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
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!
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.
What Is NXT? – Ridgid 14 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac
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
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.
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.
Attachment Issues – In A Good Way!
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.
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.
Don’t Get Hosed
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.
For the record, Ridgid NXT vacs are also compatible with standard non-locking vacuum hoses.
Ridgid Wet/Dry Vac – It Might Not Suck, But It Does Blow
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.
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”
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).
Filter And Filter Options For Your Ridgid 14 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac
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 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
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?
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.
A Rare Exception To The Rule – Not Even Perfect Is Perfect
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.
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
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.
The carrying handle is orientated front to back and doubles as a cord wrap.
Ridgid 14 Gallon NXT Wet/Dry Vac – Model HD1400
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
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.