Best Quiet Shop Vacuum in 2021: Buying Guide

Shop vacuums may be indispensable around your workshop, but many of them are very loud in operation when compared to household vacuums. Unfortunately, in workshops and most commercial environments, the extra suction strength and tough exterior shell are very important hence household vacuums simply won’t cut it.

Fortunately, it’s possible to get strong suction and tough exteriors while still enjoying relatively low noise levels. This is what we’ll be looking at in this article. If you are looking to purchase a shop vacuum, we have identified some of the quietest models that are tough enough for use in shops, and if you have already purchased a noisy shop vacuum model, we will also look at some tips and tricks to help reduce the noise.

Shop Vacuum | Recommended


Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Shop Vacuum | Recommended


Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Our Recommended Quiet Shop Vacuum in 2021

10) Vacmaster 4 Peak HP 8 Gallon

Vacmaster 4 Peak HP 8 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum...
  • [8 Gallon Lightweight Wet/Dry Vacuum] This vacuum is the perfect size to handle tough jobs around the house,...
  • [Wet and Dry Operation] The VOC809PF is equipped to vacuum wet and dry debris. With a 4 Peak HP motor this...
  • [Smart Design] This shop vacuum has over 17-ft of cleaning reach with the hose, extension wands, and power...

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

9) CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17607 16 Gallon

CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17607 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP...
  • 6.5 PEAK HP: Max power provides heavy-duty cleanup for tasks in the shop, garage, or on the jobsite
  • 2-IN-1 VAC: Powerful shop vacuum that features a detachable blower for clearing leaves and debris from your...
  • DUAL-FLEX HOSE WITH POS-I-LOCK: Provides 180-degree flexibility at both hose ends for maneuverability and...

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

8) TACKLIFE Shop Vacuum 4 Gallon 1200W

No products found.

7) Vacmaster Shop Vac 5 Peak HP

Vacmaster VF408 4 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner...
  • 【4 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum】This shop vacuum is equipped with a 5 peak HP motor and 4-gallon polypropylene...
  • 【Powerful Performance】This vacuum has a 2-stage motor which makes cleanup easy and quiet.
  • 【User-friendly 】The balanced top handle design, 22-ft cleaning reach, durable casters, and non-marring...

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6) DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon

DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum...
  • Sturdy 10 gallon dual-stage wet/dry Vac has quieter operation for clean-up applications. Tool Length-19.9 inch
  • Powerful 5.5 peak horsepower motor provides just the amount of suction needed to most any cleanup job
  • Ultra durable rubberized casters allow smooth swiveling for ease of movement

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5) Vacmaster 3 Peak HP 5 Gallon

Vacmaster 3 Peak HP 5 Gallon Shop Vacuum...
  • [5 Gallon Lightweight Wet/Dry Vacuum] This vacuum is the perfect size for a variety of tasks around the house...
  • [Wet and Dry Operation] The vacuum is equipped to vacuum wet and dry debris. With a 3 Peak HP motor this...
  • [Smart Design] This shop vacuum has over 15-ft of cleaning reach with the hose, extension wands, and power...

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4) Vacmaster Wet Dry Vacuum 3.2 Gallon

Vacmaster Wet Dry Vacuum 3.2 Gallon 2.5 Peak HP...
  • 【3 in1 Multifunction Operation】Wet and Dry Vacuums equipped with 2.5 peak are designed to clean Dust and...
  • 【Wall Mounted & Compact】The wall-mounted design frees up floor space, which means you won't have to...
  • 【2.5Peak HP Power Suction 】Powerful Suction are suitable for any occasion such as Garage, Car, House and...

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3) Vacmaster Red Edition VOM205P

Vacmaster Red Edition VOM205P 1101 Portable Wet...
  • 2 Peak HP : Suction for household cleanup. This vacuum easily converts to blower with powerful 65 CFM airflow
  • 2.5-Gallon*: Durable polypropylene tank, and over 14-foot cleaning reach makes this wet dry vacuum cleaner...
  • Lightweight: Compact design at 6.16 lbs. makes this wet dry shop vacuum easy to carry, store and operate

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2) CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17590 9 Gallon

CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17590 9 Gallon 4.25 Peak HP...
  • VERSATILE: Ideal for medium-sized jobs around the garage, home, renovations, and jobsite
  • BLOWER PORT: Use the rear exhaust port on this shop vacuum for blowing debris out of your garage or from your...
  • OVERSIZED DRAIN: Built-in oversized drain on the wet/dry vac allows for convenient emptying of liquids

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1) CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon

CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP...
  • HEAVY-DUTY: Powerful 6.5 Peak HP provides extra power for large projects in the garage, shop and on the...
  • BUILT-IN BLOWER PORT: Rear blowing port on this wet dry vac allows for quick cleaning of leaves and grass...
  • OVERSIZED DRAIN: Built-in oversized drain on the wet/dry vac allows for convenient emptying of liquids

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lets’ start with identifying the different types of shop vacuums.

Nilfisk ALTO Aero 26-21
Nilfisk ALTO Aero 26-21

Types of Shop Vacuums

Although they are intended to solve the same problem, shop vacuums are not all made equal. There are three distinct types of shop vacuums in the market. These different versions will generally give good results in shops, but each type has distinct features that make it stand out from the rest.

Wet Dry Shop Vacuums

The wet/dry shop vacuum is a tough and durable shop vacuum built with the capability to handle both dry and wet messes. Standard vacuums would have their electronics or filters damaged by the moisture when you try to vacuum wet messes, but the wet/dry shop vacuum has been made specifically for this.

This vacuum achieves this feat by having special floor tools and accessories that work together with special filters and dirt collection chambers that essentially keep the liquid away from the delicate electronic components.

The fact that the filters in these vacuums have been designed not to be damaged by liquids also usually means that the filters can be washed in water hence many of them are reusable. As a result, maintenance costs are significantly reduced because you won’t have to regularly purchase replacement filters.

Wet/dry vacuums also make your cleaning work easier because you will only need one vacuum cleaner for whatever mess you have on your floors. Regardless of whether you are dealing with dry debris, liquid spills, or a combination of both, you don’t need to switch from one cleaning tool to the other. A wet/dry vacuum will be as effective at picking up dry debris as it will be at sucking up liquids.

Ridgid WD1450
Ridgid WD1450

Wall-Mountable Shop Vacuums

On the other hand, wall-mountable shop vacuums are designed to stay in a central place. They come with brackets that hold the vacuum and keep it firmly secured to a wall. To use these vacuums, you will need to connect a hose with your desired accessory to the vacuum’s suction port.

Since these vacuums are designed not to be mobile, emptying the collected dirt will involve disconnecting the dirt collection chamber from the vacuum and emptying it separately without moving the main unit.

Cordless/Portable

The last type of shop vacuums is comprised of cordless shop vacuums that are also known as portable shop vacuums. As the name suggests, these vacuums come equipped with onboard batteries to ensure that you won’t need to plug into a power outlet to use them.

These vacuums are great when you have to work in an area that is not close to a power outlet. A compromise for the freedom of not having to worry about cords is in the limited runtime that usually comes with running on battery power. Fortunately, many such models come with detachable batteries hence you can increase your working time by buying spare batteries.

When compared to their corded counterparts, cordless shop vacuums tend to have less powerful motors to try and conserve battery power. This usually also means that they are lighter in weight and more compact.

Quiet Shop Vacuum Brands

Now that we know what shop vacuums are and the different types available in the market, let’s take a look at a few brands that make some of the most silent shop vacuums.

FEIN

Fein is a German company that manufactures tools, but they also have a line of shop vacuums. These shop vacuums work great in solving general shop vacuuming needs, but they can easily be converted to dust extractors when paired with Fein tools. This way, any dust produced is sucked up immediately hence the environment remains unpolluted.

Fein shop vacuums are not only silent but they are also quite powerful with airflow ranging between 151 and 153 CFM. Thanks to the use of tough plastic shells, noise levels are typically around the 66 dB range.

The shop vacuum line from this company consists of a wide range of options with different specifications to ensure that your needs are met. You can even get models with HEPA filtration if you have people with allergies in your shop.

Festool

Festool 583492 CT 26 E
Festool 583492 CT 26 E

Festool is another power tool manufacturer with an amazing line of shop vacuums. These machines are also quite silent in operation producing noise levels between 62 and 67 dB. Suction ranges between 130 and 137 CFM.

Many of the shop vacuums from this company have been made to connect to Festool tools and machines but with the right adapters, you can connect the suction to almost any other tool. They also come with HEPA versions and a wide range of other options to ensure that you get the perfect fit for your shop.

Makita

Having been in the industry for more than a century, Makita is a Japanese power tool manufacturer that has built a name for itself globally with manufacturing plants in multiple countries all over the world. With that said, they do offer several interesting versions of quiet shop vacuums.

You can get a Makita shop vacuum to suit suction needs as low as 53 CFM to a high of 135 CFM. In this wide product range, noise levels are quite impressive ranging between 59 dB and 70 dB. The product range is so wide that you can be sure of getting a machine to solve almost any need you might have for your shop.

Vacmaster

Vacmaster is another popular name in the world of power tools. When compared to the above three companies, Vacmaster is a bit more specialized because a wide range of their product line is made up of suction machines.

Although this company started with manufacturing and selling vacuum packaging machines, they have diversified their product line to include vacuum cleaners. This includes several amazingly quiet shop vacuums.

The Vacmaster shop vacuum line has several models ranging in capacity and performance. This includes heavy-duty, high-capacity models built to meet the toughest requirements and smaller models that are more portable but still tougher than household vacuums.

Shop-Vac

Shop Vac 5989700
Shop Vac 5989700

Shop-Vac is another company that makes some impressively quiet shop vacuums. This company is the most specialized in the companies we’ve discussed so far because they only make vacuum cleaners and their accessories.

However, even though they make vacuums, a significant portion of their product line is comprised of wet/dry shop vacuums. They have a wide range of shop vacuums to choose from and many of them are very quiet.

DeWalt

DeWALT DXV10P
DeWALT DXV10P

DeWalt is another big power tool manufacturer that makes and sells many different types of machines for use in workshops. The company is American and it has been in the power tool industry since 1923 hence it is a popular name in the industry.

DeWalt also has a line of shop vacuums and a good number of them boast of fairly impressive noise production numbers. The vacuums range from compact 6-gallon models to large 16-gallon models that can hold much more dirt.

Nilfisk

Nilfisk ALTO Aero 26-21
Nilfisk ALTO Aero 26-21

Nilfisk is a Danish company specialized in the supply of industrial and commercial cleaning equipment. Having been in this industry for more than a century, this company has successfully offered its products to customers in over 100 countries thanks to the wide network of sales outlets and dealer shops.

Since the company specializes in commercial and industrial cleaning equipment, it goes without saying that they will have a selection of shop vacuum cleaners. These vacuums come in a wide range of options and as you would expect, there are some very quiet models.

Finding the Right Shop Vacuum to Buy

Buying a shop vacuum can be overwhelming thanks to the sea of options available in the market from different manufacturers. In this section, we’ll be looking at the most important considerations that you should keep in mind as you comb through the hundreds of shop vacuums in the market.

Festool 583492 CT 26 E
Festool 583492 CT 26 E

1. Tank Capacity – This boils down to the amount of dirt and liquids that you will typically be dealing with in a vacuuming run. You want your ideal shop vacuum to have enough storage space for all this dirt so that you won’t have to interrupt cleaning to empty the tank.

Don’t fall for the temptation to try and reduce the number of times you have to empty by going for the highest capacity tank you can afford. You will still need to empty after every vacuuming run to avoid odors especially if you handle wet messes. Large tanks are also heavier and more difficult to empty.

2. Performance – You also have to think about the amount of suction you need for your workshop. Here, think about how you intend to use the vacuum. Will you be using it in combination with machines like sanders for dust management or will it be predominantly be used for cleaning floors?
When evaluating performance, you should look at two things, the horsepower rating on the motor in the vacuum and the suction rate in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Generally speaking, the higher these two are, the more suction you’ll be able to get from the vacuum cleaner.

3. Tank Construction – Here, you get two main options: plastic or stainless steel. Stainless steel tanks are easier to clean when compared to plastic tanks. However, stainless steel is heavier so the vacuum will be more difficult to move around.

4. Filtration – You also want to think about the type of filter that comes with the shop vacuum. Reusable filters are great because they significantly lower your maintenance costs. If you are allergic to fine airborne particles, you might want to get a model with a HEPA filter.

5. Attachments – Just like any other vacuum cleaner, you will only be able to do as much as the attachments allow you to do. It is therefore wise to make sure that the vacuum comes equipped with everything that you’ll need for your shop.

6. Hose and Cord Length – These two features will affect the vacuum’s maneuverability the most. Be sure that you will be able to reach and clean all parts of your shop by ensuring that the suction hose and power cord are long enough.

7. Blower Function – If you’ll need to blow some leaves or inflate things like air mattresses, then it’s advisable to get a vacuum cleaner that has this function. This function allows the vacuum to serve as a blower when you connect the hose to the exhaust air outlet.

8. Warranty – Shop vacuums are powerful and expensive equipment hence it’s important to be sure that the manufacturer backs their workmanship. A warranty protects you if the machine fails as a result of a manufacturing defect within the warranty period.

9. Noise Production – Finally, find out how much noise the vacuum produces in operation. Shop vacuums are known to be noisy machines so getting a quiet model will help make your shop’s environment a bit more conducive. The decibel rating on the vacuum will give you an idea of how much noise to expect from the vacuum.
Vacuums with ratings below 70 decibels are recommended because you can comfortably have a conversation with the vacuum running. If the rating falls between 70 and 85 decibels, you will need to raise your voice to communicate. Anything above 85 decibels will mean that you have to shout to communicate when the machine is running.

How to Make a Shop Vac Quieter

Shop Vac

If you have already purchased a noisy model that serves you well in all the other areas but the noise is driving you nuts, all hope is not lost. Here are some tricks you can use to make your shop vac quieter. You may not be able to eliminate the noise, but you can reduce it to bearable levels.

1. Muffle the Exhaust – A big chunk of the noise produced by your shop vacuum will be as a result of the aggressive movement of air into the vacuum, through the fan, and out through the exhaust. Muffling the air outlet will help you reduce a significant amount of the noise caused by the air as it leaves the vacuum. This can be done using a DIY muffler made using a piece of cloth or blanket. Be careful not to restrict airflow and burn out the motor.

2. Regularly Clean the Filters – A clogged filter is the most common cause of noise in shop vacuums. If you notice a significant increase in the noise produced by your vacuum, it’s a good idea to check and clean the filters. You should also check the hose and the entire air path to be sure that nothing restricts air movement through the vacuum.

This is a good time to do a thorough cleaning of the vacuum. Disconnect the hose, attachments, and the tank for a thorough cleaning using warm water and a cleaning product. After you are done, give the components ample time to dry before reassembly.

3. Use the Vacuum in Open Spaces – Your shop vacuum will be louder in small empty spaces because the noise produced will hit the walls and cause echoes that will make the vacuum even louder. To avoid this, use the vacuum in open spaces whenever possible.

4. Build a Soundproof Enclosure – When you have to use your shop vac indoors, a soundproof noise containment box will help absorb the noise coming from the vacuum and reduce the disturbance. This is one of those DIY projects that are easier than they sound and the results make the process worthwhile.

5. Check for Wear on the Vacuum – If you have had your vacuum for years, it’s possible to have increased noise levels that can be attributed to wear. For example, a hole in the canister or hose could result in a whistling noise as air moves through it. Bearings on the motor could also cause a whining noise when they are dry or worn out.

6. Purchase Noise Cancelling Headphones – This won’t reduce the noise that is produced by the vacuum, but it will keep most of it away from your ears and give you a peaceful working environment.

7. Use a Longer Hose – Finally, you can make your life easier by physically distancing yourself from the vacuum by using a longer hose. This does not in any way reduce the noise produced by the vacuum, but it will keep it far from your ears.

Quiet Shop Vacuum Cleaners

Let’s wrap up by looking at some of the quietest shop vacuums in the market today.

Ridgid WD1450 14-Gallon 6-Horsepower Wet/Dry Vacuum

Ridgid WD1450
Ridgid WD1450

This 14-gallon shop vacuum comes with a powerful 6-horsepower motor that’s equipped with noise-reduction technology to ensure that you get a comfortable environment without a compromise on performance. It can achieve a maximum airflow of 150 CFM.

Although Rigid doesn’t have an official noise production numbers, some users have tested the machine and found it to be around 77 decibels. That’s not all. This vacuum produces low-frequency noise with less resonance hence it is not as annoying as many other models. This is very impressive when you consider the vacuum’s low price tag.

This vacuum also does well when it comes to versatility because it is a wet/dry vacuum that can also function as a blower. You also get a tank drain outlet for easy emptying of liquids and a 3-year warranty.

Shop-Vac 5989700 16-Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Stainless

Shop Vac 5989700
Shop Vac 5989700

This is another powerful shop vacuum that does a great job while keeping your shop silent. The vacuum comes with a massive 16-gallon stainless steel tank that will effortlessly hold large volumes of dirt and liquids. The vacuum comes with a tank drain outlet that makes it easy to empty liquids from the tank.

The Svx2 motor on this vacuum comes with a 6.5 peak horsepower rating that will ensure that you get impressive suction strength, long motor life, and more importantly, low noise levels. It can achieve a maximum airflow of 175 CFM.

This vacuum also lacks an official noise production rating, but many users have applauded it for its quiet operation. The 5-year warranty will also give you peace of mind knowing that the manufacturer has full faith in the product.

DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum Yellow

DeWALT DXV10P
DeWALT DXV10P

This is a 10-gallon powerful shop vacuum that’s also very quiet in operation. The 10-gallon tank comes equipped with a large built-in tank drain that will make your work easy when emptying picked-up liquids.

When it comes to suction power, this vacuum comes equipped with a 5.5 peak horsepower 2-stage motor that DeWalt claims to be 50% quieter in operation while achieving an airflow rate of 90 CFM. It can function as a vacuum and when the need arises, you can convert it to a blower.

This vacuum also lacks official noise production numbers, but many users have found it to be quieter than most other models in its price range. It comes with a 3-year warranty.

Nilfisk ALTO Aero 26-21 6.6-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum

Nilfisk ALTO Aero 26-21
Nilfisk ALTO Aero 26-21

This is another quiet shop vacuum that does a great job in many commercial applications. This vacuum can generate a maximum airflow rate of 127 CFM and the exhaust port can be used to convert the vacuum to a blower when you need to blow light debris.

When it comes to noise production, this vacuum comes with an impressive rating of 64 decibels which is impressively lower than many similar models in its price range. The Auto-Start feature takes things a notch higher when using the vacuum for dust management together with power tools.

Rather than running the vacuum throughout, the vacuum automatically turns on with the power tool to provide suction only when it is needed thus saving power and further reducing noise. It comes with a HEPA filter and a 2-year warranty.

Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor

Festool 583492 CT 26 E
Festool 583492 CT 26 E

This is another silent but powerful dust extractor that can be used to pick up wet and dry messes. It comes with a 6.9-gallon tank and HEPA filtration to give you the guarantee that you are getting nothing but clean air back into your room.

This dust extractor comes with a maximum airflow rating of 137 CFM, but the suction can be adjusted to meet your specific needs. Noise levels at the lowest settings are an amazing 62 decibels, making it one of the quietest wet/dry vacuums.

It also allows for auto-start functionality that starts the vacuum when the power tool starts to increase efficiency and reduce noise levels. This dust extractor comes with a 3-year warranty.

FEIN Turbo II HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

FEIN Turbo II
FEIN Turbo II

This is another quiet wet/dry shop vacuum that does not disappoint. It comes with a powerful 1100-watt motor that will easily achieve a suction rate of up to 151 CFM. The tank provides 8.9 gallons of onboard storage for solid debris and wet messes picked up by this vacuum.

At 66 decibels, this vacuum will ensure that your shop is peaceful and quiet regardless of whether it is in operation or not. When used together with power tools for dust management, this vacuum allows for the auto-start feature that further reduces the noise levels while boosting efficiency.

This vacuum comes with a 1-year warranty.

Shop Vacuum | Recommended


Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Shop Vacuum | Recommended


Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ridgid WD1450 14-Gallon 6-Horsepower Wet/Dry Vacuum

Shop-Vac 5989700 16 gallon 6.5 Peak HP Stainless

DeWALT DXV10P 10 gallon Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum Yellow

Nilfisk ALTO Aero 26-21 6.6-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum

Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor

FEIN Turbo II HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

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