These Vacuums Sure do Suck, and That's A Good Thing!

No matter what you want to buy these days, it's all about its features.  Cell phones that are video cameras, cars with navigation systems, and on and on, even vacuums are loaded with features these days.  Shop Vac's newest vacuums are loaded with so many different options and features that no matter what you might need a vacuum for, they make one that will fill your needs.  I reviewed three different models of the Ultra Pro Series, and though all had different features, they also had some similarities as well.

When opening all the boxes the first thing that you realize is that your vacuum isn't put together yet.  Have no fear though.  If you are used to the basic assembly often required for most household products the process is pretty intuitive and easy to figure out, if not the included instructions are easy to follow and understand, making assembly a snap.    Another universal feature found on all of the vacuums I tested was the superb filtration systems.   A rarity in most vacuums of this kind, all three of these vacuums included a vacuum bag to be used for vacuuming up very fine debris, such as drywall dust.  Additionally, Shop Vac offers many different filter options, including the remarkable HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which are 99.97% efficient down to 0.3 microns.  None of the vacuums I tested had the HEPA filter; instead, they all came equipped with Shop Vac's cartridge filter that is good enough to handle most consumers' needs. 

Keeping the consumer in mind, Shop Vac has constructed the tank out of durable plastic.  This prevents the tank from rusting out and keeps the weight down so the vacuums are easy to move around and actually use.  Depending on the size (we tested multiple sized tanks) Shop Vac includes sturdy casters that work well even over carpet, though putting these on is part of the assembly process and does require the use of a screwdriver.  Lastly, a great universal feature that was found on all the vacuums was a drain at the bottom of the tanks.  As anyone who has tried to lift a five gallon jug of water knows, liquid can be heavy.  The well-conceived drain allows for easy drainage that never requires anyone to actually lift a full tank.


Ultra Pro Series Vac all of it's accessories

The first vacuum I tested was the most modestly equipped of the three.  This was the Ultra Pro Series Wet/Dry vacuum that had a 5.0 hp motor with a 12-gallon tank.  This vacuum cam equipped with many extensions and items, my favorite being the 14-inch squeegee attachment that came with all the vacuums I tested. This unit has a blower feature which allows you to attach the 2 ½-inch diameter, 8-foot long hose into a special inlet that uses the vacuum motor to generate the blower feature.  The main reason this feature is so good is that the 5 hp vacuum motor has plenty of power, no more so than when vacuuming.  The suction is great, and maybe the best of all, the motor runs extremely quiet.  The days of hearing your Shop Vac throughout the house are definitely over.

Ultra Pro Blower Vac

The second vacuum I tested was the Ultra Pro Blower Series.  This vacuum boasted a larger 5-½ hp motor and 14 gallon tank.  The tank was of the same lightweight, durable plastic as all the others, but came with a heavy-duty set of metal casters to better handle its larger capacity.  The extra half horsepower performed well and was equally as quiet as the smaller motor.  This vacuum came with all the attachments and features as its smaller brethren, such as drain plug and squeegee, and was just as easy to assemble.  Even though this unit was larger than the Ultra Pro Series Wet/Dry vacuum, Shop Vac designed it shorter and slightly larger around than the smaller vacuum.  This means that it is still easy to store under shelves in a closet or a workbench in the garage.


Ultra Pro Blower Vac all of it's accessories

The big feature this unit had was a detachable leaf blower.  The vacuum motor just pulled out, you attach one of the 2-½ foot long extension wands and the included blower nozzle and you have yourself an independent leaf blower.  When I first had the blower in my hands I had my doubts, but once I tried it out I was converted, it worked great.  Though I wouldn't recommend this for landscape professionals due to its small stature, it is perfect for household and basic yard work.

Ultra Pro Series with Pump Out Feature Vac

The last vacuum we had was the Ultra Pro Series with Pump Out feature.  This vacuum came equipped with the 5-½ hp motor and 14 gallon tank and all the great features of the other two vacuums.  Due to its size, it was more like Ultra Pro Blower Series vacuum with the heavy-duty casters and squatty design.

Instead of a detachable blower, the marquee feature of this vacuum is its sump pump feature.  Shop Vac boasts that with this vacuum there is "no more carrying heavy loads of water.  This vac pumps itself out using a standard garden water hose."  In this case their boastful claims are dead on.  The outlet is compatible with a standard garden hose, so operation is easy.  With the 5-½ hp motor this vacuum can pump to the height of 50 feet and could easily drain a fish tank, flooded planter, and even larger jobs too, making it very versatile. 


Ultra Pro Series with Pump Out Feature Vac and all of it's accessories

All three vacuums I tested were easy to operate and each had great features.  There are some complaints, though most are minor.  First, I felt the tool bin is too small for the multitude of attachments that come with each vacuum.  The tools flow over and have no functional organizational pattern.  Secondly, with the tool bin in place, and all the tools overflowing, rolling up the cord in the provided place is awkward and difficult.  Lastly, only two plastic clips secure the tops of these vacuums.  Though there are side handles when needed, the tops aren't held on very tightly and if you aren't careful can be jarred loose or popped off.

Though there were some complaints, overall I thought all three of the vacuums I tested were of good quality and performed well.  The blower and sump pump features show that Shop Vac is dedicated to making their vacuums fit any need, and their dedication to quality definitely show through.

If you would like to learn more about Shop-Vac and there other great products click here to visit their website. 

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