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Whenever you’re using a log burner, stove or anything that heats via a fire, you’re going to get a lot of ash left behind. In the past you have to wait till it’s cool, get a dustpan and brush to tidy it up, and hope that you don’t bump into anything on the way to the bin to avoid getting ash everywhere.
Well now ash vacuums are getting more common, and it means you don’t have to worry about getting ash all over your furniture anymore. Below we’ve reviewed the best and most affordable 5 we could get our hands-on.
Best Ash Vacuums Of 2021
The Shop-Vac brand is one of the world’s most renowned leaders in dry/wet vacuum cleaners that have been offering top-of-the-line products since 1965. The Shop-Vac ash vacuum is a great first vacuum on our list. This is a model that makes it incredibly hard for ash particles to get through.
That’s because it comes with three ash filters, which are effective for catching small, fine ash particles. So if these particles managed to get by the first two filters, the third one is definitely going to trap them. On our own testing, we didn’t have any ash leak, which is kind of the most important thing when it comes to ash focused vacuums.
This ash vacuum was built specifically to get rid of ashes from pellets and wood stoves, fireplaces and so much more. It comes with a bypass motor for some of the tougher messes, as well as a thermal protective device and a HEPA filter for the user’s safety.
The Shop-Vac vacuum features a flexible and durable vinyl steel hose, metal crevice tool, metal intake nozzle, and a cleaning kit for a pellet stove. All these features were built to pick up cold and dry ashes.
- Triple filter system
- Quick clean filters
- Stainless steel body
- 5-gallon collection tank
- HEPA filter cartridge
- Doesn’t easily clog up
- Retains approximately 99.9% of ash – We didn’t see any, but we have to go what the manufacturer states.
- Being made of stainless steel makes it easier to get rid of ash and clean the vacuum’s tank.
- There’s no need for bags since ash particles go straight to the tank.
- The clips on the vacuum’s lid become loose after constant use, but this depends on how rough you are with the machine.
- The hose and power cord are short
The Best Ash Vacuum Overall – Including Hot Ashes
The Powersmith ash vacuum was the best overall we tested, but it is quite a bit more expensive. This is the only reason it isn’t #1 on our list.
The PowerSmith PAVC101 Ash Vacuum is another top-quality ash vacuum that cleans out cool and warm ashes from wood stoves, fireplaces, barbecue grills, and pellet stoves among others.
It features a filter consisting of two layers; the outermost layer is heat-proof, which allows the device to get a hold of ashes that are about 140 degrees hot. The other inner layer is meant to trap ultra-fine ash and dust. The rest of the ash vacuum, including the canister and holes, are made of metal, which makes the entire appliance heat-proof.
The device’s metal canister can hold up to 3 gallons of ashes. And you’ll know when it’s because the FULL indicator flashes red. This is a very helpful feature as users don’t have to necessarily open the canister, take out the filter, and get dirty in the process by checking whether it’s full or not.
Plus we don’t want to be opening the canister too much, you know, to avoid the ash getting everywhere!
It’s pretty convenient and portable as it measures 14 inches in diameter, is about 15 inches high, and weighs only 9 pounds empty. This means users are easily able to move around the house in case they need to use the vacuum for other rooms.
- Metal nozzle
- Metal canister
- Motor housing
- Two extension tubes
- Metal lined flexible hose
- Crevice tool carpet/floor tool
- Operator’s manual
- 4 casters
- Easy to assemble
- Quiet and powerful 10 amp motor
- Holds up to 3 gallons of ashes in its canister
- 2-year limited warranty
- Comes with a wheeled base that isn’t usually common with ash vacuums
- The hose is short and not quite flexible
- It overheats and needs to cool down between 10 to 20 minutes. But we didn’t have this problem as we let the ash cool before using.
- The canister is relatively small compared to the other models on this list.
Pellet Stove Vacuum Under $70
Designed for cold ash pick up, the Snow Joe ASHJ 201 Ash Vac features a dual filtration system that comes with a fine dust pleated filter and a dust pre-filter. These filters trap fine dust particles effectively as you clean out fireplaces, barbecue grills, pellet and wood stoves, etc.
Operating this device is simple: all you have to do is insert Ash Vac’s proprietary aluminum intake nozzle, hover it over any pile of cold ash, turn the device on and let the cleaning magic begin.
Better yet, Ash Vac traps the particles inside the container and prevents them from getting out into the environment. It’s worth noting all the ash vacs on this list have this feature, if they didn’t, they would be pretty useless for us in this test.
The Snow Joe has a powerful motor of 4 amps that produces 500 watts of suction and 42.4 cubic feet per minute of airflow.
The canister of the device is really large in that it fills up to 4.8 gallons of ashes, allowing users to pick up as much ash around the house without stopping to check and empty the container.
What’s more, is that it stores the ash particles directly without the need of a bag, making it easier to remove those ash particles by simply lifting the lid of the container. Other features with the Ash Vac include a safety stop switch that prevents the device from overloading, a simple carry handle, a wire filter basket to protect the fine dust filter, an onboard hose/cord organizer for effective storage, and an inspection window blockage indicator.
- Powerful 4 amp motor that produces 500 watts of power.
- It comes with a two-year warranty
- Dual filtration system
- Picks up cold ashes from pellet stoves and wood stoves, fire pits & fireplaces as well as BBQ grills
- Easy to clean
- Is incredibly light and comes with an easy carry handle
- Reusable fine dust cartridge filter
- Powerful 4 amp motor
- Only effective in picking up cold ashes
4. Tacklife Ash Vacuum Cleaner
This beauty sports an 800-watt motor that provides 15 kPa of suction power to clear out ashes in the blink of an eye. Also, the motor is relatively quieter than most models, allowing users to communicate with others without having to yell as they pick up ashes from their BBQ grills, stoves, and fireplaces.
Tacklife also features a dual filtration system, which can filter the finest dust and ash particles and prevent them from harming the motor of the device. You can also save up on replacement filters since the filters of this vacuum cleaner are washable and reusable. A word of advice, however, is that the filter gets clogged up easily if there is a lot of ash in the vacuum’s tank. Therefore, you should have the decency of cleaning and then washing the tank after every use.
Except for hot ash, the Tacklife vacuum cleaner is excellent for picking up cold or warm ash. It comes with a durable and heat-resistant flexible metal hose, metal tank, and aluminum nozzle.
The power cable is over 5 m long, giving users plenty of areas to move around if they aren’t close to a power outlet by their fireplace or stove.
- 18-liter tank
- heat-resistant, washable and reusable filters
- 5 m power cable
- Heat-resistant metal hose
- simple to clean
- Affordably priced
- heat-resistant components
- dual filtration system
- powerful suction
- The filter can clog up easily
- The hose is short
Premium Ash Vac – Money no object, what we’d buy:
The Dustless Technologies’ Cougar+ is the quintessential machine that comprises state-of-the-art components and delivers an impeccable ash cleanup performance. One of the ways the machine accomplishes this is due to its two-stage filtration system.
The fiberglass filter puts a stop to larger particles as well as protects the main filter from hot embers or coals. The second filter is PTFE-coated that prevents fine dust particles that are a fraction of the human hair.
The motor of this machine is surprisingly quiet, ensuring users extra peace of mind as they vacuum. Furthermore, the hose is flameproof, which prevents causing any damage to itself as the vacuum does its business.
To prevent ash from spilling out to the surroundings, the Cougar comes with a 6-gallon canister (the biggest on this list!) along with metal clamps to keep the top sealed. Not only does this reduce cleanup time later on, but it also prevents dangerous particles from entering the lungs, especially for those suffering from allergies or asthma.
But the best part about this machine is that it comes with an astounding 10-year warranty, apparently ensuring that users are covered in the long run. You certainly can’t get any better than that now can you?
- Powerful suction ability
- Large tank capacity
- Able to store fine ash particles
- Made entirely of fire-resistant metal
- Easy-to-clean filters
- Metal handle for easy transportation
- Features toolkit
- A relatively silent motor and smooth operation
- 10 Year Warranty – Come on, what vacuum comes with a 10-year warranty in today’s world?
- The hose doesn’t come with a holder
- Quite pricey
- The power cord and hose are short
What Is an Ash Vacuum?
An ash vacuum is a specialized vacuum that is designed to pick up ash from fireplaces, an old-fashioned or barbecue oven, or a pellet stove. But why exactly is it necessary to clean up that residue with an ash vacuum instead of a regular vacuum?
Although you may be tempted to use a regular vacuum cleaner to take care of this problem, we highly suggest against it. Here are several reasons that you need to consider:
- Safety: a regular house vacuum cleaner isn’t built to handle the heat of a fireplace and a wood stove and could even pose a fire risk as well. Ash vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, are built to handle those types of temperatures that are hiding behind the supposedly cool ashes.
- Metal housing diminishes fire risk: an ash vacuum’s metal housing prevents as well as contains fire ashes, thereby decreasing the risk of fire that your house might be exposed to when clearing up your fireplace or wood stove.
- Regular vacuums aren’t built to handle ash particles: a standard household vacuum cleaner is unable to endure the harsh warm particles of ashes as they could melt the plastic/rubber in the dirt bin construction and hose and may even trigger a fire within your regular house cleaner.
- It’s affordable and safe: although the prices vary depending on the type of model, most ash vacuums sell for $200 or less.
- Compact and simple to use: ash vacuum cleaners are usually portable and are built for their simplistic use when you want to clean in and around your firebox, especially the enclosed area that includes ash pans. Some models also come with wheeled bases allowing for easier maneuverability around the entire wood box and heat stove area.
Ash Vacuum Buyer’s Guide
So we’ve gone through the top ash vacuums, but below is what we’ve judged them all on if you’re interested.
We felt that it was necessary to share some of the most essential tidbits that you’ll be needing before buying an ash vacuum cleaner for your household. Here’s everything you need to consider before purchasing an ash vacuum:
By far the biggest characteristic of an ash vacuum cleaner is its ability to withstand warm temperatures. Regular vacuum cleaners are made from plastic, which obviously lacks the protective metal coating to help them withstand high temperatures and would ultimately melt away or get damaged.
Although that being said, if you’re happy to let the ashes cool down completely, then the cheaper ones would be fine.
Therefore, if you’re going to get an ash vacuum cleaner for your house, you need to ensure that most of its components, including its nozzle and crevice tool, are made of heat-resistant metal such as aluminum. As such, metal-based ash vacuums don’t just have a longer lifespan, but also won’t degrade over time. Although sometimes, metallic ash vacuums are heavier to maneuver due to the material they’re made of. This issue is easily remedied by buying a more portable model, especially one that comes with wheels or a handle.
Another thing you need to consider before buying an ash vacuum is that not all models pick up warm and cool ash. That’s why when you choose a model, be sure you pick one that is appropriate for cleaning out the type of ash in your house. Of course, this also means choosing an ash vacuum cleaner that consists of a hose pipe being both heat and fire-resistant so it won’t melt or get damaged when cleaning out hot ashes.
When picking up an ash vacuum cleaner, we recommend getting one that comes with a really powerful motor. The more powerful the vacuum, the more powerful the suction of ash will be. However, whether you need a more powerful motor depends on how persistent the ashes in your fire pit, wood stove or fireplace are. If it’s not that intense, then a small motor vacuum would be fine enough.
However, a fireplace or stove that’s used for heating houses during the chillier months may require a little more power when taking care of those ashes daily. So we suggest getting an ash vacuum with a 5.5 HP motor to handle such jobs.
An appropriate filter must be used for an ash vacuum for effective suction performance. Not only that, but it should also be easy to clean as well.
The finest ash vacuum models consist of a 3-stage filtration system. The first stage is a metallic mesh filter that sucks in large, hot ash particles. The second filter is made from cloth and ensures the canister top is sealed. The third filter is a HEPA-standard cartridge that pulls in and traps the smallest ash particles. This is to prevent ash allergens or particles from getting back into the air.
Although not all Ash vacuums come with the aforementioned facilities, it is recommended for consumers to get one that comes with a HEPA filter. This is important for those who have asthma or allergies.
When it comes to noise, it doesn’t matter what ash vacuum you use because they’re all going to make some type of noise. But that doesn’t mean that they have to be so loud that you don’t hear anything else around you. Fortunately, you’ll be happy to know that most models consist of motors that are relatively more silent than a regular house vacuum.
And now that we’ve established that, let’s look into some of the best customer-reviewed ash vacuum cleaners that are available in the market today.
This section is for those who still aren’t familiar with ash vacuums and need more clarification. Here are some of the most common questions that potential consumers and skeptics usually ask about ash vacuums:
#1. Are Ash Vacuums Worth Buying?
Do you usually use a fireplace to keep your house warm, store a wood or pellet stove, or have a regular barbecue on weekends? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you definitely need an ash vacuum. And the reason why you need one is because those ash particles, dirt or dust will not only prevent your fireplace from warming the house properly during the cooler months but if those particles accumulate, they may eventually find their way into your lungs and cause respiratory problems, especially if you’re already suffering from allergies or asthma. Ash vacuums can also provide a thorough cleanup of the house, which should be done after every few weeks.
#2. Can Ash Vacuums Be Used To Suck up Dust and Sand?
In case you haven’t read what we’ve listed, most of the best-performing ash vacuum cleaners are very good at picking up fine dust particles around a workshop or house. Although some models are unable to suck up larger particles since their filtration systems aren’t built for such things.
#3. Is It Possible to Use an Ash Vac to Remove Embers?
Unfortunately no. Because as the name indicates, ash vacuums are only designed to suck up ash. Picking up hot embers is dangerous for the device. Although there are a few models that are an exception to this, you should not consider it. You can still need to verify whether your vacuum is capable of withstanding extremely warm temperatures.
The reason why you must never consider using an ash vacuum to pick up embers is that the force of an ash vacuum’s suction could ignite stove pellets, which could set the vacuum’s filter ablaze. Hot embers from fireplaces can also burn filters.
It’s best to stay away from large coal pieces, especially those that are still recently hot, as they can clog up the entire unit. This also shortens the lifespan of the vacuum and the filter.
#4. What Kind of Ash, can an Ash Vacuum Cleaner Handle?
Ash vacuum cleaners can suck up to various types of ashes. Some examples include charcoal ash, wood ash, and pellet ash. Ashes can either be hot or cold, as well as wet or dry.
While any ash vacuum can easily pick up cold ashes, there only a select few that can withstand hot ashes or even embers. Some of the best models include Cougar+. If you go through our extensive review, you’ll get a better idea about the kind of ash that each model can handle.
#5. Are the Top Branded Ash Vacuum Models Right Now?
The answer to this question is the models that we’ve already listed, including:
- Snow Joe
- Dustless Technologies
All in all, the ideal ash vacuum should be powerful, portable, as well as multifaceted. What’s more, is that an ash vacuum has to be durable, and last you a good while besides coming with a couple of years of warranty. After all, what’s the point of buying a vacuum that only lasts a couple of months?
Also, focus on buying from a brand that provides commendable customer service. You need to keep this at the back of your mind, especially if the machine suddenly stops working or if you have some questions along the way.