A shop vac is ideal to clean up the mess from the garage, job site, or your workshop as it can handle large debris, clean up dust, wet spills, and do other serious jobs. This makes them typically very loud and even a quiet wet dry vacuum can be quite noisy.
They are however some quite silent shop vacs in the market you can purchase. What are the factors to consider when purchasing the quietest shop vacs, and which shop vac is the quietest in 2020? Read on to find out all you need to know.
Quietest Shop Vacuum: Quick Comparison
Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon
Vacmaster VWM510 5-Gallon
Dewalt DXV10P 10 Gallon Quiet Wet Dry Vacuum
Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor
Makita VC4710 12-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum
Most Quiet Shop Vacs in 2020: Reviews
1. Craftsman CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon
Best Garage Shop Vac
It’s a silent garage shop vac that has great power to deal with large-sized debris and dust in the workshop and garage.
It’s a wet-dry vacuum cleaner and has some interesting features like the car nozzle, wet nozzle, and also the utility nozzle.
The 0.5” diameter hose has a dual flex to prevent kinking of the hose.
The on-board hose storage together with the accessory and power cord organizers helps to keep things neatly arranged and reduces the need for much storage space.
You can also change quickly between wet and dry filters, depending on your need and this improved user experience is thanks to the Qwik lock filter fastening system.
To ensure that your wet vacuuming doesn’t inconvenience you, there is an extra-large drain for quick emptying of liquid.
The power can be turned up at will and the blowing ports can give you the high-speed exhaust air you need to go from a low power cleaning to blasting workshop waste from the floor.
- Provides up to 6.5 HP to take care of those demanding jobs
- Tank capacity is 16 gallons
- Convenient storage for accessories
- Ultra quiet shop vac
- A built-in drain to aid in rapid emptying of liquid
- Easily moved around without flipping over
- It’s quite a silent vac, especially considering the power it gives
- Has a rubbery smell at first
2. Vacmaster VWM510 5-Gallon
Silent Shop Vac
For great suction at an almost silent sound level, it has whisper-quiet 2-stage motors that can handle all tough garage and workshop jobs at 74 decibels.
The remote control setting allows you to turn the vac on and off from the end of the contoured handle, all in a bid to improve your user experience.
To solve the need to move the vac unnecessarily, you get a 240” power cord with the machine, and a 252” hose.
With this, you can reach long distances without moving the unit. The on-board storage unit can store the different attachments you may need to carry out your task, so you are always ready.
You can easily store the unit on the wall, and even convert it to a blower.
- Convenient remote control for on and off settings
- 240” power cord and 252” hose for long-distance operations
- Portable and lightweight
- Blower port is easily accessible for clearing debris
- 5-gallon tank capacity
- 5 HP adequate for taking on those tough jobs
- Quiet shop vacuum db level at 74 decibels
- Doesn’t come with wheels
3. DeWalt DXV10P 10 Gallon Quiet Poly Wet/Dry Vacuum Yellow
Ultra Quiet Shop Vac
It’s a quiet shop vacuum being 50% quieter than traditional shop vacs.
The dust cartridge filter takes care of small and dry debris, including wet materials.
The on/off switch is large so you can easily have access to it.
It’s also water-resistant ensuring safety in the event of an electrical fault due to wet use.
The powerful 5.5 HP gives you adequate power to handle any garage or workshop cleanup job you may have.
The built-in blower port also allows dual function as you can use the unit to blow debris away. The durable rubberized casters allow smooth swiveling, and with the 240” power cord you can take care of your business in every corner.
Using the unit doesn’t have to be messy, and so the built-in accessory storage helps you neatly organize and store all accessories. Liquid emptying isn’t a problem thanks to the large built-in drain.
- Quiet shop vacuum DB level of 50% with great performance
- Has a 10-gallon capacity
- 5.5 peak HP
- The power cord is as long as 240”
- Large built-in drain for easy emptying
- Swiveling casters makes movement easy
- Hose is not too long
4. Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor
Best Quiet Shop Vac
The airflow of 137 CFM and a water lift of 96” ensures that this unit serves its purpose properly.
It has a 6.9 gallon capacity and as such can be moved conveniently with the help of canister rolls.
The inclusion of a brake is handy as it prevents unwanted movement during use.
The large HEPA filter together with the self-cleaning bag takes care of irritating exhaust dust.
Since the build-up of dust can reduce suction, the bag expands and contracts during use to prevent this. You don’t need any filters during wet operation and once the water gets full, the unit gets shut off.
The adjustable suction force feature allows you more control as you can adjust to fit the job you have at hand.
- Quiet shop vacuum dB level of 71
- Has an adjustable suction force
- The self-cleaning filter bag ensures the suction force is sustained
- The HEPA filter can take away 99.99% of dust
- Anti-static hose to prevent the build-up of dust particles and clogging
- Has an auto water level sensor to shut the unit down when water gets full
- It’s quite expensive
5. Makita VC4710 12-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum
Quietest Wet Dry Vac
When answering the question “which shop vac is the quietest?” the Makita VC4710 Wet Dry Vac is an option that would pop up.
This Makita unit is run by a 12 AMP motor and is an example of an ultra-quiet shop vac that gives up to 135 CFM and a water lift of 92”.
Made to function within normal talking range, the sound-absorbing material present in the motor compartment reduces the noise level to only 59 decibels.
There is a variable speed dial that allows you to control the suction, preparing the unit for different tasks.
So you can see that the vac is versatile and can serve multiple purposes.
Its 12-gallon dry and 8-gallon wet capacity allows it to do a lot before getting full, but the downside is the absence of a drain.
An alluring feature of this unit is the automatic filter cleaner. The flat air filters are to take care of a large volume of dust, while the Nano filters take care of smaller particles.
There is a built-in rocket valve that ensures the suction doesn’t decrease during the reverse airflow as the machine cleans its filters.
- Produces noise of only 59 decibels
- Comes with a variable speed control dial
- Quietest wet dry vac
- Automatically cleans its filer
- The 12 AMP motor gives up to 135 CFM and a water lift of 92”
- Very stable and easy to move
- Filter self-cleaning feature could be a nuisance as it has no off switch
- Absence of a drain
- It’s power is low when compared to most shop vacs
Which Shop Vac Is the Quietest?
The quietest shop vac on our list is the Makita VC4710 12-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum, working with a noise level of only 59 decibels.
Traditional shop vac noise levels are usually above 85 decibels, while household vacs are quieter with noise levels between 70-80 decibels. But with the right ultra-quiet shop vac, you can get the job done with much less noise.
With a unit operating below 70 decibels, you can have a normal conversation without having to shout. Between 70-80 decibels, you would need to raise your voice, and above 85 decibels you’d need to practically shout.
Quiet Shop Vac Buying Guide
One of the important factors to consider when purchasing a shop vac is to check for the power of the motor.
This way, you are sure that the vac you are purchasing would be able to do the job it’s intended for. A PHP rating of 5 is good enough so check for this.
The air power rating is also a factor to be considered. This rating tells you how effectively the vacuum cleaner can pick up objects, so the higher, the better.
Traditional shop vac noise levels in the garage or workplace are usually high. This is due to the type of motors they run on and their design.
However, long exposure to such noise is bad for your health, and its use pollutes the environment around you.
Always check the shop vac dB ratings. Levels of lower than 75 decibels are good enough and work efficiently and quietly.
The tank capacity should be such that it can serve you throughout your cleanup by accommodating as much debris as you suck.
The tank capacity that’s best for you depends on the type of job you’d need the unit for, and the size of the area you would be vacuum cleaning.
Different tasks require different types of filters. A foam sleeve would be more beneficial for wet use rather than dry use.
They are also filters that are great for use with different sizes of debris. It’s important to use the right size to avoid smaller particles from blowing out of the hose.
Vac accessories here include the hose and cord. Proper choice of both could make the cleanup process easier or more tedious.
Choose the right hose thickness as a hose that’s too thick would be difficult for you to handle while cleaning, and one that’s too thin will not give good results either.
The hose diameter affects the size of debris that you can suck in, so if you would be dealing with large debris, 2.5” would be good enough.
Also when picking a vacuum, go for one that has a long cord. This way you can clean at a distance with ease.
The blower function is essential especially if you have to clean some hard to reach corners. Most modern shop vacs have this feature and you should look out for it especially if you would be needing it.
Small or Big: Which Size Is Better for Shop Vacuum?
There is no one best size of a vacuum cleaner as the size you choose has its advantages and disadvantages too.
Big vacs have more powerful motors and can handle large spills and take care of heavy debris. This comes with much noise in the end and isn’t easy to move around.
Smaller vacs have smaller motors and so are fit for less demanding jobs. They are however quieter and easy to move around.
How to Make My Shop Vac Quieter
- Clean The Filters: with use, it’s advisable to wash the filters frequently or replace them if they are not washable. Even the quietest wet dry vacs can get noisy with dirty filters as they prevent free airflow during operation. Also clear out any clogs that may be present in the hose, to ensure free passage of air.
- Use A Sound Muffler: attaching a sound muffler to the exhaust of your vac could help reduce the noise coming from the machine. You could purchase one, or make one yourself.
- Build A Soundproof Box: building a soundproof box around the canister is the last resort if you still hear noise after muffling the exhaust. This is because the noise is likely from the canister itself due to the escape of air.
- Use Your Environment to Your Advantage: if you don’t want the noise from your vac to bother your friends and family, consider using it in open spaces. You could also keep it outside as you vacuum the room with the door and window closed as much as you can.
- Use A Longer Hose Attachment: some of the noise produced in shop vacuums are due to the turbulent airflow in the exhaust port. With the use of an additional vacuum hose to the port, you can move the end further away to reduce the noise.
- Use Variable Fan/Router Speed Controller: a variable fan/router is responsible for varying the power draw. The varying power draw affects suction power and also the noise produced. So if the task at hand isn’t demanding, reducing the fan speed will reduce the noise produced.
- Make Use of Hearing Protection: using hearing protection will protect you from most of the noise produced from the shop vac.
Why Did My Shop Vac Get Loud?
With continuous use, you may realize that your vac has become louder, and this is mostly due to obstruction to free airflow. So if your hose gets blocked, the unit would have to work harder, hence the noise.
The motor is another major reason for noise in your vac. As the motor causes the fan to turn to create suction, it produces sound.
This sound isn’t too much for some types of vacs due to the presence of brush bearings. Brush bearings function to deliver voltage to the motor, and to keep it aligned preventing contact with the stator.
So if the brush bearing breaks, the friction between the motor and stator will lead to loud noise.
Fine dust particles could also get into the motor bearings and other moving parts of the vac.
Its presence prevents smooth roll of the bearings and causes a squeal when the machine is in operation. It can be repaired or you could choose to change it altogether.
A dirty filter also creates noise when the unit is working. This is so because the vac has to work harder to create adequate suction.
In addition to this, if a fan breaks, it reduces suction and blocks the free flow of air thereby creating too much noise.
The need for a strong and high power vac in the workshop or garage doesn’t have to come at a noisy price.
That’s why we have these quiet shop vac reviews in 2020 to help with your choice and protect you from too much noise while you get the job done.
But if you desire the quietest wet dry vac on the market, then Makita VC4710 12-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum is the best shop vac for you. It’s not the most powerful but it’s almost silent.
All products reviewed here offer great performance with low shop vac dB ratings, so no matter your choice, your ears would thank you.