Tool School: The RIGID NXT Wet/Dry Vac

RIGID wet dry vac review - 12 gallon 5hp vacuum at Home Depot
This post is sponsored by the Home Depot

You know the saying “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail?” Well, if all you have is a wet/dry vac, then you’re going to be just fine, mister, because it’s probably the one power tool in my house I would never, ever, not even maybe, give up.

I’ve written about the amazing versatility and usefulness of my wet/dry vacuum before (here’s what it feels like when your basement smells like poop). Basically, a wet dry vac is good for almost any kind of clean up job in your home, yard, or on a worksite. 

And over the years, I’ve owned several different models (my current go-to is the RIGID 16-gal, 6.5 HP). But I was super excited (I know, I’m a dork) when Home Depot sent us RIGID’s new 12-gallon, 5-horsepower NXT wet/dry vac to try out

Carrying handle on shop vac

This RIGID wet dry vac is a little smaller than the one I’m used to using, but it packs a really powerful motor in that small footprint. That’s a good thing, because the only thing that annoys me about my current wet/dry vac is that it’s kind of cumbersome (hard to move around and store neatly).


The 12-gallon NXT has some cool features that were clearly carefully thought through. For example, the carrying handle on the top has been rotated to be oriented from front to back, making it easier to carry (most vacs have the handle oriented side-to-side). The cord wrapping tabs are larger and easier to access, so you don’t have to deal with the power cord dragging all over your worksite while you move the tool.


Detail shot of Rigid Shop Vac

Like other RIGID models, this wet/dry vac has a built-in wet drain. Seems like an obvious thing, right? But amazingly, a lot of other vacs I’ve used force you to tip the whole container over to drain out any liquid!


Attaching hose to shop vac

One of the coolest features of this wet/dry vac is the locking attachment function. Not only does the hose lock onto the tool housing, but the wand and accessories actually lock onto the hose…and to each other! Honestly, there have been many times when I’ve been vacuuming up a mess, and my hose or my wand attachment has come loose and fallen off. This feature is way overdue, and I’m glad to see it on this model.




A wet/dry vac is good for a variety of things, but one that most people don’t think about is blowing. Makes sense, right? It’s got a motor in there powering the vacuum, so why not use the same motor to push the air out, rather than in? The RIGID 12-gallon NXT is built with this in mind, so you can easily move the hose over to the blower port, and now you’ve got a tool you can blow grass, leaves, or debris out of the way with.


Shop vac 101

Finally, RIGID offers a full, lifetime warranty on this product, which is really kind of mind-blowing considering how hard wet/dry vacs are typically used. My current model is seven years old, and has seen every kind of abuse, but it’s still working just fine. Still, it’s nice to know you’re covered by a warranty in the event that something breaks.

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. All opinions are mine alone. Thanks for reading, and for supporting the brands that make Curbly possible.

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the ProSpective2018 Campaign. As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.