Craftsman Shop Vac Bags, are they required?

I received a Craftsman Wet/Dry shop vac as a gift this weekend. It is a 16 gallon that can pump water out of it. It came with a bag that hooks to the intake hole (right after the hose). It is the first shop vac I have seen with a bag that goes in the canister. It looks like a giant house vacum bag. The instruction make it sound like I have to always use the bag when picking up dry debris. Is this true? It just seems like it could get expensive. A bag may be nice for the extra filtration when working with saw dust but when I am picking up larger and/or less messy things it seems like I am wasting money filling up a bag fast.
The other thing that seems peculiar that I am curious about is that they plug the blower hole and no air comes out it unless you intentionally remove the cap. It seems the exhaust is just coming out the seems of the lid. Is that right or am I mis using it?
I have to say that the instruction booklet left a lot to be desired.
Thanks Dan
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I've bought an add-on bag for my Craftsman shop-vac for fine dust. I don't know if that's what your bag is for. But if I don't use it, and try to suck up drywall dust (for example. DAMHIKT), it just blows the dust out of your shop vac at high speed. Makes the mess worse than it was to begin with.
Clint

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Clint, Don't know about the bags, but the best investment I ever made was a "CleanStream" filter for my ShopVac unit. Replaces the paper & foam junk, stops all the fine stuff, and doesn't plug anywhere near as quick. When it does, just take it out & blow it out with air or wash it out with a hose. Love it! Nahmie

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wrote:

Ditto. No bag, but with a CleanStream in place no dust escapes the vac.
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How did you do that? Not install the filter, but how did you do the registered trademark thing?
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Dirty Bob wrote:

It's done by using the "alt" key + 0174 on the number keypad, not the numbers across the top of the keyboard. You can find this info by examining the "character map" located in "start menu, programs, accessories, system tools". Another example is alt + 0162 =
Scott
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Thanks Scott. I never did figure out that I had to use the numeric pad for those. What I did was use the directions you give, select the character I want from the character map, copy it on that screen, then come back & paste it in my message. Nahmie
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