I don’t typically think of ‘handheld’ when I think of wet/dry vacs – but hey, why not? Wet/dry vacs are really convenient for cleaning up spills, and as long as the spill doesn’t involve your entire basement, a handheld is much easier than dragging out the shop vac. Another place for spills where a slim profile and light weight makes life easier is in the car. You can use your shop vac for that too, but that’s a lot of hose to wrangle, especially for just a little café latte or a spilt bag of potato chips on the floor.
In a clean-up situation where a DustBuster just won’t do, but you’d really rather not call on the big guns, the DeWalt DC515K Cordless Wet/Dry Vac is perfect. First of all, it’s a DeWalt, which is one of the top names in high-quality power tools, so you can be sure that you’ll get returns on your investment for years. Second, the wet and dry functions both work perfectly – no surprises. Third, it’s not too big, and it’s light too, and if you use lithium ion batteries instead of NiCads, it’ll be even lighter. It’s great for clean-up after pets, kids, shop work, and for everyday dining-room-rug type stuff.
Great big things in a small package
Unlike lots of other niche products that try to fill the space between two models but end up with the worst features of both, the DeWalt Cordless Wet/Dry has the best of both worlds: handheld and wet/dry shop(-like) vac. Here are the areas where it shines the most:
- Performance and power
- Accessories and compatibility
- Ease of use
- Battery life and flexibility
Lots of power, peak performance
Here are some of the things the DeWalt DC515K will do: get sand out of your trunk, clean up a leak under the sink, keep a workspace dry and debris-free, banish kitty litter, grab Kool-Aid spills before they set, clear wood shavings out of some newly installed thing, keep the dining room rug from getting crunchy, maintain the life of your upholstery in your home and car, collect a box of dropped nails, de-ash a grill or fireplace, etc. It has enough suction for just about any job. If it starts dragging, remember to connect the hose firmly into the front nozzle, and your worries will vanish.
Accessories…? Widely compatible
I’ll admit that DeWalt dropped the ball a little here. They don’t give you any accessories. Granted, lots of people that purchase this vacuum won’t need accessories, and they’ll be happy to not have to pay for them. Still, something as simple as a crevice tool would have been nice, or a brush since the front nozzle doesn’t have one. You might not be surprised to find that DeWalt doesn’t even have a vacuum accessory kit.
That’s just a little too domestic, I guess. The good news is that the hose is 1 1/4”, which is standard for lots of other vacuum accessory kits, probably including the one you already have with your existing vacuum. (If you look on Amazon at the other things that were purchased with this item, not a single one out of 100 is a vacuum accessory kit, anyway.) Another great thing is that this vacuum uses cheap, washable, reusable Gore HEPA filters and no bags.
Easiest wet/dry vac ever
The DeWalt DC515K Cordless is like a point-and-shoot camera. Just flip the switch and go. No tripping cords, no kinking hoses, no sticky casters tearing little chips out of your wood floors and baseboards, no hauling 20 pounds down the stairs – and back up with 10 gallons of water inside. The nozzle is a few inches wide, big enough to make fast progress on large spills, but still small enough to get under chairs. If you need to squeeze into an even smaller space, just unhook the hose. It’s 2 1/2′ long, almost as long as your arm, so if you can reach it, the vacuum can too.
There are no bags to deal with, and the filter is easy to clean. Just pop it out, give it a good tap – or a rather vigorous beating – and maybe blow it off if you’ve got the tools. If it’s been a while, give it a good rinse. One thing, though – this is a good filter, and it catches a lot of stuff. You’ll have to clean it every couple of battery charges. Just think of it this way – would you rather have it in your filter or in your lungs?
Knock off a couple points for noise, though. It’s a small vac, and there’s not enough room for a muffler. You will be able to tell. Watch out for your ears if you’re in an enclosed space.
Long-lasting battery with lots of options
The DeWalt 18-Volt Cordless Vac comes with an 18-volt NiCad battery with XRP technology to keep it running 20 minutes or more on one charge. The included charger will fill the battery in one hour, so if you’ve got other DeWalt 18-volt batteries and a large job to do, keep them handy. If you don’t have an XRP on hand, no problem – a regular DeWalt 18-volt will do. The absolute best option is to get a lithium ion battery pack. It’ll be lighter, it’ll run longer, and it’ll charge faster. If you don’t want to drop that kind of money on a vacuum battery, though, no worries. You’ll still get plenty of use out of the included NiCad.
Customers think so too
Almost everyone likes this vacuum a lot, and many people love it. Here’s what they say:
- “The suction is very good for a portable vacuum, probably 5 times the suction of the other cordless vacs I had, which isn’t surprising since it uses the same powerful battery as DeWalt heavy duty tools.”
- “It looks way cool.”
- “I don’t know what I did before I had this vac; I use it on every job I do.”
- “It can deal with drywall dust which is the bane of many vacuums.”
- “It is the perfect all around household tool; we use it in the house as well as in the garage and in the cars.”
- It’s loud, and the hose is too narrow to pick up stuff like wet leaves.
Where can I get one?
It’s a little pricey – but it is a DeWalt, and you won’t have to buy another one for years. How many DustBusters have you already owned in your life? Amazon is selling the DeWalt DC515K for a good price, they have FREE SHIPPING, and a great no-fuss return policy if you’re not happy with your purchase.
- Related post: Bissell Garage Pro 18PO Wet Dry Vacuum Review
Mike Nikko is a blogger with over 15 years of experience. I will bring you the best product reviews and other useful life experiences, tips to increase height, tips to improve health… If you have any questions, feel free to ask Mike Nikko!