A quiet shop vac is one of the must-have workshop, jobsite, garage owner appliances.
If you live in one of the quietest cities in the US, such as Green Bank, then you know how the kind of “war” you’d spark with your noisy vacuum cleaner. (*)
Shop vacs are the commercial version of your regular vacuum cleaners.
These heavy-duty appliances are designed to clean dirt that regular vacuum cleaners can’t handle.
For example, they can get rid of small metal pieces, nails, and sawdust from your Jobsite in the nick of time.
Unfortunately, with such heavy-duty power comes a greater risk of health-related problems, including hearing loss and decreased productivity. (Source)
To avoid all these problems, then why not invest in the quietest shop vac on the market?
What Is the Most Ultra Quiet Shop Vac?
Compact and powerful, the Makita VC4710 12-Gallon Wet/Dry is the most ultra-quiet shop vac on the market today.
With a noise rating of 59dBA, this unit is quieter or equally quiet as an air conditioner, normal conversation, or dishwasher.
It’s a little beast boasting a 2.5 peak horsepower suction suitable for workshop, garage, car, medium job sites, house, etc.
You can also use it as a blower- and thanks to this feature, you won’t be needing a quiet leaf blower.
The unit weighs 10.45 pounds and is fitted with 4 casters allowing for seamless swiveling regardless of where you use it.
The unit will automatically turn off when the water line reaches the critical point, ensuring maximum durability of the motor.
I would call this unit a “hybrid”- you don’t need to buy a regular vacuum cleaner for regular house cleaning as it will handle both job and house vacuuming needs.
The Most Quiet Shop Vacs for Garage, Jobsites, and Workshops
Your regular shop vacuum cleaner can reach 70decibels or even 90dB when operating at its maximum suction capacity.
Exposures to noise levels above the range of 70 decibels can trigger hearing damage for a prolonged period of time.
For this reason, if you’re regularly using a vacuum cleaner, you should ensure that the noise levels are within the “agreeable” range to prevent the possibility of induced hearing loss.
Below are some of the shop vacs that produce acceptable noise levels during operation.
1. Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor
This unit produces 62 decibels of sound when operating at its low suction setting.
It’s surprisingly quieter given that it boasts features that you won’t find in most traditional shop vacuum cleaners.
This heavy-duty vac comes with 11 ½ feet long anti-static hose that’s not only flexible but also kink-resistant, allowing you to reach the farthest ends of your workshop.
It features a HEPA filtration system that guarantees up to 99.99%- and 0.3-microns dust and particulate removal, respectively.
It comes with a self-cleaning filter bag with a collapsible that guarantees sustained suction force and durability.
Lastly, its equipped with large canister wheels, a lower center of gravity, and a balanced design for easy maneuverability around the worksite.
2. Vacmaster Red Edition VOM205P 1101
The Vacmaster Red Edition shop vac is designed for hard floors and is available in four different styles- with the most powerful version boasting 5.5 peak horsepower and a 12-gallon size.
It’s a lightweight and compact unit making it easier to move it from one jobsite to the next.
The unit handles both liquids and solid debris and comes with accessories that are sufficient for major house cleanups, car vacuuming, and workshop cleanup.
It features a filtration system that guarantees getting rid of the tinniest bit of dust particles for cleaner air.
3. FEIN Turbo Vacuum Cleaner
The FEIN Turbo II is a compact wet and dry shop vacuum cleaner that guarantees professional suction strength, making it perfect for dust extraction and cleanups in your workshop.
It’s available in 2 different styles and sizes, giving you a chance to choose a size and style that meets your requirements.
It boasts an auto-start feature that allows it to turn on automatically without the need to press buttons.
With a 98.4″ static water lift, you’re guaranteed to clean the last bit of water droplet.
You’re guaranteed to clean even the farthest ends or corners regardless of the size of your garage or workshop- thanks to the 13ft (4meters) vacuum hose and a 19ft (6meter) power cord.
It’s fitted with 4 canisters that swivel 360 degrees for maximum maneuverability even in those congested workshops.
Despite its powerful 151CFM, this shop vac still maintains a low decibel rating of 66dBA.
4. CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 Heavy Duty Sho Vacuum
If you’re sick and tired of tiny vacuum cleaners that require regular emptying, then you’d want to try this unit.
It’s available in 20- and 16-gallon sizes with a 6.5 peak horsepower.
The unit is powerful enough to suck in large objects in the jobsite, garage, or workshop and powerful enough to blow large grass clippings or leaves in your backyard.
Here are two reasons why you should get this shop vac.
First, this unit is much quieter than your regular shop vac.
Well, it isn’t whisper-quiet, but luckily, you can easily hold a conversation with your friend when it’s in operation.
Secondly, the unit uses a collection of bags that offer two more benefits.
They help contain finer dust- filtering the air around your workplace. Also, the collection bags make it easier to dispose of waste collected inside the container.
You can even use it to vacuum off snow from a sled after a day’s ride.
5. Makita XCV11 Dust Extractor/Vacuum
This unit is equipped with a powerful brushless motor that guarantees 57cfm and a 27 inches suction lift using only an 18V LXT lithium battery.
The battery guarantees up to 1 hour of continuous operation (battery sold separately).
It comes with a HEPA filter that guarantees 99.97%- and .3-micron dust and particle filtration.
Since it’s powered by a battery, an LED indicator shows the battery charge level.
The use of BL brushless motor enables the unit to run cooler and more efficiently. This guarantees durability and longer life.
You get a 3-year limited warranty upon purchase.
6. DeWalt DXV10P Quiet Poly Wet Dry Vacuum
This shop vac is equipped with a quiet 2 stage motor that makes it up to 50 percent % quieter than your regular cleaner.
The 2-stage motor also guarantees durability, giving the unit a 2 times longer lifespan than regular market competitors.
The best part is that the unit gives 3 functionality- it’s capable of both wet and dry vacuuming and serving as a leaf blower.
Comes with a 20′ power cord allowing you to reach the farthest end of your workshop without switching the power supply source.
It’s equipped with built-in accessory storage attached to the rear side, where you can keep all the accessories needed for your cleaning purposes.
For maneuverability, the vac is equipped with wheels that roll freely and a wand hose that rotates at the powerhead and thus no more hose twisting when vacuuming.
You can use it with or without the filter bag.
Quiet Shop-Vac Buyer Guide
There are important factors to consider before investing in a shop vac. Below are the most important ones to ensure that you get a quiet shop vac that meets your specific requirements.
Obviously, you’re not looking for any ordinary shop vac- you need ones that are quiet and not loud.
For this reason, noise levels is a major factor to take into consideration.
As earlier mentioned, exposure to noise levels above 80decibels not only causes induced hearing loss but can also significantly impact your productivity.
Additionally, if you live in a quiet neighborhood, you don’t want noise complaints against you from your neighbors.
For such reasons, you will need the quietest shop vac you can get on the market.
While my guide includes all quiet vac models, I can highly vouch for two models that I’ve had the first-hand experience in the past few years.
Makita VC4710 12-Gallon Wet/Dry and Festool 583492 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor.
They have sound decibel ratings below 65 decibels- and can equally be compared to normal conversation.
Power, CFM, and Suction
Because shop vacuum cleaners are designed for heavy-duty operations, they have more power.
Power ratings in shop vacs is measured in terms of horsepower.
The higher the horsepower, the more powerful the unit is.
On the other hand, CFM is the vacuum airflow in cubic feet per minute.
Suction measures the unit’s water lift pressure.
Both CFM and suction pressure work hand in hand.
A good shop vac should have a balance between airflow (CFM) and suction.
For this reason, you shouldn’t rely on horsepower alone to determine how powerful a vacuum cleaner is.
Tank Size and Capacity
If you intend to use your shop vac to clean a bigger mess in your workshop, then you will need a larger tank size.
On the other hand, if you’ll be cleaning everyday debris in your car, then a small tank size is more than enough in this case.
But I’ll always advise you to go for a large tank capacity since you may never know when shit comes knocking your way.
One day, you may wake up with a flooded basement- you won’t love the idea of emptying the tank every few minutes.
It won’t hurt to get a vacuum cleaner with a large tank size.
Accessories and Storage
Does the shop vac of your choice come with all the accessories you require for all your cleaning purposes?
Does it have storage?
Some vacs have built-in storage where you can store all the accessories for easy reach when vacuuming.
Additionally, the accessories sold with or compatible with the vac should meet your requirements.
How to Make A Shop Vac Quiet?
There are different ways you can implement right now to make your vacuum cleaner quieter than before.
One sure way to make sure that you muffle the noise produced by a shop vac cleaner would be to try earplugs.
Well, in this case, you will be protecting yourself from noise exposures that can affect your hearing.
Getting a longer hose will ensure that you’re not directly affected by the noise produced by the appliance.
Alternatively soundproof the room where you will be using it.
This way, noise won’t leak outside, and you won’t annoy your neighbors.
Final thoughts on Quiet Shop Vac
If you want a quiet shop vac, then consider the options I have discussed above.
While they aren’t dead silent, they are much quieter than competitor models.
Don’t forget to read the buyer guide as it highlights the most important factors that you should always check before making the final decision.
Hi, my name is Todd R. Bressler and I am the founder of this soundproofing blog. I’m a DIY enthusiast from Cincinnati, the city that just beat New York for the City That Never Sleeps Award in 2020. (Original) I have been in the DIY soundproofing industry for close to 5 years, running a YouTube channel and a Podcast show every Saturday. I started Crafty Soundproofing to help you learn the basics of “self defending yourself against noise”
Have an idea worth sharing? Please contact me and I’ll be happy to respond ASAP.