How do you run your shop vac?


Staff member
Dec 14, 2002
New Jersey
As some know, I have multiple properties, multiple garages, multiple places to do car work. And to keep clean.

At each place I have a shop vac. I also have a festool HEPA vac.

I usually run bags in all the vacuums, but in some ways they’re as much a pain as my past experiences messing with dumping the vac bins and cleaning the filters on the motor. I don’t really want to re-deposit or blast out fine dust, so a filter and bag seems like the best bet, but some situations where there’s a lot of cleanup, or say where more damp organic matter is involved (say, cleaning leaf litter or maple seeds from car drains), it also tends to ruin the bag if sitting in there a while…

So, how do you run your shop vacs? Bags, filters, both?
i have 3 different brands, two have filters and bags the other older one just has a filter. I just roll with the flow
Filter, and when it needs emptying, just haul outside. If I had to empty once a month I might change, but its not that often.
I have a Craftsman 5 Gal Shop Vac. No bag, and I rinse the filter off with a hose and let it dry upon every emptying.
One vac with filter for dirt. Another with no filter and is used on rare occasions during the flooding season.