Review: Shop Vac 8-Gallon Stainless Steel Wet-Dry Vacuum

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

If you’ve avoided the purchase of a shop vacuum recently because the newer models seem inferior to the older models, then you’re not alone. There are many vacuums priced in the mid-range that just don’t have the sturdiness and suction power of previous models. The Shop Vac 8-Gallon stainless steel wet-dry vacuum is one of the exceptions to the rule.

It starts with the stainless steel tank. Although some might describe the metal as “thin,” we found that the tank was remarkably durable. If you slam it into something, of course it will dent. For regular use, however, this vacuum is built to last.

What Are the Features of the Shop Vac 8-Gallon Model?

We prefer the 8-gallon model from Shop Vac over other vacuums in this price range because it has a longer power cord, a better overall design, and on-board accessory storage that doesn’t rattle around all over the place when you’re trying to work. The 12-foot power cord helps you cover an entire room with ease, especially when combined with the 6-foot hose.

Now the hose does feel a bit cheap and can kink a bit if you spin the hose around as you’re working. Overall, however, the basic use of this vacuum is simple, easy, and effective.

We also appreciated the rear blower port that comes with this particular Shop Vac. At 5.5 peak HP, the amount of exhaust coming out of the blower is quite impressive, so you’ll want to take care that you aren’t creating a bigger mess behind you as you clean up the mess that is in front of you.

The square dolly design of the wheels, which roll pretty easily, by the way, lends more stability to the user experience with this vacuum as well. Because it weighs close to 20 pounds, you’ll also find that it is difficult to accidentally move this vacuum or tip it over as you are working.

What Could Be Improved with the Shop Vac 8-Gallon Model?

As with other modern Shop Vacs, this 8-gallon model has been equipped with an easy-lift system that features a top handle by the motor. In theory, you just grab the handle and move the vacuum to where you need it to go. In reality, because of the added weight and size of this particular model, the top assembly tends to separate from the tank when you attempt to move the vacuum in this fashion.

No matter how you tinker with the latches, the tank and top separate. If that happens part-way up the lift and you have debris in the tank that you’ve cleaned up, then you are going to have a less. The top locks on tightly for general use, so there isn’t a loss of suction, so we simply recommend moving this vacuum around the old-fashioned way.

If you’re looking for an affordable high-capacity shop vacuum that is balanced will and comes with an internal deflector, then give the Shop Vac 8-gallon stainless steel wet-dry vacuum a closer look. It may not be perfect, but it is priced right and gets the job done.

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