Best Industrial Vacuum Cleaners – Our Top Commercial Vacs Revealed!

Written by James Hall | 3 Comments| Last Updated: September 28, 2018

Industrial vacs are built to be more durable, powerful and hold more dirt than residential models. In this article, we've listed what we think are the best industrial vacuum cleaners in the UK.
Example of an Industrial vacuum cleaner

Industrial vacs are powerful and highly durable.

Do you need a vacuum that's more durable than the typical upright or cylinder machine? Or does your business require a vacuum that can handle large quantities of wet and dry material?

If so, you probably need an industrial vacuum cleaner.

These machines are built specifically for industrial or commercial applications. They are often more powerful than residential vacs - although they may lack convenience features. Commercial vacs are also highly durable, which is a vital attribute for a machine that might be used for extended periods each day.

In this article, we'll review some of the best industrial vacuum cleaners on the market. Each of these models has been proven to perform in difficult cleaning environments - and has also received positive reviews from buyers. We've included a selection of wet and dry, upright and cylinder models on this list, so there should be an option for every business.

Our Selection Process

There are three things we look for in a commercial vacuum: suction power, durability and capacity.

Strong suction power is essential when buying a commercial machine. Needing to go over the same patch of carpet at home is annoying, but for a business it costs time and money.​ For a similar reason, we look for machines with a large capacity so you don't spend too much time emptying the dust canister.

A durable design is also important. Daily cleaning in demanding environments can wear down any vacuum, so we look for models that are built to last.​

Of course, these aren't the only considerations. You also need to think about your budget, how often the machine will be used and whether you need a wet and dry model. For this reason, we've included a range of vacuum types and price ranges in the list below.​

Which are the Best Commercial Vacuum Cleaners in 2018?

ImageProduct NameTypeWeightPowerCord LengthRead More
NUMATIC NRV20021Cylinder9kg580W12.5 metresView Price
Nilfisk Aero 26-21Wet & Dry9kg1250W5 metresView Price
SEBO BS360 ComfortUpright7.9kg890W10 metresView Price
Vax Commercial VCC-08ACylinder4.7kg800W12.5 metresView Price
Draper 13785 Wet and DryWet & Dry4.5kg1250W3.5 metresView Price
Sealey PC200SD Wet and DryWet & Dry4.5kg1250W4.5 metresView Price

Best Dry Industrial Vacuum Cleaner

NUMATIC NRV20021

Numatic NRV20021

The Numatic NRV20021 is a dry bagged commercial vacuum cleaner from one of the UK's most popular manufacturers. Like other Numatic models, the NRV20021 is powerful, durable and has a large 9 litre dust capacity.

Other features of the Numatic NRV20021 include a long 12.5 metre cable, which is great for cleaning multiple rooms without switching plug socket, and a four-wheel design for extra mobility. It's built with a 580W motor that conforms to the latest EU legislations, yet still provides excellent suction power.

Note: As we mentioned, this is a dry vacuum cleaner. It excels at cleaning dust, dirt and other debris from carpets and hard floors, but isn't suitable for wet spills.

The Numatic has proven to be a popular choice amongst industrial and commercial users - and it's easy to see why. The bags do a great job of sealing in dust and it's a powerful machine. The vacuum also doesn't lose suction despite having a lower wattage than previous Henry vacuums.

There are a few minor downsides though. Needing to buy replacement bags adds to the lifetime cost of the machine and the vacuum is a bit clunky to use in tight spaces.​ It also can tip over when it gets stuck if you're not careful.

Despite these ​drawbacks, the Numatic NRV20021 is an excellent commercial vac. It's powerful and has a large cleaning radius, making it suitable for industrial or commercial locations. It's also very durable. If you need a solid vacuum that's not too expensive, yet performs admirably on almost any task, the Numatic is a great choice.

Features

  • True workhorse of a vacuum
  • Powerful suction and durable design
  • Large operating radius

Specification

  • Power: 580W
  • Capacity: 9 Litres
  • Cord Length: 12.5 metres
  • Weight: 9kg
  • Price Range: ££

Best Industrial Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner

Nilfisk Aero 26-21 Wet & Dry

Nilfisk Aero 2621

The Aero range is built to provide all-purpose wet and dry vacuuming for commercial and industrial purposes. The Nilfisk Aero 26-21, in particular, is an excellent compact model that's also relatively quiet (if you're looking for an an even more compact model for quick cleanups, the Dewalt DCV582 is a good option).

As you would expect from a commercial wet and dry vacuum, the 26-21 has a large 14.5 litre capacity for fluids and 15 litre capacity for dry debris. It's also built with a powerful motor, which allows for an air flow of up to 3600 litres per minute. If you need a model that makes quick work of most jobs, the Aero is likely to be a good choice.

Other features include a washable PET filter​, power tool take-off socket, and a "Push and Clean" system for cleaning the filter. This latter feature helps the vacuum to maintain suction as it fills up.

It's also a versatile vac that can handle tough cleaning jobs. Whether you need to vacuum wood dust, construction site debris or dirty water, the Aero is up to the job. It's worth noting this is not a carpet cleaner though - there is no detergent dispenser - so it's only designed for removing liquid and dry debris.

In summary, the Nilfisk Aero 26-21 is an excellent commercial wet and dry vacuum cleaner. It's powerful, has a large capacity and is extremely robust.​ Additionally, it has a low 64dB working noise rating, which makes it one of the quietest vacuums on the market . This is great if you're going to be using it in locations with clients or customers.

Note: There are both 110V and 240V versions of the AERO 26 depending on your requirements.

Features

  • Powerful motor and suction
  • Power tool take-off socket
  • PET filter

Specification

  • Capacity: 15 litres (dry) / 14.5 litres (wet)
  • Cord Length: 5 metres
  • Weight: 9kg
  • Price Range: £££

Best Commercial Upright Vacuum Cleaner

SEBO BS360 Comfort

SEBO BS36 Comfort

The majority of commercial vacs are cylinder models, as these have large capacities and are usually more versatile. That doesn't mean there aren't some excellent industrial upright vacuum cleaners though - and the SEBO BS360 is a good example.

The first thing to note is that this is the new EU-compliant version of the BS36. It's the same model, but with an 890W motor instead of the 1000W of the previous machine. Fortunately, this doesn't seem to have negatively affected the suction power too much.

One of the things that makes the BS360 stand out compared to domestic upright vacuums is that it has a larger cleaning head (36cm). This, combined with the twin motor for excellent suction, means it can quickly clean large areas of floor. Like other industrial vacs, it's also built to be durable.

Other features of the BS360 include the ability to lay flat on the floor, for getting underneath furniture, and a​ trap door to quickly clean blockages. The shape of the floor-head also allows you to clean under radiators quickly and easily (you can view the full spec of this model here).

The only downside to the larger floorhead is that the SEBO can be somewhat unwieldy to use. The head design helps when cleaning around furniture, but if you're used to a domestic upright it can take some getting used to the larger design. We also think the hose could be longer.​

Even so, the SEBO BS360 could be a great choice if you need a commercial upright vacuum. It's powerful, has a unique floor-head for cleaning in tricky areas and a wide cleaning width.​ We like how SEBO has focused on practicality for the BS360, which is why it's our top choice for a commercial upright.

Features

  • Strong suction power
  • Unique floorhead
  • Can clean while flat

Specification

  • Power: 890W
  • Capacity: 5 litres
  • Cord Length: 10 metres
  • Weight: 7.9kg
  • Price Range: ££££

Other Recommended Industrial Vacuums

Vax Commercial VCC-08A

Vax Commercial VCC-08A

The Vax VCC-08A is a lightweight bagged commercial vacuum cleaner that has an excellent filtration system. It's also one of the least expensive models on this list, making it a great choice for businesses on a budget that need a dry model.

As the VCC-08A has been designed for professionals, it's a durable model with a focus on practical cleaning. It's simple to use, has an anti-tip design and is quick to empty.

Features of the VCC-08A include an A rating for energy efficiency, "quiet" mode that reduces noise output to 69dB and a 9 litre capacity. The model also comes with a long 12.5 metre cord to provide an excellent cleaning range.

A useful feature is the anti-tip design, which solves a common problem with other commercial models such as the Henry. It's a simple machine, but the quiet mode is great for daytime cleaning and it has strong suction. It can be difficult to use on thick carpets though.

The Vax VCC-08A is a solid dry vacuum that has several useful features. While it doesn't do anything to make itself stand out - aside from the quiet mode - it provides great value for money.​

Features

  • "HUSH" mode for quieter cleaning
  • Anti-tip design
  • Relatively inexpensive

Specification

  • Power: 800W
  • Capacity: 9 litres
  • Cord Length: 12.5 metres
  • Weight: 4.7kg
  • Price Range: £

Draper 13785 Wet and Dry

Vax Commercial VCC-08A

One of our top recommendations for wet and dry vacuums is the Draper 13785 - and we think it deserves a mention as a potential commercial model too. It's a relatively inexpensive vacuum with a 20 litre tank, ability to pick up both dry debris and liquid spills, and comes with several accessories. 

The first thing to note is that the 13785 hasn't been designed for commercial use like others on this list. It is, however, a durable vacuum that's perfect for smaller/medium cleaning jobs.

Features of the 13785 include two filters, depending on whether you are dealing with liquids or solids, and a flexible hose. There are also several extension tubes and other accessories, such as a crevice nozzle and floor brush. Additionally, the vacuum has an air blowing function.

Most importantly, the Draper provides strong suction for a vacuum in this price range and it's easy to manoeuvre. We don't recommend it if you need a quiet vac though - as it's relatively noisy and the castors sometimes fall off.

While the Draper 13785 may not be quite as durable as some of the more expensive wet and dry vacuums on this list, it's still able to handle simple commercial cleaning jobs due to its large capacity and range of accessories. So if you're looking for a wet and dry vac on a budget, the 13785 could be a good option.

Features

  • Several accessories and 3 extension tubes
  • 1.5 metre hose
  • Cheap for a wet and dry vac

Specification

  • Power: 1250W
  • Capacity: 20 litres
  • Cord Length: 3.5 metres
  • Weight: 4.5kg
  • Price Range: £

Sealey PC200SD Wet and Dry

Sealey PC200SD

Another excellent industrial wet and dry vacuum is the Sealey PC200SD. It's a 20 litre model, making it a relatively large vac, but it's also less expensive than many alterntaives.

Powered by a 1250W motor, the PC200SD has a 20 litre drum and a telescopic extension tube. Features of the PC200SD include ​a foam filter for wet use, on-board tool storage and a professional design.

The PC200SD weighs 5kg, making it a relatively lightweight model compared to many others on this list. It's a powerful and durable vacuum that's built with a stainless steel drum and a combination of two castors and two fixed wheels.

The main advantages of the PC200SD are that it provides great value for money, the filter is easy to change and the drum is simple to empty. The blowing function is also useful, especially considering the small size of the machine. A downside is that the hose is relatively short.

If you need a durable wet and dry vacuum for industrial purposes but don't have a large budget, the Sealey PC200SD could be a great option. It's durable, powerful and has a blow function - not to mention that it's available for a very reasonable price. Be aware that the combination of short power cord and hose mean that the cleaning radius is smaller than some of the more expensive models on this list though.

Features

  • Blower function
  • Stainless steel drum
  • Excellent value

Specification

  • Power: 1250W
  • Capacity: 20 litres
  • Cord Length: 4.5 metres
  • Weight: 4.5kg
  • Price Range: £
Example of a commercial vacuum used in a car

What to Look for in an Industrial Vac

We've already talked about our criteria for great industrial vacuum cleaners. But if you need more info about making the right choice for your business or industrial cleaning situation, here are some things to consider.

  • ​Type. The type of vacuum you buy is probably the most important decision. In some cases this is obvious - such as if you need to clean up liquids you'll need a wet and dry model. As a general rule, a cylinder vacuum is a safe bet if you need a versatile option for dry cleaning. Uprights are often less convenient, but excel at cleaning large areas of floor quickly.
  • Suction Power. Most industrial vacuums have excellent suction power, but it's still a vital consideration. The stronger suction a machine has, the more able it is to get dirt, dust and other debris out of carpets. More suction also allows a vacuum to pick up larger debris. Keep in mind that a higher wattage doesn't always equate to more suction (the low-powered Henry is a good example of this).
  • Durability. It might sound obvious, but durability is essential for an industrial vac. This is especially true if your business will use the machine on a daily basis. The average domestic vacuum is unlikely to last long when used for heavy-duty tasks. A durable vacuum should also be able to handle larger debris.
  • Noise Level. An often overlooked consideration is the noise level of a machine. For night-time cleaning in an office, this might not be an issue. But if you need to clean during the day, or if you're going to be cleaning around customers, then quiet operation isn't something to ignore. The Nilfisk Aero listed above is a good example of a quiet vacuum, with a noise output of just 64dB.
  • Price. We don't recommend penny pinching when it comes to buying a commercial vacuum, but that doesn't mean you need to spend a huge amount of money. While our top picks cost several hundred pounds, there are some excellent models available for less than £100.
  • Capacity. Many domestic vacuums have very small capacities. For cordless models, it's not uncommon to see dust canisters with a volume of less than 0.5 litres. This is fine for home cleaning, but commercial cleaning requires larger capacities - otherwise you'll spend a lot of time emptying the machine.

Summary

Sometimes a regular vacuum just won't cut it - and in these situations you need an industrial vacuum. While industrial or commercial vacs often don't come with convenience features, they are powerful, rugged and able to remove plenty of dust and dirt from carpets and hard floors. Many are also wet and dry vacuums, meaning you can tackle a wide variety of jobs.

If we had to pick a single recommendation for a dry industrial vacuum cleaner, it would be the Numatic NRV20021. It's a powerful, no-nonsense machine with a large capacity and big cleaning radius, making it perfectly suited to commercial cleaning.​

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Tony Fletcher
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Tony Fletcher

I am a health and safety manager at a wood products factory. I am looking for a powerful and flexible machine to suck up wood and MDF dust at the end of shift to clean the sanding machines. the budget is flexible, what I need is a reliable powerful machine with a large capacity (dry waste but don’t mind wet & dry). I am looking to purchase at least two machines but this may rise to six.

Kinlay Burns
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Kinlay Burns

I need a commercial cordless vacuum for a long corridor without sockets. It is an elderly care facility and so extension leads are not a safe option. Any suggestions?