Best Small Shop Vac

5 Best Small Shop Vac - Buying Guide & Reviews


A number of people prefer a small shop vac because they have strong suction but are easy to carry around. If for example a glass of milk spills, there is no reason to look for a big vacuum to attend to suck a mess. Small shop vacs are easy to store nearby so for on the spot cleanups, they are a good choice.

This guide is a compilation of the products that have received the best reviews and that meet the general criteria for categorizing a shop vac as being among the best. If you are totally new to the world of shop vacs, you will find a number of helpful tips about these efficient gadgets and you should be able to find one that you will be happy with once you put it to the test.

5 Best Small Shop Vac Comparison

How To Choose The Best Small Shop Vac


Obviously, when you purchase a small shop vac, you are expecting it to carry out a good job and without taking it home to try it out, you can still judge its performance. The major issue is its suction power. Most people will look at the horsepower rating to judge the performance of the shop vac but you can also consider the following:

  • Experts recommend checking the sealed pressure (SP) which determines how well it sucks liquid. Look for a rating of above 75
  • The air flow or air watts which determine how well it can suck debris like nuts and bolts
  • Also, check the CFM (Cubit Feet per Minute)


The filters determine how well the shop vac will handle dust or debris as well as liquid. If you get one with the wrong filter you could end up with dust escaping into the air causing allergies or it could fail to effectively handle wet suction. Here is a guide on filters as offered by experts.

  • HEPA filters are good if you or anyone that will be around during vacuuming has any allergies
  • Foam sleeves are good for wet vacuuming
  • When dealing with fine dust, ensure the filter is designed especially for fine dust.


The reason most consumers go for a small vac is because they are thinking of portability as well as storage. Small shop vacs come in different shapes and sizes even though they are all small. You need to find one that will fit into the storage space you have as well as one you will consider light enough to carry. It is also important that you consider its capacity. How much debris can it contain and will that be enough for the intended tasks you will be performing? The small shop vac is for simple cleanups so do not expect more than 5-gallon capacity.


Take into consideration what you will be using a small shop vac for and then imagine what tools you would need the shop vac to come with. You may need to clean tight spaces, brush a carpet in the car or reach a space that is higher than your reach. Some of the accessories you should look out for include:

  • Hose
  • Crevice tool
  • Extension wand
  • Replacement filters
  • Collection bag
  • Brush
  • Wet and dry filter

Do not, however, choose one just because it comes with many accessories yet you may never use or need them. Storing them will become a burden.

Added functionality

While the most important task the shop vac will perform is suction, cleanup at times stretches to blowing so it would be good to have a shop vac that can also blow debris. This can come in handy if there are leaves just outside your garage and you would like to quickly push them away or if you want to blow dust off the other tools in your workshop. It is always good to have a shop vac with more than just one function.

Other Considerations

  • Take into account your budget and if the small shop vac fits into that
  • The amount of noise it makes should be a level you can handle
  • Durability is important as replacement would mean spending more money
  • Consider how easy it is to maintain, for example, are the filters washable.

Recommended 5 Best Small Shop Vac Reviews

Shop-Vac 5870400 All Around Wet/Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5870400

Editor Rating:

This is like a miniature version of the full-sized regular vacuum. It gives you the suction power of a regular vacuum but combines it with the portability of a handheld vacuum. Many of the consumers who give this a 5-star rating indicate that they actually use it for all their vacuuming around the house as well as at the workshop. 

Its 4-gallon tank is enough capacity to store debris from a complete vacuuming job of your workshop. It comes with all the accessories you will need as well as filters for wet and dry cleaning. You also have the option to use the top carry handle or to drag it around using the wheels. It also has the longest cord of all the small shop vac on this list.

Key Features

  • 18-foot power cord providing ample mobility
  • 4.5 peak horsepower for strong suction
  • 4-gallon capacity tank
  • Variety of attachment tools for different surfaces (Crevice tool, brush, gulper nozzle, extension wands and more)
  • Dust and debris blower
  • 4 wheels for easy mobility
  • Top handle
  • Easy reach on/off switch
  • Wet/dry filter


  • The long power cord provides easy mobility
  • The wheels make it easy to move around without scratching the bottom even if you are not carrying it
  • A number of accessory tools which makes it possible to use it for different cleaning purposes
  • Powerful suction
  • Easy to drain the tank with the easy release lid
  • Fairly priced


  • The handle is not comfortable for long use
Shop-Vac 5872410

Editor Rating:

 It is a very portable unit that you can take anywhere you want to clean right from the workshop to the house and it will suck up any debris with ease. It is also relatively quiet in comparison to a number of other small shop vacs.

It allows for easy and convenient free movement thanks to its long cord and it stands steadily on the ground without any risk of it tipping over. It comes with useful accessories and can be used for suction or blowing. It also is able to handle both wet and dry vacuuming.

Key Features

  • 5.5 peak horsepower suction
  • 5-gallon capacity
  • 20-foot cord length
  • On board cord wrap
  • 1.5 hose diameter
  • 7-foot hose length
  • Disposable collection bag
  • Wet and dry filter
  • Top handle
  • Lightweight
  • Onboard storage for hose


  • It has powerful suction along with hose diameter which gets cleaning done very fast
  • It can be used as a blower so no need to spend on buying a blower separately
  • The long cord means you can reach more places easily
  • It is very easy to carry around as the handle is comfortable with firm grip
  • Storage is easy since it has onboard wrap for the cord and storage for the hose
  • It comes with useful tools


  • There is no wand so you need to bend when vacuuming the floor.
Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro

Editor Rating:

If you worry about having to carry around a heavy vacuum while doing quick cleanups, then this would be ideal for you as it is quite small and light and very easy to carry around and use. It is also designed to be stored neatly on the wall but do not let its size fool you. The Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro is quite powerful and it will quickly suck up wet or dry messes. It is built to last thanks to its hard durable plastic that can withstand a fall.

The manufacturers took care of the risk of it overflowing when full by installing automatic shut off. For its size and price, it is very impressive when it comes to performance.

Key Features

  • Weighs 6 pounds
  • Tank capacity 1 gallon
  • 6-foot cord
  • 1 peak Horsepower
  • Made from durable plastic
  • Wall bracket for easy storage
  • Wet and dry pick up
  • Disposable filter
  • Foldable top handle
  • Auto shut off when full


  • Small size makes it one of the most portable best small shop vac you can find
  • It is easy to store thanks to its size as well as the wall bracket
  • It automatically shuts off when full, while wet vacuuming
  • Dent proof plastic makes it durable
  • Foldable handle makes it easy to store
  • The tool bag keeps tools handy


  • The 6-foot cord limits movement
Shop-Vac 2030100

Editor Rating:

This is like the bigger brother of the Shop-Vac Micro. It is slightly bigger that it but still maintains a compact nature and it is light weight. It is a high performer with more accessories than then micro. The 2030100 can be mounted on the wall for safe storage and it is made from durable plastic. 

It is best suited for workshop table cleanups and the cars but if you want to clean messes on the floor you need to be ready to do some bending or kneeling. This Shop Vac comes with a 2-year manufacturer warranty.

Key Features

  • 2 peak horsepower motor for ample suction
  • 1.5-gallon capacity tank to handle quick jobs in the workshop, garage and around the house
  • Foldable handle for portability and easy storage
  • Wall bracket for neat and space-efficient storage
  • Built-in hose and tool holder
  • Light 5.6 pounds weight
  • Dry and wet filter
  • Versatile accessories
  • Sucks and blows air
  • Reusable disc filter and foam sleeve
  • 4 feet lock on hose


  • It is light weight and portable
  • Easy to store away whether on the wall or on a shelf in a workshop
  • Powerful suction
  • It does not make a lot of noise
  • Reasonably priced
  • It has onboard storage for the hose and other tools
  • It does not tip over easily


  • The 6-foot cord should have been a bit longer
Shop-Vac 1.5 All Around EZ

Editor Rating:

The trademark name All Around describes the capability of this small shop vac. It is able to perform any task around the home, the workshop, the car and office. It is simply like a normal vacuum cleaner only that it can serve as a handheld vac or you can put it on the ground and just use the wheels to move around. 

It has a powerful mortar that enables it to suck up any type of debris and the filters allow it to suck both wet and dry. It is made safe so that there is no threat of overflow while vacuuming wet messes. You can even use it for draining the sink or unclogging it. The tank capacity of 1.5 gallons is adequate and a long cord allows free movement over a wide radius. It comes with a number of accessories that make it versatile.

Key Features

  • 18-foot cord for wider radius
  • 1.5-gallon tank
  • Powerful 2.0 peak horsepower mortar
  • Variety of accessory tools including 2 wands, crevice tool, dual surface selector nozzle and filters
  • Onboard tool storage
  • Disposable filter bag
  • Top carry handle with easy reach on/off switch
  • 4 wheels for mobility
  • Quick wet and dry vacuuming


  • There is no vacuuming task it cannot handle
  • It has a long hose and cord which make mobility and reach easier
  • It can automatically shut off when the tank is full
  • High performance yet reasonably priced
  • It is quiet
  • The unit is easy to carry around or drag using the handle or the wheels
  • This small shop vac has all the tools you need for a complete clean up


  • Some customers complain that having to use a bag is a burden and some of the space is taken up by the motor.

Final Verdict

Shop-Vac has made a name for itself by producing quality wet/dry vacuums. When it comes to the best small shop vac, we have taken into consideration the major things that people would look at when making a choice and these top 5 have proved they are the best. If you are looking at having just one vacuum that can do everything, the All Around would be the perfect choice while if you want a very handy vac, then the micro is the best choice. In the end, it is up to you to decide what suits you best and then make a choice from these 5 top rated small shop vacs.

Andy Evans

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