Inevitably, you will find yourself with just enough of a mess to warrant pulling out the shop vacuum, but not so much of a mess that you want to bother with breaking out some hulking goliath of a cleaning solution. When you find yourself in that sort of situation, you’ll be happy you have the Shop-Vac Hawkeye 5-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac. We took a look at it during our recent Best Wet/Dry Vac Buying Guide, and here’s the skinny on this small profile shop vacuum that excels at smaller cleanup projects.
Blower: Like most wet/dry vacs, this model includes a blower feature. By pulling the hose from the intake port and reattaching it at the exhaust port, you can transform your Shop-Vac Hawkeye into a low-power blower. It’s useful for cleaning off light debris, but I’m more likely to just vacuum if I’m in the house, garage, or shop rather than blow sawdust into the corners.
Air Filtration: The Shop-Vac Hawkeye uses a standard paper filter. It’s a tried and true system that is a good balance of filtering and airflow. Unless you need a HEPA filter specifically, there’s no reason to go with a different style.
Mobility: This model doesn’t include wheels. Shop-Vac designed this particular model to tackle small areas, one at a time. Its relatively lightweight and compact size make it easy to move to the workbench or car – just don’t plan on cleaning the entire shop with it. It can also work as a tool-specific dust collector for you miter saw or table saw (you may need a hose adapter to make it fit).
Attachments and Storage: The Shop-Vac Hawkeye has the necessary attachments to get the job done without going overboard. All the accessories store on the back of the unit. While everything has its place, one drawback to this model is that the accessory holders feel a little flimsy.
Included in Kit
- Claw utility nozzle
- Crevice tool
- Tool holder
Hose and Cord Management: The Shop-Vac Hawkeye is a bit clumsy on the hose management side of things. Tabs at the front and back of the handle give you a shot at controlling it, but the small size really makes it awkward. Your best bet is to store the hose in the canister when you’re done using it.
The cord wrap system that Shop-Vac integrates into this model does work pretty well. The tabs are nice and wide, and the cord wraps up securely. The downside here is that the wrapped cord gets in the way of latch access.
The 6 Hp motor Shop-Vac includes on this model is a nice surprise. Typically you expect to see 5 Hp or even less. It’s what you do with what you’ve got, though. 90 CFM and 50″ of water lift aren’t going to blow your mind, compared to other vacs in this canister size class, it holds its own pretty well.
The 90 CFM is plenty to collect the lightweight dust that’s likely to go airborne. 50″ of water lift is about as light as I dare to go. It’ll get most all of your wood chips and certainly all the dust. But it will leave larger chunks and other debris behind.
In our pull force test, this compact Shop-Vac echoes that understanding with just 2.5 pounds of pull force. It’s not the weakest we’ve tested (that crown belongs to Shop-Vac’s 4-gallon model), but it is on the low side.
The Bottom Line
For $89, the Shop-Vac Hawkeye gives you high portability and more power than you expect in a wet/dry vacuum of this size. There are options in a similar price range if you’re wanting to go with something bigger and/or with wheels to roll around the shop. What I really like this model for is to serve as a quick cleanup tool for vehicles, isolated areas of the shop, and your house. It also has some potential to act as your dust collector on any of your tools with a dust port if you have the right size adapter and 7′ of hose is enough for you to work with.
Shop-Vac Hawkeye 5-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac Features
- Large Lid Latches
- Inlet Accepts 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″, and 2.5″ Hose Ends
- 20′ Power Cord
- Rear Blower Port
- On-Board Cord And Accessory Storage
- Lightweight And Portable
Shop-Vac Hawkeye 5-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac Specs
- Model: Shop-Vac H87S600Cr
- Motor: 6 HP
- Canister Size: 5-Gallon
- Hose Diameter: 1-1/2″
- Hose Length: 7′
- CFM: 90
- Water Lift: 50
- Warranty: 5 years limited
- Price: $89