The Best Shop Vac for Drywall Dust

Drywall dust gets everywhere when you’re working with sheet rock. I mean everywhere! It’s unfortunately part of the job. While most shop vacs blow the dust back into the room without the proper filters, I’ve learned a few different ways to get rid of the dust. I’ll first recommend a few vacuums and then explain two options to get rid of the drywall dust.

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The 5-Gallon Shop-Vac

The Shop-Vac Gallon Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum is like the Kleenex of the shop vacuum world. Many people would be surprised to learn that Shop-Vac is a brand and not an industry term for a vacuum in your shop. Nonetheless, it’s a tried and true brand that sits in the basements and garages of millions of homeowners across the United States.

If you want the best, go for a Shop-Vac. It’s tank is stainless steel compared to other brands that have a plastic tank to collect debris. Steel is more durable and can be easier to clean and empty. If you want a product made in the U.S.A. with global components, look no further that the original. With the right HEPA or water filter, it’ll clean up all the drywall dust you need.

Why is My Shop Vac Blowing out Dust?

Your Shop Vac is blowing out dust because the filter isn’t collecting dust properly. The filter could have become unseated, may have a hole, or may need to be replaced. Open the top, take a look inside, and see if you can find where the issue is.

Will Drywall Dust Ruin My Shop Vac?

Drywall dust will eventually clog your Shop Vac filter and cause the motor to strain. The motor will eventually burn out with enough strain. To avoid this you need to replace filters often, purchase a water based or cyclone filter, or make a DIY solution.

The Value Pick

The Vacmaster Professional – 5 Gallon, Beast Series is a 5 Gallon wet/dry vacuum that will do wonders with dust and debris cleanup. With plentiful accessories, it’s versatile enough for sheetrock to woodworking projects. The motor is also powerful enough that you won’t be wanting for more suction cleaning up drywall dust from your sheetrock project.

How to Get Rid of Drywall Dust

HEPA Filters

The first method is to buy a HEPA filter for your shop vacuum. Find what size your shop vac is and then choose the right size filter. Most of them range anywhere from 5 gallons up to 12 gallons or more. The one negative to using a HEPA filter is that you may need to replace it often depending on how much work you have. These filters can get expensive if you’re replacing them often but they work well if that’s all you have.

HIFROM Replacement Vacuum Filter fits Shop-Vac 90304 9030400 903-04-00 903-04 This fits the Shop-Vac 5989300 above and comes with 2 filters.

Vacmaster Standard Cartidge Filter & Retainer, VCFS – Fits the Vacmaster above.

Make Your Own Water Filter

For the second what you need a little more ingenuity. If you don’t want to be replacing expensive filters all the time, you can make your own water filter.

You’ll need the following:

Follow these steps to make your own water filter:

  1. Cut out two holes in the top of the bucket lid the same size as your Shop Vac hoses
  2. Insert the longer hose length through one hole extending a few inches higher than the bottom of the bucket. This is the hose you’ll use to vacuum
  3. Insert the other hose into the other hole and make sure it doesn’t extend more than a few inches below the lid
  4. Insert the other end of this hose into your Shop Vac
  5. Fill the bucket with enough water to submerse the longer hose at the bottom of the bucket
  6. Enjoy your new water filter as you vacuum up the drywall dust!
  7. Keep an eye on the water as it may need to be changed over time

One Last Option: The Dust Deputy

If you just want something off the shelf and don’t want to build your own water filter, the Dust Deputy is another option that works very well. The vacuum pressure creates a centrifugal force to remove dust and debris as it enters the container. It will fit any make or model shop vacuum and may be the solution you’re looking for.