Best Portable Shop Vac

5 Best Portable Shop Vac - Buying Guide and Reviews


If your vacuuming involves moving around a lot say removing pet hair from different locations or vacuuming a car, you may find a portable shop vac to be a preferred tool since it gives you the ability to move around easily. The best portable shop vac may vary according to individuals and what they intend to use it for, which is why this guide has compiled a list that incorporates the different products that may suit different preferences.

Since you cannot go through all the different catalogues of portable vacuums, we have created this guide to help you in making a choice, right from what features will matter most to the actual shop vacs that meet the criteria. I strongly believe that at least one of these will meet your expectations.

5 Best Portable Shop Vac Comparison

How To Choose The Best Portable Shop Vac


The weight of a portable Shop Vac is a very important consideration since that will determine how easy it is for you to move it around. Somehow this may be more of a personal consideration because different people may be able to lift different weights. Find a portable Shop Vac that you are comfortable with and you will not get tired quickly while doing the cleaning. You need to remember as well that as you do the vacuuming, the Vac is going to get heavier so it is not just the weight stated on the vac that you need to consider but also the weight it will have when it is full.


Many expert reviews focus on the suction of shop vacs as one of the most important considerations. This is mainly because suction is primarily what you want your portable shop vac to do. The more the suction, the better the performance. You can determine the suction of a vacuum cleaner by taking note of the following.

  • Horsepower: this is usually indicated as peak HP. Peak horsepower of 5 and above is really strong.
  • Air flow: Air flow is proportional to the amount of suction the Vac will deliver
  • Sealed suction: this refers to the amount of liquid it can lift


The capacity refers to the tank size. It is important that the best portable shop vac has a reasonable capacity so that it is not overflowing too frequently as you are doing the cleaning. Sometimes it also depends on what you intend to use the vac for if you just want to be able to clean up small messes, then a small tank is okay but if you intend to do major cleanups like emptying a sink, it is important that the tank can handle at least 5 gallons. But remember, the bigger the capacity, the heavier the vac and this may affect portability.


You need a portable shop vac that is able to reach different places without too much restriction. Some of the things that determine the reach of the best shop vac include:

  • The length of the hose: the longer the hose, the farther you can vacuum even when you place the vac on the ground.
  • The length of the cord: A long cord means you can cover a wider radius without the power cord getting unplugged
  • Accessories: things like a wand or crevice tool can determine which places you will be able to vacuum.


Many consumers do not pay enough attention to this yet it is quite vital. The handle of a portable shop vac can greatly influence how portable it is since that is the part you will use to carry it around. Some of the considerations you should take into account include

  • Grip: it needs to have firm grip so that the vac will not end up slipping out of your hands as you do your work
  • Comfort: this is important especially if you will be vacuuming for long. Ensure that your fingers will not be uncomfortable especially as the unit fills up.
  • Balance: the best portable shop vac will have a handle that equally distributes the weight of the unit so that it is easy to carry and even some of the weight is not felt.

Other Considerations

  • You should also consider the price, there is no reason to spend too much when you can find the best at a very pocket-friendly price.
  • Durability is important, read customer experiences with particular shop vacs to know how durable they are and also check the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Find out what accessories come with the vac and compare their usefulness to what you intend to use the vac for.

Recommended 5 Best Portable Shop Vac Reviews

Shop-Vac 5872500 Heavy Duty Portable Wet/Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5872500

Editor Rating:

This is a heavy duty wet and dry portable shop vac that can also be hung on the wall. It has an impressively long hose that enables the user more reach even when the vac is on the wall.

The handle has a firm grip and it is well placed so that you can operate the on/off switch with your thumb as you carry the vac with the same hand. It has ample capacity and the suction power is impressive. People who have purchased it say it performs well and it is reasonably quiet. It comes with a number of useful tools to help you clean different surfaces.

Key Features

  • 5-gallon tank with disposable bag
  • 2 stage filter to ensure it can handle dust effectively
  • 5.5 peak horsepower motor that delivers heavy duty suction
  • Long 12-foot flexible nozzle
  • Wall mount bracket
  • Onboard storage for different accessories
  • Accessories that include: Extension wand, squeegee crevice tool, claw nozzle,
  • Yellow and black color for high visibility/safety


  • The suction of this portable shop vac is really good and it remains constant as you vacuum
  • Compared to some vacs with similar suction, its motor is not too loud
  • The long hose gives sufficient reach even when you choose to use the vac while it is braced on the wall
  • The wall mount makes storage easier and takes up less space
  • It comes with a number of useful tools which makes cleaning different places much easier
  • On board, storage for the tools ensures less clutter and keeps the tools handy


  • Customers have complained about the diameter of the hose which they say affects the suction.

Shop-Vac 5872510 Professional Heavy Duty Portable Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5951400

Editor Rating:

A number of customer reviews on Amazon rate this as one of the best portable shop vac. More than half of the reviews give it 5-star rating. This is because of its powerful suction. The Shop Vac 5872510 is a compact vac which is easy to carry around as well as easy to use.

Its hose and power cord are long enough to allow reasonable movement around your workshop or kitchen as you vacuum. Despite its one stage filtration system, it still handles dust quite well. It is light, with a firm grip handle and can be operated easily. When put on the ground, it remains stable without the risk of tipping over.

Key Features

  • Heavy duty 6.5 peak horse power motor
  • 5 gallon capacity tank with reusable filter and collection bag
  • Top carry handle with on/off switch operated with the thumb
  • Long 20 foot power cord and 7-foot hose providing ample reach
  • Lightweight (6 pounds)
  • Can be used as a blower as well


  • The powerful suction gets the job done faster and more effectively
  • The filter system is very effective so fine dust does not escape into the air
  • It can be used both for sucking and blowing which saves money on buying a blower
  • Impressively lightweight yet it has a satisfactory storage tank capacity
  • The power cord length allows more movement
  • It is a good substitute for the bigger and more expensive vacuums


  • Customers think it needs to come with more accessories

Shop-Vac 5872700 Heavy Duty Portable Wet & Dry Vac

Shop-Vac 5872700

Editor Rating:

The focus of this shop vac is its portability. It is lightweight and easy to carry around. Its top handle gives it good balance of its overall weight and the suction power is good.

It has not received a lot of reviews from customers but it does have features that make it stand out as one of the best portable shop vacs. It comes with useful accessory tools which include a wall bracket for easy storage. Its filter system is good for both debris and fine dust and it easily sucks up liquid. For heavy duty vacuuming in a short time, this shop vac will deliver and the few reviews it has received confirm that it performs well.

Key Features

  • 5-gallon capacity tank
  • Wet and dry vacuuming
  • Quiet operation
  • Strong suction from 5.5 peak horsepower motor
  • Doubles as a blower
  • Attachment tools include wall brace, crevice tool, removable filter, 7-foot wand and squeegee


  • It is a heavy duty portable vacuum that competes even with more expensive home vacuums
  • This shop vac is not as noisy as many of the other models
  • It has pretty impressive suction that cleans up places quickly
  • The wall brace makes it easy to store
  • Well balanced weight with a firm grip handle
  • It is easy to operate and maintain
  • It is fairly priced at under 100 dollars.


  • The horse is not very long which makes it hard to reach some places, you need to substitute it for a longer one that is compatible.

Shop-Vac 9991910 Hippo Portable Industrial Handheld Vacuum

Shop-Vac 9991910

Editor Rating:

A number of customer reviews on amazon recommend this portable shop vac for cleaning the car. It is a handheld vac that makes it easy to reach corners and crevices that may be neglected when using other types of vacuums. It also does a good job on worktops or in a bar, betting rid of spills or sucking up tiny particles of glass. 

It can very easily be switched for use as a blower and the strap it comes with to hang on the shoulder makes using it even easier. It comes with one of the longest power cords, along with other necessary accessories. Its filter system ensures that the air that comes out is clean.

Key Features

  • Long 35-foot power cord
  • Strong suction provided by a 1.5 peak horsepower motor
  • Accessory tools that include a 6-foot hose, crevice tool, extension wand, secondary filter, disposable collection bag and round brush
  • Can serve as a blower
  • Lightweight at 8.7 pounds with shoulder strap for better portability
  • Noise level of 75 decibels


  • The long power cord gives you a lot more freedom than many other portable Shop Vacs
  • It is reasonably quiet at 75 decibels
  • Its design makes it easy to use for cars and workshops
  • It has a number of accessories that come in handy
  • Handles both wet and dry vacuuming very easily
  • Strong suction


  • It feels as if the weight is not well balanced unless you wear the shoulder strap and the power button is not easily accessible if you have short fingers.

Shop-Vac 5860210 Portable Right Stuff Wet/Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5860210

Editor Rating

If you are looking for power in a small package, then this is it. Despite its small size, it is able to do a great job of sucking up debris and fine dust and when you want to blow away leaves, you just have to switch the hose to the back and then use it as a blower. 

The handle is on the top like most of the portable shop vacs on this list and the power button is easy to reach. It comes with an easy to clean filter and it is quite durable according to people who have used it. Considering it is very good, its price is more than fair.

Key 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
  • It is quite loud, one of the loudest best portable shop vac, but at least it is powerful

Final Verdict

The shop vacs in this list are evidence that small does not mean the power will be low. All the five best portable shop vacs deliver very good suction and ensure that your surfaces are left dirt free as well as free of spills. When making the choice from any of these, you can be sure you will get a reliable portable shop vac. Simply compare the features of these shop vacs and decide which one best suits your needs.

Andy Evans

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