A Great Shop Vacuum (or Wet Dry Vac)

A Great Shop Vacuum (or Wet Dry Vac)

Our pick

Ridgid 12 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac HD1200

Ridgid 12 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac HD1200

A great wet dry vac

The Ridgid HD1200 is capable, powerful, and well reviewed. It’s easy to lug around, and it comes with a great selection of attachments.

Buying Options

$80* from Home Depot

*At the time of publishing, the price was $70.

This wet dry vac (aka “shop vac”1) has a large capacity and a powerful motor for sucking up debris. And with its four casters, well-positioned handle, and manageable weight, it’s not too difficult to drag through a basement or carry on a flight of stairs. The Ridgid 12-Gal. NXT Wet Dry Vac HD1200 comes with three nozzles (one for general use, another for wet spills, and a small one for detail work) that store on the vac and out of the way, using a smarter design than that of competitors’ accessory caddies. The Ridgid is regularly sold on the shelves of Home Depot—where it has hundreds of mostly five-star reviews—and extra filters, hoses, and nozzles are easy to find. The 12-gallon Ridgid is the vac that I saw on job sites and personally used the most often throughout a 10-year construction career, and it’s the one I’ve owned at home for years. We bought the relatively new HD1200 version for testing in spring 2020. So far, it’s exhibited the same excellent Ridgid quality we’ve seen for years from similar Ridgid models, like our previous pick, the Ridgid 12-Gallon Wet Dry Vac WD1270, which has been discontinued.

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Runner-up

Ridgid 14-Gal. NXT Wet Dry Vac HD1400

Ridgid 14-Gal. NXT Wet Dry Vac HD1400

The same, but bigger

This is a more powerful version of our pick, with a slightly larger capacity and motor. It’s widely recommended, but it costs more and is noticeably heavier than our pick.

Buying Options

$100 from Home Depot

If you can’t find our pick or you just want a more powerful option, we also like the Ridgid 14-Gal. NXT Wet Dry Vac HD1400. This vacuum has more capacity and a more powerful motor than our pick, the 12-gallon HD1200, but its identical hose should suck up the same debris. The HD1400 is not our pick because its weight—about 27 pounds, compared with our pick’s 22—makes it noticeably heavier and bulkier, especially on stairs. The HD1400 is also more expensive. User reviews for this model, like those for our pick, are extremely positive.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Ridgid 12 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac HD1200

Ridgid 12 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac HD1200

A great wet dry vac

The Ridgid HD1200 is capable, powerful, and well reviewed. It’s easy to lug around, and it comes with a great selection of attachments.

Buying Options

$80* from Home Depot

*At the time of publishing, the price was $70.

Runner-up

Ridgid 14-Gal. NXT Wet Dry Vac HD1400

Ridgid 14-Gal. NXT Wet Dry Vac HD1400

The same, but bigger

This is a more powerful version of our pick, with a slightly larger capacity and motor. It’s widely recommended, but it costs more and is noticeably heavier than our pick.

Buying Options

$100 from Home Depot

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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