Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: January 24, 2021
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Cleaning the ash out of your fireplace or pellet stove can be a dirty job. Though in the past a shovel or a broom and dustpan have been the tools for coping with it, there is a much better, and cleaner, way to get rid of the ash in these home heating systems. Many people are choosing the best ash vacuum, due to the speed and cleanliness these products have to offer. They suck up the ash quickly, keeping it from spreading and getting into the air you’re breathing. These vacuums can also be used outside to clean out your fire pit or smoker when needed.
When looking into a new ash vacuum for your home, there are a few features to check out, to ensure you have the right model for you. One is the power since the larger the motor, the faster it will work to suck up those large ash piles. The capacity is also important because pellets create much smaller ash piles than wood will, so you need the right model for the job. A long hose will allow you to reach the entire area of your fireplace or stove, leaving nothing behind. The vacuum’s weight will determine how easy it is to move around, while the dimensions tell you how big the entire unit is.
To help you choose which model is the best ash vacuum for your home, we’ve spent countless hours checking out different ash vacuum manufacturers, looking over the product features, and reading hundreds of customer reviews. Then we chose the top models, created a comparison table, and added some in-depth reviews. We also wrote up a buying guide to help make your decision even easier.
The CRAFTSMAN 17585 is the best-rated ash vacuum for several reasons. It is versatile, allowing you to pick up the cool ashes and finer particles from your pellet or wood stove, fireplace, fire pit, smoker, or grill, all with this one unit.
This ash vacuum is durable, thanks to the heavy-duty construction. This includes the metal-lined wand, hose, and drum, all of which are designed to withstand a bit of rough use both in your home and outside.
Inside this vacuum is a HEPA media filter, which has a non-stick coating and is capable of capturing all of the ash and dust particles found in your heating systems. Not only does this collect everything you aim the wand at, but it also keeps it in the vacuum where it belongs until you’re ready to dump it out, so you won’t be breathing any ash particles while you clean up.
The locking hose is three feet long, with an LED light on the end to increase your visibility when cleaning out those dark corners or working in a poorly lit area. As well as the wand, there is also a metal crevice tool to help you get all the ash from those tight corners or beneath your grilling grates.
Though there are no wheels to help you maneuver this ash vacuum around, it is lightweight, with a sturdy handle on top for moving it around with ease. There is also an 8-foot power cord, with a built-in cord wrap for more organized storage.
Getting your hands on the best ash vacuum for your fireplace, wood stove, or barbecue doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. The TACKLIFE PVC03A proves this, giving you everything you need in a quality ash vacuum without the high price tag.
There is an 800-watt motor inside this machine, giving you over 15 Kpa of suction power to clear the ashes away in no time. This motor is also pretty quiet, so you won’t have to yell over it as you suck up all the ashes in your fireplace, stove, or barbecue.
There is a dual filtration system, which filters out the finest ash and dust particles and keeps them from damaging the motor. The filters are also washable, so you can clean them up and reuse instead of adding replacement filters to the overall cost. The filter may clog easily if too much ash is in the tank, though, so it is recommended to wash it out after every use to prevent this.
Though it isn’t meant for use with hot ash, the Tacklife ash vacuum is great for warm or cold ash. It includes an aluminum nozzle, a flexible metal hose, and a metal tank, all of which are heat-resistant and durable.
The power cable is five meters long, giving you some extra room to maneuver if there isn’t a power outlet right next to your stove or fireplace. This machine also has both suction and blowing functions for added convenience.
Though the DEWALT DXV10P isn’t technically designed to clean out fireplaces or stoves, it still may be one of the best ash vacuum models on the market. It has both wet and dry functions, so can clean out the ash in your heating systems or barbecues with ease, even if you soak the ashes to put out every ember.
This vacuum has a powerful 5.5 horsepower motor that gives you the suction needed to clean up any ashes in no time. Inside is a dust cartridge filter which works well for small, dry debris like ashes, but can also be used for wet materials when needed.
There is a large ten-gallon tank, so you likely won’t need to empty it every time you use it. The cord is 20 inches long, so you have some room to move around without worrying about finding another power outlet, plus has a cord wrap for storage. The hose is also quite long for reaching into those far corners. Swiveling casters and a strong carry handle make it easy to move this vacuum around wherever you need it.
Though you likely won’t need these features for cleaning up your stove or fireplace, this model also includes a built-in blower port for blowing sawdust and other debris out of your work area. It has a built-in tank drain as well for easy removal of any liquids. Also, built-in to the body of the vacuum is a storage bag for all the accessories, like extra nozzles and attachments, keeping everything nicely organized.
The Vacmaster VQ607SFD is technically a wet/dry shop vacuum but it has some great features that make it the best pellet stove ash vacuum as well. The hose is only about one inch thick, so it is great for the finer ash you get from burning pellets. The hose is a bit stiffer than some other models but is a decent length, so it can reach into the corners of your pellet stove to get every bit of ash out.
This vacuum has a stainless-steel tank with a six-gallon capacity, so you can vacuum out quite a bit of ash before it needs to be emptied. It is also quite powerful, thanks to the 3 HP motor, so it won’t leave a single speck of dirt behind.
Another great thing this vacuum has going for it is that it is lightweight, with a handle on top and four wheels on the bottom for increased portability. There are molded cut-outs around the sides of the unit for all of the included accessories, keeping everything together at all times. The 12-foot cord has a cord wrap to keep it in place when the cleanup is done and the vacuum needs to be stored away.
As well as using this vacuum for your pellet stoves, you can use it in all your other heating systems, as well as your carpets, floors, or workbench. It even has both wet and dry filters, plus a blower function for even more versatility in its cleaning capabilities.
For some people, the best ash vacuum cleaner is small and lightweight, so they can use it wherever they need it without straining themselves in the process. The Snow Joe ASHJ201 is a portable model that weighs less than nine pounds and has compact dimensions. It doesn’t include wheels for easy rolling, but there is a handy carry handle on top to make it easier to move it wherever you need it.
This ash vacuum is designed for cold ash only, so you can use it to clean out the ash in your pellet or wood stove, fireplace, barbecue, or fire pit, provided there are no embers still burning. It has a decent 4 amp motor that gives you up to 500 watts of suction. This is perfect for the ash, though it may not be powerful enough to pick up any large chunks leftover.
To help keep the dust in the vacuum where it belongs, this unit has a dual filtration system. This includes a course dust pre-filter and a pleated filter for the finer ashes. These work together to keep the ash it sucks up in the vacuum where it belongs, instead of sending it back out into the air you’re breathing.
Other great features include the 4.8-gallon canister, the cord and hose organizer, and the aluminum intake nozzle. There is also a safety stop switch, which prevents the ash vacuum from turning on if the filter isn’t in place.
You don’t always have time to wait for the ashes in your stove or fire pit to cool down completely before you clean them out. A regular vacuum will be damaged from those warm ashes but the best hot ash vacuum cleaner will suck them up and keep on running.
The PowerSmith PAVC101 is one of these models. It includes a heat-resistant metal hose and metal canister, both of which can handle some higher temperatures. It also has a two-layer filter system, which includes a heat-resistant outer layer that can handle warm ash up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and an inner layer that traps the finer ash and dust. This filter is also washable and replaceable if it starts to wear out.
The 10 Amp motor is powerful but quiet, giving you the suction needed without drowning out your conversations. It does run a bit hot, but there is an auto shut-off that kicks in to prevent it from overheating.
This ash vacuum also includes a 16-foot cord, a wheeled base, a couple of straight extension wands, a turbo nozzle, and a brush nozzle, plus it has onboard accessory storage for added convenience. There is also an ash indicator that tells you how full the canister is and when to empty it. The hose is only about four feet long, though, so it may be a bit short for cleaning out some areas.
What we liked:
Easy to empty
Hot or cold ash
What could be better:
Motor runs hot
The hose is a bit short
Things to Сonsider
Fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, and even smokers all create ash that needs to be cleaned out once in a while. Otherwise, the ashes clog them up, making it impossible for the fires to burn, resulting in a loss of heat. Using a shovel or a broom can be a messy job, with ash and dust coating your hands and clothing and getting into the air you breathe. That’s why so many people are choosing the best ash vacuum to clean up the mess with little time and effort, leaving your heating or cooking area clean and ready for use.
What an ash vacuum is capable of
An ash vacuum is much like other vacuums. They have a tank that collects the ashes, dust, and other debris, with a long hose to suck it all up. They also include regular vacuum features, like varying nozzles, attachments, handles, and wheels.
The difference is that these vacuums are built a little stronger than your average home vacuum. This includes metal nozzles, hoses, and tanks that can handle a bit more heat than your regular vacuums can. Even the filters are heat-resistant, just in case of any warm ashes get sucked up into them.
Some of the best vacuum models or fireplace ash, pellet ash, or barbecues are even good for both cold and warm ash, like the PowerSmith PAVC101, so you don’t need to wait for the ashes to cool down completely before cleaning them out.
Ash vacuums also lock the ashes away inside, so they don`t get into the air around you. This means you won`t breathe them in, which is much healthier for your lungs. They clean up the ashes quickly, too, so you can get back to doing the things you love.
Features to consider while choosing an ash vacuum
When choosing the best ash vacuum cleaner for your home, there are a few features you may want to check out before buying one. This will ensure you have the exact model you need for the type of ash you’re going to be cleaning, especially if you’re using it for more than one area in your home or backyard.
When it comes to the motor, the bigger it is, the more powerful it will be. This increases the power of the suction, allowing you to clean a little deeper than you would with a small motor model. Smaller jobs may not need so much power, though, so if you only need to clean up the ashes in your fireplace, fire pit, or barbecue once in a while, a smaller motor, like the 500-watt one on the Snow Joe ASHJ201, may be fine for the job.
A stove or fireplace that you use regularly for heating your home during the colder months may need a bit more power to take care of the ashes daily, so the 5.5 HP motor of the DEWALT DXV10P may be a better option for these big jobs. This will ensure you have the power needed to clean up every speck of ash and any debris as well, leaving your heating area clean and ready for the next fire.
The capacity of the tank is quite important, especially if you’re using your ash vacuum regularly. If you’ve had a fire going all day long, there will be a large amount of ash collected in your fire pit or stove.
A small tank may not be able to clean out the entire ash pile all at once, requiring you to stop and empty it once or twice before you can finish the job. If you have to clean out a few areas, like a fireplace and a barbecue, the larger tanks on models like the DEWALT DXV10P may be able to get both jobs done before needing to be emptied.
The small capacity tanks do have their uses, though. Pellets create smaller amounts of ash, which is finer than regular wood ash, so the smaller tanks can usually handle it without needing to be emptied every few minutes.
Hose and cord length
The hose length of an ash vacuum is pretty important since it determines how far you can reach into your stove, furnace, fire pit, or barbecue. A cord that is too short may not allow you to reach as far as you’d like, limiting how well you can clean out the ashes in your heating system or cooking area.
The cord length is also something to look at. The vacuum won’t run without power, so you need to be able to plug it in near to where you plan on using it. That’s why so many ash vacuums include an extra-long cord that will allow you to plug it into an outlet that’s a bit farther away. Of course, if the cord is a bit too short, you could always use an extension cord to give you a bit more room, though this will add an extra cost to the ash vacuum.
It doesn’t matter what type of vacuum you use, they are all going to make some noise. They don’t have to be so loud that they drown out everything around you, though. Luckily, many of the ash vacuums available have motors that run quieter than your average vacuum.
Models like the Vacmaster VQ607SFD aren’t as loud as other vacuums, so you can still talk to those around you, listen to music, or just get the job done without the excessive noise. This is also a bit safer for your ears since noises that are too loud can actually cause damage, especially if you’re using them regularly. Those cleaning out their fireplaces or stoves daily can protect their hearing by getting a much quieter fireplace vacuum.
If it’s for cold ashes only
It’s never a good idea to try to vacuum out the ashes right after the fire goes out. This is because there may still be some burning embers in there that can cause some damage to the internal parts of the vacuum, such as the filter. Though some models are built to handle some warm ash, the majority of the ash vacuum models out there are designed for cold ashes only. This means you need to wait an appropriate amount of time to let the ashes cool off before you can pull out your ash vacuum and suck them all up.
Of course, even if they are only for cold ashes, this doesn’t mean the occasional warm ash will automatically destroy your vacuum. Most of the models available include features like metal nozzles, hoses, and tanks, which will be able to withstand a bit of heat. The filters may not, though, so unless it is stated that the filter is heat- or fire-resistant, it is best to ensure that the embers have gone out and that the ashes have cooled completely before you try to vacuum them up.
Dimensions and weight
Working with limited space means you don’t have much room for bulky tools to work with. Stoves and fireplaces are no exception. If you don’t have much room, you’ll want a compact ash vacuum to fit in the area you have available, such as the Snow Joe ASHJ201. Smaller models still have good motors and a decent capacity, so you’ll have no trouble getting all the ashes out of your fireplace, barbecue, or anything else you need to clean out.
You’ll also want to consider storage when it comes to the size of your ash vac. Limited storage space means a large model won’t fit well or will take up space you may have designated for something else. So, be sure you have somewhere to put your ash vacuum that won’t leave your other belongings displaced.
The weight of your ash vacuum is also important, especially if it doesn’t include castors on the bottom to make it easier to move it around. The heavier it is, the harder it will be to carry around. Also, if it is heavy empty, it will weigh that much more when you have it full of ashes, so you may need to empty it more often to keep the weight down. A lighter model is much easier to maneuver, with or without the ashes inside.
The warranty of your ash vacuum is quite important, especially if it isn’t working as it’s supposed to. The TACKLIFE PVC03A only has a 30-day money back guarantee, which means that you only have 30 days to try out the ash vacuum before deciding if you want to keep it or send it back. This is fine if any issues show up right away but if the vacuum fails after this, you’ll be on the hook for the repairs or replacement costs.
The majority of the models we’ve reviewed above have a two-year limited warranty, which covers you for any issues caused by defects or poor workmanship. The DEWALT DXV10P has the best warranty of all the products on our list, offering a three-year limited warranty that gives you plenty of time to search out the kinks in your new ash vacuum.
Though the main features of an ash vacuum are more than enough to handle the dirty job of cleaning out your stove, fireplace, smoker, or fire pit, a few extras can make them worthwhile. One thing you may want to look for is casters on the bottom, which help you move the ash vacuum around easily and take some of the strain off your back that would result from carrying a tank full of ashes.
Another thing you may want to look at is accessories. This could include extra nozzles, crevice tools, or brushes to make sure you get every little bit of ash there is. This also helps add to the versatility of your vacuum, allowing you to use it around your home or workshop as well as cleaning out the ash in your heating systems.
Included filters are a must with your ash vacuum, to keep the dust inside the vacuum where it belongs. These should be easy to clean and reuse to keep your costs down, plus have replacement options available in case the one included wears out over time.
Cord and hose wraps are also handy, keeping your hose and cord wrapped up tightly for easy storage. A carry handle is a must, especially if there are no casters on the bottom. The tank should be easy to empty, too, otherwise, you’ll have ashes everywhere that will need to be vacuumed up a second time.
How to maintain an ash vacuum
If you’re going to spend your money on the best ash vacuum available, you will likely want to take care of it, so it will last for at least a few years. The following tips can help keep it in perfect working order:
Empty the tank regularly to keep the suction power at its optimal level.
Clean the filter after every use to keep it from clogging and reducing the suction.
Do not suction any embers, as these could create sparks inside, burning the filter in the process.
If the nozzle clogs, tap it on the side of the fireplace or stove to loosen up the ashes inside.
Do not use your fingers to clear out clogs, in case of warm embers that could cause burns.
Most ash vacuums are great at cleaning up fine ash, so they should also work well for sucking up some dust or fine sand around your home or workshop. Be sure that there are no larger chunks in there, though, since the filtration system for these types of vacuums won’t be able to handle those bigger pieces.
This depends on the type of filtration system in the ash vacuum you purchase. The ones on our list all have washable or cleanable filters, so after you finish vacuuming out the ash and emptying the tank, you can just give the filter a quick cleaning and put it back into its spot inside the vacuum. The only time you’ll need to replace these filters is if they start to wear out and aren’t doing their job as well as they are supposed to.
Unfortunately, none of the ash vacuums that we’ve reviewed here have any sort of energy-efficient rating. This doesn’t mean that they will add a huge amount to your energy bill, though. They all work quite well, with a decent amount of power to clean up the ashes in your fireplace, pellet stove, fire pit, or smoker in very little time. Of course, it will cost more to use them every day than if you do so only once or twice a week, so keep this in mind if you’re concerned about the energy consumption of your ash vacuum.
Whether you’re using a pellet or wood stove to heat your home, a fireplace for a bit of ambiance, or your barbecue to cook up some tasty meals, there is bound to be a pile of ash to clean up at some point. The best ash vacuum can make cleaning it up a breeze, leaving you more time to enjoy yourself. Though there are several great models on the market, a few do stand out from the crowd.
Our favorite ash vacuum is the CRAFTSMAN 17585. This heavy-duty model has a powerful motor, with a HEPA filter to lock those ashes in the large tank. It also features a locking hose with an LED light on the end, a metal crevice tool, a sturdy handle, and an 8-foot cord with a cord wrap for storage.
Our Budget Pick is the TACKLIFE PVC03A, which has an 800-watt motor, a dual filtration system with washable filters, and works for both cold and warm ash. It is also quiet, with both sucking and blowing functions.
The DEWALT DXV10P features a 5.5 HP motor, a ten-gallon tank, and has both wet and dry functions. It also includes a 20-inch cord with a cord wrap, swivel casters, a built-in blower, a tank drain, and an accessory storage bag.