Porter Cable has just come out with a new line of wet/dry shop vacuums. I thought that ball bearing tool storage combo was a stretch for them (here’s our in-store hands-on), but a line of vacuums kind of makes sense.
Before I even read more about the vacs, I noticed a few things that I think you will find as interesting as I did.
First, look at the size of the locks that clamp the motor assembly to the dust collection canister. They look to be large and easily toggled, perhaps even with gloved hands.
And are those side handles? Very large sticking out side handles? (Nice!)
Speaking of handles, look at the one at the top of the vac.
I ordered a Shop Vac on sale during the 2015 holiday shopping season, it’s this one that’s currently $132 at Amazon. Sure, it has a “handle,” but if you pull up on it, the motor pops out for use as a blower.
That top handle is part carrying handle, part cord wrap. On the smallest vac, you just get a large carrying handle, but it still offers built-in cord storage.
It looks like you can wrap the hose around the top of the vac, between the canister locking handles and motor bulge.
By the way, shown above is the 12-gallon vacuum. You can see the other vac sizes at the top of the page or using the product page links, below.
Looking at the specs, the different sized vacs come with different sized hose sizes. The 12 gallon Porter Cable vacuum comes standard with an 8-foot 2-1/2″ hose and 2-1/2″ wand accessories. The 12 gallon vac also features a 14-foot power cord, which is a reasonable size.
When shop vacuums, always look at the size and length of the hose, and the length of the power cord, as this helps indicate whether it’s meant for everyday use or low-cost bulk holiday sales. Although… in recent years brands have come out with better spec’d holiday specials.
I don’t think that Porter Cable intends for these to be Father’s Day or winter holiday specials, or anything of the sort. This looks to be a new push into the shop vacuum market.
I noticed a few new Stanley vacuums, but nothing like this Porter Cable launch, which includes 6 different shop vacuum sizes and styles: 3, 6, 9, 12, 16 gallon vs, and an ash vac.
Additional features, which seem to be common across all of the wet/dry vac sizes, include a blower function, and casters with accessory storage.
The smallest vac has regular casters, the larger ones have “strengthened” casters with metal yokes. The 12 and 16 gallon vacs have built-in drain ports. All have water-resistant on/off power switches. The switches look quite large and easily-pressed too.
The product pages says the vacs are made in the USA, for Porter Cable by Alton Industry Ltd. Group.
Update: These vacs are NOT made in the USA.
All of the wet/dry vacs come with a couple of the various attachments and accessories you would expect.
The ash vacuum, said to be ideal for use year round for fire places, bonfire pits, wood-burning stoves, and more, comes with a metal hose.
Here are features and specs for the 12-gallon vac, for comparison purposes:
- 6 HP motor
- 2-1/2″ x 8′ hose with easy lock connection
- 14′ power cord
- Quick locking latches
- Large water-resistant switch
- Blower function
- Drain port
- Strengthened casters with accessory storage
- 12-gallon collection capacity
- Poly [plastic] tub construction
- 100 CFM suction airflow
- 72″ sealed pressure
- 2.5″ accessory size
- 3 gallon vac (PCX18202P-3B)
- 6 gallon vac (PCX18404P-6A)
- 9 gallon vac (PCX18604P-9A)
- 12 gallon vac (PCX18604P-12A)
- 16 gallon vac (PCX18604P-16A)
- Ash vacuum (PCX18184)
Shop vacuums are definitely a “try before you can know” type of product, but I’m optimistic. From what I can tell, just looking at the vacs, Porter Cable and their manufacturing partner put a lot of thought and attention into designing the entire range of wet/dry vacuums.
The vacs look to have some nice user-friendly features, and if they perform as well as expected, they might eventually pose some serious competition to industry leaders.
Does Porter Cable have a chance at competing with the likes of Shop Vac, Craftsman, and Rigid? There are pretty big smaller players as well, such as Vacmaster.
There are a couple of new Stanley vacs that are also coming out soon, complementing Porter Cable’s lineup nicely, such as a 4.6 gallon hanging vacuum and a wheeled 14 gallon stainless steel canister vac, although both are described as being made in China.
All of the Porter Cable vacs are said to be made in the USA, which would definitely be welcomed. Update: Sorry, they’re NOT made in the USA.
I’m optimistic. If I were looking for a new wet/dry shop vacuum, I might give these Porter Cable vacs fair consideration.
One make-or-break point is whether they accept other brands’ accessories. I would not buy a shop vacuum unless it was compatible with Cleanstream HEPA filters. There’s no mention of this anywhere on the OEM’s site. I’ll see if Porter Cable can provide insight about this, and will update the post when I hear back.
They look like the Craftsman and Ridgid vacs, especially because they all have a 1-7/8″ mid size hose option instead of 1-1/2″ like shop vac has. What is confusing to me is that they are listed on the home depot website but I can’t imagine them either these replacing Ridgid vacs in store or making more floor/shelf space for these. Lowes would make more sense based on brand name but they have shop vac brand vacs (unless that deal is ending soon).
Wow that would be a big deal if someone replaced Ridgid at Home Depot that relationship had been around for a long time. Maybe its just an online offer for now, but yea that is kinda weird as PC seemed to be more of a Lowes thing than HD for the most part.
As far as I know the Ridgid vacuums are produced by Emerson Special Products Division. Other Ridgid branded tools often have different OEM’s but the Emerson – Home Depot relationship goes back many years – I believe to when Sears threw over Emerson of other OEMs for Craftsman stationary power tools
Betteridge’s law of headlines is an adage that states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”
Of course it applies in this case. “Shop-Vac” is a trademarked name, and Porter Cable won’t be licensing it.
Like so many other brand names and trademarks for products that define their category – the brand name sometimes becomes synonymous with the category.
Kleenex – for Tissues
Xerox – for copying machine
Chlorox for bleach
Q-Tip for cotton swab
This is a mixed blessing for the trademark or brand owner in that there is great name recognition – but the product class may have been so commoditized to cloud distinctions among different brands. The idea that “we were the first and are still the best” may not apply.
I said Shop Vac, not Shop-Vac, but you’re right, so I changed it to Shop Vacuum.
Would you rather the headline was:
“Porter Cable came out with 6 new products, #5 will surprise you”? hehe, maybe that’ll be the theme tomorrow – catchy headlines.
god please dont. like every other spam link on the web! ha
LoL how about “one surprising trick”… OK let’s not go there.
Maybe they should do a Festool-like deal and bundle one with their drywall sander or other tools. I’m not sure why others have not picked up on this marketing gimmick.
If I’m not mistaken, that tool was supposed to be used with the Porter Cable 7812r Dust Extractor. I rented the unit when I was finishing our basement years ago. The tool you listed is just the sander attachment minus the vac, which is no longer available.
Not sure what you mean by “marketing gimmick”.
Maybe I was too harsh – but I view a gimmick as a stratum design to attract attention – or in this case boost sales. Bundling two or more products together at a combined price that is lower than the separate price may be a good deal – but to take advantage of it you need to spend more and the discount is spread across the 2 or more items.
Darn the spell check and my fat fingers – “stratagem designed” – not “stratum design”
I’m all for this. Need to end the complacency of the “big three” and get some more innovation here. The dust extraction vacs are in their own class and dont count.
Please dewalt make one to use the 40v batteries, that would be amazing. With a 4″ port that can be used for the big saws. They could take over the dust collection market so easily.
Not gonna lie though I love my powermatic dc. And my festool DE, but my ridgid DC is my go to and I dont have to worry about hurting it.
If any newly entering company to the utility end of the wet/dry vac market wants to grab a big hunk of the sales, they need do only one thing.
MAKE A QUIET VAC!!!!
That’s it. Build a comparable unit to the competitors, with that one additional feature at the same or +10% price point, and you’ll pick up 75% of the replacement sales.
Noise – or lack thereof – was the reason we first bought our Dalek-Look-Alike Feins.
By Amazon comments the Dalek-look-a-like Feins are better than the squarish ones that replaced them. Apparently people have problems with the tool autostart on the square ones.
1000 times this!!!! The first thing I look at is how loud it is. Am I going to go deaf using _________ wet/dry vac. I mean I need good suction of course but not at a cost of the vac being 90 decibels.
From what I can tell there are only a few “quiet” wet/dry vacs. Festool, Fein, some Nilfisk, and maybe some Numatic Henry’s.
Unfortunately Im not seeing any muffler/diffuser or such option on these so that may count these out on being “significantly” quieter than your run of the mill “shop vacuum”.
Are these quiet like Fein or Festool or screamers like Craftsman?
I would certainly buy into a new shop vacuum. But what will kill this product for me is its compatibility with at least some kind of standard off the shelf filter. I invested in a Shop Vac and then moved. Now the only store here is a Home Depot (who only carries Rigid vacuum filters / accessories) and no Lowes (who carries Shop Vac) within an hour and a half of my home. Occasionally there will be the generic paper filter that drapes over the intake with a rubber band but if I want the pleated filters, that means I got to order it or drive 3 hours to get that done 🙁
Im also assuming this will be a brand held at exclusively at Lowes and not Homedepot as well since the recent arrival and exclusive of Porter Cable tool storage combo to Lowes.
Seeing as how I only saw it on Amazon so far, I doubt it’s going to be a Lowes exclusive.
All of them are on HomeDepot.com as discontinued items just search for “porter cable vac” on the HD website for example: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Porter-Cable-16-Gal-Wet-Dry-Vacuum-Power-Blower-Convertible-PCX18604P-16A/206891698
Interesting, thanks for the heads-up.
I’m in the market for a wet-dry vac and had decided on the Ridgid WD1450 ($100 at HD). It’s got slightly better specs (2 gallons more, a 20′ cord). Made in Mexico, but that shouldn’t be a factor. I think I will go with the Ridgid for the longer cord and established operational record, I’m just waiting to see if there will be Memorial Day or Father’s Day sales on it.
Speaking of which, congratulations on being a father redux!
I’ll stick withy festool.
I’ll definitely look into the ash vacuum. We love burning our wood stove during the winter. It heats out whole house. Cleaning it is a hassle. We do have an ash vacuum but it’s loud and high pitched. I hope this this is a lot quieter
Seems like a surprisingly well thought out design if I didn’t have 4 Shop Vac’s (@fred wink) I’d be looking at em.
“6 HP motor”
Honestly, they look like Rigid, Craftsman and Vacmaster vacs just in a new color.
6hp * 747w/hp = 4482watts.
You will NEVER get 4482watt out of a 120vac outlet. You can barely get 2hp out of a 120vac outlet.
Never say never.
I wonder what device uses that sort of power.
Maybe just a welder… Too much stress on the lines… That thing should require heavy gauge wire… But LOL… 50 amps…
Depending on what temperature you rate it at – #8 wire can handle 50 amps – but you would be better with #6 wire.
I have 1 220V #6 wire circuit in my garage that the prior owner had for an old Hobart stick welder.
So if anyone wants to buy me a Tesla – I’m ready for quick chraging
I actually own a welder that can run on 110 but the duty cycle is limited by the input power cord and the primary side electronics. I believe at full output it pulls about 30A on 110. Honestly, it runs much much better plugged into 220 but even then, I’ve popped 20A/220v breakers with it when using a watercooled torch.
OF course Central A/C units can draw a whole lot more – but you don’t exactly plug them into an outlet. For big houses (5000 sq. feet and up) that we worked on we’d see units that were in the range of 8 to 12 tons – or even bigger on some of the high-end summer homes . I think the largest private home in our area, while not exactly the Biltmore, has something like 43,000 square feet – maybe more – but we never worked on it – Anyway I guess the owner can afford the electric bill – and did not worry about what size wire was used to power it.
SB&D may be moving their high-consumer/budget-pro power tools under the Porter Cable brand. I’ve noticed that Stanley and Bostitch vacs have disappeared off the store shelves recently. Same goes for the line of Bostitch power tools and Stanley FatMax power tools.
I noticed in Costco today there’s a 4 gallon steel porter cable shop vac, looks to follow the same design as the ones here, but only 1 1/4″ hose, and probably inferior in other ways given the 29.99 price tag. Interesting that they’re either already spitting out rebranded vacs or already making “special versions”…
I purchased the 3-gallon (PCX18202P-3B) version linked above from Amazon and it finally arrived today. The Amazon description currently says “Origin USA” but the box I received “MADE IN CHINA” so I am sending it back. For $66 I can pick up a larger capacity Ridgid at HD. Too good to be true!
Can you verify these are made in America? A reviewer on Amazon.com is saying they aren’t and he posted a tag showing as much.
I have checked with Porter Cable. These new vacs are NOT made in the USA, Amazon’s product pages are all inaccurate.
I bought a porter cable from costco ..the new one has less power. I had a old one which died but had amazing power.. the new one is so useless .. going right back to costco