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10 Best Hepa Shop Vacs – Reviews & Analysis

Last Updated: 01.07.20

 

Top Hepa Vacs for Shops – Guide & Comparison

 

If you’re looking for the best HEPA shop vacs that you can buy right now, you have come to the right place. We have browsed through countless products and looked at their specifications and features to determine which the best shop vac with HEPA filter is. As a general rule of thumb, there is no absolute best model, rather you will find one that’s most suited for your specific needs. After countless hours of research, our team has determined that the DEWALT DCV581H 18/20V Max Vacuum is the product you should be looking for the most. If this item is unavailable for whatever reason, we also recommend the Shop-Vac 5989300 Wet Dry Vacuum as it shares many similar features that fit a vast amount of people’s needs. In any case, stick with us till the end of this article to see more available options that might fit your needs and budget better.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

10 Best Hepa Shop Vacs (Updated Reviews) in 2020

 

 

We’ve selected some of the most critically acclaimed HEPA shop vacs currently on the market and showcased them below. Read further to see all of their benefits, weaknesses, and see for yourself which one suits your needs the best. These are all from reputable brands and have managed to please thousands of users.

 

 

1. DEWALT DCV581H 18/20V Max Vacuum

 

The DEWALT 18/20V Max vacuum can operate either corded to a regular AC outlet or cordless via an 18V or 20V MAX battery. It comes with a fully integrated 5-inch hose, a 2-gallon tank capacity, and you can purchase it in three different variants: the vacuum alone, the vacuum and a battery, or the starter kit.

The HEPA filter respects the EPA’s standard of trapping at least 99.7% of air pollutants and particles. The hose is crush-resistant, being able to handle all sorts of debris. But just because it’s so resistant doesn’t mean it’s not flexible. It’s actually so flexible that you won’t have any trouble moving around with it.

Best of all, you don’t even need to purchase the extra battery if you already have other Dewalt products. The vacuum is compatible with any 20V Max battery from this brand. If you have a Dewalt drill lying around, chances are you can swap the battery out and put it in the shop vac.

 

Pros

It offers spectacular performance, being able to filter out 99.7% of all dust particles, debris, glass, metals, and much much more.

The filter is washable and reusable, so you won’t end up spending more money than you might need to any time soon.

It comes with a three-year warranty for parts and labor, and Dewalt is known for respecting its customers, so you’re fully covered in case of any defects that might ensue.

At only 17.25 x 12.31 x 13.13 inches and 11 pounds, you’ll be able to carry it with you anywhere fairly easily.

It has a 2-gallon fluid capacity, so you’ll be able to clean up the place even after a nasty thunderstorm or accidental flooding.

 

Cons

The vacuum doesn’t have enough power to run a floor sweep or pick up metal items like screws and nails easily.

It’s noisy, like a high-pitched whine, not very pleasant.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($127.95)

 

 

 

2. Shop-Vac 5989300 Wet Dry Vacuum

 

Coming with a 5-gallon stainless steel tank and a 4.5 horsepower motor, the Shop-Vac 5989300 is an impressive piece of equipment even when compared to the Dewalt HEPA shop vac. We like that this model includes several 1.25″ diameter accessories. 

Among these, you will find a 7-foot hose, three extension wands, a foam sleeve, a filter bag, a floor nozzle, and a gulper nozzle. Speaking of accessories, it comes with an onboard accessory storage compartment so you won’t have to carry them separately.

It also has an airflow of 175 CFM and the cord is six feet long, so you’ll have enough room to maneuver it. Speaking of the cord, it supports the standard 120 volts requirement, so you can plug it in any power socket you can find. And it’s also covered by a three-year warranty for parts and labor in case it needs any sort of repairs.

 

Pros

It’s got a 5-gallon stainless steel tank that does the job well and is highly resistant against rust, mold, and any other impediment that regular tanks are prone to.

The vacuum is highly portable at just 14 x 14 x 21 inches and 15 pounds. Though not the lightest model you can find, it’s still impressive for how powerful it is.

It comes with eight different accessories that enhance the experience and add more features to an already astounding Hepa shop vac.

With 4.5 horsepower, the motor is not only powerful but also reliable. It can handle high amounts of work for hours on end.

 

Cons

The storage compartment for the accessories is nice but it’s not thought out all that well. You might have trouble fitting them all inside because of this.

In the blower mode, the air hose might sometimes pop out of the vacuum.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.99)

 

 

 

3. Vacmaster VF408 Industrial Wet/Dry Vacuum

 

This is an extremely affordable HEPA shop vac that you should consider. You can purchase it in six different versions with varying horsepower and gallon capacities. One thing we like about this vacuum is that it has a two-stage motor. One stage is for operating at full speed, and one stage for silent operation.

It comes with 10 different accessories that you would otherwise have to purchase separately when buying other Hepa shop vacs within the same price range. Speaking of tools, it has a storage caddy that, surprisingly, fits all the tools and accessories that come with it. At 17 pounds and just 17.1 x 13.2 x 17.3 inches, it’s highly portable.

The portability is further enhanced by the top handle that allows you to carry it seamlessly. And finally, one thing that we also like is that the cord retracts itself with the simple push of a button.

 

Pros

The vacuum is extremely cheap and comes with ten different accessories, thus increasing its value even more. In short, it’s got an outstanding price to value ratio.

We like the fact that you can operate the motor in two stages: either quiet or full power. This represents a huge advantage in so many different scenarios.

It’s highly portable considering its light and compact dimensions, but the portability is further enhanced by the top handle.

The tool caddy is fairly spacious and lets you organize all your accessories seamlessly and reach out for them whenever you need to.

 

Cons

Some users weren’t all that impressed with the power of the vacuum. They said their model didn’t suck up nails and metal all that well.

The hose and the extra vacuum accessories feel kind of cheap. But we can’t complain too much since they come included instead of having to purchase them separately.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($71.55)

 

 

 

4. APOSEN Handheld Vacuum Cleaner with HEPA Filter

 

If you need a handheld vacuum cleaner with a powerful HEPA filter and a 3-stage filtration system, then the people at APOSEN have you covered. Did we say three-stage filtration? Yes. not only do you get an amazing HEPA filter, but you also get a cyclone and screen filtration system. That’s much more filtration power than you’d find even on full-fledged shop vacs.

The vacuum comes with three serviceable attachments to save your time and improve cleaning efficiency. One of them is made for particles heavier than 30 grams, one is for liquids, and the last one is for hairs, crumbs, ash, dust particles, etc. As you can imagine, it’s not an industrial model, and it’s not meant to be one.

However, purely for housework or cleaning your car, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option. Also, the battery charges in around four hours and offers 20 minutes of continuous cleaning.

 

Pros

It’s got 7 KPA power suction and a 100 watts strong motor that make this unit highly efficient for liquids, particles, and even pellets heavier than 30 grams.

The battery charges in around four hours and offers 20 minutes of continuous running at full power, giving you more than enough time to do some basic car or house work.

It operates at around 70 decibels, which is still loud but much quieter than other hand vacs that don’t have nearly as much power as this model.

At only two pounds, you won’t have any trouble using it and it won’t cause you any sort of fatigue.

 

Cons

Some people claim that the battery tends to wear out quite easily and that you might need a replacement battery sooner rather than later.

It can only absorb 150 ml of water. Otherwise, the vacuum can get damaged or suffer a short circuit.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($46.11)

 

 

 

5. Vacmaster Pro Hepa Filtration Wet/Dry Vac

 

With a 30-foot cord, a two-stage industrial motor, and 125 CFM, the Vacmaster Pro is an outstanding piece of equipment. Apart from the strong HEPA filter and HEPA exhaust filter, it also has a strong foam wet filter that’s capable of a 78-inch water lift. Due to the storage hook, you can easily organize the power cord and hose when the unit is not in use.

Speaking of the hose, it’s a 10-foot crush-proof industrial model. It can handle nails, debris, wood dust, and much more without any hindrance. The ball-bearing locking casters provide extra stability and maneuverability. And the vacuum meets all the EPA standards when it comes to HEPA filtration – it absorbs 99.7% of particles as low as 0.3 microns.

Finally, it has four filtration stages, including a HEPA cartridge filter, a microfiber pre-filter, a sealable tear-resistant collection bag, and a HEPA material exhaust filter. 

 

Pros

Because the cord is 30 feet in length, you’ll have no trouble moving around and cleaning everything you need on a big construction site or woodwork shop.

The hose is an industrial crush-proof model that measures 10 feet in length and can absorb mostly any type of debris you can encounter, including nails, glass, and wood dust.

It has four reliable and powerful filtration stages that are FDA-approved and ensure the suction and storage of 99.7% of particles as low as 0.3 microns.

The storage hook allows you to store the power cord seamlessly when it’s not in use, so you no longer have to waste time wrapping it around the device or stowing it away carelessly.

 

Cons

Some people might be turned off by the high price point.

It’s just not meant for mold remediation unless you want to be changing the filters after even a small job.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($148.55)

 

 

 

6. FEIN Turbo II HEPA Vacuum Cleaner Set

 

The FEIN Turbo II comes with an 8.4-gallon tank which includes an auto-start option. You can effortlessly clean any debris or amount of liquid with it due to its powerful suction with 98.4″ of static water lift. To make things even more convenient, it comes with on-board storage for the cord and other accessories that are included or that you can purchase separately.

It also has bypass cooling, which allows more airflow to get to the motor and cool it down to extend its lifespan. The hose is 13 feet long, and the cord is 18 feet long, so you’ll have plenty of room to move around and clean every single piece of debris from a construction site, warehouse, woodworking site, and much much more.

Furthermore, the FEIN Turbo II has a suction capacity of 151 CFM, making it very powerful even when compared to other models on this list.

 

Pros

Both the cord and the hose are very long, allowing you to move around seamlessly and clean every square inch of the floor.

It operates at just 66 decibels, making it one of the quietest HEPA shop vacs that you can purchase from any brand.

The wheels rotate 360 degrees and allow for smooth movement all around even in tight spaces.

It has a practical storage space that allows you to organize all the included accessories as well as any other accessories that you might want to purchase down the line.

The auto-start option is a nice addition, as it increases the ease of use even further.

 

Cons

Although it has some amazing features, the price speaks for itself, as it is much more expensive than most other models on this list.

The dust bag is too small and needs to be emptied quite often, which can become quite tedious fairly fast.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($649.99)

 

 

 

7. Makita XCV11Z 18V LXT HEPA Filter Wet/Dry Vacuum

 

The Makita Wet/Dry HEPA Vacuum comes with a brushless BL motor that can last much longer than any other type of motor currently on the market. Its filter cleaning system is designed to maintain optimum suction efficiency and longer filter life. As per EPA standards, it can absorb 99.7% of all dust particles as low as 0.3 microns.

One major advantage and, at the same time, a disadvantage, is that it operates solely on a battery. That means you’ll no longer be inhibited by the cord length, but you also need to recharge it to keep it working smoothly. However, the battery is powerful enough to offer you up to one hour of continuous usage, despite it being just 18 volts.

Furthermore, the vacuum weighs just slightly above 10 pounds and it’s only 10.67 x 16.93 x 12.32 inches, so it’s ultra-compact as you can tell.

 

Pros

Ultra-compact and highly portable at just slightly over 10 pounds and reduced dimensions when compared to other full-fledged HEPA shop vacs.

It has two modes: vacuuming and blowing, and you can easily switch out between the two with just the press of a button.

With two selectable speeds, you can either get all of the dust and debris sucked, or you can use it quietly in case you don’t want to disturb the neighbors.

It has an integrated handle, tethering hooks, and an optional shoulder strap, further increasing its already portable form factor.

It has onboard storage for the nozzle and hose so you don’t have to carry them in a separate bag.

 

Cons

While it does a decent job, it’s not nearly as powerful as other models on this list, so it will take a while before you can finish the job.

The battery doesn’t have any quick-charging technology.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($154.95)

 

 

 

8. Dustless Technologies HEPA Wet+Dry Vacuum

 

Dustless Technologies’ offering comes with three stages of filtration: a micro pre-filter, an outer fabric filter cover, and, finally a HEPA filter. It complies with EPA RRP and OSHA laws and regulations. This means it can suck 99.7% of particles as low as 0.3 microns. It’s also certified to be safe against asbestos, lead, silica, and other potentially toxic materials.

Furthermore, you don’t need to switch out between filters if you want to absorb liquids or solids. The single filter is good enough for both at the same time. No more messing around with changing filters every time you’re dealing with an extremely messy situation. Its design allows it to store water at the bottom of the tank so that it doesn’t interfere with the other systems.

Finally, the dust bags on this model can also trap water seamlessly. They can hold up to 40 gallons of liquids without spilling anything.

 

Pros

The three-stage filtering is absolutely amazing, as it allows you to absorb both liquids and solids without having to change any filter.

It has some absolutely excellent and sturdy claps that keep the vacuum sealed and prevent any dust or liquid from coming out even if you shake it thoroughly.

The hose is flexible but also crush-proof and kink-proof, so it won’t get in your way when you’re working, and you can even pull on it to move the vacuum to your location.

You can hook up your hose to the vacuum’s drain groove to pull out water directly out of the chamber without having to take the filter out.

 

Cons

With so many premium features comes a premium price, as this is one of the most expensive HEPA shop vacs you will ever find.

Some users reported that they keep getting static shocks when vacuuming dry materials, which can get quite annoying.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($579.99)

 

 

 

9. Ridgid 50368 RV2400HF HEPA Wet/Dry Vacuum

 

This vac is supplied with a certified HEPA filter and meets the EPA’s definition of a HEPA vacuum under the RRP Rule. Ridgid is one of the most renowned companies when it comes to making professional tools for the handyman, so chances are that most people will enjoy using this vacuum for every single cleaning job in their life.

It comes with a three-year warranty for parts and labor, so you’re covered during that period in the unlikely case of any component malfunctioning. The vacuum has a 14-gallon capacity, so it’s able to store a lot of dust, debris, and water before needing to replace the filter. It comes with a 25 inches long extension cord, so you don’t have to buy one separately in case you need it.

Furthermore, the vacuum runs extremely quiet so you won’t have any trouble with the neighbors even if you use it at night.

 

Pros

The three-year warranty covers all parts and labor so you won’t have to spend any extra money in the unlikely case of a malfunction.

With a 14-gallon capacity, you’ll be able to clean an entire woodworking workshop or a hotel room floor without needing to swap out or empty the filter.

It runs far more quietly than many other models on the market, so you’ll have no trouble with the neighbors even if you choose to use it during sensitive hours.

The price is somewhat lower than other HEPA shop vacs that have the same efficiency and power from other reputable brands.

 

Cons

It’s not as powerful as it might seem at first, in the sense that although it stores 14 gallons of liquids and solids inside the filter, it will take a while for you to clean up.

We wish the manual would have been a little more user friendly.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($366.31)

 

 

 

10. Nilfisk ALTO Aero 26 Wet/Dry HEPA Vacuum

 

The reliable HEPA vacuum from Nilfisk has a 127 maximum CFM, and an 84-inch maximum water lift. It has a flat-top design that looks nice and an auto-start function for added convenience and plugging in small electronic tools. One thing we like a lot about this model is that it has a push and clean feature that cleanses the filter cartridge when necessary.

It also comes with several accessories, including an extension tube, suction brush, and tool holder kit. The vacuum’s 7-gallon capacity might not be the biggest on the market, but it’s more than enough to get some basic cleaning done. The hose is 11.5 feet long so you won’t have much trouble moving around with it.

But what truly is impressive about this model is its suction power. It can drain an entire area’s water supply in mere minutes. That is if it weren’t limited by just 7 gallons. Nevertheless, we still like this model and we’re also impressed by its fair pricing.

 

Pros

The model’s suction power is incredibly brilliant. You’ll have no trouble cleaning an entire house in far less time than you would with other vacuums.

An auto-start option is always a welcomed addition, and this vacuum doesn’t disappoint regarding that aspect.

It has a self-cleaning function that cleans the filter quite well so you won’t have to completely replace it any time soon.

The vacuum is reliable and will most likely last you for a very long time before breaking down or needing a replacement, which makes the low investment worth it even more.

 

Cons

The cord has a tendency to flop and wiggle, and it can get quite annoying at times.

It’s 20 pounds, pretty heavy for a HEPA vacuum with a 7-gallon capacity. There’s also no cord or hose storage to talk about, and the unit isn’t the most portable, so you’ll have to improvise.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($362)

 

 

 

Our Comprehensive Buying Guide

 

Since you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering why HEPA vacs are far better than traditional household vacuums. Just by looking at any HEPA shop vac reviews, you will already see people praising a certain product for absorbing dust better and keeping the house more friendly toward those who suffer from respiratory problems.

Buying a shop vac with HEPA filter will net you many benefits despite its higher price when compared to a non-HEPA vacuum. Even a small HEPA shop vac can still do a better job than an oversized non-HEPA vacuum. After numerous hours of looking through HEPA shop vacs reviews, we have determined what the aspects that matter most when purchasing one are.

Take note of the EPA standards

The EPA doesn’t regulate many devices, but HEPA shop vacs are among the few that it does. Their standards state that a quality HEPA vacuum should absorb 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size. Legally speaking, you should be able to buy a non-EPA compliant HEPA vacuum. However, be aware that some manufacturers might try to scam you.

Only buy a vacuum from websites that you trust, and never ever go to a shady website despite how good the deal might seem to be. You’ll often encounter counterfeit shop vacs that don’t do nearly as much as an original HEPA filter vac should do. 

 

Airflow and static lift

CFM or cubic feet per minute is the standard measurement of a HEPA shop vac’s airflow. It’s a particularly important spec that you should look for because it determines how much dust it can absorb. The higher the rating, the better the absorption rate.

The static lift measures the absorption force when it comes to sucking up heavy objects such as debris or even water. Not all HEPA filter shop vac models are meant to absorb liquids, however. So if you want to buy one specifically for liquid absorption, make sure to check the static lift specification.

 

Motor rating

What specs define a motor’s capabilities? In this instance, horsepower and wattage. The higher the horsepower, the more powerful the motor. However, a higher wattage does not always mean it’s better. Always remember to check the wattage and voltage capabilities or the breakers and electric outlets where you will be working.

Get an affordable HEPA shop vac with a much higher wattage rating than the place’s electrical outlet can handle and you’re in for a short circuit or, at the very least, a power outage. 

Type of motor

Speaking of the motor, there are various types you can choose from. Unlike other tools, shop vacs don’t have a specific standard, but rather use whatever the manufacturer deems appropriate for the task that the unit is meant to undertake. 

Bypass motors are superior to motors found in shop-style vacs. But they are not necessarily better than HEPA household vacuum motors. You can also find models that use an impeller to create an airstream. 

These models pass air through the motor to cool it down, and it might be a worthy addition if you work for long hours at a time. However, smaller-sized vacuums might not benefit from this feature because the debris can bypass the filter and flow straight into the motor. Only look for this feature when you’re purchasing shop vacs, not standard vacuums.

 

 

Frequently asked questions

 

Q: Why use a HEPA vacuum?

HEPA vacuums are much better at absorbing all sorts of air pollutants and can greatly improve the lives of people who suffer from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems. Numerous studies have been conducted over the past several years that indicate an increase in air quality when using a HEPA vacuum vs a regular vacuum. 

Regular vacuums have been proven to actually reduce the air quality, as they redirect allergens and other pollutants found on the floor directly into the air you breathe. On the other hand, HEPA vacuums absorb all these allergens, pet hair, dust particles through their filtration system, and keep them inside the dust compartment instead of letting them escape.

There are many shop vac HEPA vacuum cleaners out there, each with more impressive features than the next. You can hopefully get a good idea about what will suit you best from the HEPA shop vac reviews above.

Q: What does a shop vacuum do?

A shop vacuum is most often used for intense cleaning in woodworking or construction. Unlike regular home vacuums, these have a powerful motor that can suck debris, dust, and even large chunks of metal and wood, making them basically a form of industrial vacuum cleaners meant for hard-working professionals.

As you can imagine, they have a much larger hose and a much bigger canister for sucking and holding large chunks of debris. The more expensive shop vacs can even absorb high amounts of water without causing short circuits or breaking down. Since construction sites are prone to overflow from inevitable rain, the premium models are the way to go.

Shop vacs are much more reliable than good old house cleaning vacuums, although they aren’t meant for home use. They can suck up nails, large pieces of wood, and other materials, which can be useful when you’re renovating your house.

 

Q: How loud is a shop vac?

Shop vacs are usually quite loud, but you can find certain models that only output a little over 60 decibels at full power. Those are usually the less affordable HEPA shop vacs, but if you ask us, they are worth the asking price for the simple peace of mind alone. However, even if you get a cheap HEPA shop vac, there are ways that you can make it sound a little less irritating.

First and foremost, you can try using it outdoors. Many cheap HEPA shop vacs come with a long enough hose to allow you to move far away from it. While not ideal, it might be better in some cases than spending more than you can afford on an ultra-quiet model. Alternatively, you can get a longer hose attachment without selling a kidney.

One more thing you can do is clean the air filter regularly. Again, not the best solution, but it’s far better than having to spend more money than you can afford to give.