Wet/Dry Vacs aren’t necessarily a must-have, but they’re definitely desirable in a pinch. Having one in the home means that unexpected situations – such as burst pipes or flooding – or large projects can be dealt with.
Many homeowners who do a lot of DIY work own wet vacs, and whether you already own a home, are planning on purchasing one, or work in a shop, you should seriously consider these appliances as an addition.
Today we’ll be taking a look at two household names side by side: the Craftsman 12004 and Shop-Vac 5989300. Although Craftsman is well known for an endless array of products, Shop-Vac has kept their line a bit more focused in the areas of cleaning – specifically vacuums, carpet, floor dryers, and sweepers.
Both products have a lot to offer but it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top.
Table of Contents
Motor Strength & Drum Size
The Craftsman Wet/Dry vac comes with a six-gallon drum that should be more than enough to take care of any large mess. The body is made from polypropylene, a synthetic plastic that holds up well against future fatigue of the product. This vacuum runs on a 3 peak HP motor.
The Shop-Vac 5989300 model has a five-gallon drum, but we’ll find out later what the company has decided to do with that extra space forfeited. The motor has more HP than its competitor – 4.5. But does that make it a better choice than the Craftsman?
Conclusion: Ultimately customers seem to be more than satisfied with both products when it comes to these features. There are no complaints about suction and power.
Conversions and Carry-ons
This Craftsman vacuum has set out to be a tool of variety but doesn’t exactly hit its mark. Between the cord, hose, and extension wands, you can get a reach of over seventeen feet – that’s pretty much where it stops. The company has included a top-handle for easy carrying but at six gallons it’ll still be a cumbersome unit to carry around. The vacuum can also be easily converted for use as a blower.
This unit is easy to maneuver with the included top and side carry handles. The body of the vacuum also uses houses a section for tool storage – bring work with you instead of having to go back and get attachments as you make your way through a project.
Small additions, such as the security latch and dolly to keep the vacuum from dumping over, add thoughtful touches to this product. Like the Craftsman 12004, it can also be converted into a blower.
Conclusion: Craftsman has covered all of the basics, but Shop-Vac is definitely winning this round. The company has clearly thought about its customer’s needs when constructing this vacuum. They’ve included not only a maneuverable design and attachments to reach the jobs, but storage and the ability to take everything with you.
Both vacuums are able to convert into blowers. This feature has become almost expected these days and is great for cleaning large shop areas or outdoor areas such as the driveway.
Shop-Vac tends to be a little pricier, but that extra money might be worth the additions if you like your jobs to go more efficiently.
This is another area in which Craftsman seems to have struck out; although the product description notes an 8-piece accessory kit, it fails to detail what exactly is included.
Customers haven’t been satisfied with whatever is offered as they’ve commented that they end up having to buy additional accessories from the company. Nozzles from similar Craftsman products aren’t compatible with this wet/dry vac, so you’ll have to track down the exact kit necessary to get your job done. On the plus side, the cord for this vacuum reaches ten feet, which is definitely on the longer side for a product like this.
Shop-Vac’s product descriptions include a list of additional accessories to go with this vacuum: the 7 ft hose, three different extension wands, a crevice tool, a gulper nozzle, floor nozzle, filter, foam sleeve, and filter bag. It’s true that the cord is shorter than Craftsman’s, at just six feet, but if you’re looking for a wet/dry vac then chances are you already own an extension cord or three.
Customers rave about the accessories and their effectiveness as well as the versatility they add to this product. The inclusion of the tool caddy, which we touched on earlier, ensures that getting these attachments from one place to another with you will be not only easy but organized.
Conclusion: No questions, Shop-Vac comes out on top again. Not only have they included additions to this product that owners are thrilled with, but they don’t run into the same issues that Craftsman customers do as far as accessories not fitting or not being enough for the messes they come up against.
They’ve managed to anticipate the needs of their client base and come up with a product design that suits the needs of any possible job.
Final Words on Craftsman vs. Shop-Vac
Both of these companies are household names when it comes to wet/dry vacuums. And both have a place in the shop or home. As always, it’s a matter of what exactly you’re looking for in a product. However, it seems as though Shop-Vac has put a bit more thought into their 5989300 model and what their customers need. Aside from the basics on the Craftsman 12004, which the company touches on, they include additions that foresee and prevent problems and cumbersome circumstances.
Although Shop-Vac technically has fewer stars on review sites, its products have more positive comments overall. Customers seem to be extremely happy with the vacuum’s power and accessory kit, whereas Craftsman customers have to buy pieces separately depending on their needs.
Whatever your preference, make sure you know what you need before deciding what you want. No matter your price point these products can make your life a whole lot easier or a whole lot harder, depending on how well you’ve done your homework.