Shop Vac vs Vacuum Cleaner – Best One For Your Home

Did you know that a Shop Vac can be the best vacuum you can use for the house? Especially if you have kids and pets always making a mess? Most Shop Vacuums can even pick up liquids, how great would that have been when cleaning up that spill?

Do you want to know the real kicker! – Shop Vacuums can be cheaper than those fancy high-end vacuums you see all over the TV.

Yeah, that Dyson you have does just as good of a job as a Shop Vacuum but cost a lot more than the Shop Vacuum. Plus a shop vacuum is more durable too!

Some Shop Vacuums are better than others and plus you will need some other items to go along with it. We go into detail on what to buy so and also give you some tips too.

Best Shop Vac For Cleaning Your Home

Not just any shop vac will do, well most will but to make your life easier we have a recommendation. When looking for a Shop Vacuum to clean your house with you want to stick with one that has a 5-gallon tank and 4 to 5HP.

I’m a huge fan of the Shop-Vac 5989300 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP (Amazon Link Ad) because it’s the right size and power.


You will need to pick up a Multi-Purpose Floor Nozzle like this one here (Amazon Link Ad) if you want to vacuum carpet and floors.

Don’t forget to get some extra Extension Wands Here (Amazon Link Ad) even if the vacuum comes with some. Having plenty of extensions can save your back and makes cleaning high ceilings easier.

Why Use A Shop Vacuum?

The biggest reason to use a shop vacuum to clean your home instead of a regular vacuum cleaner is that they’re more durable. I never worry when I accidentally drop or hit my shop vac as it bounces back.

Also, a really good reason is that they can cost less than the more expensive and fancy vacuum cleaners you see the commercials for.

You can also suck up just about anything with a shop vacuum. I’ve had regular vacuum cleaners break or stop working after sucking up a penny or a paper clip. Why should I have to worry about such things when vacuuming? A shop vacuum will suck those things up and more without flinching.

Shop Vacuums also will suck up pet hair and —-Clumps of Pet’s Hair —- without choking or breaking. I can’t tell you how many regular vacuum cleaners I have gone through that say they’re made for pet hair only to die from normal use. Not only good for pet hair but also the long human hair too!

Let’s also not forget you can use a shop vacuum anywhere. Need to clean the car, use a shop vac. Need to clean the garage, shop vacuum! I’ve even seen some shop vacuum cleaners turn into a leaf blower which is super helpful.

Here is a good video showing the uses of a Wet/Dry Vacuum for around the home…

The Downside

Just with anything in life, there are some disadvantages to using a Shop Vacuum as your regular vacuum for your home.

-The first downside, which is becoming less of an issue here lately, is the noise. The reason why shop vacuums work so well is that they’re powerful and with great power comes a lot of noise. I have noticed that a lot of the shop vacuums you buy now are much quieter than the old ones I use to use, so it is getting better.

-You will need attachments and accessories. It will make your life easier to buy the correct gear for the vacuum.

-Another downside is that they can be bigger than a regular vacuum. This is why I say stick with the 5 gallons and 4 to 5HP range. These 5 gallons are about the same size as a regular vacuum cleaner you would buy at the super stores if not slightly bigger.

The size issue could be seen as a perk to some. You could buy the big daddy 12-gallon models and do some serious damage in cleaning. You could clean a mansion with that much storage. This size might be worth it if you do house cleaning for a living.

-The big size also brings up the next issue that might be a problem…. They’re super powerful. If you’re not careful, you could suck up a sock, jewelry, or even pull the carpet apart if you get too powerful of a shop vacuum. This is why I like to stick to 4 to 5HP and nothing more. To give you an idea there are lawnmowers with 5HP engines, that’s plenty of power for vacuuming.

A Shop Vacuum Works Best For

A shop vacuum works best for someone whose regular vacuum cleaner keeps breaking. Either their old vacuum gets clogged or just can’t handle the pet hair, human hair, or whatever you throw at it then a shop vacuum will be worth a look at.

If anything since they’re priced nicely it would be nice to have a shop vac around the home for all the cleaning you don’t want your expensive vacuum to endure. Maybe you need to clean up a big mess of oatmeal and spilled milk, grab the shop vac and set it up for liquid, and be done in no time.

There are many uses for a shop vacuum, but here are a few that I use them for…

Blow up mattresses and pools – many shop vacs have a blower that can blow up many items quickly.

Un-Clog a Drain – Use the blower to remove that clog in your drain.

Retrieve Items – Dropped a ring down the drain? Use the Shop Vac to get it out.

Bugs and Critters – Suck up dead bugs or alive ones into the shop vacuum. Some shop vacs are strong enough to suck up mice.

Vacuum Bags – Use them with storage bags.

Drop Wine Glass – Suck up the wine and the glass into the shop vacuum.