WetDry Vacs were popularized by Shop-Vac in 1953, which is why most people call a WetDry Vac of any brand a “Shop Vac.” Because of Shop-Vac’s success in the 20th century onwards, many other companies began producing WetDry Vacs as well.
As a result, countless WetDry Vac options litter the market, making it difficult to discern the good models from the duds, especially if you’re looking for options under $100.
To make the process easier, we have created this comprehensive round-up of the best WetDry Vacs today. In this article, we offer reviews for the top 10 models and provide a Buyer’s Guide for added convenience. Let’s get started.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum||
|Shop-Vac 5989300 Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum||
|Stanley SL18116P Wet Dry Vacuum||
|DeWALT DXV09P Poly Wet/Dry Vac||
|Vacmaster VQ607SFD Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum||
The 10 Best WetDry Vacs under $100 – Reviews 2021
1. Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum – Best Overall
The Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum is a medium-sized WetDry Vac, providing both a powerful and portable model. We have named this product our Best Overall pick because it offers the best of both worlds in terms of performance and portability.
The 5 peak horsepower motor with a 12-gallon capacity places this model firmly in the medium-sized WetDry Vac category. This allows the model to be both powerful and portable, allowing you to get your money’s worth for this product.
Additionally, the VBV1210 comes with a 19-foot cleaning reach with a hose and power cord. This makes the model more useful and easier to use in hard to reach places. The model also comes with a secure fit hose, two extension cords, a car nozzle, concentrator nozzle, blower adapter, and more. It even features an accessory storage to store the accessories in one place.
The only possible downside of this model is that the motor is prone to breakage after a while, which can be aggravating and require you to purchase a new model.
2. Shop-Vac 5989300 Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum
The runner-up for best WetDry Vac is the Shop-Vac 5989300 Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum. Since Shop-Vac is responsible for the popularity of WetDry Vacs, it is no surprise that one of their models is featured on this list. This specific product is very powerful and ultra-portable.
Notably, the Shop-Vac features a 4.5 peak horsepower motor and a 5-gallon capacity. This horsepower solidly places the product within the medium power range of WetDry Vacs, meaning that it is powerful. At the same time though, this model is also highly portable.
Additionally, the vacuum comes with a variety of accessories, including a 7-foot hose, 3 extension cords, a crevice tool, a gulper nozzle, a floor nozzle, a cartridge filter, a foam sleeve, and a filter bag. This ensures that your product fills all of your WetDry Vac needs.
The only reason why we have named this product number 2 on our list, as opposed to number 1, is that it has a smaller capacity, which increases portability but will require you to dump out the tank more often.
3. Stanley SL18116P Wet Dry Vacuum
If you are looking for a highly portable option, then you will be interested in the Stanley SL18116P Wet Dry Vacuum. This product is easy to use and on the smaller side, making it perfect for those with minimal storage or who require a more portable product.
The Stanley SL18116P features a 4 peak horsepower motor with a 6-gallon tank capacity. These specs allow this product to classify as a small-sized WetDry Vac, making it easier to store and carry around.
Like the previous two options, this model comes with additional features. More specifically, it offers a 6-foot hose, 10-foot power cord, extension cords, floor nozzles, and more. These features ensure that the product satisfies all of your needs and wants.
With that being said, the SL18116P comes with some downsides as well. Notably, the smaller size means that it is not suitable for more heavy-duty jobs. Additionally, this small tank capacity will require you to dump out the waste more frequently.
4. DeWALT DXV09P Poly Wet/Dry Vac
The DeWALT DXV09P Poly Wet/Dry Vac is another great WetDry Vac to check out. This model is great for medium- to large-sized messes thanks to its horsepower and large tank capacity. More so, it comes with additional features that are much more useful than some of the other options on this list.
Most notably, the vacuum comes with a 5 peak horsepower motor and a 9-gallon tank capacity. Together, these two features make this product suitable for most home and personal messes. This fact is amplified through a built-in blower port, which is designed to blow sawdust and other small debris.
The DXV09P is made with durable castors, which allow smooth swiveling for transportation. It also comes with other accessories, as well as a built-in accessory storage bag for convenience and organization.
The only downside of this model is that it is on the larger side. This is great for big messes, but it makes it more difficult to transport and store. If you have minimal storage space or difficulty transporting products, then this isn’t the option for you.
5. Vacmaster VQ607SFD Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
The next WetDry Vac on our list is the Vacmaster VQ607SFD Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum. This product offers you both power and portability, making it perfect for those who need a WetDry Vac for versatile use.
As for the features, the VQ607SFD comes with a 6-gallon stainless steel tank and a 3 peak horsepower motor. These features allow the WetDry Vac to carry a good amount of waste without being too bulky and heavy.
Additionally, this product comes with helpful features. For example, the Vacmaster comes with an on-board accessory storage, dust-sealed switch, and locking hose. These features will make this model more efficient and user-friendly.
However, there is a big downside to this product. A 3-horsepower motor is not very strong considering its larger tank capacity. As a result, this model is not very strong in terms of suction power.
6. TACKLIFE PVC01A Wet/Dry Vacuum
The TACKLIFE PVC01A Wet/Dry Vacuum Is a heavy-duty model with a decent storage capacity. This product is suitable for more heavy-duty purposes, such as in a shop, garage, basement, van, and more.
Importantly, TACKLIFE PVC01A includes a 5.5 peak horsepower motor with a 5-gallon storage capacity. This makes this model very heavy-duty and suitable for a variety of purposes, including bigger spills and messes.
This product also has a 3-in-1 design, which allows it to vacuum debris, vacuum liquids, and function as a blower. This makes the model highly versatile and functional, as well as makes it an ideal choice for areas prone to a variety of messes, like a garage.
The main drawback of this model is that it is much bulkier due to its large tank capacity and motor. As a result, you will need to have enough space to store this item when not in use. Additionally, the PVC01A is made from less than durable materials, meaning that it breaks easily.
7. Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet/Dry Vacuum
Another notable WetDry Vac is the Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet/Dry Vacuum. This model is a small-sized option, making it perfect for those who need a portable or highly compact model.
The PCX18301-4B with a 4-horsepower motor and a 4-gallon tank capacity. These features make this model on the smaller side, which is convenient for those strapped on space. Additionally, the model comes with wheels and a heavy handle, making it even more portable.
More so, the vacuum has a wide stainless steel base. This prevents the model from tipping over, which is a relatively common problem for many WetDry Vacs. as a result, you’ll be able to use this option with fewer hiccups.
However, the small tank capacity will require you to empty the tank more frequently if you plan to use the model for bigger tasks. Additionally, this model comes with fewer accessories than other items on this list, making it less accessible for difficult messes or spaces.
8. Wagan 750 Wet and Dry Ultra Vac
If you are looking for an extremely portable WetDry Vac, then you may be interested in the Wagan 750 Wet and Dry Ultra Vac. This model features a 12-volt vacuum and 1-gallon tank, making it great for on the go cleanups.
This product works by plugging into your car’s cigarette lighter socket. For this reason, the Wagan 750 is a great option if you are looking for a WetDry Vac for your car. Since it is so small, you can easily keep it in your back seat or trunk.
Unfortunately, that’s all the positives we can say about this model. Since it is so small, you will have to empty out the tank extremely frequently. Additionally, the cigarette lighter socket power source is helpful if you want to clean your car, but it is not useful for any other cleaning scenario.
Additionally, the low power makes the Wagan 750 Wet and Dry Ultra Vac not suited for many jobs. This model provides low suction and blow power, meaning it is only suitable for extremely light clean up and messes.
9. Craftsman 12004 Wet/Dry Vac
The second to last WetDry Vac on our list is the Craftsman 12004 Wet/Dry Vac. This model is a durable, yet small option, making it great for light clean up and messes around the house. It features a 3 peak horsepower motor with a 6-gallon tank capacity.
More so, this model has over a 17-foot cleaning reach, making it easier to reach far away spots. It also includes a large dust-sealed on/off switch, top carry handle, and blower conversion. These features make it more versatile and user-friendly.
There are some downsides to this model as well. For example, the 3-horsepower motor is very weak. This makes the Craftsman 12004 Wet/Dry Vac unsuitable for medium- to large-sized messes and cleanups.
Additionally, this model comes with fewer accessories than other options on this list. This is not a big deal, except for the fact that this model is about the same price as the other options that offer more features.
10. WORKSHOP WS0255VA Wet/Dry Vacs
Finally, the last WetDry Vac on our list is the WORKSHOP WS0244VA Wet/Dry Vacs. This option features a 1.75 peak horsepower motor and 2.5-gallon tank capacity. These specs make it highly transportable and storable. It also comes with a stable bottom, preventing it from falling, and additional accessories.
Unfortunately, there are more cons to this product than pros. Most notably, both the horsepower and tank capacity are incredibly low. As a result, this WetDry Vac is only suitable for extremely lightweight cleaning purposes. At the same time, you will need to dump out the tank frequently.
On top of the low power and storage, the cord is extremely short, and the hose is stiff. As a result, it can be difficult to reach faraway places with this model, despite its portability.
Even though any one of the WetDry Vacs on our list is suitable for most purposes, it is important to do your own research before spending your valuable money on a model. This Buyer’s Guide is designed to help you make an informed and educated decision on which WetDry Vac is best for you.
Ask Yourself These Questions
Before looking at any models, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
- How often will I use it?
- What will I use it for?
- Where will I store it?
- What special features do I want?
Asking yourself these questions will give you a better idea of what you want before you even start your WetDry Vac hunt.
Factors to Consider When Buying A WetDry Vac
Horsepower indicates suctioning power, meaning that it tells you the strength of the WetDry Vac. The more horsepower a model has, the stronger it will be. Of course, the more powerful a model is, the more expensive it will be as well. If you don’t need high suctioning powers, then it may be in your best interest to select a model with lower horsepower since it will be more affordable.
|Low (1-4.5 HP)||Light cleaning tasks|
|Medium (5-6 HP)||Indoor and outdoor cleaning|
|High (6+ HP)||commercial indoor and outdoor cleaning|
A WetDry Vac’s tank capacity measures how much the tank can hold before it needs to be emptied out. If you intend to use your WetDry Vac for heavy-duty purposes, then you will need a model with a larger tank capacity. Like horsepower, a larger tank capacity will result in a more expensive price tag.
|Tank Capacity||Best For||Drawbacks|
|Small (2-6-gallons)||Minimum storage space
Light cleaning tasks
|Will need to be emptied often|
|Medium (8-14-gallons)||Some storage space
Indoor and outdoor cleaning
|Not suitable for commercial use|
|Large (14-18-gallons)||Ample storage
Heavy-duty or commercial use
|Bulky and difficult to move or store|
Portability and Storage
Some people need to move their WetDry Vac around often. If you expect to be one of these people, then you will want to select a highly portable model. Look for options with a small tank, on body placement for attachments, and storage features.
Additionally, large WetDry Vacs can be difficult for storage purposes. If you do not have a lot of areas to store a large model, then look for a product with a small tank to increase storage abilities.
Many WetDry Vac options come with special attachments, but you may need to purchase other attachments separately. Here are some of the most useful attachments for WetDry Vacs:
- Nozzles for cleanup aid
- Wider hose
- Extension wands
- Extension cords
- Dust bags
- Upholstery brushes
Do I need a WetDry Vac?
A WetDry Vac is highly useful since it can suction up both wet and dry messes. This makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor uses, increasing the versatility of the tool. If you often find yourself requiring a vacuum for wet messes, dry messes, or both, then you certainly need a WetDry Vac.
Can I pull a WetDry Vac by the hose?
Even though pulling a WetDry Vac by the hose is not particularly dangerous, you should not do so. pulling on the hose can tip over the WetDry Vac, potentially knocking over other items or spilling the storage tank. Additionally, it could damage the WetDry Vac.
What is more important: portability or power?
Depending on your preferences and intended use for the WetDry Vac, either portability or power could be more important to you. If you intend to use your WetDry Vac around the house or in the yard, then you might opt for a more portable option, sacrificing some of the power.
On the other hand, you may want to sacrifice portability if you intend to use your WetDry Vac for commercial or heavy-duty use.
All around, the questions offered at the beginning of the Buyer’s Guide will help you to determine which factors are the most important for your WetDry Vac.
After considering our various reviews and Buyer’s Guide, we recommend the Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum because it is the most powerful option on this list while still offering a large tank capacity.
If you are looking for something more affordable, then we recommend the Shop-Vac 5989300 Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum. Although it has a smaller tank capacity than our top pick, it is still highly powerful and worth the money.
We hope that this roundup has made the process of selecting a WetDry Vac under $100 easier, as well as made you more informed on how to select the best model for you.
Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.
As the founder of House Grail, David’s primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- 2 The 10 Best WetDry Vacs under $100 – Reviews 2021
- 2.1 1. Vacmaster VBV1210 Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Shop-Vac 5989300 Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum
- 2.3 3. Stanley SL18116P Wet Dry Vacuum
- 2.4 4. DeWALT DXV09P Poly Wet/Dry Vac
- 2.5 5. Vacmaster VQ607SFD Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
- 2.6 6. TACKLIFE PVC01A Wet/Dry Vacuum
- 2.7 7. Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet/Dry Vacuum
- 2.8 8. Wagan 750 Wet and Dry Ultra Vac
- 2.9 9. Craftsman 12004 Wet/Dry Vac
- 2.10 10. WORKSHOP WS0255VA Wet/Dry Vacs
- 3 Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Conclusion