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Mini Shop Vac

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
#1
I find I use my mini shop vac quite a bit around metalworking. Not big chips obviously but just sucking up swarf off the machine or work & general house/shop duties. Suction wise its pretty good, but the canister & size doesn't really lend itself to metal like it did with woodworking & general clean up. I am cheap so I empty the bag several times & re-install.
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p....le-wetdry-vacuum-with-storage.1000527616.html

I got looking at these kind of more upright cans & from what I can tell, no bag at all. Just the motor intake filter inside.
https://www.amazon.ca/Dura-Vac-EATC...47062725&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=Dura+Vac&psc=1
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p....tachable-blower-and-dust-bags.1001115422.html

They always show them sucking up messy, fine particulate like fireplace ash or BBQ pits. Are these new technology or still like older gen shop vacs I've had where yes, 80% of fine stuff like drywall dust stays in the pail but 20% bypasses & gets pumped out the exhaust & re-distributed over everything you own? Being bag-less, the metal chips might not have this issue but would it impale the filter & then I'm buying new ones of those all the time? Any recs or comments welcome. I don't really want to build a cyclone although I see the logic in them.
 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Premium Member
#2
I bought the biggest rigid shop vac home depot sold because they said it was the quietest model. I buy generic bags from amazon and they do ok. supplies from HD for it are stupid expensive. I can't empty the bag as it just busts. I usually pick up most swarf with a homemade magnet pickup sweeper.
 

DPittman

Active Member
#3
I find I use my mini shop vac quite a bit around metalworking. Not big chips obviously but just sucking up swarf off the machine or work & general house/shop duties. Suction wise its pretty good, but the canister & size doesn't really lend itself to metal like it did with woodworking & general clean up. I am cheap so I empty the bag several times & re-install.
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p....le-wetdry-vacuum-with-storage.1000527616.html

I got looking at these kind of more upright cans & from what I can tell, no bag at all. Just the motor intake filter inside.
https://www.amazon.ca/Dura-Vac-EATC...47062725&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=Dura+Vac&psc=1
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p....tachable-blower-and-dust-bags.1001115422.html

They always show them sucking up messy, fine particulate like fireplace ash or BBQ pits. Are these new technology or still like older gen shop vacs I've had where yes, 80% of fine stuff like drywall dust stays in the pail but 20% bypasses & gets pumped out the exhaust & re-distributed over everything you own? Being bag-less, the metal chips might not have this issue but would it impale the filter & then I'm buying new ones of those all the time? Any recs or comments welcome. I don't really want to build a cyclone although I see the logic in them.
While a lot of my equipment may suck, my vacuum is one piece of equipment that does and I'm glad!
I use a wet/dry Craftsman shop vac. It's big and cumbersome but has an air cleaner style filter and the canister is the bag....although I think you can get disposable bags for it. I use a fine filter bag (made for drywall dust) between the disposable air filter and the canister itself. I just about never replace the inner filter and only occasionally shake off/hose off the fine "filter" cloth bag, that catches it all. It has good suction and big hoses/inlets. I suck up all sorts of oily swarf with it all the time. Occasionally I will get a jam when sucking up big long swarf. It's also very loud.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
#4
Ended up getting this one
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.nxt-45-l-12-gal-50-peak-hp-wet-dry-vacuum.1001157716.html
Suction & noise seem good. I find the big diameter hose a bit clunky. Of course they sell a smaller more flexible one as an add-on. I wonder how that paper filter will hold up to metal swarf. I know with wood dust & regular duty crap I would just brush along the creases & clean it off. But the swarf may impale the paper. Guess I'll find out.
 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Premium Member
#5
Ended up getting this one
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.nxt-45-l-12-gal-50-peak-hp-wet-dry-vacuum.1001157716.html
Suction & noise seem good. I find the big diameter hose a bit clunky. Of course they sell a smaller more flexible one as an add-on. I wonder how that paper filter will hold up to metal swarf. I know with wood dust & regular duty crap I would just brush along the creases & clean it off. But the swarf may impale the paper. Guess I'll find out.
That’s similar to the one I bought. I did get the car kit with the long hose. I use it frequently and appreciate it not as loud as some of the vacuums out there. My neighbor has a real screamer a few doors down. I can hear it inside my house when he’s running it in his garage.

Knockoff bags on amazon are ok. I clean the filter with compressed air. I haven’t had to replace it so far. I ran it without bags but it just blows so much more dirt out the back the bags help with that.
 

DPittman

Active Member
#6
Ended up getting this one
https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.nxt-45-l-12-gal-50-peak-hp-wet-dry-vacuum.1001157716.html
Suction & noise seem good. I find the big diameter hose a bit clunky. Of course they sell a smaller more flexible one as an add-on. I wonder how that paper filter will hold up to metal swarf. I know with wood dust & regular duty crap I would just brush along the creases & clean it off. But the swarf may impale the paper. Guess I'll find out.
That essentially is similar to my craftsman. If a cloth bag is not available you may want to make your self one. On my vacuum when I use the extra cloth bag I attach the suction hose down on the drain outlet. The extra cloth bag does cut down on suction force but it really doesn't matter much as I still seem to be able to suck up shop rags, notes, 22 shells, loose new carbide inserts and the like.
 

Bofobo

Well-Known Member
#7
That essentially is similar to my craftsman. If a cloth bag is not available you may want to make your self one. On my vacuum when I use the extra cloth bag I attach the suction hose down on the drain outlet. The extra cloth bag does cut down on suction force but it really doesn't matter much as I still seem to be able to suck up shop rags, notes, 22 shells, loose new carbide inserts and the like.
the last bit here sounds horrible
 
#9
The open canister sounds like the ticket. Lost an allen key to my ShopVac today LOL. When I opened the vac up to see If I could recover the key I discovered the bag was full to the nuts and weighed in at 6 lbs. Was way over due for a bag change but still sucking up all manner of stuff.
 
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PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
#11
Some run time on my Home Depot Ridgid shop vac. I quite like it. Much quieter than my older generation. Wasn't too badly priced. Metal swarf just drops to the bottom where its supposed to. I think the deflector nozzle inside helps with that. No bag just using the canister and the basic filter that came with it. Not much swarf in the filter. That's one of the things I was concerned about - sharp heavy swarf piercing the paper fan element & bung it up quickly. I don't use a ton of cutting oil but for sure the chips are a bit oily. Again no issues with the filter. The hose is a bit big diameter but its light & not stiff. It will suck a shop rag off the table :/

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/ridgid-nxt-45-l-12-gal-5-0-peak-hp-wet-dry-vacuum/1001157716
 

Attachments

#12
I use my shop vac in a similar manner but I suck up all sorts of oily swarf and messes. I don't have any problems with the filter but the hose and canister does get a build up of oily dirt residue. I think a vacuum is the best way to pick up swarf as the brooms get the stuff all tangled up and makes a mess of the broom. IMG_20190429_0659072.jpg IMG_20190429_0658111.jpg