How many times have you wished you had a shop vac handy for quick cleanup on the job? Maybe you had one, but you had to dig out an extension cord and that was just too much trouble. DeWalt has the solution for you.

These two wet/dry vacuums run off a single battery at a time so they can accompany you where you’re working even if there’s no electricity. They have a 2-gallon capacity, which means they are useful for bigger jobs. Let’s look at them both and see which one will be best for you.

DEWALT DCV580

DEWALT DCV580

DEWALT DCV581H

DEWALT DCV581H

DEWALT DCV580 18/20V MAX Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuum

A lot of people thought that a cordless vacuum would have weak suction. Not true of the DCV580. Use it to clean the interior of the car, remove sawdust, clear out pipes, whatever you need. Under constant use one battery will last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Intermittent usage in short bursts will drain a battery more slowly.

The DCV580 is designed to operate on 18 or 20-volt MAX Li-Ion batteries used with other DeWalt cordless tools. (Note that this vacuum does not come with either batteries or a charger and cannot charge the batteries, either. If you prefer a vacuum that runs off mains power, see the DCV581H below.)

DeWalt includes a five-foot-long 1-1/4” diameter hose that is crush-proof and flexible. There are also a narrow crevice tool and a wide-mouth attachment. These accessories store neatly on-board the vacuum. The filter is easy to remove and is washable and reusable. It is not a HEPA filter like in the DCV581H described below.

Of course, there are a few downsides. Some users have noticed that large debris clogs the neck of the hose by the inlet, probably due to the curve there. Others have said that the 20V batteries are inserted upside down so they can’t see the charge level indicator without removing the battery. Finally, the vacuum is noisy.

Overall, though, this is a very popular tool in the DeWalt lineup, and great for people who want a shop vac that is both cordless and portable.

More features of the DeWalt DCV580 cordless vacuum

  • Backed by DeWalt’s usual 90-day money-back guarantee, 1-year free service contract, and 3-year limited warranty
  • Weighs 8 pounds and measures about 17 by 12 by 13 inches
  • Battery and charger are not included

 

DEWALT DCV581H 18/20-Volt MAX Cordless/Corded Wet-Dry

This is the ideal companion for someone who wants a shop vac that’s portable. The DCV581H runs off either electricity or DeWalt’s 18 or 20-volt Li-Ion MAX batteries. Owners haven’t complained about a difference in suction power—it appears that this vacuum works equally well with either power source.

Under constant use a battery will last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Intermittent usage in short bursts will drain a battery more slowly. (Note that this vacuum does not come with either batteries or a charger and cannot charge a battery on-board, either.)

DeWalt includes a five-foot-long 1-1/4” diameter hose that is crush-proof and flexible. There are also a narrow crevice tool and a wide-mouth attachment. These accessories store neatly on-board the vacuum. A bonus extra on the DCV581H is the HEPA filter that removes 99.99% of allergens down to 1 micron in size. This filter can be washed and reused just like the filter on the other vacuum above.

There is a downside to the DCV581H: right-handed users have commented that they have to take care where they point the exhaust port because it tends to blow right onto where they are trying to clean.

More features of the DeWalt DCV581H cordless vacuum

  • Backed by DeWalt’s usual 90-day money-back guarantee, 1-year free service contract, and 3-year limited warranty
  • Battery and charger are not included, AC cord is included
  • Weighs 8 pounds and measures about 17 by 12 by 13 inches

 

Recommendation

I’m a fan of having options, so I like the idea of a vacuum that can run on either electricity or a battery. The DCV581H is ideal in that if you don’t have a battery ready for it now, you can still use it. It also comes with a HEPA filter for cleaner air, which is especially nice if you have allergies. Get the DCV581H if you want flexibility and a better filter.

If you just want a portable cordless vacuum that can run off the batteries you have for your other power tools, get the DCV580. It has impressive capacity and suction for a cordless wet/dry vac, and the battery runtime isn’t bad for intermittent use.

 

Click here to purchase DEWALT DCV580 on Amazon!

Click here to purchase DEWALT DCV581H on Amazon!