Wet/Dry Vac: Ridgid or something else?

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Forum topic by mtx77 posted 11-14-2012 06:07 PM 2415 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 2287 days

11-14-2012 06:07 PM

Im just finishing up the first woodworking project ive done since I was a teenager, My garage looks like a snowstorm hit it…but sawdust. So I guess its time for a wet/dry vac.

My house needs a ton of work, im gettting into woodworking, and I like restoring cars…alot of projects in this vac’s future. Ive been reading a few forums and alot of people swear by the Ridgid’s, here’s the specs on what im looking at:
1450: 14gal 6.5hp, 11A 168cfm…about $100
1851: 16gal 6.5hp 12A 203cfm…about $160
1956 looks the same as the 1851 but in stainless steel and is $180

Im trying to figure out if the extra power of the 1851 is worth the extra $60.

Totally open to other brands as well. Ridgid’s kept coming up as great vacs on various woodworking/car restoration forums, but if your craftsman/shopvac/vacmaster/etc has been dragged through hell and back and still hovers like the day you got it i’d love to hear about it!

8 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5855 posts in 3081 days

#1 posted 11-14-2012 06:39 PM

The 6.5 hp Ridgid is a powerful motor. I made my kids a hovercraft with one. They are extremely noisy. The filters quickly clog when cleaning up sawdust.
I use a 6.5 hp for my router table. It works great in that application, because the router is loud too…so no big deal. I run a smaller ridgid vac on my miter saw. Everything else hooks up to the dust collector.
Look for Black Friday deals on the vac. Most years the Ridgid vac is on sale.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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8208 posts in 3643 days

#2 posted 11-14-2012 06:43 PM

A friend of mine had a Craftsman vac/blower that had an identical motor/fan assembly as my Ridgid….both supposedly made by Emerson. We’re both equally pleased. It states 6.25hp, but it plugs into a standard 110v outlet, so it can’t realistically be more than ~ 2hp. Mine’s close to 12 years old, and I’ve run it hard and put it away wet repeatedly. It’s as strong as ever.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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109 posts in 2554 days

#3 posted 11-14-2012 06:52 PM

I have this one and have no complaints….

Shop Vac 12 gal, 200 cfm

-- Ryan - Bethel Park, PA

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2959 days

#4 posted 11-14-2012 06:59 PM

I’ve got the 16 gallon Ridgid vac with the removable motor so you can use it as a blower too, not sure of the model off the top of my head. I see VGC Ridgid’s for sale on craigslist all the time, that’s where I got mine in fact. I would hesitate to pay retail for one when there are plenty of decent used ones out there.

Anyone try the Clean Stream filters for their vac? I’ve seen them at HD, but haven’t pulled the trigger for one yet.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View Wildwood's profile


2551 posts in 2402 days

#5 posted 11-14-2012 08:49 PM

Have this one, after motor quit bought a Rigid same size and did not like it. Shop-vac sent me a new motor assembly free, so took Rigid back for refund. My only problem with Rigid my bags did not work as well as in Shop-Vac. Found buying bags cheaper than replacing filters. I do use both a filter & bag, have not found wat to keep dust off outside container other than using vacuum on it.

-- Bill

View Mosquito's profile


9630 posts in 2560 days

#6 posted 11-14-2012 09:00 PM

I’ve got a 12-gallon 5hp Ridgid that I paid around $20 for, brand new, in store pickup at HD last year. It also has the removable blower as Richard mentioned. It is rather loud, but it does work effectively.

I’ve used it with my router table, my biscuit joiner, my ROS, and my miter saw, and it worked well in all of the applications. I don’t like it with the biscuit joiner, but that’s because of the large hose being added into things.

I’ve also used the blower a few times to clear off the patio of sawdust that doesn’t sweep up well. You can use the hose, or the other attachments for the blower as well.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View mtx77's profile


24 posts in 2287 days

#7 posted 11-14-2012 10:51 PM

Cool, thanks for all the suggestions. I was going to try to rig up some sort of dust seperator like a cyclone or Thein to avoid having to clean the filter constantly. I definitely cant let it just fly everywhere like im doing now, its a mess.

I’d like to hear about any experiences with cleanstream filters as well. They certainly look alot more durable than the regular paper filters.

“It states 6.25hp, but it plugs into a standard 110v outlet, so it can’t realistically be more than ~ 2hp”

Yeah I was wondering about the same thing…how are they getting 6HP out of 120v without using some insane amount of amps and blowing the breaker? I read up on it a bit, turns out its peak HP. When you first turn it on theres a huge surge of power for like .001 seconds. Lights sometimes dim for a moment etc. Thats what they measure. If you tried to run it at this HP for longer than .01 seconds you’d blow the breaker, the power cord would burst into flames and the motor would fry.The industry (everyone does it) has a few class action lawsuits against the manufacturers about it, but its just the way it is. Its like 500G computer hard drives only being 450G because they use a different size measurement than the rest of the world or home theaters rated at 100watts being less powerful than another brands 50watt model.

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2960 posts in 2292 days

#8 posted 11-15-2012 04:39 AM

Ditto on the comments about highly inflated h.p. ratings. I think Sears started this, setting off a claimed-horsepower war. Annoying because it’s really deceptive. Amperage is the surest indicator of power, though other factors such as efficient design and materials (copper windings vs. aluminum, for example) can be a factor. Universal motors seem to get their horsepower via extremely high rpms, which is one reason they are so loud. Interesting how they will audibly drop in pitch when loaded. I had a DW 735 that screamed like a banshee (fault of the blades, though, not the motor). Any fairly wide hardwood board would make it lug down until I thought it would go up in flames. Probably would, too, if you kept applying that kind of load to it. Have to admit, though, that it did leave silky smooth surface (until the blades would get nicked). If you want to suck dust with real authority, you have to go to induction motors, which of course means dust collectors (but I admit I have a mini dc from HF that has a universal motor—dedicated to the ts).

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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