Best Quiet Shop Vac Reviews and Buying Guide

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For someone who prefers peace and quiet but also enjoys or needs to use power tools, finding suitable products can be more than a challenge. However, not all workshop products are used for building projects with many tools used for ancillary or cleanup duties– like the humble shop vac.

However difficult it may be to find a quiet vacuum cleaner for your home, it is infinitely more difficult to find a quiet shop vac for workshops or job sites. This does not even consider whether or not a quiet shop vac performs well enough for your needs while also reducing the amount of noise generated.

That is why we put together a list of the 5 best quiet shop vac reviews of 2021, highlighting what each one does best. We also answer your most pressing questions about quiet shop vacs while also providing a helpful buyer’s guide so you can clean your workshop or job site in (relative) peace.

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Best Seller
DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum Yellow
Top Pick
Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor
Best Value
Vacmaster Shop Vac 5 Peak HP 4 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner with Heap Filter 2-Stage Motor Auto Cord Rewind for Powerful Suction and Quiet Operation
FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner, 5.8 Gallon, 1100W | Includes: 13 ft Suction Hose, Tool Coupling with Suction Power Control, Cellulose Filter, 1 Fleece Filter Bag
Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B 4 Gallon 4 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum, Stainless Steel Light Weight Portable Shop Vac, 3 in 1 Function with Attachments
Model
DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum Yellow
Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor
Vacmaster Shop Vac 5 Peak HP 4 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner with Heap Filter 2-Stage Motor Auto Cord Rewind for Powerful Suction and Quiet Operation
FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner, 5.8 Gallon, 1100W | Includes: 13 ft Suction Hose, Tool Coupling with Suction Power Control, Cellulose Filter, 1 Fleece Filter Bag
Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B 4 Gallon 4 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum, Stainless Steel Light Weight Portable Shop Vac, 3 in 1 Function with Attachments
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DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum Yellow
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DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum Yellow
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Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor
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Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor
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Vacmaster Shop Vac 5 Peak HP 4 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner with Heap Filter 2-Stage Motor Auto Cord Rewind for Powerful Suction and Quiet Operation
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Vacmaster Shop Vac 5 Peak HP 4 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner with Heap Filter 2-Stage Motor Auto Cord Rewind for Powerful Suction and Quiet Operation
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FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner, 5.8 Gallon, 1100W | Includes: 13 ft Suction Hose, Tool Coupling with Suction Power Control, Cellulose Filter, 1 Fleece Filter Bag
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FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner, 5.8 Gallon, 1100W | Includes: 13 ft Suction Hose, Tool Coupling with Suction Power Control, Cellulose Filter, 1 Fleece Filter Bag
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Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B 4 Gallon 4 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum, Stainless Steel Light Weight Portable Shop Vac, 3 in 1 Function with Attachments
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Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B 4 Gallon 4 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum, Stainless Steel Light Weight Portable Shop Vac, 3 in 1 Function with Attachments
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Best Quiet Shop Vac Reviews

Best Seller: DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum Yellow

DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum Yellow
  • Sturdy 10 gallon dual-stage wet/dry Vac has quieter operation for clean-up applications.
  • Powerful 5.5 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

DEWALT making an appearance on our list likely comes as no surprise to anyone who works with power tools given that the company has produced professional-grade models for almost 100 years. That said, DEWALT’s acquisition by BLACK+DECKER changes things a bit, making it a trickier option to review.

That said, DEWALT still stands as BLACK+DECKER’s professional-grade lineup, and the DeWALT DXV10P Wet Dry Vacuum meets reasonable industry standards. In terms of volume, this quiet shop vac only generates 72 dB of noise thanks to its quiet 2-stage motor– though this is about average for a quiet shop vac.

One thing you do not have to worry about is long term durability as the DeWALT DXV10P Wet Dry Vacuum comes with a powerful motor that puts out 5 ½ hp and pushes 10 amps. Unfortunately, this powerful motor does not necessarily translate to superior suction as it only provides 90 CFM of airflow.

While that is not terrible, the DeWALT DXV10P Wet Dry Vacuum also only offers an average static pressure of 80” for wet vacuuming. Still, this quiet shop vac continues to demonstrate its professional-grade appeal with a 10 ga tank– the largest on our list– to reduce frequent emptying.

It also does not hurt that the DeWALT DXV10P Wet Dry Vacuum comes with multiple attachments, providing a 3-point cleaning system for a variety of tasks. On top of that, this quiet shop vac also comes with a blower port, further increasing its versatility– even if it is a bit of a lumbering beast.

DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum Yellow

Features

  • Provides a reasonably quiet operation at only 72 dB
  • Uses a powerful motor that pushes 5 ½ hp and 10 amps
  • Generates sufficient suction power at 90 cfm
  • Offers an adequate wet suction of 80” of static pressure
  • Can run all day without filling up thanks to a 10 ga tank

Verdict
The DeWALT DXV10P Wet Dry Vacuum can thank its relatively quiet operation to its 2-stage motor, though it is not the quietest option on our list. That said, it comes with the most powerful motor that pushes 5 ½ hp and 10 amps as well as the largest tank at 10 ga to prevent frequent emptying.

Pros

  • Runs at a quiet 72 dB
  • Has a powerful motor of 5 ½ hp and 10 amps
  • Comes with a 10 ga tank
  • Comes with numerous accessories

Cons

  • Not the best suction
  • Not the best filtration

Top Pick: Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor

Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor
  • Automatic Tool Start & adjustable suction with tool triggered or manual on-off switch and infinitely variable suction force, can be used wet...
  • Supplied with 11-1/2 foot long anti-static hose that is flexible and kink-resistant and will minimize shock hazards as well as reduce static...
  • Sys-dock and hose garage feature allows for the storage and transport of Festool Systainers (not included) on the top of the flat,...

Festool is by far one of the most reputable professional-grade power tool manufacturers in the world with 9 decades of experience to match. For our list, the Festool 583492 CT 26 Dust Extractor is easily one of the best-performing options available with no real functional flaws– though that does not mean it has no downside.

Still, if you need a quiet shop vac then you will be hard-pressed to find a model quieter than this one with a lower operating volume of 62 dB– though its high operating volume is 72 dB. The reason for this range is that the Festool 583492 CT 26 Dust Extractor is the only model we reviewed with multiple suction settings.

This allows you to determine how much suction you need given the task, and this quiet shop vac more than exceeds expectations with 137 CFM of airflow. As if that were not enough, the Festool 583492 CT 26 Dust Extractor also provides some of the best wet vacuuming capability with 96” of static pressure.

Not to be outdone in the professional-grade market, this quiet shop vac also employs a powerful motor that uses 1200 watts and pushes 10 amps as Festool does not measure horsepower. Continuing the professional-grade trend, the Festool 583492 CT 26 Dust Extractor also comes with a 7 ga tank– the second-largest reviewed.

In terms of negatives, one of the biggest downsides of this quiet shop vac is its price which is extremely expensive for the market without necessarily surpassing performance to an equal degree. On top of that, the Festool 583492 CT 26 Dust Extractor does not come with any accessories, though it is one of the few models with an included HEPA filter.

Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor

Features

  • Provides a quiet operation between 62 dB to 72 dB
  • Uses a powerful motor that pushes 1200 watts and 10 amps
  • Generates plenty of suction power at 137 cfm
  • Offers a great wet suction of 96” of static pressure
  • Can run longer than most without filling up thanks to a 7 ga tank

Verdict
Festool continues to demonstrate why it has such a good reputation with the 583492 CT 26 Dust Extractor that can operate at a whisper-quiet 62 dB. That said, this model offers some of the best suction we found– regardless of wet or dry vacuuming– and is one of the few entries reviewed that comes standard with a HEPA filter.

Pros

  • Runs the quietest at 62 dB to 72 dB
  • Has a powerful motor of 1200 watts and 10 amps
  • Has excellent wet/dry suction
  • Comes with a 7 ga tank

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Does not come with accessories

Best Value: Vacmaster Shop Vac 5 Peak HP 4 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner with Hepa Filter 2-Stage Motor Auto Cord Rewind for Powerful Suction and Quiet Operation

Vacmaster Shop Vac 5 Peak HP 4 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner with Heap Filter 2-Stage Motor Auto Cord Rewind for Powerful Suction and Quiet Operation
  • 【Wet/Dry Multi-function】Vacmaster Wet and Dry Vacuums equipped with 5 Peak HP 4 gallon polypropylene tank. This Shop Vacuum is compact...
  • 【Powerful Performance】The vac has large quiet dual-turbo motor, 5 Peak HP dual turbo motor for ultra-effective powerful performance &...
  • 【User-friendly Design】Front swivel casters & non-marring rear wheels for enhanced mobility. Top handle for balanced and easy transport....

Of all the companies on our list, Vacmaster is by far the least experienced with a little under a decade and a half of experience under its belt– though it is the only company to specialize in vacuuming solutions. Still, the Vacmaster VF408 1101 Shop Vac definitely sits in the consumer-grade market.

Thankfully, appealing to a consumer market does not prevent this quiet shop vac from keeping its noise down to a reasonable 72 dB. Like many other options on our list, the Vacmaster VF408 1101 Shop Vac employs a 2-stage motor to reduce the amount of noise generated, though it only achieves the average.

This continues to be the trend for this quiet shop vac as it generally meets industry standards with some notable exceptions– both good and bad. On the positive side, the Vacmaster VF408 1101 Shop Vac is one of the few models reviewed that comes standard with a HEPA filter, though it is placed at the exhaust.

One confounding element of this quiet shop vac is its power, though the motor is more than capable, producing 5 hp but only pushing 7 amps. This configuration cuts the suction power of the Vacmaster VF408 1101 Shop Vac which has the lowest airflow at only 65 CFM as well as the lowest static pressure at only 64”.

On the other hand, you get what you pay for and this is an extremely inexpensive option, especially for those who explicitly need a quiet shop vac. To increase the overall value and versatility of the Vacmaster VF408 1101 Shop Vac, it comes with a 6-point cleaning system to handle all kinds of jobs.

Vacmaster Shop Vac 5 Peak HP 4 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner with Heap Filter 2-Stage Motor Auto Cord Rewind for Powerful Suction and Quiet Operation

Features

  • Provides a reasonably quiet operation at only 72 dB
  • Uses a solid motor that pushes 5 hp and 7 amps
  • Generates up to 65 cfm of suction power
  • Offers wet suction of up to 64” of static pressure
  • Comes with a wide array of attachments with its 6-point system

Verdict
Vacmaster’s relatively recent founding does not seem to impact its build quality given the reasonably quiet operation of the VF408 1101 at 72 dB. It also does not hurt that this entry provides more accessories and tools than most, though it is also the least powerful model that we reviewed by a long shot.

Pros

  • Runs at a quiet 72 dB
  • Has a powerful motor of 5 hp and 7 amps
  • Comes with a 6-point cleaning system
  • Is less expensive

Cons

  • Not the best suction
  • Not the largest tank

Runner Up: FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner, 5.8 Gallon, 1100W | Includes: 13 ft Suction Hose, Tool Coupling with Suction Power Control, Cellulose Filter, 1 Fleece Filter Bag

Sale
FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner, 5.8 Gallon, 1100W | Includes: 13 ft Suction Hose, Tool Coupling with Suction Power Control, Cellulose Filter, 1 Fleece Filter Bag
  • Auto-Start Vacuum for power tools-allows your vacuum to turn on automatically!
  • Powerful suction with 98.4" of static water lift. Tool coupling with suction control for easy control of suction power
  • On board storage for cord and accessories

FEIN may not be the most well-known power tool manufacturer, but with over 150 years of experience and a storied history, it remains one of the best-performing. The FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner is a perfect example of this as it tops our list in most relevant categories, though its German origin can create some issues.

Thankfully, none of the potential problems of this quiet shop vac involve volume as it only produces 66 dB of noise– the second-lowest reviewed– at its maximum power. Part of the reason the FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner can stay so quiet at maximum power comes from its 2-stage, bypass motor.

One thing that is a bit odd is that the FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner’s motor only produces 1 hp, though it draws 9 amps. While this may seem somewhat underpowered, this quiet shop vac has the best suction that we encountered, producing 151 CFM of airflow.
As if that were not enough, the FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner also boasts the best wet vacuuming on our list thanks to a static pressure rating of 98 ⅖”. Though, not all aspects of this quiet shop vac are professional-grade as it only offers a slightly larger than average tank size of 5 ⅘ ga.

It is also worth noting that this quiet shop vac is a fairly expensive option that does not come with any additional accessories for different tasks. Thankfully, you do not need to worry about a lack of accessories reducing your workable area as the FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner boasts the second-longest reach of our list at an extensive 32’.

FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner, 5.8 Gallon, 1100W | Includes: 13 ft Suction Hose, Tool Coupling with Suction Power Control, Cellulose Filter, 1 Fleece Filter Bag

Features

  • Provides a quieter operation at only 66 dB
  • Uses a decent motor that pushes 1 hp and 9 amps
  • Generates excellent suction power at 151 cfm
  • Offers an excellent wet suction of 98 ⅖” of static pressure
  • Has a great total reach of up to 32’

Verdict
From top to bottom, the FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner beats even the top competition in most categories while also running at a quieter 66 dB. Even better, this shop vac offers the best suction we encountered– regardless of wet or dry vacuuming– while also reaching further than the rest of the list.

Pros

  • Runs at a quieter 66 dB
  • Has excellent wet/dry suction
  • Has a 32’ total reach
  • Has a solid 5 ⅘ ga tank

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Does not come with accessories

Also Consider: Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B 4 Gallon 4 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum, Stainless Steel Light Weight Portable Shop Vac, 3 in 1 Function with Attachments

Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B 4 Gallon 4 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum, Stainless Steel Light Weight Portable Shop Vac, 3 in 1 Function with Attachments
  • High performance motor provides strong power for suction and blowing application, quieter operation
  • 4 Gallon capacity with sturdy handle and light weight for easy carrying
  • Widespread stainless steel base to prevent tipping, built-in storage stage, 1-1/4” Accessories Hose Diameter

Considering the company, it might be a bit surprising that PORTER-CABLE sits so far down on our list, especially given its solid reputation and over a century of experience. However, PORTER-CABLE suffers from the same issues as DEWALT thanks to BLACK+DECKER but is a mid-tier brand instead of a professional-grade one.

Thankfully, the Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet Dry Vacuum does not suffer in terms of noise generation as it only produces 72 dB of noise. Unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to ascertain exactly what this quiet shop does that allows it to reduce the amount of noise generated compared to other shop vacs.

In fact, one of the biggest issues with the Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet Dry Vacuum is its general lack of documentation as Porter-Cable pushes its newest models. While this leaves choosing this quiet shop vac a bit of a gamble, at least it is a relatively inexpensive gamble– especially for a quiet shop vac that does not have durability issues.

Of course, there is no getting around the fact that the Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet Dry Vacuum is a “light shop vac” and cannot handle bigger jobs as noted by its 85 CFM airflow. Further complicating the matter is that this quiet shop vac does not advertise its static pressure rating despite ostensibly being a wet vac too.

However, the Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet Dry Vacuum further extends its overall value in a couple of ways with the most notable being its ability to function as both a vacuum and blower. On top of that, this quiet shop vac comes with multiple accessories for its 3-point cleaning system, though its reach leaves a bit to be desired.

Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B 4 Gallon 4 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum, Stainless Steel Light Weight Portable Shop Vac, 3 in 1 Function with Attachments

Features

  • Provides a reasonably quiet operation at only 72 dB
  • Uses a decent motor that pushes 4 hp
  • Generates sufficient suction power at 85 cfm
  • Comes with numerous attachments with its 3-point system
  • Is more durable than most thanks to a stainless steel chassis

Verdict
The Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet Dry Vacuum is another model that offers a reasonably quiet operation, generating an acceptable 72 dB of noise. However, the sheer amount of unknown information combined with a lackluster performance with the given information pushes it to the bottom of our list.

Pros

  • Runs at a quiet 72 dB
  • Has a powerful motor of 4 hp
  • Is more durable than most
  • Is less expensive

Cons

  • Not the best suction
  • Not the largest tank

Best Quiet Shop Vac Buying Guide

Volume

Given the topic of our article, it should come as little surprise that we consider this to be the most important factor when choosing your quiet shop vac. However, unlike many other motorized products, you do not necessarily need to choose between performance and volume.

Granted, the size of the motor can impact how well a shop vac performs with larger motors potentially producing better performance. However, the design of the shop vac not only influences how well it muffles noise but also how well it performs, allowing less powerful models to perform just as well without making as much noise.

Power

That said, there is no getting around the fact that most manufacturers do not refine the design of their product to the point where they can sacrifice power and still achieve the same level of performance. In this instance, you want to make sure that the quiet shop vac sports a reasonably powerful motor to at least meet certain minimum requirements.

However, figuring out how powerful a shop vac’s motor is can be a bit tricky as most manufacturers provide at least 2 different measures. The first is generally horsepower or watts and tells you how powerful a motor is at the start while the amps used tell you how well the motor performs under load.

Suction

While the motor might be a bit hit or miss in terms of determining performance, the suction of a shop vac is easily the most important general aspect. Of course, the suction of a shop vac depends heavily on what you are trying to clean up with dry and wet messes using different ratings to gauge their general effectiveness.

For dry messes, you should look at airflow which is measured in cubic feet per minute or CFM, though the design of the hose inlet can impact how well this spec matches up to the performance. For wet vacuuming, you should look for the (hydro)static pressure rating which is given in inches and tends not to waver depending on the hose inlet.

Filtration

While this may not necessarily be the most important factor for everyone, some people will find a shop vac’s filtration effectiveness to be as important as its suction. If you have dust allergies or breathing issues, the quality of a shop vac’s filtration can mean the difference between clean air or a miserable experience.

Keep in mind, quiet shop vacs that vacuum both wet and dry messes tend to use different types of filters depending on the type of mess being cleaned. Other than that, look for a shop vac that includes multiple layers of filtration at various points along the airflow to ensure the air is as clean as possible.

Capacity

This is another factor that may not be the most important for everyone but can easily break a tie for the right person. Specifically, the size of the tank determines how often you need to empty the tank, assuming that the filters are otherwise equal, which is generally more important for professionals than hobbyists.

It is also important to consider what type of mess you are cleaning as well as the type of filtration the shop vac uses as bagged filters reduce the usable tank size. Thankfully, for wet vacuuming, you usually do not need to worry about this consideration, though you still need to make sure the vac does not overflow if it does not have an automatic shutoff.

Versatility

While a quiet shop vac cleans up messes, often both wet and dry, it can further expand its versatility with various accessories and additional functions. Keep in mind, these tend to be “quality of life” features and should not be the primary when selecting your quiet shop vac.

That said, a shop vac that includes multiple attachments can make cleaning up different types of messes or harder to reach spots significantly easier. On top of that, you do not always need to clean up the mess as much as clear it away in which case a shop vac with a blower function comes in handy.

Portability

While the value of this aspect matters a bit more for professionals than hobbyists, no one wants to lug around a heavy shop vac. Thankfully, most shop vacs come mounted on wheels, though some use casters which increase its maneuverability while others use axles which increase its stability.

Outside of the wheels, you also want to look at a shop vac’s dimensions, though few of them will be outright small– but a professional with limited carrying space may need to factor this more than most. Finally, both professionals and hobbyists should look at a shop vac’s weight as this will impact its portability inside of the shop and when transported to job sites.

FAQ’s

What Makes a Shop Vac Quiet?

There are a couple of ways that manufacturers can reduce the amount of noise generated by a shop vac, but they differ more than with most other tools. The reason for this is that you do not necessarily need the most powerful motor to generate the most suction which removes that from being the dominant factor.

Granted, most manufacturers still take that design approach, so you generally have to balance the power of the motor with the amount of noise generated. However, the type of motor also has a big impact as well with 2-stage motors being significantly quieter, albeit more expensive, than their single-stage alternatives.

Another factor to consider is the housing, though all shop vacs, whether designed to be especially quiet or not, use a similar approach. However, one area that differs from manufacturer to manufacturer is the exhaust with those products that include exhaust filters not only keeping the air cleaner but reducing the noise as well.

How Much Suction Do You Need?

There is no “right” answer to this question as it matters just as much what you need to suck up as any other quality. Keep in mind, this technically also applies to quiet shop vacs that include a blower option, though gauging this feature is a bit more difficult given that manufacturers generally do not provide the relevant specs.

For most shop vac purposes, you are most likely to use it to clean up dry messes, though the size and type of those messes will determine how much suction you need. If you only use the shop vac to clean up sawdust and other small particles, less than 100 CFM is fine, but larger scrap pieces require 120 CFM+.

For vacuuming liquid, on the other hand, there is no instance where having a lower static pressure will work just as well. Instead, the more static pressure a shop vac provides, the better it will be at picking up any amount of liquid, though deeper standing water requires a static pressure of over 90”.

What to Look For?

Outside of volume and suction, one of the most important things to consider is whether you need the shop vac for professional jobs or just a home workshop. If you need a shop vac for professional tasks, then it pays to get a model with a larger tank to reduce the frequency of emptying the tank– especially for wet vacuuming.

Another potential professional concern centers around the reach of the shop vac which includes both the length of the cord as well as the length of the hose– and potentially the length of wand attachments. Speaking of attachments, shop vacs with multiple attachments increase the versatility of the tool, allowing it to perform various tasks with equal efficacy.

Taking versatility a step further, some shop vacs also come with a blower function when you need to clear the area more than clean it up– though this tends to kick dust up into the air. As such, anyone with dust allergies or breathing issues should also make sure their shop vac comes with a robust filtration system with HEPA filters doing the best job.

Conclusion

The best quiet shop vac will be a different thing depending on whether you are a professional contractor or just have a workshop at home. If you have a lot of wet vacuuming to do, the DeWALT DXV10P Wet Dry Vacuum may not boast the best static pressure, but you will not need to empty its massive 10 ga tank nearly as often.

Of course, if you want to go with the all-around best-performing quiet shop vac (and do not mind paying top dollar for it), the Festool 583492 CT 26 Dust Extractor has no real flaws. Similarly, the FEIN Turbo I Vacuum Cleaner is an excellently performing model, though it has a smaller tank and some US accessory compatibility issues.

If you need a solid option but do not have much to spend, the Vacmaster VF408 1101 Shop Vac offers one of the best all-around values with numerous attachments and a HEPA filter. Finally, if you want to save some money but still need decent performance, the Porter-Cable PCX18301-4B Wet Dry Vacuum is a solid option.