion for there to be multiple instances of spills and/or messes around your house because of small children or something of the sort, then you should consider getting a corded wet dry vac, so you don’t have to worry about the battery life, or at very least, a cordless model with a solid battery life, so there’s not a situation where you desperately need the vacuum and it’s not available because it’s out of battery.
Handheld Suction Power
When talking about a wet/dry vacs suction power a lot of different factors come in to play. The air watts inform you about how fast the air moves, and the amps or watts tell you how powerful it is. Other manufacturers might also indicate the pascals of their products, which is a solid indicator of the suction power of the unit. Also, if you’re wondering what cyclonic suction means: pretty much if a vacuum has cyclonic suction then it’s a lot less likely that premature motor failure or clogs will happen. People often underestimate the importance of this factor.
A portable wet dry vac, no, any vacuum at all that lacks in suction power is one of the most annoying things a homeowner can possess. It’s likely that if you’re a long term homeowner then you know exactly what we’re talking about. For instance take the entrance to your house where everyone places their shoes. It’s not rare to have people walk in with tiny rocks stuck in their shoes and for those rocks to scatter all over your beloved house, so how annoying would it be that instead of being able to easily suction these rocks in a few seconds, your vacuum just isn’t powerful enough to lift anything other than dust and tiny, tiny pieces of debris. This is why we recommend, if possible, going after portable wet dry vacs with at least a decent amount of suction strength,
Due to the existence of allergies and sensitive noses, and with people that are germaphobes and of course, people that just want to keep their home clean as it can be, the filtration of regular vacuums and wet dry vacs alike, portable or not, is becoming more and more important to the consumer.
Now, if you’ve got allergies or asthma you definitely want to get a model that has a HEPA filter, if not, a regular filter is probably acceptable, though who wouldn’t want a filter that’s better at doing its job? There are also filters that have a cover meant for keeping larger particles pieces of debris and at bay. Most hand vacs have reusable, washable filters and a lot of manufacturers add an extra filter in the packaging, which we, the customer, always appreciate. It’s important to change your filters and we recommend doing so at least every 6 months if you’re truly serious about keeping the hygiene in your workshop, garage or house as good as it can be.
When considering how much capacity a vacuum has the best indicator is its size, of course. Some models come with a special jar/insert for liquid while other have cups for holding wet/dry messes. There’s also units out there that collect dry particles in a bag instead of a cup made of plastic.
It’s important to consider the capacity and size of the vac for two simple reasons, which are both quite obvious. The capacity is important, because it can get very irritating when you’ve got a fresh mess on your hands, like a bowl of spilled cereal for example, and you’ve got to empty your tiny portable wet dry vac multiple times to just take care of one tiny mess, so look at the capacity of what you’re purchasing carefully and do your best to make the right choice. The size matters because of comfort. If you’re looking for a portable wet dry vac there’s potentially many different types of vacuums that you’re interested in.
If the easiness of transport or portability is the most important part to you then you’d probably be pretty disappointed if you ordered your new vacuum and it came in and weighed so much that you’re tired of using it after a couple minutes of work. On the other hand if that’s not of high importance to you and you just want something you can carry around and place on the table or ground while working, then capacity is most likely the deciding factor for you regarding this certain point.
Every once in a while comes along a mess that’s just a pain to clean up because of how tight of a space it’s in or because of its nasty location. For these instances we recommend a hand vac with dusting brush and crevice tool attachments. Other portable vacs come with length extending connectors and hose. If the vacuum you’re looking at is corded, remember to take the length of the cord into consideration.
5 minutes or 20, no matter how long you’re cleaning the vacuum should be easy and comfortable to keep a grip on, meaning it shouldn’t be too heavy and should have an ergonomic handle. The power dust cup and power control placement should be near or on the handle, to be able to reach without needlessly large amounts of effort.
We partially addressed this point already in the containment section, yet we’d like to expand on it here. Please take the comfort of your wet dry vacuum seriously, as this is a device you will be most likely using for years to come, and it’s not a smart idea to force yourself in to using something uncomfortable for lengthy periods of time, as that can even develop things nobody wants such as wrist pains, muscle pains and so on.
Comfort not only includes the weight and design of the body of the wet dry vac itself, but also the hose and cord length, as both of these can potentially force you into years of bending, twisting and turning your back in potentially damaging ways, all which could have been avoided by taking a little more time choosing the ideal vacuum for you and your household.
If you’re looking for a device with a dedicated storage spot you’ve got some options. A decent amount of wet/dry vacs, especially portable ones will come with a dedicated wall mount, for some this will also double as a charging station as well. Others might have a regular table top or floor bases charging station and a few other units also come along with an accessory caddy attachable to a storage bag or to the wall.
Though for most consumers the storage isn’t a thing worth taking into consideration as many people are happy just chucking things into their garage and looking for them when they need them, we do recommend getting out of this habit and storing your things properly and with thought, as this might take a little time upfront, but is guaranteed to save a lot of it it in the future.
14 x 5 x 7 in
17.3 x 7.7 x 6.1 in
10.2 x 10.2 x 11 in
14.2 x 8.1 x 5.3 in
10.6 x 14.2 x 14.4 in
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Buy A Cordless Or Corded Model?
This really depends on what you’re looking to do and personal preference. A corded vacuum is going to let you work for as long as you need, up until the point it’s full, then you’ll need to clean out the tank but other than that – infinite work time.
Some portable vacs are made for electrical outlets while others are made for use with a DC one. If you’re gonna get one that requires a DC outlet you’ll need to get a wall adapter for using outside of your vehicle, which shouldn’t be a problem since these adapters should be relatively cheap.
A cordless wet/dry vac, however will let you move around freely without an annoying chord having to be replugged and always tangling as you move around your house. The downside of course is that they need to be charged, which can sometimes mean stopping a cleaning session mid work, which can be annoying. It’s also not rare to see a decrease in suction power as the vacuum get nearer to its battery being fully depleted.
Do Portable Wet Dry Vacs Come With Accessories?
Every vac is different, but most have one or multiple accessories/attachments meant for different types of work each with their own unique purpose. There are crevice tools and duster brushes for detailed cleaning. Others might come tubing joints for a hose, meant for extending its length to help you reach and clean out awkward, tight spots.
There might be accessories for we work like a squeegee insert or a special collection nozzle meant for quick absorbing. Many cordless vacuums come with a charging stand in the place of a plug adapter + many corded AND cordless units come with a special bracket for wall mounting.
What Batteries Do wet dry portable vacuums use?
Lithium-ion, Nickel-Cadmium or Nickel-metal hybrid – These are the three most used types of batteries used. Nickel Cadmiums are cheaper than the others and have a pretty good run time but are horrible for the environment and take a while to charge.
Lithium ion Batteries in most cases last the longest+charge the quickest and as an added benefit they don’t reduce your vacuums sucking power as it gets near the end of its battery life. Nickel-metal hydride ones take longer to charge out than nickel cadmiums and it’s not necessary to empty them completely before charging them back up again.
Benefits Of Owning a Portable Wet Dry Vac – What Are They?
Portable wet dry vacs are super portable compared to their larger counterparts. It’s possible to use them anywhere, especially so when discussing the cordless ones. They’re also usually more powerful than a regular handheld vacuum, which is great especially when cleaning up larger peaces of debris for example cat litter or cereal.
The main benefit of a wet/dry handheld vac is for sure the ability to take care of both liquid and dry messes with a single unit instead of having to use a sponge or paper towels to continuously wipe at your tables and floors.
Do these Vacuums Have Filters?
Pretty much all portable wet dry vacs have filters, though the system they use to filter can be different depending on the model. Some might have a filter made of fabric, foam or paper while others have bags.
In general you’ll mostly be seeing 3 filter types. There are standard filters that are only able to grab a hold of coarser particles. Then there’s HEPA filters, capable of trapping 99.97 percent of fine particles like durst to sizes as tiny as 0.2-0.3 microns. Then, in the middle of these lie the hybrids also known as HEPA style or HEPA-type filters. These usually are capable of trapping around 85% of debris around 1 large. Or should i say tiny?
There’s also models that come with a pre filter designed to lengthen the life of the main filter, though it’s much more common place to have filters covered up by a mesh cup. Almost all filters are washable, allowing them to be used again and again for months and sometimes even years depending on how cleanly you are before needing to be replaced.
We recommend changing your filters around every 6 months.
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