Vacuums
March 11, 2021

5 Best 16-Gallon Shop Vacs, Reviewed By Cleaning Experts

These 16 gallon shop vacs are used by thousands of people to clean dirty shops.

NOTE: We may earn money from links on this page, but we only recommend products we know will make your life easier.

Our Top 5 Picks

These 16 gallon shop vacs are used by thousands of people to clean their shops.

When you have a large workshop or home that needs a thorough cleaning, a vacuum with a small tank won't cut it. Larger drums allow you to clean more without having to stop and empty the dust bin.

These 16 gallon shop vacs are used by thousands of people to clean dirty shops.

Our Top 5 Picks (Comparison)
WORKSHOP Wet/Dry Stainless Steel Shop Vac, 16 Gallon
  • Best 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
  • WORKSHOP
Buy Now →
CRAFTSMAN 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac
  • Best Craftsman 16-Gallon Shop Vac
  • CRAFTSMAN
Buy Now →
Ridgid 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum With Detachable Blower
  • Best Ridgid 16 Gallon Shop Vac
  • Ridgid
Buy Now →
Masterforce 16 Gallon Peak HP Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
  • Best Masterforce 16 Gallon Shop Vac
  • Masterforce
Buy Now →
Ridgid 16 Gallon 6.5 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum With Cart
  • Best 16 Gallon Shop Vac With Cart
  • Ridgid
Buy Now →

WORKSHOP Wet/Dry Stainless Steel Shop Vac, 16 Gallon

The WORKSHOP Wet/Dry Stainless Steel Shop Vac, 16 Gallon comes with a large tank, powerful suction, and plenty of cleaning tools.

Weight: 37.7 pounds
Rating: 4.5/5
Dimensions: 23 x 21.5 x 36.38 inches
Pros:

  • 6.5-Peak horsepower
  • Locking tab for secure attachments
  • Tons of cleaning tools


Cons:

  • Installation can be difficult


If you want a powerful shop vac that also has large storage, then this WORKSHOP model is ideal for you. Its 6.5-Peak horsepower enables it to have a CFM rating of 167. That enables it to suck anything from small particles of dust to larger jobs like sawdust. Thanks to its 16-gallon tank, you're also able to clean a lot more without having to stop.

One of the best features of this vacuum is its locking technology. It uses tabs that are clicked into place. It creates a strong locking system that avoids problems with the attachments falling off. That can remove a lot of frustration for homeowners and workshops.

Although this shop vac is powerful, it isn't recommended for use in the house. It may scratch your wooden floors. However, it may be effective for cleaning carpets.

It does take some time to install and assemble the vacuum. A few of the pieces can be difficult to reach.

This vacuum also has a storage bag where all of its numerous cleaning attachments can be stored. You don't have to worry about losing anything again.

What Reviewers Say

Most reviewers are astounded by the sheer power that this vacuum can provide. Workshops love how easy it is to suck up sawdust and other messes. Others enjoyed its large drain port which made cleaning up wet messes easier.

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CRAFTSMAN 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac

The CRAFTSMAN 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac has a compact design that makes it easy to store.

Weight: 26 pounds
Rating: 5/5
Dimensions: 21.03 x 23.8 x 26.7 inches
Pros:

  • 6.5-Peak horsepower
  • Large carry handle for easier portability
  • 20' power cord


Cons:

  • Can give off an unpleasant smell


If you need a powerful shop vac that is built to last, then you need to consider this 16-gallon CRAFTSMAN vacuum cleaner. Although it has a powerful 6.5-Peak horsepower that gives it a CFM rating of 177, it's still compact. The compact design makes it easy to store away when you're not using it. The 16-gallon tank also makes it ideal for large messes.

Another ideal feature of this vacuum is its large handle. It's built with an ergonomic design and is reinforced to ensure you can lift it without it breaking. This enables you to easily carry the vacuum across your shop with ease.

Portability was clearly something important for this design. It has a long 20' power cord that allows you to reach practically everywhere in your shop. This is reinforced by its 360-degree hose. It can easily move with you to ensure you're not fighting with the hose.

What Reviewers Say

Practically every review for this vacuum sings its praises. They love its suction power and cleaning capabilities. They also find that it works well as a blower. Whether they were using it for dry or wet messes, the suction power remained strong. A few noted an unpleasant smell when using the vacuum.

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Ridgid 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum With Detachable Blower

You can store even more dirt and dust in the Ridgid 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum With Detachable Blower.

Weight: 29 pounds
Rating: 4/5
Dimensions: 25.7 x 20.3 x 20.1 inches
Pros:

  • Powerful blower capabilities of 265 mph
  • 6.5-Peak horsepower
  • Emphasis on noise reduction


Cons:

  • Vacuum exhaust may be too strong


If you want a powerhouse for your vacuum, then this model from RIDGID can provide it.

Thanks to its 6.5-Peak horsepower, it's capable of providing strong suction and blower capabilities. It can easily blow dust, leaves, and other larger objects out of your shop or garage.

Because of its pure power, you may also worry about the noise level that it creates.

Thanks to its Scroll Noise Reduction technology, this vacuum is kept as quiet as it can be. When compared to other vacuums, you may notice that it generates less volume than the others.

It also has a decently lengthed hose and power cord. This enables you to bring the vacuum with you almost anywhere before needing to switch between plugs.

The drum capacity on this vacuum is also intense. It can easily carry sixteen gallons before it needs to be emptied.

Its filter can also be removed and cleaned. This extends its life and saves you money from needing to buy a new filter after each cleaning session.

What Reviewers Say

Many homeowners and workshop users were amazed by the sheer power behind this vacuum. They used it to easily and quickly clear out sawdust and leaves from their garages and workshops.

They also enjoy the longevity of the filter and that it can be reused. Some found that the exhaust on the vacuum was too strong, too, and it could push some stuff around instead of cleaning it away.

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Masterforce 16 Gallon Peak HP Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

The handles and wheels on the Masterforce 16 Gallon Peak HP Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum makes it a great choice for cleaning up big messes.

Weight: 37 pounds
Rating: 4/5
Dimensions: 36.80 H x 18.70 W x 18.40 D
Pros:

  • Heavy-duty
  • 6-Peak horsepower
  • Over 31' of cleaning reach


Cons:

  • May not provide as strong a suction as others


This Masterforce vacuum can offer a lot of cleaning power in the right hands. It has a 6-Peak horsepower motor that enables it to tackle most messes.

One of the most beneficial aspects of this vacuum is its large wheels and handle. It's designed to be like a cart. You can easily push the vacuum into the area that needs to be cleaned. Considering that it's on the heavy side, the larger wheels make all the difference.

Despite its heavier weight, you won't have to move the vacuum that much. With its hose and extension wands, you can have up to 31' of cleaning reach. This enables you to clean a lot more without having to stop and re-plug the vacuum elsewhere. Add to this its large dust bin, and you're able to get a lot of cleaning done without having to stop.

It's also able to be used to lift water from an area. The Masterforce vacuum can lift 10 gallons per minute. It has a strainer built into it to keep the motor protected from large debris when sucking in the water. This vacuum is built for heavy-duty use.

What Reviewers Say

Those that have used this vacuum find that it suits their needs well. Many used it to lift water and were pleased by how quickly it was able to clear an area. Others found that the suction was suitable for their needs and appreciated being able to easily push it around the area. A few wished that the suction was a bit stronger.

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Ridgid 16 Gallon 6.5 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum With Cart

If you need a vacuum that's designed for tough job sites, then you may enjoy using the Ridgid 16 Gallon 6.5 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum With Cart.

Weight: 32.9 pounds
Rating: 4/5
Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 28 inches
Pros:

  • 6.5-Peak horsepower
  • Scroll noise reduction for quieter operation
  • 2-piece drum for easier operation on job sites


Cons:

  • Some may find the placement of the accessory bag annoying


This Ridgid vacuum cleaner was built for the job site. Its large wheels make it easy to push over uneven terrain or over objects. The large and wide handle also makes pushing and steering the vacuum cleaner easy.

The 6.5-Peak horsepower motor ensures that the vacuum is able to provide strong suction and high-quality performance. It's designed to be used on job sites. You can expect thorough and deep cleaning from this unit.

It also uses scroll noise reduction to help decrease the amount of noise that the vacuum generates. This makes it ideal for job sites that are close to public housing or businesses.

What Reviewers Say

Several reviewers found that this vacuum perfectly suited their needs. It was able to clean deep and remove sawdust and other dirt from the area without a problem. A few found that the placement of the accessory bag was a bit annoying in that it made it more difficult to steer the vacuum.

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Our Top 5 Picks (Comparison)
WORKSHOP Wet/Dry Stainless Steel Shop Vac, 16 Gallon
  • Best 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
  • WORKSHOP
Buy Now →
CRAFTSMAN 16 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vac
  • Best Craftsman 16-Gallon Shop Vac
  • CRAFTSMAN
Buy Now →
Ridgid 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum With Detachable Blower
  • Best Ridgid 16 Gallon Shop Vac
  • Ridgid
Buy Now →
Masterforce 16 Gallon Peak HP Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
  • Best Masterforce 16 Gallon Shop Vac
  • Masterforce
Buy Now →
Ridgid 16 Gallon 6.5 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum With Cart
  • Best 16 Gallon Shop Vac With Cart
  • Ridgid
Buy Now →

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a 16 gallon shop vac?

Because they're larger and more powerful, 16-gallon shop vacs can be on the more expensive side. They typically range anywhere from $150 to $400.

Which 16 gallon shop vac is worth buying?

If you want a vacuum cleaner that can deliver strong cleaning power and is built to last, then you want to purchase the CRAFTSMAN vacuum cleaner. It has incredible suction power, several cleaning tools, and high-quality parts that make it durable and long-lasting.

What is the largest shop vac?

The largest shop vac on this list is the Masterforce shop vac. It has a large body, large wheels, and a long handle.

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