During cold nights, there is nothing like relaxing by a warm fire. However, the next day when you have to deal with the remnants of that fire, it can be a major pain to clean your fireplace or wood burning stove. Fortunately, if you avoid lighting fires because of the cleanup process, you can rest easy by getting an ash vacuum. These machines operate much in the same way as a shop vacuum, but the difference is that they are designed specifically to collect ash rather than standard dirt and debris.
With an ash vacuum, cleaning up after a fire is a breeze, making the whole process so much simpler and more enjoyable. In fact, it can be so easy to clean up afterward that you may decide to have a fire more often.
Today we are going to look at some of the best ash vacuums on the market today as well as check out the most important features and considerations you should pay attention to when making your decision.
Simply put, this is a machine that is designed to suck up ash particles. The problem with using a standard shop vacuum is that you can risk damaging the internal components with the fine particulate and the potential for warm or hot ash getting into the machine. As such, it’s imperative that you get a model that is rated for cleaning ash so that you won’t break your device right away. Usually, ash vacuums can be used as a typical shop vacuum, meaning that they can do a lot more than clean your fireplace or stove.
|PowerSmith PAVC101 Ash Vacuum|
|Love-Less Ash MU405 Cougar|
|Shop-Vac 4041200 Ash Vacuum Cleaner|
|Snow Joe ASHJ201 4.8 Gallon 4 Amp Ash Vacuum|
|Cheetah Ash Vacuum, Black|
When it comes to picking out an ash vacuum, you want to be sure that you’re getting one that can handle your messes easily. For example, if you need to collect a little bit of dust here and there, a small unit will be just fine. However, if you have a large fireplace or generate a lot of ash at once, then you need a large machine that can finish the job in one sitting.
The other thing to consider is how heavy and cumbersome the device is. Some vacuums can be rather big, meaning that they might be difficult to handle and move. Most ash vacuums have a handle, but some of them also come with wheels to make it easier on you.
Even if you wait until the next morning to clean your ash, there can still be some warm or hot embers lurking underneath the top layer. Also, sometimes you can’t wait forever to start cleaning your fireplace or stove, meaning that you need a vacuum that can handle warm or cold ash. Most models can do this, but not all of them can. Be sure to pick one that has heat resistant parts and a fire-resistant hose that won’t get damaged in case you find a hot ember or two.
The other thing to consider is the size of the particles you’ll be collecting. With ash, you can get a mixture of both ultra fine and somewhat large pieces, but not all ash vacuums are rated to pick up both. Some are built specifically for fine particles, while others have more versatility. Thus, it’s important that you figure out what kind of ash you’ll be collecting the most so that you can get the job done well each time.
This is one of the most crucial systems on an ash vacuum, and it’s part of what separates these devices from a standard cleaning unit. Since you’re dealing with such fine material, you don’t want it to blow around your house as you vacuum. Non-ash models will do this a lot, so it’s crucial that you pay attention to the filtration system on board. For best results, get one that is HEPA rated as that will pick out everything from the air. However, as we mentioned above, some vacuums are rated for fine particles but not thicker ones, so you still have to pay attention to that.
Another thing to consider is whether or not the filter is reusable. Some can be washed while others can’t, so you’ll have to decide if that’s something you want to have with your vacuum.
Kicking off our list is this vacuum from PowerSmith. If you’re looking for a reliable piece of equipment that works on a wide variety of ashes and fireplaces, then this is an excellent way to go. In fact, we have to say that this is one of our favorite vacuums because it can work well on almost any fireplace, stove, or barbecue.
What makes this vacuum so ideal is that it is built to handle any ash cleanup situation. This means that warm (not hot) or cold ash is perfectly okay, and it won’t have trouble with rough or fine particles. As we mentioned above, some vacuums are designed for one or the other, but this one handles both with excellent results.
The other thing we like about this vacuum is the filter system. Not only is it heat resistant but it’s washable as well so that you can clean it out and reuse it multiple times before having to buy a new one. Also, this system comes with a variety of attachments and accessories that allow you to clean anywhere at any time, even if you aren’t working on ash. Overall, this works as a regular shop vacuum as well as an ash model.
If you want to get a vacuum with a bit more heft to it and some extra style to go along, then this model from Dustless Technologies is a great choice. While it’s not quite as versatile or as mobile as the PowerSmith above, this unit shines with fine dust particles.
The secret to this vacuum’s success is the filtration system. It collects everything from the air so that you never have to worry about dust or debris getting into your lungs. In fact, it’s so great that you can work without any facial protection. The other thing that we love about the filter is that you can access it and clean it without having to open the top or take apart the system, which is far more convenient than other vacuums we’ve seen.
The other great thing about this machine is that it is built well. The tank itself is solid steel, and the hose and internal components are all heat and fire resistant. This means that it works well on warm or cool ash and can be utilized in a variety of situations. While it can clog a bit regularly with larger chunks, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue with this device. Overall, if you deal with a lot of fine ash, this is an excellent choice.
We’ve already discussed the fact that many ash vacuums can also be utilized as shop units as well, so it only makes sense that we would feature an ash vacuum from Shop-Vac. Much like the PowerSmith, this device is something of an all-around unit, meaning that it works well with both coarse and fine material. It also comes with a HEPA filter for cleaning your air, so you can get some amazing results with this vacuum.
Other features that we like include the easy carry handle on the top, the two nozzles that come with it for agility and the fact that it is built with heat-resistant materials. Overall, this is a decent ash vacuum that will work for households that need casual ash pickup. It’s not quite as high-end as something like the Cougar, but it still gets the job done.
If you want an ash vacuum that works well on fine dust particles and can hold a ton of material, then this unit from Snow Joe is a great option. With a 4.8-gallon tank and a filtration system that is guaranteed to keep your air clean and fresh, this vacuum is the gold standard for fine dust and particulate.
While we would prefer for this machine to work on warm ash, the fact is that the components are still heat resistant so if your ash is a little warm, it shouldn’t be too bad. However, it is rated only for cold ash, so don’t try to do it too often.
Nonetheless, the filter is amazing, and the fact that it comes with a long hose and power cord means that you can work a lot easier than with some of the other models on this list. The motor may not be quite as big but it can handle a lot of work and will outpace some of the larger units we’ve seen. Overall, a great vacuum.
Finishing off our list is the brother to the Cougar Vacuum above. Both of these units are built with similar specs, although this one is a bit lighter and more compact than the Cougar. Nonetheless, both vacuums are highly rated for picking up fine particles, and they are built with solid materials.
What we like most about this vacuum is that it is made to last. While the placement of the hose is a bit awkward so that you cannot fill the tank completely, it still can deliver ideal results on most fireplaces and stoves. The filtration system is incredible and will collect even the smallest particles, so your air will be better than ever. Also, you can remove the filter and clean it without having to take the top off, which is always a bonus. Overall, if you like the functionality of the Cougar but want something smaller, this is your best option.
After looking through these ash vacuums, we have to say that our top picks are either the PowerSmith or the Cougar models. The reason that we like the PowerSmith Vacuum is that it is more robust than most of the other ones on this list. Also, it has a longer hose and power cord, which gives you more versatility while you’re working. The Cougar is excellent for finer material, though, so if that is what you pick up the most then we recommend going that route. The PowerSmith is perfect for all-around ash pickup, but it can struggle a little bit with finer materials, so be aware of that. Still, these are both our top picks and will do the job well every time.