Shop Vac recommendations

I am in the need of a new shop vac. I am hoping the good folks around here can help me narrow my search.

it needs to be powerful, and capable of HEPA filtering with an internal bag or whathaveyou.

need to be able to deALLERGEN the house. the wifey is taking a beating after she opened the window recently to let some fresh air in. oh it was fresh all right. fresh with pollen from who knows where.

my current one is a 20 some odd year old Craftsmen model for which spare parts/bags are apparently now a thing of the past.

thanks all!


I have two identical RIGID ones, I think they are 6 gallon. One is specifcally for workshop use, mostly hooked up to a sawdust separator for my CNC router or the occasional indoor use of sanders and saws - the dust goes into a larger bucket, the heavier particles into the vacuum bin. The other more general purpose, including household use. You can get HEPA filters for them, it’s a pretty standard size. I have a 2nd because it came with the “car tools” - a soft hose, adapter and all the nozzles - on sale for less than the cost of those tools alone. They have wheels, on-board storage for standard tools. The specific model I have is no longer available but they have equivalents, but they are more expensive now. They are VERY loud but effective.

My GF is semi-permanently connected to a 6" Vivosun inline duct fan, via 25’ of 4" hose and an adapter to 6" for the short run out the window. I get no smell or smoke when I have it hooked up and running. It is “semi-permanent” because for many short jobs, I don’t bother hooking it up (placement of my machine in my workshop means the duct has to run across the floor into another room when in-use…)


Ya I was figuring that the prices are much higher now.

got a new chainsaw yesterday. that hurt. well until I realized I hadn’t bought one in 25 or so years. and it is a Stihl. so it should be good for the rest of my life. (from old age, not cutting an artery)

got the chaps too. :slight_smile:


I bought a semi-pro (“Farm Boss”) Stihl after going thru a couple of cheap saws.

Cuts like butter. I also bought a spare chain, longer bar, and a manual STILL sharpening rig/file guide I saw tree pros using a couple of times. Takes no time to replace with a spare chain I keep in the case, then sharpen the spare at my leisure.

I have used it to save many times more than the cost of getting in tree pros - I just use them to climb up some of our monster trees here in GA when needed. I think I paid about $450 many years ago, but that model is no longer available. It’s close to the 291, which is about $70 more expensive.

I was married to my ex for 20 years and we lived on her family property, 20 or so wooded acres. In addition to a dozen or more driveway clearings, we were never short of firewood (three fireplaces, two used frequently.) I would rent a pro splitter every 3-4 yrs to replenish our supply. It would take half a day and we had several mountains of wood, which we rotated thru as it dried out.


I have a few of them for different purposes, but I had a similar desire for one that I could seriously trust for HEPA filtration when cleaning up fine dust, sheetrock sanding, unknown possibility of asbestos, etc. I did a bunch of research and decided on the “Dustless” brand, specifically this one:

They are quite costly, but I figure if they’re selling something for commercial use that’s OSHA and EPA compliant, they’re not cutting corners.


I am looking forward to using it this weekend. gotta get our fire/ring installed ASAP.

in recent years we don’t have a spring. just goes from 30’s to 90’ in about 4 hours here in KY.

I plan on buying property in the future and expect to use it a LOT there :slight_smile:


We have had amazing temperatures here in GA this month, in the 80’s some days. I live in a bit of a sheltered hole, so my home is consistently a few degrees warmer than “official” temperatures for my city (I have two separate weather stations, both in shade, one on the South, and one on the North side of the house.) My ex doesn’t believe me as her home is up higher and on a bit of a hill.

I love a good fire in the pit, but I’ve been sweating every time I’ve fired it up this season…

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I’ve used this one for over 15 years, it’s strong. There is a HEPA-rated filter for it.


I was looking to do something different but the Blu-Dri is designed to clean up a massive volume of air at 500 cubic feet per minute with a hepa filter and takes everything in that air including pollen, smoke, and strong smells from anywhere. It is a little noisy but much less than a standard Glowforge.

Beyond that the small canister vacuums are cheap and replaceable.


I’m sure you don’t want to go this route, but we actually bought a Rainbow vacuum for the house, at a very hefty price of $4300.00. But we run the air purifier on it 24/7, and have noticed a HUGE difference. We have so many cedar trees around us, and right now they are in full pollen mode - when the pollen blows off it literally looks like a huge cloud of smoke from a fire. And my husband has horrible allergies to it. But we really like having our windows open too. The water filtration from the Rainbow has definitely been a lifesaver. We also have an OdorStop filter in the same room, but it doesn’t do nearly as well as the Rainbow. You can see the junk that gets trapped in the water, which he empties and refills every night. Plus we have the added bonus of using it as a regular vacuum. We also have a small “Rainbow Mate” that we keep running 24/7 in our bedroom. It’s definitely made a difference in his breathing, even when he’s out working on the property all day.


in hindsight I would have gotten the Rainbow from my folks when they were getting rid of theirs.


What’s really nice is my husband did the vacuuming for me! We ended up getting rid of our floor rug we had in the front room because one of our dogs kept messing on it. But my hubby still uses it, not only for the room filtration, but once a week he vacuums our bed and uses a special bag they gave us with the vacuum to do our pillows with. We noticed a big difference the first night we used it, so he’s been very vigilant to keep it up.


One of the major selling factors for the home I now live in is that it has no carpet. It is all hardwood, except for ceramic tile in the bathrooms.

When I renovated my ex’s family home, built in the 50’s, we were amazed to find the entire house had 1" oak hardwood “subfloor” underneath the awful carpet they had lived with their entire lives. It cost a lot to get it all refinished, but now her home is all hardwood as well - except for marble tile in the main hallway, bathrroms, and kitchen.


Real hardwood is amazing to look at…but i still so much prefer the feel of a fuzzy carpet beneath my bare or socked feet. But a lot of this super cheap flooring is horrendous. It peels, the edges around each piece fade and wear, and to replace one spot you have to tear the entire floor apart. Carpet over that any day please.

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One house my parents had while I was growing up had all hardwood floors except for the dining room - which was 1" cork! Well that is impossible to clean. After Marc and I got married, my mom had gone to live with my sister who was having a difficult pregnancy. So we decided to sand that cork floor. BIG mistake! We had cork dust all over the house for over a year. Of course we were stupid and didn’t think about using plastic sheeting to contain the dust in the one room, but I’m not sure that would’ve helped much. It did make it look a lot nicer though. I think Mom ended up painting it years later before she sold the house.


I saw this topic again and it reminded me of this song so I had to go down a rathole of putting on some Jonathan Coulton.


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