Okay, so calling this the Dewalt cordless vac the BEST option for pros working in the field might be a bit extreme, but it’s definitely still a highly recommended model.
Actually, I think I’ll stick to my original thought – this Dewalt cordless + corded is the BEST portable vac option for field use. Seems like a better idea than a cordless and corded backup, doesn’t it?
Last week we had our HVAC ducts cleaned. Talking to the techs, I knew they’d vacuum up around the vents when they’re all done and ready to reattach all of the grills, and anywhere else where there’s ejected dust or debris.
I didn’t see it, but they described having a Milwaukee M18 cordless vac, probably the same one I bought last year, or maybe an older version of it. It’s a great vac, perfect for small cleanups.
There was one problem – one of the techs like to use Dewalt cordless power tools, and the other Milwaukee. I don’t know what the situation was with their gear selection for that day, but I didn’t see any Milwaukee tools leave the truck. When it came time to clean up, they realized that the M18 battery was never charged. No battery, no cordless vacuum.
The techs ended up walking around with a small 1.5 or 3 gallon wet/dry shop vacuum, plugging it in where they could.
Okay, so this means the techs have two vacs, either one in each truck, two in one truck, or maybe more – I didn’t ask.
Let’s say you’re a pro, service tech, or other field professional with the need for a cordless vacuum. I’m sure that you’ll always have a charged battery in your truck, right? No? It seems wasteful to have to allocate the space for both a cordless vac and a corded backup.
There are lots of reasons pros need small portable vacs.
This Dewalt 20V Max cordless wet/dry vacuum, DCV581H, received a perfect score when I reviewed it a few years ago. I felt it had decent power, runtime, capacity, and convenience.
The vac has a 2 gallon capacity, washable HEPA filter, and it’s overall a very nice and tidy package. It’s also one of the rare cordless vacs that can be powered via an AC outlet if or when needed.
A cordless vac is obviously meant to be powered by a Li-ion cordless power tool battery. But, there are bound to be times when you’re going to need a compact and portable corded solution. That’s what makes this Dewalt so versatile – it’s a cordless vacuum and its own corded backup. With something like this, you don’t need two separate cordless and corded vacs of similar sizes.
To be fair, there are some compromises compared to having separate cordless and corded vacs. At the top of my mind, small wet/dry shop vacuums can be equipped with different accessories. Product selection is usually very slim, meaning different filters or hose attachments can be hard to find. But, there are usually some accessories, which isn’t often true for cordless vacs. You’re not going to attach a 20-foot 2-1/2″ hose to a 3 gallon vac, but you *could*, which can’t be said for most cordless vacs.
I like this Dewalt vac. It’s not really the best cordless vac, nor would I describe it as the best corded vac. But, it has some great features and delivers solid performance. As a combined cordless/corded vacuum, it’s extremely versatile.
If I were equipping a work truck or van, this would be the clear frontrunner. I like other cordless vacs better for different reasons, but having the AC cord on this vac would definitely make a difference at times.
I could probably count on one hand as to how many times I’ve used the AC cord on my review sample, but it’s still a greater-than-zero number. And what I saw last week is that some pros could definitely benefit from having dual power options on a single vac.
The downside is that upgrading from the cordless-only model to the cordless/corded model comes at a premium – there’s currently a $30 difference. Then again, how much does a small corded vac cost, and how much space does it take up in a cramped van or truck?
One last note – these vacs can be powered by 20V Max or 18V batteries. Believe it or not, some pros are still rocking Dewalt 18V cordless power tools.
- Powered by 20V Max or 18V Dewalt batteries
- AC power option
- 1-1/4″ x 5′ hose
- 5′ power cord (and you can use an extension cord if needed)
- HEPA filter
- Wet/dry collection
- 2 gallon capacity
- 31 CFM
What kind of portable vacs do you prefer, cordless, cordless + corded, or corded-only?
Thank you to Dewalt for providing the review sample.