The Stanley SL18129 is a stainless steel tank with several attachments on its small frame and adequate power for its size. This wet-dry vacuum only has a 4-gallon tank capacity, but it still rolls on the floor despite being lighter than portable shop vacuums we reviewed. It comes with a short hose and a filter you will have to clean often.
The first thing you'll notice when you turn on the Stanley is how loud it is. The tank is simply too small to diffuse the noise of a 4-horsepower motor, and we tested this shop vacuum at a maximum volume of 97 dB. That's the loudest of all the wet-dry vacuums in our rankings. We recommend wearing ear protection if you plan to use the Stanley for an extended time.
We tested its ability to clean with a mix of six screws and 2 ounces of mulch. It was able to pick up all the loose screws but only around 63 percent of the mulch in one pass. It can vacuum a gallon of water in 4.65 seconds, which means the entire tank will fill up in nearly 20 seconds of suction. The tank doesn't have a drain port, so you'll need to tip and dump it each time. If you need to clean up dry messes quite a bit, take a look at the Ridgid WD1450.
The hose is the second shortest of those we tested. At 5 feet, it doesn't give you a lot of room to maneuver around corners. The tank is solid and stylish, with a stainless steel exterior and a strong handle for lifting and moving the vacuum around. It makes up for its shorter hose with three extension wands, which can be used individually or combined into one long tube. The attachment rack includes a floor nozzle, crevice tool and car nozzle. This is a good little vacuum for cleaning out cars as well. When it's placed on its side, you can fit it in most trunks.
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Overall, we like the Stanley SL18129's lightweight design and high-performance motor, but it's extremely loud. The diameter of the hose makes it difficult to pick up large pieces of mulch. We appreciate the number of attachments included despite its small size, but, for sheer vacuuming ability, it doesn't compare to the best shop vacuums.