Vacuums
August 30, 2021

5 Best Ash Vacuums For Fireplaces & Stoves

We reviewed the best ash vacuums on the market, keep reading.

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

roman peysakhovich
About Your Guide

Roman Peysakhovich

CEO and educator at Onedesk. Roman has over 10 years of experience as a cleaning business owner. When not operating his cleaning business, he's researching and reviewing the household products to help consumers make the best purchase.

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The best ash vacuums can clean dirty fireplaces with ease.

The traditional way of cleaning a fireplace involves a simple broom and dustpan.

But instead of sweeping away all of the debris, a lot of the ash could end up being spread around rather than picked up.

Ash vacuums take away all of these troubles by clearing out all lingering ashes.

Your living room will smell and look better from having fewer stains on the wall and no ash particulates in the air.

Below are five of the best ash vacuums found online. Find the one that has the features you're looking for.

Our Top 5 Picks (Comparison)
PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum
  • Best Powersmith Ash Vacuum
  • PowerSmith
Buy Now →
CRAFTSMAN 5 Gallon 3.0 Peak HP Ash Vacuum
  • Best Hot Ash Vacuum
  • CRAFTSMAN
Buy Now →
Vacmaster 6 Gallon 3 Peak HP Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
  • Best Fireplace Ash Vacuum
  • Vacmaster
Buy Now →
Shop-Vac Ash Vacuum Stainless Steel 5 Gallon
  • Best Ash Vacuum For Pellet Stove
  • Shop-Vac
Buy Now →
Sun Joe 5 Amp 4.8 Gallon Ash Vacuum, Black
  • Best Ash Vacuum For Wood Stove
  • Sun Joe
Buy Now →

PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum

Weight: 13 pounds

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Dimensions:‎ 14 x 14 x 15 inches

Pros:

  • Works without causing too much of an audible disturbance
  • Strong enough to remove ash without touching surfaces
  • Filters and separates large and small particles as advertised
  • Easy to tell when debris must be dispensed with the transparent gauge
  • No ash or dust will never seep from the dispenser


Cons:

  • Short hose accessory would work better if it were longer


Ash vacuums have a reputation for being loud. They are usually more powerful than a standard carpet cleaner and built with bigger motors. The PAVC101 10 is robust but will stay quiet in any setting you run it on.

At the center of its operation is the motor engine. It's powered by electricity and has a decent cord length. Once you turn it on, you'll quickly realize just how strong the suction can get.

Put it close to the ash debris of your fireplace but not the point where it's touching. Three inches away is enough to get it all into the vacuum's container.

After the suction process at the head of the vacuum, next comes the separation of washed from larger pieces of debris. It's simple but ingenious, lowering or preventing clogging from occurring as you work. As you can imagine, this also makes it easier to dispense, clean, and wash from the inside when vacuuming is done.

There's no need for concern over when to empty the container, either. A transparent gauge is located on the vacuum's body, a good visual alarm when knowing when a quick dispense is needed. You shouldn't find yourself doing this in the middle of your cleaning, however. The hopper has a three-gallon holding capacity.

But that's not all. Everything on the inside is sealed airtight. That means no unwanted dust will come out of the exhaust or along the edges of the dispenser, even when the machine is full.

The Powersmith brand has put a lot into the making of the PAVC101 10, and its ability to swiftly remove the carbonized matter in your fireplace is rivaled by only a select few.

What Reviewers Say

  1. "Cleans out all the fine dust in my pellet stove."
  2. "Assembly was easier than I thought it would be."
  3. "Fit underneath my supply cabinet without a hassle."
Shop Now

CRAFTSMAN 5 Gallon 3.0 Peak HP Ash Vacuum

Weight: 12.06 pounds

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Dimensions: 12.7 x 11.8 x 15.5 inches

Pros:

  • Picks up a significant about of debris, even when the sediment isn't agitated prior
  • No risk of leaks coming from the hose, thanks to its interior steel frame
  • Quick assembly time should take no longer than ten minutes to put together
  • Great for removing charcoal sediment in fireplaces, stoves, and grills
  • Steel attachments won't pose a fire hazard


Cons:

  • Dry only, not a wet and dry vacuum


As everyone knows about fireplaces, safely using them involves awareness of what risks to look out for. Sparks are one of them. Another is hot ashes making their way to a running vacuum. The Craftsman 5 Vacuum should be considered by anyone that wishes to avoid these risks. But what makes it so safe?

Much of it has to do with the designs of the vacuum. It harbors a steel lining on the inside, which can quickly smother and prevent hot ashes from spreading across the entirety of its interior.

If you were to look over a hot ash spot when vacuuming, the sediment would immediately lower in temperature while making its way into the container's center area. This gives the Craftsman 5 a safety advantage over other ash vacuums that don't contain the feature.

Yet aside from safety, the motor is also very strong. If you don't manage to go over the fireplace before vacuuming with the unit, it'll still clean out most of what's left into the ash pile.

You don't have to stop with the fireplace, either. Use it to clean out the broiler area of your oven, stove, and even outdoor grill. Any food preparation area that contains lots of ash and soot will look a lot better after passing this vacuuming over it.

Assembly instructions are provided with the machine, but it should be easy for you to figure out by simply looking at the machine.

Most of it's already put together. There are no wrenches needed to get it up and running. Fundamentally, the Craftsman 5 prioritizes safety and its design proves it.

Here are more reviews about the best Craftsman shop vacuums.

What Reviewers Say

  1. "All parts appear to be built to last for a long time."
  2. "Much easier than a manual sweeping job."
  3. "Never clogged on me once."
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Vacmaster 6 Gallon 3 Peak HP Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

Weight: 15.87 pounds

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Dimensions: ‎14.8 x 13.2 x 20.5 inches

Pros:

  • Removes debris in a way that's much stronger than its horsepower indicates
  • A sleek appearance that's visually appealing
  • The hose attachment is entirely flexible and not prone to warping
  • Although 15 pounds, its sturdy handle makes it possible to pick up with one hand
  • Fully capable of being a shop vacuum replacement


Cons:

  • Aluminum parts along the may rust if exposed to moist conditions


The purpose of getting an ash vacuum is simple, to pick up washed from various home appliances. It might be stating the obvious but can get lost in the sea of other features that many of the brands producing them love to show off to customers.

The Vacmaster Wet and Dry Vacuum brings it back to the basics while offering a few unique perks of its own.

Starting with the visual, it's an impressive-looking vacuum machine. The design is eerily similar to that of R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise. But humor aside, it won't be an eyesore if you were to leave it out in the open after clearing out your fireplace.

In the package comes a hose attachment, which links tightly with the vacuum's body. You don't have to jam it into the vacuum, but the fit is very snug. This is a good thing and prevents ash from smoking outside when the dispenser is nearing its capacity.

A 15-pound weight for an ash vacuum is better than decent. Some machines can weigh more than 30 pounds or more. But even if the weight is ideal for you, a carrying handle will keep your arms from aching, at least when moving it over short distances.

Want something that you can use as a shop vac? Doing this with the Vacmaster is easy. It's also compatible with Vacmaster and VCFH HEPA filters. Remember to change out the filters according to the duties you plan on using the vacuum for and this machine will last a lifetime.

What Reviewers Say

  1. "Its wheels make it a great buy for the disabled."
  2. "No leaks from the drain port."
  3. "Feels lighter than it looks."
Shop Now

Shop-Vac Ash Vacuum Stainless Steel 5 Gallon

Weight: 13 pounds

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Dimensions: ‎12.5 x 12.5 x 17.5 inches

Pros:

  • Moves around easily, even when weighed down by a full hopper
  • Suction power is persistent regardless of the vacuum not being cleaned after every use
  • Picks up small objects such as nails and staples but safely prevents them from going into the filter
  • Basic design that's easy to wipe clean when the outer portion of the vacuum gets dirty
  • Comes with the necessary cleaning parts for cleaning a pellet stove


Cons:

  • The hose doesn't connect tight enough, may loosen when cleaning with it
  • Short hose length


What the Shop-Vac 4041300 lacks in looks, it makes up for in raw power. And if power isn't a selling point for you, take a look at all of the accessories that you'll get with the vacuum. There's a lot of items that will help keep your home clean, whether you're using this to straighten out your fireplace or not.

But apart from fireplaces, this vac does an outstanding job of cleaning pellet stoves. The extendable hose can pick up all of the ash chips and pellets left behind after a burn, and won't cause a spark inside if they're warm.

Things should stay working no matter if you clean it out on every session or not. You don't have to do it if the dispenser isn't full. It holds five gallons, a lot for even a vacuum of this type.

Got any staples, nails, or other metal pieces that you're concerned about? The 4041300 will easily pick them up in small amounts. Try not to overdo it with a huge pile of nails, but a few in the container won't damage anything.

Going back to pellet stoves, accessories are features specifically for these burners. The pellet cleaning kit is small, capable of getting its head and tubing into the tight parts of a stove's inside. You could use it as a dry vacuum for anything else but avoid wet surfaces. HEPA filter included.

What Reviewers Say

  1. "The 6-foot hose length gave me enough reach to clean out every nook and cranny."
  2. "Needed a vacuum with a good HEPA filter and I'm not disappointed."
  3. "Keep it clean and its function will stay the same."
Shop Now

Sun Joe 5 Amp 4.8 Gallon Ash Vacuum, Black

Weight: 11 pounds

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Dimensions: 13 x 12.5 x 14.5 inches

Pros:

  • Ash doesn't spread throughout the hopper when opened, stays away from the filter
  • No dust particulates or seepage from the vacuum
  • Maintains its suction power without requiring frequent changes for its power to stay strong
  • Connects with many non-proprietary vacuum attachments
  • The filter is clog-resistant and cleans out with only a good rinse


Cons:

  • No accessories are featured with the vacuum


As you've probably noticed by now, ash vacuums aren't only for fireplaces. Some are ideal for vacuuming pellet stoves, charcoal grills, and general-purpose cleaning. But what about wood stoves?

Wood stoves have functioned as a source of heat for warmth and preparing food. Cleaning them out with a sweeper and pan takes time. But with the right vacuum, such as the Sun Joe ASHJ202E, scraping up caked-on soot will become a thing of the past.

Wood ash tends to kick up lots of dust, even when slightly brushed against. But nothing will move around when it enters past this vacuum's head. It's an important thing since too much movement could jeopardize the functionality of the vacuum's filter.

The motor's horsepower won't decrease when the container gets filled. It's powered by electricity, having a long cord that should reach the areas you want to clean with it.

If you ever lose or damage the included accessories for the Sun Joe, see if you have any existing tube extensions and heads to replace them with. The side of its housing isn't proprietary and the unit is built to work with "aftermarket" vacuum extensions.

Try to find more accessories if you're going to clean a wood stove with the product. Its pleated filter is made to trap ashes and hold them separately from the rest of what makes it in the container. Your stove will return to a like-new state after the first clean-up job with the Sun Joe.

What Reviewers Say

  1. "Never going back to my old shop vac again!"
  2. "My fireplace never looked so tidy before."
  3. "Use it on your grill after you've cleaned the stove."
Shop Now
Our Top 5 Picks (Comparison)
PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum
  • Best Powersmith Ash Vacuum
  • PowerSmith
Buy Now →
CRAFTSMAN 5 Gallon 3.0 Peak HP Ash Vacuum
  • Best Hot Ash Vacuum
  • CRAFTSMAN
Buy Now →
Vacmaster 6 Gallon 3 Peak HP Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum
  • Best Fireplace Ash Vacuum
  • Vacmaster
Buy Now →
Shop-Vac Ash Vacuum Stainless Steel 5 Gallon
  • Best Ash Vacuum For Pellet Stove
  • Shop-Vac
Buy Now →
Sun Joe 5 Amp 4.8 Gallon Ash Vacuum, Black
  • Best Ash Vacuum For Wood Stove
  • Sun Joe
Buy Now →

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ash vacuum?

An ash vacuum is a vacuum that's primarily built for handling ash residue and buildup.

While most ash vacuums will handle a variety of ash-producing ovens and fireplaces, some of them do contain more or less features that increase and lower their usefulness in particular settings. One example of this is a standard fireplace.

You could easily pick up lots of debris and ash with a vacuum built for this purpose, but it might not do as thorough a job as you might expect if the vacuum itself better suits pellet ovens.

Pellet ovens are smaller and have a more compact space than a fireplace, so different accessories are oftentimes provided by vacuums with a primary focus on them.

The average ash vacuum includes a steel interior, usually along the inside of the tubing. Were it not for this, the vacuum would be at increased risk of getting damaged from the hot ashes that it collects in the pleated filter.

Even while many of them can pick up hot ashes, it's still a good idea to wait until the ashes are cool to avoid interior damages to the filters.

Another feature commonly found on ash vacuums is HEPA filters. These are useful for dry vacuuming jobs, which these machines are capable of doing. You might not want it to replace your shop vac but the airtight seal on the inside makes them great for riding surfaces of allergens of all kinds.

Other vacuums could clean either wet or dry surfaces. When this is a feature, it'll usually be shown in the description of the product.

Ash vacuums have very strong motors and are usually corded. Most of the cords are long but not long enough to reach a full-sized house from end to end.

They must be cleaned out at regular intervals that are identical to the dispensing rate of shop vacs. However, if your ash vacuum has a HEPA filter, always remove it before cleaning inside the hopper and never rinse it out with water, unless otherwise instructed.

Why should you buy an ash vacuum?

If you've ever attempted to clean out a dirty fireplace with just a broom and a dustpan, you probably ended the job in a tired and messy state. Fireplaces and burning ovens can get very dirty.

In the process, you could end up inhaling some of the ash that you're trying to get rid of. But with an ash vacuum, the particles will stay out of your lungs and stay put in the vacuum's container.

As a result, the air quality in the room that houses the fireplace will become noticeably cleaner, with less ash for you to wipe away from the walls.

Another reason to consider an ash vacuum is safety. You should never attempt to use a regular vacuum to clean out a fireplace.

Doing this is dangerous and could result in the vacuum being destroyed, seeping large amounts of ash, or even posing a fire hazard.

Hot ashes must be handled with care using tools that are made to carry them. And ash vacuums can make fireplace and oven maintenance a lot smoother to carry out.

How do I choose the best ash vacuum?

Take a look at most ash vacuums and you'll probably notice that many of them similarly market themselves. T

hey'll usually go on about the gallon size, what kind of stove the machine is best for, and the accessories that come with the product.

These are all important attributes to consider before buying. Another is the secondary purpose of the machine, or what it'll be used for when not vacuuming up your fireplace.

As stated earlier, some ash vacuums are better for one job than others. But some also favor better as an alternative duty than their competitors.

For instance, if you have a wet and dry ash vacuum, you should use it to clean up surfaces that are moist or entirely wet by removing the HEPA filter. But with a dry vacuum, it'll serve as a replacement to your standard vacuum without having to remove anything from the inside.

Are ash vacuum cleaners any good?

Yes, they can get rid of troublesome ashes around the fireplace and keep your grilling utensil nice and tidy.

But don't try to overdo it with jobs that the vacuums aren't meant for. Some of them might not even contain wheels for you to move it around with. But as a whole, they're proven to work better than cleaning a fireplace the old-fashioned way.

Can ash be vacuumed?

Ash is a flakey, lightweight substance that's mostly made up of carbonized material left over from the charred remains of what was being burnt. With the right products, vacuuming them is safe and won't damage the machine being used to pick them up.

Summary

Before choosing one of the ash vacuums shown in the reviews, but sure that it aligns with all of your expectations.

They might look alike but these vacuums can have some major differences that put them at an advantage in one setting over another.

But what all of them are guaranteed to do is get your fire heating appliances in better shape and appearance.

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