The 3 Best Vacuums For Car Detailing (2022)

Choosing the best vacuum for car detailing is not easy at all.

You know, detailing cars has been my daily job; However, I always had problems with vacuums before.

Small vacuums were compact and convenient, but they didn’t have enough suction for large debris and the capacity for big jobs. While big vacuums could meet my power and capacity requirements, they were too heavy and noisy. Some were not easy to move around.

After using many vacuums, I know what kind of vacuum is best for car detailing. And I’ll share my user experience in this review.

Even if you are a home or business detailer, this is your first buy or upgrade of your old vacuum. This article is for you!

Best Professional Vacuum

best vacuum for car detailing
Ridgid WD1451 Wet/Dry Vacuum

Best Cordless Vacuum

best cordless vacuum for car detailing
Dewalt DCV580H Wet/Dry Vacuum

1. Best Professional Shop Vac: RIDGID WD1451 with Auto Detailing Kit

Ridgid WD1451 is the best wet-dry vacuum for a professional detailing world.

Ridgid Professional Vacuum for car detailing

Ridgid WD1451

Pros

  • 6 hp power
  • Great suction and blower
  • Large capacity (14 gal)
  • A lot of attachments
  • Easy to move around with wheels
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Low quality detailing cord
  • Missing accessories in some situations

Regarding professional wet-dry shop vacs, Ridgid is exactly what I’m looking for.

I bought Ridgid to upgrade my old vacuum that is 2.8 hp, which is good, but you know it’s loud, and its suction is not powerful enough for heavy jobs.

I ordered a Ridgid WD 1451 online and got the bonus of a car cleaning kit which may cost $40 to buy separately.

The shipping was fast; however, the original box was destroyed a little bit when I received it. Fortunately, the vacuum was safe, with no damage. It looked beautiful, and I was happy.

What I Like About Ridgid WD1451

Save Energy and Time

Ridgid WD1451 has 26lb. That’s quite lightweight. It also comes with rollers, I can move it around easily without using muscle. Even more, it can suck up in a single sweep; no need to go over the same area several times. 

In addition, assembling only takes me 2 minutes. It’s also easy and secure to install and remove the filter. Moreover, cleaning out after every use is quite simple.

I also love the length of the electrical cord and the detachable blower design. The hose and cord length makes it easy to reach all areas of cars and garages. 

Wonderful Tough Cleanups

The suction power is exceptional. It sucks all the dirt in its path, even the sand, leaf, big dry and wet messes. In addition, if your pet dog is nearby, it may suck him up. I have used it for car carpets, car seats, concrete, and furniture. It seems to work great for all surfaces. 

Besides, I like the ability to use it as a blower to clean the shop and get all the dust I could not vacuum. The blower assembly kept my place clear of 99% of the dust. 

Can you believe it blew me away the first time I used it? Just kidding!

Another feature of Ridgid that I like is the 14 gallons barrel, so I have a lot of capacity for my heavy cleaning job at my shop.

Save money

Ridgid grabs double more stuff than my other shop vacs in the past. And the price is fantastic for such a great product. You will not regret buying this. 

What I Dislike About Ridgid WD1451

  1. The quality of the auto detailing hose is not good. It seems low quality. It broke quickly after three months of usage. The problem is Ridgid will not warranty attachments; they only warranty the vacuum itself. So please be gentle when using any stuff.
  1. And another thing I am disappointed with is it does not come with a storage bag on the handle.

Overall, I highly recommend Ridgid WD1451 wet/dry shop vac for detailing your car like a pro.

You can buy it below:

RIDGID Wet/Dry Vac with Auto Detailing Kit

RIDGID Wet/Dry Vac with Auto Detailing Kit

Product Key Specifications:

  • Type: Corded, wet/dry
  • Power: 6.0 hp
  • Capacity: 14 gal
  • Hose length: 7’
  • Price: around $176
  • Warranty:   Lifetime

Notes:

  • Clean the filter often to avoid any trouble.
  • Contact the manufacturer to confirm what you will receive to make sure you are not missing any parts.
  • If you have any trouble, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Ridgid Customer Service at 1-800-474-3443. Monday to Friday between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Central Time or email: [email protected]

2. Best Suction Vacuum: Vacmaster VFB511B0201 Wet/Dry Vac

If Ridgid WD 1451 is for heavy jobs, Vacmaster VFB511B0201 is a mid-size shop vac for car detailers who is looking for a great suction.

Vacmaster  Professional Wet/Dry Vac

Vacmaster VFB511B0201 Wet/Dry Vacuum

Pros

  • Strong suction
  • Solid, sturdy materials
  • Great performance
  • Functionable attachments
  • Fairly quiet
  • Great price

Cons

  • No wheels
  • No dust bag included
  • Only 5 years warranty

Since becoming a detailer, I have owned more mid-size shop vacs than I can count. Most are $30-$65 small vacuums, which all worked well enough; however, they don’t have the quality or good suction from the start.

I found Vacmaster VFB511B0201 on a video showing that it was the most powerful suction vacuum. I decided to try this vacuum cleaner because of the reasonable price.

When I unboxed this one, I couldn’t stop laughing because of the happiness. After using it, all I can say is WOW! This item is a BEAST of vacuum as it advertised. I absolutely love it.

I’ve used it for car interiors and the garage floor, and the power is excellent. It’s a workhorse.

What I Like About Vacmaster VFB511B0201

Suction Power

If your primary concern is suction, you can order this vacuum with the highest confidence. Its suction power is far better than any mid-size shop vac I’ve ever used, commercial grade or not. Sometimes I think God makes this vacuum. 

Because of well-designed metal fan blades and good resilient seals between the motor head, the bucket, and the hose, it delivers powerful suction. 

I have used it to suck sand, large chunks, pet’s hair, or handle fine dust in cars. It could even suck wood and metal pieces in my garage floor.

Furthermore, I also tried to suck water after washing cars. Actually, I feel that dry suck is much stronger. But wet suck is still fantastic.

Good Performance

I like the attachments; it has everything I need for car detailing. As well as the long hose and cord help me get all the dirt in hard-to-reach places in vehicles.

The vac design can carry most of the tools on the unit, and no need for an adapter to connect directly to the hose it comes with. 

One of the great things I like is the location of the on/off switch; that is helpful for my back pain. I can use it with a tap of my toe. 
Another bonus feature is the versatile ability to be a blower. I can use it to seat my tire bead and fill up inflatable beach toys for my son.

Low Noise Level 

Vacmaster VFB511B0201 has the baffling noise device that makes this Beast reasonably quiet. 

When I turn on the reducer, the noise levels are low enough for people to watch TV at night. 

And with the reducer off, the noise is quieter than my 2.5hp vac. It’s not too loud for me.

A Good Deal

I can say that this is the best $100 I’ve spent. You wouldn’t be disappointed with this investment. This Beast has the suction power of the larger models and the portability of a smaller one.

What I Dislike About Vacmaster VFB511B0201

1. I have no severe complaints about Vacmaster except it lacks wheels. However, it’s light enough to move around.

2. The vac itself doesn’t come with dust bags, so make sure to purchase additional dust bags. And it’s helpful to verify they are the correct size.

3. Compared to a lifetime warranty of Ridgid WD1451, Vacmaster VFB511B0201 only has a five years warranty.

Note: It’s recommended to clean the filter and use dust bags. If not, dust will get into the motor and damage it over time.

Overall, this vacuum is top notch for small or medium jobs. As I have said, it’s worth the money.

Check its price below:

Vacmaster VFB511B0201 - Professional Wet/Dry Vac for car detailing

Vacmaster VFB511B0201 Wet/Dry Vacuum

Product Key Specifications:

  • Type:                         Corded, wet-dry
  • Power:                        5.5hp
  • Capacity:                  5 gallons
  • Hose length:            7 feets
  • Price: around $77
  • Warranty:                 5 years

3. Best Cordless Vacuum: DEWALT DCV580H Wet/Dry Vac

Dewalt DCV580H is a cordless and portable shop vac that’s great for small jobs and quick clean ups.

DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuum


DEWALT DCV580H Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuum

Pros

  • Portable and convenient
  • Enough suction for small jobs
  • Battery is easy to install or remove
  • Battery life is quite good
  • Helpful attachments
  • Work on dry and wet messes

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a battery and a charger
  • The hole is short
  • The exhaust hole position is not convenient

Sometimes, it’s inconvenient for me to drag out the large shop vac for quick clean-ups or small jobs and have no electricity. So, a cordless shop vac is a must-have item to add to car cleaning supplies. I am a big fan of Dewalt, and the Dewalt DVC580H perfectly fits my needs. 

The fact that it’s not as powerful as Ridgid WD1451 and Vacmaster VFB511B0201, but it can do 75% of the jobs well. Moreover, its compact size and convenience are a plus.

If you are in the market for a battery-powered wet/dry, Dewalt DCV580H is a good option. No need to lug out the big shop vac for small messes. It made cleaning so much easier.

What I Like About Dewalt DCV580H

Convenience

Being cordless is really awesome. It’s so lovely that there is no more hassle with electric cords. I can take it anywhere I want without needing a power outlet. 

The interchangeable ability of the Dewalt batteries is fantastic. If you already own one of Dewalt’s batteries, you can use them for this wet-dry vac. However, if you don’t, it’s worth the money to buy one or more.

Due to its lightweight (8 pounds) and BALANCED body, I can manipulate it easily with one hand.

Besides, the battery is easy to install or remove. I can take several batteries with me if I have a big job.

Friendly Design

Dewalt DCV580H has a rugged construction. 

Besides, the hose and all of the attachments are stored on the unit is an advantage. There is an integrated hose and an adapter, so I can use it to suck or blow.

The power switch position allows me to operate it while holding the same hand.

One more, the automatic shutoff is a great feature that I love. I also do not have to remove the filter for wet pickup.

Can Do All Jobs of a Corded Shop Vac 

Dewalt DCV580H will perform well with the correct battery. If fully charged, 8ah batteries will last about 30-35 minutes to do my tasks, and 15 minutes with 4ah batteries. 

Its suction is good enough to deal with dust, dead bugs, and Cheerios pieces in my car.

Besides, this cordless shop vacuum also works with liquid messes, but the battery doesn’t last long.

What I Dislike About Dewalt DCV580H

1. The vac doesn’t come with a battery or a charger, so I have to purchase them separately.

2. The exhaust port and blower hole are on the same side. It blows in my face when I clean my car. Fortunately, I used a P-trap pipe with some electric tape to bend the exhaust port, and it works. It lets the air divert.

3. With a 5′ hose, it’s pretty short. It’s perfect if the hose is double longer.

Overall, Dewalt DCV580H is a good investment for small jobs. 

Check Its Price Below:

Best Dewalt vacuum for car detailing

Dewalt DCV580H Cordless Wet/Dry Vacuum

Key Specifications:

  • Type:                        Cordless, wet-dry
  • Voltage:                    20V max 
  • Tank capacity:          2 gallon 
  • Hose length:                 5’
  • Item weight:             8 pounds
  • Price: around $133
  • Warranty:                  3 years

Thanks for your reading!

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