Growing up, one of the typical chores I had on a weekly basis was vacuuming. I quickly learned that there are different types of vacuums for different uses. One of those types is called a ShopVac. A Shop Vac is designed to handle either wet or dry materials whereas a standard house vacuum is really only meant to deal with dust and dry substances. 

A Shop Vac is also known as a wet/dry vacuum and Wikipedia defines it as: 

A specialized form of the cylinder/drum models that can be used to clean up wet or liquid spills. They are generally designed to be used both indoors and outdoors and to accommodate both wet and dry debris; some are also equipped with an exhaust port or detachable blower for reversing the airflow, a useful function for everything from clearing a clogged hose to blowing dust into a corner for easy collection.

Wet/Dry. (2018, December 23). Retrieved from

Shop Vacs are a really nice replacement in the home to a traditional mop/bucket combo. The do typically have a better air intake than a standard vacuum and they are more versatile since they can handle heavier cleaning tasks. Some of the other ways the Shop Vacs are useful include: 

  • Movement – even though they are considered heavy-duty machines, Shop Vacs are handy and easy to move around thanks to their rubberized, non-marking wheels. 
  • Size – They are available in a wide range of sizes to accommodate different types of users. 
  • Disposal of Liquids – Shop Vacs are designed to pick up and dispose of liquids. They come equipped with drain hoses so users do not need to lift heavy tanks to remove collected materials.  

Even though Shop Vacs might be seen as old-fashioned compared to something high-tech like robot vacuum, they still have their place. I’ve tried pretty much any type of vacuum and I can see uses for most of them. I can say that as nice an automatic robot vacuum is, it is still prone to make mistakes and can really only be used for uncluttered areas. Steam cleaners again are great for a specialized cleaning, but they can’t replace a good ole’ shop vac in my opinion. 

Even with several different innovations in cleaning devices coming to light over the past few years, I still feel that Shop Vacs still have their place. Wet/dry vacuums can tackle jobs that other vacuums can’t. They are designed to deal with harsh situations including flooded basements or piles of sawdust. There are lots of different types of shop vacs in the market and its important to do your research before select the right one for your uses. Find Mats has a great list of recent options available to help you choose.