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Best Shop Vac??

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Greg Riutzel

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Lebanon, Oregon
Yesterday the 6 year old 12 gal. Craftsman shop vac died. The motor armature is burnt and some dark wires in the armature windings too. I do not want to repair it, it was a downturn in their previous excellent models. The earlier vac was a 16 gal. Craftsman that lasted over 26 years. Only because of NLA motor bearings or motors did I get the newer 12 gal one.

I'm on another hunt for decent vac, hopefully like the old 16 gal. What I liked about Craftsman in general was the selection of filters, I used the Blue small micron rated one, nice tools that didn't crack or break over time, double entry into the cannister or bin that divided the air flow so it wasn't a tornado inside keeping debris in constant swirl eating up the filter. The later 12 gal one had one sideway entry that when I got the grit and dried mud from under the seats of an old the truck the abrasives started wearing the filter pleats. I put a baffle in the bin but then it was no longer a Wet-dry, the water went right in the fan after that.

Open to recommendations and experiences. Thanks
 

mgwin

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Marty A. Gwin
I have been using shop-vac because of their availability. Found out the wet/dry ones did not like water. Burnt up two in one year. Took the last one back to wallyworld since I only had it about 30 days. Got there and found out there were no more shop vacs. They are out of business.
Had to do something quick, so I bought their new brand vac which is a Hart brand. Seems to be a nice one so far (one year old). Too scared to try it on water, since the past two shop vacs burnt up the first try.
Getting hesitant to order anything online like that. Too much headache to try and get a replacement if it were defective. Heard of people buying stuff like this that were defective, only to find out the company that sold the items were either NLA or on the other side of the globe.
Hope this helps.
 

mgwin

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Marty A. Gwin
David,
I hope yours don't break any time soon. You wont find another one to last like that!
 

dschwandt

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David Schwandt
It still does the job but the bag is getting pretty ratty and I doubt if I could find a replacement at this late stage of the game.
 

Greg Riutzel

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Maybe the 80s/90s was the high point of Craftsman. Wet or dry, they took to the job without exception. On the job or off, construction, plugged dishwashers to humidifier trays, they gulped dirt, water, slime, and wanted more. Hard time finding that again.
 

jkoenig

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Jim Koenig Halfway between Harvester, MO and Cadet, MO
Bucket Head at Home Depot. You won't be super-impressed, but it won't hurt much. It will work wet. We use these at job sites every time we have to clean up a liquid cooled press. We buy it, and leave it with the customer.

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dfrisk

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Dennis Frisk
I had a 12 gal Craftsman I bought about the late 1970's. I remember vacuuming leaves with it around our deck, fill the vacuum and dump it, lather-rinse-repeat. The top motor BUSHING wore out, sparks from the commutation went flying. I raided my stash of used R/C car parts too good to throw away, and a Koyosho 1/8th scale 4wd buggy wheel bearing was almost a perfect fit, little silicon seal made it pretty much self-aligning and it ran for years that way. Everything I have now are SHOP VAC brand, a big 16 gallon and a smaller handier 8 or 10 gallon for cleaning car/truck interiors. I've tried to stay away from "vacuuming" water, seems like a good way to get electrocuted. I've kept every hose, nozzle, and adapter I've ever gotten with a vac, have both 1-1/4" and 2-1/2" hoses, and dust collectors on several of my dustiest machines, like my 6x12 belt/12 inch disk sander,
Thing I find most frustrating is the poor casters they put on them now the old shop vacuum would follow you around as you vacuumed, now the just fall over
 

Barry Dearing

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May 5, 2022
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Florida
I have a craftsman, I think 5 gallon, since 1999. Even stored outside on porch where on/off switch got corroded and wouldn't work anymore. Took it apart, sprayed with WD40 and still works fine even now. Filters still available at HD and Lowes. I've used it for liquid, sawdust, even leaves.. When I bought I told helper I want a shop vac that will suck the S*** out of King Kong and haven't been disappointed yet. I believe a Rigid now would be comparable.
 

rjruchti

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Roger J. Ruchti
We bought the Hart Stainless Steel unit from WalMart last summer. Use it mainly for cleaning the water pond outdoors in the flower garden. Has a long enough hose the unit can be placed far enough away that when it get full, shut the power off and open the drain. It had the disc that holds the dry filter in place broken when we got it. Called the company and they said they would send out a replacement. A new disc come with a new dry filter so went that route. Last week I got a replacement disc in the mail. Took close to a year but they came through.
 

snicklas

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Scott Nicklas
We have the big 16 gallon 6.5hp (I think) Rigid. It’s the one with a handle like a push mower…. LOL. We’ve had it for years and it has worked HARD. Dry, Wet, dust, cleaning out vehicles, sweeping the garage floor….. It just keeps going and going…
 

vthomley

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Vincent Thomley
Rigid gets my vote! I use one all year long in my Bowling ball pro shop, I do poor maintenance on it. it sucks up dust and bowling ball particles every day I use it. I'll buy another next time. I had Shop Vac versions prior and they were definitely not as good.
 

Greg Riutzel

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Lebanon, Oregon
On the advice of many, and a youtube channel Project Farm, I took the plunge and got a 12 gallon Rigid. Very stout and seems powerful as the old Craftsman. Rigid now offers a nice line up of filters too. They measure the same as the Craftsman, but the Craftsman filter does not fit a Rigid. Just a silly mm off. Thank you for all the advice.
 

mgwin

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Marty A. Gwin
I'd say you made the right choice. Rigid is good stuff. :bluethumbsup: A lot of people wouldn't pay that much for one, but you get what you pay for, IMHO.
 

snicklas

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Scott Nicklas
I’ve had good luck with the Rigid stuff I have. One reason I when with Rigid on my cordless tools is, they lifetime warranty the batteries also……
 
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