The Best Industrial Vacuum for a Superior Cleaning Performance

Industrial vacuum cleaners are powerful, durable, heavy-duty appliances custom-designed to help you meet even the most enormous, most demanding facility's cleaning needs. Whether the job requires you to lift light or heavy loads, wet or dry materials, solid particles, or spilled liquid, there’s an industrial vacuum for that, but which one? Read this guide on choosing an industrial vacuum cleaner and ask yourself these helpful questions to get started.

About Goodway Industrial Vacuums

Goodway industrial vacuum cleaners use a two-stage or by-pass motor. By-pass motors are constructed so that the impeller housing is sealed and isolated from the motor housing. The motor housing has its own cooling fan, which draws clean outside air into the motor housing, preventing the possibility of dirt getting into the motor and reducing industrial vacuum cleaners' lives. By-pass motors are more expensive, but they are also more reliable. Goodway also manufactures a complete line of air-powered industrial vacuums.

Goodway has industrial vacuum cleaners to serve all your different commercial vacuum cleaning applications, including high-flow and high lift machines. High-flow industrial vacuum cleaners are ideal for vacuuming light, powdery materials such as soot and coal dust.

While static water lift, industrial vacuum cleaners will serve you best if wet pickup is your goal. We can also help you find industrial vacuum cleaners that can serve both your wet and dry pick-up needs.

Industrial Backpack Vacuums

Industrial backpack vacuum cleaners are incredibly easy to use, ultra portable and very popular. They are modified canister vacuums custom designed to sit comfortably on the back of a user. Backpack vacuums are typically fitted with shoulder and waist straps to hold the vacuum securely in place enabling maximum mobility and ease of use. The motor is located in the bottom of the unit for a low center of gravity ensuring proper balance and stability for the operator. As these vacuums are fitted tightly to the body, the units are equipped with sound dampening and cooling components to ensure comfort and safety.

What should I look for in an industrial wet/dry vacuum?

  • Some important factors to use when purchasing industrial wet vacuum or industrial dry vacuums include the following.
    • Check for an industrial warranty. Many companies sell “commercial” industrial vacuum cleaners, but the minute you use them for industrial purposes it reduces, or voids the warranty.
    • Choose vacuums based on specific applications. Using a vacuum for an incorrect application will cause it to “burn” out quickly. You will end up spending more money on replacement parts.
    • Choose a brand and supplier that can give you service and support, not only when there are product issues but also when choosing the right product for your needs. Making the right choice in industrial vacuums will save you money and a lot of headaches. 

How does an industrial vacuum cleaner work?

Vacuum cleaners are generally manufactured to pick up dry, wet, or both dry and wet materials. Industrial vacuum cleaners work very similarly to residential vacuum cleaners but use industrial or commercial quality components, creating a much more robust vacuum cleaner product. The vacuum cleaner will use electrical or air-powered components to create a negative pressure, which pulls whatever material you are trying to pick up through a filter (for dry materials) and then captures the particles in a container. Some vacuums are specially designed to pick up explosive or flammable materials and are known as explosion-proof vacuums.

What is the best type of vacuum for commercial use?

Choosing the right vacuum for commercial use is very important. Factors such as the type of material you are picking up, the sensitivity of the material (is it explosive?), the capacity of the vacuum, and how portable of a solution you want are just a few of the considerations. Use the industrial vacuum buying guide to help you better understand the options before choosing a commercial industrial vacuum cleaner. 

goodway industrial vacuum backpack

Goodway’s ergonomic back-loaded vacuums distribute the weight evenly against the hips and shoulders. The lightweight machine is easy to carry and is designed to conform to the operator’s lower back. Using a backpack vacuum is now an optimal and safe way to clean in a variety of applications

The Goodway backpack vacuum cleaner is constructed of high-impact, body-durable molded plastic for reliability and long life. Our backpack vacuum uses a two-stage or by-pass motor. By-pass motors are constructed so that the impeller housing is sealed and isolated from the motor housing. The motor housing has its own cooling fan which draws clean outside air into the motor housing, preventing the possibility of dirt getting into the motor and reducing the life of backpack vacuum. Although by-pass motors are more expensive, they are also more reliable and longer-lasting.

Question 1: What's the Application?

Industrial vacuums deliver the best performance and customer satisfaction when their features and specifications are matched with specific applications. Every detail counts from the smallest grain of powder to the largest piece of scrap, so the more you know about the application, the easier your decision becomes. What kind of material are you collecting?

EV-30 Industrial Vacuum

Below are some common substances specific industrial vacuum cleaners have been designed to handle safely:

  • Scrap metal
  • Metal chips
  • Coolant
  • Floodwater
  • Dust
  • Debris
  • Paint powder
  • Flour and spices
  • Food particles
  • Sawdust

Getting to know your environment can also help you better determine how efficiently the industrial vacuum cleaner you choose will perform. Will you have access to the air supply? How small are the particles in your facility? Are they highly flammable? Not only can knowing this information help you make smarter cleaning choices, but it can also prevent major work injuries and hazards from occurring on the job.

Did You Know?

When vacuuming in a combustible environment, or collecting combustible materials such as fine powders, hazardous paint chips, or other flammable materials found in a facility, it’s important to select an industrial vacuum cleaner certified to meet Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards for use in Class I, Class II, or Class III.

If a pipe were to burst in your facility, just how effective do you think it would be to sweep up the flooding water with a brittle straw broom? This is what makes the experience of cleaning with an industrial vacuum so unique; there are several models built specifically to lift an array of substances and take cleaning to a whole new level.

The application’s consistency alone can quickly help you decide if the job will require a wet vacuum or a dry vacuum. Both wet and dry vacuums have one objective – to create suction strong enough to collect and gather material. Dry vacuums achieve this with a specialized vacuum system designed for picking up lighter particles. On the other hand, wet vacuums require the use of heavy-duty pumps to move dense, heavier liquids. Below are a few things to consider to achieve maximum results when collecting liquid waste with your industrial vacuum:

  • Make sure your wet or wet-dry vacuum is equipped with a liquid shutoff switch.
  • Be sure to empty the bucket immediately after use to avoid buildup and decreased efficiency in your industrial vacuum cleaner.

Don’t get sucked into automatically buying a combination vacuum, though, especially when your primary application is either wet or dry.

Did You Know?

You will almost always experience better results when buying a vacuum specifically designed for the task but beware. Wet-dry vacuums can pick up both wet and dry substances, but you would have to give up a little on one side for a high wet/dry performance in most cases.

Matching the proper application to the right vacuum is also critical in metal chip recovery, especially for those requiring you to collect coolant. Goodway has an exceptional line of industrial vacuums, specifically designed for CNC machining environments. The DV-2-MET is a prime example. This high-performance industrial vacuum cleaner separates coolant from chips down to 0.05,” and its unique tangential intake port can recover strings and clumps. While the 7-gallon capacity basket collects chips, the coolant is stored inside the canister for easy disposal.

Question 2: How’s the Filtration System?

One of the most frequently asked questions when purchasing an industrial vacuum for dry pickup is regarding filters. These are an important part of the process that begins when your vacuum captures smaller particles as they travel through the moving airstream called the filtration system. Depending on your environment and the application, the task at hand may require using a standard HEPA, or in some cases, a ULPA filter, to free the facility of contaminants. Continue below to see which industrial vacuum cleaner you will need for your vacuum if any.

HEPA Filters

Choosing the Right Filter: HEPA vs. ULPA

HEPA Filters

According to OSHA, a HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air filter, is defined as a filter that is at least 99.97% efficient in removing particles of 0.3 micrometers in diameter. That’s much smaller than a coffee grind, one single grain of cayenne pepper, and even a little dot, which is approximately 615 micrometers! HEPA filters were created to capture microscopic substances, like dust mites and other airborne particles that can be hazardous or cause health issues in your environment. Depending on the industry, strict maintenance guidelines must be adhered to clean a facility properly.

ULPA Filters

ULPA, or ultra-low penetration air filters, are even more efficient than HEPA filters, removing at least 99.99% of particles of 0.12 micrometers in diameter. The high-quality filtering of ULPA is accomplished via slow filtering that can’t exceed 0.025 micrometers per second, allowing just enough time for the air to enter through the filtered particles. ULPA is often used in clean room applications, or situations where critical cleaning is absolutely needed.

Question 3: How Powerful is it?

When seeking a high-performance, heavy-duty industrial vacuum cleaner, automatically, many assume the vacuum’s power can be identified solely through the motor's horsepower. However, educated industrial vacuum buyers aren’t fooled by the horsepower rating alone. Don’t simply limit the power of an industrial vacuum to suction; there are several other factors that play into how well it can lift your application.

BPV-100 Dry Backpack Vacuum
  1. For starters, if your application requires the pickup of dry materials, the vacuum's airflow is by far one of the most important details to consider when examining its cleaning ability.

    The airflow speed is measured by cubic feet per minute (CFM), and this force draws and collects particles inside the vacuum. For example, the higher the CFM of the airflow, the more volume you can receive when picking up fine powders, like flour or dust particles.

  2. Secondly, measuring the static lift of the vacuum is more important than the CFM rating because it is directly related to the power of the airflow and its ability to lift the material.

    For example, vacuums designed for lifting liquids or heavy metals will have high lift specifications. In general, the higher the lift, the lower the CFM, so when suctioning liquids heavy in density like water, it’s the static lift that allows industrial vacuum cleaners to lift these substances.

Did You Know?

The unique features of air vacuums produce immense lifting strength, making them a terrific option for lifting heavy or dense items.

Question 4: What’s the Maximum Capacity?

Another important question to ask when buying an industrial vacuum is what type of capacity you will need. Unlike vacuums that store collected material inside a small dust bag and require frequent changing, industrial vacuums are designed to simplify this process by offering larger volumes and capacities.

Wet/ Dry Vacuum Features

Goodway offers several high-quality industrial vacuums for wet and dry loads ranging in up to 55 gallons of capacity so that you can choose wisely for current and anticipated future needs.

  • Dry vacuums are designed to lift dry loads, like fine powders, or dust and collect and recover these particles through a filter. When selecting a wet vacuum, consider features like tilting tanks or pumps for easier removal of accumulated liquids.
  • Wet vacuums are known for their waterproof canister design and are specifically built to handle liquid loads.

Did You Know?

If you plan on using a wet/dry vacuum, make sure to clearly understand the capacity for both types of pickup, as they will differ.

Question 5: Does it Require Special Features?

Consider the space of your facility when thinking about the capabilities of your industrial vacuum cleaner. Will you be lifting a thin, powdery substance that can easily cake onto a HEPA filter and may require the use of a filter shaker? Or a liquid spill that could benefit from a vacuum with a dump valve for easy disposal? Take a look around the area. How many outlets are available, and what’s the highest voltage they can take?

Pro Tip: If you need to pick up explosive materials, refer to our guide on understanding NEC hazardous classes.

No matter the problem, Goodway’s top of the line industrial vacuum cleaners have a solution for everyone’s toughest cleaning challenges:

Industrial Vacuum Accessories
  • Coolant filtering for CNC machining industries
  • Portable backpack vacuums for hands-free carrying and less stress to hands and wrists
  • Quick connect wands for access to those hard-to-reach spaces
  • Special pumps and tilts for easier disposal
  • Explosion and static proof vacuums
  • Clean room vacuum systems
  • HEPA and ULPA filters available
Featured Industrial Vacuums
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So, what's next?

So now that you know which questions to ask, what are you waiting for? Take the next step to reaching your cleaning needs and speak with Goodway about industrial vacuum cleaners today!