The Ridgid 16 gallon 6.5 HP shop vac comes in two versions: the stainless model WD1956 and the plastic model WD1851. Which is best? Let’s take a look.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(Update – Nov 10 2021 – Hey folks, it’s going on 10 years and I’m still on this same RIDGID stainless vacuum. Love this thing!)
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
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.
Ridgid’s stainless steel 16gal wet/dry vacuum is taller, lighter, and has better storage than the 16 gallon plastic model. If you don’t care about the tool storage bag the plastic model is cheaper, 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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