Any Ridgid or other inexpensive shopvacs you can recommend?

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Forum topic by Millo posted 09-15-2012 04:27 AM 2462 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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543 posts in 4103 days

09-15-2012 04:27 AM

Can you recommend any particular inexpensive shop vacuums typically popping up in the used market, or even in the new market? It will have to handle general outdoors sucking action as well as shop use, which really means “garage-with-a-router-a- B&D workmate-and-tons-of-lumber” use. Easily available filters would be great.

Any old but goodie one that often show up on the used market? The nicest Ridgid one?

I might be buying on Sunday or Monday. Lot sof sanding coming soon. Thanks.

32 replies so far

View Loren's profile


11147 posts in 4701 days

#1 posted 09-15-2012 04:37 AM

The Kobalt wall vac is available at Lowes fro about $80 and
has 2 pliable hoses that go together for about 25’ of range, a
remote control to turn it on and off, and is a 2-stage
machine which makes it pretty good for dust collection
with orbital sanders and routers. The vacuum runs
quieter than most and doesn’t do a fast job sucking up
heavy debris or water.

The Craftsman ShopVacs are real powerful for picking
up water and nails, but they scream like banshees when
running and the 2.25” hoses they come with are pretty
stiff. They work good as dedicated chip collectors
for table saws and portable planers, which are such
loud machines you should wear ear protection anyway.

View nwbusa's profile


1023 posts in 3339 days

#2 posted 09-15-2012 04:42 AM

My feeling is unless you step up to a Fein or a Festoool, they’re all going to be comparable. I bought a Ridgid that was 50% off at HD, and it works as well as any of the Shop-Vac-esque models.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Loren's profile


11147 posts in 4701 days

#3 posted 09-15-2012 04:47 AM

A loud single stage vac collecting your sanding dust is very
fatiguing to listen to, even with ear plugs. There’s no
one perfect vac for every application.

I had a Festool dust extractor for awhile. They are nice
and the HEPA filters are great, but sanding with the
Kobalt is about 8 out of 10 compared to the Festool
experience and almost as pleasant to use in terms of

View NiteWalker's profile


2742 posts in 3630 days

#4 posted 09-15-2012 01:02 PM

I have a shop vac I bought from Lowe’s about 6+ years ago and it’s still going strong. It’s used for everything in the shop as it’s the only means of dust collection I have for now. I’d stick with the shop vac brand.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 3903 days

#5 posted 09-15-2012 02:37 PM

Loren, I always appreciate your insights and experience. Helpful, realworld and clear.

I came across the Ridgid shown here under “powerful” and while it is less a banshee than the Craftsmans I have known, it is still loud.

It is powerful enough to clean out the jets of my hot tub which failed once going into winter. After I suctioned out all the lines, the tub sat all winter and there were no leaks.

My only complaint is the speed with which the filter fills up, which after all, Lee, is testimony to its ability to clean the air.

I’m wondering if this discussion will reveal any models that have some kind of baffle system or pre-filter that would take less tending than the Ridgid.

It does come apart and become a portable blower which I bring home occasionally to move the neighbor’s leaves from my yard over to the neighbor’s on the other side. Just kidding.

Final thought: Some of these are pretty amp hungry; it might take some attention to totals if your router is big and your garage wiring is minimal, Millo



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 3738 days

#6 posted 09-15-2012 08:09 PM

I’ve owned them all (Craftsman, ShopVac and Ridgid)...the Ridgid with the detachable blower wins for me (it can suck a bowling ball from 20 feet). They are all loud and a pain to empty and maintain the filter.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7915 posts in 3967 days

#7 posted 09-15-2012 08:12 PM

I have had my 16gal Craftsman for ~20yr and I now have it running DC duty with a separator and Hepa filter for my MS. Still runs like a champ.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3743 days

#8 posted 09-16-2012 02:18 AM

Of all the vaccs I have owned, the 14 gal Ridgid is the best I have used (I currently have 3 of them!). I do the panty hose ‘pre-filter’ and find it works well. Just bumping the vacc against the shop floor knocks most of the dust off the panty hose and restores suction. I can’t explain why the 14 gal model sucks more than the 16 gal with the detachable blower but it does. I returned the 16 gal model the same day I bought it. Just my experience; your mileage may vary.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3846 days

#9 posted 09-16-2012 02:24 AM

HD has one on sale for about $50. Ridgid. I have one and have used it for about 6 months. Like it so far. 2 1/2” hose and a nice long cord. I think it’s 12 gallon. The top comes off and it converts to a blower. Great for blowing dust off the miter saw.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View nwbusa's profile


1023 posts in 3339 days

#10 posted 09-16-2012 03:24 AM

Yep, that’s the same one I have cutworm. It’s a workhorse.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 4103 days

#11 posted 09-16-2012 03:31 AM

Wow, guys, thanks so much for your recommendations. I’ll check out those models online.

View Stephenw's profile


273 posts in 3439 days

#12 posted 09-16-2012 01:13 PM

My last vacuum was a Shop-Vac brand that lasted about 12 years. When it died, I ended up getting another Shop-Vac. I’ve been using it for a year now and it has worked well. I wish it had a place to store the attachments. Another minor issue is that there is nothing to fix the position of the lid to the can. The lid will rotate a bit on the can during use.

I wrote a review on my blog when I first purchased it…

View TheBoxStoreCraftsman's profile


37 posts in 3194 days

#13 posted 09-16-2012 09:48 PM

Have had Rigid shop vacs the last few years and like them very well, if they died today I would probably replace them with the same.

-- The project is never finished until the workbench is full of tools!"

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 4103 days

#14 posted 09-19-2012 05:57 PM

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3743 days

#15 posted 09-20-2012 02:19 AM

HD periodically has a special on Ridgid vaccs that are made in Mexico and are NOT the same as their other Ridgid vaccs (1 1/2” hose vs 2 1/2”, etc). I would stay away from those.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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