The 9 Best Cordless Shop Vacuums

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This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in October of 2018. It's time to bring your workshop or garage into the 21st century with one of these ultra-convenient cordless shop vacuums. Extremely portable, they let you maneuver and clean with ease, so you're never confined by the length of a cord. Don't worry though; they they still suck — in a good way. Just note that many are sold as bare tools, which means that they do not include a battery. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Milwaukee 0880-20

2. Bosch GAS18V-3N

3. DeWalt DCV581H

Editor's Notes

February 18, 2021:

It was a busy round of updates. While we removed the Porter Cable Wet/Dry and Ridgid WD0318 due to availability issues, we also decided on eliminating the HoLife Rechargeable and Black & Decker Hand Vacuum, recognizing that – while these picks might’ve been nice choices for our list of cordless stick vacuums – they really just weren’t suitable picks for a shop-vac category. Even the Makita XLC02R1B, which we ended up deciding to retain – since it’s at least supported by a line of batteries from a popular power tool company, which may be of benefit to users shopping in this category – was questionable.

We replaced the Black & Decker Hand Vacuum with the Craftsman CMCV002B — a larger unit from the same parent company that’s more suitable for shop work. It isn’t the most powerful model we ranked, but is a fairly affordable choice, and it’s backed by a three-year limited warranty.

We also replaced the DeWalt DC515B with the DeWalt DCV517B. We previously listed DC515B for the benefit of users who were still operating on DeWalt’s 18-volt platform. But, with that series all but gone the way of the dinosaurs, we thought the time was right to replace the DC515B (which was discontinued and likely to become unavailable at any moment, anyway) with the DCV517B, which runs on the same 20-volt system as the DeWalt DCV581H.

Our other new additions during this round were the Bosch GAS18V-3N — which provides four minutes of runtime for every amp-hour a battery brings to the table; and the Milwaukee Compact 0882-20 —a handheld model that provides a complementary alternative to the larger Milwaukee 0880-20.

These cordless models are a great idea for mobile work crews, especially when combined with some of the new, high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that have been coming to market in recent years, but they do have their limits. If you think the convenience of never changing a battery doesn't necessarily outweigh the convenience of never plugging the machine in, then you might want to jump over to our list of wet-dry vacuums. And, if you’re consistently working out of the same garage or shop space, you might be interested in our rankings for wall-mounted vacuums.

October 26, 2018:

Analyzed choices from the top names in tools, including Milwaukee, DeWalt, and Porter Cable. Selected two Makita models for the variation in size and maneuverability they offer, despite the fact that they are relatively more expensive. Also added a Black & Decker dustbuster-style choice for its usefulness in cleaning up smaller messes.

Special Honors

Bissell Garage Pro 18P03 As a permanently installed model, the 18P03 might seem like the antithesis of a cordless option, but for users working exclusively out of one garage or shop space, it can still offer a lot of convenience. As a wall-mounted unit, you'll never need to worry about plugging it in, changing its battery, tripping over it or losing it.

HafcoVac If a battery-powered model just isn't doing the job you need it to, it might be time to think about a pneumatic unit from HafcoVac. These stainless steel selections are backed by a lifetime warranty, and can purportedly generate up to six times the suction of a standard, motor-driven model.

4. Ryobi Wet/Dry

5. DeWalt DCV517B

6. Milwaukee Compact 0882-20

7. Makita XCV06Z

8. Craftsman CMCV002B

9. Makita XLC02R1B

Will Rhoda
Last updated by Will Rhoda

After deciding that the pen was mightier than the pliers, Canadian electrical contractor William Rhoda abandoned his career and headed back to college, where he majored in marketing and advertising and won a scholarship along the way to earning a diploma in creative communications. His past career landed him a depth of knowledge in tools and hardware, while his current career schooled him in audio, video and camera equipment. During his leisure time, he’s learned lots about outdoor gear, and years of tiresome backyard maintenance have taught him all about pools and hot tubs. His recreational pursuits include rest, relaxation and revolutionary action, and his roommate’s a hairless cat.

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