Low Noise Shop Vacuum Inquiry

I'm looking for a low noise shop vacuum to supplement my chip/dust collector and air purifier, but I don't want to break the bank with Fein, Festool, or Porter-Cable. What does the group think about the Shop Vac brand 14 gallon Contractor version (5.5 HP Peak) when upgraded with a HEPA filter and "Fine-Dust" bag to replace the standard equipment that comes with the unit?
Philly
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I don't think the Shop Vac will be nearly as quiet as a Fein.
Ted

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I think your options are: 1. Fein 2. Enclose your shopvac in some type of muffled box (but still allow for airflow) 3. Get a longer hose and keep the vac in a separate room.
That said, the HEPA filter is a very nice upgrade, but won't do much if anything for noise. The Shopvac brand vacs sold as "quiet" are better than some (i.e. my Ridgid), but calling them "quiet" is a stretch. Good luck, Andy
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I have said ShopVac with CleanStream filter(replaced a 15 yr old ShopVac model). It's somewhat noisier than a Fein or Festool but I'm VERY satisfied. Plus you're saving about $200.

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Philly said:

I believe I own the model you refer to, and it is far from quiet. It is quieter than the leader model ShopVac it replaced which was an utter POS - the armature flamed out within hours of use and even when it worked, the bearings squealed like a pig in a leaf chipper. The entry level contractor models, while not the caliber they once were, are slightly better built - but not great. I've heard good things about the Ridged from the BORG, but this is hearsay.
I use the pleated filter and a secondary oiled sponge filter. Haven't sprung for the HEPA filters, and due to the way they seal (or not) don't consider them a cost effective option. Around here, a HEPA filter would last about 10 minutes before becoming clogged beyond usefulness. The drywall bags are convenient for handling dusty stuff.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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I've heard good things about the Ridged from the BORG, but this is hearsay.

The homeowner line of Ridgid shopvacs are about like a 747. The Professional line are much quieter. I've own(ed) both, and am quite happy with the latter. The former is long gone.
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Thanks to all for your inputs. Your suggestions have been very helpful. I'll investigate the Rigid line also.
Super low noise would be nice but my main dust collector and air purifier are noisy enough and operating far more often than the shop vac, so it being super low noise won't help me much. I wish the other two units were less noisey but to get that would have probably cost a small fortune.
Thanks again.
Philly

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I too did not want to spend the bucks on a Fein, since my old crafstman was still going strong. However, I hated to turn it on because it hurt my ears - so the shop stayed dusty. The Fein went on sale at Woodcraft for about $110 so I bought it. Now I'm happy to use it to clean up the bench or saw - shop is less dusty. Note that the Fein uses a bag. I'm not sure if the bag helps to contain the smallest particles or not, but it does eliminate the cloud of dust I used to experinece when dumping the contents of my big old sears.
I see the new Fein has a switch so that the vacuum turn on only when the tool does. That another nice reason to use the fein.
Mitch
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Philly,

I had a 12 gallon "Quiet" Shop Vac (the blue ones) for a few years. It seemed very quiet when I first bought it, but after a couple years the bearings and brushes wore out and it started getting louder. The brushes finally burned up in smoke a few months ago, and Shop Vac doesn't sell any replacement parts other than a complete power head.
So, after researching vacs and asking questions on this group, I picked up a 14 gallon Ridgid WD1450 from Home Depot (about $100). It seems really quiet, though I don't know if it is any quieter than the Shop Vac was when I originally bought it. It's hard to remember volume levels four years later. :) It's a little larger than I my old vac, but I'll have to wait and see if it lasts any longer than my Shop Vac did. Overall I'm happy with it.
I use the "Fine Dust" bags and the standard filter with both vacs. It doesn't really affect the sound, but I can clean up drywall dust and cold ashes without blowing everything back out. :)
Anthony
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FWW has a very recent article about a shop vac "muffler" box that results in noise level reduction equivalent to a Fein. http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/Workshop/WorkshopArticle.aspx?id )740 -- JeffB remove no.spam. to email
Philly wrote:

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