DEWALT MAX Washable Filter Wet Dry Vacuum, 2-Gallon

Last updated: May 31, 2023

DEWALT MAX Washable Filter Wet Dry Vacuum, 2-Gallon

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We looked at the top Wet Dry Vacuums and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Wet Dry Vacuum you should buy.

Overall Take

The filter on this wet dry vacuum is easily accessible, and can be washed and reused to save money. The tank can hold up to 2 gallons, which makes it an excellent choice when emptying a clogged pipe. Additionally, this unit features on-board accessory storage to keep everything you need within arms' reach.

In our analysis of 57 expert reviews, the DEWALT MAX Washable Filter Wet Dry Vacuum, 2-Gallon placed 10th when we looked at the top 18 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The DEWALT DCV581H 18/20v MAX* Cordless/Corded Wet-Dry Vacuum has the ability to provide cordless or corded operation powered by either an 18v or 20v MAX battery or an AC outlet. It features a HEPA rated wet/dry filter that traps dust with 99.97% efficiency at 1 micron. The filter is easily accessible, washable/reusable (use tap or water rinse to clean). This unit has a heavy-duty crush-resistant fully integrated 5′ (by 1-1/4″ diameter) hose which provides durability, flexibility and ease of use. The on-board hose and accessory storage makes the vacuum easy to carry and transport. Also comes with a crevice tool attachment and a wide nozzle tool attachment. Battery and charger sold separately.

Expert Reviews

What experts liked

One standout feature, though, is its rechargeable battery. This means you don't have to be near a power source to use the vacuum.
The crevice tool stores nicely in the handle and the wide nozzle clips to the front of the unit.
On-board hose comes with useful accessories – crevice nozzle and wide nozzle.
Rugged and versatile. Reliable suction w/HEPA filtration.
It is very sturdy and durable unit – casing is much stronger than casing of many other, larger and more expensive vacuums.
DeWalt DCV581H comes with wet-dry true HEPA air filter, which is capable of filtering out 99.97% of 0.3 microns and larger particles from the sucked air.
DeWalt added on-board storage to the vacuum to make it easy to keep accessories neatly organized and ready to use when needed. Adding to this small wet/dry vac's popularity is the fact that it isn't as big as a standard unit.
The filter traps 99.97 percent of dust which makes this vac fit to use for fine dust like drywall dust since it will not blow particles into the air like some vacuums do.
This model wil work on just AC power without the battery. It is equipped with a power cord and storage for the cord.

What experts didn't like

It's also the slowest at wet cleanup. It took the DeWalt over 12 seconds to suction 2 gallons of water. That was the worst of those we tested.
You’re not going to be able to do really heavy work with this vac, and I wouldn’t hook it up to anything where you were staking your LRRP credentials on its dust-collecting prowess.
Noisy; hearing protection is recommended.
Pricey, and the battery and charger must purchased separately.
It is not the lightest vacuum cleaner – it weighs around 9.1 pounds (around 4.1 kg) and when in use, it is held by one hand (or it is on the floor), while other hand cleans the area with cleaning hose.
When the battery is plugged into the unit and the power cord is also plugged in, DeWalt DCV581H doesn't charge the battery - to charge the battery, separate battery charger must be used.
Won't pick up nails or screws.
​You have to buy the battery and charger separately and that becomes expensive.
This product does not come with a battery and charger. You have to buy those items separately.

Our Expert Consultant

Vicki Liston 
Home Improvement Expert

Vicki Liston writes, produces, and narrates “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.

Home improvement and all things DIY have been Liston’s passion since she bought her first house in 2007 and she started making video blogs in 2014. She’s performed hundreds of DIY projects, from small ones to major, wall-smashing renovations and can teach you how to make a trendy DIY barn door for cheap. The proceeds earned from “On The Fly…DIY” are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations.


What do flooded basements, messes in your workshop and the ashy aftermath of a BBQ have in common? If you’re thinking that they’re all major annoyances, you’re not wrong — but they’re also all jobs for a wet/dry vacuum. 

Wet/dry vacs, or shop vacs, are common accessories in woodshops, but they can also help out with lots of different messes. These versatile appliances have more powerful suction, plus tougher filters and sturdier canisters than a standard vacuum. They can pick up debris like nails and screws, and you can use them to clean up wet messes. Puddles from a leaky dishwasher or water basins that need emptying don’t stand a chance against a wet/dry vac. 

Standard vacuums operate using a relatively simple process. Once you turn them on, the motor receives electricity that drives the fan and the brush roll (that spiky part that goes deep into your carpet and gets tangled with hair). After the motor starts running, it creates an area of low pressure behind the fan, which generates the suction you need to chase down those dust bunnies. Your messes move into the vacuum’s removable dust bag or canister, and poof! You’ve got a clean floor. 

Shop vacs have different power levels for different size messes.

“A wet/dry vacuum’s power is measured in Sealed Pressure (or SP) units,” says Vicki Liston, a home improvement expert and host of “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning show with project tutorials. “Vacs with an SP rating over 75 should be able to handle almost everything you throw at them. “

Cubic Feet per Minute, or CFM, is your vac’s airflow rating.

“If you’re sucking up tiny particulates like sawdust, opt for something that’s at least 90 CFMs,” adds Liston. “If you’re vacuuming up heavier items like nuts and bolts, look for an Air Power (AP, also called Air Watts) rating over 250.” 

Another difference between wet/dry vacuums and standard vacuums is the motor placement. Instead of sitting inside of the vacuum’s canister, a wet/dry vac’s motor sits on top of the canister. This design allows anything that you suck up through the hose to go directly into the canister, instead of passing over the motor. It’s the reason that wet/dry vacs can safely pick up water — if the water was moving through electrical or mechanical parts, it could create a dangerous electrical shock. 

Some wet/dry vac models also vent air through an opening in the canister. With the help of a few accessories, you can turn this opening into a blower on many shop vacs. Vacs that convert into a blower make your autumn leaf chores much easier. 

We’ve covered the wet/dry vacuum basics, but make sure to check out our Tips & Advice to find the perfect choice for your needs. 

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