Quietest Shop Vac? Need in a hurry!

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My Shop Vac died on me in the middle of sanding some cabinets tonight, and I need to finish the project by weeks end. I tried sanding without the vac, but the shop filled with a dust cloud in just a few minutes.
So, I need to run to town tomorrow and get a new vac pronto.
I need a QUIET vac!
I need a vac with a 2-1/2" hose. It should screw, or otherwise lock, into the vac so I can pull the vac around by the hose and not pull the hose out.
I need a vac that I can install filter bags in (the usual vac canister filters clog up too quickly with fine dust).
I need a vac with a long cord (12' or longer).
I need a vac that has built-in storage for the cord and attachments.
My current vac is a 12-gallon "quiet series" Shop Vac brand that I've had maybe 3-4 years. I've been happy with it, but I'm a little disappointed that it died so soon.
I've read good reviews of the Ridgid WD-1450 that Home Depot sells, but don't know how it would compare with my current vac.
Is there a shop vacuum that you recommend that is available at Lowes, Home Depot, or Sears? Like I said, I need it yesterday...
I do not have a dust collector. It's on my Christmas list, but the early death of my shop vac may delay that. :(
Thanks,
Anthony
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RE: Subject
You start with Fein and go down hill from there.
Bring your piggy bank.
Lew
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You will not find a so-called "quite" shop vac at any of those stores. A good quite shop vac will cost you a minimum of around $400 and go up from there. http://www.jlindustrial.com/CGI/JISRCH?ns=1&oldNtt=&oldNtk=&oldURLVar=&scrNtt 4-03-10&Ntk=Keyword+Search http://www.shopvac.com/vacs/detail.asp?ID 2&HdnSource=index&StoreID That one states "Extra Quite" and is from Shop-Vac.
You won't find that grade at those stores.
A common failure of the Shop-Vac models is the fusible link in the motor housing blows. The filter gets clogged, the motor overheats and the fusible link goes. When under warranty, Shop-Vac sends you a new motor assy. But you can do an emergency fix. Remove the cord from the power outlet.
Take off the top, remove the cover that covers the motor from the inside. Follow the power cord and you will see the black wire goes into a black plastic enclosure that is secured to the housing either with a screw or by snapping in-place with tabs. In that is the fusible link and you most likely will discover it's no longer there since it melted. Take that assembly apart and use a piece of solder that is about 20ga or - affix an in-line fuse carrier (auto parts store) and put in a delay type fuse of the proper rating. Amp draw should be stated on the sticker on the vac. Mine is a 16 gal, 5.75hp shown on the sticker (if you can believe that) with a 11.7A rating.
Clean the vac and filter. Put it back together, plug it in and check for smoke - at your risk of course. Most of these are wet/dry vac's and are double insulated. But a bad motor can start a fire so use common sense.
These so called "Contractor Grade" vac's sold at home centers are not really very heavy duty at all - despite the advertising. Compare them to a real industrial grade, heavy-duty model and you'll see why they cost so much.
Here's a page that has some Porter-Cable vac's you may be able to find locally at a dealers store. All in the $300-$400 range.
http://www.google.com/products?q=porter+cable+7814&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf8&um=1
Now if it doesn't really have to be that quite and you can live with about the same noise level of your old vac and you can't fix it - then the Shop-Vac models that are wet/dry and in the 16 gal range will meet your requirements. I have the 16/5.75 Shop-Vac with water pick-up and it was $99 at Lowes. I initially bought a Rigid from Home Depot and it was loud in comparison. Note that the smaller model Shop-Vac's (12 gal or less) are not quite in comparison to the larger models. Cost was around $100. Lowes had them on display and I was able to plug one in before I hauled it off. If you insist on hearing one (nicely) they most likely will honor your request.
Bob S.
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Bob,

I guess I should have added UNDER $200 to my list of requirements... :)

In my case, I think the brushes and/or bearings wore out. It has been sounding rather unhealthy the last couple of weeks, and black "soot" was building up outside the motor assembly. I knew it was ready to die, but was hoping I could limp it along till I had a little more cash. No such luck.

That's the kind of first hand experience I was looking for. Thanks!
While not exactly "quiet", my old 12 gallon shop vac was quieter than most, and I'd be happy with the same noise volume. I'd just like something that lasts a little longer. :)
Anthony
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I tried the craftsman "noise reducer" on my old vac and it made a little difference... anything that will quiet down a craftsman vac is a good thing..lol
Since it went on the "blower" side, I tried running a hose from the blower side to a corner of the shop about 12' away and noticed a BIG reduction of noise..YMWV
mac
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side
*Is* it actually quieter or is there just less noise getting to where you happening to be listening?
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Nobody gets a free lunch, it just moves the noise, I think.. Works for me, though, especially since I do most of my "vacuuming" with the DC, so I'd rather the vac exhausts out a window or at least away from me..
mac
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wrote:

Then chances are you're not going to get a vaccuum that meets all your requirements. You get what you pay for, if you want all those requirements, but are unwilling to pay for them, then don't exect to get them.
What you may end up doing is buying a vac that you can afford and then putting it into some sort of enclosure. I think they had one in this month's Fine Woodworking.
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HerHusband wrote: ...

...
http://www.parish-supply.com/milwauke.htm
( :) )
--
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I just replaced my old Shop Vac with a Rigid 1850. I hated the SV, tiny hose, screams line a banshee, tippy. I kept waitng for it to die, which it never did, just got less sucky. Even the garbage vultures wouldn't take it. :-)
The Rigid has a tug along hose, tool purse, filter monitor, cart with large wheels, hideous Orange colour, HEPA filter and is somewhat quieter than the SV (lower pitch). The Rigid is only moderately more sucky than the SV, but I've only used it to clean up a water leak so far. I use a DC for all my shop work.
As Lew said, a good vac will cost some serious $s, my Rigid was $229 Canadian. It will probably be less in the US.
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"HerHusband" wrote

Be sure to check this one out. http://tinyurl.com/2scmra
Works for me.
Max
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Fein Turbo III.
You will hate paying for it. That is the *LAST* thing you will ever hate (or even mildly dislike) about it.
jc
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On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 03:09:35 GMT, Joe wrote:

Agree 100%. I _love_ mine. Worth every penny.
--
Art Greenberg
artg at eclipse dot net
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There's an article in the latest FWW with plans for an enclosure for any shop vac that quiets it to the same noise level as the Fein... probably for less $$$. The current Ridgid shop vacs are well reviewed in lots of places. -- JeffB remove no.spam. to email
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I built the one I found in the first issue of "Home Handyman" that someone gave me for Christmas. :-)
A plywood box about two feet square and a little higher than two feet, all carpeted. One side is a hinged door. At the back is a whole bunch of one inch holes and furring strips around the top and sides of the back, and over that is some leftover paneling so the exhaust is shunted towards the floor.
Quieted down that cheap screaming Menards shopvac. Without the box, in the basement, the wife had to turn up the TV upstairs. With the box, she barely noticed it was on. Two years later that screaming shop vac died and I replaced it with one of those Shop Vac "Quiet" models, which we all know ain't that quiet. But in that box, it is.
There are those who will tell you if you put your shop vac in a box, it'll overheat and die. And mine did. Two years later after many hundreds of hours of use. Couldn't tell you if it was due to overheating or not but I think I got my 40 bucks worth. :-)
This one has been in there for six months. Doesn't get used quite as hard now that I've got the DC, but it turns out the shop vac is better for the ROS and the band saw, so it's getting used.
You make your shop vac foot print a little bigger, but you also gain the space over the vac as a tool station. I use it for my planer. I store the implements in the box and made cleats to wrap the extension cord and the extra long hose I bought, and put two power strips on it. One strip I use to turn the vac on and off and the other is always hot. Very handy little station.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I like that idea for a basement shop, but I'm in a small outdoor shop. My idea is to mount the vac outside and run the power cord and hose through holes in the wall. The vac will be protected from the elements with a small roof and partial walls. My idea isn't so much to reduce noise as to give me extra space. In a small shop, a 12 gallon vac takes up a lot of room.
Come summer, when the neighbours are back, I may have to build a box as well.
--
Tanus

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I forgot to mention that the box is on casters, I moved the shop out to the garage a few years ago, and I get a lot of use out of that station. But after checking out your shop link, I agree with your choice to keep it outside. I would worry about blowing rain on the motor but I think judicious use of an old tarp or plastic sheet to protect it on all sides while still giving it lots of ventilation would be easy enough to do. Probably would muffle it a bit besides.
I was also going to say something like "Gosh, you'd need a really long hose." But now I'm not. :-)
Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The more I think about this, the more I like the idea of a box. And on wheels. Still outside, but covered with roofing tin. The shop is pretty close to one neighbour's cottage and he'll hear it, but an insulated box should keep the noise down to (sorta) acceptable levels.

SWMBO has never complained about the length of the hose....yet....

Tanus
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wrote:

I bought a Ridgid with "Scroll Technology" from HD that *might* meet most of your needs. As far as the quietness is concerned, I don't have a lot to compare to, but it's positively silent compared to the old Sears sucker that it replaced.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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Buy the Fein or a Festool shop vac. Five years from now you will still be satisfied with it.
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