If you’ve got a big mess, a shrimpy shop vacuum might not help out all that much. That’s where you need a hard-working, high capacity vacuum. Incidentally, large, Pro-performance level shop vacuums are what’s on the review menu for today. The Vacmaster Beast 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac presents an outstanding value for a large-capacity vacuum. This bad boy cranks out some very good performance and functionality, and it does it at a price that might surprise you.
16-Gallon Canister: 16 gallons falls on the upper end of the spectrum for portable shop vacuums. The Vacmaster Beast 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac has more than enough capacity to handle all but the biggest jobs while still maintaining some semblance of portability and maneuverability.
Blower: We’ve come to expect this feature from any Pro level shop vacuum, and the Vacmaster Beast 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac sports it as well. Converting the exhaust won’t have the same type of performance as a job site blower, but it will help out in a pinch.
Four 360° Rotating Casters: Casters are great for mobility on even, uninterrupted terrain, but they’ll have some trouble rolling over larger debris and power cords. Still, this design will allow for tight turns and getting into smaller spaces pretty easily. In the grand scheme of casters, these are right in the middle when it comes to how easy they roll.
Hose Management: The Vacmaster Beast 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum has a pretty solid hose management system in place. Metal rungs allow the hose to wrap around and hang from the motor housing. The rungs fit looser than I’d like, but they haven’t been a problem so far.
Cord Management: This model uses a hang hook for its cord storage. The design works, as it keeps the cord organized and out of the way. I prefer a cord wrap over a hang hook considering I don’t wrap mine as nicely as Kenny did for the photo. Vacmaster includes a Velcro strap to help in that department.
Drain Port: Not every shop vacuum comes with a drain plug, but most large capacity models do. Fortunately, the Vacmaster Beast 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac has it as well, because lifting and dumping that much liquid can do a number on your back and your attitude.
Accessory Storage: Vacmaster does very well in accessory storage. All the extension wands and nozzles all have a designated spot, either on the wheelbases or on the motor housing.
- 2 extension wand
- Fine dust cartridge filter
- Foam wet filter
- High-efficiency dust bag
- 14″ floor nozzle
- 8″ utility nozzles
- Air/Noise diffuser
A 6.5 horsepower motor is pretty standard for a larger-capacity vacuum, but there are significant differences in how brands distribute that power. Rated for 12 amps, Vacmaster can pull 150 CFM and 64″ of water lift through its 7′, 2-1/2″ hose according to their testing.
150 CFM is solid. It’s where our Pro-level dust extractors really begin to separate themselves. 64″ of water lift will take care of most of your shop needs for sawdust, dirt, wood chips, smaller screws/nails and the like, but there’s room for improvement.
In our pull force test, the Vacmaster Beast pulls 5 pounds, 7 ounces. That’s well below the class-leading DeWalt model, but more than the 4 – 5 pounds that most of our vacuums fall into.
Pricing & Value
The Vacmaster Beast 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac really shines in the value department. At around $117, it’s the best value you’ll get from a larger capacity shop vacuum given its performance level.
I like what the Vacmaster Beast 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac brings to the table. This maneuverable vacuum puts up excellent performance numbers while doing the “little” things well. Considering the whole package, we see this model presenting the best value in the large capacity class. If you’re the kind of Pro that wants to get the most bang for your buck, give Vacmaster a shot.
Want More Shop Vacuums? Check Out Our Buying Guide!
Vacmaster Beast 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac Features
- 15 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
- 6.5 Peak HP Ultimate Performance Motor
- Integrated Hose Storage
- 20′ Cord with Cord Wrap
- Easily Converts to Blower
- Extra Large Drain Port
- Storage on Casters & Power Head
- Large On/Off Dust Sealed Switch
- Balanced Top Handle Design
Vacmaster Beast 16-Gallon Wet/Dry Vac Specs
- Model: Vacmaster VJH1612PF 0201
- Motor: 6.5 HP
- Canister Size: 16-Gallon
- Hose Diameter: 2-1/2″
- Hose Length: 7′
- CFM: 150
- Water Lift: 64″
- Warranty: 5 years limited
- Price: $99.00