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Vacmaster 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum Review

Review of the Vacmaster 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum

As of this writing, there are 1,019 customer comments and 244 answered questions for the Vacmaster 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum.  I've read the customer feedback, and then condensed the results into this review.  I hope that this helps you when shopping for a shop vac.

Best Features

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    Blower is detachable
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    Large drain port
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    Comes with a lot of accessories
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    Large power switch
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    2 year warranty

Item Specifics

The Vacmaster 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum includes a 7 foot hose with 2 1/2 inch diameter, a 12 foot cord with cord wrap, two extension wands, a car nozzle, a crevice tool, an 8 inch utility nozzle, a blower nozzle, an air/noise diffuser, a blower adapter, a standard cartridge filter, and a reusable foam filter sleeve.  The blower, which is located on top of the vacuum, is detachable so that you can take it off and use it as a leaf blower.  It has 210 MPH of blowing speed.  The voltage is 120 V and 60 Hz.   There is an extra long drain port so that you can empty water.  This shop vac features a balanced top handle and a large power switch.  There is a 2 year warranty.

Make Sure Your Circuits Are Strong Enough

This vacuum may trip a breaker if you don't use a circuit that is strong enough.  A customer explains, "As for the reliability out of the box. When I first plugged in the vacuum and started it up, it worked great. After about 5 minutes it shut off. My first thought was that I got a dud unit like some of the other reviews I read. After some trouble shooting I realized the vacuum tripped a breaker. I found this odd until I realized I had plugged it into an outlet that was running off a #15 breaker. I'm assuming this was the case for most of the one star reviews the product received. I would suggest plugging this vacuum into a kitchen outlet. Most kitchen outlets are running off a #20 or higher breaker because they are meant to run appliances. Once I plugged into a kitchen outlet (#20 breaker) the thing worked like a dream. It has plenty of suction in vacuum mode and did very well in my smallish back yard as a leaf blower."

Powerful Yet Quiet for It's Size

Some Shop Vacs are so loud that you should use ear protection when running them.  The Vacmaster 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum received good customer feedback for the lack of noise that it produced.  A customer explained it this away, " It is easy to empty, easy to use, quieter than any shop vac I have ever used, easy to roll around, and the filter blows out easy too.  One of the best decisions I have ever made for renovating this house.  Let me tell you how badly I have abused this machine.  My home is covered in popcorn ceilings.  I hate popcorn ceilings, and hate scraping it off and making a massive mess. So, I taped a drywall mud knife to the underside of the floor attachment, sprayed the ceilings with water (pump sprayer) and then proceeded to scrape and suck up all the popcorn with this vacuum.  After every room, I set the filter outside to dry.  Once dried, I bang it out in the trash can (wear a mask FYI) and then use the vacuums blower function to blow it out. Slap that puppy back in, and do the next room. This thing just keeps on going.  The hoses do get a little clogged up, but take a garden house and spray them out, it does fine.  Man, I will never buy another brand of vacuum as long as these people are around.  Buy it, if you don't like it, you're insane."

Does Not Clog Easily

A common complaint with Shop Vacs are that they clog easily.  Nothing is quite as frustrating as having to stop in the middle of cleaning to remove debris from the hose.  It can be quite tricky sometimes to get to the clog.  People with pet hair usually know this better than most.  Here is a comment from a customer about it not getting clogged easily, " I am tired of the regular vacuums with the small hoses, even with good HP, they get clogged with the dog hair. This one has yet to get clogged...and between a husband that brings in the dirt, the dog hair, the dust bunnies and whatever else ends up on the floor, let me tell you that says something!"

Some Customers Would Have Appreciated a Brush Attachment

No product is perfect and The Vacmaster 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum is no exception.  Some people wished a brush attachment had been included.  A customer explains, "It's difficult to remove fine dust or other material from an uneven surface with the included attachments. I was trying to vacuum dust off my rubble walls in the basement, and while a lot of it was removed, it's impossible to to get it all; perhaps an attachment with a brush will be helpful."

Will Take a Lot of Abuse

Here is one of the many comments from customers who felt that this machine was a beast, "This is a good review. I've used this shopvac for the last 3 days to suck up a ton of lava rocks. I fully expected to break it. I didn't. I was not kind in the size of lava rocks nor how often I changed the filter, one filter was caked with mud and dirt. I'm happy its still working after I abused it as a tool to help me get lava rocks out my yard, looking forward to vacuuming out the cars with this beast of a machine."

Good Buy for What You Get

The Price on this Shop Vac may be higher than what you will find other shop vacs for, but the price for what you get is very good.  A customer explains, "For the money you will be hard pressed to find better. From time to time I still wonder if I should have spent up for the 'other' brand that cost 70% more, but has better accessories and a tiny bit more power. However, so far every time I use it I am convinced that it was the right decision. Have only used it to vacuum the cars so far, but it has done a wonderful job and is not lacking power. The hose has a pivot on the end, so it can twist as needed when the hose is moved around. Suction is great and it is reasonably quiet. Have not tried the leaf blower yet, but it seems to have a fair burst of air coming out. The down side, possibly the only down side, is that the accessories are a bit cheap. They won't break, but they are very basic, no mechanism to tease dirt out of a car's carpet, just rely on suction. That said, it works as well or better than the pay vacuums I had to use in the past, which brings me back to why I bought this. It will pay for itself in less than a year if the cars are vacuumed on average every other week (figure $5 for both cars). If the leaf blower works out and we find other uses for it, then we get a bonus. Bottom line, if you want the very best, then spend up and don't look back at this. If you are cost conscious and want great value that really performs well, then this is it."

The Blower Section Detaches for Ease of Use

It's very nifty how the blower section comes off the vacuum for ease of use.  Customers had positive things to say about the blower of the Vacmaster 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum.  A customer had this to say about the blower feature, "It works as a blower. It is powerful. I cleaned out the gutters on a couple of houses in the Northwoods of Wisconsin using this beast. I also was able to blow about 50 pounds of pea gravel off of a parking lot into a playground with it. So it is a very powerful blower. The various attachments help channel air in various ways. I prefer this blower over an exclusively designed electric blower from a lawn-mower company."

Blower Is Not as Powerful as Some Would Have Liked It to Be

This is not a super powered blower so keep that in mind.  A customer shared this about the blower, "I've been using this for about a month and it has performed better than expected. The quick detach blower is a nice touch but don't expect to blow giant poles of wet leaves, but quickly blowing sawdust and dirt out of the garage is nice."

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Pros

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    Blower section detaches
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    Will take a lot of abuse
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    Does not clog easily

Cons

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    Blower is not high powered
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    Doesn't include brush attachment
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    Price

Vacmaster 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum Conclusion

The Vacmaster 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum comes with a 7 foot hose with 2 1/2 inch diameter, a 12 foot cord with cord wrap, two extension wands, a car nozzle, a crevice tool, an 8 inch utility nozzle, a blower nozzle, an air/noise diffuser, a blower adapter, a standard cartridge filter, and a reusable foam filter sleeve.   Not only will this shop vac pick up both wet and dry material, but it also can be used as a blower.  It has 210 MPH of blowing speed.  However, this is not one of those high powered blowers, so don't expect it to be able to blow a lot of leaves off a side walk.  It does come with a 2 year warranty.  The price is higher than most wet and dry vacs, but keep in mind this also has a blower feature.  For what you get, the price is good.

Common Questions

Here are some top questions that I found for people considering buying the Vacmaster 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum.

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    Can I suck the water out of a carpet by using this?  Yes.  You just have to make sure the foam filter is in place of the dust filter so you don't ruin the dust filter.  The attachments that come with the shop vac are all you need.
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    Can you use the blower unit while on the canister so that you don't have to carry the blower?  Yes, you can.
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    Does the on board tool storage hold accessories firmly in place?  According to customers, the tool storage does hold accessories firmly in place.
Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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