Sunday, July 5, 2020
Home Tool Reviews RIDGID 16 gallon Stainless Steel Shop Vac Review

RIDGID 16 gallon Stainless Steel Shop Vac Review

The Ridgid stainlesss steel shop vac covered in drywall dust.

In my opinion the Ridgid 16 gallon, 6.5 HP, shop vac is the best wet/dry vac on the market. It comes in two versions: the stainless model WD1956 and the plastic model WD1851. Which is best? Let’s take a closer look.

Weight

  • Ridgid stainless and plastic shop vacs side by side
  • ridgid stainless steel shop vac being weighed at 30.8 pounds with accessories

Believe it or not, the stainless model is a half pound lighter than the plastic version coming in at only 27.8 lbs without accessories. Scroll the next photo to see the weight with accessories.

Height

Ridgid stainless steel shop vac valve draining water.

Both models have large back wheels, but the stainless has taller front casters giving it more ground clearance. This lets the drain plug sit higher allowing for more knuckle clearance when draining or attaching a pump.

Power

Shop vac hose wand sucking up rocks.

At 6.5 HP the these vacs have plenty of suction. Both have a 20′ cord, the same 16 gal. capacity, and come with the same accessories. Although, the plastic model comes with a rear air diffuser, which you can buy separately for the stainless. I didn’t.

Rust

Shop vac being washed down with water on sidewalk.

Some “people” have reported rust issues with the stainless, which is not covered under Ridgid’s warranty. However, after six years of sucking water, rocks, and mud mine is still rust free.

Bonus

Man changing hose between large and small shop vac outdoors.

The 16 gallon’s, tough as heck, 2.5” pull-hose works across models down to Ridgid’s 4 Gal, 5 HP shop vac shown above. Just thought I’d thrown in that fact. I was really excited when I figured that out. #toolnerd

Storage

Two shop vacs side by side.

In the photo above notice the larger storage bag on the stainless. Within the large bag I carry the wands, attachments, a dust pan and a dust broom. During cleanup I use the storage bag to hold trash too big for the hose. I even coil up the 20′ cord and throw it in the bag.

The small bag on the plastic model does not hold the wands securely. Nor do the rear wheel mounts hold the wands very well, which is how they are shown in the adverts.

Bottom Line


Ridgid’s stainless steel 16gal shop vac is taller, lighter, and has better storage than the 16 gallon plastic model. If you don’t care about storage the plastic model is cheaper, more dent resistant, smaller, and will never rust.

If you get one these shop vacs I hope you enjoy it. Please share any thoughts or questions in the comments below, and I”ll talk to you later.

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Buy from Home Depot

RIDGID 16 Gal Stainless Model WD1956

RIDGID 16 Gal Plastic Model HD1800

See it in action here:

REVIEW OVERVIEW

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Build Quality
Power
Storage
Features set
Value

SUMMARY

After six years of heavy use I can attest to the tough build quality of this shop vac. It is well featured, has plenty of power, and stores neatly away. I paid $179 for mine, which I consider high value for money. At the time of this writing Home Depot has it listed for $159. Nice!
Alex Broadwell
Hey I'm Alex with ToolRev. My goal is to produce unbiased, to the point, reviews to help people find the tools they're looking for. If you have any questions or comments leave them below. Please enjoy the website.

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