How Do I Choose the Best Drum Vacuum?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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A drum vacuum is a vacuum top that attaches to a metal drum. There are many different kits and models to choose from, though the size of the drum used with the drum vacuum usually is important, because it determines how much waste the vacuum can handle. Another consideration is the amount of power behind the vacuum, because this determines suction and how well it will suck up denser or heavier particles. Having a wet/dry drum vacuum may be better than a specifically wet vacuum or dry vacuum, because this enables it to pick up both types of materials. Hose thickness also can be a factor, because a larger hose generally will suck up more materials at once, increasing the vacuum's speed.

A vacuum normally has a bag or bay that is able to hold a certain amount of waste, but a drum vacuum uses an industrial drum as its bay. This enables it to hold more than most other vacuums, making it suited for industrial purposes, but there are many drum sizes from which to choose. If the vacuum is being purchased as a kit, then the kit normally can be fitted to any drum, while complete units will come with a drum.


Just like regular vacuums, a drum vacuum can have a different amount of power based on the motor strength and airflow. Choosing a powerful vacuum allows the operator to pick up heavy and dense materials, which can be particularly useful if sand, thick liquids or metal shavings need to be picked up. At the same time, a weaker vacuum tends to use less power, which may be important if the operator is trying to use less power overall.

Drum vacuum units can come as dry, wet or wet/dry. As the names imply, this means the vacuum can only pick up dry materials, can only pick up liquids or both respectively. This vacuum is most often used in industrial settings, where it is possible for both wet and dry materials to spill, so a wet/dry may prove to be the most versatile option. At the same time, if the operator only works with wet materials or dry materials, then a wet/dry may not be needed.

Another consideration when choosing the best drum vacuum is its hose size. A long hose allows the operator to vacuum farther away from the vacuum’s body, while a thicker hose can pick up more material at once and helps increase airflow. A larger hose often costs more money, so the operator should consider what size would work best for his purposes.



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