Today I get to try out a new vacuum by Ridgid (Emerson) that’s battery-powered! I’ve been thinking for a long time that vacuums should be cordless, as everything else on job sites is going that way. Let’s see how it works, shall we?
As far as comparisons go, this thing is not much different than your typical shop vac. This particular model is a wet/dry vac so it has a removable filter so you can suck up wet messes, or leave it in for dust and particles. The vac comes with a 7 ft hose, which is impressive. Most vacuums you come across have a far shorter hose that doesn’t allow you to get up high without lifting the entire body of the vacuum up off the ground.
What makes this vac stand out is the fact that it’s cordless. No more plugging it in and unplugging it, moving it, replugging it in every time you run out of cord. Also no more wrapping a cord up when you’re done using it, and getting it tangled in things. Plus, when you’re on a job site you don’t always have power available. The electricians may not have shown up yet to establish temporary power, or you may be working in a field somewhere that doesn’t have power available. This happens with electricians constantly. We don’t have power available most places until we’ve established it. So having a battery-powered vacuum is a genius idea. My only complaint is that I don’t have any Ridgid drills and saws! So I have to keep a separate set of batteries and chargers around just for this one tool…but I can deal with that.
Ridgid designed this vacuum with longevity in mind, as it has (2) spots for batteries. You can operate it with one battery in, but if you need power longer the second battery gives you that extra time. It’s an 18-volt setup, but putting two batteries in does not give you 36-volts, it still stays 18-volts, but the amp-hour rating of each battery adds together. So two 5ah 18-volt batteries become one 10ah 18-volt battery.
The vacuum has both an inlet and outlet so you can use it to suck in or blow out, which is helpful as an electrician as we use vacs like this to push or pull string into conduits underground before pulling wire into them. Sometimes there are chunks of rock, dirt, or concrete blocking the conduit, so pulling air may not work as well as using pressure in the other direction to push with.
The power that this thing packs is impressive. I always expect early renditions of cordless tools to be weak and imperfect but this thing is impressively powerful. The 9-gallon/34-liter capacity gives you a lot of space as well, so you can tackle fairly decent sized jobs with this before having to empty the tank.
One thing I didn’t care for with this specific model is the 1 7/8” hose diameter. I like vacuums that have at least a 2 1/4” hose, because professionals are vacuuming large piles of stuff, so a 1 7/8” hose is going to clog and/or take forever to vacuum because you just can’t fit anything large in that hose. For your average joe this isn’t a problem, and maybe I’m being too picky. Just my personal preference I guess. The bigger the hose, the better in my opinion.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the wheel design on most of Ridgid’s vacuums. To be fair, most brands use this same design. What I don’t like is that the feet stick out from the vacuum which causes them to get caught on everything in the back of your truck. This is not good for electricians, because most of what we have in our trucks are rolls/reels of wire – which get tangled in everything as is. I find that the wheels and wheel housings break off eventually when somebody yanks the vacuum from the back of the truck. This also happens when someone throws it in the back of the truck. Don’t let that sway your decision to buy the vac, just more of a complaint I have about this design in general. I prefer a fully enclosed model of vacuum like this Ridgid 4.5Gal ProPack model, but that’s for a different discussion.
Info from HomeDepot.com
RIDGID’s 18-Volt 9 Gal. cordless wet/dry vac takes cordless convenience and puts it in a full sized form. Cordless power is perfect for car cleaning, jobsite debris or anywhere that’s away from an outlet. Its performance rivals its 9 Gal. corded counterpart, and with the option to use 2 batteries (sold seperately), you can effectively double the runtime you’d expect from other cordless wet/dry vacs. Its full-sized design lets you run continuously without having to stop and empty frequently. Included hose and accessory storage means this unit compactly stores in the home or garage. Replacement filter VF4000 and replacement dust bag VF3503, both sold separately.
Provides pickup performance of a corded wet/dry vac
Traditional 9 Gal. drum size holds more mess and is more durable than other cordless units
Can run using 1 battery but accepts 2 for longer runtimes
Large carry handle adds cordless freedom
On-board hose and accessory storage makes the vacuum easy to carry, transport and stow
Compatible with RIDGID 18-Volt battery models (sold separately) – R840083, R840085, R840086, R840087, R840088, R840089, R8400806, R8400809 (sold separately)
Includes 1-7/8 in. x 7 ft. tug-a-long locking hose with Dual-Flex, 3 extension wands, utility nozzle, a car nozzle, wet nozzle and standard filter
Accepts RIDGID filter VF4000 and size B VF3503 dust collection bags
Full lifetime warranty against material defects and workmanship
Gallons indicated reflect drum volume, not necessarily collection capacity, actual capacity dependent upon type of debris collected, condition of filter and other factors
Overall I’m very satisfied with this cordless vacuum. I’ve been waiting for something like this to hit the market and I’m glad I got to take one out on my jobs with me. There are definitely a few things I’d change, or at least consider for future models, but all in all I feel comfortable giving it a 4.5 star rating. This will change the way I work.
For more detailed information on this Cordless Vacuum CLICK HERE.
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program described above (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.