Thread Number: 14813  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Shop Vacs
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Post# 157134   10/27/2011 at 13:29 (2,522 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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This may have been discussed before, but does anyone collect shop vacs as well?

I used to like them as a kid. My favorites were the more unusual ones. JcPenney had two maroon and white Shop Vacs called the Floormaster series. They had a bin on the back for the tools and I think blower ports. The smaller one was very short and there was a larger, taller model too. There are also Eureka shop vacs in those catalogs. I have a Sears Home Central catalog that has the Hoover wet/dry vac as well.

Another favorite was the Shop Vac All-Around, which looked a bit like a canister vacuum and was meant for more in-house cleaning. In the 1990s Sears sold a white 6 gallon Craftsman shop vac that I liked because it had a cord reel. I saw one in the trash a few years ago but couldn't get it.

Anyhow, I have one Shop Vac myself, a 5 gallon from 1997. I was always diligent about keeping the tank washed out and filters cleaned. At the time I thought about getting a Craftsman 2 gallon wet/dry vac instead, because it had a blower port. However, it didn't have wheels.

My grandparents have a metal tank red and white Montgomery Ward shop vac from the 1970s, although the plastic dolley broke. A few years ago they got a Craftsman 2 gallon when they were on sale for $14. I like that they come with a dusting brush and other tools, but they louder than other shop vacs.

Post# 157138 , Reply# 1   10/27/2011 at 13:48 (2,522 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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I love shop vacs But they are hard to collect as they are usually used to destruction and then the bin is used as  a bucket to store stuff or wash the car.


I love the original steal bin shop vacs, we used to get them her under the aqua vac name.


One of my first projects in R&D at Electrolux SA was testing the locally designed wet&dry shopvac.


Post# 157165 , Reply# 2   10/27/2011 at 16:43 (2,522 days old) by vacman117 (Valparaiso, IN)        

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I collect shop vacs too! I don't really like the huge ones, but I really like the small ones. I have a few old metal ones, as well as some newer ones. I have a 5 gallon (I think it's 5) that I use to clean the cars, and then I have a small pink and gray All-Around one that I use in the house for quick messes. I attached a Eureka Mighty Mite hose onto it, which is much more flexible than the original, and has a handle grip. I would absolutely love to find the shop vac with a power nozzle from the 1990's, but that is probably near impossible...

Post# 157169 , Reply# 3   10/27/2011 at 17:01 (2,522 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

A local pet shop has a Goblin AquaVac loitering about their building, looked in poor shape and had a note stuck on it saying not to use it cos otherwise the user would get shocked, I did think about asking them if they wanted to get rid of it, but, I didn't really want it... :\

As for that actual "ShopVac" brand, after looking for their bags for a project, I have found a small few for sale, so I don't think they're that well-known here in the UK, probably cos people buy Numatic brand vacs instead.... :S

Post# 157201 , Reply# 4   10/27/2011 at 21:16 (2,521 days old) by rickenbacker ()        

I have a shop vac brand vac that I bought a few years ago from BnQ. It cost me 30 and I bought it pretty much because it was a shop vac :P I also at that point didn't have a wet/dry vac. Having used it for a short while I have to say that it's a bit shit really :P for 30 it's not bad and really, it's built to be abused however, the wheels ALWAYS fall off the bucket, the hose comes off whilst vacuuming, the hose flys off straight away if you stick it on the blow port and the air escapes through the cheap plastic :P The best use I ever put it to however was clearing a ton of glass from my dad's broken car window. That was quite fun :P I have always liked shop vacs though or rather, tub vacs in general. I am a big fan of numatic vacuum cleaners and currently own three, as shown on my display picture :)

Charlie :)

Post# 157229 , Reply# 5   10/28/2011 at 01:47 (2,521 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I have 3 "shop-Vac" wet dry vacuums in my collection-A 15Gal Shop-vac marked as a "Dayton" vacuum sold thru Grainger.Bought it new from ReTool-sadly they are closed.Guess could be called a Shop-Vac--A "SootVac"came from ReTool.SS tank with a thick inner paper bag.Has a thick very heavy fire proof hose.Its dry pickup only.Lastly- is a Tornado "Task Force"ext filrter bag wet-dry vac.Has a 15A motor.same idea as the Tornado vac shown here a while ago.Motor-blower is detachable so you can use it as a VERY powerful blower.One of my dream vacuums is a NSS "Bronco" ext filter wet-dry vacuum with the polished SS drum and motor-and of course the HUGE blue NSS bag with the NSS "Horse" logo.Saw one of those at a Daycon janitorial supply in Wash DC over 30Years ago-wanted one ever since!The Bronco sold today is a smaller plastic drum internal filter machine.Not as cool as that older one.

Post# 157392 , Reply# 6   10/29/2011 at 12:37 (2,520 days old) by kenmore81 (Warwick, RI)        

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Id like to collect Shop-Vacs but theres just no room. I especially liked the early- mid 80's ones. They had so many sizes and colors depending on the store. We got our first Shop-Vac in 1988, it was white with a blue and white can 5 gal. It lasted quite a few years then the can rusted. I didn't care for that much the dolly was always falling off. I always wanted the steam cleaner attachment for it.

When Hoover came out with there 2 tank system I wanted one so bad.

Also there was one called a Roo vac. Its logo was a kagaroo and it had a 3 level tank, I always wonderd how it worked. The smallest top tank could detatch as a small 2 gallon wet/dry.

Post# 157465 , Reply# 7   10/29/2011 at 22:32 (2,519 days old) by RainbowD4C (Saint Joseph, Michigan )        

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When I lived in the house in Michigan I had two. I had a shop Vac All Around that I had down in the basement for those days I didn't want to carry my Rainbow downstairs. and I had a Shop Vac big mouth I used to call it out in the garage that I used for cleaning the decks, garage, sidewalks and car. I got rid of both when I sold the house and moved into a apartment.

Post# 157505 , Reply# 8   10/30/2011 at 10:35 (2,519 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        
I have 4

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One tiny (1 gal) 2 medium (six gal) and one huge (18 gal). When it comes to Shop Vacs, for me, the bigger the better, because I use them for yard work and cleaning out my woodshop.

Post# 157511 , Reply# 9   10/30/2011 at 11:19 (2,519 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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I so agree , bigger is better. I wish they brought the brand  Shopvac to SA I love the really big ones. I built my own, really simple and I have even sold a few.

Funny thing is they are so powerful I had to reinforce the drum by lining it with fiber glass

Post# 157573 , Reply# 10   10/30/2011 at 22:11 (2,518 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        
Another thing that counts a lot

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is having a much larger diameter hose.

Post# 157620 , Reply# 11   10/31/2011 at 14:42 (2,518 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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That barrel vacuum reminds me of one Home Depot sells. I believe it's called the bucket vac, it's a top with a motor, filter, and hose that attaches to a 5 gallon bucket to make a wet/dry vac.

Post# 157691 , Reply# 12   11/1/2011 at 03:32 (2,517 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

when you think of what wet-dry "Shop-Vacs" were for-picking up wood chips and sawdust,metal shavings,and even demolition debris from remodel jobs.and of course-they are used as a cheaper substitute for a dust collector for power the large diameter hoses are needed to move the air and the large debris and large amounts of it.

Post# 157882 , Reply# 13   11/3/2011 at 06:45 (2,515 days old) by KirbyLover ()        

I have a Shop-Vac ultra, 60L/13gal. 6HP

It's great and extremely powerful. I use it for everything, including cleaning the vacuums in my collection! I also use it for anything construction- drywall, sawdust, etc. I hook it up directly to my mitre saw or table saw while running (like a dust collector) which greatly reduced the dust on the floor. Have not used it for "wet" yet but I'm sure the day will come. I use an even bigger wet/dry at work but it doesn't seem to have the same suction (smaller diameter hose, but much longer too).

Post# 305099 , Reply# 14   11/6/2014 at 21:37 (1,415 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

I currently have:
Ridgid WD1956
Sears/Craftsman 8 Gallon
16 Gallon
Shop Vac 5 Gallon metal tank

All of the above my parents & I bought new

Post# 305410 , Reply# 15   11/8/2014 at 22:52 (1,413 days old) by vacuumfreak95 (Aransas Pass, Tx)        

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I have a gigantic 80's Sears Craftman shop vac that belonged to my father. That thing is a trooper, been to hell and back over the years yet continues to work fantastic. I've come to the conclusion that it will never die! Haha!

Post# 305427 , Reply# 16   11/9/2014 at 08:16 (1,413 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Here are some of my "ShopVac" as none of them are the actual brand shopvac. Staring off with two of my Karchers. I will have tp find them all

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Post# 305436 , Reply# 17   11/9/2014 at 10:15 (1,413 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Here is a goblin Aqua vac. I love this machine due to its powerful double stage (twin fan) Bypass motor set up. Its a powerful force to be recond with. I have a smaller single stage version two but this beast is my favorite

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Post# 305558 , Reply# 18   11/10/2014 at 00:26 (1,412 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Another Karcher. The only issue is they have very small filters and therfore yiu have to use paper bags which get expensive when your using them for their purpose..... Cleaning up big messes

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Post# 305615 , Reply# 19   11/10/2014 at 11:19 (1,412 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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A old hoover wet&dry . a Rowenta ( every one here seemed to have one of these in the 80.s and the Hoover module 1000 and aquaplus 1800 wet and dry. Also very popular as household vacuums in the 90.s

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Post# 305629 , Reply# 20   11/10/2014 at 12:43 (1,412 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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My workshop workhorses
A wap xls never die.

and a Nilfisk (post Wap) alto atix 3

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Post# 305642 , Reply# 21   11/10/2014 at 14:43 (1,412 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Currently my most expensive shopvac to purchase and to maintaine. Its also one of the most uses been hooked up to my woodworking equipment.
Any one who owns any Festool tools can attestify to their quality and their cost.
It does feature auto on off for powertools meaning that if plugged into the machine the vacuum will switch on the minute I for dust extraction. It has the most interesting drum and filter set up and those two filter cost a small fortune.
It does have great suction. It uses a Dommel 1200watt double stage bypass motor.
It even has a storage compartment for tools.

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Post# 305699 , Reply# 22   11/10/2014 at 21:31 (1,411 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        
THAT'S a shop-vac!?

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It looks like an industrial Xerox machine! tongue-out

Post# 305732 , Reply# 23   11/10/2014 at 23:16 (1,411 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Yep its a beast. By the way not sure about their cost in the USA but here in Sa they cost over $1000.00

Post# 305734 , Reply# 24   11/10/2014 at 23:26 (1,411 days old) by Marks_here (Crossville TN & Altoona PA WOO HOO )        

They start in the USA at $625-$725 and they do work great!! It's neat when you start up the saw or the sander the vacuum starts at the same time. It worked great when I was taking down the popcorn ceiling too.

Post# 305735 , Reply# 25   11/10/2014 at 23:26 (1,411 days old) by spiraclean (UK)        

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On the mention of wet/dry cleaners being used as household vacs, that seemed to be a thing here in the 80s and 90s too. It was fairly common to see the Rowenta, Hoover and numerous variations of the Goblin Aqua Vac being pressed into service as a daily driver. I always thought this was one reason why 3 in 1 cleaners subsequently became so popular here; they are, after all, just a natural progression along the same theme.

In the US it seems a wet/dry vac is used strictly as a workshop vacuum. Probably explains why they tend to be supplied with a more basic tool kit, with plastic tubes and simple nozzles, whereas ours usually came with a set of standard household-type tools rather like any other cylinder cleaner.

Post# 305754 , Reply# 26   11/11/2014 at 02:29 (1,411 days old) by beerad (Beautiful Vancouver BC)        
My shop vac

Red and Chrome

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Post# 305756 , Reply# 27   11/11/2014 at 02:31 (1,411 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Yes thats right . My mom bought a Electrolux typhoon 3in1 vacuum in the mid 90's to replace her Hoover turbomaster. They had removed most of the carpets in the house and put down ceramic tiles. The typhoon was great because it could be used to wash the tiles too and with only two rooms with carpet it worked a treat for vacuuming the tiles.. I remember when my Uncle and cousin came for a visit from Michigan they were a bit surprised that we used a "shopvac" as our household vacuum

Post# 305824 , Reply# 28   11/11/2014 at 15:31 (1,411 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Brad . That looks like a model we got here called a Whirbil made in Italy.

Here is my Jetvac. I have all the hoses stored away. They used to sell these through mail order adverts in Magazines here in the 80.s Again it came with two sets of attacents a large outside use hose and a Inside hose. It was billed as a "This is the only vacuum you will ever need " machine

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Post# 305844 , Reply# 29   11/11/2014 at 18:41 (1,411 days old) by beerad (Beautiful Vancouver BC)        

I think it is the one made in Itay

Post# 306066 , Reply# 30   11/13/2014 at 15:45 (1,409 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        

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Gareth,I think THIS is the only vacuum you'll ever need! wink

Post# 306163 , Reply# 31   11/14/2014 at 14:05 (1,408 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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Ha ha Alex
I have never believed in the one machine does it all. Even if I was not into Vacuums I would have more than one, hang I would have a few. I have loads of shopvacs and each has its own purpose.

Post# 306176 , Reply# 32   11/14/2014 at 16:54 (1,408 days old) by super-sweeper (KSSRC Refurbishment Center)        

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Me too, even I keep a good shop-vac on hand! My faithful little Genie 6 Gallon has been serving me faithfully whenever the moment calls, it's a shame Genie left the market! 

Post# 306187 , Reply# 33   11/14/2014 at 18:13 (1,408 days old) by ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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I have an old Craftsman shopvac with a cardboard drum, would be late 50's to early 60s. And I have a newer, probably 70s Wards metal tank wet/dry vac. I have one of those Shop-Vac AllArounds, I have the blue one, really not a bad little vacuum, not as loud as most. I also have a VacMaster 5 gallon stainless steel one, I got it half off for $25 at Target, its a great vacuum, I use it in the house really, haven't used it in the garage.

For typical shopvac use I use on of my indutrial wet/dry vacs, I have 2 15 gallon, a Pullman Holt 55, and a Minuteman of some sort thats stainless steel.

Post# 306190 , Reply# 34   11/14/2014 at 18:47 (1,408 days old) by Vintagerepairer (England)        
3-in-1 Vs Shop Vacs

Interesting comment that the 3-in-1 cleaners were a progression from the shop vac / wet & dry cleaners.

In fact, if we take Vax (what one might call the original domestic 3 - in - 1), this was first on sale as early as 1978, during which time the only others were the UK versions of the US shop vacs, known of course as Aqua Vac. When Vax started to hit its stride around 1983, the range of wet & dry machines was becoming larger, with Hoover having a Shop Vac model branded for them, and as mentioned before, Rowenta, which offered a much quieter and refined cleaner, more suited for the home as the neat all-plastic construction looked less industrial I suppose.

I think it was the boom of sales of 3-in-1 cleaners which possibly caused the sales of wet & dry cleaners to rocket too, as in some respects they may have been seen as "almost" the same as a 3-in-1 by those on a budget who lusted after such things, but of course were considerably cheaper to buy.

I think also that the physical size of the cleaner compared to the low price tag may also have been tempting to those who percieved them to be lots of cleaner for the money. Frankly I am astounded as to why anyone would wish to drag a wet & dry cleaner round the house, but as was said already, they were incredibly popular for ordinary in-home dry use.

Post# 306209 , Reply# 35   11/15/2014 at 01:08 (1,407 days old) by beerad (Beautiful Vancouver BC)        
At Costco

Looks nice

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Post# 306237 , Reply# 36   11/15/2014 at 13:26 (1,407 days old) by ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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I've ran across many people as well that bought shopvacs for use in the house. They bought it because they seem to have the idea that they are more powerful than similarly priced regular vacuums, in some cases they are, but not in others. They often overlook the fact that most shopvacs don't have as good of filtration as a good home vacuum, although newer models take bags and better filters these days, they don't just rely on the single layer paper filter over the foam sleeve these days. I think they're just too big and loud to use in the house, I'd rather use something smaller and quieter with as much or more power. I like the Shop-Vac All Around and my 5 gallon VacMaster because they aren't any bigger than a FilterQueen and aren't that loud, as well as taking bags.

Post# 306311 , Reply# 37   11/16/2014 at 03:55 (1,406 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

You can get HEPA filters and "Drywall" dust bags for the Shop Vac machines.This will give them the filtration quality of a usual home canister vacuum.BUT you have to use the bags and HEPA filters to acheive this.These are not standard Shop Vac equipment in the vacuum.Usually these parts have to be purchased separately.They are worth it.But the Shop Vac is just too large,clumsy,and heavy to use as a regular home vacuum cleaner.Its best in the shop or if you are a work contractor.The contractor uses the machine to clean up after his job.A big thing to consider--even if the HEPA filter is pleated---DO NOT use it alone or for wet pickup.Use the pleated filter with the bag.If used wet--you will quickly ruin it.And most Shop Vacs don't have outlets on them for powernozzles.The ones that do are for use with sanders of some sort-typically dryall sanders.The vac will start as the sander is turned on-then turns off several seconds later after you turn the sander off so as to clear the vac hose of sander dust.It can also be used with some power saws.

Post# 391364 , Reply# 38   5/1/2018 at 03:43 by compactc9guy (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        
Love em!

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I have been a fan of shop-vacs fora long time i had a 4 gallons ,5 gallons,6 gallon whit blower port,10 gallon whit blower port,11,5 gallon whit pump motor went to hell after un clogging my bathroom sink (next house over had sewer pipe repair)(dig up whole front yard ect ect my pluming got affected same line i guess?) i was getting some smell in bathroom so almost had to fix my line shop vac to rescues motor stop but smell went away and sink flow normal again.) Now my current vac Shop-vac 16 gallons wet and dry whit cartridge filter tear resistant bag 24 feet hose by connecting 3 hose together love it

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Post# 391368 , Reply# 39   5/1/2018 at 06:36 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I like shop type vacuums,too but their are bulky and heavy-can be hard to collect.Guess any vacuum collector should at least have a few.The one WD shop type vacuum I REALLY want is the older ext filter NSS bronco vacuum-it had a polished SS drum and motor housing-the motor suction fan blew into a large,cloth blue bag with the NSS "Horse" logo!!Saw one so many years ago in a commercial vac place want one!!!!NSS replaced that machine with an internal filter Bronco model.The ext filter one was just cooler.

Post# 391475 , Reply# 40   5/2/2018 at 23:16 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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I do not collect Shop Vacs either, I see them as tools to use and take care of business. I have a big one to suck up water when my basement floods. I just got a Hang Up Mini at Goodwill to use for cleaning up nasty termite and mouse debris and gross stuff from my basement that I don't want in my upstairs vacuum, and I would love to have a Shop Sweep for my garage and patio when I get it more cleaned up and open.

Post# 391476 , Reply# 41   5/2/2018 at 23:18 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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I would like to have one of the first shop vacs (not necessarily shop vac brand) from the 1960's that were basically a metal paint drum with a hose screwed into the lid and a bag stuck inside. lol

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Post# 391554 , Reply# 42   5/4/2018 at 23:25 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I've seen a few of those around there. The old shop vac brand and I saw two at a church sale a month or two ago. One was Powr-Vac, the other I don't recall the brand.

Has anyone seen a Singer Fat Cat? I seen a few on here. It was basically an orange 5 gallon bucket with a black motor/lid on top with hose.

I find some of the older shop vacs interesting, when Hoover and Eureka and other companies you generally don't associate with shop vacuums made them.

My JCPenney catalog from 95 I think has some of them, and there was a line of Shop Vac Floormaster shop vacs with maroon tank and white top. There was a very short and fat 6 gallon or so model and a taller one. I'm having trouble picturing at the moment. I think they both came with a bin on the back to carry the attachments, and both came with a full set if I recall.

Post# 391555 , Reply# 43   5/4/2018 at 23:56 by vacuumdevil (Denver)        

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My dad for Carbon Fiber, Micarta and would uses these vacuums in his machine shop
Straight suction Miele canisters.
These seem to be cheaper and some of the high-end shop vacs on the market.

Personally I have a cyclone Interceptor setup to use my central vac in my shop.
I also have one of those Kubota vacuums for wet pickup that I got at Costco.

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Post# 392036 , Reply# 44   5/17/2018 at 00:17 by ridgidwd0670 (US)        

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I have a Ridgid wd1280 & a Craftsman 17066 shop vac w/detachable blower its the most powerful vac i own

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