Are Shop Vacuums Superior in Suction Strength Than Comparable Household Vacuums?

When we talk about vacuums, the variety out there is pretty astounding. But there’s this one kind that often flies under the radar, yet deserves a shoutout – the shop vacuum. Now, this isn’t your everyday household vacuum. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of vacuums!

Typically, you’ll see these bad boys flexing their muscles in industrial or commercial settings. But guess what? They’re also super handy in homes. They’re like the cleanup heroes for pretty much every mess imaginable, and yes, that includes those pesky wet spills too!

Now, you might be wondering, does a shop vacuum pack more punch in terms of suction compared to other vacuums? And here’s where it gets interesting. Is it better than your regular household vacuum cleaner? The answer might just catch you off guard!

Why Does Suction Matter When It Comes To Vacuum Cleaners?

If your current vacuum cleaner works fine, why should you care about having more suction?

Simple, you can’t predict the future.

With my shop vacuum cleaner, I’ve sucked up broken glass, water leaks, cleaned my gutters and so much more. And not once did I think it was “enough” suction, I could have always used more.

A shop vacuum has its place and the suction of it is important, so let’s talk about it below.

Do Shop Vacuums Have More Suction?

Most shop vacuums do have more suction than the typical vacuum cleaner you get for your home.

The average shop vacuum will have a CFM of 197 while your typical household vacuum cleaner will only have 83. The larger the number, the more powerful the suction.

Not only that, but shop vacuums also tend to have a higher HP (horsepower). The average shop vacuum will have 2 to 6.5 peak horsepower, while most home vacuums have around one.

So when it comes to suction power, shop vacuums definitely have an edge over regular vacuum cleaners. But does that mean they are always the better option?

Shop Vacuums Have Too Much POWER!

While having more suction is generally a good thing, it’s not always the best thing for every cleaning job you do around your home.

For example, if you are looking for a vacuum to use on delicate surfaces like drapes or upholstery, a shop vacuum will be too powerful and will end up damaging the fabric.

In addition, shop vacuums are typically larger and heavier than home vacuums, which can make them difficult to maneuver around tight spaces and lug around the home.

So, while shop vacuums do have more suction power, they may not be the best option for every job. It really depends on your specific needs.

How To Increase The Suction Of Your Shop Vacuum

If you find that your shop vacuum isn’t as powerful as you’d like it to be, there are a few things you can do to increase the suction.

First, make sure the filter is clean. A clogged filter will decrease the amount of suction your vacuum has.

Second, check for any blockages in the hose. If there is something blocking the airflow, that will also reduce suction power. Some shop vacuums have noise reducing filters on them as they get quite loud, but these filters tend to rob you of suction, so removing them will give you more suction.

Finally, if your shop vacuum has adjustable settings or different power modes, you may be able to increase the suction by turning up the power.

Keep in mind that increasing the suction may also make the shop vacuum louder, so it’s a bit of a trade-off.

The Best HP For A Shop Vacuum?

The best HP for a shop vacuum really depends on what you will be using it for. If you need a powerful vacuum for tough jobs, a higher HP shop vac is your best bet, anything larger than 4HP is ideal with many of them maxing out around 6.5HP.

However, if you only need a shop vac for light jobs around the house, a lower HP model should suffice. Keep in mind, most household vacuum cleaners only deliver 1HP, so a small 2HP shop vacuum will be more than enough for most people.

For me, I find worrying more about canister size to be more important than HP. Mostly because the bigger the canister, the more often the higher horsepower they give you.

The Best Canister Size For Your Shop Vac?

The size of the canister will determine how long you can go before having to empty it. Smaller shop vacuums will have a capacity of around 2.5 gallons, while the larger models can hold up to 16 gallons.

Of course, the larger the canister, the heavier it will be when full, so you’ll have to decide what’s more important to you: a lighter shop vacuum that needs to be emptied more often, or a heavier vacuum that can go longer between emptying.

As for me, I prefer the larger models as it means fewer trips to the garbage can. But if you have a smaller home and don’t do a lot of cleaning, a smaller shop vac should suffice.

If you deal with more wet messes, you’ll find the larger canisters better, as they often have a drain port.

No matter what size you choose, make sure to get a shop vacuum with wheels. This will make it much easier to move around, especially when it’s full.

Overall, the size of the canister is more important than the HP when it comes to shop vacuums. Choose a size that will best suit your needs, as they’re all powerful enough for the capacity you go with.

Replace Your Shop Vacuum Every 3 To 5 Years

Shop vacuums are built to last, but like any appliance, they will eventually need to be replaced.

With proper care and maintenance, your shop vacuum should last 3 to 5 years.

Though, it’s not uncommon for them to last 10 years or more for some models. Shop vacuum cleaner are a lot simpler and built a lot tougher than your normal vacuum cleaner. And if you’re only using it to clean up a spill or two and a few more messes, they will last a good long time.

If you use your shop vacuum in a commercial environment, and it’s being used a lot, it won’t last as long, but most things in this environment don’t anyway.



Hello, I'm Lee from ""! Launched in 2016, my site addresses the online information gap about "robot vacuums" and "vacuum cleaners," areas where I have hands-on experience. Got questions about a post or topic? Feel free to comment or contact me (contact)!

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