Wet AND Dry vs Wet OR Dry Vacuums - What's the Difference?

With just one word separating the two types of vacuum, there can't be much of a difference right?

Well, you'd be surprised to know the difference is actually VERY important and could SAVE your vacuum!

On the surface, these two machines look almost identical. However, the inside of the machine is where the biggest difference is...


Wet or Dry

Wet or Dry vacuums have two separate filters and only allow for wet OR dry pick up. If you want to switch from dry to wet you have to switch out the dry vacuum filter for a float assembly and vice versa.

Vacuuming up liquids with a dry vacuum filter in can damage the motor and cause your vacuum to malfunction. This is because the vacuum filter does not have a float to cut off suction if the tank overfills.

Picking up dry dust and debris with a float assembly can cause damage to the mesh gauze and dust particles can get through the mesh gauze, again damaging the motor. This is because the holes in the mesh are not small enough to contain dust particles.


Wet & Dry 

Wet & Dry vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, allow you to switch between wet & dry pick up seamlessly, as they have both a filter and a float assembly installed as standard. There is no need for you to switch out the filter like wet or dry machines. 

They have a special filter that will block out most dust particles* from getting into the motor but allow enough suction to pull water into the tank. They also have a special metal mesh gauze which is far stronger than a typical wet or dry mesh gauze and will not get damaged when picking up debris. 

*Fine dust particles, like plaster or brick dust, may still pass through. We recommend fitting an NVM-5BH dust bag below the float assembly to act as a further filter. 



Wet or dry - Better for individual jobs

+ Has a better dry filter that keeps out finer dust and the ability to fit a disposable dust bag.

+ Is better for wet pick up as it has a stronger suction than the wet and dry vacuum due to not having a permanent filter restricting air flow.

- Need to change out the filter when switching between wet and dry pick up or you can damage the machine.


Wet and dry - Better for general pick up

+ Better for use where there is a mix of dust/ debris and liquid on the floor as it can tackle both without needing to change filter.

- May allow finer dust through as the dry filter is not as effective, and doesn't have the same suction strength on wet pick up.

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