Ridgid 14 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac HD1400 – NXT Me ASAP

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Photo: HomeDepot.com

What's This?This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. If we were to have readers list all the tools in their shops, there is no doubt they’d rattle off a bunch of sharp, spinning electrical things. And the manifest would surely be peppered with hand saws, screwdrivers, wrenches and other objects fueled entirely by elbow grease. But how many portable vacs will be accounted for? How many dust-sucking, dirt-devouring, wet/dry canisters of cleanliness will go thanklessly unmentioned? We received a Ridgid 14 gallon NXT wet/dry vac to check out and it got me thinking just how under-appreciated these precious tools really are.

Ridgid 14 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac Model HD14-Something Or Other

Ridgid HD1400
Some minor assembly required.

Maybe you never thought of portable vacs as tools, but they are. Sure, they aren’t doing the glamorous, hardcore tasks like driving fasteners, tearing trees limb from limb, or chilling your beer. But they are tools. They’re tools for cleaning. Tools for keeping dust out of the air (and out of your lungs). And tools for saving your arse when the water heater decides your basement floor is just too dang dry.

* Model: HD1400 (or HD14000). The website and product packaging say “HD1400”. But the owner’s manual and the label on the vac itself say “HD14000”. So take your pick! We’ll go with HD1400.

* Drum capacity: 14 gallons.

* Air flow: 165 CFM

* Peak power: 6.0 HP

* Weight (empty): 26.6 lbs.

* Average current draw: 10.5 Amps

* Cord length: 20 ft.

* Filter: Includes one VF5000 3-layer fine dust (½ micron) pleated “Qwik Lock” cartridge.

* Included accessories: 2-1/2 inch x 7ft. “Dual-Flex” “Qwik Lock” hose, 2 extension wands, locking utility nozzle, locking car nozzle and locking wet nozzle.

* Decibel rating: 75db

* 4 smooth gliding swivel casters

* Ridgid’s lifetime warranty

Sucks? Nope, It’s Pretty Awesome!

Awesome runs in the family.
A new 14 gallon NXT wet/dry vac, posing with a 6-1/2 year old cousin. I’ve had great luck with Ridgid vacs. Well, with all of my Ridgid tools, actually.

Instead of ticking the box with jovial jocularity about how the HD1400 sucks, instead we raise the pedantic point that vacuums don’t suck at all. Rather, a blower fan pushes air out of the dust collection drum, lowering the internal pressure. The weight of the atmosphere then pushes air into the drum (dragging your dust and dirt – kicking and/or screaming – along for the ride) thusly keeping the universe in balance.

Car nozzle
A sucky mess becomes something you can rightly blow your horn about. Though it would have been faster had I selected the wider, utility nozzle.

What Is NXT? – Ridgid 14 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac

Ridgid 14 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac
The NXT line of vacs “takes your projects to the next level” with some nice features.

NXT is the designation given to Ridgid’s “next generation” lineup of wet/dry vacs. They are more powerful than previous models and have some pretty nice features. They also utilize Ridgid’s “Scroll Noise Reduction” (SNR). To quote Ridgid, SNR is “a patented feature on our vacuums that provides quiet operation by precisely controlling the flow of air through the vac”. But, despite the bold claim, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s going to be quiet. With 75db worth of noise, no librarian on Earth will be able to resist shushing you.

Locking Hose And Accessories – Stay Connected With Ridgid NXT

Qwik Lock hose
The hose has locking tabs that keep everything firmly connected, even if you give it a tug.

One thing I really like about the new Ridgid wet/dry vacs are the locking hoses and accessories. I’ve always been one of those users who tugs on the hose to drag the vac closer to me. But no matter how gingerly I pull, traditional style hoses eventually come out of their socket, negating the benefit of pulling in the first place.

Locking accessories
Push the connector together and the latch ratchets onto the ridges. To remove, either squeeze the latch and pull it apart or simply twist past the ridges and pull.

The NXT lineup eliminates separation anxiety the same way Ridgid Pro Pack did: with locking tabs on the hose connectors. Now you can pull the vac along all day and never have an unintentional disconnect.

Tug-a-long hose
The latches work so well you could probably swing the vac around like a lasso. But seriously, don’t do that.
Swiveling ends
Life is made even easier by the fact that both ends of the hose swivel 360°.

Attachment Issues – In A Good Way!

Hose and accessories
Ridgid HD1400 14 gallon NXT wet/dry vac comes with a 7′ hose, two 20” extension wands and three nozzles. Unfortunately, it does not include a dust brush nozzle.

I’ve owned wet/dry vacs that had no on-board storage whatsoever. And those that did retained the accessories by gravity alone, so they must be removed before emptying the canister.

On-board storage
The hose and attachments are always right where you need them.

Thankfully, the HD1400’s accessory holder actually grips the attachments. So you can dump the canister with everything in place (even the extension wands), and they don’t end up in the trash can. It may seem like a small thing, but little improvements like that make a big difference.

Everything stays put
You can even store parts on the four caster housings. It’s the perfect place for the two extension wands, and you have room for two more accessories.
Ridgid 14 gallon wet/dry vac
The car nozzle (pictured) and utility nozzle both feature a faceted opening, which prevents it from glomming onto rugs and hard surfaces for dear life.

Don’t Get Hosed

Hose storage
Many vacuums’ hoses can be a bit unruly and in the way when not in use. So it’s nice to be able to store it right on the power head.

Locking clips and swiveling connectors aren’t the only tricks this hose has up its sleeve. There’s also a cool feature they call “Dual-Flex”. The 7 inches of hose at each end is more flexible than the rest, giving you get extra maneuverability and kink resistance where you need it the most.

Hose clips
A pair of hose clips help to keep things tidy.

For the record, Ridgid NXT vacs are also compatible with standard non-locking vacuum hoses.

2-1/2” x 7' Hose
2-1/2” x 7′ “Tug-A-Long” positive locking “Dual-Flex” hose.
Dual-Flex hose
Near the ends, where the spiral is tighter, the hose is more flexible. Flexible enough, in fact, to make a tight 180° U-turn. Not that you’ll be making many U-turns. The arrows indicate the demarcation point.

Ridgid Wet/Dry Vac – It Might Not Suck, But It Does Blow

Blower port
The blower port is located on the rear of the power head.

Move the hose and extension wand(s) around to the exhaust port and you have a blower that’s great for small to medium-sized hard surfaces.

Blowing the leaves away.
165 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air flow.

Blow grass and sand off of the mower, or dirt and dust out of the garage. Or use it to blow leaves off of the patio and driveway. But if you plan to maintain the neighborhood basketball court or corral the autumn leaves in your yard, get a real leaf blower; this isn’t going to cut it.

Suck It Up, Buttercup – Putting The Wet In “Wet/Dry”

Wet floor squeegee nozzle
The unit comes with a squeegee style floor nozzle that works equally well on the push and pull stroke.

I tested its wet vacuuming ability by drawing water from 5-gallon buckets. As you’d expect, there’s an internal float that cuts off suction once the canister has reached maximum capacity. For small amounts of water (a few inches or so in the drum), you can keep the dry debris filter canister in place. But any more than that and you should remove the filter (or use a wet debris foam filter).

Draining the drum
Unscrew the plug for easy drainage.

Filter And Filter Options For Your Ridgid 14 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac

Qwik Lock filter
Ridgid’s patented “Qwik Lock” filters easily snap on and off. But the best part is that they stay put when you accidentally to set the unit down a little too hard, a motor-saving quality I wish was shared by some other portable vacs.

I once burnt up a differently-branded wet/dry vac because the filter came loose and I wasn’t aware of it. Saw dust invaded the motor during a long sanding session and that’s all she wrote. But this filter locks in place, so that will never be an issue.

The filter can be cleaned and reused many times.
When the filter finally cakes up with debris (there’s still a ways to go on this one), just shake and tap it out for many more reuses. For a more thorough cleaning, you can rinse the filter with running water, from the inside out.

The 14 gallon NXT wet/dry vac comes with a Ridgid model VF5000 3-layer fine dust filter canister. This is the most versatile filter in the series. It captures 99% of general debris, cement dust, saw dust, fireplace ash, and other fine powders, down to ½ micron in size.

Additional options include a single-layer general purpose filter, a 5-layer HEPA filter and a wet debris sponge filter. Or, if you want to capture filth without clogging your filter or having any of it linger in the drum, The Home Depot offers disposable dust bags.

Using The Vac As Dust Collection For Woodworking Tools

Planer shavings collector
The Ridgid 14 gallon NXT wet/dry vac won’t capture every last shaving, but trust me, it makes a HUGE difference at the thickness planer. These tools can convert thin layers of wood into surprisingly large piles of debris.

The best measure of dust control is to capture it right at the source, preventing it from getting into the air (and all over everything in your shop) in the first place. Obviously, a dedicated dust collection unit is preferable, but many shops don’t have that luxury. And what about when you’re working at a job site?

At the band saw
It also works quite well with small to medium capacity band saws.

I’ve been using a Ridgid wet/dry vac as dust collection on several of my tools for years now. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a good portable vac.

The Sand-Flee is dust free!
Plenty of air flow and hose flexibility for use on my mini drum sander.

A Rare Exception To The Rule – Not Even Perfect Is Perfect

Recessed dust port
The only exception I’ve found is with non-protruding dust ports, like the one on my homemade vertical belt sander (a Shop Notes Magazine project).

The NXT’s locking hose is a welcome feature. Not unlike skinny jeans on my ample thighs, however, the best ideas don’t always comport with reality. The locking hose is compatible with virtually any woodworking tool having a protruding 2-1/2” dust port. But in some rare cases you might have a recessed port.

Not gonna happen, Cap’n. Unless you want to remove the locking tab or use another hose.

If you have a tool with a recessed dust port – where the hose goes into (rather than onto) the port – the locking hose isn’t going to work. But given that the vac and accessories are backwards compatible with standard, non-locking 2-1/2” vacuum hoses, you can use another hose if you have one. Or, if you’re inclined to do the unthinkable, I suppose you could cut off the locking tab on one end. It’s rare that you’ll run into this situation, but I have seen store bought tools with this configuration.

Switch, Cord, Handle And Other Niceties

Large power switch
The over-sized power switch is easy to operate, even with gloves on. When on, the protruded bottom can be turned off with a quick slap. [Insert tasteless joke here]

The power switch is easy to find and operate. I also appreciate how easy it is to align the power head with the collection drum. Many other portable vacs often require a bit of fussing around to get things lined up properly. This one is much easier.

14 gallon drum
Large drum doesn’t have to be emptied quite so often.
No fuss latches
Easy alignment and latch operation.

The carrying handle is orientated front to back and doubles as a cord wrap.

Cord wrap
20ft. power cord. The wrapping tabs on the handle could stand to be a little longer though.
Ridgid 14 gallon NXT - easy to carry
The handle orientation makes this vac easier to carry around than some others I’ve used.

Ridgid 14 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac – Model HD1400

Ridgic 14 gallon NXT wet/dry vac
Ridgid 14 gallon NXT wet/dry vac.

If you’re in the market for a portable vac to use in the garage, workshop or on job sites, Ridgid’s NXT lineup has you covered. Even if you already own one, having another that you can dedicate to a particular tool (or to the work truck) is something you won’t regret. This is one tool you’ll be hard pressed to find fault with.

Purchase the Ridgid HD1400 14 gal. 6.0-peak HP NXT Wet/Dry Vacuum for just under $100

Buy Now - via Home Depot

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with Home Fixated in sponsored content. As a part of the sponsorship, Home Fixated is receiving compensation for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are our own words. This post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Photo of author

About Steve

Steve made his first woodworking project at age 9 (in 1982) and whittled his first wooden chain at 18. He was also a consumer electronics repair tech and shop owner for a little over 20 years, until his impending obsolescence became impossible to ignore. Since then, Steve has focused passionately on manipulating his wood... in his workshop. Don't judge him.

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