"Man is a tool-using Animal ... without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all"

Posted: Aug 4, 2010

Review: Rigid 10' Universal Wet/Dry Vac Hose

A really nice hose for small vacs, but a big howler for large ones

$36.95 from Home Depot

I hate the hose on my Rigid shop vac. I normally wear shorts while working in the shop and the rough exterior of the standard hose is like running a rasp across my leg. So I was rather excited when I saw this replacement hose. I had my doubts because it's smaller than the original 2-1/2 inch hose, but I was willing to give up a little suction for a better hose.

Out of the box, I really liked the new hose. The exterior is ribbed, but the ribs are a slick vinyl and smooth to the touch. It's definitely a heavy-duty hose, far better quality than the stock hose. It's far heavier, however, and some people might find that a problem.

The kit includes a variety of adapters for Rigid vacs and tools, including their locking "Tug-A-Long" ports and all 2-1/2" and 1-7/8" accessories. I was also able to attach the hose to two other brands of shop vacs. Keep in mind, however, that the hose ends have soft plastic cups that grab onto the adapters. Choose wisely, because once you insert an adapter it's impossible to get back out.

While the Rigid hose can be made to fit (supposedly) any vac, it has issues with the larger models. Naturally, you lose quite a bit of airflow, the new hose is only a little over half as large as the original 2-1/2" hose. But given the way I use my vacuum, it's really not an issue.

But when you try to pull that much air through the hose, it begins to make a horrible, high-pitched whisting noise. "Howling" might be a better description. I tried bending the hose different ways and putting on adapters, but I coudn't fix it. I put the hose on another larger vacuum and it had the same problem, but when I tried it on a smaller vac with about half the airflow, there was no howling noise. So it's definitely an issue with the design of the inside surface of the hose.

The Rigid hose is quite nice and would work extremely well on a smaller vacuum. But if you have a larger vacuum, I don't see how anyone could tolerate that noise.


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