Buyers Guide & Information

Best Ash Vacuums Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best ash vacuums on the market. Remove unwanted fireplace soot with these hot & cold vacuums.

If you own a wood stove or a fireplace, then you will periodically have to clean out the ash residue from the heating chamber. You might think that you can just use a regular vacuum cleaner, but this is incorrect.

Ash vacuum cleaners are vacuum cleaners designed specifically for cleaning ash residue. Ash vacuum cleaners are specialized devices, so we put together this comprehensive guide on the best ash vacuum cleaners for home use.

Benefits of Owning Ash Vacuums

Ash vacuum cleaners are specifically designed for vacuuming ash and soot out of fireplace chambers. To that end, they contain special filters designed to handle hot temperatures and filter out the dust, so the motor is not damaged. Ash vacuum cleaners also help reduce fire risk by giving a clean and efficient way to clear a chamber of hot ash.

Ash vs. Regular Vacuums

The main difference between ash and regular vacuums is their design and purposes. While many of the components are the same, ash vacuum cleaners have a special filter and suction mechanism explicitly designed for ultra-fine particles. Ash vacuum cleaners also have heat-resistant components like the nozzle, hose, and residue chamber. Some models can withstand temperature up to 1,200 degrees-F. Their special filters keep ash particles out of the motor and suction mechanism.

Ash vacuums are also different from your run of the mill shop vac. Shop vacs are heavy duty and designed for use on a worksite with heavy debris such as wood chips, metal bits, liquids, and dirt/sand. However, shop vacs are not made with special filters for ultra-fine particles. While you can get ultra-fine filters for a shop vac, they are not as effective as ash vacuums for dust particles.

Ash Vacuums Compared

Image
Cougar+ Ash Vacuum, Black, Made in the USA
PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum
Shop-Vac 4041300 Ash Vacuum Stainless Steel 5...
Cordless Ash Vacuum with 3.5 Gallon Portable...
ASHJ201 4.8 Gallon 4 Amp Ash Vacuum
Vacmaster - Ash Vacuum 6 Gallon 8 Amp...
Model
Cougar+ Ash Vacuum, Black, Made in the USA
PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum
Shop-Vac 4041300 Ash Vacuum Stainless Steel 5...
Cordless Ash Vacuum with 3.5 Gallon Portable...
ASHJ201 4.8 Gallon 4 Amp Ash Vacuum
Vacmaster - Ash Vacuum 6 Gallon 8 Amp...
Size
6 gallons
5 gallons
5 gallons
3.5 gallons
4 gallons
6 gallons
Motor
6 amps
3 amps
5 amps
3 amps
4 amps
8 amps
Warm or Cold Ash
Both
Both
Cold
Cold
Cold
Cold
Image
Cougar+ Ash Vacuum, Black, Made in the USA
Model
Cougar+ Ash Vacuum, Black, Made in the USA
Size
6 gallons
Motor
6 amps
Warm or Cold Ash
Both
Price
Image
PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum
Model
PowerSmith PAVC101 10 Amp Ash Vacuum
Size
5 gallons
Motor
3 amps
Warm or Cold Ash
Both
Price
Image
Shop-Vac 4041300 Ash Vacuum Stainless Steel 5...
Model
Shop-Vac 4041300 Ash Vacuum Stainless Steel 5...
Size
5 gallons
Motor
5 amps
Warm or Cold Ash
Cold
Price
Image
Cordless Ash Vacuum with 3.5 Gallon Portable...
Model
Cordless Ash Vacuum with 3.5 Gallon Portable...
Size
3.5 gallons
Motor
3 amps
Warm or Cold Ash
Cold
Price
Image
ASHJ201 4.8 Gallon 4 Amp Ash Vacuum
Model
ASHJ201 4.8 Gallon 4 Amp Ash Vacuum
Size
4 gallons
Motor
4 amps
Warm or Cold Ash
Cold
Price
Image
Vacmaster - Ash Vacuum 6 Gallon 8 Amp...
Model
Vacmaster - Ash Vacuum 6 Gallon 8 Amp...
Size
6 gallons
Motor
8 amps
Warm or Cold Ash
Cold
Price

Choosing a Quality Ash Vacuum

Ash type

Ash vacuum cleaners are designed for hot ash, cold ashes, warm or dry ashes. The type of ash is important because that determines what kind of features the vacuum cleaner has. For example, hot ash vacuums are made from durable metal components that can withstand higher temperatures than a regular vacuum.

Material of unit

No matter what kind of ash vacuum you get, it is important that it is made out of flame-resistant materials that can handle high temperatures. Metal components are the most common choice, but certain composite materials and plastics are also treated to tolerate high temperatures. Important parts to focus on are the hose, ash chamber, and nozzle.

Power

Ash vacuum cleaners generally have a more powerful motor and suction than regular vacuum cleaners. They need this because they are moving a higher quantity of debris. A decent ash vacuum cleaner has an average power output of 7-10 amps, potentially higher depending on the size of the cleaning unit.

Capacity

Ash vacuum cleaners need to hold a considerable quantity of debris. To that end, ash vacuums are larger and have a larger capacity. An average ash vacuum cleaner for home use can hold approximately 5-8 gallons, potentially more if you purchase a heavier duty model. Portable models can hold between 2-5 gallons of ash residue.

Portability

Ideally, you will want to be able to take your vacuum cleaner around wherever you need it. As such, most ash vacuum cleaners are built to move around, with wheels and handles for transportation. As you might expect, portable models are usually smaller and have a lower capacity and weight.

Hose & Cord Length

Hose length and cord length are two other important factors. In general, you want a vacuum with a longer hose and cord so you can move it around more and get far into the recesses of any ash residue chamber. We recommend trying to find a vacuum cleaner with a cord that is at least 6′ long for maximum reach and maneuverability.

Filtration system

Ash vacuums have a special filtration system designed specifically for ultra-fine ash particles. This filter keeps ash out of the machine’s components, such as the motor and suction system. Regular vacuum cleaner filters are not designed for ash. If you try to vacuum ash with your regular vacuum cleaner, then the ash will clog the motor.

Weight & Dimensions

Given their power and performance, ash vacuum cleaners tend to be larger and heavier than their counterparts used in homes. An average-sized ash vacuum for home use weighs between 15-30 pounds. Models that have more power are, all other things being equal, heavier. Ash vacuums also tend to have a large, cylindrical shape with a central residue chamber.

Other features

Make sure to look for other features as well, such as easy filter removal, automatic shutoff, bagless containers, and more. In our opinion, one of the most important features to get include multiple nozzles and extra hoses. Extra features should make the machine more functional and make cleaning easier.

Price

Ash vacuum cleaners can vary in price significantly from $40 all the way up to $700+. As you might expect, quality scales with price, though that does not necessarily mean that a more expensive model is better for your cleaning purposes. All other things being equal, portable models are cheaper than full-sized or industrial models.

6 Best Ash Vacuums Reviewed

1. Cougar +

Our Top Pick
Hose Length 5 feet
Cord Length 6 feet
Ash Capacity 6 gallons
Motor 6 amps
Warm or Cold Ash Both

First up is the Cougar+ from Love-less Ash. This powerhouse of a vacuum has won out pick for the best overall ash vacuum due to its special filter system, versatility, accessories, and tough metal components. The Cougar can be used for both warm and cool ash along with hot coals. The tough metal and thermal plastic components are resistant to temperatures up to 1000 degree-F, so you never have to worry about damaging the machine.

The Cougar+ has a large 6-gallon canister sealed with a special leak-proof metal clamp and o-ring setup. This set up makes it highly efficient, and it won’t spread ash through the air (or your lungs!). The Cougar+ also has a special ultrafine filter that utilizes fiberglass to keep the fine ash particles out of the motor and internal components.

The Cougar+ is an ideal vacuum for fireplaces, pellet/wood stoves, fire pits, outdoor ovens, pizza ovens, BBQs, and corn stoves, among others. It is highly versatile and also comes with a very generous 10-year limited warranty. You can get a complete replacement if there are any manufacturing defects or damages.

Overall, the Cougar+ is one of the best ash vacuums you can buy for the money. It is also relatively affordable for the quality.

Pros
  • High-temperature resistance
  • Multiple accessories
  • Fiberglass filters
  • Generous warranty
Cons
  • Large and slightly bulky
  • Some attachments are flimsy

2. PowerSmith PAVC101

Best Hot Ash Vacuum Cleaner
Hose Length 5 feet
Cord Length 16 feet
Ash Capacity 5 gallons
Motor 3 amps
Warm or Cold Ash Both

Up in second is the PowerSmith PAVC101 from the PowerSmith store. This ash vacuum is designed specifically for hot ash and features heavy-duty metal and plastic components, a large storage chamber, and multiple extensions, including 2 extension wands, brush nozzle, and a turbo nozzle. The PowerSmith is rated for temperatures up to 1,200 degrees-F and also has a wheeled base for transportation.

The PowerSmithhas a strong 3 amp motor and washable filtration system. It is suitable for fireplaces, grills, pellets and wood stoves, and more. The 16-foot cord allows it to be moved around easily, and the wheeled base makes positioning simple.

The PowerSmith uses a 2-stage filtration system with one layer of microfiber and a second layer of fire-resistant fiberglass. This dual-layer filter prevents clogs and increases the overall life of the product. It also has a metal-lined hose and metal canister that can resist high heats.

Despite its size and power, the PowerSmith runs very quietly, with only 70 decibels of noise. The 5.2-gallon tank is large enough for most jobs, and you will not have to continually empty the tank while using it. Overall, the PowerSmith is one of the best high-heat ash vacuums you can buy and gets the job done.

Pros
  • High-temperature specs
  • Dual-filter system
  • Extra-long power cord
  • Quiet operation
Cons
  • Large and bulky
  • Switching attachments is somewhat hard

3. Shop-Vac 4041300 Ash Vacuum

Best Shop Vac Model
Hose Length 4 feet
Cord Length 6 feet
Ash Capacity 5 gallon
Motor 5 amps
Warm or Cold Ash Cold

Up in third is the Shop-Vac 4041300 Ash Vacuum. This ash vacuum is made from tough stainless steel that is resistant to high temperatures and works for cold ash as well as coals. This vacuum cleaner has a large drum design with a 5-gallon capacity tank. It plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet and works for most uses, including fireplaces, wood stoves, ovens, grills, and more.

The Shop-Vac also comes with 6 accessories and a special flexible vinyl-covered steel hose. It also comes with a pellet stove cleaning kit and removable HEPA filter. The Shop-Vac is very tough and can be used for things that you normally would not use an ash vacuum for, such as dirt and dust.

The Shop-Vac has a dual-filtration system that uses a triple-layer metal filter attached to the HEP cartridge filter. This filter setup makes it highly efficient and easy to clean. You can remove the filter and shake it out whenever you need to clean it. The stainless steel tank is tough and can withstand a beating.

Overall, the Shop-VAc is a great heavy-duty ash vacuum with some extra utility. It is a good pick if you need a decent all-purpose ash vacuum to handle some extra jobs.

Pros
  • Tough, stainless steel tank
  • Removable HEPA filter
  • Powerful motor
  • Flexible hose
Cons
  • Cord and hose are somewhat short
  • Not suitable for hot ash

4. Kimo Cordless Ash Vacuum

Best Cordless Ash Vacuum
Hose Length 5 feet
Cord Length Cordless
Ash Capacity 3.5 gallons
Motor 3 amps
Warm or Cold Ash Cold

Sitting at fourth is the Kimo Cordless Ash Vacuum. This cordless ash vacuum is designed for cold ash pickup from grills, stoves, furnaces, firepits, and more. Since it is cordless, it is very versatile and easy to move around. The Kimo can be used inside or outside and be loaded into your car for easy transportation. It also has a wheeled base that improves its maneuverability.

The Kimo uses a sophisticated dual-filtration system that ensures a smooth vacuuming without clogging. The filter incorporates fiberglass to catch the ultrafine particles that would otherwise clog the motor and suction apparatus.

The Kimo is cordless and works in an ultra-powerful 20V battery that is rated for over 1,000 charging cycles. The Kimo can last for up to 4 hours of a single charge and takes approximately 2 hours to charge fully. This cordless design is unique for a powerful ash vacuum cleaner and makes the Kimo more versatile.

Overall, the Kimo is a fantastic choice for cold ash removal. It has a number of useful attachments, and the cordless design is a nice take on the ash vacuum cleaner model. It also manages to be relatively affordable while still being good quality.

Pros
  • Washable filter system
  • Cordless design
  • Easy to move
  • Useful attachments
Cons
  • Battery life is not very long
  • Not suitable for hot ash

5. ASHJ201

Top Ash Vacuum for Small Fireplaces
Hose Length 5 feet
Cord Length 8.5 feet
Ash Capacity 4 gallons
Motor 4 amps
Warm or Cold Ash Cold

At fifth is the ASHJ201. This ash vacuum cleaner has a compact and versatile design uniquely suited for fireplaces, pellet stoves, and grills. It features a powerful 4 amp motor that can generate up to 500 watts of suction power and runs on a standard 120V outlet. The ASHJ201 is also relatively small, so it is highly portable, considering its power.

The ASHJ201 has a pre-fitted filtration system that keeps dust and ash out of the internal components. The extra-large canister can hold up to 4 gallons of residue before needing to be emptied, and it weighs just 8 pounds, making it light and portable.

The ASHJ201 features a quick release canister cover, which makes emptying easier than ever. It also has a convenient carrying handle across the top so you can take it with you wherever you go. The flexible hose is lined with a fire-resistant vinyl material that can resist high temperatures.

Overall, the ASJ201 is a highly efficient and versatile ash vacuum that can serve multiple purposes. It is strong, lightweight, and easy to clean.  It also comes with a 2-year comprehensive warranty so you can get a replacement for any manufacturing errors or damages.

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Powerful motor
  • Pre-fitted filter
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Small
  • No extra attachments

6. Vacmaster EATC6085

Best Cheap Ash Vacuum Cleaner
Hose Length 6 feet
Cord Length 12 feet
Ash Capacity 6 gallon
Motor 8 amp
Warm or Cold Ash Cold

Last but not least on our round-up is the Vacmaster EATC6085. The Vacmaster has won our pick for the best cheap ash vacuum cleaner thanks to its outstanding performance and affordable price. The Vacmaster features an extremely large 6-gallon container and has a potent 8 amp motor. The Vacmaster operates very quietly and has a caster wheelbase for easy transportation.

The Vacmaster is designed for cool ash and coals and has a heat resistant construction made from steel and fire-resistant vinyl. The Vacmaster can also convert to a blower with just a flip of the switch so that you can use it as a leaf blower, among other things. The Vacmaster comes with two extra attachments, including a wide and narrow nozzle tip for hard to reach places.

Thye Vacmaster also made our list because it is very affordable. It costs about as much as a night out on the town and can last for years if taken care of properly. The 12″ cord makes maneuvering the machine easy, and it also has a convenient LED work light on the top for working in dark spaces.

Overall, the Vacmaster is one of the best ash vacuum cleaners for the price.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Extremely powerful motor
  • LED work light
  • Accessory storage
Cons
  • The filter is difficult to clean
  • Not suitable for hot ash

Tips for Using Ash Vacuums Effectively

First things first, keep in mind that an ash vacuum cleaner is designed specifically for ash. You cannot use an ash vacuum to clean sticks and coal from your residue chamber, only fine ash and soot residue. So before using your vacuum, make sure to clean larger debris out of the chamber.

Once you plug in the machine, make sure that the hose is free from any obstructions and has no kinks in it. Turn it on and place the nozzle on the surface that you want to clean. If you have any smaller nozzles, connect those to get hard to reach spots like corners or near the back. Make sure that you wear face protection when cleaning. Ash particles can cause lung irritation and can be very harmful in large quantities. You can test for ash using an air quality testing kit.

Once you are finished cleaning, you need to empty your vacuum. Simply open the main container and remove the filter. Many ash vacuums have a bagless design so you can directly empty the chamber. You should clean your filter by taking it off and shaking it out outside. You can clean the hoses and nozzles by taking them off and pushing a slightly damp rag through. You should not try to clean out your vacuum cleaner with water unless it is specifically designed to do so.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What type of maintenance is needed with ash vacuums?

The primary type of maintenance you should do is remove and clean the filter and fixtures periodically. You should also run your vacuum outside after cleaning it to expel any excess dust or soot left in the machine.

Is it safe to vacuum fireplace ashes?

With a proper ash vacuum, yes, it is safe to clean out fireplace ashes. You should wait until the ashes are no longer glowing. If you are going to vacuum hot ashes, make sure that your device has components made of materials that can handle higher temperatures.

Can ash vacuums suck up dust and sand?

As vacuums are designed for fine particles, so they are suitable for ash and regular dust. You should try not to use your ash vacuum for larger particles like dirt or rocks as these can damage the internal components.

Can I recycle ash?

Yes, ash is an organic material, and it can be recycled. Adding ash to your compost pile can boost the potassium levels of your compost and is environmentally friendly.

How long can I expect an ash vacuum unit to last?

With proper maintenance and use, an ash vacuum cleaner can last up to 10 years, potentially longer.

What are some common problems that may arise with ash vacuums?

The most common issues with ash vacuums are clogged suction and loss of suction. Another common problem is that the storage chamber is overfilled. This can decrease suction.

Where is the best place to buy ash vacuum cleaners?

You can buy an ash vacuum from any home supply store such as Hope Depot, Lowe’s, etc. You can also buy an ash vacuum online from retailers like Amazon. This online giant tends to have the biggest range and best prices.

Conclusion

In our opinion, the best ash vacuum cleaner for home use is the Cougar+. It has the right mix of performance, versatility, and power to fit most uses. If you have a fireplace or furnace and need a way to get rid of ash, then an ash vacuum cleaner is just the thing that you need.

Josh M
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