Bagged vs. Bagless Shop Vacs: What to Choose?

In this quick buying guide, you are going to learn all about Shop Vacs and whether or not you should purchase a bagged or bagless Shop Vac. Right after you are finished with this buying guide, you will know which type of Shop Vac is right for you!

Bagged vs. Bagless Shop Vacs: What to Choose?

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What Is A Shop Vac?

A Shop Vac is a special vacuum that is designed for intense cleaning jobs that other vacuums are unable to perform. These intense cleaning jobs often involve materials such as nails, nuts, bolts, and screws, as well as wet material. Most vacuums can’t handle that material, but Shop Vacs can, due to their durability and efficiency.

The most notable feature that sets a Shop Vac apart from other vacuums is the fact that Shop Vacs can vacuum up dry material, as well as wet material. Because of this, they can remove large amounts of water, while also vacuuming up dirt and dust in the same way that a regular vacuum can. This makes them far more efficient, while also being quite a bit more versatile.

What Does A Bagged Shop Vac Have To Offer?

A bagged Shop Vac is a Shop Vac that uses a bag to hold the dirt, debris, and liquid that you are vacuuming up.

Since a bagged Shop Vac relies on a bag that will, inevitably, get dirty and damaged, a bagged Shop Vac will need to have its bag replaced on a regular basis. This can be inconvenient, but there are many benefits to owning and using a bagged Shop Vac.

With a bagged Shop Vac, all of the material that has been vacuumed up stays within the bag. This makes it so much easier to dispose of those materials – especially if thick clumps of dust have been vacuumed up – since there is no way for those materials to escape.

Emptying the contents within a Shop Vac is also much easier, since you can simply pick up the bag and toss it out. Because of that, not only will none of the materials escape from within the bag, but all of those materials will be disposed of in one go, and there is no chance of them accidentally getting stuck to the interior of the Shop Vac.

Related Post: Different Types of Wet/Dry Shop Vacs

What Does A Bagless Shop Vac Have To Offer?

A bagless Shop Vac is, of course, a Shop Vac that doesn’t use a bag. Since a bagless Shop Vac doesn’t use a bag, all of the material is stored within a large canister, and you can empty this canister out as many times as you want, without needing to purchase a bag or anything of that sort.

Most people prefer bagless Shop Vacs, because they cost less money to use regularly, and they are better at storing water. If you don’t need an elaborate filtration system, then bagless Shop Vacs are definitely the ideal choice.

With that being said, though, it is easier for dirt and grime to become stuck in the Shop Vac. Removing large amounts of dirt and grime can also be difficult, since the canister is often rather heavy.


In the end, both bagged and bagless Shop Vacs are great. If you need high-quality filtration, then a bagged Shop Vac is ideal. If you don’t, and want something less expensive that works well, then you should go with a bagless Shop Vac.


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