12 Gallon Shop Vac Reviews and Buying Guide in 2020

Houses never go short of debris and stains, be it the garage or the jobsite or even the shops where we work all day. No amount of cleaning with harsh chemicals seems to clean the place of the dirt and the debris and we are forced to look for something better to get rid of the stains once for all. The same holds good for our houses as well, where the mess is of no defined category and comprises everything from liquid spills to broken glasses. The only way to get rid of instantly and completely is to make use of the 12 Gallon Shop Vacs that are available in a range of capabilities and sizes. We have made your work simpler by delineating the best of shop Vacs here along with their buying guide, hoping to influence your buying decision positively.

Top 10 Best 12 Gallon shop VACs of 2020

1. Craftsman XSP 12 Gallon wet/dry Vac:

  • Craftsman XSP 12 Gallon 5.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac
  • An over 27 Foot cleaning reach (7’ Hose, 20’ Power Cord + Extension Wands) allows you to reach larger areas without unplugging the unit
  • The 2-1/2” diameter secure fit hose system keeps the hose in place during use.
  • Powerful 5.5 peak HP motor makes short work of jobs


  • Designed to handle the toughest cleaning works at the jobsite
  • Vacuums wood chunks, glass, and screws efficiently
  • Innovative top tray to conveniently store items
  • Extra-large drain
  • Secure hose fit system to keep the hose in place


    • Emits burning smell from the motor
    • Erratic motor rpm
    • This vac is much bigger than the standard vacuum

The craftsman XSP 12 Gallon wet and dry shop Vac features a peak 5.5 horse power. It features a hose length of 7 feet that renders a cleaning reach of over 27 foot; there are also additional power cords and extension wands that are available with this product. Thus it is possible to reach larger areas without unplugging the unit from the socket. Its secure fit hose system is about 2.5 inches in diameter and helps in keeping the hose in its place during use. Its powerful 5.5 peak HP motor performs short cleaning works pretty efficiently.

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2. Craftsman CMXEVBE17606 12 Gallon Shop Vac:

  • 2-IN-1 VAC: powerful shop vacuum that features a detachable blower for clearing leaves and debris from your Garage and outdoors
  • DUEL-FLEX HOSE WITH POS-I-LOCK: provides 180-degree flexibility at both hose ends for maneuverability and secure attachment of hose to vac drum that won't pull loose during use
  • ACCESSORY STORAGE: convenient lid-mounted accessory caddy with hose management keeps all accessories organized and ready for quick access
  • OVERSIZED DRAIN: built-in drain for convenient emptying of liquids
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 2-1/2 in. X 7 ft. Pos-i-lock dual-flex hose, 2 extension wands, utility nozzle, car nozzle, crevice tool, locking blower wand, Qwik Lock filter and dust collection bag


  • Features detachable blower for clearing dry leaves and debris
  • Built in the drain for convenient emptying
  • 20 feet power cord and 7 feet hose
  • Accessory storage for convenient organization


  • Users have to use the leaf blower to access its blowing feature
  • The Vac unit is very bulky
  • The stiff cord is cheap, good enough to trip over
  • Some users feel that Its lid is a little loose

The craftsman CMXEVBE17606 two in one Vac is a powerful shop vacuum cleaning device that features a detachable blower for clearing debris and leaves from the garage and the job site. Its dual flex hose with POS I Lock renders 180-degree flexibility at either end of the hose and helps with maneuverability as well. There is also a convenient lid mounting accessory unit with hose management that helps to keep all the accessories organized and ready for quick access.

Read Also: Best 5 Gallon Shop Vac Reviews & Buying Guides

3. Craftsman 17765 12 Gallon Wet dry Shop Vacuum:

  • DUAL-FLEX HOSE: Provides 180° flexibility at both hose ends for maneuverability in tight spaces, resisting kinks and crushing
  • OVERSIZED DRAIN: Built-in drain at the lowest point assures emptying of liquids from drum
  • BLOWING PORT: Directs high speed exhaust air through the hose to blow debris from decks, sidewalks, etc.
  • ON-BOARD ACCESSORY & CORD STORAGE: Keep tools close at hand, makes vac easier to store
  • POS-I-LOCK HOSE CONNECTION: Provides secure attachment of hose to vac drum and won’t pull loose during use


  • The dual flex hose provides 180-degree flexibility at both the hose ends
  • Oversized drain and direct blowing port
  • The POS I-Lock hose connection renders a secure attachment.


  • Its pleated paper filter clogs quickly and it is tough to blow it out
  • The vac cleaner is pretty noisy
  • Its hose is too short and there are no provisions for cord storage

This 12 Gallon wet dry shop Vacuum cleaner renders 180-degree flexibility at both the hose ends for maneuverability in tight spaces. It resists kinks and crushing efficiently and it’s built-in oversized drain assures complete emptying of the liquids from the drum. Its high speed blowing port directs high speed exhaust air through the hose to blow debris from the sidewalks, decks, etc. You can keep your tools close at hand with the help of its onboard accessory and cord storage system. The hose of the vac drum closes securely with the hose connection and doesn’t pull loose during use.

Read Also: Best Cordless Shop Vac Review & Buying Tips

4. Craftsmen CMXEVBE17595 Shop Vac:

  • HEAVY-DUTY: Powerful 6.5 peak HP provides extra power for large projects in the garage, shop and on the jobsite
  • BUILT-IN BLOWER PORT: Rear blowing port on this wet dry vac allows for quick cleaning of leaves and grass clippings in your garage and outdoors
  • OVERSIZED DRAIN: Built-in oversized drain on the wet/dry vac allows for convenient emptying of liquids
  • DUAL-FLEX TECHNOLOGY: 2-1/2 in. diameter shop vacuum hose features Dual-Flex technology for 180-degree mobility at each end to resist kinking
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 2-1/2 in. x 7 ft. Pos-I-Lock Dual-Flex Hose, 2 Extension Wands, Utility Nozzle, Car Nozzle, Wet Nozzle, Qwik Lock Filter and Dust Collection Bag


  • Quieter operation
  • Accessory opening matches with different hose
  • Industrial grade construction to handle heavy use
  • Decreases blow back of dust and debris considerably


  • It will not fit the blower port that is screw on type with the vac
  • It is not possible to buy the foam replacement as a separate entity
  • It does not function pretty well as a muffler

This Air muffler cum diffuser has been designed to reduce the general operation noise of a wet and dry vacuum cleaner. Its accessory opening connects with the blowing port to suppress the motor noise, without decreasing the suction power. You can reduce blowback of dust back to your room with the help of this wet dry vacuum cleaner as it is efficient in reducing blowing debris and dust considerably. It installs pretty simply and connects with any blowing port available in online shops. Owing to their industrial-grade construction, they are good to handle very heavy use as well.

5. DeWalt 12 Gallon Wet Dry Shop Vac

  • Sturdy 12 gallon wet/dry Vac ideal for large pick-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.To keep your wet/dry vac looking its best, clean the outside with a cloth dampened with warm water and mild soap
  • Extra long, 20' 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 vac to keep all accessories neatly organized
  • Large built-in tank drain makes it easy to remove liquids picked up


  • Three in one action- wet/dry/blow cleaning
  • Features a 20 feet power cord
  • Waterproof stitching with a hose strap
  • Detachable accessory bag
  • Built in tank makes that removes liquid pick up efficiently.


    • The cleaner has a 2-inch diameter hose and does not render a very powerful suction
    • Works pretty weak with large pickups

The DeWalt 12 gallon wet and dry Vac features a convenient handle and large rear wheels for easy cleaning up applications of even large spaces. It is capable of handling debris and dust particles of larger sizes, efficiently. The Vac features a powerful 5.5 peak HP motor to render a tremendous amount of suction to perform any cleanup job efficiently. Its ultra-durable rubberized casters allow for smooth swiveling action and utmost ease of movement. Its extra-long power cord helps to reach any cleanup in any corner of the shop of the garage.  There is a detachable accessory storage bag that is attached to the backside of the best shop vac to keep all the accessories organized neatly.

6. Craftsman CMXZVBE38768

  • Fits: 10 to 14 gallon Shop-Vac brand vacs
  • Designed for dry pick-up: dust bag for dry debris pick-up only to make clean-up fast and easy
  • Collects everyday dirt: dust bag designed for capturing everyday dirt, dust and debris
  • Reduce clean-up time: vacuum bag makes debris disposal quick and easy, reducing the time required to clean the wet dry vacuum cleaner
  • Includes: 3 dust bags


  • It includes three dust bags.
  • Dry and wet Vac that is best for dirt and debris
  • Ideal for everyday cleaning


  • The bags are very thin and they can tear up easily
  • The cardboard structure around the mouth of the bag will not fit the most of the hose of the apparatus

This 12 gallon dry wet vac cleaner has been designed to pick up everyday dirt and other dry debris. You can trap debris conveniently with its dust collection bags that are meant for easy disposal. It fits the 10 to 14-gallon shop vac brand vac cleaners efficiently and has been designed for dry pick up. Its dust bag not only picks up debris efficiently but also gets cleaning up pretty fast and easy. Its high efficient vacuum bag gets debris disposal quick and easy and thus reducing the time required for cleaning the garage or the work area.

7. Filter for Craftsman Shop Vac 17816:


  • Compatible with Vacuums of different gallons, 8,12,16 and 32 gal
  • Pleated paper filter for better debris filtering
  • Cleans up almost all sorts of dirt and debris at the work site.


  • This is not an original product from Craftsman and is not covered under the brand warranty.
  • It is important to change this vacuum attachment every 1-3 months for optimal functioning

This filter for craftsman dry/wet vac is compatible with the Craftsman Vac that is of 5 gallons or larger capacity. This pleated paper filter works highly efficient in filtering out the debris from any floor, be it a shop or a garage floor. This filter is highly efficient for cleaning up everyday dirt and debris such as wood chips, sawdust, job site debris, dirt from vehicles such as car and truck, etc. If you wish to refresh your Shop Vac air filter with an easy and a convenient 12 gallon shop vac replacement filter, then you have to definitely consider this product.

8. Multi Fit Wet Dry Vac Filter VF7816:

  • Uses the Qwik-Lock Filter Fastening System making removing and installing the wet dry vacuum filter quick, easy and secure.
  • Multi-Fit wet dry vac filter with material that captures everyday dirt such as sawdust and typical dirt.
  • The pleated filter design on the wet dry vacuum filter allows the filter to have more surface area to improving airflow and reduce clogging compared to sleeves and bags.
  • Multi-Fit wet vac filter material is washable allowing for a better clean, and thus better wet dry vac filter performance
  • Replace your wet dry vacuum cleaner filter at least twice a year for optimal shop vacuum cleaner performance


  • Qwik lock filter fastening system
  • Multi-fit wet dry vac filter
  • Pleated filter design
  • Multi fit washable wet vac filter
  • Wash and reuse option


  • It features the simple rubber push stop nub on top
  • Replacement is not efficient if the filter is used for liquids

This is a standard 12 Gallon wet dry vacuum filter that makes use of the Qwik Lock filter fastening system, making removing and installing this wet dry vacuum filter quick, easy and secure. This best shop Vac filter is efficient in capturing everyday dirt such as typical dirt and sawdust efficiently from the job site and garage. The filter system of this wet dry vacuum filter features a pleated design to enhance its surface area and to improve airflow and to reduce clogging compared with bags and sleeves. The Vac filter is washable and it allows for a better clean and high performance.

9. Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac:

  • HEAVY-DUTY: Powerful 6.5 peak HP provides extra power for large projects in the garage, shop and on the jobsite
  • BUILT-IN BLOWER PORT: Rear blowing port on this wet dry vac allows for quick cleaning of leaves and grass clippings in your garage and outdoors
  • OVERSIZED DRAIN: Built-in oversized drain on the wet/dry vac allows for convenient emptying of liquids
  • DUAL-FLEX TECHNOLOGY: 2-1/2 in. diameter shop vacuum hose features Dual-Flex technology for 180-degree mobility at each end to resist kinking
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 2-1/2 in. x 7 ft. Pos-I-Lock Dual-Flex Hose, 2 Extension Wands, Utility Nozzle, Car Nozzle, Wet Nozzle, Qwik Lock Filter and Dust Collection Bag


  • Oversize top carry handle
  • Separate storage for accessory
  • 20 feet power cord
  • Built in drain with 7 x 2 ½ feet hose


  • The model does not include a plastic muffer
  • The vacuum cleaner emits a toxic smell

This wet/dry vacuum cleaner from craftsman is ideal for home projects and renovations and features a powerful 6.5 peak HP to render additional power for large projects in the shop, garage and on the jobsite. The rear blowing port of this 12 gallon shop vac allows for quick cleaning of grasses and leaves both in the garage and in open spaces. You can conveniently empty the liquids with the help of its built in oversized drains. Its dual flex technology helps with 180 degrees’ mobility at both the end resisting kinking

10. Craftsman and Ridgid Replacement Filter by Kopach:

  • PROFESSIONAL QUALITY, AFFORDABLE PRICE: Heavy-duty electric vacuum cleaners are a great investment if you want to keep your house or workspace mess-free. Unfortunately, attachments and accessories for industrial cleaners don’t always come cheap. That’s why Kopach is proud to offer vacuum replacement parts at an affordable cost without sacrificing quality.
  • GREAT FOR AT HOME USE: Whether you’re using your shop vac at a construction site or in your garage, it’s important to keep the filter in good condition. Replace it regularly with Kopach filters and you’ll be able to keep high-suction with your vacuum cleaner. Keeping your area tidy will not just improve your well-being, but your pets as well!
  • ADAPTER CAP ACCESSORY: This filter is compatible with Craftsman caps. If your current filter has rubber across one end that snaps over the filter cage then a special handcrafted adapter cap and grommet is needed If you are using our filter for a Ridgid vacuum, you will need our cap and wingnut attachments to secure this filter onto your vacuum.
  • KOPACH CUSTOMER SERVICE: Here at Kopach Filter, we value customer service and satisfaction. If you are unsure whether our filter will fit your vacuum, or if you have any problems with the filter fitting your vacuum, please contact us through our Amazon home page. We would be happy to help you find the products you are looking for.
  • FITS CRAFTSMAN & RIDGID VACUUMS: This pleated air filter will fit most Craftsman brand vacuums (1988 to present, 5 gallon and bigger). If you want to replace your red- stripe filter (Part #9-17816), then this filter is just what you need. This filter will also fit most Ridgid brand vacuums. If you want to replace your VF4000 filter, then this filter is just what you need – Kopach Cap Required for Ridgid Users.


  • Efficient and long lasting filter with an open design
  • Open design filter helps in dealing with the mess efficiently
  • High quality, long lasting and affordable filters on the market
  • Quick and easy to install


  • The filter does not fit all vacuum models
  • The filter is worthless without a reversible cap

This heavy-duty electric vacuum cleaner is an excellent investment for those who want to keep their house and workspace mess-free. Irrespective of whether you are using the best shop vac at the garage or at the construction site, it is important to keep the filter in excellent condition. You only have to replace it regularly with Kopach filters and you will be able to keep high suction with the vacuum cleaner. Its pleated air filter fits almost all of the craftsman brand vacuums and is compatible with the craftsman caps as well. If you are using the filter for your Ridgid vacuum, then you will require the cap and wing nut attachment to secure the filter on to the vacuum.

Buying Guide – Things Should You Consider Before Buying 12 Gallon Shop Vac Cleaner!

12 gallon shop vac

The applications of the wet and dry 12 gallon vacuum cleaners are only limited to our imagination in clearing the debris and spills. They can be of exceptional use in clearing workplace debris like a pro. Using a regular vacuum cleaner to clear all sorts and volumes of mess is not a good idea and in order to enhance the cleanliness of the workplace, we need to put an industrial filter into use. Not all vacuum cleaners are created for the same purpose and it is a good idea to consider what to look for, in an ideal vac.

1. Capacity:

Shop Vacs come in three different capacities, small Vacs have a capacity of 2-6 gallons, the capacity of medium vacs is 6-14 gallons and high capacity vacs have a capacity of 14-18 gallons. The medium capacity vac is sufficient to meet the indoor and outdoor cleaning tasks for homeowners.

2. Air Power:

Air power or air watts refers to the suction power of the shop 12 gallon shop vac. Higher air power is important if you want to vacuum heavier objects like bolts and nuts.

3. Tank:

Apart from the size of the tank, users have to choose between plastic and stainless steel tank. Plastic tanks are lighter and are prone to dents whereas stainless steel tanks are easier to clean and are more durable in the long run.

4. Vacuum performance:

The air power or vacuum performance is the rate of work that is been performed by the vacuum cleaner. Airpower is the function of suction along with the airflow at an operating point. The air power can get reduced by leaks, dirty filters, and the attachments that are used with the unit.

5. Filter:

It is important to choose a Vac with a highly efficient filter that is capable of handling both dry and wet waste efficiently until the time of cleaning up.

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FAQs for 12 Gallon Shop Vacs:

Q. Which filter should I use for wet dust?

Ans: Foam sleeve is the best filter for wet pick up. While picking up water with debris comprising of glass and stone, consider adding a tear-resistant wet dry collection bag.

Q. Which filter should I use for dry dust?

Ans: The filter for dry pick up depends on the type of debris. Larger debris might require a filter with a general household filtration level, for medium size debris use a filter with medium level filtration and for fine debris use a filter with fine filtration level.

Q. What are the key aspects one should consider before buying?

Ans: The buying guide, we discussed above, provides all the crucial aspects you should consider before buying your 12 gallon shop vac. But, to keep it precise, you need to consider 3 key aspects – capacity, CFM, and suction power.

Q. Where to find accessories and filters for my Shop Vac wet dry Vac?

Ans: Though you can find the accessories at a local department, discount or hardware store, it is advisable to buy it from reliable online stores to initiate replacement and claim warranties with ease.

Final Thoughts

The 12 gallon wet and dry shop vacuum cleaners render you the power to ease out the entire cleaning process. These vacuum cleaners are efficient in cleaning the wet and dry mess in your garage, basement or workshop as simple as a breeze. We hope our buying recommendation and our product review will help you in picking up the best Vacuum cleaners for all your multipurpose cleaning needs.

Adam Cohen
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