Quiet shop vacs exist and have existed for some time. The likely reason
that few have seen them is that they are expensive. And because they are
expensive they are not sold as commonly as the junk peddled by the borg
stores. My Fein Turbo III is quite quiet. For even more money the large
Festool vacuums are quieter yet. I decided to spend the extra money
after years of buying junk that lasted for a year or three and were
noisy enough to justify the sort of hearing protection I wore on the
flightline around fighter aircraft.
Not just "expensive" but "EXPENSIVE!" US$550 (~US$400 On Sale) is
a bit much for most DIYers...
I am also a big believer that the hearing protection I've invested
in has allowed me the continued pleasures hearing after using my
shopvac. I have a Genie and a Craftman that certainly sound like
jet aircraft before takeoff but I couldn't justify that type of
expense for a shopvac. A whole shop dust collection system, yes;
but not a shopvac.
I have a 10 gallon QSP "Shop-Vac" that I paid about 70 or 80 bucks for. Very
quiet compared to others (quieter than our Hoover upright carpet vacuum) and
more than powerful enough for everything I have ever used it for. This was
purchased at least 5 or 6 years ago.
What you give up is an exhaust hole that accepts the hose for blowing or for
clearing the hose. Most of the noise comes from the exhaust and in these
quieter units that have a series of slots instead of the single large hole.
There's an in-between option too. Some workshop vacs have a 2 inch
exhaust port with a removable muffler in it. For normal vacuuming, the
muffler stays in place, and the exhaust is quite a bit quieter than
without the muffler (though perhaps not as quiet as the slot-type
outlet). But when you want to blow instead of suck, you just remove the
muffler and connect the hose to the exhaust port.
Seems to be same motor, ...
Gallon Size 16
* Peak Horsepower 6.5
* Voltage 120 V
* Amps 12.0
No idea on noise levels--I'd ask Ridgid for rated dB levels if of concern.
On "peak HP" since another respondent brought it up -- I agree it's a
way to get bigger number for advertising purposes. Somewhat surprised
to see Ridgid doing so, but more than likely given the market for the
object they've been pretty much forced into it by Sears in order to seem
to be in the same league... :(
Still using my current Sears shop vac after some 8 years or so. Rated
5 or 6 (optimistic) HP and it was noisy as all hades until I installed
the outlet muffler. IMO the Sears vacs are the best ones around. Have
another one I bought maybe 15 years ago still in service at a friends
commercial auto shop. Have to give Sears credit for having a decent
selection of tools and adapers to get a lot of use out of their
machines. I use mine with a Magna Sand trap for drywall joints and it
makes a nearly dust-free job out of the usual mess. HTH
I like Sears shop-vacs and Shop-vacs sold by other vendors (but
obviously made by Shop-vac becasue they are so similar and use the
same accessories), because I like the company. Manufactured in the
USA, in Pennsylvania. When I called because I needed a pair of legs,
a human being talked to me, sent it out for FREE even, and I had it in
about 2 days from calling.
(The rear legs that came with it also held a big tool holder, that I
thought might get in the way. Maybe I should have said that I already
had a pair but I didn't expect the conversation to go so quickly.)
The manual had a parts list that gave the part number for the front
legs. VEry easy to order.
I only use mine for a little bit of vacuuming and lots of floods, but
it's going fine after 10 years. I think a more quiet one would lessen
my sense of panic when my basement is flooded. :)
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