If there’s one thing nearly everyone hates about vacuum cleaners, it has to be the annoying rah-rah noise. But you would be surprised that shop vacs are the worst of all.
Sadly, they are a NECESSITY for any workshop. You can’t avoid purchasing one by using your already-owned household vac to pick up bits of scrap metals, plaster dust, and sawdust. You are merely putting your life and that of your vac at risk.
A shop vac packs a lot of power and is sturdier than its household counterpart, which makes them perfect for cleaning your workshop.
Finding a silent beast can be challenging and tricky with the deluge of options and the manufacturer’s empty promises.
Fortunately, I’ve tested more than a dozen products and sifted through thousands of customer reviews, and here are my top recommendations for the best quiet shop vac for dust collection without compromising your safety.
Here’s a Summary of The 5 Quiet Shop Vac for Dust Collection
Fein Turbo II 一 is a COMPACT and one of the most durable shop vacs designed for large, heavy-duty cleaning tasks with ZERO noise. Equipped with HEPA filters, it’s one of the few models that purify your surrounding air in your workshop. It comes with the HIGHEST suction capacity and water lift, which makes it the best choice for wet and dry cleaning jobs in a busy workshop.
Festool 574930 一 is a more expensive model from a WORLD-CLASS manufacturer, packing a lot of premium features for QUICK cleanup. It has a robust variable speed motor, so you don’t have to run at high speed to SAVE money on utility bills. Also, this HEPA-certified model rocks an Anti-Static design to eliminate shock and clogging.
Vacmaster VWM510 一 comes with a 2-stage POWERFUL motor for one of the most efficient cleaning performances with LOW noise. It features a WALL-MOUNT design making it a space-efficient solution for small workshops. Plus, it has a remote control for convenient operation from more than 30 feet away.
CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 一 has a 7.5 AMP motor delivering a peak power of 5HP with a variable speed dial for impressive suction control depending on the task. It’s one of the QUIETEST shop vacs, with its top-of-the-line soft-start system drawing less power. This is the best portable vacuum cleaner, punching above its weight. Thus coming in handy as a garage tool.
Stealth ECV05P1 一 is built with people on a tight budget in mind. This highly efficient vac offers three functions, blowing, wet and dry cleaning, at a CHEAP price. This small-size device comes with a MASSIVE 5-gallon container to support long, uninterrupted cleaning sessions.
What is the Difference Between a Dust Extractor and a Shop Vac?
Why both appliances might be just for the same purpose, they are NOT the same, and here are the significant differences between a dust extractor and a shop vac:
- Efficiency – dust collector, as its name implies, is the machine you want to have in your arsenal for expunging dust particles, including fine sawdust. On the other hand, shop vacs are more suitable for cleaning wood chips and handling general workshop cleaning.
- Range – if it’s not wood-related, the shop vac is the best machine. It’s excellent for cleaning a wide range of materials, from scattered glass to spilled water. Conversely, dust extractors won’t clean anything except wood-related things like sawdust.
- Air Cleaning – another incredible thing about a dust extractor is it cleans your surrounding air to expunge any pollutants contaminating the air you breathe. Not every shop vacuuming system is designed for this.
How Do Shop Vacs Differ From Normal Household Vacuums?
One of the biggest differences between a shop vac and the regular household vac is what they are intended for. The shop vacuum system is equipped with a powerful motor to handle heavy-duty cleaning jobs.
They are designed to pick more than just pet hairs and biscuit crumbs. Shop vacs suck up wood chunks, screw nails, and pieces of broken glass without putting their life on the line.
Everything about this vacuuming system is bigger, more powerful, and better than its household counterpart.
One aspect home vacs win over the shop vac is filtration. Household models filter and improve the air quality around your home while it sucks up dirt and debris. As I’ve already pointed out, shop vacs do not come with any sort of filtration system.
Besides This, Why Is Your Wet Dry Vac So Loud?
The clamor of the shop vac is a matter of engine design and not really of size. Most vacuum systems come with huge fans that spin incredibly fast to generate the suction power. The movement of air in and out of the vacuum is one of the underlying causes of the deafening noise of a shop vac.
This type of vac packs more than enough power to suck non-wood-related materials violently. With such raging suction power, finding a whisper-quiet shop vac can be hard. However, some models have the latest and innovative features to knock down the noise and avoid noise-induced health problems.
How to Make A Shop Vac Quieter?
A shop vac can sound like an airplane taking off. While an unusual noise can be a good indication that your machine needs some maintenance and repair. Most times, it’s just a rankling noise that doesn’t even mean the machine is doing a great cleaning job.
Here are three tricks I use to knock down the elevated noise level of the shop vac for a quiet cleaning experience:
Clean the Vac’s, Air Filter
Some vacs come with reusable filters, which demand you clean after each use instead of purchasing a new one after a couple of months. Regardless of your option, it’s essential to keep the vac’s filter clean to avoid stressing the motor and causing it to make a loud, irritating noise.
Also, you should avoid a common mistake: placing wet reusable filters back in the vac. Keep it out of the device until it’s dry to prevent attracting way too much debris and dirt, causing the motor to overwork itself.
Get Rid of the Clogs
Do you notice that your vac gets louder when the opening gets stuck to your carpet flooring or blocked by your palm? The reason is the engine is trying to suck in air, which it’s clearly failing to do, causing it to work at a higher capacity, meaning more noise.
When a clog is blocking its airways, you should notice a thunderous noise coming from your vac. Another follow-on sign that your vac might be clogged is lower suction power.
Therefore, it’s essential to disassemble your machine often and clean the shop vac thoroughly to get rid of these little clogs that might block your vac sometimes in the future.
Muffle the Vac’s Air Outlet
Vacuums expel the air forcefully, which is another source of deafening noise. So, muffling the vent with a piece of cloth can help make the air expulsion gentler.
Remember that you don’t want to cover the vent entirely with the cloth. This will only cause the machine to overheat and eventually break down the engine.
So, it’s vital to include holes in the covering to allow a decent amount of air for quieter cleaning performance. It might sound gimmicky, but it’s a simple DIY trick common among shop vac users.
What to Consider When Choosing Quiet Shop Vac?
Types of shop Vacuums
Before purchasing any shop vac that makes it your way, you should be sentient that this appliance comes in a wide variety depending on materials and configurations.
Sadly, there’s no one size fits all option, so it’s up to you to determine the best type of shop vacuums based on your preference and needs.
Wet Dry Shop Vacs
This type comes with a vacuuming system designed to suck wet and dry debris. It’s perfect for cleaning up water and other liquids.
Generally, they have a long cord for better reach and are supplied with several attachments to work on wet and dry surfaces. Plus, wet-dry shop vacs employ swivel wheels, making it easier for you to move around obstacles.
Wall Mountable Shop Vacs
The name gives it off. This shop vac comes with brackets to securely hold the vacuuming system off the ground and to the wall.
Cleaning them is NOT tricky; remove the base and take out the canister. It’s a decent option for small workspaces with limited space.
Portable & Cordless Shop Vacs
Cordless models are equipped with either external or internal rechargeable batteries. Thus, they have limited runtime and typically a lightweight design for a fatigue-free handling experience. Some models might come with a spare battery for extended cleaning sessions.
Shop Vac Canister Material
The canisters are available in two types based on their material – plastic and stainless steel.
Plastic vacuum canisters are usually cheap and lightweight. They are easier to clean, waterproof, and scratch-resistant.
They can handle a lot of abuse, which makes them suitable for the rigors of daily use in a busy workshop. Sadly, their flexibility comes with a price – loud, annoying praise.
The stainless steel canisters are known for lower static charge production, which makes them relatively easier to clean. Also, they are heavier and more expensive than plastic canisters.
Since they are not as flexible as their plastic counterparts, stainless steel generates less noise. Some models feature waterproof properties but tend to have a longer drying time.
Plus, they require handling with caution to avoid denting or scratching them, which can be problematic for you.
If you are trying to avoid purchasing a noisy shop vac, then you must consider the amount of noise the machine generates. Keep in mind that not all noises are tolerable.
Some models on this list offer a wide range of speed settings, which means varying noise levels depending on the setting. The trick is to stick with a low-decibel shop vac below 75 dB.
So before purchasing that model, check the decibel before putting your money on it. Even better, consider other customers’ opinions on this aspect.
When it comes to picking a shop vac, people often start with how much power the appliance packs before considering other factors.
However, if you want to pick a model based on its power rating, then it’s crucial you do it right. Most people are fooled by crazy horsepower, which does not equal high suction power.
The manufacturer measures the motor’s maximum power without any attachment. The power tends to drop with more attachments added. So, the HP is never a true measure of a shop vac.
Instead, you should look for CFM, which measures the amount of air the vacuum sucks in a minute. This rating gives you helpful insight into the cleaning performance of the machine.
The right tank size to choose hinges on how dirty your workshop gets and the area of your workshop.
For instance, carpenters are better off with a large tank capacity to pick up the enormous amount of sawdust, wood shavings, and litter. But for fumes, I’d recommend purchasing an appliance with a smaller tank.
Filter and Bag
The type of filter a shop vac has depends on its purpose. A dry and wet vacuuming machine utilizes a foam sleeve filter. However, they come in different types to stop specific debris and dust from escaping from the bag.
Some filters are meant for fine debris and dust, while others are effective for trapping medium to large litter in the dust bag.
Even better, I recommend purchasing one with a HEPA filter to cut down the out-blow dust and eliminate allergens to clean the air. Also, high-end models might feature a cartridge filter or a self-cleaning filter bag for LOW maintenance and SAVE money in the long run.
Best Quiet Shop Vac Reviews
1. Fein Turbo II Wet/Dry Dust Extractor Vacuum 66 dB
Made in German, the Fein Turbo II is not shy of anything. It has one of the sturdiest build qualities to handle the rigors of daily use, even in the busiest workshop. Turn this device on; its roar to life and ultra-quiet cleaning performance offers a fun feeling of money well spent.
Talking of cleaning performance, the Fein Turbo II Wet/Dry Dust Extractor Vacuum packs a heavy punch with its powerful 1.4 peak HP motor delivering the STRONGEST flow rate of 151 CFM. What you get with such high suction power is a bully that picks up everything, including the biggest of debris. It never forgives nor forgets!
It has a remarkable 98.4-inch water lift to quickly and effectively suck up spilled water in your workshop or from soaked-up carpets to maintain its bullying suction power.
For EXTRA safety;
The Fein Turbo II utilizes a bypass motor system to keep the dirty air sucked up from the hose away from the delicate components of this machine. So, you don’t ever have to clean piles of debris and dirt and worry about the safety of this beast.
If it scores INCREDIBLY high on cleaning performance and suction power, then it’s likely noisy.
Same thought as you, but I was shocked at how quiet this device cleans. It has a noise level below 66 dB to allow you to pick up conversations naturally.
So, if you are in the market for the quietest shop vac, look no further than the Fein Turbo II Wet/Dry Dust Extractor Vacuum.
On top of that;
The manufacturer offers this product with more than one container volume option. However, this model comes with a 5.8-gallon plastic canister on four sturdy, swivel wheels for easy maneuvering around obstacles or heavy objects you would hate to lift.
It also comes with an 18-foot power cord coupled with a 13-foot hose to extend your reach up to 32 feet to NEVER leave water or dirt lurking in tight corners.
This is one of the FEW models designed to clean a dusty space and, at the same time, purify the air you breathe with the HEPA filter. It traps 99.99% of allergens, pollens, and other containment to ensure your health is NOT at stake here.
Who Should Buy?
The Fein Turbo II is the QUIETEST shop vac on the market (which explains why it’s the most recommended). While it’s not the cheapest on this list, it offers the best VALUE for money.
Not many products out there come with high CFM and efficient water lifts like the Fein Turbo II. so, if you are looking for a beast to clean from your workshop to your car’s interior without complaining and in the shortest time possible, you found it.
What Could Be Better?
This product could have been a perfect machine if it came with a drain hole. It’s not a big deal if you don’t do much wet cleaning. If you do, you might have to put up with removing the canister every time you want to empty the sucked-up dirty water.
2. Festool 574930 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor 71 dB
I don’t compromise on durability and performance when it comes to appliances. Luckily, the Festool 574930 CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor won’t require that from you. It’s another low-decibel shop vac from Germany (reputable and loved for their rugged power tools) standing out from the competition with UNIQUE features.
This model comes with a variable-speed motor that offers a WIDEST range from 350 to 1200W, so you don’t always have to run this machine at high speed. Thus, you SAVE more on utility bills and don’t have to deal with loud, annoying noise.
This super quiet shop vacuum will suck up debris, dirt, and liquid spills with no mercy. On paper, it’s NOT up to par with the Fein Turbo II’s flow rate and water lift. It has the following ratings – 137 CFM and a 96-inch water lift. However, you won’t notice a significant difference in their performance.
Unlike our top choice, this ALPHA shop vac comes with a larger container capacity of 6.9 gallons sitting on two 360-degree front casters and two large fixed rear wheels with a low-profile design. Hence, it makes maneuvering effortless, and the integrated locking brake system improves its stability.
The anti-static 11-1/2 foot hose and 24½ -foot 12 gauge power cord can offer the same 36 feet of reach as the Fein Turbo II to access every nook and cranny. Besides, you won’t have to spend time moving the machine and looking for the nearest electric outlet.
This device is equipped with one of the largest HEPA filters measuring 3.29sq ft bag to remove contaminants from dust exhaust for cleaner air expulsion. However, it works in tandem with a self-cleaning filter bag that expands and contracts as you clean to prevent dust from building up in the shop vac for CONSISTENT suction power.
When switching to the wet-vac mode, removing the filters is important. No panic! It utilizes the LATEST Level Stop Technology that automatically determines when its container is filled with water and turns the machine off to avoid messing up your workshop and damaging the motor.
Furthermore, Festool 574930 rocks an auto-start tool trigger that triggers the vacuum cycles immediately after you start using the tool to SAVE time and let you concentrate on the task at hand. Also, its built-in receptacle provides high compatibility with most tool brands, so you don’t have to worry about connecting your already-owned tools.
Don’t believe me?
You don’t have to take my word for it; instead, take the manufacturer’s bet – use this compact device for 30 days, and if you are displeased for any reason, return it and get a refund (No question asked!). Even after 30 days, you are still protected by a 3-year manufacturer warranty, which shows a high level of confidence in this product.
Who Should Buy?
If you want an ADVANCED heavy-duty model to tackle your dust problem at home, office, car, or workshop, then the Festool 574930 CT 26 E is worth considering.
Actually, it’s your best bet.
Buy this German-made precise and high-performance device and worry less about most problems with most shop vacs, such as clogging, loud irritating noise, etc. Besides, it’s a RISK-FREE purchase with its 30-day money-back guarantee and three years manufacturer’s warranty.
What Could Be Better?
It seems perfect until you have to clean the HEPA filter manually. Also, this is the most EXPENSIVE model on this list, which explains why a lot of people are skeptical about splurging on this model. But is it worth the money? YES, and thousands of customers strongly affirm.
3. Vacmaster VWM510 5-Gallon Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum 74 dB
I understand that not everyone has enough space in their workplace or workshop for big, powerful shop vacs like Festool 574930 and Fein Turbo II. However, you don’t have to choose a mediocre vacuum cleaner; here’s a portable option with a 2-stage 5-peak hp motor offering strong suction silently.
Vacmaster VWM510 generates MORE suction and allows you to operate the machine at lower speeds for a quieter operation. Most shop vacs are single-stage models, which makes this device’s motor last longer and avoid unnecessarily high utility bills.
There are two reasons I appreciate this vac’s suction ability despite not being as powerful as the other options already reviewed. This model retails for more than half the price of the Fein Turbo II and features a COMPACT design suitable for a small workspace.
Comparison of its noise level with the previous models:
Vacmaster VWM510 does not run as quietly as my top choices, with a noise level of around 74 dB. But for its LOW price point, I’d pick it over many expensive and noisy shop vacs currently flooding the market.
This model stays secure to the wall with its sturdy wall-mounting hooks and won’t struggle to install the wall-mount frame (if I can do it, you can as well). And it comes with a well-made carrying handle, so you don’t have to lug this portable shop vac.
In terms of collection area, this portable device is not scared of offering about 5 gallons which is plenty of space to clean small workshops without having to WASTE time emptying during vacuuming sessions.
What about its reach?
It’s a portable small quiet shop vac but offers one of the LONGEST reaches of 30 feet with its 20-foot cord combined with a 10-foot 1-⅞-inch diameter hose.
While no dirt or liquid spill was ever out of my reach, I struggled with wrapping the power cord around the motor. A retractable cord would have been better, but it’s one of the compromises for an affordable, quiet machine.
The best part?
Vacmaster VWM510 comes with a foam sleeve filet and a WASHABLE cartridge filter for ZERO maintenance cost since you don’t have to purchase a new one now and then. It doesn’t come with a HEPA filter system (well, it’s a low-priced product) and is not recommended for OSHA-compliant workspace.
Who Should Buy?
The Vacmaster VWM510 is an excellent choice for two types of shoppers ONLY. If you need a COMPACT model for a small workshop that is NOT regulated by EPA and OSHA standards. Also, it’s the best quiet shop vac for shoppers looking for an affordable alternative to the Fein Turbo II.
What Could Be Better?
I can’t complain much, considering its low price point. It’s expected for the manufacturer to cut corners. The most annoying downside is its flimsy gasket that wears out quickly, and there’s NO replacement for it. Also, its dry suction performance is really low.
4. CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac 65db – 85 db
I found another BEAST!
The CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 is a MUST-HAVE for handling large-scale renovations, floors, or floods without a sweat. No hype! This incredibly versatile device does not shy away from bigger cleanup tasks and provides the best vacuuming experience – only Festool 574930 does it better.
This model is supplied with an extensive collection of accessories to let users get the most out of this appliance. For instance, it comes with three nozzle types: wet, car, and utility. This way, you have the right tool for the job to achieve a better cleaning result.
That’s not all;
You get a diameter hose with Dual-Flex offering 180-degree mobility to reach corners without straining at all and ensuring it NEVER kinks or crushes. Thus, outliving most hose on even high-end models.
Even for half the price of the Fein Turbo II, this model still offers onboard accessory storage to house every attachment in one place. So you don’t misplace or waste time looking for one.
Another exciting thing about this machine is the INNOVATIVE features that make it stand out from the competition. It is integrated with the Qwik Lock Filter Fastening System, reducing the time required to change the filter and making it way easier to do.
Better than the Vacmaster VWM510, this model does not require you to purchase a wheelbase separately. It comes with the right features to make it the best quiet shop vac for people on a very tight budget.
Wait, there’s more!
The CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595 is equipped with a powerful heavy-duty motor with a peak performance of 6.5 HP. It packs enough EXTRA power to handle large cleaning projects in the garage, shop, and on the job site.
Even better, this product does MORE than just suck up heavy debris and liquid. It doubles nicely as a blower to blow grass and leaves off your porch. I find people using it to glow debris off their gutter, and you can.
But this cheap model is noisy, right?
Don’t be fooled by its surprisingly low price point; this model does NOT make the typical annoying noise associated with most shop vacs. It has an average noise level of 75 dB.
However, it can operate as quietly as 68 dB, while other times, I must confess, it runs loudly at about 80 dB. In most cases, I could clean without causing a nuisance (I don’t want HOA knocking on my door).
Who Should Buy?
Do you need to clean a pool of water or blast a pile of debris and suck them up in one go? Look NO further than the CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17595.
It has essential accessories, a MASSIVE 16-gallon container, and other handy features at a low price tag. So, if you are looking for a POWERFUL shop vac to steal, here’s it!
What could be better?
I understand it’s a cheap product, and there would be some compromise. Notwithstanding, I didn’t expect it to be the caster wheel. They just won’t snag, making it challenging to move around, especially when it’s full. Lugging a 16-gallon container filled with debris and dirty water is NO good way to end a cleaning session.
5. Stealth ECV05P1 3 In 1 Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner 82 dB
Need the CHEAPEST quiet shop vac for dust collection? You won’t be getting any product cheaper and yet versatile like the Stealth ECV05P1. It offers a 3-IN-1 function that includes blowing, dry and wet cleaning.
This arguably most AFFORDABLE comes with one of the industry-best suction motors with a peak power of 5.5 HP to handle most indoor cleanup tasks, from sucking up liquid spills to picking up dirt and debris in tight corners.
While I won’t suggest the low-priced model for heavy outdoor cleaning tasks, its decent performance is more than enough for picking up dust, sawdust, puddle, pet hair, and other small-to-medium particles. This unit struggles to pick large particles, especially materials related to the soil, such as stones.
This small quiet shop vac comes with a 5-gallon dust container with plenty of space to allow you to complete a cleaning cycle with ZERO worries of constantly emptying the container. It has a brawny, foldable carrying handle that won’t break off during the process.
Other exciting things about the Stealth ECV05P1 include the large WATERPROOF switch and robust caster wheels that make maneuvering around obstacles a breeze.
Keep in mind that it’s a cheap product.
The Stealth ECV05P1 is trying to do everything right so people on a tight budget can have this product and NOT miss out on much. For instance, this model features an easily washable filter for nearly ZERO maintenance costs.
Also, the power cord is nearly 20-foot long to clean large spaces and is coupled with a 4.9 ft hose offering up to 25 feet of cleaning reach. Even better, it comes with a Hook design perfect for storing the long power cord, so people don’t get tipped.
Who Should Buy?
Obviously, the Stealth ECV05P1 is the best quiet shop vac designed for people NOT looking to invest much in this appliance. It’s a lightweight model best for people looking to use a powerful device for ONLY indoor cleaning tasks.
What Could Be Better?
You might notice I didn’t talk about its noise level, and that’s because it can be really annoying. It has a noise level of around 82 dB, which affects how long you can use this device at a go. I would recommend using this device for a short period to avoid prolonged exposure to elevated noise levels.
Most Quiet Shop Vac Comparisons
|Fein Turbo II
|Peak Motor HorsePower
|Noise Level (dB)
|65 – 85
|CFM flow rate
|Power Cord Length
Shop Vac Cleaning and Maintenance
The shop vac has lots of advantages over the traditional models. Plus, it can be more expensive, which demands you properly use and maintain this device for longevity. And here is a quick guide on how to clean and maintain a shop vac:
- While a shop vacuuming system can clean paint, oil, and other viscous liquid spills, it can clog your device. Therefore, you should soak as much of the thick-oil spill as possible with an old towel before cleaning the rest with your vac. Once you are done, wash the vac’s components with a power washer.
- If you’ve just cleaned shattered glasses and other insulation materials, it’s crucial to empty the container immediately to avoid them solidifying in the device.
- Also, filters should be washable and dried before replacing them. Once you notice any stuck-on stain, tear, or rip, you should change it immediately to avoid dust and debris getting into other vital moving components of the machine.
Quiet shop vacuum Related FAQ
What filter do I need for my shop vac?
Opting for a filter that traps dirt and dust and protects the motor and other vital parts of the vacuuming system is important. In the case of dust collection, it’s best to use HEPA filters to effectively catch dust and other contaminants that might pollute the surrounding air.
How often should I change my shop vac filter?
Typically, a filter should be changed every 3 – 6 months. However, it’s better to stick with the manufacturer’s guidelines, especially if your device has more than one filter. Also, I recommend changing your filter earlier, depending on allergy care and usage.
Shop vacs are NOT created equal, and the tons of options to choose from can be confusing, especially for first-time buyers.
The top choices for quiet operation and power cleaning performance are Fein Turbo II and Festool 574930. It’s hard to go wrong with any of those two products.
But not everyone is willing to splurge on a cleaning device, so I included the Stealth ECV05P1 for homeowners on a tight budget. It won’t handle arduous cleaning tasks, but it’s powerful enough to deep-clean carpets, upholstery, car interior, etc.
What to purchase comes down to your preference, needs, and budget. I’ve done my part by boiling the bevy of options to the top 5 quiet shop vacs for dust collection. Now, it’s up to make a smart decision.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.