Favorite Shop Vac

Ive searched the archives for info on shop vacs and was surprised to find zilch. Im going to replace an 10+ year old 5 gallon Shop Vac. It does the job but I know there are better ones that are quieter, stronger vacuum, less dusty, larger hose (>1.5") and easier to clean/better filter systems. I don’t need a full shop “system” just another similar shop vac but a bit larger- maybe a 20 gallon or so. What brands do you guys like?

No more loud shop vacs from Home Depot or Sears for me I going all out in my next shop this summer. Bosch! The $500 dollar one that only runs when my attached planer or other tool is running. I think Fein makes one as well. I have seen the Bosch in use; Quiet, trouble free and only comes on when you click the trigger on that Skil. Not gonna waste my money on anything else.

I use a “Sidamo” (italian semi-industrial vacuum cleaners) and it’s connected to the Skill 100 through this plug:

It works fine. The vacuum starts a few seconds after the planer trigger is pulled and it stops a few seconds after the trigger is released. The system is OK although it fills up quite fast: one longboard is all it takes to fill up the tank. Thinking about “McGyvering” (thanks John for the word) something to make it hold some more…

hi balsa hook up another tank to the vaccum

you have the hose go into middle and out the top to the vacuum

i have one and you have a roll of endless plastic bag tube at the bottom

its attached and acts as the bottom of tank

the shit falls through the bottom of the tank into the bag and you tie it off when you turn off the vac

and you use two garbage ties

or simply use a tank and a lid at the top

i vote for nilfisk alto as the best vac i use them for concrete polishing. self cleaning filter

I like that fine Italian piece Balsa. Im guessing it can probably take more amps than this craftsman which is supposed to work pretty well though for $20.


No kidding. I think some of those put out more db’s than the planer unless you’re going across the stringer. I was hoping Swaylockers could point me to something out of the $500 dollar range. Seems like all of the really good stuff like the Alto Wap Attix 8 is $500.


Pretty sweet- has a soft on so it doesn’t blow fuses, super suction, a remote switch, and relatively low dbs. Fein makes some good stuff too. At $500 Im thinking about getting better earplugs though and now maybe an actual system for $139 from sears. At that price, if its loud as hell I’ll mount it outside.

Came across this sanding table. It would be really easy to make something like this for grinding fins.


It’s more or less like the one in the middle:


Could you please post a photo or sketch of your set-up, Silly? I am very interested.

This (the best shop vac)

to this

Slick bucket system. Does it really capture the fine dust?

What brand of vacuum is that?

That one reminds me of something we used when I was a beekeeper. If someone called with bees in their walls or wherever we would vacuum them up, take them home and add them to one of our other hives.

More cheap labor!

Just picture a special hive box with intake and output ports for the hoses. The output port had a fine mesh screen over it so the bees didn’t get sucked right through in to the hose and vacuum. We used big plugs to close the ports after the vacuum was disconnected.

I suspect if you used a piece of scotchbrite or some other type of ‘filter’ you could determine the size of particles allowed through. The finer the filter the faster it clogs.

I’m not sure how that Oneida cyclone separator would work for super light eps dust. But they work perfect for any wood and heavier foam dust.

hi balsa just similar to the seperator shown but its suspended and there is a bag that fits on the bottom of the tank

only the bag is endless tube and you hook/tape it over the bottom of the tank and tie it off at the bag size you require. when its full you unhook it from the bottom of the tank and tie it off

cut it with a knife and hook up new section of tube

go the alto if you can afford it its the only Small vac that does the job (concrete) smoothly and trouble free

the patented self purging filter is what sets it apart and its reasonably quiet

A Fein

I did a search for “shop vac” and got 122 hits…it took me a while to figure out the the search function…

Five complete boards per year plus lots of repairs and glass jobs for friends…less than $100 for shop vac…not the greatest set up…