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Ridgid still the shop vac of choice?

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  • Ridgid still the shop vac of choice?

    My 26 year old Craftsman is getting cranky, the corrugated hose is fatiguing, and I don't know if you can get filters anymore.

    The Ridgid Lifetime warranty appeals to me.

  • #2
    The vacs work OK, no worse than most. I have one. It's OK. It works as well as a "Shopvac", or most others.

    Have not tried a Fein, they are supposed to be very good.

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan


    • #3
      I have a 5 HP Ridgid which I have had and used hard for probably about 10 years and it is still going strong. These days it spends most of its time hooked up to a cyclone bucket I made up to collect the swarf when I clean up the floor around my lathe and mill.
      Larry - west coast of Canada


      • #4
        I have both Ridgid and Craftsman.
        The Craftsman is the model that the motor/blower unit could be removed for leaf and gutter work and is hands down my favorite.
        It truly sucks but it's as loud as Pratt Whitney's old outdoor test stand!
        Ridgid, not so much.
        It works OK but just that.


        • #5
          One of my really old vacs packed it in a few years back. It was actually a regular house type. I looked around and ended up buying a Rigid model WD14500 14gal 6hp with the SNR feature for lower noise. I loved it so much that I opted to get a second same model for the metal shop to replace the old 16 gallon Shop Vac which sounded like a jet engine on afterburner. The Rigid provided strong suction at a very reasonable noise level with the SNR feature.

          Oddly enough I don't see the SNR feature being put forward. But perhaps the NXT is the follow on from that?

          Mind you I went looking for a link for you and it's apparent that they change models like fashion models swap clothes. I don't see the model I have listed at Home Depot either here in Canada or in the US. But Rigid does list it as their model WD1450 on their own web site.

          I liked that this model also uses the blue cleanable/washable filter. While not cheap being washable means that it should last a fair while and for use in the metal shop should be able to be cleaned in a good strong degreasing detergent to remove any oil contamination that blocks the filter.

          For use in the wood shop this same filter works well for shavings but if there's much dust around it clogs pretty quick and suction falls off rapidly. On the list is to make up a pre-filter Thien baffle setup using some plastic buckets I've got. Just waiting on the shipment of "round tuits" to arrive....

          The one in my metal shop has been in use for about 3 years now and the suction is still strong enough to pull the oily swarf out from the T slots on my mill table. But by now it must be getting fairly oily and full of chips.
          Chilliwack BC, Canada


          • #6
            This sucks!... in as good way :>)


            This same design has been in use by the Milwaukee Tool Co for over thirty years. They never changed it... no need.
            You can fit a drain to it if you like, the wheels last on a construction site for years.
            ARS W9PCS

            Esto Vigilans

            Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
            but you may have to


            • #7
              I'm very happy with my Rigid vac. It is going on 12 years old. Nothing but praise for it.

              100% agree with BCRider .. the washable filter is perfect for a metal shop. I do have a cheesy separator that I whipped up with some ABS fittings and a 5 gallon bucket in front so I don't waste so much money on bags (they are expensive - but I prefer bags to trap dust).


              • #8
                Mine does not have bags, and I do not think the filter is really washable. It may be.

                It's old, we got it because we were in a field test group, and that was the test item. We gave them several suggestions, I think they used maybe one of them, about wheels... The version we had was hand portable, but had no wheels. I think they added a cart setup later.

                No matter, it had a wall hanging bracket, and it hangs up above the H/V bandsaw. With 17' of hose, that reaches the entire woodshop and grinding area.

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan


                • #9
                  This is my Shop Vac of choice. Bought this from MSC a long time ago when they had them on a special. It's a great running vac with plenty of suction. It came with a filter and a dust bag installed.
                  The only problem was the switch. It lasted about a month before it started to become intermittent.

                  They use a 10 cent Mickey Mouse switch with a plastic pivoting wing toggle thing mounted on top so they could space out the on off push position under the rubber cover.
                  The round end plastic shim thing was pressed into a groove around the underside of the rubber cover to prevent the rubber cover from sticking against the wing when you pushed it on or off.
                  If you didn't push the switch precisely in the "sweet" spot the switch wouldn't latch and you might get a short pulse out of the motor. The problem got worse real fast to the point where the switch failed. The momentary contacting that was happening must have prematurely arced the delicate contacts even though the switch was rated at around I think 12 amps.
                  I called the company and complained and asked for a new switch. The woman told me the switch was not available separately so she said she would send me new power head, which was the complete motor assy. So I put the new switch in my original power head and saved the new motor for future use. Well, that switch didn't last long.
                  I called the company again and complained. The woman was reluctant to send me another power head and made it sound like I was doing something wrong. After bickering for a few minutes and telling her I can't possible be the only one having this problem and your engineers should re-design the switch assy. she agreed to send me another power head but said this was the last one, all because of a cheap switch. That little switch must have cost them a fortune in power head replacements.

                  I knew that the only way I was going to cure this was to replace the cheap rocker switch assy. with a good bat handle toggle switch. I bought a good toggle switch and had to cut some of the inner wall webbing out of the power head and make a custom fitted mount for the new switch and center it under the switch cover. I drilled a small hole in the ribber switch cover for the bat handle to go through, put it all together and have never had an issue since.

                  Last edited by JoeLee; 02-27-2020, 10:10 PM.


                  • #10
                    Funny sory 11 years last Oct I bought the big hanger from the city at the local airport. 62'x96'-20'H Great building. heated shop part 2 story massive 3 phase service, nat gas. My wife stoppped at a yard sale & I bought the best vac I've ever owned for $10 35 gallon. Then I broke my back in 4 places so had surgery Jan 5th& the next April 4th a tornado hit the hanger & Armory next door. While I was doen I hired the hanger fixed up & it looked sharp.Took 4 hours to get there as all the roads had trees accross. Anyway I was looking at all the damage when my wife calls & asked if the vac was OK? Planes were destroyed & the building was a total what was left. I had a Nisson forklift 9000#cap lifted 25' & my Cat 5500#cap. We worked 3 days getting the undamaged stuff into smaller hangers & scrapping the structual steel @ $375 an US ton I might add. Late the 3rd day we found the vac unhatmed so I called my wife & told her I was bringing it home, she said I don't wan't that thing it's too big. 🙄 Women are wired toatally differentlly than men are 😳


                    • #11
                      Time fly's - I bet iv had my medium sized Ridged for close to 10 years --- been a great unit no problems and same filter, I empty things out and then take the filter out in the yard and "spin roll" it on the dirt - once it hits the ground it creates quite the cloud of dust but clean as a whistle to toss back in....


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jmarkwolf View Post
                        My 26 year old Craftsman is getting cranky, the corrugated hose is fatiguing, and I don't know if you can get filters anymore.
                        My craftsman is 35 years old. I got a new hose and filter from McMaster Carr recently.


                        • #13
                          I'd like to find a hose with a smooth liner...for a "reasonable" price!


                          • #14
                            I have two Rigid vacs. They work.
                            My uncle has a Fein, if you ask me, it is a yuppie vac that is overpriced and underwhelming. It turns on automatically when a tool is plugged into it. I guess that is what the yuppie woodworkers want.


                            • #15
                              My 16 gallon Craftsman vac was bought in 1975 ish, and it is still going strong. I had to replace the hose and the AC plug, and the caster sockets tore out of the bucket. Cut the old sockets out and made some oak blocks to fit in the cavities, and drilled the blocks for new caster shanks. Also had to reattach the power cord to the motor after lending the vac to my Ahole BIL who pulled it around by the cord for a week. The plastic shroud that sits over the motor is all cracked, and of course no longer available from Sears parts, but I think I got my money's worth out of it if it were to quit tomorrow.
                              “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

                              Lewis Grizzard