I’ve been testing Dewalt’s DCV581H cordless wet/dry vac for some time now, mostly for small workshop cleanup tasks. The vac can be powered from Dewalt 20V Max and 18V battery packs, and can be plugged into a wall outlet as well. It came out about a year ago, and there’s also the DCV580, a cordless-only model.
Overall, this is a very nice portable cleanup solution. It’s great for smaller jobs where you might not need the power, capacity, and accessories of a full-sized vacuum.
Preview: New Dewalt Cordless Vacuums
What We Like
- Great capacity (2 gallons)
- On-board hose comes with useful accessories – crevice nozzle and wide nozzle
- Comes with washable HEPA filter
- Multiple power options
As you can tell from the 20/20 rating, there aren’t any major faults or downsides to the vac’s design. Still, there are a few potential negatives to point out.
What Could be Better
- Noisy; hearing protection is recommended
- Cordless runtime seems short*
- No money-saving kit
*Runtime seems short, but that’s also because I’ve started using it a lot more. It’s nice to be able to perform quick cleanup tasks without having to pull out my dust extractor or wet/dry vac. On the upside, if battery power runs out too quickly when I’m not done cleaning and cannot pop in a fresh battery pack, I could always plug the unit into an AC outlet.
I bought a Dewalt DC515K ($129 via Amazon) a few years ago, and haven’t used it in a while. The DCV581H is larger and heavier, but I like that I don’t have to keep an eye on battery charge levels as much, and that it’s more convenient to use.
Price: $98-$125 for the bare vac; battery and charger sold separately.
I find myself sometimes wishing that the vac had an on-board battery charger, but that seems like it would have been an expensive and impractical feature for Dewalt to implement.
Right now, the DCV581H is $98 at Amazon and Home Depot, while the cordless-only DCV580 is $99. It’s a no-brainer; if you’re looking for a cordless vac, go for the DCV581H. At current prices, you save a dollar and have the option of AC power just in case you ever need it. Even when the DCV581H is bumped back to its regular price of ~$119, the extra cost is worth the benefits of having the backup AC power cord for longer cleanup sessions.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Buy Now(via Home Depot)
More Info(via Dewalt)
Compare(DCV580 via Amazon)
Thank you to Dewalt for providing the review sample unconditionally. Review samples are typically given away, donated, or retained for editorial and comparison purposes. This sample will likely be retained for long-term testing before being donated.
I’d love to see Milwaukee release a brushless (if possible) model, and even a cordless/corded model. Think of the power and increased runtime you could harness from brushless in a battery operated vac. I still use the Milwaukee I bought 5 years ago, that thing has seen much better days but still works great. For 100 can’t be beat. I’d still give 150 for a new model with new features.
I’ve been thinking about getting one of these. For general use around my workbench, as well as a potential use as a dust extractor source. But, that second part would only be if I found it capable of doing it.
I was also thinking of this with it:
Don’t quite know if this is worth it or not. What do you think?
The nozzle has a 1.25″ outer diameter (I checked with calipers), and so it *should* fit standard 1.25″ accessories.
I never thought of having an onboard battery charger, but given they don’t weigh much, and aren’t all that expensive to make, I think it would be a great convenience. When ever the vaccum is being used on 110, or even just sitting plugged in, it will be charging the battery. I’d probably leave a battery in the machine all the time, except of coarse, when a second battery is needed.
I had the older version and LOVED it. Maybe the most useful thing ever. Mine got stolen and I’ve truly missed it. I used mine for everything. They are perfect for cleaning out that last bit of water in a toilet before a repair or removal, or under sink leak clean up. Great for work bench cleanup, and in the car! Also used it for blowing up air mattresses before we got an aerobed.
I use mine daily!! Best thing since sliced bread. I do a lot of work for realtors that requires quick in and out fixes and this thing is on every job. It is probably the most used tool in my van. Large kitchen and bath remodels get the large shop vac set up ….but to get in and out you cant beat this machine.
This looks legit, I know it’s hard with smaller tools but I’d love to see more things like this with multiple battery platform options + plug in. Seems like radios and vac’s are the only things bulky enough to fit this though?
I’ve had the DCV581 model now for a while (same, but lacks the AC cord), I’ve actually been seriously impressed with runtime. I’ve done 3 day demo and flooring projects without swapping a pack, the machine gets some serious use. I might have to do a real test and time it out, I do use a 4.0ah pack in it pretty much 100% of the time though.
We had the older 18V version at work and it was awesome for both quick cleanups and longer detail work that required portability.
I wished it had a built-in charger back then, and still do now. I’d pay the extra $25 for that feature and buy one right now. Without it I’ll just wait, since I have a 1 Gallon Shop Vac and some larger vacs as well.
Nice quick review of the 20V DeWalt vacuum. I didn’t know you could run this model with the 18V batteries that’s pretty slick.
They bought all of us at work the smaller, portable 18V version of the DeWalt cordless vacuum. I didn’t use mine until recently as I thought it would be kind of worthless for a lot of the reasons you pointed out as pros for this model. I have started using mine a lot more though as it is really, really convenient.
After reading your review though, there are some things about this version I like better. It’s great that the 20V model comes with accessories and that it has the option of being cordless or plugging it in. I think both of these cordless vacuums from DeWalt are sort of noisy and I agree with you in that they should have included an on board battery charger with this model.
Thanks again for the review.
I read your old comment about a Dewalt Vaccum
Just bought mine 2 weeks ago. Everything seemed great until I cleaned up saw dust from a table saw, the vacuum would turn off and on and shutter. You would think you can vacuum up saw dust without a problem because it’s a Dewalt and used for that stuff
Brian A Murray
I usually don’t say a lot ,but I love it! I told my wife the other day it was the one of the best cordless peices I have ever bought.