Craftsman Wet Dry Vac Review

This familiar big red canister is the Craftsman XSP 12 gallon wet/dry vacuum.  Its durable plastic body, strong 5.5 HP motor, and seven foot 2 1/2” diameter hose will have you soaking up dirt and liquids faster than ever.  Easily maneuvered and rolled around the floor, this strong and powerful unit will keep your home and shop clean of debris without many of the hassles you’ve come to expect from using wet/dry vacuums.


Key Features:


Stepping up to the 12 gallon wet/dry vacuum class will often give you the increased hose diameter.  The Craftsman XSP gives you that full 2 1/2” hose from fitting to fitting with no squeeze down along the length.  This massively over sized tunnel will quickly make short work of any dry debris and suck up even the largest water spillage in no time at all.


After sucking up 12 gallons of spilled water, you won’t need to lift that extra hundred pounds or even tilt the canister over to empty it.  And you won’t have to wait around for the bucket to empty either.  This vacuum has an extra large drain plug at the bottom.  Roll the vacuum over to the drain area, remove the drain cap, let the large capacity tank empty quickly through the enormous 3” drain port, replace the cap and get back to the task at hand.




Extreme portability and extended range of use are possible with this unit because it comes with a 20’ power cord.  Less time spend finding additional nearby wall plugs or having to use bulky extension cords that may cause tripping hazards or tip-over concerns.  Plug in anywhere and vacuum the entire room without having to stop and relocate your power.


Two wire brackets on top of the unit are a hose storage rack.  Many wet/dry vacuums have on-board accessory storage but few offer a convenient way to keep the hose tidy while not in use.  The Craftsman XSP can be stored away without tripping over the hose as it is wrapped up on top of the vacuum.





Be prepared for noise.  This motor puts out a lot of racket and while you expect a vacuum to be noisy, this model stands above the others when it comes to volume.  A strong motor will put out increasingly louder noise than its smaller compatriots, but it appears that no thought was given to noise suppression.


The Craftsman name used to be synonymous with lifetime guarantee.  This wet/dry vacuum has a 1 year warranty.  Some users have reported dead motors after a short period of use and having trouble with Craftsman’s warranty department.  Your mileage may vary, but it is worth noting that buying a “Craftsman” no longer means what it used to.


Our Verdict:


Our takeaway on the Craftsman XSP 12 gallon wet/dry vacuum is largely positive.  Solid performance where it counts with heavy suction and reliable usage, nice additions in the hose wrap among the on-board accessories, and the over sized drain plug make up for the loud volume of the motor.  The small caster wheels prevent this from being a total win as you’ll likely need to step up to the next larger class of vacuum to use outdoors.

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