When it comes to vacuum’s (and most tools) I am an anti-cord guy. Besides delivering power, which batteries these days can do a fine job of, all a cord does is get in the way. Think of these scenarios.
You’re in the middle of vacuuming up a mess and go to reach a spot that just happens to be an inch out of reach. What happens? Plug falls out of receptacle, vacuum turns off and now you’re frustrated and on a hunt for a new socket somewhere closer (or an extension cord).
You need to vacuum in a place where there is no wall outlet (like in your attic or the back of your shed) and you don’t have an extension cord long enough. Or the electricity is off where you’re working and you have no generator. Do you just leave the mess in place and move on?
You have electricity and solve your cord issue by running a long extension cord. Now you’re wrapped around furniture and knocking everything over (or worse, tripping over it yourself and getting injured).
While slightly exaggerated, all three scenarios have happened to me and caused me great stress. So when DeWalt offered to send over their battery-operated shop vac, I jumped at the chance to review it.
One of the biggest surprises after I unboxed the DeWalt 18V/20V MAX cordless wet/dry vac (model DCV581H) was that there is indeed a cord! Since it can’t be used to charge a battery in the unit (which would have made more sense), I see this as a safety blanket for the generation that doesn’t fully believe in battery-operated tools yet and wish there was an option to detach it.
BELOW: Watch as I unbox the DeWalt 18V/20V MAX cordless wet/dry vac
Getting past the cord on a “cordless” wet/dry vac, I was immediately impressed with how lightweight and durable the unit is. Even after adding one of my 20V MAX batteries to power it, it was still easy to carry around.
The unit has an attached vacuum hose and includes a crevice tool, wide nozzle tool and a long-life HEPA filter. What it doesn’t come with is a battery, which is to keep the cost of the unit around $100. DeWalt is banking on you to have some of their tools with a battery you can “borrow” for the vac. I used one of my 20V MAX Li-Ion drill batteries (an 18V NiCD/NiHD/Li-Lon stick battery can also be used) and have not had any issues with it running out as I use the vac.
It’s only a 2-gallon unit, but it feels like I never have to dump the canister when cleaning up dry material. Since I got it, I’ve sucked up drywall dust, small pieces of concrete, sawdust and tiny wood pieces. I’ve also tackled a small basement flood with it. It’s also replaced Ryboi’s ONE+ 18V EVERCHARGE hand vac as my go-to unit for cleaning the car.
DeWalt’s battery-operated shop vac can go from dry to wet items without having to switch out the filter. DeWalt does recommend you empty the canister (which is a very simple process) before sucking up liquid, but this is just to make cleaning the canister and the filter easier. This is a huge time saver during a job and one of the best features of the unit.
Besides being a great little shop vac, the DeWalt 18V/20V MAX cordless wet/dry vac can also act as a blower, which is a bonus for getting debris out of a tight space in order to suck it up. And while it is loud, it’s not as loud as some bigger shop vacs.
Overall, I highly recommend the DeWalt 18V/20V MAX cordless wet/dry vac. It’s definitely a tool that will make life easier for every DIYer. And if you can find it on sale for under $100, the value is unbelievable.
For more information on the DeWalt 18V/20V MAX cordless wet/dry vac, visit dewalt.ca.
Have you used a battery-operated shop vac? Does one interest you? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.