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Mark J

Vacmaster Wet Dry Vac

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Buying a Vacuum is a pain.  There is no good way to compare models, mostly because vac makers won't make measurements similar to each other and  under real world conditions. 

Peak HP is a complete fabrication.  And vacuum measurement is complicated by the fact that CFM and negative pressure are two related, but independent parameters.  A window fan can move CFM, but doesn't create a lot of negative pressure while a syringe can create tremendous negative pressure, but won't ventilate a room.  

There is a measurement out there called airwatts that I've never seen before, but most makers don't quote it, and Shop Vac gives it to you, but says they use their own method of calculation--which is their way of saying we report the number, but we lie about the value.  

So I did my best to review what numbers I could find and bought this Vacmaster...

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...and it sucks.   A lot.  In fact I gave it the finger...

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...and in this highly scientific test it seems to noticably out perform my old Shop Vac.

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I also like that it has built in storage for the cord, attachments, AND the hose. 

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It comes with a foam filter for wet work.  For dry work it comes with a pleated filter, there is an optional paper bag filter, as well, and one was included.  The cord looks decently long.  The attachments are the usual, except that a round brush was not included.

 

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These vacuums seem to be sold under a couple of brands - at least Vacmaster and DuraVac, from what I can tell. I have a wall mounted DuraVac that I've been using for about 6-7 years now with a Dust Deputy, with pretty good results - claims 5 HP peak, but smaller capacity. There's a VacMaster direct equivalent for that one. Incidentally, I found that you can make the Ridgid HEPA filter fit on with a bit of persuasion, if that helps.

Here's the vacuum I have in Vacmaster:

http://www.vacmaster.com/wall-mountable-wet-dry-garage-vac-with-remote-control-5-gallon/

Or Duravac:

http://duravac.ca/model/cvwm510

I think it might be a Canada vs. US thing for the distribution, with it being DuraVac here and Vacmaster in the USA.

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I have seen that wall unit here and it looks identical to the Canadian Dura Vac.

I forgot to mention one other thing about the vac I bought.  It comes with a muffler accessory and this substantially reduces the noise with a slight reduction in the finger test results.

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30 minutes ago, Mark J said:

I have seen that wall unit here and it looks identical to the Canadian Dura Vac.

I forgot to mention one other thing about the vac I bought.  It comes with a muffler accessory and this substantially reduces the noise with a slight reduction in the finger test results.

The muffler was the major benefit I found from my previous shop vac, aside from the slight increase in suction. It reduces the noise level to the point where you don't have to wear hearing protection with it if you don't want to.

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I hate to be that guy, but i don't think i could go back to a regular utility vac after running a CT vac. Cleaning pleated utility vac filters is a misery i never want to to ever again. I'd consider running a bagged utility vac but it doesn't seem like they are set up to handle it very well.

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7 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

I hate to be that guy, but i don't think i could go back to a regular utility vac after running a CT vac. Cleaning pleated utility vac filters is a misery i never want to to ever again. I'd consider running a bagged utility vac but it doesn't seem like they are set up to handle it very well.

I've found filter cleaning to be a non-issue with the Dust Deputy in the setup, unless I let it overflow. That never happens anymore now that the planer is going to an actual dust collector instead. Not that I wouldn't probably enjoy the perks of a higher end vacuum, but mine does basically everything I ask of it at this point. The one issue I had was the lack of HEPA filtration, but the Ridgid replacement filter fixed that for me.

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I'm gonna be that other guy and say that I just can't justify the expense of those CTs when I can get a powerful Ridgid vac & dust deputy for a fraction of the price. I clean the pleated HEPA filter maybe once a year, and even then it's not badly loaded. Takes all of about 5 minutes.

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I'm gonna be that guy that says he has both.  Actually two wet/dry vacs and a CT (but one of the vacs is dedicated).  

I love the CT for everything except the lathe.  The lathe makes chips by the shovel full and the CT bags are relatively expensive.  I looked at the Festool chip separator  but you can buy a lot of vac's for that.  

So I now have the CT, a roustabout vac for the shop, a dedicated vac for the grinder (more on that coming elsewhere), and a dedicated wet vac for doggy doo doo duty (so I don't have to keep disassembling one of mine).

Of course with all these vacuums you'd think the place would be cleaner.

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I feel like a shovel is a good tool for lathe work in that case :P. Maybe the vacs have gotten better in the last 5 years, all i remember is being about to go for about 30 min and then  becoming the center of a dust cloud trying to clean the filter. Maybe i was doing it wrong. Yes they are expensive, had that opinion, bought one used for a good deal. Then realized their benefit and bought another one.

Chips go to my collector, my floor sweep gets used a ton and is really nice. For the festool bags i dump them out 4-5 times before tossing them so getting multiple uses is nice. It's easier to dump one of those bags through a 37mm hole than it was cleaning one of the old vac filters. I had a dust deputy and the space those things take up is miserable. It's far and away worth the extra $200 to not have to drag one of those units around. Make fun of me if you like, i used to think all festool was over priced BS, now i only think a good portion of the tools are overpriced BS.

 

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25 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

I feel like a shovel is a good tool for lathe work in that case :P. Maybe the vacs have gotten better in the last 5 years, all i remember is being about to go for about 30 min and then  becoming the center of a dust cloud trying to clean the filter. Maybe i was doing it wrong. Yes they are expensive, had that opinion, bought one used for a good deal. Then realized their benefit and bought another one.

Chips go to my collector, my floor sweep gets used a ton and is really nice. For the festool bags i dump them out 4-5 times before tossing them so getting multiple uses is nice. It's easier to dump one of those bags through a 37mm hole than it was cleaning one of the old vac filters. I had a dust deputy and the space those things take up is miserable. It's far and away worth the extra $200 to not have to drag one of those units around. Make fun of me if you like, i used to think all festool was over priced BS, now i only think a good portion of the tools are overpriced BS.

 

I think it makes a big difference if portability is part of the equation. For me, my shop space is so small that my vacuum and dust deputy are attached to the wall, and 25' of hose (a 15' and a 10' connected together) gets me to everything in the space. I usually just have the 15' hose on the dust deputy and that reaches everything in the front of the garage along with my workbench, router table, etc. If I was lugging around a cart with the dust deputy I'd probably view it differently.

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1 hour ago, Mark J said:

... and a dedicated wet vac for doggy doo doo duty (so I don't have to keep disassembling one of mine).

Wait, what? :blink:

I’d be interested to see your setup for the vac for the grinder.

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1 minute ago, JohnG said:

Wait, what? :blink:

I’d be interested to see your setup for the vac for the grinder.

Yup, I'm gettin' to that in another post.  

I used to have a spare flex hose I used with the DC as a mobile floor sweep.  Reasonably effective, but a bit un wieldly.  Then I bought more equipment so the hose found higher purpose.

You know, whatever "sucks" for you is good with me.  If you are interested in a vac, though, this brand is worth a look.

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It's my wife's dog.  She is a very sweet and likable pooch, but she has taken it upon herself to pee on the carpets from time to time.  When this happens I have to imediately break down my shop vac and convert it to wet mode and clean up the mess.  Then the vac has to be washed out and left to dry.  Then hook everything back up.

I got tired of doing this.  So I decided if I was buying one vac for the shop I would be doggone if I wasn't going to get one for the house.  So now I have a smaller format Vacmaster without wheels in the closet.  And now that my workshop vac does not need to be disassembled, etc., there's no reason the whole operation can't be my wife's.:o

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8 minutes ago, Mark J said:

It's my wife's dog.  She is a very sweet and likable pooch, but she has taken it upon herself to pee on the carpets from time to time.  When this happens I have to imediately break down my shop vac and convert it to wet mode and clean up the mess.  Then the vac has to be washed out and left to dry.  Then hook everything back up.

I got tired of doing this.  So I decided if I was buying one vac for the shop I would be doggone if I wasn't going to get one for the house.  So now I have a smaller format Vacmaster without wheels in the closet.  And now that my workshop vac does not need to be disassembled, etc., there's no reason the whole operation can't be my wife's.:o

And Megan just doesn't understand why I don't really care to have a dog when we have a house full of carpet...

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19 minutes ago, Mark J said:

It's my wife's dog.  She is a very sweet and likable pooch, but she has taken it upon herself to pee on the carpets from time to time.  When this happens I have to imediately break down my shop vac and convert it to wet mode and clean up the mess.  Then the vac has to be washed out and left to dry.  Then hook everything back up.

I got tired of doing this.  So I decided if I was buying one vac for the shop I would be doggone if I wasn't going to get one for the house.  So now I have a smaller format Vacmaster without wheels in the closet.  And now that my workshop vac does not need to be disassembled, etc., there's no reason the whole operation can't be my wife's.:o

Ah makes sense now. 

Reminds me of a story from a friend of mine. He bought one of those Roomba or similar robot vacuums to try out. He had it running while at work and during the day he changed his mind and thought he would return it. When he got home, he found that his dog had left a large gift on the floor for him and that the vacuum had run over it and spread it around the house. Spent hours cleaning out the vacuum and the tracks it left. :lol:

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29 minutes ago, Mark J said:

It's my wife's dog.  She is a very sweet and likable pooch, but she has taken it upon herself to pee on the carpets from time to time.  When this happens I have to imediately break down my shop vac and convert it to wet mode and clean up the mess.  Then the vac has to be washed out and left to dry.  Then hook everything back up.

I got tired of doing this.  So I decided if I was buying one vac for the shop I would be doggone if I wasn't going to get one for the house.  So now I have a smaller format Vacmaster without wheels in the closet.  And now that my workshop vac does not need to be disassembled, etc., there's no reason the whole operation can't be my wife's.:o

Just get one of these...

https://www.bissell.com/little-green-proheat-portable-carpet-cleaner-2513g

 

The info on the Vacmaster is useful.   I've seen them before, but never really sure if they were good quality or not.

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On our Rigid vacs that collect in the barrel, we run the Gore filters that can be cleaned with a water hose. I think I have five filters for the two vacs, so we have a dry one, while the wet ones are drying.  

For sanding plaster, and cleaning up such fine dust, we use a Shop Vac with the yellow bags.  I just bought a new, large Shop Vac last week, for catching small diamond wheel Dremel dust, cutting old, installed tile.  The other one lasted over 20 years of a few hours of use a year.

Those vacs have another filter inside the head.   If one gets so it doesn't suck good with a clean filter, take the motor housing apart, and clean the foam filter in there.  The motors eventually get tired, but they last for many hours.  We use them in too rough conditions to justify putting a lot of money into one.

I've never seen these Vacmaster ones, but I don't get out much.

 

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On 9/16/2019 at 10:19 AM, Chestnut said:

I feel like a shovel is a good tool for lathe work in that case :P. Maybe the vacs have gotten better in the last 5 years, all i remember is being about to go for about 30 min and then  becoming the center of a dust cloud trying to clean the filter.

I use a kitchen trash bag and put the pleated filter inside the bag and hold the end of the bag closed bang the hell out of the filter, then take the filter out of the bag for the final cleaning wah-la hardly any dust cloud. Now I have the filters you can clean with a hose, I have several so I have a dry clean filter at all times.

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