Ash Vacuum vs Shop Vacuum: A Comparative Detailed Guide

An ash vacuum is a more efficient tool when it comes to cleaning your fireplace, stove, and charcoal grill, among others. The ash vacuum offers much better speed and cleanliness than a broom, shovel, or dustpan would.

A shop vacuum, on the other hand, while different from a shop vacuum, is also utilized for cleaning ash and dust. It has an industrial design for heavy-duty use. This article provides a detailed comparative analysis between an ash vacuum and a shop vacuum.

Ash vacuum vs shop vacuum

The specific products of comparison are the Craftsman CMXEVBE17585, which is an ash vacuum, and the Vacmaster VBV1210, which is a shop vacuum. Continue perusing the article to find out our top choice, which we hope will interest you.

CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17585 vs Vacmaster VBV1210 Comparison Table

FeaturesCraftsman  CMXEVBE17585Vacmaster VBV1210
Vacuum TypeAsh VacuumShop Vacuum
Form FactorStickHandheld
Surface RecommendationWood and aluminumDrain
FiltrationHEPA media filter A cartridge and a foam filters
Special featureAsh vacExtra-large drain port
Size5 Gallon 3.25 Peak HP12 Gallon 5PHP


Vacuum cleaners are essential when it comes to cleaning your household, and the best one should be able to meet your cleaning needs efficiently.

Our best pick is the Craftsman CMXEVBE17585 ash vacuum, and the characteristics that make it our top choice include the following:

1. The machine is ideal for dry cleaning cool ashes from different spaces, such as the fireplace, wood or pellet stove, grill, smoker, or fire pit.

2. It is designed for heavy-duty use due to its heavy-duty construction, made up of a metal-lined hose, drum, and wand.

3. It has a non-stick coated HEPA media filter that traps fine particles and cool ash.

4. The hose of the vacuum has an LED light that enhances visibility in dark areas.

5. The sturdy handle on top of the machine helps you move it around since the machine is lightweight.


Product Review: Ash Vacuum vs Shop Vacuum

1. CRAFTSMAN CMXEVBE17585 Ash Vacuum

The CRAFTSMAN ash vacuum is among the top-rated vacuums for various reasons.

The machine enables you to clean finer particles together with cool ashes from the fireplace, wood or pellet stove, grill, or fire pit without other additional tools.

The vacuum is lightweight and has a sturdy handle on top, which enables you to move the machine with ease even though it lacks wheels.

The machine is strictly for dry use only and it has a power cord that is eight feet long.

The heavy-duty construction of the ash vacuum enhances the durability of the machine. All the parts of the vacuum, which include the hose, metal-lined wand, and drum, are all designed to withstand some heavy use in and outside your home.

The vacuum has a HEPA media filter with a non-stick coating that is capable of trapping all dust and ash particles in your heating system. That prevents you from breathing in any dust particles when cleaning with the vacuum.

The three-foot locking hose of the machine has an LED light located on the end of the hose, which enhances visibility when cleaning poorly lit areas or dark corners.

The machine has a metal crevice tool that assists you in getting rid of ashes from beneath the grilling grate or tight corners.

Product Information

  • Brand: Craftsman.
  • Model name: CMXEVBE17585
  • Surface: wood and aluminum.
  • Power source: AC
  • Color: Black.
  • Weight: 12.06 pounds.


  • The ash vacuum has a heavy-duty construction.
  • The hose has a LED light for advanced visibility.
  • It has a heap media filter that prevents the leakage of dirt.


  • The ash vacuum does not have wheels.


2. Vacmaster VBV1210

The Vacmaster shop vacuum is a versatile design that can be converted to a handheld blower easily to clear messes such as dirt and leaves from your garage and driveway.

The blower has a high performance suitable for multiple uses. The machine has a thick hose that is seven feet long and two and a half inches in diameter.

The hose, together with the power cord, provides you with a cleaning reach of 19 feet. The vacuum’s tough polypropylene construction enhances its durability.

The shop vacuum has a cartridge filter for cleaning dry debris and a foam filter for wet messes.

The filter makes the machine suitable for both dry and wet cleaning. The device works great on fine dust, but the manufacturer recommends buying a special dust filter for tackling dust.

The Vacmaster has a twelve-gallon tank, which enables you to clean up plenty of dirt and water. However, the large tanks make the vacuum heavy since it weighs 39.4 pounds, making it difficult to move around.

However, the machine is portable and moves on four 360-degree casters. It has a drain port at the bottom of the tank for easy water removal and a crevice tool attachment that is great for cleaning the interior of vehicles. The machine is ideal for large spaces.

The vacuum comes with accessories such as an air and noise diffuser, a utility nozzle, standard foam filters, and cartridge filters, two extension wands, a blower adapter, and a secure-fit hose.

Product Information

  • Brand: Vacmaster.
  • Model name: VBV1210.
  • Surface: Drain.
  • Power source: AC
  • Color: Blue.
  • Weight: 39.4 pounds.


  • The shop vac runs quietly.
  • It is suitable for both wet and dry cleaning.
  • The removable motor allows the machine to be utilized as a blower.
  • The hose and power cord provide you with a cleaning reach of 19 feet.
  • It has a large gallon tank.


  • You may have to purchase an extra filter for dust cleaning.


Differences: Craftsman CMXEVBE17585 vs Vacmaster VBV1210

Comparison List

1. Size and dimensions:

2. Structure and design

3. Intended purpose

4. Filter quality

5. Price

6. Pros & cons


Size and dimensions: Ash vacuums usually come in portable and compact form factors. Shop vacuums, on the other hand, have large bodies that are fit for construction use.
Winner: shop vacuum.

Structure and design: An ash vacuum is designed for the safe removal of ash dust and ash leftover from burning wood or coal. The vacuum is designed to handle hot materials since it consists of a heat-resistant thermal hose with a rubber coating for tackling hot residues.

A shop vacuum is designed for woodshop or construction workers to pick up dirt and debris in these working environments. The vacuums have high suction and large canisters for collecting debris. The vacuum is built like a tank and it is super durable.

Winner: Shop vacuum.

Intended purpose: The ash vacuum is used for cleaning ash and ash particles from stoves, fireplaces, and fire pits. A shop vacuum is made for heavy-duty use, and its place is on a big construction site or workshop. It cannot, however, be used to clean backyards or garages.

Winner: Ash vacuum.

Filter quality: The ash vacuum has a special filter that is installed to handle the hot ember while protecting the engine. Shop vacuums, on the other hand, are huge machines engineered to eliminate everything in their path, and that is why they do not come with filters.

Winner: Shop vacuum.

Price: Since the two products vary significantly in their design and usage, their prices also vary. The ash vacuum is quite affordable and its price ranges are on the lower side, even though expensive models exist on the market.

A shop vacuum is quite expensive since it is intended for professional use. The higher price is also attributed to the versatility of the machine, which is more than that of an ash vacuum.

Winner: Ash vacuum.

Pros and cons: The pros of the ash vacuum include heavy-duty construction; the hose has an LED light for advanced visibility, and the machine has a heap media filter that prevents the leakage of dirt.

The cons are that the ash vacuum does not have wheels to enhance movement.

The pros of the shop vacuum include a quiet operation; it is suitable for both wet and dry cleaning, the removable motor allows the machine to be utilized as a blower, the hose and power cord provide you with a cleaning reach of 19 feet, and it has a large gallon tank.

The cons include having to purchase an extra filter for dust cleaning.


What should you consider while purchasing ash vacuums?

Power: when it comes to power a bigger motor is more powerful because it increases suction power enabling you to clean deeper. However, small jobs do not require so much power.

Filters: an ash vacuum requires a filter to suck up fine ash, prevent the ash from reaching other internal parts of the machine, and prevent dirt build-up. The filter also protects electronics, fans, and motors from melting under the heat.

Dimensions and weight: if you do not have much room in your living quarters a compact ash vacuum will be suitable. Smaller models have a decent capacity and good motors. The weight of the vacuum is also important especially if it lacks castors on the bottom for easy movement.

Capacity: the tank capacity of the ash vacuum is of essence more so if the usage is regular. Small jobs will require a smaller tank capacity such as when cleaning pellet ash. However, larger tanks are well suited for bigger jobs to avoid the need for frequent emptying while cleaning.

Noise level: all vacuums make noise but the noise does not have to drown out everything else around you. However, most ash vacuums have motors with a quite operation which is safe for your ears.

Cord and hose length: the hose length determines the furthest you will reach when cleaning your stove, fire pit, or furnace. Similarly, a shorter cord will limit your reach.

Therefore, ensure that both the hose and cord provide you with extended reach into every not and cranny of your heating system.

What should you look for when buying a shop vac?

Design: choose a model with a long hose and cord for extended reach. Also, look for other extension tools. A large tank ideally as large as 14 gallons is also good as it eliminates the need for frequent emptying.

Power: higher power is preferred for shop vacs, therefore look for a vacuum with high suction power, a great motor, and horsepower. The motor should be at least 500 watts and horsepower of 1 or 2.

Filters: you do not need a filter if the vacuum is going to be used for large objects. However, if your cleaning involves fine particles a filter will be essential. Consider a dust filter for cleaning tiny particles.

Durability: generally, shop vacs are engineered to last, but you have to look for one with a tough exterior made of polypropylene or a similar derivative and rubberized components as required.

The wheels and castors should be of high quality so that you can move it to different locations as you clean.

Attachments: most shop vacs come with extension wands for the difficult-to-reach area while some have multiple wands. Others include crevice tools, concentration nozzles, and squeegees for a more diversified cleaning.

Are ash vacuums any good?

An ash vacuum has a tank that collects dirt, ash, and other debris using a long hose that sucks them up. The vacuum has other features which include attachments, varying nozzles, wheels, and handles.

The vacuum has a stronger build than regular home vacuums including metal tanks, hoses, and nozzles. The filters of the vacuum are resistant to heat should any warm ashes get stuck there.

Some of them can be used to clean both warm and cold ash. When cleaning, the ash vacuum locks ash inside preventing any leakage back into the air.

Ash vacuum vs shop vacuum