When you encounter a mess that requires the power of a shop vac but isn’t big enough to justify using a bulky cleaning solution, the Shop-Vac Hawkeye 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum is the perfect tool. In our recent best wet and dry vacuums buying guide, we extensively researched this compact shop vacuum and found that it excels at smaller clean-up projects.
Notable Features that Make a Difference
Versatile Blowing Functionality
Similar to most wet and dry vacuums, this model includes a blower function. By detaching the hose from the intake and reconnecting it to the exhaust, you can transform the Shop-Vac Hawkeye into a low-powered blower. It’s particularly useful for getting rid of light debris. However, when it comes to cleaning the house, garage, or shop, I prefer vacuuming instead of blowing wood chips into corners.
Reliable Air Filtration System
The Shop-Vac Hawkeye utilizes standard paper filters, offering a tried and true system that strikes a great balance between filtration and airflow. Unless you specifically require a HEPA filter, there’s no need to opt for a different style.
Designed for treating small areas one at a time, this model does not include wheels. Its lightweight and compact size make it easy to move around to a bench or your car. However, keep in mind that it may not be suitable for cleaning an entire shop. Additionally, it can serve as a tool-specific dust collector for miter or table saws, but you might need a hose adapter for installation.
Thoughtful Attachments and Storage
The Shop-Vac Hawkeye comes with all the necessary attachments to get the job done efficiently, without going overboard. You can conveniently store all the accessories on the back of the device. However, one downside is that the accessory mount may feel a bit flimsy.
The kit includes:
- Claw utility nozzle
- Crevice tool
- Tool holder
Hose and Cord Management
When it comes to hose management, the Shop-Vac Hawkeye can be a little clumsy. Although it features tabs on the front and back of the handle to control the hose, its small size can make it unwieldy. Storing the hose in the canister when not in use is the best solution.
The 6 hp Shop-Vac motor included with this model is surprisingly powerful. Usually, a motor with 5 hp or less is sufficient, but having that extra power is a pleasant surprise. With 90 CFM (cubic feet per minute) and 50 inches of hydraulic lift, this vacuum performs exceptionally well compared to others in its size class.
It can effectively collect airborne light dust with its 90 CFM capacity, while the 50″ hydraulic lift ensures it can handle most wood chips and dust. However, it may leave larger chunks and other debris behind.
Additionally, the compact Shop-Vac Hawkeye only weighed 2.5 pounds during our pull test, making it one of the lighter models we’ve tested.
The Bottom Line: A Compact and Powerful Cleaning Solution
For just $89, the Shop-Vac Hawkeye offers surprising portability and more power than expected from a wet and dry vacuum cleaner of its size. If you require something larger or prefer a vacuum with wheels, there are options available in a similar price range. What I particularly appreciate about this model is its versatility as a quick cleanup tool for vehicles, isolated areas of the shop, and your house. It also has the potential to function as a dust collector for any tools equipped with a dust port, provided you have the right size adapter and a 7-foot hose is sufficient for your needs.
This vacuum cleaner includes:
- Big cover lock
- Inlet that accepts 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″, and 2.5″ hose ends
- 20′ power cord
- Rear blower port
- On-board power cord and accessory storage
- Lightweight and portable
Shop-Vac Hawkeye 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner Specifications
- Model: Shop-Vac H87S600Cr
- Motor: 6 hp
- Tank Size: 5 Gallon
- Hose Diameter: 1-1/2″
- Hose Length: 7′
- Cubic Feet: 90
- Water Lifter: 50
- Warranty: 5-year limited
- Price: $89