5 Gallon Shop Vac

5 Best 5-Gallon Shop Vac - Buying Guide and Reviews

If you are thinking of getting a shop vac that can handle just about every cleaning task, then a 5-gallon shop vac is one of the best choices. The size of the tank makes it reasonable enough to carry around and at the same time, it is big enough to contain all or most of the waste from a cleanup without having to empty it unless you are dealing with floods.

5-gallon shop Vacs are also known for having ample suction power to handle aggressive cleaning and to get the job done quickly. This guide and review has been put together following extensive research to come up with the best you can find.

5 Best 5 Gallon Shop Vac Comparison

Why You Need A 5-Gallon Shop Vac?


5-gallon shop vacs have strong suction which makes them good for aggressive cleanups and quick suction in comparison to the usual vacuums. You can find a shop vac with a motor horse power of 6.5 peak which is really strong and even the ones with just 2.5 peak horsepower still have strong suction.

Optimum Capacity

5-gallon capacity is a great deal for a tank since it is just enough to handle the entire cleaning of a garage, workshop or house without needing to empty it. For people who do complete cleanups like, during spring cleaning, this is a reasonable capacity.


Despite the capacity, a 5-gallon tank will not be too big so it is still possible to carry it around or even just lifting it to throw out the waste that has been collected. They are easy to store in the car and transport to a work site and then carry them out easily.

Value for money

Most 5-gallon shop vacs are affordable for the average individual and they deliver value for money. They work well, last long and are easy to maintain which makes them worth the investment.

How To Choose A 5-Gallon Shop Vac

Here are certain key things to take into consideration when you are making a choice of Shop Vac 5-gallon.

What you will use it for

The most important thing is what and how you intend to use it. Making a choice between a wall mount and a handheld Shop Vac comes down to are you going to be cleaning a particular area like a garage or workshop only which will be suitable for a wall mount or are you a handyman looking for a wet and dry vac you can carry to different sites, which will require a hand held vac?


In the feature section of the particular product, you can get to find out what accessories are there. Now depending on what you need, you can choose a shop vac 5-gallon based on the accessories it comes with that you will need.


You are investing your money into this vacuum so it is only natural that you get one that is durable. One consideration is the warranty since the longer the warranty, the bigger the chance that it will last long. You can also read reviews to find out how durable a particular model is. The filter, the motor and accessory tools are key parts to read about to know how durable the unit is.


You should take into consideration what you would be able to afford. In this list, for example, you will find the different models vary in price but they are all highly recommended so if you are on a tight budget, you can confidently pick the least expensive one here and know that it is still a quality 5-gallon Shop Vac.

How To Care For Your 5-Gallon Shop Vac

It is very important that you take good care of your shop vac to ensure that it serves you well and for long. The main things to take note of are the filter and the motor.

The motor needs to be protected from dust and fine particles which can end up reducing the suction. This is why you need to use a filter bag or a filter that will trap such dirt and particles before they get to the motor. You may not need to service the motor but check the user manual to see what is recommended.

The filter needs to be cleaned regularly. It is recommended that you clean it after every use to prevent it getting clogged. Check the user manual to see how to clean the filter because some just need to be blown or shaken while others can be cleaned with water. You can also use a filter bag to protect the filter when cleaning dry debris.

When sucking up liquids, you may need to change the filter because the dry filter cannot be used for wet vacuuming. Take a look at this video on how to care for a 5-gallon shop vac.

Before Using your Shop Vac

It is recommended that before you start using the product, read the user manual to find out how it should be used and the different recommendations from the manufacturer. This will ensure that you do not cause any problem that will affect the correct functioning of the shop vac.

Recommended Best 5-Gallon Shop Vac Reviews

Shop-Vac 5986000 Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5986000

Editor Rating:

This 5-gallon shop vac can serve as your main vacuum since it is quite versatile. If you are cleaning up a flooded basement, it will work fine, as long as you remove the filter. If you want to clean up the house, the 5-gallon tank can contain all the dust and debris from a day’s cleaning or you can use it in your workshop to clean up after all the work is done. It is versatile, strong and not too expensive.

Highlighted Features

  • Wet and dry filter with a disposable bag
  • 5-gallon stainless steel tank
  • Top carry handle and wheels on the bottom for easy movement
  • 4.5 peak horsepower motor giving strong suction
  • Onboard tool storage
  • Accessory tools including 3 extension wands, crevice tool, squeegee and wet and dry floor nozzle
  • 6-foot power cord


  • The filter is easy to fit and clean
  • The 4.5 HP motor delivers strong suction
  • It can be used for blowing as well as suction
  • The tank is easy to clean
  • The extension wands come in handy when you are vacuuming the floor and you do not want to kneel down
  • It comes with a HEPA filter bag that keeps fine particles inside
  • Automatic shut off when the tank is full


  • The power cord is too short
  • The hose diameter does not work well with chunks of debris.

Shop-Vac 3942000 Wall Mount Wet/Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 3942000

Editor Rating:

This shop vac 5 gallon is recommended for cleaning cars, garages, and workshops because it can be mounted on the wall and its long hose enables you to do the cleaning while the body is mounted on the wall.

It has strong suction and comes with a number of important accessories. You can choose to remove it from the mount and use it as a portable wet and dry vacuum and it has a handle at the top that can be folded.

Highlighted Features

  • 18-foot hose with a number of other accessory tools like 12-inch nozzle, three extension wands, and squeegee.
  • 5-gallon capacity tank
  • 4.5 peak horsepower suction
  • Foldable top handle with easy access to the on switch
  • On board cord wrap
  • Wall mount, but the unit can be detached from the wall


  • The long hose comes in handy and saves you the burden of carrying the vac around
  • It maintains its suction
  • The filter bag prevents the filter from getting clogged
  • It comes with a number of useful tools
  • It comes with a bag for the tools that can be mounted on the wall as well.


  • It is not easy dismounting the shop vac from the wall.
  • Considering the amount of space it takes up, you would expect it to have more than 5-gallon capacity.

Shop-Vac 5872510 Professional Heavy Duty Portable Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5872510 Professional

Editor Rating:

Even if you covered the floor in a carpet of sawdust or you have not cleaned your basement in years and you are worried that the mess may be too thick to be sucked up, this 5872510 will surprise you with its powerful suction. It has one of the strongest motors of the shop vac 5-gallons and yet it is compact and can be used as a handheld vacuum.

Wet messes may not be easy to contain though but it is really good with dry ones.

Highlighted Features

  • Long 20-foot cord
  • Top handle for portability and balance
  • ​All purpose accessory tool
  • ​Powerful 6.5 peak horsepower motor
  • ​5-gallon capacity tank with dust collection bag
  • Cord wrap
  • ​Onboard accessory storage
  • Double filtration for fine dust management


  • The cord is quite long, making it easy to access any part of the car
  • It has powerful suction that will handle any mess in the car
  • The webbed filter is easy to clean
  • It is compact and easy to carry around


  • It has no wheels so the bottom can get scratched when you pull it around while vacuuming garage floors.

Shop-Vac 5872410 Portable Contractor Right Stuff Wet/Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5872410

Editor Rating:

Here is another strong 5-gallon shop vac that can be used as a handheld shop vac because of its compact portable design. It has just 0.5 less horsepower than the 5872510. It will give you industrial level cleaning ability which makes it ideal for workshops basements, but it can still be used in the house as long as the noise will not be too loud for you.

Highlighted Features

  • 20-foot power cord which allows mobility
  • Firm grip top handle with the on-off switch easily accessible with the thumb
  • Powerful 5.5 peak horsepower motor
  • Onboard storage for accessory tools
  • Blower port on the back
  • Onboard hose and cord wrap
  • Lightweight (7 pounds)
  • Wet and dry filter


  • The long power cord makes it easy to move around
  • The light weight contributes to portability
  • Strong suction despite its small size
  • The filter is easy to remove and fit
  • It is easy to store in small spaces
  • The positioning of the handle balances the weight even when it is fool
  • Onboard storage makes it easy to carry around to different cleaning sites.


  • The hose is rather short and it comes with only 2 other tools

Shop-Vac 2030500 Aqua Vac Wet Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 2030500

Editor Rating:

This is a functional shop vac that will get the job done. It has powerful suction so you can suck up debris very easy and fast. It doesn’t cost much so if you are looking for a quick replacement for a wet and dry vacuum, this can make a good option and it will last long. Customer reviews seem to praise it more for its ability to deal with wet waste.

Its plastic tank means there is no risk of rusting or getting stained by liquid. Over all it is a reliable 5-gallon shop vac.

Highlighted Features

  • 5-gallon tank capacity
  • Both top and side handles
  • 2.25 peak horsepower motor
  • 6-foot power cord
  • 7-foot hose with extension wands and other accessory tools
  • Blower port on the back
  • Swivel enabled small wheels for mobility
  • Reusable disc filter with foam sleeve


  • Large tank that can take 5 gallons
  • It comes with all the necessary tools for any cleaning job
  • The suction is sufficient to get vacuuming done quickly
  • It can be used as a blower


  • The cord and hose are short so you need to use an extension cable

Final Verdict

Not everyone will have the same needs when it comes to 5 gallon shop vacs which is why this list tries to provide shop vacs that meet the different needs like one with wheels, one you can mount on the wall, a professional standard one that is good for drywall dust as well as the most affordable that will not compromise performance. Pay close attention to the features and the pros of each 5-gallon vac so that you can make the best choice for your need. But remember all of these are really good and come highly recommended by experts and users.

Andy Evans

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