I have this very bad habit of procrastinating. Why now can I put it off for a few more weeks? It's good to clear things off of a personal agenda, but if it's something that needs real effort, I'll try not to worry about it as quickly as possible until it actually needs to be done. Take cleaning trucks, for example. Weeks of dirt, leaves, old bank statements, empty water bottles and candy wrappers all piled up. I'll consider cleaning it up, but, well, it can wait. Eventually, I'll start to realize that I've effectively turned my truck into a traveling trash can, and I'll be making $1.50 a quarter to spend the next ten minutes on a gas station vacuum. It's not the worst system in the world, but two months out of every three months, I don't rush to drive someone.
what do i mean? I've highlighted this embarrassing half of my psyche because, as I've discovered, there may be better ways to change my habits. Or, at least the ones working around much-needed car detailing. Of course, that's where the Vacmaster Beast 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum comes into play. It's small and portable, and when I need to lug it to the car for the dreaded cleaning task, it's less of a hassle. It does this particularly admirably, though it does have the ability to work outside of that app. In fact, we awarded it the title of "Best for Vehicle Cleaning" in our recent Best Shop Vac review article.
5.5 HP Motor: The Vacmaster Beast 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac has a powerful little 5.5 HP motor. It sits right between the 5 and 6 HP motors we've seen in other models. Of course, it's how the Vacmaster applies its power to CFM and water lift that tells the whole story.
5 Gallon Capacity : Obviously, this model of canister isn't the largest canister on the market, but that wasn't our intent. Part of the beauty of this model is its small size; Vacmaster explicitly designed this model so that you can pick it up and take it with you. For that, the 5 gallon jug feels just right.
Blower function: We haven't seen a shop vac that doesn't include this feature, but its inclusion is certainly worth mentioning. Honestly, we'd probably be even more surprised if it didn't pack an astounding set of features.
Integrated Hose, Cord and Accessory Storage: This category offers a 'mixed package' for the Vacmaster. On the one hand, this model has a solid winding system. It uses a swivel cord wrap that stays out of the way of the vacuum when you're using it, and twists out to accommodate 18 feet of cord when you're not using it.
On the other hand, the design of the hose bracket may need some work. It feels like rungs are not necessarily permanently connected. Likewise, accessory storage needs some fine-tuning. While the Vacmaster Beast 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum comes with a plethora of accessories, there really isn't a single practical place on board to store them all safely.
Filters: Vacmaster provides two different types of filters for this model. One is a fine dust cartridge filter, suitable for dry vacuuming applications. The Vacmaster Beast 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum is on the wet side and includes a foam filter.
- 1 extension rod
- Fine Dust Cartridge Filter
- foam wet filter
- crevice tool
- Automotive, utility nozzles
- Air/Noise Diffusers
The Vacmaster Beast 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum has 102 CFM and 82.6 inches of water in liters, impressive numbers for this low-capacity class. Obviously, when you get bigger, you get more. But when the goal is to stick with a highly portable device, the trade-off is power.
In our tests, this model (can I call it a Mini Beast? Probably not.) gave us 4.9 pounds of pull, better than several mid-capacity models we tested. When making part of the Beast series, Vacmaster set expectations pretty high. Given what we've seen in terms of performance, it delivers.
Pricing and Value
The Vacmaster Beast 5 gallon wet/dry vacuum retails for about $88. While it's definitely not the cheapest store vacuum we've looked at, you can still pick it up for under a hundred bucks. For its class, it has some of the best performance available, and comes in a fairly compact and portable package.
If you're looking for something on the small capacity side, the Vacmaster Beast 5 gallon model is a huge win in terms of performance. It is especially useful as a shop vac to store in the garage for vehicle cleanup. Its downside is that it is difficult to store all the accessories and have full control over the hose. This is one thing you might want to keep in a box so everything stays together.
- Best-in-class suction and airflow handles tough jobs on the jobsite, shop or garage with ease (320 watts, 102 CFM, and 82.6" lifter)
- Integrated hose, accessories and cord organization provide space-saving, convenient and hassle-free storage
- Includes 7' x 1-7/8" Kink Resistant Premium Hose, Utility Nozzle, Crevice Tool, Auto Nozzle, (1) Extension, Fine Dust Canister Filter, Foam Wet Filter, and Air and Noise Diffuser
- Integrated hose storage for easy storage when not in use
- Onboard accessory storage – accessories are easily accessible when needed and stored away when not in use
- Integrated cord wrap with quick release for easy access when needed
- Over 25 feet of cleaning distance (7-foot hose and 18-foot power cord) lets you reach further without unplugging your device
- Easily converts to a blower and quickly converts to remove debris
- Large, dust-resistant on/off switch for easy control, and balanced top handle design for added comfort
Vacmaster Beast 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner Specifications
- Model: Vacmaster VFB511B 0201
- Motor: 5.5 HP
- Tank Size: 5 Gallon
- Hose Diameter: 1-7/8 inches
- Hose Length: 7 feet
- Cubic feet: 102
- Lifter: 82.6 inches
- Warranty: 5-year limited
- Price: $88