Rigid 16 Gal Wet Dry Vac - Quick Review

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I burnt out my >20 YO Craftsman 16 gal wet/dry vac a couple of weeks ago. I was in the middle of a project so I needed one quickly. I was in Home Depot and the had a 14 gal version selling for $99. Right next to that that had a Rigid 16 gal model for $119.
Since I use my shop vac for fall clean up of leaves from my wife's flower beds, bigger is better, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend another $20 just for the extra 2 gallons of space.
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I hate it when I store a draft and then refresh my newsreader!
Anyway...let's try this again...
I burnt out my >20 YO Craftsman 16 gal wet/dry vac a couple of weeks ago. I was in the middle of a project so I needed one quickly. I was in Home Depot and they had a 14 gal version selling for $99. Right next to that they had a Rigid 16 gal model for $119.
Since I use my shop vac for fall clean up of leaves from my wife's flower beds, bigger is better, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend another $20 just for the extra 2 gallons of space.
Then I noticed that the motor could also be used as a handheld blower. Now that, plus the larger size, might be worth the extra $20.
I've used the vac as a vac and was quite satisfied. It's quieter than my Craftsman and seems just as powerful. I don't fall for the HP marketing game. My Craftsman was listed at 2.5 HP, the Rigid is listed at 6.5 HP. I seriously doubt that the Rigid is ~2.5x more powerful than the Craftsman. All I can say it that it does as good a job at sawdust cleanup as my old one.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to use the motor as a blower. It's helicopter time in my neighborhood so I figured I would give the blower a try. The Rigid blower is certainly quieter than my gas handheld. It is also certainly much weaker. However, for blowing helicopters across my driveway, it was quite adequate. In fact, it was almost easier because while it took a little longer and an extension cord was required, forming a pile was easy because it didn't blow everything around as much. I doubt it'll be much use as a full fledged leaf blower, but for small jobs, like the garage and driveway, it seems to be worth the extra $20.
The other features include a rack to hold all of the accessories right on the vac and a more stable wheel base than the Craftsman. Obviously I can't speak to its quality or longevity, but for the short time I've had it and its limited use so far, it seems well worth the $119.
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DerbyDad03 posted for all of us...
And I know how to SNIP

Does a shop vac suck or blow? Curious
--
Tekkie

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On Fri, 6 Jun 2014 18:35:52 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
I always wonder when something burns up. Were you using it harder than on other occasions, or do you think there had been ongoing deterioration that was cumuulative?
BTW, fwiw Sears sells machines made by Shop-Vac. So does Pep-Boys. Around here everyone but HD does.

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On Friday, June 6, 2014 1:06:28 PM UTC-7, micky wrote:

The Sears wet-dry vacs used to be made by Emerson Electric, but Sears just told me they're from Cleva Hong Kong, Ltd. The design looks like Emerson. I think the Home Depot Ridgid vacs are still Emerson. All I remember is that when Consumer Reports tested wet-drys, the larger Emersons were quite a bit more powerful than any other brand.
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That HP game is something else. No way could the Rigid be a real 6.5 HP . It would take around 40 amps at 120 volts to make that. Even the 2.5 HP is just at the max or slightly more than many 120 volt circuits are rated for. Every time I see something way over rated it makes me want to look at another product.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

This link from another manufacturer explains the con:
http://tinyurl.com/nhrrpah
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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On Friday, June 6, 2014 1:56:19 PM UTC-7, Ralph Mowery wrote:

I'm hoping somebody will file a class action lawsuit over this so I can get some free stuff. :) Years ago there was a settlement over exaggerated HP ratings for air compressors My "3.5" HP 120VAC Campbell-Hausfeld barely qualified (DeVilbiss was the other defendant), and I got 50' of hose and an impact wrench because of it. I don't know how they calculated their fake ratings because they later advertised 4-5 HP models with lower CFM ratings than mine. Earlier I phoned C-H over this, and they insisted the HP number was for continuous peak power, not some instantaneous rating.
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On 06/07/2014 04:33 AM, snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote: Years ago there was a

The typical Bigbox store horsepower rating is calculated from the inrush current the instant the motor starts in a cryogenic chamber.
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I have been using a cheap ingersol oiless compressor for years. Says 3 HP on side. I know it's not. It uses 120 volts. I have also used a regular compressor with a real 3 HP motor, 240 volts. The outputs are comparable.
The ingersol is noisy. The open side cylinder looks plastic or TFE. I mostly fill tires, but it's painted cars, and operated air tools. Some air tools need a little more reserve cfm.
Greg
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On Fri, 6 Jun 2014 18:56:33 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

How many horsepower in a gallon?
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Yes and yes.
After 20+ years, I'm sure there was ongoing deterioration, and yes, I use it harder on some occasions than others.
The hardest work it has gotten was when I used it to dig a hole to bury a 55 gallon plastic drum as a dry-well. When you dig with a shovel, you get to a point where you have go wide in order to go deep or the dirt just keeps falling off the shovel. The soil where I live is very sandy. With a vac I can shave straight down the sides of the hole making it only as wide as I need. I have done this to bury the 55 gallon dry-well, to bury a 8" x 4' pipe as a small dry-well next to my driveway and most recently to bury my dog under our fire pit. (He loved those fires for 15 good years.)
After the last burial, the bearings sounded a little rough and it smelled a little burnt. The next time I used it in my shop it was louder than my miter saw. Just like it was time to put my dog to rest, it was time for the Craftsman too. I put it out by the curb and a guy from the next street over took the tub to use as a planter in his back yard.
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On 06/06/2014 11:56 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I bought an eight gallon Rigid wet/dry vac about 12 years or so ago, and have never had a problem with it. I keep it in the shop where it sucks up metal chaff and other assorted debris, and despite the exaust getting warm rather quickly, it's still working great.
I put it on a foot switch so I don't have to reach down to turn it on, just grab the host, step on the switch, and clean away.
Jon
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On Sat, 7 Jun 2014 01:37:18 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

Well, they may have changed. When I looked maybe 8 years ago, they looked just like Shop-Vac but in iirc blue.
I ended up buying one at Pep-Boys because it was Shop-Vac and the right size. Ridgid didn't seem to have soot filters, so I could clean the furnace and flue. Only Shop-Vac seemed to. It's made in the USA btw, and their customer service is great.

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On Sat, 7 Jun 2014 03:23:51 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

You do use it hard.

No bearing noise yet for me. Thanks and thanks Bob.
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Let's not beat up on the BigBox stores. The practice seems to be typical across the wet/dry vac environment in it's entirety. It's a marketing gimmick that just about all manufacturers employ.
http://www.grainger.com/product/DAYTON-Contractor-Wet-Dry-Vacuum-WP114289/_/N-n71?redirect=shop+vacs&s_pplse
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/category_shop-vac
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On 06/07/2014 11:27 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Apparently Grainger is becoming a Bigbox store if they are selling deceptively labelled shop vacuums.
Northern Toilet Stool is the same as China Harbor Freight.
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Micky,

Home Depot sells "fine filter bags" that fit inside the tank. I always install the filter bags as it makes the main filter last longer. With the bag in place, the main filter lasts a very long time.
I vacuum the fine ashes out of our wood stove each year, as well as drywall dust, and wood dust from a sander. Works great.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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On Sat, 7 Jun 2014 15:52:32 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband

Well, they didnt' have them the day I was there, or the year I was there, or they didn't use the word soot. I'm not likey to by another vac, but it's very good you let others know.
Well I can't find fine filter bags, only high efficiency bags, at HD. http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-High-Efficiency-Dust-Bags-for-RIDGID-4-Gal-Vac-VF3501/100520395#product_description
And the desc. says "Ideal for picking up fine particles of dust and dirt Keeps the inside of the vac drum clean Easily discarded"
This doesn't seem like what I wanted. I want bags fine enough not to pass soot.

Fine ashes are small, but not nearly as small as soot, I think.
For cleaning the furnace or the flue, I'll stick with Shop-Vac.
Thanks anyhow.

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wrote:

And I also found another bag for Ridgid, 12-16 gallon http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-High-Efficiency-Dust-Bags-for-RIDGID-12-16-Gal-Vac-VF3502/100390230#product_description But the description is quite different.
?The RIDGID Dust Collection Bag is specifically designed for use with 14- to 16-gallon RIDGID wet/dry vacs. The bag filters fine particles such as drywall dust.
Ideal for general debris Great for picking up drywall dust For non-toxic, non-flammable materials VF3502 includes 2 filter collection bags Fits 14- and 16-gallon Ridgid vacs"
The prior bag was for 4-5 gallon vacs.

And there is also 6-9 gallon size.
PRODUCT OVERVIEW The RIDGID High-Efficiency Dry Pick-Up Dust Bag is ideal for picking up small, dry debris like drywall dust. The bag is easily disposed of helps keep the vacuum tank clean.
Picks up fine particles Great for picking up cold fireplace ash VF3503 includes 2 filter collection bags Fits RIDGID WD0670 and WD0970 wet/dry vacs Compatible with many shop-vac 5- to 8-gallon wet/dry vacs
Not sure but I think my soot bags fit in any vac that is bigger than their smallest.

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