RIDIGD 16 gal. Shop Vac Review

Ridgid’s 16 Gal., 6.5 HP, wet/dry shop vac comes in two flavors: the stainless model WD1956 and the plastic model WD1851. Both models have a 20′ power cord and provide the same power and capacity. They come with the same accessories but the plastic version also includes a rear wind diffuser.


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.


Both models have large back wheels making it easy to pull the unit up stairs, but the stainless has taller front casters giving it more ground clearance. This lets the drain plug sit higher allowing more knuckle clearance when draining or hooking up a pump.

The stainless also has a slightly taller and wider pull handle than the plastic making it easier to cart around.


At 6.5 HP it has a lot of suction. Keep the filter clean, or use a bag, and you’re good to go for most construction site cleaning tasks.


The 16 gallon’s tough as hell 2.5” pull-hose works across models down to Ridgid’s smaller 4 Gal, 5 HP shop vac.

Rust Issues

A couple of 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 rust free.

Bottom Line

After testing both 16 gal. vacs I found the plastic model’s small tool bag useless as it does not hold the accessories securely. Within the large bag of the stainless I’m able to carry the wands, attachments, and other cleaning tools. I also coil up the 20′ cord and throw it in the bag. For me, the extra ground clearance, taller pull handle, and larger bag of the stainless won the day.

Whichever one you get I hope you enjoy it.

See it in action here:

Build Quality
Features set
Previous articleHow to Rent and Operate a Mini Excavator
Next articleHow to Tie Into Existing Drain Line
Having worked as a carpenter and painting contractor I have a great appreciation for tool innovation. The freedom of cordless is amazing. These days, when I'm not traveling with my wife Zhou, you'll find me flipping houses in California.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here