Top 6 Smallest Wet Dry Vacs For Home, Garage & Jobsite – 2020 Update

For small clean-ups, it’s not necessary to pick a powerful, commercial-use vacuum. A small one is adequate to have all that jobs done quickly with no needs to cost a fortune.

If that’s also what you are finding, here are the 6 smallest wet dry vacs that I’ve searched, analyzed and rounded up from countless options on the market. Read on!

Top smallest corded wet dry vac

Armor All AA255 – Most lightweight

Armor All AA255
Armor All, AA255 , 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum

  • Multi-functional – work efficiently as both a blower and a vacuum cleaner
  • User-friendly design, lightweight, compact, and multiple accessories
  • Operate quietly at 81 decibels
  • Able to clean up wet and dry messes


  • Easy to tip over

Product Specifications

Tank2.5 gallons
Peak Horsepower2
Hose Length6 feet
Power Cord Length10 feet
Accessory Diameter1.25-inch
Included FiltrationReusable cloth filter
Accessories Included10-foot cord with wrap

6-foot, 1.25-inch hose

Reusable cloth filter

Reusable foam sleeve

2-in-1 utility nozzle

Crevice tool

Deluxe car nozzle

Blower nozzle

Detail brush

Highlight FeaturesEasy conversion to blower function, Auto shut-off,  Built-in air, and noise diffuser

Weighing only 7 pounds, this lightweight cleaner is very portable and comes with a handle which makes it easy to carry around while vacuuming.

Within the smallest corded wet/dry models, Armor All AA255 is the most favorite for detailing cars. A deluxe car nozzle and crevice tools are available which gives it advantages when cleaning the interior of your vehicle.

On the machine, there’s delicate accessory storage, making it easier to store hose, attachments, and accessories after each use.

It has a 2.5-gallon tank with an auto shutoff feature. The power cord of this vacuum is 10 feet long, which is essential since you can’t plug it into the car.

If you want to blow off leaves or other light debris, just convert it into the blowing function in a second. Whichever mode you use, the machine runs quietly thanks to the built-in air and noise diffuser.

For those who are looking for a lightweight wet/dry vac for detailing your car with less effort and time, the Armor AA255 is worth a try.

Shop-Vac 1.5 Gallon All-In-One – Best overall

Shop-Vac 1.5 Gallon All-In-One
Shop-Vac 1.5 Gallon All-In-One Wet And Dry Vac ea

  • Can be used as a wall-mounted cleaner or a handheld model
  • Lightweight, compact, and portable
  • Work on different surfaces
  • Multi-function: Work best as both a blower and a vacuum


  • Small liquid tank capacity so you have to empty it frequently during a wet cleanup

Product Specifications

Tank1.5 gallons
Peak Horsepower2
Hose Length7 feet
Power Cord Length18 feet
Accessory Diameter1-1/4″
Included FiltrationFoam sleeve and collection filter bag
Accessories Included– 7′ x 1-1/4″ hose.

– (2) Extension Wands.

– Bare and carpeted floor nozzle.

– Gulper nozzle.

– Crevice tool.

– Round brush.

– Wall mount bracket.

– Foam sleeve.

– Filter bag.

Highlight FeaturesWall mountable, lightweight and portable, dual floor nozzle, a rear blower port

While dragging around a cleaner really takes effort, a wall-mount model with a 7-foot hose and 2 extension wands seems to be a great replacement, huh?

That’s the Shop-Vac 1.5-gallon all-in-one vacuum.

Aside from wall mounted, this compact, lightweight model is also attached with a sturdy top and side handles that you can easily lift up and take to where the mess is.

What I appreciate the most is the various accessories included in this model. There is one crevice tool, one dual floor nozzle for a bare and carpeted floor, one round brush, and one gulper nozzle.

If your cleanup tasks are varied on different surfaces, this set really comes in handy. Don’t worry about storage since it’s constructed with onboard tool storage where everything is well-organized and in your reach.

Overall, the Shop-Vac 1.5-gallon all-in-one is my top-rated vacuum cleaner for multiple use on multi-surfaces.

Vacmaster VP205 – Best bang for the buck

Vacmaster VP205
Vacmaster, VP205, 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Portable Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum, Blue

  • Auto Shut Off function to avoid overflow
  • Include blower noise diffuser
  • Have super large, high-quality filters
  • Wall-mounted design for multiple ways of use


  • Flex hose shrinks a lot
  • Vacuum is easy to tip over

Product Specifications

Tank2.5 gallons
Peak Horsepower2
Hose Length4 feet
Power Cord Length8 feet
Accessory Diameter1-1/4″
Included FiltrationReusable Cloth Filter & Foam Wet Filter
Accessories Included4 ft. Hose, 8ft. Cord with Cord Wrap

2-in1 Utility Nozzle

a crevice tool

Reusable cloth filter

Reusable foam sleeve

Highlight Featureseasy conversion to a blower, Auto Shut Off prevents overflow

Innovation…that’s what makes Vacmaster VP205 different from others. Four highlights about this vacuum cleaner are speed, suction ability, silence, and ease of use.

Thanks to a 2.5-gallon polypropylene tank and a 2 peak HP single-speed motor, it simply puts mastery over any mess, big or small.

The 8.4-pound vacuum also features a foldable top handle with easy switch access to quickly power it on/off. Same with the blower function! It just takes you seconds to convert to/from blowing mode when in need.

Put everything in harmony, Vacmaster is superb from unrivaled airflow technology, re-engineered construction for suction, and redesigned details for convenient uses. To prevent overflow, it’s also built with an Auto Shut Off function.

My guess is, that’s the reason their worldwide fans go crazy for this reinvented unit.

Priced under $40, compared to such wonderful benefits, Vacmaster VP205 truly bangs for your bucks.

Top smallest cordless wet dry vac

DEWALT DCV581H – Most versatile

DEWALT 18/20V Max Vacuum, Wet/Dry (DCV581H)

  • Three ways of powered operation to flexibly run on the vacuum
  • Reusable filters to save more replacement cost
  • Well-organized storage to stay neat and compact


  • Bad battery connector

Product Specifications

Tank2 gallons
Peak Horsepower1.85
Hose Length5 feet
Power Cord Length6 feet
Accessory Diameter1-1/4″
Included FiltrationHEPA filter
Running Time (cordless)12-35 minutes
Battery Used18v or 20v MAX battery
Accessories Included1 crevice tool

1 wide nozzle tool

1 hose

1 accessible, washable/reusable filter

1 extension wand

Highlight Featuresoperate corded with an AC outlet, or cordless by an 18v or 20v MAX battery, washable/reusable filter, onboard hose, and accessory storage

DEWALT DCV581H is a potential cordless vacuum cleaner in this list.

And what it means by “cordless” is that the machine is operated off of not only 20-volt max batteries but also an AC outlet.

Whichever kind of operation you choose, performance is also top-notch. The motor runs powerfully while the batteries last an extended amount of time to be adequate for quick pick-up jobs in vehicles or house.

As other good wet/dry models are some additional accessories to work better on a specific situation. Detailly, there is an extension wand, a carpet attachment, a crevice tool, and a wide nozzle tool.

It’s also compact in size with 17.2” x 12.3” x 13.1” of dimensions so lifting it up and carrying around is now as easy as a breeze.

The only thing you should take note is DEWALT DCV581H doesn’t come with a charger or battery. It means you should buy them separately.

Not only run on a standard Dewalt 20-volt max battery or a Dewalt 18-volt, but the DCV581H is also operated on AC power, making it the most versatile model in this list.

PORTER-CABLE PCC795B – Budget-friendly

PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Shop Vacuum, Wet/Dry, 2-Gallon, Tool Only (PCC795B)

  • Lightweight and compact for superb portability
  • Sturdy top handle for easy transport
  • Keep accessories and hose neatly for storage without missing anything
  • Can suck up different kinds of debris


  • Not user-friendly power switch cover

Product Specifications

Tank2 gallons
Peak Horsepower
Hose Length7 feet
Power Cord Length
Accessory Diameter1-1/4in
Included FiltrationReplaceable, washable cartridge filter.
Running Time (cordless)24-28 minutes
Battery Used20-volt max batteries
Accessories Included1) Wide Nozzle Tool

1) Crevice Tool

1) 7ft-8in hose

1) Replaceable, washable cartridge filter.

Highlight FeaturesLightweight, onboard accessory storage, powerful suction, hose with a wraparound storage solution

The Porter Cable PCC7958 has an approximate runtime of 24-28 minutes with a 4APM hour battery.

It also has a very nice soft 7-foot hose and multiple accessories included, such as crevice tool and wide nozzle tool to work perfectly on tight spaces or huge areas.

Everything is packed neatly and compactly inside onboard storage for easy transport and quick access.

Compared to other brands, I found that Porter Cable had put some thoughts in their vacuum quality. The most realizable thing is a soft, flexible rubber hose so not only it can reach different places but also avoid kinking nicely.

This hose can be put on the back to be used as a blower – pushing 34 CFM of airflow – or on the front like a normal wet/dry vacuum.

Very simple to use and budget-friendly, I think any beginners who can’t spend much on an expensive vac can take the Porter Cable PCC7958 into account.

Makita XCV11Z – Best 2-in-1

Makita XCV11Z
Makita XCV11Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 2 Gallon HEPA Filter Portable Wet/Dry Dust Extractor/Vacuum, Tool Only

  • Multifunctional
  • A HEPA filter helps to improve your living area’s air quality
  • Give various power selections for better control
  • Lightweight, compact, and portable
  • Well-organized


  • Additional accessories aren’t diverse, can’t work on carpets

Product Specifications

Tank2 gallons
Airflow57 CFM
Hose Length6.5 feet
Power Cord LengthN/A
Accessory Diameter1 ½”
Included FiltrationRound Wet/Dry HEPA Filter
Running Time (cordless)60 minutes
Battery Used18V LXT Lithium-Ion 5. 0Ah battery
Accessories IncludedRound Wet/Dry HEPA Filter (162518-0)

Pre-Filter Set

XCV11Z (199827-4)

Flexible Hose

Wide Nozzle

Crevice Nozzle

Highlight FeaturesConverts from vacuum to blower, two-speed push button power selection, carrying top handle, HEPA filter

Last up, is the Makita XCV11Z that impresses with a super-long runtime of 60 minutes if continuously run on an 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 5. 0Ah battery.

I love the built-in battery indicator that allows me to track better the battery status to know when it needs a recharge.

No emphasis on the peak horsepower, it’s same-same powerful as other counterparts in this list. But what makes it more convenient is the multiple running modes. You’ve got one high and one low to provide just enough suction power to each cleanup task.

There is one additional novice tool and one wide to clean up different surfaces better.

HEPA filtration is another of its outstanding features. Accordingly, the machine can capture 99,97% of tiny particles to improve air quality in your living space. It’s good if your house has pets and baby.

All-in-all, this beast is a perfect 2-in-1 wet/dry vacuum cleaner to work its best on multiple clean-ups and meet your satisfaction.

How to choose the best smallest wet dry vac (buying guide)

small wet dry vac


Because of diminished stature, small wet/dry vacuums won’t be as powerful as the standard models, which is the reason you should consider its suction unit and motor.

Two things to keep in mind are:

  • Wattage
  • Horsepower

The higher the amount of wattage/horsepower, the better. But notice that it will lead to a higher price as well. My suggestion is 2 to 3 HP of a motor will be nice.


While looking for a small wet dry vacuum, you will also want it to maneuver efficiently to avoid limited reach when plugging it in, right? So, consider these two features:

Battery operation: Since a small cleaner doesn’t require as much power as a standard model, battery operation turns out to be possible.

With an emphasis on superior portability and compactness, this is an ideal choice for those who don’t like the bulky corded type.

Power Cord: Though there are extension cords to enhance the ability of a vacuum to reach father areas, consider an extra-long stock power cord will be more helpful and convenient.

Hose: Think about its length and flexibility. A short and stiff hose will reduce significantly the suction ability you have. In general, 3 to 4 feet hose is adequate to retain a powerful suction when you want to reach farther areas.

Shape, Weight, & Tank Capacity

These three elements have a super close connection to each other since the smaller the vacuum shape, the lighter of its weight and smaller the tank capacity.

While a cleanup task would annoyingly take much time and effort with a tiny vacuum tank (no matter how powerful its motor is), you should come up with the best compromise of them.

I recommend no more than 4 gallons of tank capacity for easy carrying even when full but not require emptying too many times during a job.

Considering your area of cleanliness, the ideal range should be 2.5 to 3 gallons.

About the overall weight, keep in mind your vacuum tank will be much heavier after full of debris. Some attached wheels or cart design or rear and top handles will come in handy in this case.

Finally, is the vacuum shape. Consider how well it stores when not in use. A lightweight shop vac but constructed with bulky silhouette will be cumbersome to result in many troubles.


That’s all for the most basic must-considering features, now is about the extra-convenient ones. If your tasks require multiple surfaces to be cleaned and you want to save as much time as possible, picking a suitable set of accessories is highly recommended.

So, how to?

A basic set of accessories should at least have an extension wand, a crevice tool, and a detail brush. Think about what cleaning kind you do the most during cleanup tasks to fulfill yours.

Another thing to consider is if you need onboard storage or not. This helps to keep all hoses and accessories to reach for quick access.

Who makes the best smallest wet dry vac?

small wet dry vac


The small wet/dry vacuum lines of Armor are specialized for detailing a vehicle. It’s really preferred by worldwide customers because of the perfect compromise of affordability and powerful motor.


Shop-vac is an original brand of wet/dry vacuums. What makes their products recognizable are the bucket-shaped silhouette and high-powered motor. Differ from Armor’s, Shop-vac vacuums can work in different situations, which is more versatile.


Compared to other brand, Vacmaster models work more silently while still providing powerful suction ability. They are also well-loved for robust construction and a wide range of attachments to meet all kinds of versatilities.


The most outstanding feature in Dewalt wet/dry vacuums is a rechargeable battery for superb silence when working and portability without needs of an extension power cord. That’s why they are the top picks in terms of compactness and easy storage.

Porter Cable

Like Dewalt, Porter Cable produces cordless wet/dry vacs with emphasis on lightness, portability, and ease of use.

Their distinction is the onboard storage design that helps with quick access and neat storage. It’s perfect for people who don’t have much space for stuff.


Makita has been a long-standing Japanese company since 1958 and sooner is loved by worldwide customers for their cordless wet/dry vacuum lines.

The reason lies in their outstandingly powerful suction and motor while keeping a modest design and lightness.

If you want a more advanced product for bigger messes, this brand is highly advised.


small wet dry vac

Can wet/dry vac pick up water?

Yes, a wet/dry vacuum will suck up water and other liquids, which is in the product instruction. You should follow it carefully because different from dry vacuuming, sucking up liquids requires some changes, like filter removal, and hose changing.


One last advice when it comes to choosing the smallest wet dry vac is your budget.

You don’t have to pick the most expensive model for the best performance. It’s not true of all cases. Think about what you really ask for in a vacuum cleaner and make your pick as per your needs.

Hope this article is helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

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Most Powerful Shop Vacs

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