Shop Vacs Comparision

For those that use shop vacs for your dust collection I have heard the complaints about noise levels over and over. I watched a youtube video about a new Dewalt Shop Vac and I was impressed. So if you are in the market for a quieter shop vac check out this video.

Many of you that want quiet vacs need to buy expensive Fein and Festool. This new Dewalt I found on Amazon was $166.00. So check out the video and the DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum. I did not search much but I think the youtube video has a 16 gallon vac he is comparing. So shop around if you want a quieter vac that wont break the bank.

After years on the flight line, computer rooms, loud music and woodworking machinery my hearing is shot so the whining of vacs and the CNC do not bother me. Hearing loss is accumulative and it is better to preserve it than to lose it because of inattention.


Perfect timing, Guy, for my workshop need. This will solve a big problem for me. Thanks!

I use a loud shop vac… and ear protection. Definitely something I’ll look into. Thanks

This is my beast…works great and is relatively silent. It costs a lot, but I’m using it for all my hand tools as well (I have an Industrial 3hp cyclone for stationary tools).

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This is very long but worth the read.

Best shop vac for the job…well every tool will have different needs so here is my thoughts on this and what I did use and use now.

My first setup was a Rigid 12 gallon 5hp 140cfm flow, a dust deputy separator and a swing arm for the over head all with 2 inch hoses. This setup had a 10 amp draw on the vac alone. It had a high noise level and a high power draw when in use. The CC router draws 6.5 amps and this makes a grand total of 16.5 amps when in use for hours at a time.

Things I noticed when the above setup was running were the flexible hoses would draw together, the cyclone separator would draw in quite a bit as would the collector bucket but very slightly, the tone for the shop vac changed when everything was connected due to restrictions in all the fittings and components. Dust collection was great the separator worked great and nothing got to the filter on the vac.

I did not like the amp draw on this old system and started playing with other sizes of shop vacs.

So what flow do you really need to keep things clean. Most of your larger shop tools like table saws and planers tell you what cfm you need to make it work correctly however the hobby routers and smaller power hand tools don’t give you this information. When I sold wood working tools and people came in to get the biggest and best shop vac that you sell and then put that on a table saw and a a few other tools. I changed their mind and sold them something with less cfm and a lot less power draw. I asked the questions…What tools will this be used on? How many tools will you be running at the same time? How many people will be working at the same time on the machines? and… Do you know the cfm of the tools you will be putting the dust collector on?

Think about how you will use the tool and will you really be using several tools at the same time while using the CNC… No you will not. one man shops which is how nearly all of the Shapeoko users work and use tools.

What I use now is the same components above but with a Craftsman 2.5 gallon shop vac with a 5.5 hp motor and a 51 cfm flow. This reduced the total amp draw 4.5 amps. This reduced amp draw is something I can live with now and the reduced noise level is even better. The original vac hose on this is 1 1/4 inches I adapted it at the vac to 2inches to connect to my current setup.

Test on this setup came out as expected. With the dust boot in place and cutting using a 1/4 end mill and cutting depth at .080 and feed rate at 60ipm the chips all ended up in the separator. When I increased the feed rate to a full override the results were the same.

Bigger is not always better on shop vacs or I should say dust collector systems. Think about what you will be doing with the dust collector and what it is used on. Keep your dust collection hoses as short as you can and don’t go oversized or under sized on the hoses.

Hope this helps


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