In my opinion, the Craftsman vacs are the better deals, quite simply because they’re not trimmed-down Black Friday-special models. Compared to last year’s Lowes Shop Vac special, this vacuum has a larger tank, more powerful motor, longer power cord, larger hose, and longer hose.
Unless you REALLY don’t want to spend $10 extra or spend money at Lowes, the Shop Vac is the better buy.
This vac is more than double the price of the Ridgid vac and nearly double the price of the Shop Vac special, but it also wasn’t built to sell at $50 or less. Compared to the Ridgid and Shop Vac 16-gallon specials, this Craftsman has a slightly smaller tank, a comparably powerful motor, a longer power cord, and a couple of added accessories. Craftsman is firm in their insistence that their 16-gal model can outperform competing Shop Vac and Ridgid vacs. Personally, I tend to look at suction power, hose size, cord length, and breadth of attachments and accessories. You could crudely say that if you add power input and subtract power lost to heat and friction, the result is power output.

True, but none of that can get the power to add up to 4 or 5 HP, or even the ideal 100% conversion 2.2HP. I picked up the Ridgid 16-Gallon on Black Friday a few years ago, and am planning to pick up another this year, maybe a smaller one. I just got back from buying my second Ridgid vacuum from THD; bought my first many years ago. Now I’ll have one for the garage shop and one for the basement shop and spare parts for the second one when the first one dies (assuming FIFO). The ad you're trying to view is either not found or has expired and has been moved to our archives.
The Shop Vac vacuum is more powerful and I like that it has an industry-standard hose size. I don’t know how manufacturers come up with their peak HP ratings, but I can only hope that they use similar methodology. Please don’t use them as a rating metric, unless negatively- the more HP they lie, the more you mark them down.

I have a 1930’s 110V motor with a several pound flywheel, it would be hard-pressed to make 3HP for a fraction of a second if stalled from full speed. I clean the filter by spraying it with a hose and letting it get bone dry before re-installing. Stuart, can you get some industry reps to comment on the lack of noise ratings and the fictional power ratings? I’ve had problems with the hose crimping, and of course broke a wheel after about a year.
A small diameter 25′ hose can be found for about $110 at industrial suppliers, and longer hoses are available at specialty shops.

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