As a worldwide leader in worksite solutions, you’ll never doubt the quality of DeWalt’s products. And when it comes to their cordless vacuums, the story is no different. With a competitive range of outstanding models available, you’ll be able to find the cordless vacuum that’s best suited to your commercial or shop needs.
DeWalt cordless vacuums are renowned for their excellent craftsmanship, high power, and ability to clean up any debris you need it to. Furthermore, their models are portable and right at home in just about any setting. When you need only the best from your cordless vacuum, you can’t go wrong with any of the units from this well-known brand.
Types of Cordless Vacuums from DeWalt
DeWalt offers an impressive range of cordless vacuums, which includes both canister vacuums and shop vacuums. The models in this category are all cordless, though some do allow for corded use as well. They can be used for several different applications and come in both 18 and 20-volt varieties.
Some of the units of note include the DCV581H 2-Gallon 1.85-Peak HP Shop Vacuum, the DCV517B 20 V MAX ½ Gallon Wet/Dry Portable Vac, the DCV580H 18 20 V MAX Cordless Wet Dry VAC, and the DCV517M1 20 V MAX ½ Gallon Wet/Dry Portable Vac Kit.
Why Buy DeWalt Cordless Vacuums?
A top-quality vacuum is essential whether you’re using it at your home shop or on the job, as nothing is more frustrating than a vacuum that lacks suction power or has poor battery life. DeWalt cordless vacuums offer superior suction capabilities and run time while at the same time offering portability, making them an excellent choice for just about anyone. Plus, DeWalt’s extended warranties and dedicated customer service staff are there to ensure your peace of mind.
NOTABLE FEATURES of DeWalt Vacuum
- 9-Gallon Canister: Firmly in the mid-size range for shop vacuums, the DeWalt 9-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac should provide enough to capacity to get the job done without taking up too much space on the floor. The size is a good fit for most shops and garages with easy enough portability to carry to the job site.
- Blower: Converting the DeWalt 9-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac to its blowing mode is a simple affair. Simply disconnect the hose from the vacuum port, and reattach it to the motor exhaust. In seconds, you’ve got yourself a low-power blower.
- Mobility: DeWalt has fitted this vacuum with four 360° rotating caster wheels. This will help the vacuum turn around in tighter spaces. Of course, the lack of larger wheels means that hopping cords and debris will be a challenge, but free motion around the shop will be a snap. There’s a pretty clear improvement in quality here as well, with rolling characteristics that are much smoother than the other models we use.
- Accessory Storage: Rather than carving out places on the base of the vacuum for each individual accessory, DeWalt uses bag storage that hangs from a back handle. Personally, I prefer this option, though Managing Editor, Kenny Koehler, will disagree with me. While it’s a bit more disorganized, I don’t have to navigate around wand pieces sticking up or nozzles falling off if the cord hits them.
- Hose and Cord Management: This is one of those areas that DeWalt has put some thought into. The cord wraps easily and securely around the handle. Where a lot of models have let us down, the DeWalt 9-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac has a pretty fantastic hose management system. The hose wraps around the motor housing and is held in place by heavy-duty rubber straps.
How we test vacuum cleaners
We test all types of vacuum cleaners, including canister vacuums, robot vacuums, stick vacs, HEPA vacuums, handheld vacuums, vacuums for hardwood, vacuums for pet hair and so much more. Each type of vacuum is tested exactly the same way for more accurate performance comparisons and our tests are based on the ASTM International standard test methods the industry uses.
- Dirt removal: With a custom-built, automated machine that makes the same number of passes over the same test carpeting, we objectively measure how well each vacuum removes dirt deeply embedded into medium pile carpet. We even have a separate machine to clean the carpets between test runs so one result won’t influence the next. We look at how well they remove large and small debris, like gritty sand and dried orzo pasta, from hardwood, tile, or linoleum flooring, how well they clean along edges and how much suction they draw at the tools.
- Pet hair removal: We use industry-standard rayon fibers to simulate pet hair that we evenly spread on a carpet’s surface to see how well each machine cleans it up.
- Ease of use: Ease-of-use testing includes evaluating maneuverability, battery run-time for cordless vacuum cleaners, the controls, how easy the dust cup is to empty and clean or the bag is to change, and weighing how heavy the vacuum is. All special features and claims are assessed and we even give the owner’s manual a grade.
- Maneuverability: Consumer testers rate the vacuums’ maneuverability by running them on a bare floor and carpet, around corners and under furniture. They rate the ease of removing the dust cups or bags and the ease of operating the vacuums’ controls.
- Loudness: For sound measurements, we work with Quiet Mark, an independent global sound certification program, to objectively determine the loudness of each model.
- Features: We note and test any features like a battery charge indicators, brush roll control buttons and other tools and accessories.
Our Top Picks
1. Dewalt DCV581H 20V MAX Cordless/Corded Lithium-Ion Wet/Dry Vacuum
The DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless/Corded Wet/Dry Vacuum is designed for cordless or corded operation. Powered by either 20V Max batteries or an AC outlet, this Wet/Dry Vacuum features a HEPA rated wet/dry filter traps dust with 99.97% efficiency at 1 micron. Its also backed by DEWALT’s 3-Year Limited Warranty for added peace of mind.
Those looking for a light-duty shop-type vac may need to look no further than this cordless wet/dry vacuum that is powered by a 20-volt lithium-ion battery. Weighing in at just 8 pounds, this vacuum is lightweight enough to carry from room to room with ease, and users can take it to remote locations without electrical outlets, such as garden sheds.
This light-duty vac comes with a small-capacity 2-gallon collection tank and is just 17.25 inches long by 13.12 inches tall by 12.31 inches wide, so it’s possible to store it on a shelf in the garage or workshop with ease. It comes with a 5-foot flexible hose and a top handle for carrying. Users will receive a crevice tool and wide nozzle tool attachment for cleaning messes in a variety of spots.
- Cordless or corded operation powered by either 20V MAX batteries or an AC outlet
- Easily accessible, washable and reusable filter makes it simple as giving it a tap or rinse to clean
- HEPA rated wet/dry filter traps dust with 99.97% efficiency at 1 micron
- Heavy-duty, crush-resistant, fully-integrated 5 ft. (1-1/4 in. diameter) hose provides durability, flexibility and ease-of-use
- On-board hose, cord and accessory storage makes the vacuum easy to transport and carry
- 2 Gallon tank capacity provides enough storage to empty a toilet or clogged pipe
2. Dewalt DWV012 10 Gallon HEPA Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter Clean
The DeWALT DWV012 10 Gallon HEPA Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter Clean is a fully assembled and lightweight dust extractor. The vacuum features simple one switch operation to select tool actuation and has multiple lift and tie down points to secure to scaffolding or to secure during transportation. Its heavy-duty wheels and locking casters provide jobsite durability and its universal hose connecter provides a robust connection with swivel capability. The DWV012 also has an easy access telescoping handle and comes with HEPA filters.
- Automatic filter clean pulses every 30 seconds for continuous operations without stopping to clean filter
- Powerful 15 amp motor delivers 140 CFM of airflow for maximum suction
- Power Tool Actuation controls on/off operations of the vacuum with a power tool
- Variable suction controls vacuum’s power consumption and amount of suction
- Telescoping handle for easy transport
- Universal hose connector provides a robust connection with swivel capability
- Lightweight and portable that weighs in at only 33.5 lbs.
- Multiple lift and tie down points to secure vacuum to scaffolding or during transportation
- Simple one switch operation to select tool actuation or vacuum only
- Can be used with wet or dry applications
3. DeWalt 16-Gallon Poly Wet Dry Vacuum
The DeWalt DXV16PA 16 Gallon Poly Wet Dry Vacuum is more expensive than some of the shop vac models on this list, but if you buy it, you’ll soon find that you get what you pay for. Just for starters, it comes with a ton of accessories, including three filter bags, a silencing muffler and a host of nozzle attachments. It also has wheels and an attachable transport handle, making it easy to move no matter how full it is.
None of that matters if the vacuum itself isn’t great, but thankfully this one is. Like other models on this list, it also operates as both a vacuum and a blower and has the power necessary to do a great job on either task. Finally, the 20-foot power cord ensures you can reach every part of a standard garage (or house).
The DeWalt DXV16PA currently has 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon, with over 600 customer ratings. Satisfied users cite the power of the model, the flexibility of the hose and the handiness of the accessories as pluses.
- Automatic Filter Clean system pulses every 30 seconds for continuous operations without stopping to clean filter
- Powerful 15 amp motor delivers 150 CFM of airflow for maximum suction
- Power Tool Actuation controls the on/off operations of the vacuum with a power tool
- Universal hose connector provides a robust connection with swivel capability
- Lightweight design and heavy-duty casters provides maximum portability and fatigue-free use
4. Dewalt DCV517B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion 1/2 Gallon Cordless Wet/Dry Portable Vacuum
The 20V MAX 1/2 Gallon Wet/Dry Portable Vacuum runs off all 20V MAX battery packs for long runtime. The HEPA wet/dry filter traps 99.97% of dust at 0.3 microns. Dual clean-up modes allow for debris removal with either the front utility nozzle or extendable rubber hose. The portable vacuum is easy to use with a heavy duty tank latch for emptying and cleaning, a large on/off switch for one-hand access, and a heavy-duty rubber hose that provides durability and flexibility.
- Dual clean-up modes allow for debris removal with either the front utility nozzle or extendable rubber hose
- Washable filter; Tap or water rinse to clean
- Heavy-duty rubber hose provides durability and flexibility
- Large on/off switch that is easy to access with one hand
- 1/2 gallon tank with heavy-duty latch is easy to empty and clean
- Gore HEPA wet/dry filter traps 99.97% of dust at 0.3 microns
5. DeWalt 9-gallon 5HP shop vac DXV09P
Hopefully, you’ll never need to use it to clean out a wet basement, but if you do, the 9-gallon DeWalt wet/dry shop vac (DXV09P) is the best vacuum cleaner for the job. It’s nimble enough for smaller homes but large enough for cleaning up watery messes. Reviewers complimented the shop vac’s superior build quality and excellent suction on everything from broken glass to wet carpeting.
This vacuum comes packaged with two extension wands; crevice, floor and utility nozzles; and a bag for all of them that attaches to the rear of the vacuum. Rubberized wheels give the DeWalt DXV09P easy movement and extra durability. It also comes with a washable cartridge filter that’ll trap small particles while you vacuum. But this vac’s most thoughtful feature is the hose strap on top. Anyone who’s wrestled with wrapping a 7-foot hose around a wet/dry vac– only to have it magically come unwound– will appreciate this subtle, but important, feature.
- Sturdy 9 Gallon wet/dry vacuum ideal for large pick-up applications
- Powerful 5 peak horsepower motor provides just the amount of suction needed to most any cleanup job
- Ultra durable rubberized casters allow smooth swiveling for ease of movement
- Extra long, 10-ft power cord with cord wrap helps reach almost any cleanup need
- Built-in blower port powerful enough to blow sawdust and debris from most any workshop
- Built-in accessory storage bag conveniently attached to the backside of the vacuum to keep all accessories neatly organized
- Large built-in tank drain makes it easy to remove liquids picked up
Are Bagged Vacuums Better Than Bagless?
Both bagged and bagless vacuums have their pros and cons. Bagged vacuums tend to be easier to clean—all you have to do is remove the bag and toss it in the trash—but bagless vacuums are more environmentally-friendly and produce less waste. Bagless vacuums can also save you money over time, since you don’t have to purchase bags separately.
Are Expensive Vacuum Cleaners Worth It?
It depends. A higher price tag doesn’t always equate to better quality (just like a lower price tag doesn’t necessarily mean the vacuum won’t work well). Expensive vacuum cleaners often come with additional features, like cordless capabilities and allergen filters. In the case of robot vacuums, you generally have to pay more for advanced technology, like home mapping and self-emptying. So whether an expensive vacuum cleaner is worth it depends on your needs and what additional features you’re looking for.
How long should vacuum cleaners last?
Most vacuums last around a median of eight years. However, an important factor to consider when preserving the lifespan of your appliance is the type of vacuum it is. If it’s cordless, these vacuums tend to have a shorter lifespan due to the use of a battery instead of regular electricity.
How often should you clean a vacuum?
Generally, you should deep clean your vacuum and its parts at least every 12 to 18 months. It also depends on how often you use your appliance. If you use it weekly or daily, cleaning it more often will be beneficial. As an example, bagless vacuums with washable filters used once or twice a week should be cleaned at least once a month.
Is a shop vac more powerful than a regular vacuum?
That depends on both the quality of the regular vacuum and the quality of the shop vac. In general, however, a shop vac is more powerful than a household vacuum.
Can a wet/dry vac clean carpets?
A shop-type wet/dry vacuum is often the tool of choice for sucking water out of a flooded carpet. It is not, however, a carpet cleaner.