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When looking to buy a shop vacuum, there are a few things you should take into consideration.  There are many different styles of vacuums available:  one for your business, one for your home, and even one to clean up your car.  Consider these 3 points before making your purchase.



1. Determine the Size/Capacity You'll Need

   If your projects tend to make large messes, or if you have a wood shop in your garage, a large capacity tank would best fit your needs. Smaller, portable vacuums   can be conveniently stored and are perfect for living conditions with limited space.

2. Consider the Performance You Want

   When testing the performance of a vacuum, the term peak horsepower is used.  This refers to the output of the motor, including the motor's inertial contribution, achieved in laboratory testing.  Numbers aren't the only thing you need to compare to understand performance.  Let's take a look at sealed pressure, cubic feet per minute, and air-watts or air power.

  • Sealed pressure best describes the suction pressure, usually measured in inches of water.  Sealed pressure is measured by testing how many inches of water a vacuum will lift up a glass tube.  If the rating is greater than 75 it is considered a high-end utility vacuum.

  • Cubic feet per minute, or CFM, rates the maximum airflow the vacuum can achieve at its largest opening.  If you are picking up fine debris or dust, you will want to consider looking for a vacuum with a higher CFM rating.

  • Air-watts or air power (AP) is all about picking up the heavy stuff.  We're talking bolts, nuts and washers.  The higher the AP number means there is a higher airflow at the inlet for the dirt. 

3. Should You Get a Plastic or Stainless Steel Tank?

   The difference between these two types of tanks is simple.  Plastic tanks will be lighter in weight and won't dent.  Stainless steel tanks are going to be slightly heavier, but durable and easier to clean.  Go with one that will suit your cleaning needs.


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