8 Different Types of Wet/Dry Shop Vacs

In this buying guide, you are going to learn all about eight different types of wet/dry shop vacs. The first six of these eight different wet/dry shop vacs each have distinct shapes, which leads to a unique experience. The last two wet/dry shop vacs have slightly different features, which also leads to a very unique vacuuming experience.

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1. Canister Wet/Dry Vacuum

A canister wet/dry vacuum is a standard canister vacuum that has one very unique feature. This feature is, of course, that of being able to vacuum up dry material and wet material. Whether it’s dirt, dust, or water, a canister wet/dry vacuum can clean it.

Since canister vacuums are, as the name implies, large canisters, they are great for vacuuming up large amounts of material at any one time. Canister wet/dry vacuums are, because of this, especially useful for vacuuming up large amounts of spilled water and even minor floods. They are not particularly mobile, though, due to their canister shape.

2. Upright Wet/Dry Vacuum

The most popular vacuums on the market are upright vacuums. Upright vacuums are tall, relatively slim, and extremely powerful. As such, an upright wet/dry vacuum is the same thing, but rather than being restricted to vacuuming up dry material, they can vacuum up wet material.

Most of the upright wet/dry vacuums that are available also offer a mopping system. As you are using an upright wet/dry vacuum, your floors will be mopped. For floor cleanings that need to be especially thorough, this is extremely useful, as it allows you to remove dirt, gunk, and grime as you vacuum your floors.

Bissell 1785A

3. Handheld Wet/Dry Vacuum

A handheld wet/dry vacuum is a wet/dry vacuum that can be held in your hand. Most handheld wet/dry vacuums are small and cordless, which allows you to use them anywhere that you would like to vacuum. Because of this, handheld wet/dry vacuums are great for vacuuming in tight crevices and within spaces that no other vacuum can reach.

Most of the handheld wet/dry vacuums that you can purchase rely on one or two special tools that allow the vacuum to remove wet material. These tools are great for removing small amounts of water, spilled milk, along with various other liquids.

Handheld Wet/Dry Vacuum

4. Wet/Dry Dust Extractor/Vacuum

A wet/dry dust extractor/vacuum is a vacuum cleaner that has been designed to remove dust, while also being able to remove wet material. Just about every single dust extractor/vacuum has an exceptionally powerful filtration system that allows large amounts of dust to be filtered out and removed from the air. For worksites, a good dust extractor/vacuum is very useful.

Most of the wet/dry dust extractor/vacuums that are available can remove material such as nuts, bolts, and screws – as well as dust and wet material. Due to this functionality, they are some of the best machines to have if you’re working on an intense worksite that is very dirty.

Dust Extractor
Dust Extractor

5. Wall-Mounted Wet/Dry Vacuum/Blower

A wall-mounted wet/dry vacuum/blower is, just as the name implies, a wall-mounted wet/dry vacuum. More often than not, these vacuums are used to clean garages, cars, and driveways. This is because they aren’t especially mobile.

Many people use wall-mounted wet/dry vacuum/blowers for things like cleaning up leaves, vacuuming cars, and removing spills from garages. Since these are wet/dry vacuums, they are great for cleaning up small floods and other situations. Plus, when you are done cleaning up the mess, you can blow it out of the vacuum using the “blower” function, which makes the entire process so much easier.

Wall-Mounted WetDry Vacuum
Wall-Mounted WetDry Vacuum

6. Commercial Wet/Dry Vacuums

Commercial Wet Dry VacuumCommercial Wet Dry Vacuum Commercial Wet Dry Vacuum[/caption]

Related Post: Best Wet Dry Vacuum for Car/Hardwood/Carpet Cleaning


7. Bagless Wet/Dry Vacuums

A bagless wet/dry vacuum is a wet/dry vacuum that doesn’t use a bag. Since a bagless wet/dry vacuum doesn’t use a bag, it is far more likely that certain materials that have been vacuumed up will spill out. Materials such as dust and dirt, to be more specific.

For most people, this is completely fine, but for people who are sensitive to allergies, it isn’t ideal.

When it comes to vacuuming up wet material, though, bagless wet/dry vacuums are ideal. Dealing with a bagged system while removing water, or other liquids, can quickly become very annoying. That, and bags can be expensive, and you will have to replace them often.

Dewalt Wet Dry vacuums
Dewalt Wet Dry Vacuums

Related Post: Bagged vs. Bagless Shop Vacs

8. Bagged Wet/Dry Vacuums

A bagged wet/dry vacuum is a wet/dry vacuum that uses a bag to store the materials you have vacuumed up. Most bagged wet/dry vacuums are extremely useful, because all of the dirt, dust, gunk, debris, and liquid that has been vacuumed up is stored in the bag.

Disposing large amounts of material is often easier, and there is less of a chance of it spilling out.

With that being said, though, vacuuming up large amounts of liquid into a bag can be problematic. If you are vacuuming up especially large amounts, than you may have to replace the bag often, which is expensive and inconvenient.


In the end, there are many different kinds of wet/dry shop vacs on the market. By reading through this guide, and considering your needs, you won’t have any problems finding the wet/dry shop vac that offers what you need!

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