Ridgid 16 gallon Shop Vacuum

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Review by kansas posted 03-11-2011 03:44 AM 8442 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Ridgid 16 gallon Shop Vacuum No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just purchased this Ridgid 16 gallon Wet/Dry Vac. The model is a WD 1851 and I got it at Home Depot for $160. I’m upgrading (I hope) from an older ShopVac I had that’s at death’s door. This machine seems very nice so far. Nice power cord length and cord seems to stay cool when running. The switch is right up front and very easy to operate. The included hose and accessories aren’t bad either. The motor is rated for 12 amps but you won’t find that on the packaging anywhere. They try to sell you that it makes 6.5 HP. That is just marketing bs but anyway, the power seems decent. It also acts as a blower by switching the hose to the outlet port. This feature seems like it may be as valuable as the vacuum for cleaning up the shop. My old vac didn’t do that so I didn’t know what I was missing. It rolls on the floor well. I also purchased the orange upgraded hose. It’s 3 feet longer and I’d hoped it would be less stiff. It is also smaller diameter than the hose that comes with the vac. After seeing the larger diameter included hose I’m not sure the “upgraded hose” was worth the $36 bucks. The adapters were all included but they are just that—adapters and I put the wrong ones on the first time—not realizing these things are not intended to come back off. If you buy the orange hose, be sure the adapters are correct before you push them on! The last thing I’ll note is the quiet operation. This thing seems to be extremely quiet compared to others I’ve used.

View kansas's profile


165 posts in 4470 days

6 comments so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3844 days

#1 posted 03-11-2011 04:23 PM

Thank you for the review. Of course the 6.5 hp is bs. I wish manufacturers would stop doing that. Amp draw is your best measure of power.

For me, the last comment was the most interesting. I have yet to see a shop vac that was acceptably quiet. I may have to check this out.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Mike67's profile


97 posts in 4105 days

#2 posted 03-11-2011 05:05 PM

I have once size down – its a great vac. The upgraded hose is really nice for hooking up to sanders and other hand-held tools. The bigger black hose is nice for general clean up. If you want a quieter vac you probably need to get into something like a Fein.

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4001 days

#3 posted 03-11-2011 05:16 PM

I have the 12 gallon model and love it except for one issue, that makes me REALLY want the 16 gallon model, and that is the ability to use collection bags. I sometimes use my vac without my Thien for cleaning up the car and use in the house, and collector bags would be nice to keep the HEPA filter clean…

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View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 3865 days

#4 posted 03-12-2011 03:02 PM

Yup, I love mine too. Don’t attempt to vacuum up water with a dirty dust clogged filter though, like I did (or tried to do) – what a mess!

-- John from Hampstead

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 4124 days

#5 posted 03-13-2011 05:04 AM

Yeah you have to change the filter out to a foam filter. I have done that before and it actually works pretty good for cleaning up water

View POGO's profile


19 posts in 3653 days

#6 posted 03-14-2011 05:09 AM

I purchased this vacuum about 6 months back after having researched many different manufactures and models. Notwithstanding all of the advertising claims on HP, I found the best measure is Air Flow (CFM) which is directly proportional to the current (Amp) rating of the motor.

My primary use of this vacuum is in conjunction with the Oneda Dust Deputy for High CFM particle collection. The vacuum is used as an alternative to my shop dust collection system, which is good for high volume but does not have the suction pressure that the shop vacuums are designed to produce. I keep checking the WD 1851 for material buildup and to my amazement only a light layer pf dust particles collected after many hours of use.

In my opinion this vacuum has many of the features of the high end units without the high cost of ownership.

-- Arvid, Spring Texas

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