The shop vac is a must-have item for anyone, whether they’re plumbers, handymen, or just looking to keep their workspace clean.
Even if you don’t have a particular job or hobby, it’s always satisfying to clean up a huge mess very quickly.
Shop vacs are typically quite expensive. In fact, some shop vacs can cost up to $500! Our research helped you find the best shop vac under 100 for those who do not have that kind of money.
All the shop vacs listed here provide you with the most powerful and efficient tools to withstand a wide range of cleaning jobs.
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Top 3 Best Shop Vac Under 100 Comparison Table
Top 10 Best Shop Vac Under 100 [Expert Reviews & Buying Guide 2023]
1. Stanley 6 Gallon, 4 Horsepower Wet/Dry Shop Vac
You might wonder why this particular shop vac is at the top of our list.
Let me tell you this professional shop vac offers the same functionality as the commercial model.
That is why it’s one of the best shop vac under $100.
You’ve probably heard of Stanley when it comes to the best shop vac for drywall dust. There are so many reasons to choose Stanley, from a wide selection of shop vacs. Almost 200 years of experience means they know what works.
You won’t find a cheap but decently priced shop vac that comes with so many accessories. Stanley – SL18116P Wet/Dry Vacuum is the best inexpensive wet/dry vac in the top 10 list.
The same shop vac can be bought in slightly stronger or weaker configurations, in addition to combo sets that can include blade sets, extension cords, pipe clamps, combination squares, and variable angle strap clamps.
This shop vac may be cheap, but it can match the performance of the most expensive ones. The design of this shop vac is phenomenal, very user-friendly, and affordable, although it is incredibly cheap. There is no slipping or sticking. Other shop vacs might get stuck, but not this one.
All kinds of debris pass through it to the dirt tank. With a 6-gallon capacity, you can use it for quite a while without emptying it.
The unit is designed for both damp and dry pick-ups. It’s a great wet and dry vacuum that comes with a durable handle for easy carrying and a water-resistant on/off switch for quick and safe access. Stanley’s SL18115 provides superior performance in any environment and has a built-in power cord wrap.
The Stanley wet/dry vacuum cleaner does the same job as a bulky vacuum cleaner, but with a smaller footprint. This vacuum has excellent suction power, a large capacity, and good runtime, but it is even better because it is very portable.
Shop vacs with drainage plugs are an excellent option for handling large amounts of liquid or water.
- 6-gallon capacity and powerful suction
- Suitable for all surfaces
- Lightweight and has plenty of dirt capacity
- Can run for 300 hours at a time
- Includes drain plug for easy cleaning
- 1-year warranty
- Fairly large in size
- A bit noisy (80 decibels)
2. Vacmaster 5 Gallon, 3 HP Wet/Dry Shop Vac
Are you looking for the best shop vac for cleaning garage? Then check it out. You just can’t beat this price-friendly small vacuum cleaner! The compact size of this cleaner may make you doubt its capabilities.
However, once you get started, you’ll see how useful it really is!
At just 13.5 pounds, this shop vac is remarkably light. The 5-gallon bin also holds surprisingly large quantities and can be used to soak anything from sand to liquids.
The 18-foot power cord, additional 8-foot safety hose, and three extension cables allow you to clean virtually any surface that could use a thorough cleaning, be it indoors or outdoors.
Moreover, this shop vac comes with a feature known as “Safe Buoy”. If the bin is completely full of water and the motor is at risk, the unit will automatically turn off suction so that the motor can be protected.
You’ll still get above-average performance for an extremely low price even though this shop vac does not have single/washable filters that you’ll find in more expensive models.
Its feathery weight, large handle, and large wheels make it easy to transport. Before your next ride, clean the car seat with it. However, since the utility nozzle reaches deep into gaps, you might not need the crevice tool. This type of vacuum tends to clog up less and last longer.
It also comes with a noise diffuser that lets you work quietly. Sometimes, turning it on decreases its suction power. A vacuum is either noisy or sucking. We think almost every vacuum makes some noise. Vacmaster is known for its best wall mount shop vac, but this model is famous for its lightweight design.
Currently, it ranks among the best shop vacuums available. Because, it is relatively cheap, lightweight, takes up little space, and has enough suction for most jobs.
Its sturdy construction and outstanding cleaning results make it the best cheap shop vacuum.
- Compact size and lightweight design
- Wall-mountable for space-saving storage
- On-board accessories for convenience
- Dust-proof switch and locking hose
- Handle-mounted switch for easy control
- Low noise level and 5-year warranty
- No crevice tool included
- Reduced suction power due to noise minimization
- No wheels on the bottom for easy mobility
3. Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
Vacmaster’s VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum is one of the best inexpensive wet/dry vac. It also features powerful suction and portability.
Having a powerful and portable model makes this product worth your money.
The VBV1210 comes with a 19-foot extension cable and hose. Thus, you won’t have to change sockets frequently to reach around corners and into tight spaces.
This makes it ideal for difficult-to-reach areas. This package includes an extension cord, a car nozzle, a concentrator nozzle, a blower adapter, and more. All the best shop vac attachments are included in the package.
Vacuum cleaners like the Vacmaster VBV1210 provide an easy and fast way to clean your apartment of any accumulated mess. You can easily convert this versatile tool into a dry and wet vacuum as well as a blower.
In addition, the detachable blower is capable of 210 miles per hour (mph) of airflow. The manufacturer provides a 2-year warranty, ensuring total customer satisfaction.
A large drain port located on the 12-gallon tank will help you avoid clogs and remove wet debris from the plastic container. Dust seals extend the switch’s lifespan. The unit is easy to set up and switch between modes.
- 19-foot cleaning reach
- Detachable blower for easy conversion
- Comes with two extension wands
- Maximum blowing speed of 210mph
- Built-in top handle for better portability and stability
- Doesn’t work well on uneven surfaces to remove dust
- Heavy compared to many other models
4. Workshop WS-255VA 2.5 Gallon, 1.75 HP Wet/Dry Shop Vac
Workshop WS-255VA 2.5 Gallon is a small but powerful shop vac. It’s also one of the most portable shop vacs that you can buy for under $50.
A generous ten-foot power cord, a four-foot hose, and attachments make it easy to clean spills and messes around the house.
Wet/Dry Vac WS0244VA from Workshop features a 1.75-horsepower motor with a 2.5-gallon tank. These features make it highly portable and storable. In also comes with additional accessories.
This lightweight shop vacuum is so easy to pick up and move around, so you can clean it wherever you need it. It’s a great little shop vac to give your elderly parents or friends. It weighs barely over 7 pounds.
This is an extremely portable and lightweight shop vac that can handle minor messes. You can buy it for under $50, and it comes with accessories and is much lighter than most shop vacs.
In contrast to some of the other options we listed, this one clearly has an emphasis on portability, so you do lose out on a little bit of horsepower and gallon capacity.
- Lightweight (7 pounds) and affordable
- Compact size and surprising power
- Accessories included
- Ideal for small spaces, like RVs
- Easily transportable
- Less powerful than other shop vacuums
- Tank capacity is small
- Insufficient for most messes and cleanups
- Limited cord length
5. DeWALT DXV06P Poly Wet/Dry Vac
DeWALT DXV06P Poly Wet/Dry Vac is considered one of the best woodworking shop vacs. It is a compact, powerful and durable wet/dry vacuum from DeWALT! A 4 HP utility nozzle hovers on surfaces to pick up dirt. It doesn’t back down from any challenge, wet or dry.
The blower also blows leaves out of the way, ensuring a crunch-free path!
If you have a floor nozzle, switch it out for the crevice nozzle and clean your car with it. A 10-foot cord allows it to reach every nook and cranny while providing the same suction power. Don’t let all your food pieces accumulate in your car!
This vacuum’s hose is wider than most shop vacs available on the market. Even a small rock was taken in by its diameter of 1-7/8″ x 7′! I don’t do that very often, but the potential is evident! The drain allows you to drain out wet waste from the plastic container. Speaking of plastic containers: be sure to empty them often to avoid odors.
The DXV09P comes with durable castors that allow easy swiveling, as well as other accessories and a built-in accessory storage bag. This device has a few flaws, except for the fact that there is no storage for accessories. Whenever you need to replace them, just carry them once and put them beside you. No big deal.
Even though the price is high, it’s worth every penny. It’s durable, so you won’t need to buy vacuums repeatedly. Also, it’s one of the best vacuums under $100 because comes with 4 HP suction power, versatility, and mobility!
- High suction power
- Large capacity tank
- Accessories and bag included
- Heavy-duty shop vac
- Suitable for all surfaces
- Reach into crevices with a crevice tool
- Designed for portability and durability
- Difficult to transport and store
- No storage for accessories
- The lid has a loose fit
6. Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet/Dry Vacuum
The Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet/Dry Vacuum is the best shop vac with hepa filter. This is a small-sized model that is convenient for those who require a highly portable or compact model.
PCX18301-4B comes with a 4-horsepower motor and 4-gallon tank. Those with limited space will appreciate how small this model is. Additionally, it is portable thanks to wheels and a heavy handle.
It also features a stainless-steel base that is wide. As a result, the model does not tip over, which is a common problem with many Wet Dry Vacs. So, you’ll have fewer problems using this option.
Several accessories are included with this model, including an extension wand, foam filter, utility nozzle, crevice nozzle, floor nozzle, and dry filter reusable.
Additionally, the large, water-resistant tool is relatively easy to use. The stainless-steel construction makes it more durable than most other vacuums. Also, the machine’s powerful motor keeps particles from jamming the hose and is extremely quiet!
This product has a modest price and a lot of great features. Reviews indicate this is one of the best cheap shop vacuums.
You may need to empty the tank more frequently if you plan to use the model for larger jobs due to the small tank capacity. In addition, this model comes with fewer accessories than other products on our list, so it may be more challenging to use in difficult situations.
- Easy to transport and store with included wheels
- Non-slip stainless steel base
- Excellent suction power
- Multi-functional and user-friendly
- Simple to assemble
- Moderately quiet operation
- Water-resistant on/off switch
- Easy-to-lock hose connection
- Cannot handle large messes
- Fewer included accessories
- Lack of onboard tool storage
7. Shop-Vac 4.5 HP EZ Series Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner
Shop-Vac 5895400 is the best small shop vac in the list. You can use it to reverse the airflow as a leaf blower. In addition, the model has a drain for wet messes, allowing it to be cleaned thoroughly.
The Shop-Vac comes with three cleaning accessories: two extension wands, two wet pickup nozzles, and a crevice tool.
So, you will be able to clean multiple surfaces with a vacuum. Whether you are cleaning wet or dry surfaces, the versatile vacuum can remove different types of dirt so you can maintain a clean shop, office, or house quickly and efficiently.
When you clean with this vacuum on rollers, you can effortlessly move it to different places because of its ergonomic handle. Furthermore, it weighs only 13.6 pounds, making it easy to transport.
The stainless-steel material makes this wet dry vacuum stand out from other models. It prevents a bad smell from developing over time because different types of dirt are cleaned.
Also included are filters and a power cable that extends your reach significantly. It has a three-year manufacturer’s warranty and runs quietly, which makes it ideal for use indoors.
It is a reliable investment, especially if you’re looking for a vacuum that will remove standing water from carpets and pick up dust effectively. For more info go to how to dry wet carpet with baking soda post.
- Portable with handle and wheels
- Powerful 4.5 horsepower motor
- Ergonomic handle with built-in blower
- Compact and lightweight design
- Quiet motor with strong suction
- Can handle wet messes
- Long 18-foot power cord
- Noisy during operation
- Short power cable
- Complicated assembly process
- Hose occasionally kinks
8. Armor All Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum
It’s okay if you always want the interior of your car to look its best. You can trust the Armor All Wet/Dry Vacuum to provide the best results on any vehicle. Its suction power is just right for cleaning the seats.
With all the soft material embraced, they look like new!
When listening to music and eating while driving, we tend to leave bits of food behind. Cleaning the ones in your sight is easy, but the problem lies in the nooks and crannies between. When this happens, the flat design of the deluxe car nozzle comes to the rescue, ensuring all edges remain free from wet and dry dirt!
The benefits don’t end there. The dashboard and vents are also cleaned using the small detail brush. It’s great that you found someone as passionate about your car as you are! Is your garage near the house? If you have ever picked up a vacuum cleaner, this might feel like a feather. At just 7 pounds, it’s easily transportable.
You can dance during this cleaning session, as it won’t interrupt any of your music! An in-built air and noise diffuser dramatically reduces outside noise, so you can only hear your song.
You can also use it as a blower. After washing your bike or car, you have to get off it immediately, but… it’s wet! Then just connect the blower to the hose to dry the water and drive away in your freshly cleaned car!
This vacuum has plenty of additional benefits. With the hoses and accessory storage onboard, you can carry all the additional accessories outside without running back and forth.
You can use this vacuum to keep your car clean without spending a lot on professional services. Because of its 4.5 HP suction power and portability, this vacuum can clean more than just cars, bikes, trucks, and even RVs.
- Powerful suction
- Cleans the entire car
- Can dry vehicles after washing
- Compact and lightweight
- Quiet operation
- Small tank capacity
9. RIDGID 50313 4000RV Portable Wet Dry Vacuum
Are you’re looking for an easy-to-move vacuum that cleans immaculately? RIDGID 50313 is the best shop vac for cars.
Many professionals have used the RIDGID 50313 4000RV Portable Wet Dry Vacuum for high-quality cleaning.
This powerful vacuum has a suction rating of 5 HP, making it perfect for cleaning floors, cars, and even the garage. A 4-gallon tank is sufficient to collect enough dust after a single cleaning session.
The hose is well attached to the clip system, allowing more lengths without coming loose. Additionally, it is more flexible and durable than others, allowing you to reach difficult spots.
Additionally, it can be used on construction sites since it is well-built. It is lightweight despite being made of such sturdy material. This would be like bringing a baby to the cleaning area. Likewise, the small size makes it easy to store wherever you have room for it.
The Qwik Lock System lets you easily remove the filter, avoiding the hassle of having to take it out by hand.
What’s great about this system? It comes with a lifetime warranty! If it doesn’t meet your expectations, you can always replace it!
This vacuum cleaner is compact, durable, and has excellent suction power. You can use it to make any place speckles, and it is a great addition to any home.
- LED light in car nozzle
- 8 ft. long flexible hose
- Qwik-Lock filter for quick and easy changes
- Powerful suction
- Can collect a large amount of dirt and debris at once
- Durable and flexible hose
- Extra-long cord
- Unable to fit dust bag in filter
- Noisy operation
10. Craftsman 9-Gallon 4.5-Hp Portable Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
Craftsman’s 17590 vacuum is categorized as a medium-duty vacuum, making it the ideal choice for medium-sized projects around the house, in the garage, or on the job site. The company offers quality products at a fair price.
Though it has strong suction for indoors and outdoors, its blower is less powerful than the Vacmaster vacuum.
However, it is still a worthy purchase. You’ll get a more excellent vacuum out of the box than a standard vacuum. You can also clean a larger surface with the vacuum’s wider and larger hose.
The vacuum’s rear exhaust port makes it easy to blow debris out of your driveway and garage. Moreover, this model features an oversized integrated drain for convenient liquid emptying.
Craftsman vacuums feature a hose attached to the body and a power cord wrapped around the handle. Additionally, dust collection bags, extension wands, and wet nozzles are provided onboard the machine.
Your attachments will not take up much space. You can easily clean and replace the filters.
- Easy to replace filters
- Hose is attached to the body
- Large drain for easy liquid drainage
- Storage for accessories
- Provides excellent suction
- Doesn’t have an air diffuser
- Bulky with everything inside
- Poor quality filters
Buyer’s Guide For Best Shop Vacs Under $100
Our list of shop vacs is suitable for most applications, but we recommend that you do your own research before buying one. This Buyer’s Guide is intended to assist you in choosing the right product.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you choose a model:
- How often will I use this model?
- For what purpose?
- How will I store it?
- Do I need any special features?
1. Suction Power (Horsepower)
The horsepower figure is an indication of the suction power of the vacuum clear. More robust models will have more horsepower. Naturally, powerful models will also cost more. A model with a lower horsepower may be more affordable if you don’t require high suction power.
If you want your vacuum to be effective, make sure it has at least 2 HP suction power.
How to Choose the Right Horsepower:
- Light Cleaning (1-4-5 HP)
- Medium Indoor and Outdoor Cleaning (5-6 HP)
- Commercial Cleaning (6+ HP)
2. Capacity And Design Of Tanks
You can easily find models ranging in capacity from one gallon to twenty gallons. Whenever you fill it up with water, it will be harder to lift and move.
You should also note the material of the vacuum since it can be plastic or stainless steel. Stainless steel vacuums are good choices due to their durability. Nevertheless, a similar vacuum is likely to be heavier than its plastic counterpart.
Tank capacity and disadvantages:
- Low storage capacity (2-6 gallons) Needs frequent emptying.
- Moderate (5-8 gallons) Not suitable for commercial use.
- Heavy-duty (14-18 gallons) Bulky and difficult to store or move.
A messy accident can happen anywhere, anytime. A drink spill or a broken glass can never be predicted! When it comes to small mishaps like these, such a giant vacuum is impractical to carry around.
Therefore, a portable shop vac is essential.
A shop vac with wheels works best. But sometimes, that’s not the best option. We reviewed a few without wheels. Rather than tiny wheels, these models had hefty handles.
Shop vacs should be easy to move, regardless of whether they have a carrying handle or wheels. After all, they won’t be kept stationary for long. It will be difficult to use a shop vac without wheels and a handle.
4. Hose Length
You can clean a large area without interruptions with a longer hose. The shorter hose can only clean a certain distance. In contrast, shorter hoses are perfect for cleaning a small area.
5. Length Of The Power Cord
How long will your power cord be if you’re going to use this machine as a shop vac in the garage? Do you want to vacuum your car in the driveway? Make sure the cord is long enough to meet your needs.
For those of you living in an apartment or condo with limited space, retractable cords might be the best option. This feature is not found on most large machines.
When buying a machine with a higher capacity or an older home, check the amperage requirements. It’s better to plug your wet-dry into a dedicated circuit of 20 amps or to use the kitchen plug, which is usually on a higher-amp circuit.
6. Allergens And Dust
Normal vacuums cannot pick up fine particles. Therefore, the air is likely to be filled with allergens after vacuuming without a filter. It’s the vacuum exhaust that traps and disposes of dust and allergens from spilled things like flour.
Some vacuums do not filter out fine particles. It isn’t ideal to vacuum flour with the same model that you use for carpets and floors. You will have adequate pickup if you have an allergy HEPA filtration system.
You may need to purchase additional attachments separately if you choose the WetDry Vac models that come with special attachments. WetDry Vac attachments most often used:
- Wider hose
- Extension wands
- Extension cords
- Upholstery brushes
Is this machine suitable to vacuum an SUV’s interior? If so, you’ll need portable accessories. By using reverse airflow or a ‘blower’ feature, you can blow leaves off outdoor steps or vacuum wood shavings from inside your furniture-making project.
If you own a shop vac, you’ll find many more uses for it than you can currently think of – unless you have one already and know you can use it for all sorts of purposes, from the home to the garage to the car to vacations. Keeping in mind that these vacuums are made to last, it’s smart to consider what you may need in the future.
Note that: These machines are not designed to replace a standard vacuum cleaner.
9. Types of Messes
Sawdust: To clean up sawdust with a vacuum, you will need a heavy-duty model that has an ample debris container, good airflow, and good suction. It will be even better if the model comes with a special filter for fine dust.
Cleaning pet hair from carpeting: You will also need to consider storage space for the vacuum and its ability to effectively remove pet hair from carpets and rugs if you live in a condo. Using a good filter will provide dust control and portability.
10. Noise level
The noise level in an apartment is imperative when cleaning or maintaining it. Some shop vacs have noise reduction technologies to reduce the noise from the vacuum.
In case your vacuum does not come with insulated motors or mufflers. If it’s louder, you might consider ear protection, so you don’t disturb your neighbors. Also, you can use a shop vac noise reduction system.
Change the filters every time you switch modes. As an alternative to paper filters, you can use foam filters for water or other liquids. After vacuuming up liquid, empty the inside bucket and hose of the shop vac to keep it ready for next time. This will prevent stagnant water from building up.
What Is The Importance Of Shop Vacs To You?
There is no limit to the kinds of grime and dirt we can find in our surroundings. It’s endless- wine spills, cigarette ash, pet litter, food, and powder, among others!
You might think you don’t need anything more than your vacuum cleaner to keep your house clean. What about spills and messes involving liquids? Wet leaves, spilled drinks, or toilet paper mishaps!
Wet-dry vacuums are great if you have a lot of liquid mess. If you can get dry and liquid dirt with one vacuum, why not use it to your advantage?
And it doesn’t cost a lot of money. One best shop vac under 100 should meet your needs unless you want something for huge construction sites!
Advantages Of Different Models
a) Canister Shop Vac
There is a separate compartment for the motor and mess on these vacuums. Remove the wand and start cleaning. Their hose and canister are separated, so they can reach any corner and are usually agile. However, not all are lightweight.
b) Upright Shop Vac
A canister vacuum is generally considered the heavier cousin of a handheld vacuum. Powerhead and motor are in one compartment, making it easier to store. It is the only downside, however. If they do not have wheels, they might be hard to move.
c) Handheld Shop Vac
Many people love the cordless handheld wet/dry vacs! You can grab one and go anywhere. These vacs are great for making quick clean-ups when they occur—no more dragging your vacuum around the house for small crumbs!
How To Use Shop Vac Attachments For Car Detailing
Rather than include tons of recommendations, we listed a few of the best shop vac under 100 dollars that won’t break your bank.
Shop vacuums come in many different types today, ranging from small and portable models ideal for many various tasks; powerful units that can handle even the most tedious cleaning tasks.
While most of the shop vacs are available in various sizes, most of them can pick up liquid and dry materials efficiently. If you choose the right vacuum cleaner, you can use it in many places, such as homes, offices, worksites, garages, workshops, and cleaning car interiors.
The most important thing about a good vacuum is that it’s easy to use, cleans different messes, and is very quiet while in use. In our list, you’ll find all of these features and more. We hope that our shop vac reviews will guide you to the right vacuum for your needs.
Best Shop Vac Under 100 (FAQs)
What is more important: portability or power?
Your preferences and intended use may determine whether portability or power is more important than the other. You might choose a less powerful shop vac if you want to use it around the house or in the garden.
It may be better for you to sacrifice portability if your Shop-Vac is intended for heavy-duty or commercial purposes.
When should I clean or replace my filters?
It depends on how often you vacuum. Whenever you use your tanks, it’s best to empty them afterward. Additionally, shake your filters once a week to remove dust particles and wash them every three or four days.
It would help if you replaced the filters when the suction power drops. Before replacing the filters, make sure that the hose path is unobstructed. If not, get new filters and start cleaning again!
What size of debris does a Wet-Dry Vac pick up?
Different machines pick up different sizes of debris. Messes should fit inside the diameter of the hose. To avoid clogging, make sure the gunk you pick doesn’t exceed the width.
Can a wet-dry vacuum cleaner remove dust?
With a tank, a wet-dry vacuum can pick up liquid and large objects as well as dirt, debris, and dust from any surface. Wet-dry vacuums feature powerful suction and contain filters that capture dust while you vacuum.
Why won’t my wet/dry vac suck water?
A clogged air filter or exhaust filter may prevent a wet/dry vacuum from sucking water, according to the owner’s manual. With a flashlight, you can also see if the vacuum hose is clogged. Another thing you can do is to make sure it is straight.
Do shop vacuums work as blowers?
Shop vacuums can be used as blowers to clear leaves, empty dryer vents, and clean-out tools.
Once you remove the exhaust hose from the vacuum cleaner’s vacuum port, you will receive blowing action instead of sucking action when the cleaner is turned on.
Can you vacuum Glass with a wet/ dry shop vac?
When it comes to vacuuming, you have many mixed options. Glass is one of the most controversial items. Broken Glass may produce many shattered pieces.
You have to be very careful when cleaning these up to avoid getting cut. Most vacuums found in homes are not durable and resilient enough to clean the Glass well. If the glass shards get inside the motor, it could cause damage.
When it comes to wet-dry shop vacuums, they can handle more challenging items such as Glass and nails, and you can use them to clean up the Glass without damaging the motor or other parts of the machine.
Perry is a certified professional housekeeper and cleaning specialist with over 15 years of experience. She has worked in a variety of settings, including homes, offices, and hospitals. Her focus is on providing thorough, professional cleaning that meets specific needs.