2.5 Gallon Shop Vac - Guide and Review

Best 2.5-Gallon Shop Vac - Buying Guide and Reviews

The 2.5-gallon shop vacs appeal to people who are looking for portable wet and dry vacuums that provide quality performance but with a lower price tag. They are easy to pick up and use for small jobs like spills, broken glass or removing pet hair from upholstery and other places. Shop-Vac makes some of the best models in this range and they continue to innovate to meet different needs of different people. Compiled here are the best recommended 2.5-gallon shop vacs that meet the different needs of homeowners, car owners, handymen and people on a budget but looking for something of quality with top of the range performance and durability.

5 Best 2.5-Gallon Shop Vac Comparison

Who Should Buy A 2.5 Gallon Shop Vac?

Anyone interested in a light weight cleaning solution will find this very useful. Portability, affordability, and performance are the strong points of a 2.5-gallon shop vac so a number of people would need this. A handyman would need it for simple cleanups after repair jobs, a car owner can use it to vacuum the car after kids have left crumbs on the seat and a house owner with a pet may need it to remove pet hair or suck up pieces of glass that are on the floor. It is actually a tool for everyone who wants to do quick cleaning with a handy tool.

Benefits of A 2.5-gallon Shop Vac

Apart from the obvious fact that you will be able to kept different places clean and free from dust, spills and any other messes, there are quite a few other benefits of a 2.5-gallon shop vac and these include:

  • You have a handy tool that you can quickly grab and do a quick cleanup without having to deal with the bulk and weight of the bigger shop vacs.
  • ​Most 2.5 gallon wet and dry vacuums are affordable, you can own one for under 50 dollars so even if you may not be able to own a main vacuum for big jobs, this comes in easy and can be easily replaced or backed up with a bigger one without feeling too much of a pinch.
  • ​Storage space for many homeowners is a problem but with a small tank like this, it is easy to find storage space and some of them can even be kept on the wall.
  • ​These are easy to empty and clean up since they are small
  • ​Despite being affordable and small, Shop Vac ensures that these vacuums have strong suction to do a good job.

How To Choose A 2.5-Gallon Shop Vac

A first-time buyer may imagine they can just pick any 2.5-gallon shop vac and it will be good enough for them but this is not the case. There are a few things you need to take into consideration. Here are some suggestions.


Think about what you are more likely to be using the vacuum for. This will determine what kind of accessories you will need along with other features that you may need and find useful.

Cord length

Cord length is something that takes so many people by surprise. The length of the cord will determine how far you can reach without the use of an extension or having to switch sockets so find a cord that will give you as much reach as you will need. For these 2.5, the longest cord would be 18 feet.


Warranty is quite important as well when choosing a shop vac of any kind. You want to find one with the longest warranty so that if anything goes wrong, you will be covered under warranty for replacement of repair. The warranty can also give you a fair estimate of how durable a unit may be.


Filter systems are another big consideration you should have when choosing a shop vac 2.5-gallon. Shop Vac, in general, makes vacuums with good filters but you need to find out how easy it is to care for the filter. For a first timer, it would be best to get one that can be easily cleaned and reused. Also find out how available replacement filters are so that you are not stuck for long waiting for a replacement filter that is currently out of stock.

Big does not mean better

It is a common misconception that getting a big shop vac will guarantee you a better performance. For shop vacs, it comes down to things like suction and filter system. If you want to have a portable shop vac, go ahead and purchase any of these 5 recommended and you will be sure that they work just as well as a bigger one when it comes to sucking up dirt and wet messes.

Recommended 2.5 Gallon Shop Vac Reviews

Shop-Vac 5895200 AllAround EZ Series Wet/Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5895200AllAround EZ

Editor Rating:

This is ideal for any kind of cleaning around the home or workshop. You can use it for simple jobs like cleaning cat fur from the couch or take it to the workshop and suck up wood shavings and water spills in the laundry room.

Its wheels make it easy to move around and when you would like to use it as a portable vac, just unscrew the dolly from the body and you can carry it from the top handle. It’s quite powerful and the sound is normal for a shop vac.

Highlighted Features

  • Quiet vacuuming with condensed noise
  • Powerful suction provided by a 2.5 horsepower motor
  • Cleans both wet and dry surfaces
  • Has a capacity of 2.5 gallons
  • Evenly balanced weight on the top handle to make it even lighter
  • 4 wheels for easy mobility.


  • The noise is not so much
  • Lightweight which makes it easier to carry out long vacuuming jobs
  • It can be used to clean stains and grease on floors and different surfaces
  • Affordable yet it performs just like the more expensive household vacuums
  • Comes with wheels for easier mobility and they can be detached
  • Works well on both wet and dry surfaces.


  • You need a screwdriver to detach the dolly which takes time.

Shop-Vac 2036000 Wet Dry Vacuum, Small, Red/Black

Shop-Vac 2036000

Editor Rating:

This is one of the easiest shop vacs to carry around. It is lightweight and compact so if you need to clean your car, it will be very convenient. It can also be hanged on the wall for storage and it comes with a variety of tools to handle different tasks, both wet and dry.

It is quite affordable and yet it provides powerful suction for your everyday simple cleanups. With a reusable filter, you save money since you do not have to keep on buying filters.

Highlighted Features

  • Compact 2.5-gallon tank
  • Reasonable 2.5 peak horsepower motor
  • Light weight portable design with a top handle
  • The handle can be folded for storage
  • It can be mounted on the wall for space saving storage
  • 6-foot power cord
  • Reusable filter that can be easily cleaned


  • It is portable and lightweight which makes it easy to move around
  • It saves space since it can be hanged on the wall
  • It is reasonably quiet
  • The tools can also be stored on the wall


  • The 6-foot cord limits how far from the socket you can go without an extension

Shop-Vac 5860210 Portable Right Stuff Wet/Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5860210

Editor Rating:

This is a convenient handheld 2.5 gallon shop vac that you can use for quick jobs like cleaning after doing simple repairs, removing pet hair from the living room or blowing leaves in the driveway. It is powerful and easy to use. It may not serve as your main vacuum for major cleanups but you will find yourself using it quite often since it is easy to pickup, plug-in, and use.

In can be stored easily under the sink, on a board or even in your car if you want to carry it around with you. It is well worth the money.

Highlighted Features

  • 2.0 peak horsepower motor delivering strong suction
  • 2.5-gallon capacity tank, ideal for simple clean up jobs
  • 6-foot power cord
  • 8 feet hose with attachment tools
  • Can be used as a blower as well
  • ​Onboard accessory storage and cord wrap
  • ​Top carry with accessible on/off button
  • ​Lightweight


  • Its suction is quite impressive whether it is debris or liquids that you are cleaning up
  • Its size and shape make it very portable
  • It is fairly priced
  • It is sturdy and does not tip over


  • The power cord is quite short you need to add and extension cord to be able to use it more freely

Shop-Vac 5890200 HangOn Wet/Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5890200

Editor Rating:

When you go in for this, you get a shop vac 2.5 gallon that will last long and give you high performance. Most people like it because it is compact and can be hung on the wall. It is also quite versatile as it has a number of tools that make it easy to use for different situations and the tools can be stored onboard.

For a handyman who likes to have a small shop vac for clean up time, this is a good consideration that will not disappoint.

Highlighted Features:

  • Strong 2.5 Peak horsepower motor
  • ​2.5-gallon tank
  • Solid top carry handle
  • Useful accessory tools and onboard storage for the tools
  • Wall bracket to securely hand the vac on
  • Both wet and dry ability
  • 6-foot power cord
  • Light weight, 4.2 pounds
  • Can be used as a blower


  • This shop vac is very conveniently portable
  • The onboard storage saves you from having to find a place to keep the tools
  • The blower feature is useful when dust is stuck in a corner
  • The flat bottom keeps it stable
  • 3-year warranty
  • Bullet Point 2


  • The hose is quite short you cannot use it while it is on the wall

Shop-Vac 3880210 Tool Mate Tool Box Vacuum

Shop-Vac 3880210 Tool Mate Tool Box Vacuum

Editor Rating:

This is a really great innovation from Shop-vac, a toolbox with a wet dry vacuum attached to it. Naturally, the handyman is the target for this one as you can carry your tools and the shop vac together like part of the same box and there is space inside the tool box for the shop vac accessories including the long power cord.

When you are done with the fixing, the shop vac can be detached so that you use it independently of the tool box.

Highlighted Features

  • The Unit is attached to the toolbox and can be detached for portable use
  • Long 18-foot power cable
  • Storage space for accessories within the toolbox
  • 2.5 capacity tank
  • 3.5 peak horsepower motor
  • Foldable top carry handle
  • Comes with 4ft hose, gulper tool, crevice tool, round brush and ultra web filter


  • It is easy to carry around to a worksite since it is attached to the tool box
  • The storage space for accessories helps you be organized and avoid clutter
  • It has very powerful suction in comparison to other 2.5-gallon shop vacs
  • It can be detached to use as a portable shop vac
  • The long power cord gives you more reach without having to change sockets or add an extension


  • It has a very short hose

Final Verdict

As you can see, there is a 2.5-gallon shop vac to meet just about any need you may have for a small and handy wet dry vacuum. For the handyman, the Tool Mate will be ideal since you can carry both your tools and the shop vac in one hand and it is powerful. For a car owner, the Hang on shop vac that can be hanged in the garage and easily be used in the car is ideal while the All Around EZ is perfect for just about any cleaning around the home, office or workshop. You will also notice that they are all affordable and efficient.

Andy Evans

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