Your workshop doesn't have to be noisy. In fact, my garage is one of the few places I still get a little peace and quiet these days. If you invest in the quietest shop vac then managing dust won't have you reaching for those ear protectors.
Shop vacs are designed to tackle the tough jobs in workshops and garages. Whether it's a commercial site or your home workshop, the sometimes obnoxious noise created by the powerful shop vacs can be annoying.
Even a so-called "quiet" shop vac can produce too much noise. However, that's not the case for every shop vac.
There are some units that are quiet and produce little to no noise. If you're like me, the quieter, the better. Right?
We've put together this list of the ten quietest shop vacuums available on the market today.
Top 10 Quietest Shop Vac Models
Quietest Workshop Vacuum Reviews
Here are our picks for quietest shop vac:
If you're looking for the best shop vac, you've found one with the Makita VC4710. There's a lot to like about this shop vac. It's quiet, stable, and very well built.
This shop vac is focused on being a great dust vacuum and doesn't pick up bulk very well. But, if you're looking for a sturdy, job site dust extractor, the Makita VC4710 works extremely well.
The 12A motor generates plenty of suction (135 CFM) while keeping the noise level down to an impressive 59dB.
The HEPA filters seemed to be a little pricey, but you get what you pay for. They remove almost 100% of even the tiniest dust particles. The automatic filter cleaning feature was a bit of a nuisance but it helps make those expensive filters last longer.
This is a great shop vac and one of the nicest we've seen. It's very quiet and it works well with a wide range of tools. The 8 piece accessory kit is worth getting too if you want more versatility.
It has an auto switch outlet for hand power tools, it's lightweight and easy to get around, and it has a very long hose and power cord. It has useful storage pockets for attachments and for storing the power cord and hose.
It works great as a wet vac and will even suck up all that water from the reservoir in your garage dehumidifier no problem.
It's a little pricey but if you want maximum dust extraction with minimum noise then get this shop vac.
What We Like:
- Extra-long hose
I wish all shop vacs performed like the FEIN Turbo II. If you want maximum airflow and static pressure with low noise then this is the vac for you.
Here are a few of my favorite things about this vacuum; it's quiet with excellent suction. It puts out around 66dB which is still fairly quiet. It's not as quiet as the Makita but it's considerably cheaper.
This vacuum is quiet enough to have a conversation while you're using it, and the suction (151 CFM) is incredible.
This is a really well put together shop vac. The wheels seem very durable, and the side latches operate perfectly and seem very well built.
Even if you bump it around your workshop it'll carry on working no problems.
One complaint relates to the tools and storage. There weren't enough holders for all the tools, and there wasn't an easy way to wrap the power cord.
The air quality in your shop will significantly improved when you use the FEIN Turbo II. It has a great auto turn-on feature which starts the vac up when your tool starts up. The flannel bags are really good and decrease the amount of fine dust clogging to almost nothing.
What We Like:
- Auto turn-on feature
- Very quiet
- Great airflow
The Festool Dust Extractor impresses as soon as you flip the switch. It is extremely powerful with a solid build.
We love the quiet power of this motor. In spite of the low noise output it's really impressive how dust-free it leaves everything. The dust extraction/reduction is very good.
It's an excellent, albeit pricey, machine. But you get what you pay for. It comes equipped with a variable speed dial and a dedicated outlet that starts the vacuum as soon as you engage whatever tool you have connected to the outlet on the vacuum.
Our only real complaint is the cost of the vacuum. It'll set you back a few dollars, but so far, the price seems worth it. It's HEPA rated, and the suction really is hard to believe considering how quiet it is.
At the low power setting it only puts out 62dB which makes it one of the quietest shop dust extractors we've seen.
What We Like:
- Great dust extraction
- Variable speed dial
The DeWALT DXV10P is really well made and super strong. We loved that the wheels on this thing rolled freely, the storage bag, and just the overall look and feel of this vacuum.
This is the best cheap shop vac we've seen. But don't let the low cost fool you. The function, design, features, power, and noise level are all top-notch.
The suction is excellent on this vacuum, and it is surprisingly quiet. Dewalt don't give a noise level figure but the lower frequency tone of the motor make it sound less annoying than a lot of other similar vacuums.
The attachment selection could be a little better and you don't get some of the fancier features that more expensive units have. It is easy to use though and servicing is easy because the top removes with two latches.
We also loved that the wand hose rotated at the powerhead, so there was no twisting of the hose.
The storage for the accessories is good, and you can use it with or without a filter bag.
The two black latches that secure the motor seem to be a little loose, so make sure they care clicked in.
The 20' power cord, hard rubber easy-rolling wheels, and built-in accessory storage bag are all nice features as well.
What We Like:
- Easy-rolling wheels
- Really well design
- Good storage
The first thing we noticed about the Vacmaster 4 Gallon Vacuum was how much quieter it is than other cheap shop vacs. It's even quieter than most of your household vacuums.
At 72dB it's not the quietest workshop vacuum we've seen but at this low price it's really good.
The suction on this vacuum is great too. It sucks enough that you can feel it pulling but not so much that it makes it hard to use.
It's well put together with the hoses and all of the end pieces staying together when you attach them.
Some may find it a little heavy, but it wasn't an issue for us.
Our favorite thing about this vacuum is the low price. If you're looking for a fairly quiet, cheap vacuum for your workshop this is a great option.
Its size is convenient, it is deceptively powerful, and effortless to maneuver. It also converts easily to pick up wet spills.
The dust bag does fill up quickly, but that's expected for its size. Another great attachment is the hard-bristle brush that you can scrape with.
Overall, an excellent quiet vacuum at a great price.
What We Like:
- Great price / value for money
- Manageable size
The first thing you notice about the Nilfisk ALTO is that it's a beautifully designed vacuum. This vacuum has good power, and we found the tool start function to be very useful.
The hose is a little narrower than we'd like but that didn't seem too big a deal when using it. On a few occasions, we stood in the airflow while vacuuming with no issues to speak of.
It's quieter than a lot of the vacuums without any loss of power. The suction power is more than enough for what you'll need in your garage. However, at a maximum of 127 CFM and 84-inch max water lift it's not the strongest shop vac.
The lower power suction is perfect for most jobs though and the lower power also means less noise.
The hose and cord could be stored a bit better, but that's easily fixed with a couple of velcro straps. This Nilfisk shop vac works like a charm with your track saw, jigsaw, drywall tool, and rotary sander.
With the included tool outlet, you'll have power to spare. It performs like a champ in both the wet and dry settings. This vacuum comes highly recommended.
What We Like:
- Tool start function
- Included tool outlet
The Bissell Multiclean Vacuum is the ideal tool to clean out your garage and even stubborn parts of your house. It's very easy to assemble, and it comes with an abundance of attachments that will never leave you shorthanded.
It's great for cleaning the interior of your car and it gets down into those nooks and crannies between the seats like a dream.
This Bissell is exceptionally lightweight, and there aren't any issues picking it up and taking it to where we needed it.
We couldn't find any figures on how loud it is but it's probably on par with a regular indoor vacuum.
Another pleasant surprise is how long it lasts before it actually fills up. We really like that it's bagless so we don't have to discard, or buy, any bags.
Switching from the suction setting to the blowing setting is a breeze, and you won't have any dust or debris fly out during the transition.
Our favorite part of this vacuum is that you could control the suction level, depending on what you're doing. Reducing the suction power means you reduce the noise too.
This Bissell is beautifully balanced and reliable. It comes with amazing attachments, it's powerful and not excessively noisy. Overall it's an excellent vacuum cleaner that we highly recommend.
What We Like:
- Variable suction control
- Included Attachments
The Shop-Vac 5989700 works great. It picks up absolutely everything you want it to pick up. The blower function worked phenomenally. It's great for when you need to get a few dry leaves and spiderwebs out of the garage. Or to blow some dust out of your garage heater.
The smooth-rolling casters allow the vacuum to follow you around everywhere you go.
Because it's a tank style vacuum it's not the quietest shop vac but it's really not that hard on the ears at all.
One thing we didn't like was the shorter than usual power cord. That's easily remedied with an extension cord when you need to work a little way from the outlet.
The motor in this Shop-Vac is strong and dependable with powerful suction. The stainless steel canister is very high quality.
This vacuum does everything you need it to do, and at this price, it's a pretty good value. Overall, this is a solid vacuum, and if necessary, the customer service at Shop-Vac is outstanding.
It comes with plenty of attachments so you can clean whatever needs to be cleaned. When used as a floor vacuum, it performs exceptionally well too.
The HEPA dust bag is great for keeping sawdust from escaping from the collection tank and getting into the air.
What We Like:
- Great customer service
- Stainless steel canister
This Vacmaster Vacuum is unique and well designed. It works great and has plenty of power and suction while still remaining fairly quiet.
It's easy to pick up and move around, and the long extension hose means you don't have to lug it around behind you while you're using it.
The motor is quiet compared to a few of the others we tested, and it has an excellent noise reducer.
We love the large on/off switch. The 20ft power cord it comes with also provides a lot of flexibility, and it wraps around the hooks on the back of the unit like a charm.
It comes with useful accessories, including one of our favorites we've ever seen on a vacuum. It has a wireless remote control on the hose end attachment. That makes it easy to turn the vacuum off when we're stuck in those weird positions vacuuming nooks and crannies.
We love the simple wall-mount it comes with, so we can save some floor space. We also like that it comes with a bag, so there's no dirty container. Being a wall mount vac and the wireless control are convenient touches too.
What We Like:
- Wireless control
- Wall mount
This Festool 575280 Dust Extractor is a marvel of German engineering. It is small, quiet, powerful, light, and very well put together. At 67dB it's also one of the quietest shop dust extractors we've seen.
Festool didn't leave anything out when they designed this vacuum. If quality is important to you like it is to us, and you want something small and light, this is the vacuum for you.
You really don't appreciate this vacuum until you use it for yourself. We loved the size and maneuverability of it. It's a perfect sidekick for when you're moving around the workshop.
It's ultra-portable, so the bag only holds 2lbs, so that's the main downside. It's worth the trade-off for how maneuverable it is.
The suction is more than enough for everything you'll need it for. It comes with exceptionally high-quality components, and the hose might be the best out of the quiet shop vac reviews here.
Festool gave excellent attention to detail with this vacuum. It's very practical, and the quality is unmatched.
What We Like:
- Great design
Quietest Shop Vac Buyers Guide
If you're looking for a good quality quiet shop vac then bear the following tips in mind before making your purchase.
Why Are Shop Vacs So Loud?
The first thing we should talk about is why exactly shop vacs are so loud in the first place. The first and most obvious reason for the noise is the motor.
Some vacuums will use AC motors, which are noisier, while others use a DC motor. The motor turns the fan or turbine to create the suction the vacuum needs, which in turn makes a high-frequency sound and vibration.
Motors also have brush bearings that deliver the voltage to a motor as it turns. They also have to keep it aligned, so it doesn't rub and cause friction, which translates into heat, and the possibility of a fire. The only thing more annoying than the noise.
A broken brush bearing can also add to the noise. Luckily, they can be replaced and repaired as a DIY job or a trained repair professional.
Fine dust can get into the bearings of the motor or other moving parts of the vacuum. That can prevent the bearings from rolling correctly, leading to a high-frequency squeal.
It can also be repaired, but more often than not, it's cheaper to replace it.
A dirty filter is another common cause of loud vacuums. The motor has to work even harder to move the air through the filter to create the suction it needs. The more the vacuum has to work, the louder it will be.
If you have a clogged hose or wand, or a full bag or canister, you will also have a noisy vacuum. However, these are much easier problems to fix. A broken fan in your vacuum will also increase the noise and reduce the suction.
The motor spins the fan to create the suction, so if your fan breaks, it will be harder to produce the airflow that is necessary for the vacuum to work.
The motor will work harder, creating more noise, and the fan may throw rotation out of sync causing friction, and more noise. A broken fan can be easily replaced and should be replaced as soon as possible.
Every vacuum is going to vibrate and make noise. The body of the vacuum will vibrate with the power of the inrush of airflow created by the motor and fans.
If it becomes excessive, there may be something deflecting the centrifuge of air as it is generated, creating turbulent airflow.
Shop Vacuum Noise Levels
Let's compare some other noisy activities to get an idea of how loud your vacuum should be.
First, a generally quiet room has 40 dB of noise. A typical conversation will have a noise level of 60 dB. When you watch TV or listen to the radio, you're dealing with right around 70 dB of noise.
Now, when you use a vacuum to clean up, the goal is for the noise level to not be that loud that your ears hurt or for your hearing to be dulled afterwards. However, most shop vacuums aren't that quiet.
The quietest vacuums produce about 55dB of noise, and the medium ranged vacuums will create 65-70 dB of noise. Any noise above 75 dB is considered loud, and if you have a vacuum that produces 90 dB of noise or more, you better have ear protection.
Your average shop vac will be louder than a household vacuum due to sheer size. The volume of a workplace or commercial appliance is larger than the domestic models. The more power it has, the more noise it produces.
The tone of the sound from the vacuum is important too because of how your ear perceives sound. A vacuum with a lower tone motor noise will sound quieter than a higher tone motor will even if they have the same dB noise output.
The national institute for Occupational Safety and Health says that we can tolerate around 8 hours of exposure to 85 dB of sound a day.
Many vacuums start right around 80 dB, but they tend to get louder the longer we use them. The quietest shop vac levels are in the low 60db range. Price may be inversely proportional to the sound levels too.
What's A Shop Vac Diffuser?
A muffler or diffuser is a shop vac attachment designed to control the exhausting airflow from a vac. A diffuser will attach to most wet/dry vacuums that have a standard blowing port for quieter operation and less concentrated exhaust.
An exhaust diffuser pretty much has one job: to stop as much fine dust, dirt, and particles from escaping the exhaust port as it can.
The more powerful vacs out there have so much suction that the air has to come out somehow, and that can lead to a harsh airflow coming out fast. The diffuser makes the current less intense. That, in turn, reduces air noise. If you need a quieter vac, this accessory is your next buy.
Shop vacs can be a life savior whether we use them at home or work. They can easily clean away messes that you would never think to use a typical vacuum cleaner to clean. The vacs we listed above have incredible features, and the silent functioning makes them ideal.
We've listed a good variety of shop vacs above. Anyone will be able to find a vac that fits their needs.
After evaluating the listed products, our personal favorite ended up being the FEIN Turbo II at 66 dB. We were really impressed with the auto turn-on feature, how remarkably quiet it actually was, and the above-average airflow.
The FEIN Turbo made cleaning any space simple and easy, and it's an all-in-one vacuuming solution for any home or workplace. It's the quietest shop vac that actually gets the job done.
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