Stop making a mess of your clothes and start cleaning your stoves, firepits and barbeque grills more efficiently with a special vacuum.
Do you want a reason to hold another barbeque? A fireplace vacuum cleaner may not be able to relieve the post-barbeque hangover, but it will certainly make cleaning the barbeque grill and firepit much less of a chore.
Of course, an ash vacuum isn't just great for tackling the remains of fun get-togethers on your outdoor grills and natural heaters. They can also be used inside to help remove the leftover ash from wood fires and wood stoves.
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Many people choose one of these cleaners because it saves them a lot of time and hard work, as well as saving their clothes from permanent stains. By using a quality ash vacuum, your stoves, fireplaces, firepits and barbeque grills reap a whole load of other benefits.
Using one of these machines regularly can keep your stove or fireplace performing at its best for longer. Some designs can also clear away warmer ash which means you can get the barbeque clean and ready to be put away in a quicker time. Ash can harbor heat and by removing it earlier, the grill or firepit will cool much quicker.
Maybe you’ve heard of these clever machines before, or maybe this is new information to you? Either way, you’re probably considering one and want to know more.
There are a lot of good products currently on the market and a lot of ones that just suck – and not in a good way! To help you find the perfect ash and soot vacuum cleaner for your needs, we’ve done a little research on your behalf. Keep scrolling to encounter five fantastic options and some helpful information for first-time buyers.
The Top Ash Cleaners Compared
Take a look at how our favorite hot ash vacuum cleaners compare in the table below.
OUR TOP PICK
- Heat resistant hose & canister
- Quiet operation
- Powerful motor
- 2 year warranty
Snow Joe 4.8 Gallon
- Large canister
- 2 year warranty
Shop-Vac Corded Ash Cleaner
- HEPA filter
- Aluminum/ stainless steel body
- Thermal cut-off
- 2 year warranty
- Clears ash up to 112F
- Powerful motor
- HEPA filter
- 5 year warranty
- Handles ash of 104F
- Powerful motor
- 1 year warranty
Our Ash Vacuum Reviews
Read about our recommendations in more detail as we review each model. Find out what makes these soot vacuums worthy of a place on our list.
1. PowerSmith 10-Amp *** OUR TOP PICK ***
The first product that is vacuuming up the rest of the competition is this model from PowerSmith. It has been designed to clean up cool and warm ash from wood stoves, fireplaces, barbeque grills and pellet stoves. It’s a lightweight design and has wheels and a conveniently-placed handle so it’s easier to move around. You'll be able to move it from the cupboard under the stairs to wherever it’s needed without a struggle.
This black and green ash-killing machine comes complete with all the bits and pieces you'll be needing to keep your fireplace in top shape. The product includes a metal nozzle, a metal hose, two extension wands, different types of nozzles and a filter. It even has the capabilities of transforming into a shop vacuum.
So, what about the product’s specification? It does have a respectable three-gallon capacity and is exceptionally quiet. In fact, it will only produce a maximum of 79 decibels. Just because it’s a quiet operator, doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. It has a staggering 10-amp motor beneath its shell which proves smaller designs can also pack one of the biggest punches.
There are even more impressive aspects to PowerSmith’s work. They have added a toggle switch to make it really simple to operate. But, we may have saved the best feature until last. This fireplace vacuum has a two-stage filtering system to ensure your machine keeps running at its smoothest. The standard filter is backed up by a second filter which is designed to catch the finest pieces of ash and dust. This secondary filter is made of a reliable microfiber mesh. Both filters can be removed from the product to be washed or replaced if needed.
It comes with a two-year warranty. This is pretty standard for most designs but in what aspects is it not standard? How does it compare with the other four models still to come? We’ll try and keep the spoilers to a minimum. This is one of the quietest vacuums on the market and is strong competition to the other four that don’t function as smoothly. Moreover, its ten-amp motor makes it the joint most powerful on our shortlist. It can take care of warm ashes, which some of the others cannot do. It only falls short in its ash-holding capacity when compared with some of the bigger drums on some of the other models.
It may be a smaller model but the reduction in its holding capacity makes it more compact and more transport friendly. All of the other features are really impressive. When you consider its power and ability to clear warmer ashes, you may need to do a double take towards its price tag. It’s one of the best here and nowhere near the most expensive!
Our Final Verdict: If you’re a bit like Jeremy Clarkson and think power is the most important feature then this will be a great option for you. It’s good value for money and will certainly get rid of ash quickly!
2. Snow Joe 4.8 Gallon
Next in our line of fire – no pun intended – is the Snow Joe model. This model is much different from what we just saw. It has a less-powerful motor at just four amps but does have an extra 1.8 gallons of room to its name. It differs in another way too. It can only be used on cool ash, whereas the previous model was for cool and warm ash cleaning. Not to worry – it means you can clean up last night’s party-come-barbeque in the morning instead of setting off the neighbor’s dog at 1 am.
It has an impressive filtering system. The vacuum will trap dust particles while you're cleaning to prevent them from entering your breathing space. These filters can be removed and washed, making them reusable and the product a much more convenient purchase.
There is no bag inside the model. By not having a bag, it makes the whole process of disposing of your ash much more seamless. There’s no chance of a ripped bag spilling all over the just-washed floors, and it doesn’t make removing the bag a game of chance. Instead, you simply lift up the lid and tip the ashes away. Alternatively, you could keep the ashes to come in useful around your home or garden? Confused? Check out our buyer’s guide section at the end of this post and all will be revealed.
So, what else is there to get excited about? We’ve only really seen the tip of the iceberg so far. There are plenty of other awesome features on this product. The design team over at Snow Joe have added an innovative safety feature. If you’re a forgetful person and forget to reinsert the filter after cleaning, the vacuum will refuse to start.
They also added a convenient handle on the top of vacuum’s body to make transporting all nine pounds of the machine effortless. This is on top of a wire basket to protect the filter, a window so you can see how full the machine is and to identify potential blocks, and a section to store the cord and hoses. Just like the PowerSmith vacuum, this model also comes with a two-year warranty for added peace of mind.
Sizing this one up to the other four tells us a lot. Its motor is considerably weaker than many of the other models, meaning it’s likely to not perform as well. Yet, it does outshine some of the other machines with some innovative features that you won't see again. The bag-less design makes using the product incredibly easy. Add the safety feature that prevents operating without a filter and you have a couple of ways it makes up for its weaker motor.
When it comes to value for money, and comparing it and its features to what else is out there, we would argue it’s reasonably priced. It’s one of the cheapest models available but when suction power is so important, you wouldn’t want to pay too much more for such little power.
Our Final Verdict: Choose this fireplace ash vacuum if you want a cheap model that will still do the business relatively well. It’s not short on features and won't leave you short of money either!
Recommended Articles: Find out all about the wood stoves that burn most efficiently in our latest article.
3. Shop-Vac Corded Ash Cleaner
If we were hosting a beauty contest for these ash vacuum cleaners then there wouldn’t be much competition. This Shop-Vac model is arguably the coolest looking with its all-around metallic body. It’s actually made with a combination of aluminum and stainless steel. These mesh together to create lightweight portability with user safety – and the awesome aesthetics we just mentioned.
The filtering aspect of the design is again another area where the manufacturers have invested a lot of time and thought. They have gone with the renowned HEPA type of filter. This enables the machine to trap even the finest particles of dust and ash. The filtering system also prevents ashes from being expelled out of the vacuum’s exhaust pipe. For further information on what a HEPA filter entails, you can find more details towards the end of this post.
The machine comes with a steel hose that easily locks onto the vacuum. It is wrapped in a vinyl that allows flexibility to retrieve the leftover ash from those hard-to-reach places. It’s a great combination of reliability and practical functionality. The intake nozzle is of excellent quality as well and continues the metallic theme. Much of the device is then added with thermal protection. This is to enhance safety, even though the vacuum is only to be used on cool or cold ash. It even has a thermal cut-off just in case it gets too hot.
This is an all-around fantastic design that is made even better by its portability. It weighs a minuscule 12 pounds and has one of the thickest and most comfortable handles - compared to the other models. The only common complaint among past customers is that some of them have found it difficult to remove the top lid – a bit of elbow grease may be needed.
Compared to the two models you’ve already had your magnifying glass on, and the two to follow, this fireplace ash vacuum cleaner can easily compete amongst the best. It’s a design with some of the most robust features aided by some well-planned additions. The flexible hose is one of its most lucrative features. This particular feature will undoubtedly win over a chunk of the market that the other brands will miss out on. The capacity and power of the machine are comparable to the industry standard and there isn't much to complain about there.
Probably one of the things you could complain about is the price. It’s one of the most expensive models on our shortlist and doesn’t completely justify the bigger price tag in our eyes. Your thoughts?
Our Final Verdict: This is a strong competitor for the title of best ash vacuum, but it isn't going to win any awards for its price tag. Overall, we wouldn’t begrudge anyone wanting to own this exceptional machine!
Recommended Article: Are pellet stoves up to all the hype? Find out in our massive guide.
4. Workshop Cleaner
The penultimate model on our shortlist for the top hot ash vacuum currently on the market is this impeccable design from the guys and gals over at Workshop. It will clean up any ashes under 112 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it capable of tackling warmer ash than many of its competitors can – including all of them here. You could say that it’s vacuuming up the competition!
It’s a compact build that can be stored under most staircases, closets or sheds. Simply grab it by its handle and move it when needed. It’s also very powerful and has 3.0 peak horsepower. The filtering system is a sophisticated take on the HEPA style to trap the smallest particles of ash and dust - and is another filter encases with a mesh protective. Yet, the filter has something that none of the other four here claim to have. It has been coated with a special substance to help prevent clogging. Impressive? We think so!
One of the other unique features on this pellet stove ash vacuum cleaner is that its accompanying three-foot long hose has an LED light at the end. Why, you ask? Well, by placing a light on the end of the hose, the user can see into the darker crevices of the fireplace and be able to tell when the job is complete without holding a flashlight in the other hand. We’re sure the thank you letters are already on the way to Workshop for that clever inclusion. The only complaints from past customers seem to be regarding the hose’s length, especially for those trying to reach over the hearth to get to their fireplace.
It's not just fancy features and no longevity. The vacuum has a metal drum which has been powder coated for enhanced durability and comes with metal wands. The designers even added slots to store the wands so you always know where they are.
The product comes with a colossal and unbeatable five-year warranty. None of the other pellet stove ash vacuums can offer this sort of peace of mind for consumers. There are many other aspects of this stove cleaner that the others can't compete with too. It takes care of much warmer ashes than the others can clean up. We know the PowerSmith model and the one to follow - *spoilers* - can be used on warm ashes, but this one can be used on even warmer ash than those.
The designers cleverly thought about putting a non-stick substance over their filter to allow it to work more effectively. Did any of the competing designers? Unfortunately not. The Workshop designers must be a creative bunch because the LED light that they’ve added to the end of the vacuum hose is another innovative design. None of the competing fireplace vacuum cleaners can boast the same set of features.
This is one of the most expensive options. However, we don’t believe that makes it bad value for money. This is a unique take on a product that has a lot of the time been designed in the same vein with the same features. The innovation involved in designing this vacuum makes it really good value for money.
Our Final Verdict: If you want quality then this is the way to turn. It matches many of the other models and then excels above them with its convenient and clever features. You have to pay for quality, but with this model, it’s worth it.
5. Bacoeng 5.3-Gallon
Last but certainly not least for many people wanting their fireplaces and barbeques to look new again is the Bacoeng 5.3-Gallon Cleaner. Just like how we started, this model has a powerful ten-amp motor for intense suction power and to leave no ash behind. It has been manufactured to pick up cool ash but can also clear away any ash up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Al of which is then stored in its huge capacity. It may not be able to pick up ash as hot as the model we just looked at, but it’s still impressive considering many of them are for vacuuming cool ash only.
The filter has been manufactured in a specific way to prevent any lingering ash particles from escaping into the motor or into the user’s breathing space. The filter bag is also washable – but that’s not where the filtering system excels the most! On the machine, you'll find an indicator. Once the filter surface has an ash coverage of 100%, the corresponding indicator will turn red so you know it’s time to clean it. This also means you don’t waste time wondering why your hot ash vacuum isn't working as good as it used to.
One of the best aspects of this model is the length of the hose that accompanies it. Most of the above have a standard three-foot long hose whereas this one makes things that little bit more convenient with a five-foot-long hose and a 4.5-meter electric power cable. This barrel-looking vacuum has other convenience aspects to it. It comes with accessories such as a brush nozzle, extension wands, a crevice tool and more. These accessories are all neatly stored by slotting into the product’s feet!
Compared with the previous four models, this one matches the power on offer. It can even pick up warm ash as well as cool ash. This puts it ahead of two of the other models for many people, despite some of them being more expensive. This model doesn’t just match the quality on offer. It outperforms some of the other vacuums in some areas. It has a longer electrical cable and has an extended hose. This is going to be a deciding factor for many people weighing this model up with the others. What may make them favor this one, even more, is its range of accompanying accessories.
This is a hot favorite for the prize of stretching your dollars further. It’s one of the cheapest we’ve had the pleasure off featuring and by no means a slouch in any department – from power to convenience!
Our Final Verdict: If you’re a bargain hunter then we’re sorry we made you wait until the end, but you’ve certainly found a powerful, quality hot ash vacuum for an unrivaled price.
Conclusion: The Best Of The Best
Now we’ve seen five fantastic options for people wanting to make light work of messy cleaning, it’s time for us to jump down from the fence and pick our favorites.
If we were to pick one of these five models based on performance and features alone, we would choose the Workshop Cleaner. The intelligence oozing out of the design with an array of innovative features makes this a one-of-a-kind device. All these features are then made even more impressive by being strapped to a powerful motor and impressive filtering system. However, it should be noted that it there are question marks about its reliability.
However, if we were looking for a vacuum that offered us a combination of the best value for money and performance, there is one vacuum that stands out from the crowd.
The PowerSmith is the true winner and the model we would choose over all others. It offers amazing value for money and a high level of performance and reliability.
Recommended Reading: These soot and ash cleaners are perfect for keeping wood stoves in tip top condition. Our guide to stoves can be found here.
Hopefully, we’ve given you enough information to make a smart choice when it comes to picking a vacuum cleaner for ashes. To make it even easier, we would like to clarify two terms that may have cropped up and left you staring blankly at your screen.
We would also like to finish by highlighting the key considerations when buying an ash vacuum for your needs and telling you the useful things you can do with your leftover ash!
Confusing Terms Explained
HEPA Filtering – High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters, more commonly shortened to HEPA filters, are a special design of a filter. For a filter to become known as a HEPA one, they must qualify by having specific capabilities. To be awarded the HEPA stamp, the filter must consistently remove more than 99.7% of particles that are larger than 0.3 micrometers. In summary, HEPA filters are better than ordinary filters. We should have just said? Oh, sorry!
It should be noted that fireplace vacuum cleaners that use HEPA filter cartridges are generally much more expensive.
Peak Horsepower (PHP) – don’t let the use of “horsepower” trick you into thinking the vacuum has some serious power. PHP is a term used in the vacuum industry as a way of measuring the output of a motor – not the operational horsepower. Still confused? Don’t worry, just don’t be fooled.
Things To Consider Before Choosing A Vacuum Cleaner for Ashes
There are a few things to keep in mind before racing to buy the Workshop Cleaner or even the Bacoeng model. We know these are fantastic options in general, but to some of you, one of the other three may be a better choice. To help you choose, here are three key consideration to bounce around your head before deciding.
Capacity vs storage and portability – some of these models have impressive capacities that will mean you will get multiple uses out of them before needing to empty them. Some of them are less impressive and may need to be emptied after every couple of uses. Don’t be tricked into buying a bigger machine for this convenience benefit. In fact, choosing one because it has a bigger and more-convenient capacity may be an inconvenient move.
What on earth are we talking about? If you choose a model with a bigger capacity, you simultaneously choose a less-compact model and one that could be a struggle to transport from the fireplace to the patio barbeque. You need to decide if storing and transporting your ash vacuum is more important to you than extended times between emptying. If so, don’t be fooled by big capacities and look at product dimensions and the vacuum’s weight instead.
Power – undoubtedly, one of the most important aspects of any vacuum is its power. If sucking up ash is the aim, then how well it can suck it up is crucial. Look at the type of motor and its particular specifications to find one you can rely on. The benchmark for any model is a five to ten amp motor. Try not to buy anything less powerful without a good reason.
Cord and hose length – It finally arrives! You open the box and find a gleaming new and powerful ash vacuum cleaner that is about to make your Sunday cleaning errands so much easier. But, wait a minute. The cord isn't reaching, and the hose isn't long enough to get over the fireplace hearth. Don’t let this happen to you. Always check the length of the electrical cord and the hose and make sure you compare them to the needs of your home’s layout.
Can I Use My Collected Ash For Anything Useful?
Once it’s time to empty your vacuum, where do you head? The bin most likely. But, hold it there just a minute. There are actually a few good reasons why you should keep hold of your ash. Ash can come in useful around your home and even in your garden. Here are a few more reasons to hold another barbeque soon…
Improve your garden soil – ash from burned wood is capable of providing soil and some plants with a mixture of nutrients in rapid time. These nutrients can encourage healthy growth and living. There are some plants that won't fare well from a scatter of ash. Do some research on your current crop before spreading ash everywhere.
Clean your glasses – it might need to be seen to be believed, but adding some ash to a damp cloth, or mixing it with warm water to create a paste, will work fantastically as a cleaning agent. Your glasses and cutlery will be sparkling again in no time. It can even get oil spills out of other materials.
Slug problem! What problem? – you can use ash to deter slugs from reappearing. Sprinkle some around plants or in your bathtub. Or wherever they're continually commuting to. Just be sure to rinse the bath before your partner jumps in.
Thanks for joining us on another one of our buyer guides. We hope we’ve helped with your quest for an outstanding fireplace vacuum and hope you join us for another buyer guide in the near future!
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