Blower Vac V.s. Regular Vac

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Forum topic by Mark828 posted 05-09-2013 12:33 PM 5582 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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95 posts in 2935 days

05-09-2013 12:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Just picked up a dust deputy from my local woodcraft the other day because Ive been planning on getting a new shop vac, one with a little more power then the small 5 gallon one i have now. Went to the local HD… aka, my work :/ and there has been two that I just cant seem to decide on.

The Contenders:


Pros: The blower (obviously), little bit more powerful,

Cons: 20 bucks more, little louder, comes with regular filter.


Pros: Cheaper, Comes with fine dust filter, quieter, (saw the same vac with an upgraded accessory kit that we have in the overhead for the same price, maybe for a special)

Cons: Little less powerful, no blower option.

I really like the idea of the blower option, it would be real handy. I guess the only thing between me and a decision is the noise threshold (i can just plug them in at work) and whether or not I can snag one of the upgraded wd1450’s down from the overhead.

Open to any suggestions, THANKS.

11 replies so far

View kreitzm's profile


22 posts in 2980 days

#1 posted 05-09-2013 12:38 PM

I can attest to the performance of the blower vac. I purchased one in December because I picked up the Dust Deputy as well. I was a bit worried thinking that having it perform double duty as a blower and a vac might affect its primary ability as a vacuum. It works excellent in both functions. And, the Dust Deputy is everything it claims to be. I did buy a better filter for the vac and the accessory kit as well. I am completely satisfied with the set up. I think you will be happy with the purchase if you go that way.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3448 days

#2 posted 05-09-2013 01:23 PM

I wouldn’t look at the “power” numbers for either of the vacuums personally. Shop vac power ratings come from the peak current draw when the motor is first started. There is a very short spike and this is the numbers that manufacturers use. After the spike the current draw will settle to a running load. The peak can also vary based on motor design as well, so it might not even be a concrete comparison between shop vacs of the same brand. It’s at best a qualitative comparison that can give you a ballpark idea, so in this case, the 1/2 extra “horse” is rather meaningless.

One thing I saw that’s interesting about these two vacs though, is that the spec page does happen to list max CFM for both units. Honestly, I’m not sure how accurate those numbers are but seeing as to how they’re from the same manufacturer, I think it would be okay to compare numbers across models. In this case, the 1680 quotes 167cfm and the 1450 quotes 168cfm. What I take away from that is that they should be identical in performance.

IMO, only get the 1680 only if you really want the blower function, but even then at 167cfm (for blowers ignore the velocity, it’s about CFM), it’s probably best for light work. I’ve got a Stihl BG55, which is their entry level gas blower, and for the most part it does a decent job on my 1/4 acre lot (I do occasionally wish it had more power though). That’s rated at 418cfm. If I were to guess, whatever Echo blower you sell is probably very similarly spec’d. It’ll run about another $100, but IMO you’ll be happier with it.

One thing that I believe should really tip the scales in the favor of the 1450 is that it’s generally regarded as a quiet shop vac. That’s all relative of course, since most shop vacs are very very loud (if you really want quiet, check out a Festool or Fein dust extractor), however if you read around on reviews of the 1450, that seems to be the one thing that stands out is that people say it’s a lot quieter than other shop vacs. I used to use a Ridgid wall mount shop vac and the noise was unbearable. Couldn’t use it late at night, and absolutely couldn’t use w/o hearing protection. I’ve got a Fein dust extractor now that claims to be about 70db at full blast and I can say that the noise reduction is a very useful feature. I doubt the 1450 is going to be that quiet, but every little bit is going to help, especially considering performance between the two looks to be about similar.

One final thing – the VF4000 filter that comes with the 1650 is no good. The Dust Deputy will separate most of the heaver stuff out of the air, but the fines will go into your vac and pretty much straight through that filter. The one that comes with the 1450 (if it’s the Ridgid brand fine filter) will perform much better. I’ve used it myself, but I’d actually go one step further and look for a Gore Cleanstream HEPA rated filter. I’ve used both and the Gore did seem to leave fewer fines around the exhaust area.

Good luck with your decision; you definitely made a good choice in picking up the Dust Deputy.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3279 days

#3 posted 05-09-2013 01:35 PM


If you have a need for a Blower with that power rating, you’ll not find one for $20.00 and you may want to try a Shop-Vac muffler to tone down the db level.

FWIW, I’d go with the Blower/Vac combo.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3968 days

#4 posted 05-09-2013 02:01 PM

I have a 10 gal. Shop-Vac with a DD. I am satisfied with it. Anytime I am running my shop equipment, I have ear protection so noise isn’t an issue. The wife still works so that isn’t an issue either. But… could be when she retires. :(

View kreitzm's profile


22 posts in 2980 days

#5 posted 05-09-2013 02:57 PM

Like I said, the vac works great, the blower works great too when I use it to blow out the dirt, leaves, saw dust from my garage. I haven’t, however, tried to use it in my yard to blow leaves or grass, I have a gas powered one for that. So, I don’t know how well it performs as far as that goes

View Harley130's profile


25 posts in 4500 days

#6 posted 05-09-2013 04:21 PM

Since you work @the depot (as i did for 5 LONG years), you probably are aware that only the shop vacs with the inlet on the side of the drum can utilize an internal bag. Both of these units meet that criteria. I would install both the internal bag and the HEPA filter. I know from experience the bag will filter out dust as fine as sheetrock dust.
When I was in D25, I did see some of the 1680’s being returned because the blower was useless for anything other than moving dust. You could always use it to blow the dust/debris out the door.

-- Seldom wrong, but never in doubt. My Blog site:

View MrRon's profile


5994 posts in 4250 days

#7 posted 05-09-2013 04:36 PM

Based on current draw, I would go with the 16 gal model. (12A vs 11A) since the CFM is the same for both, the motor on the 16 gal model should work less.

View kdc68's profile


2992 posts in 3284 days

#8 posted 05-09-2013 09:18 PM

You will appreciate how quiet the Ridgid 14 gallon vac is…. I own the Ridgid 14 gallon and I own a Sears 16 gallon. The Sears vac screams the decibels, while the Ridgid whispers them…

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3697 days

#9 posted 05-10-2013 02:39 AM

I have 3 of the 14 gal Ridgid shop vacs which all work very well. I returned the 16 gal with the blower the same day I bought it. It didn’t seem to have nearly the power/suction as the 14s.

Those “mufflers” they sell didn’t make ANY difference in the noise level so they went back also.

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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5340 posts in 4967 days

#10 posted 05-10-2013 01:53 PM

The old style Ridgid muffler worked well. It really quieted the 16 gal. blower/vac. The new and improved (hah) muffler does nothing. I do use the blower feature when I don’t need to fire up the Stihl leaf blower.

-- [email protected]

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3706 posts in 4445 days

#11 posted 05-10-2013 02:15 PM

An alternative. I’ve owed a few shop vacs and the Sears Craftsman ones have a lot for the $$. There’s one for about the same price that’s 20 gallons and there’s a stainless one for about $50 more. There’s even one that can hang on the wall with a 20 ft hose and a remote.

Just an alternative for you to look at. Also, even though all shop vacs are sort of squat now. The shorter and pudgier it is the faster the filter hits the dust inside as it fills up. So half full means emptying. They used to make them tall and narrower.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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