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Jason writes: “The Stinger mini shop vacuum is tiny but packs a hell of a lot of suction.  I have a bigger shop vacuum but find myself reaching for this thing more often.  It’s smaller, lighter, and more convenient than its big brother.  Plus, if I leave it around the house it doesn’t bug the wife (as much).”

I love the idea of a small-but-functional shop vacuum.  We use the hell out of our big one in the Toolmonger shop, but I hate dragging it out and putting it away — especially for “smaller” tasks like cleaning up the workbench after some Dremel carving or metal drilling.  And at $30, this would almost qualify as an acceptable impulse buy.

One drawback: it looks like this is only available via Home Depot.  Do any of you have experience with other small vacs?  We’re pretty serious about picking one up, and we’d love to hear what you’ve got to say in comments.

Stinger 2.5 Gallon 1-3/4 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vacuum [Home Depot]


17 Responses to An Easier-to-Lug Shop Vac

  1. Rick says:

    I’m partial to the wall-mounted models. I can totally see a wall-mounted small shop vac like this one being very useful. If you need to vacuum up the workbench, you can do it right where it is.. just pull out the hose and you’re golden.. and then if you need to take it into the driveway to vacuum the car, or into the house to clean up after a job, it’s still portable. The one I linked to is twice the size of the one above, but has gotten excellent reviews. The 12 foot hose it comes with could be good, but I’m sure you can get longer ones, and I think there’s “aftermarket” hoses that are smooth on the inside to improve suction.

  2. BJN says:

    I recently picked up a similar Craftsman vac for $25 on sale. There’s no tool storage except to stick them in the tank. It’s hard to tell what’s happening with the Stinger photo tools. The Craftsman also has molded hose detents, but these offer minimal grip and the hose comes loose too easily. Hard to say if the Stinger’s setup is any better.

    One of the main reasons I got the tiny vac is the blower capability. With a power inverter (direct battery hookup Zantrex Xpower 700) I can use the blower to inflate whitewater rafts very quickly.

  3. For air mattress duty, I picked up a little 12-volt inflater and it’s served me well. Also makes a great campfire accelerant!

    If I were in the market for a 2-gallon vacuum, I’d be looking primarily at the DeWalt DC500. It’s more than twice the price, but the convenience of built-in batteries would be pretty sweet, especially for car cleaning and jobsite stuff.

    Thirty bucks though… boy, that doesn’t take much convincing!

  4. Adam Cook says:

    I’ve got the exact model pictured that I use daily at work. It is darn near perfect. Great suction. Can’t beat the price. Love it for sucking out the bottom of toilet tanks before popping them off.

    Quick changing cheap filter bags. Easy cord/hose storage. Opens and closes easier and more secure than many shop vacs I’ve used. Tools pop out of their holders when banging around, I don’t treat it gentle; but I rarely need them, and if you’re using it hard they’re easy to throw in the canister.

    Bought one after a buddy recommended his. He’s got an earlier model, mostly cosmetic update, that’s going on it’s 2nd year, only bought his after he saw his uncle’s run for longer than that.

    Think they are only Home Depot, only place I could find one. But no question a great pick-up.

  5. Michael W. says:

    In addition to my Ridgid I have one of these (the second one I’ve bought, the first “disappeared” at a jobsite). I did buy it as an impulse, but find it useful when I don’t want to wheel out my “good” vacuum.

    Only problem I’ve had was when I dropped a small chunk of oak on it in my shop and cracked the black casing. Nothing a little Gorilla tape couldn’t fix though.

    My kids love it. They like to use it to vacuum out the Suburban.

  6. Rob says:

    I have a full size Rigid and a 2 gal. Shop Vac branded vac. I went with the Shop Vac branded model for parts (filter) availability. Even on my Rigid at HD I can’t find the correct replacement filter for it (I’m using a generic “fits all” type).

    It was around $30 and it works great!

  7. James says:

    I almost picked one of these up a while back. I ended up simply buying some pieces for my existing Ridgid vacuum.

    The post didn’t mention it, but this vacuum is made by Ridgid, which is why it’s only available at HD. If it’s anything like the Ridgid I already have, it’s solid and worth the money.

    Rob: HD stocks the Ridgid filters in the same place as the vacuums. All you have to do is find your model number, which should be on a yellow sticker, and find the replacement with that model number on it.

  8. TimUnderwood says:

    I got mine to supplement the big Sears shop-vac. The hose is smaller and allows me to get into tighter places with good suction.The attachments all store in the rounded cutouts around the top of the unit. The only beef I have is that the hose is too stiff and defies all attempts to coil it up.
    Rick where can I get that smooth walled hose?

  9. Rick says:


    I can’t find where I had read about the smooth walled hose. I’ve tried googling and checking amazon and no dice. The only thing I remember was that the hoses weren’t cheap.. Sorry..

  10. TL says:

    I bought one of these to use as permenant dust collection for my DeWalt chop saw. It lives very happy under my chop saw bench and does a great job keeping the sawdust clear until my shop can afford a real dust collection system.

  11. Rob says:

    James, Thanks for the tip. I could find the filters, just not the one for my model (it’s probably 10 years old and uses one of those pleated paper type filters). I just couldn’t find the right replacement part there.

  12. Laura Argiri says:

    I have one of the little Stinger vacs. I like it a lot. I got it very cheaply on ebay, and it was worth every penny. I’m looking to buy another now.

    If you don’t need a lot of capacity and find a compact, lightweight shop vac ideal, the Stinger is a very good choice.

  13. Janet says:

    I have one of these little Stingers, just bought it.

    I do have an issue with it, while the suction is awesome, I can’t stop it from blowing out the other opening opposite the hose end?

    I just tore out all my carpets and vacuumed the grunge that was left underneath, had to use my house vac because fine dust was coming out the blower hole.

    Am I doing something wrong?

  14. San Jose Sprint says:

    Where can you find replacement filters for the 2.5 Gallon Stinger wet/dry vac?

  15. JC says:

    Thread back from the dead!

    San Jose: try this link – http://tinyurl.com/yhcubkh

  16. Michael S. Oliphant says:

    I’ve purchased this vacuum cleaner for my interior renovational business and the only thing I can say is that this is the most durable machine I’ve ever owned……as for the filters…. I used a cotyon pillowcase cut to the inner drum wrapped twice, then taped aroind three times………then…back to normal

  17. Jon says:

    I know this is an old post, but I’m putting this out there for anyone who searches for this thing.

    I LOVE my Stinger. I use it every day doing drywall repair. I even have a portable dust separator I made for my table saw, router table, miter saw, and even drywall sanding. The power of this tiny thing is remarkable. I didn’t expect it would be able to draw enough with its little motor and little hose to handle dust separation, but it does.

    However it is basically impossible to find accessories for this. The Ridgid vacuums use 1 7/8″ or larger hoses. This uses 1 1/4″. You can’t even get a longer hose anywhere that I can find, and the one that comes with it is very short. Also it pulls out easily which is a frequent problem because it is so short. And the inlet is basically pointed right at the filter, so the filter always gets clogged LONG before the canister is anywhere near full (even before there’s a full layer of dirt on the bottom). For the dust separator I got the Ridgid replacement hose with adapter for 1 1/4″ connection, but that only adapts one end of the larger hose. PVC fittings, wafer head sheet metal screws, and duct tape made the connection I needed.

    And good luck if you need a finer filter than it ships with. That’s the only kind I can find. They’re quite affordable, but they don’t stop drywall dust.

    Next time I’ll probably get the portable/jobsite Ridgid for about twice the money.

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