Best Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners Buyer’s Guide

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Wet and dry vacuum cleaners are any DIY enthusiast’s best friend! They’ll make your standard vacuum look like it needs to pull its finger out, with their power and versatility in the jobs that they can complete. The main difference between a standard vacuum cleaner and a wet and dry vacuum cleaner is that the latter can clear up many more messes than a standard vacuum cleaner will be able to! This means that if you are completing jobs around the home, or in a workshop, you will be able to leave the area squeaky clean – no matter the mess that you make.

Best Pick – Wet and Dry Vacuum

Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Bagless 20ltr Industrial 1400w 230v Stainless Steel Power
23 Reviews
Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Bagless 20ltr Industrial 1400w 230v Stainless Steel Power
  • Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Blower 1400W 20L 230v Stainless Steel Industrial New

Our article will cover everything from why you need a DIY vac (wet and dry vacuum cleaner) to the different features to look out for when trying to make your purchase.

Only Got 5 Minutes?

If you are sick of the time consuming task of trying to clean up  different messes by hand every time you complete DIY jobs, or maybe you’re sick of getting a telling off for the mess created every time you do jobs around the home! This part of our buyer’s guide holds the key to all that crucial information needed to purchase a wet and dry vacuum cleaner as soon as possible! You’ll soon be ready to clean up all of that mess!

What Can A Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Do?

The first thing we really need to consider is why a wet and dry vacuum cleaner is so much better than a standard vacuum cleaner. If you already have a normal vacuum cleaner, it can be difficult to justify the cost of buying one of these amazing machines, so we understand you need to know that the tool is going to be ready to work for its money!

A wet and dry vacuum cleaner will be able to work with many materials and substances that would end the life of your normal vacuum cleaner, such as;

  • DIY dust
  • Wet messes
  • Broken glass
  • Building debris
  • Some can even unblock drains
  • And much, much more!

Features to Look Out For

There are some main features of wet and dry vacuum cleaners that you will need to consider before making your purchase. We have provided you with details of these below to help make your purchase easier.

Reach

The reach will involve not just the hose but, of course, the wire length and tube adaptors as well. It is important to consider how far your vacuum will reach as you can guarantee the mess that you create will travel to parts of the room you hadn’t even considered! The further the reach the easier it will be to clear up the mess, and the less times that you will have to unplug the wet and dry vacuum and move it to another mains socket.

Size

The size of your wet and dry vacuum is important because you have to be able to find somewhere to store it when it is not in use, and if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a massive workspace then you don’t want it taking up the whole room. Cleverly, wet and dry vacuums actually tend to grow in height rather than width, meaning that they will not take up too much precious floorspace in the area that you are working. Although you don’t want a machine that is going to be too big, on the flip side, a bigger vacuum normally means bigger capacity – which leads us nicely onto the next feature to consider….

Capacity

This is the amount of waste and debris that can be held by the vacuum before it needs emptying so that you can start all over again. We would say the bigger the better (depending obviously on your budget and the space that you have for storing the machine). It is important to remember that a DIY vacuum, such as these, will need to have a much bigger capacity than your normal vacuum as they will be collecting a lot of waste and debris.

The capacity of these machines tends to range between 20 and 30 litres (unless you are looking at very small or very large, industrial models).

Best Budget – Wet and Dry Vacuum

TACKLIFE Wet Dry Vacuum 5 Gallon, 5.5 Peak HP with 20 FT Clean Range, 4-Layer Filtration System and Safety Buoy Technology for Dry/Wet/Blowing, Multipurpose Accessories Included - PVC01A
634 Reviews
TACKLIFE Wet Dry Vacuum 5 Gallon, 5.5 Peak HP with 20 FT Clean Range, 4-Layer Filtration System and Safety Buoy Technology for Dry/Wet/Blowing, Multipurpose Accessories Included - PVC01A
  • High Performance And Practicality - 1000W copper motor, 18.9L large capacity and 5.5 horsepower, ensure strong suction and high performance. No need to remove dust frequently. Easy and quick cleaning.
  • Multifunction Vacuum Cleaner - Professional Vacuum Cleaner guarantees suction and blowing functions thanks to its technical design and accessories. This wet dry vac facilitates the cleaning of floors (parquet, tiling, carpet, carpet), garage,graden, workshop, or vehicles.
  • Flexible And Convenient - With ergonomic handle design, 360-degree rotating wheel and various kind of accessories, enble to easy transportation and convenient to work in house, car and workshop, meet the needs of different scenarios.
  • Special Cartridge Filter - 4-layer washable cartridge filter can filter out dust and collect it into the dust tank, ensure the fresh air, prevent secondary pollution.
  • Wide Cleaning Range - A cleaning range of more than 17 feet allows you to reach farther without removing the device. 4 otating wheels at the bottom help to clean quickly.

Weight

The weight of your wet and dry vacuum is important for if you are going to be lugging the tool around – not least because you will often be doing this when it is full of debris or liquid! The machines do come on wheels which means that it can be pulled or pushed along, but there will be occasions when you have to lift it up or down stairs so make sure to opt for a model with a lightweight build.

The weights tend to vary from between 4kgs and 10kgs for most standard, domestic designs. However, there were very compact designs that weighed considerably less (but would only be able to be used for very small jobs) and considerably larger machines that weighed a lot more (but we would only really recommend these for industrial use).

Suction/Power

It is important to look at the power (usually measured in wattage) that the wet and dry vacuum cleaner offers, to help you know whether the tool is going to be up to the task. We would also recommend looking at multiple reviews, as sometimes the wattage that is advertised doesn’t actually correlate to the function of the tool. Most that we found were between 1000-1500Watts.

It goes without saying that the more suction and power the better, as your vac will be able to pick up larger pieces of debris and remove smaller pieces faster. It is also worth considering though, how economical your vacuum is, as if you are going to be using it often this will have an impact on your electricity bill. Some have now been designed with A+ energy ratings, which are well worth considering in our opinion as they will save you money in the long run!

Build Materials

Although all wet and dry vacuum cleaners should be up to the task (that is what they have been designed to do after all), it is important to check exactly what the machine has been made out of, including parts like the hose etc. If you are going to be expecting your machine to suck up glass, larger debris and wet messes then it is important the hose (and the inside workings of the machine) do not become damaged when they are doing this!

Most hoses that we found were made of plastic, but make sure that this is good quality and thick enough to not become damaged by the debris you are suctioning. Some do have part metal hoses, which will obviously be more durable. Look for tanks that are made from either sturdy plastic or a lightweight metal, such as steel, that will be able to hold all of the waste and debris securely.

Useability

This involves a number of different aspects of the wet and dry vacuum that you are considering purchasing. For example, it is important to consider how easy it is to change the function of the machine from wet to dry debris (as you have to do with some models), as this can involve swapping over the filters. Also consider if the manufacturers have provided ways to store the adaptors that come with the tool – can they be stored on the machine or are you going to need to find another home for them? If they cannot be stored on the vacuum itself then they will be a lot less accessible when you are working and there is much more chance of them going missing!

Noise

It is well worth investigating how loud the wet and dry vacuum that you are considering purchasing is, as some can really be quite loud!

What Else Should You Consider?

Now you know all about the main features of a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, it is important to consider those smaller factors that will make or break whether an individual machine is the right one for you!

  • Dustbags – Some vacuums will allow you to add a dust bag for when you are just working with dry debris. These are handy for when you are emptying the machine of debris as the dust won’t end up going everywhere and undoing all of your hard-work from tidying up in the first place!
  • Power take-off socket – These are particularly handy for if you are working with larger power tools around the home or in a workshop. Cleverly, they allow you to plug your power tool straight into the wet and dry vacuum itself, which not only keeps your workspace neat and tidy but also means the vacuum will automatically switch on when you are using your tool – so it tidies up for you as you go along with the job you are completing. Less mess and less risk of damage to your tool as there will be less dust and debris build-up.
  • Blower – Some wet and dry vacuums can actually be reversed so that they will blow out the air instead of sucking it up. This is handy for if you are struggling to get into smaller spaces when cleaning up, or for if you are wanting to collect larger debris all in one place for it to be removed.
  • Carpet Cleaner – Some wet and dry vacuums can actually be used as carpet cleaners! Although one thing we think it is important to mention is the fact that the whole point of a wet and dry vacuum cleaner is that it can get dirty, and it is for dirty jobs! This means that you will probably find yourself having to give the vacuum itself a very good clean before you can expect it to actually clean your carpets!
  • Drainage plug – some models have a “plug” low down on the tank that allows you to empty any wet mess away without having to lift the vacuum up. This can prove really handy, particularly if the vacuum is full and heavy!
  • Washable filter – Some vacuums come with washable filters that can be reused. Although they will need replacing eventually they will last longer than other models.
  • Permatex filter – This is a special type of filter that will collect any allergens that are found in the dust. They can be more expensive and need replacing more frequently but are perfect for anyone health-conscious or that suffers from asthma.

Best of the Rest

Terratek 3 in 1 Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Multi Purpose 20L Wet Dry Vac with Blower Garage & Workshop
169 Reviews
Terratek 3 in 1 Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Multi Purpose 20L Wet Dry Vac with Blower Garage & Workshop
  • POWERFUL – 1200W of pure power, plugging the suction hose into the exhaust port turns your wet and dry vacuum cleaner into a powerful blower.
  • LARGE CAPACITY – 20L capacity dust tank with fabric filter for dry vacuuming.
  • WET or DRY, BAGGED OR BAGLESS – The Wet and dry hoover can be used for spillages, dry debris, can be used with a bag (not provided universal bags can be purchased) or bagless
  • PORTABLE – The Vacuum comes with a 6m cable for hard to reach areas, The wet and dry vacuum comes complete with 4 swivel casters provide convenient multi-direction manoeuvrability.
  • TRUST – The Terratek Wet dry vacuum cleaner comes with a 2 Year Warranty for your peace of mind.
Kärcher WD3P Wet and Dry Vacuum
256 Reviews
Kärcher WD3P Wet and Dry Vacuum
  • 1000 W motor vacuuum
  • 17 Litre Dry and 10 Litre Wet Capacity
  • Exhaust Air Blower Function
  • Storage-space-saving onboard accessory and cable storage
  • Easy to Open Container, Power cable (m): 4
Draper 13785 Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaner with Stainless Steel Tank, 20L, 230V
263 Reviews
Draper 13785 Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaner with Stainless Steel Tank, 20L, 230V
  • Robust model with 20L stainless steel tank and blower function
  • Ideal for use in the workshop, garage or DIY work around the home and garden.
  • Selection of accessories: Foam filter; Cloth filter; Paper dust bag; 1.5M flexible hose with hand grip and air control; Three extension tubes; Floor brush; Crevice nozzle; Air blower function
  • Designed to pick up wet and dry materials
  • 20L tank volume

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I purchase additional attachments for my wet and dry vacuum cleaner?
Yes! Most manufacturers offer additional kits that can be purchased with different attachments that can be used. These will help to make your tool more versatile and able to work in different conditions, such as for cleaning hard flooring or reaching into crevices on machines. Not all manufacturers offer this though so it is worth checking before purchasing the vacuum.

Can I purchase replacement filters for my wet and dry vacuum cleaner?
Yes! All manufacturers will offer replacement filters for when yours have taken enough of a battering from cleaning up spillages. There are cheaper, non-branded filters available on the market, but these tend to not fit as correctly as ones specifically designed for individual wet and dry vacuum cleaners, which could cost you more money in the long run if your machine becomes damaged.

What warranty can I expect on my wet and dry vacuum cleaner?
This really depends on the manufacturer although most offer at least a two-year warranty, providing the machine has been well looked after. We found some companies offering a lifetime guarantee, but it was unclear exactly what these covered!

Are there cordless wet and dry vacuum cleaners?
Yes! There are a few manufacturers that have created cordless models, which can then be used anywhere you need them, so are perfect for outdoor jobs or areas without mains power. However, they are considerably smaller and less powerful than their larger cousins so will only be able to work with small messes.

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Last update on 2020-10-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Mike Jones 178 Articles
I started doing DIY around the house and it soon developed into a hobby. I look for tools and products that are genuinely useful and get the job done. I enjoy writing product reviews, researching my buyers guides and putting tools through their paces. In my downtime, I like to run and I am a bit of a Netflix documentary geek.

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