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Aug 10, 2021 2:10 PM CST
(Zone 8a)
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I have been looking at shop vacs on Amazon. There is a dizzying array of them. I have never owned one before, but I thought it might be a good idea to buy one for cleaning up my porch and garage. I have cobwebs, dog hair, leafs, and a lot of dust/dirt that blows up onto my porch. I have always cleaned by hand with a broom and dustpan, but moving my furniture and potted plants, etc., has become a lot more work for me than it was years ago. Age has caught up with me, and I know it will only get worse, so a shop vac sounds like a really good idea.

Any advice and/or recommendations? I do not want a huge, bulky one, but I do want good suction for my purposes. Do most of them require bags? Do most of them require filters? How expensive is it to keep up with filters? I have seen some of these machines use "HEPA" filters which I have heard are very expensive. I already have a leaf blower/vacuum for the 100 billion leafs I have to clean up each Autumn/Winter, but it it is LOUD, heavy, and very, very dirty to use. I would prefer something cleaner and easier to use on my porch and alley. The leaf blower/vacuum is good for its purpose, but my gosh it is a misery to use.

Thanks.
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Aug 10, 2021 3:21 PM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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I have this one. It's tiny, but portable. I also have a large bulky one that I hate using. Lol

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Arm...
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Aug 10, 2021 9:47 PM CST
(Zone 8a)
Japanese Maples Salvias Roses Irises Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
Ferns Dragonflies Dog Lover Butterflies Birds Bee Lover
Thank you, Hamwild! I also want to avoid the larger ones. I have so little room as it is. Space is at a premium for me.

My neighbour has an old shop vac that must hold 12 or more gallons. It is handy for big floods or something, but gee whiz it takes up a lot of room in the garage. Has those four wheels that sort of stick out from the base like duck feet or something. Catches on everything as you try to pull it along.
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Aug 11, 2021 5:07 AM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover Garden Art
I tip my hat to you.

The large one I bought is a 16 gallon. No idea what I was thinking. D'Oh!
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Aug 11, 2021 6:55 AM CST
Name: brenda reith
pennsauken, nj (Zone 7a)
nature keeps amazing me
I never heard a quiet shop-vac. they're just annoyingly loud-doesn't matter what size they are either. just noisy. but they are the best thing to use for sucking up debris, fur, leaves, mud, etc. I got mine at Walmart. stainless steel tank and I think it holds more than 16 gallons of whatever mess I have to clean up. shop vacs are great for sucking up water too.
listen to your garden
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Aug 11, 2021 3:11 PM CST
(Zone 8a)
Japanese Maples Salvias Roses Irises Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
Ferns Dragonflies Dog Lover Butterflies Birds Bee Lover
Hamwild said: I tip my hat to you.

The large one I bought is a 16 gallon. No idea what I was thinking. D'Oh!


Hilarious!
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Aug 11, 2021 3:15 PM CST
(Zone 8a)
Japanese Maples Salvias Roses Irises Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
Ferns Dragonflies Dog Lover Butterflies Birds Bee Lover
breith95 said:I never heard a quiet shop-vac. they're just annoyingly loud-doesn't matter what size they are either. just noisy. but they are the best thing to use for sucking up debris, fur, leaves, mud, etc. I got mine at Walmart. stainless steel tank and I think it holds more than 16 gallons of whatever mess I have to clean up. shop vacs are great for sucking up water too.


Yes, they are loud. My indoor vacuum is loud, too. I do not think I have ever had any sort of vacuum that was not loud. I have learnt to live with that noise. I never have been able to get used to the buzzers on the dryer and the microwave, though. They just set my teeth on edge.

My leaf blower/vac is very loud and VERY dirty to use. If you plan to vacuum up leafs, you also better plan to bathe once you are done. I wonder why someone has not invented better, quieter vacuums, leaf blowers, dryers, and microwaves??? Surely such items would be very popular and could command premium prices. Shrug!
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Aug 11, 2021 3:24 PM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
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Elysianne said:Thank you, Hamwild! I also want to avoid the larger ones. I have so little room as it is. Space is at a premium for me.

My neighbour has an old shop vac that must hold 12 or more gallons. It is handy for big floods or something, but gee whiz it takes up a lot of room in the garage. Has those four wheels that sort of stick out from the base like duck feet or something. Catches on everything as you try to pull it along.

Those big wet/dry vacs sure come in handy when you need to get up some water...busted washing machine hoses, broke-down washers, busted hotwater heaters, broke pipes, etc.,. You've got a neighbor with one, though, who will loan it to you if you need some serious water removal...if it's a good neighbor Whistling so you can go smaller. Thumbs up You might want to buy an extra suction tube to reach the cobwebs easily.
Avatar for RpR
Aug 11, 2021 4:43 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Wet/Dry vacs DO need filters, the better the filter the longer it will last and I have gone through three vacs. already -- big ones.
Check filter type before buying.

When the fill they lose suction, and the smaller they are the quicker they fill.
I had two small ones , both sat outside in the garage; the hose one one, after not being used for severl years, crumbled when I tried using it.

You will get what you pay for, less is not more. I tip my hat to you.
Last edited by RpR Aug 11, 2021 7:58 PM Icon for preview
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Aug 11, 2021 5:17 PM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
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RpR said:Wet/Dry vacs DO need filters, the better the filter the longer it will last and I have gone through three already -- big ones.
Check filter type before buying.

When the fill they lose suction, and the smaller they are the quicker they fill.
I had two small ones , both sat outside in the garage; the hose one one, after not being used for severl years, crumbled when I tried using it.

You will get what you pay for, less is not more. I tip my hat to you.

My old wet/dry is on it's original filter...*maybe* it's second. It's a 5.5hp Craftsman that's probably 15-20 years old. It's been used a number of times for getting up water...and LOTS of heavy duty dry vacuuming. I've simply always removed the filter when vacuuming up water and it works fine. When I'm through I put the dry filter back in. From time to time I'll beat the dust and dirt out of the filter or take an air compressor to it. Shrug!
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Aug 11, 2021 5:18 PM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover Garden Art
I would imagine it depends on what you suck up and how often you use it, as to how long your filter lasts. Shrug!
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Aug 11, 2021 5:25 PM CST
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: Missouri Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses
Region: United States of America Zinnias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
We have a shop vac that is hanging on the wall in the garage. 5 gallon tub with a 30 foot hose which comes in handy both inside and out. I love this thing. Not loud either although not exactly quiet.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hoo...
Avatar for RpR
Aug 11, 2021 8:06 PM CST
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Hamwild said:I would imagine it depends on what you suck up and how often you use it, as to how long your filter lasts. Shrug!

I edited, I did not go through filters, I went through vacuums, but I did have problems getting filters early on and I did not use the net to find such things then, these were used heavily, lots of light dust that gets through around the filter unless you clean it OFTEN and muddy water so I used them till the motors burnt out.

Each one lasted approx. ten years; when the motors start to go they go from loud to extremely LOUD.
Last edited by RpR Aug 12, 2021 1:22 PM Icon for preview
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Aug 11, 2021 8:11 PM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover Garden Art
RpR said:
I edited, I did not go through filters, I went through vacuums, but I did have problems getting filters early on and I did not use the net to find such things then, these were used heavily, lots of light dust that gets through around the filter unless you clean it OFTEN and muddy water so I used them till the motors burnt out.

Each on lasted approx. ten years; when the motors start to go they go from loud to extremely LOUD.


The large one I have has two different filters. One for stuff like drywall dust (fine) and one for every day use (larger particle stuff).

Eek, muddy water? I've only had to use it for water once, but it wasn't much.
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Aug 11, 2021 8:12 PM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
RpR said:
I edited, I did not go through filters, I went through vacuums, but I did have problems getting filters early on and I did not use the net to find such things then, these were used heavily, lots of light dust that gets through around the filter unless you clean it OFTEN and muddy water so I used them till the motors burnt out.

Each on lasted approx. ten years; when the motors start to go they go from loud to extremely LOUD.

Interesting. Net?

My old craftsman that I have was used on jobsites and I know did clean-up at at least three large cabins built from salvaged 1800-era cabins. Then was retired and spent time at a tire shop for several years. It makes a whale of a noise but it'll suck up water, debris, whatever you point it at! Like I said, it's loud, but it keeps on going...kinda like the Energizer Bunny. It is now living it's senior years for the odd cleanup and vacuuming a car or two out once in a while. I've got to admit that it's been a good one...probably the exception to the rule. Thumbs up
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Aug 11, 2021 8:13 PM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover Garden Art
Intheswamp said:
Interesting. Net?

My old craftsman that I have was used on jobsites and I know did clean-up at at least three large cabins built from salvaged 1800-era cabins. Then was retired and spent time at a tire shop for several years. It makes a whale of a noise but it'll suck up water, debris, whatever you point it at! Like I said, it's loud, but it keeps on going...kinda like the Energizer Bunny. It is now living it's senior years for the odd cleanup and vacuuming a car or two out once in a while. I've got to admit that it's been a good one...probably the exception to the rule. Thumbs up


That's short for interNET (internet). Big Grin
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Aug 11, 2021 9:03 PM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
Man, I thought there was some kind of net or something in your shop vac that you caught things with!!! I was envisioning something to catch large solid objects or maybe treasure hunting or something Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing "Net" went right over my head!!!! Hilarious!
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Aug 12, 2021 1:26 AM CST
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
We have an 8 gallon stainless steel Craftsman shop vac. We use it indoors daily. The sound only means someone is cleaning my house! 😊 Having parrots that throw seeds, and dogs who help spread seeds around, and a kitty litter box (enough said!) the Shop Vac no matter how loud is the hardest working member of our family! She's such a hard worker that we have Amazon send new dry filters regularly, and we give her a new one every 4-6 weeks.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
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Aug 12, 2021 4:53 AM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover Garden Art
Intheswamp said:Man, I thought there was some kind of net or something in your shop vac that you caught things with!!! I was envisioning something to catch large solid objects or maybe treasure hunting or something Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing "Net" went right over my head!!!! Hilarious!


That'd be nice though! nodding Hilarious!
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Aug 12, 2021 11:58 AM CST
(Zone 8a)
Japanese Maples Salvias Roses Irises Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
Ferns Dragonflies Dog Lover Butterflies Birds Bee Lover
Thank you everyone for your input. Keep suggestions coming. I definitely need to purchase one.

ShadyGreenThumb, I bet your shop vac is one of the hardest working vacs in your town if not your state! I have one dog who is heavy, heavy shedder despite being very well fed and having all vet care needed. The breed sheds a lot. I am always drowning in dog hair. Even the yard has a fair bit of it. Clings to the garden hose as I drag it across the grass, and it blows up onto the porch and meshes with cobwebs to form hairy tumbleweeds. Yep, definitely need a shop vac.

My indoor vac is a Mighty Mite. It has been a pretty good machine. I was looking at vacs on Amazon again last night, and there are some indoor vacs on there for $650 and more! I find if I change the bag on my vac long before it is "full," then the suction remains pretty good. Keeping up with the hair is still a challenge, though. Thank heavens I replaced all of my carpet with vinyl years ago. it is the only way to go (in my opinion) if you have one or more heavy shedders.

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