shop vac questions

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by DaveH, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. DaveH


    Dec 2, 1999
    I have a 10 year old Rigid wet/drp vac that works pretty well. The problem is it's big, and noisy.

    The local hardware has a cute 5 gal shop vac brand, that's supposed to be quieter, at least the box says. The other thing thast confuses mme is there are filter bags, filter canisters, filter foam thingies, etc. What are all those for? Rigid has cartridges with particulate size rating down to HEPA supposedly, that I can understand.

    So I want:

    - Smaller size wet/dry vac
    - quieter
    - more portable.
    - standard filters / tools

  2. cliff355


    Apr 19, 2003
    The foam thingie is the filter for when you are sucking up water or wet material. Foam keeps chunks out of the mechanism but does not disintegrate when wet.

    For dry pickup, you put the filter cannister over the foam filter and this filters out dust.

    The bags are optional but if you are blowing into a bag, the bag will also act like a filter and prevent the filter cannister from getting plugged as fast.

    I got one of those shop vacs like you are looking at in my basement. What I did was make a sound "cabinet" for it out of MDF, lined with ceiling tiles and with a baffled exhaust outlet on the bottom. This quieted it down to about like an electric razor.

    Then, I hooked up one of those particle separator lids that go on a 5-gal bucket. This is a very quiet and slick setup - haven't changed either the filter cannister or filter bag in over two years.
  3. xdshooter


    Apr 18, 2007
    My tile guy has one of these:

    Basically, it looks like a tool box. He pulled it out of his truck one day after the grout dried on a bathroom floor I had him do. I thought it was just another tool box. It keeps the cord and hose inside the box until you need it, and it wasn't rolling around loose in the back of his pickup like a full sized shop vac would. Doesn't have the storage capacity of a full size, but worked fine for smaller jobs, and way more portable.
  4. Razzierb


    Jun 26, 2003
    Dave .., Unfortunately, until you start spending big money, quieter likely means a less powerful Vac. I've got a couple of the big Craftsman Wet / Dry vacs that I just can't seem to kill. Both are around 10 years old, powerful, but noisy. I did have a much quieter full size (I think it was the actual Shop Vac brand), but it used the smaller diameter tubes and didn't provide near the suction power of my Craftman Vacs. Ended up giving it to a friend of mine.

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