Written by Terry Smith
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Best Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Reviewed
This article was last updated on October 3rd, 2021 at 7:53 am
Imagine you’ve dropped a bowl of cereal on the floor. There’s cornflakes and milk swimming all over your kitchen floor. Usually this would be a pain in the you know what to clean because you have a mix of solid and liquid waste to deal with. Maybe you’d mop the milk up first, then sweep up the cornflakes? Or maybe the other way around? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just use a single cleaning method for both?
Well, there is. The best wet and dry vacuum cleaners can take care of both kinds of waste, separating them into separate sections inside the storage bucket contained within the vacuum housing.
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These wet and dry vacuums have become so popular recently that the market has been flooded with products, and it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. But not to worry, as we have taken a closer look at the most popular brands and models available and have chosen our picks for the best wet and dry vacuum cleaner UK. We have taken into consideration things like durability, cleaning performance, features, and price, to give you an easier time when it comes to picking your own new wet and dry vacuum cleaner.
Table of Contents
1. Kärcher WD2 Wet and Dry Vacuum, Steel, 1000 W, 12 liters
Specification: Energy use: 1000 w, Container capacity: 12 l, Suction Hose Length: 1.9 m, Power Cable Length: 4 m
Karcher is an incredibly well known and trusted brand when it comes to cleaning machines, so it should come as no surprise that one of their wet and dry vacuums has made our list. The WD2 is part of a range of wet and dry vacuum cleaners from Karcher. We chose this one to kick off our reviews over the larger WD3,4, or 5, because for most people’s everyday tasks, this is enough, and it is also much cheaper than its larger siblings.
Don’t let it’s small size fool you though, this little yellow minion still packs a punch with its 1000W motor, and can easily suck up all kinds of waste and debris, from screws and sawdust from the garage floor, to broken glass, milk, and wine spills, from your kitchen tiles.
With that power comes quite a bit of noise, as is to be expected I suppose. At 77 decibels, it’s not exactly deafening, but I did think it was louder than my other, less powerful, ‘dry only’ vacuum.
This is a compact wet and dry vacuum cleaner, with dimensions of 36.9cm x 33.7cm x 43cm, and it weighs 4.6kg. Actually, this lack of weight I actually found to be a bit of a downside, as I am heavy handed and tend to pull too hard and topple the machine over quite often. With a little practice though, I became less rough with the WD2 and it stayed upright a lot more.
At 1.9 metres long, the suction tube is a usable length, so no complaints there, and the 8 metre power cable is also a welcome design feature.
In addition to this, the 12 litre capacity is more than enough for most household cleaning chores. Switching from dry to wet use is really simple too, and just needs you to remove the paper filter bags.
Included in the box are a soft bristle brush and a long crevice nozzle, and to be honest, this is all you’re really going to need for cleaning the hose and car. Everything packs away neatly onto the main unit of the WD2 wet and dry vacuum cleaner for convenient storage.
The only real gripe I have, is that there is air flow out of the rear exhaust vent and this can blow dust and sawdust around if you have the back of the vacuum pointing at it. Again, it only takes a little getting used to, but it is a gripe nonetheless.
All being said though, I really liked the Karcher WD2. It’s A powerful, compact, wet and dry vacuum cleaner that’s easy to set up and use, and it is priced very competitively.
2. Henry Charles Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner, 15 Litre, 1060 W
Specification: Energy use: 1060 w, Capacity Dry: 15 l, Capacity Wet: 9 l, Solution Tank: 6 l, Cleaning Range: 26.8m
Everyone has seen the classic Henry vacuum cleaner. The iconic, cartoonish, look of the original machine, paired with an actual cleaning performance that is better than a lot of its competitors, has led it to being one of the best-selling machines in recent times.
Charles can be seen as Henry’s big brother. Standing 35.5 x 35.5 x 51cm, Charles is not what you would call compact, but it is not designed to be. Charles is made to do one thing, and do it well, and that is to clean up any mess that you throw at it.
The 1060W motor produces a lot of suction power, and this makes Charles a very versatile machine to have around. Wet leaves on the patio and drive? No problem, Charles will take care of it. Spilled fluids? Easy peasy. You can even unblock sinks with this powerful wet and dry vacuum cleaner!
Thankfully, there is a slide panel on the hose that allows you to tone the power down somewhat so you can still clean more delicate things without causing damage.
At 70 decibels, it’s a bit quieter than the Karcher WD2, but still quite loud when compared to a standard vacuum. It is almost twice as heavy as the Karcher model, but after pulling the WD2 over so many times by accident, I was glad of the extra weight and stability that I got with Charles. And let’s be honest, 9 kilograms isn’t exactly going to break your back, especially when you’re pulling it around on wheels.
You’re not likely going to need your extension lead with this wonderful wet and dry vacuum. It comes with a 10 metre power cable already attached, and it also has a long hose to boot. But unfortunately, unlike its little brother ‘Henry’, there is no auto rewind of the cable on Charles and it has to be done manually.
Switching from wet to dry modes doesn’t take long, and the housing on the main unit is easy to open for maintenance, changing filters, and such.
With an excellent cleaning performance, and a good range of attachments included in the box, the Charles wet and dry vacuum cleaner is a great deal at the current price.
3. Vacmaster Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner 20L
Specification: Energy use: 1250 w, Container capacity: 20 l, Cleaning hose length: 2.5 m, Power Cable length: 4 m
If you’re an avid DIY enthusiast and are looking for a wet and dry vacuum to use in your garage or workshop, this could be just the product for you. Not only does it produce a lot of suction power for something priced so low, but it also has a built-in power take off (PTO) socket built into it.
What having this PTO means for you, is that you can plug your power tools directly into the vacuum, and this will allow you to sink the action of the power tool with the on and off suction of the vacuum. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? No more having to bend down to switch the vacuum on and off overtime you want to make a cut or sand something. Just stop using your power tool, and within ten seconds the vacuum will cut out too.
The attachment tube that comes with the Vacmaster has been designed well and makes it really easy to fit power tools of pretty much any brand without too much fuss. This is due to it being made of soft rubber, and this pliability helps to get a good fit and seal on the tools’ dust extractor port.
But the Vacmaster isn’t just suitable for power tools and workshops. This is also a very good home wet and dry vacuum cleaner that you can use in and out of the house. It’ll do a bang-up job clearing all sorts of debris and mess from carpets, tiles, paving stones, and pretty much any other surface you can think of.
Like anything, there are some flaws when it comes to this product. For instance, the plastic used for the hose and attachments aren’t of the highest quality, but then what can you expect for something that costs less than 70 quid?
At 75.5 decibels, it is also a little on the loud side, a bit like the Karcher WD2. The noise is produced by the powerful motor and it’s just a byproduct of having good suction performance I’m afraid, and very common with these kinds of products, especially the low-cost ones.
At 4 metres, the power cord isn’t as long as some of its competitors, but it has a huge 20 litre capacity tank, a blower function, and of course the PTO socket to help it compete for its market share. A great value wet and dry vacuum cleaner that’s perfect for DIY folks.
4. Einhell TC-VC 1930S 1500 W Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner
Specification: Energy use: 1500 w, Container capacity: 30 l, Cleaning hose length: 2.5 m, Power Cable length: 3 m
The Einhell TC-VC 1930S hits a lot of the right notes when it comes to being one of the best wet and dry vacuum cleaners, but unfortunately, it also falls flat on a few issues too.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first shall we?
Firstly, the power cable is way too short. While other models sport 8 metre and 0 metre cables, the Einhell has just two metres. This means that you will have to get the extension lead out every time you want to use it, either that or keep changing sockets all the time as you move around the house. Now, I understand this is an easily fixed problem with a bit of basic DIY, but still, what were the maker’s thinking?
The second issue I have with this model is that the plastic used for the attachments isn’t very good quality, and there is some worry about how durable it will be. Apart from these faults, the Einhell is a very good product. It has incredible suction power for such a cheap model due to the 1500W motor, and will have no problems cleaning up anything, from any surface.
It also has a large, 30 litre capacity tank, made from stainless steel, that makes tacking jobs like blocked sinks and draining garden ponds so much easier. This is helped along by a 36mm diameter suction hose too.
Unlike the power cable, the hose is actually a good length. At 2.5 metres it does its best to compensate for the shortcomings of the power cable.
The Einhell wet and dry vacuum cleaner also has a blow function which comes in handy when you want to clean out tight corners or gaps. You just blow the dust and dirt out and then suck it up as usual. Using the supplied attachments, it is possible to connect the Einhell to your power tools, such as a sander, so that’s another tick in the positive box.
At 5 kilograms, this product is fairly lightweight and is easily pulled around on its 4 castor wheels, or carried by the handle situated on top of the machine. I felt that this model was a bit more stable than the karcher and I didn’t pull it over as much.
The EInhell is on par with the Karcher when it comes to being loud though, with 78 decibels ringing in your ears it’s not the quietest of machines, but it isn’t unbearable.
Like I said at the beginning, this product is a bit hit and miss, but I have to say that there are far more positives than negatives, and the low price is certainly one of them.
5. Makita VC2512L Industrial Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner, 1000 W 25L/18L
Specification: Energy use: 1000 w, Tank Capacity: 25 l, Tank capacity Wet: 18 l, Cleaning hose length: 3.5 m,
I personally own quite a few Makita products, and it’s a name I certainly have a lot of trust in, so I was expecting this to be a contender for best wet and dry vacuum cleaner in its price bracket; I wasn’t disappointed.
Like most, if not all, Makita tools, the VC2512L is a solid and sturdily built machine. Also, like other products bearing the same brand name, this wet and dry vacuum has some very practical features.
For example, on the main housing you will find a power take off socket where you can plug in your power tools, making this a good option for workshops and commercial use. I have to note though, that the PTO socket is a two-pin type, so you’ll have to use an adapter in order to fit your standard British 3-pin plugs.
The 1000W motor does a good job of providing the Makita with a good amount of suction power, and the 32mm diameter hose combines with this suction to give an excellent cleaning performance.
The hose itself is very long, giving you 3.5 metres to play with. This means you should be able to clean around the room without even having to over the main unit that much. There are a few attachments for the hose: a flat nozzle, a floor brush, a suction connector, and an angled handle that has air flow control, so you can adjust the suction power.
Another feature I liked on this model was the push button filter unclogging. This really saves you a lot of time and messing around, and is classic Makita: simple, practical, but very useful.
With a 25 litre tank capacity, you won’t have to clean this wet and dry vacuum cleaner out all that often, but when you do, it is an easy job thanks to some practical design features.
The Makita VC2512L is a fair bit higher up the price range than products like the Karcher and Einhell, but it has to be said that it is a much higher quality machine, and would be a better choice for people who are going to be using their wet and dry vacuum cleaner in the garage or workshop on a frequent basis. This thing can take some punishment and keep on ticking.
6. Caramba CAR Cleaner VAC 5.0 Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaner Vacuum Cleaner with Blowing Function with 5 Nozzles
Specification: Energy use: 1100 w, Container capacity: 15 l, Cleaning hose length: 1.5-1.8 m, Power Cable length: 2.5 m
If your main intended purpose for your wet and dry vacuum cleaner is keeping the car spotless, you could do a lot worse than shelling out 56.99 on the Caramba CAR cleaner VAC 5.0.
Featuring an 1100W motor, the Caramba is no slouch when it comes to cleaning prowess, and will make light work of dirt, crumbs, dog hairs, and anything else stuck to your car carpets and upholstery.
As it is a wet and dry vacuum, you could even get a bowl of car shampoo and scrub your car seats and then use the suction to clean and dry them at the same time. This could save you a fair few pounds that would normally go to the local car wash.
There’s no mistaking that this package is intended for use with cars. The five interchangeable nozzles are designed for just that. There’s an attachment for getting dust and dirt out of the carpets, 2 crevice tools for getting in the gaps between and under seats, a horsehair brush, and an upholstery tool. Pretty much everything you need to self-valet your vehicle.
Although not as long as some of our featured products on this page, the hose is still a decent 1.8 metres, and more than enough for cleaning a vehicle, although I did find it a little bit stiff.
The caramba has a 15 litre tank capacity, which is more than ample, and weighs around 5kg. I felt that this is a good size and weight for its intended use i.e. cleaning cars, although maybe it should have been made a little more compact. With dimensions of 34 x 32.5 x 46cm it is hardly large or bulky though, and any smaller would have made it too light to be stable. It fell over a couple of times as it is, although this was probably due to my heavy hands.
This wet and dry vacuum cleaner has both suction and blow functions, with the latter coming in very handy when trying to get fine dust and crumbs out of the gaps between seats and backrests. Both functions have a good level of power and can handle tough cleaning jobs.
As you can expect from a low-cost product, some of the attachments aren’t made to the highest quality, but that’s not to say they aren’t any good. Just a little rough around the edges and maybe not made from the best materials available, but that’s to be expected.
Be aware that this arrives without a 3 pin plug so you’ll either have to change the plug, or use an adapter.
Best wet and dry vacuum cleaners- buyer’s guide
Before handing over your hard earned cash for that wet and dry vacuum cleaner that you’ve had your eye on, here’s a few things to consider…
Build quality and durability
You might be tempted at the low price on a certain model, and on paper it may look just as good as a more expensive model, but often the costs have been cut in the materials used for that product.
This can be the quality of the plastics used for the attachments, which isn’t a huge problem as you can buy better replacements, but sometimes the materials used in the internals of the machine are not up to par, and this can affect the working life of the machine. Don’t let this put you off cheaper models mind, there are some good deals to be had. Just make sure you read some customer feedback before buying.
Generally speaking, the larger the motor, the more suction power the vacuum cleaner is going to have. Anything 1000W or above is going to provide you with more than enough performance for most household chores, and even some larger emergency jobs.
Not all wet and dry vacuum cleaners have the same functions and features. Some good ones to look out for are a blower function to help get dust and such out of tight corners and gaps, a PTO socket for plugging your power tools into, and push button filter unclogging. You should also check that the vacuum has a long enough hose and power cable so that you can move around freely while cleaning.
You will notice that wet and dry vacuum cleaners have tanks to store wet waste, and the capacity of this tank varies from model to model. 15 litres is usually enough for home use, but obviously the larger the better, especially if you plan on using it to clean out a pond or something similar where you need to hold a lot of liquid. Also be aware that some tanks aren’t quite as big as advertised, so keep that in mind when you buy.
Size and weight
These products come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and you should think about how you intend to use your vacuum cleaner and buy accordingly. If you’re mainly going to be cleaning your car or a small flat, there’s no point buying a big and heavy machine. However, some products are a little too light, and you have to be careful not to pull them over as you move around while cleaning. Having to stop to pick up the machine every five minutes gets old very quickly, I assure you.