If you have a big mess, a crisply shop vacuum probably won't help. That's where you need a durable, high-capacity vacuum. By the way, today's review menu features large, professional-performance-level shop vacuums. The Vacmaster Beast 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner offers excellent value for a large capacity vacuum. This bad boy packs some really good performance and features, and it might surprise you for its price.
16 gallon tank: 16 gallons are at the high end of the portable shop vacuum range. The Vacmaster Beast 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum has enough capacity to handle all but the biggest jobs while still maintaining a level of portability and maneuverability.
Blower: We’ve come to expect this feature from any pro-level shop vac, and the Vacmaster Beast 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum has this feature too. A conversion exhaust won't have the same type of performance as a jobsite blower, but it will help in a pinch.
Four 360° Swivel Casters: The casters are great for moving on flat, uninterrupted terrain, but they can have some trouble rolling over larger debris and power cords. Still, the design allows for tight turns and easy access to small spaces. In the grand scheme of things for casters, these are right in the middle of the pack in terms of how easy it is to roll.
Hose Management: The Vacmaster Beast 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum has a fairly robust hose management system. Metal rungs allow the hose to wrap and hang from the motor housing. The rungs are looser than I'd like, but they haven't been a problem so far.
Cord Management: This model uses hooks to store cords. The design works because it keeps the power cord organized and out of the way. Considering I didn't wrap mine as well as Kenny did for the photo, I would have preferred a rope wrap over a hook. The Vacmaster includes a Velcro strap to help with that department.
Drain: Not every shop vac comes with a drain plug, but most high-capacity models do. Luckily, the Vacmaster Beast 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac has it too, because lifting and dumping that much liquid can take a toll on your back and attitude.
Accessory Storage: The Vacmaster does a great job with accessory storage. All extensions and nozzles have a designated location, either on the wheelbase or on the motor housing.
included in the kit
- 2 extension rods
- Fine Dust Cartridge Filter
- foam wet filter
- Efficient dust bag
- 14″ floor nozzle
- 8″ utility nozzle
- Air/Noise Diffusers
A 6.5-horsepower motor is standard on high-capacity vacuums, but there are significant differences between brands in how they allocate that power. According to their tests, the Vacmaster is rated at 12 amps and can pull 150 CFM and 64 inches of water lift through its 7 foot, 2-1/2 inch hose.
150 CFM is solid. This is where our Pro-grade dusters really start to separate themselves. The 64 inch water lift will cover most of your workshop needs for sawdust, dirt, wood chips, smaller screws/nails, etc., but there is room for improvement.
In our pull test, the Vacmaster Beast pulled 5 lbs 7 oz. That's well below the top-notch DeWalt models, but 4-5 lbs more than most of our vacuums.
Pricing and Value
The Vacmaster Beast 16 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum is an excellent value for money. At around $117, it's the best value you'll get from a larger-capacity shop vacuum given its level of performance.
I love what the Vacmaster Beast 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac brings to the table. This steerable vacuum delivers great performance figures while doing the "little" things well. Considering the entire package, we see this model delivering the best value in the bulk category. If you're the kind of pro who wants your bang for your buck, give Vacmaster a try.
Want more shop vacs? Check out our buying guide!
Best Shop Vac Reviews of 2020
- 15 Gallon Polypropylene Jar
- 6.5 Peak HP Ultimate Performance Motor
- Integrated hose storage
- 20′ power cord with cord winder
- Easily Converts to a Blower
- extra large drain
- Stores on casters and power head
- Large On/Off Dust Sealed Switches
- Balanced top handle design
Vacmaster Beast 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner Specifications
- Model: Vacmaster VJH1612PF 0201
- Motor: 6.5 HP
- Tank Size: 16 Gallon
- Hose Diameter: 2-1/2″
- Hose Length: 7′
- Cubic feet: 150
- Riser: 64″
- Warranty: 5-year limited
- Price: $99.00