To get the most advantage of your pellet grill, it’s crucial to know how to vacuum it and which vacuum you should use as well. An inappropriate choice of product or method of cleaning ashes may damage both the vacuum and the grill.
So, we appreciate you being concerned about it and searching for relevant web results.
The good news is, this well-crafted article is a comprehensive guide for you to choose the right vacuum for your pellet grill.
Moreover, you’ll get to know the buying guide of a grill vacuum cleaner, how you should clean your vacuum, how often you should do it, and a whole lot more about the topic.
I hope you’re ready to dive deep. Let’s go!
Table of Contents
- Is It Okay to Use A Regular Vacuum for Your Pellet Grill?
- 5 Best Vacuum for Pellet Grill: A Quick Comparison
- Things You Should Concern While Choosing An Ash Vacuum
- Ash Vacuum vs Shop Vac
- How to Clean an Ash Vacuum
Is It Okay to Use A Regular Vacuum for Your Pellet Grill?
Before we dive deep into reviewing and comparing the best ash vacuums on the market, let’s clarify some fundamental factors. You may ask first, what sets apart an ash vacuum?
Ash vacuums and regular vacuums are quite the same to look at but there are a few major differences between them. The first types are specially manufactured to suck up ash dust.
They have special HEPA filters, unlike regular ones which allow ash vacuum cleaners to catch minute particles as well as prevent them from getting to the core parts of the machines.
Now, the thing is, you can use a regular vacuum to clean ashes but it’s not recommended. Because:
- Most conventional vacuums are made of plastic. For this, they can’t deal with hot ashes.
- Regular vacuum cleaners can cause fire incidents if the plastic is overheated.
- They aren’t compact enough to fit inside corners which may bother you to get the dirt out of the firebox.
- Regular vacuums don’t come with a filter that holds in ash.
Overall, it’s always the safest option to use a specialized ash vacuum cleaner.
5 Best Vacuum for Pellet Grill: A Quick Comparison
|Product Name|| Weight
|Hose Length||Noise Level||Price|
|CRAFTSMAN 17250||6.7||2.5||5-ft||Not Specific||Check Price|
|Snow Joe ASHJ201||8.82||4.8||3.9-ft||92 dB||Check Price|
|WORKSHOP Vacuum||7.2||2.5||4-ft||Not Specific||Check Price|
|PowerSmith PAVC101||21||3||4.1-ft||79 dB||Check Price|
|CRAFTSMAN 17595||26||16||7-ft||72.36 dB||Check Price|
In a rush? Here’s a look at the quick rundown of the products’ key features.
1. CRAFTSMAN 17250 Shop Vacuum
- Perfect for small messes
- Two-in-one capability
- Great compactness
The highest-rated vacuum on our list is the Craftsman 17250 and you’ll get to know why.
This product can be your back saver if you’re looking for a versatile, lightweight vacuum that comes at a competitively low price. It’s the best shop vac for pellet grill.
For being so small in size, you can carry the vacuum with one hand (yes, even when full of water). Eventually, it doesn’t take much room so you can store it conveniently in the house.
The 5-ft long hose is enough for dealing with a decent, wide area so it won’t disappoint you.
And, about the electrical cord, well, it’s 10-inches in length which is longer than many other competitors.
You can coil and store the hose inside the tub and it’ll fit perfectly. The hose is designed to snap in and you can remove it by simply pulling and twisting. So, these little operations will seem pretty smooth for you.
Moreover, the little holders keeping the attachments onboard are quite easy plus functional. You won’t find them too loose or too tight, they’re easy to slip in. Also, you can carry them frankly as they’re secure enough.
But we aren’t happy with its cheap cloth filter that clogs up early. Filters of the old versions were more useful than these ones. And, it’s not very easy to clean the machine.
While its capacity isn’t really high, you won’t be happy if you need to deal with a lot of ashes. Also, while using it, you need to constantly connect the hose back to the bucket which you may not like to do.
2. Snow Joe ASHJ201
- Extra-large metal canister
- Pre-filter pleated filter
- 4 Amp motor & 500W suction power
- Convenient carry handle
Snow Joe ASHJ201 is a can’t-miss option for cleaning small messes. Since it has comparatively more storage capacity (4.8 gallons), you don’t need to empty the cans during cleaning ash particles.
As we’ve said, Snow Joe ash vacuum works like a champ when you deal with small messes, the short-length hose won’t bother you that much. What may bother you is, the suction power isn’t something that you’d get with a monster shop vac. Still, it works just right for ashes (that’s the purpose here).
Many users count on this product because of its ‘high quality at a low price’. Although it’s not the smallest-sized one on our list, it’s small enough to store easily.
And, how this product spiced things up is, serving with its dual filtration system. You won’t see any fine dust particles blowing out the exhaust and guess what? The filters do their job amazingly.
Speaking of the dual filtration system, let’s get to know what job the filters do.
One filtration system holds coarse dust particles which include fly ash, pollen, spores, plant and insect parts, and things like these. Another filtration system traps fine dust particles that are less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. And, fine dust is found in haze and smoke.
Remember that you can replace the filter system but it isn’t washable.
Now, let’s talk about things that we and most users didn’t like about this product.
This isn’t a hot ash vacuum cleaner so you must make sure that you start cleaning after the ash is cool enough because you won’t like a destroyed filter system. There’s no helping tool to get into corners and hard-to-reach places. Also, people aren’t happy with its suction power.
Overall, it’s worth recommending the product for its amazing features.
3. WORKSHOP 2.5-Gallon Vacuum
- On-board tool & power cord storage
- Highly portable cleaner
- Built-in LED light
Don’t fret if you’re on a tight budget because WORKSHOP 2.5-GALLON portable vacuum is there for you. Although it’s a small shop vac, it has a powerful punch! The suction is so powerful that you can clean fine ash from too large particles pretty easily.
While vacuuming pellet or bbq grills, this product sits flat on the floor. You can use it as a wet vac too. However, since it’s a shop vac, it’s natural that it doesn’t come with a HEPA filter. Still, people love the job it does.
It’s very easy to unclog the filters as well. But hey, be prepared to purchase extra filter bags if there are so many shedding animals around you.
There’s an average-length hose so you can cover a pretty wide area but we would be happier if there was a better hose holder. It’s because the existing hose holder tends to fall out when stored.
This uncomplicated wet dry vacuum is light but sturdy and it’s small enough to store nimbly. It doesn’t tip over so easily as many other vacuum cleaners this size do. But it should have come with a crevice tool.
In general, it’s very easy to use, it won’t suck or blow. But some users don’t love the cord length because they want it to be a bit longer than the existing cord. Also, the cord requires an extension tool that you might feel disturbed about.
This vacuum doesn’t have wheels which you may or may not like but it slides so easily that you can carry it by the handle without much effort. The reason why this vacuum is so lightweight is, its canister is small-sized. But the motor and filter take up most of the space so you need to empty it frequently.
The final words about this product are, it’s a fine choice as an ash removal machine and if you don’t mind unclogging the hose while using it. But if you are planning to do some heavy-duty vacuuming, it’s better to look at the next options we’re about to discuss.
4. PowerSmith PAVC101 Ash Vacuum Cleaner
- A double stage filtration system
- Engineered for safety
- Heat-resistant metal hose
- 10 Amp motor
Another great product under $100 is packed with some amazing features you might look for in the best ash vacuum cleaners. It does a great job cleaning hot ash, warm ash from pellet stoves, barbecue grills, fireplaces, and wood stoves pellets.
The heat-resistant metal hose of PowerSmith ash vacuum does its job pretty amazingly. However, the hose is at an average length so it won’t serve you that well if you’re looking for a long hose.
Some users seem unhappy because the motor stopped working for them. But I’ll tell you what. It’s nothing unusual because it works as a thermal protective device for preventing the motor from overheating.
When you let the motor cool down, it’s ready to use again.
Be prepared for seeing it happening after you vacuum warm ash and during using vacuum attachments that restrict the airflow to the motor for quite a long time. This is totally normal and hey trust me you’ll appreciate this feature as it prolongs the shelf life of your vacuum.
Also, some users claim that the PowerSmith ash vacuum stops working suddenly. If this happens to you, do some repairs yourself before throwing it out.
What you can do is to open the top and see if the electrical connectors at the motor feel loose or not. If they are, take out pliers, squeeze them on the attachment prong, and plug it in then it should work.
Overall, it has strong suction, it’s easy to use, and is easy to empty. Also, you’ll love the accessories like the pivoting crevice brush tip for the hose. You can keep it beside your wood stove to vacuum up ash, dust, and small wood pieces without thinking much.
5. CRAFTSMAN 17595 Wet Dry Vacuum
- Designed for heavy-duty cleaning jobs
- Built-in blower port
- Oversized drain
- Longest hose
Let’s end the list by discussing one of the most useful grill vacuum cleaners. Tell me first, are you looking for the best ash vacuum cleaner for handling any heavy-duty cleaning job?
If yes, you can pick this one with closed eyes because Craftsman 17595 offers a strong motor, lots of cleaning tools, wet/dry capacity, and huge capacity. Although it has such a strong motor, it deals with a bulk amount of warm and cool ash, the noise level is very tolerable.
You’ll get a filter bag inside the vac which helps to catch the finest particles.
This particular vacuum is offering a 7-ft long hose which is just right for one who’s looking for a really long hose for greater reach. And, it’s rigid enough so you don’t lose power. Also, the hose comes with a nice one-hand clip for attaching to the tank.
It has a floater that shuts the motif off once the tank is full.
You may think its ease of storage isn’t friendly enough since it’s heavy as hell. But it’s really easy to assemble and on vac tool storage options are usable. It rolls easily and doesn’t tip. Still, one thing that you may not like, the canister of this vac is too wide to put away.
There are a few parts you have to connect with a screwdriver before using the vac and that’s it. As we said, it’s very easy to put together the vacuum, the hosen, and accessories.
However, some users claimed that the warmth of the engine triggers some kind of intense off-gassing. It’s like they faced a toxic stench after starting the machine so it led them to feel headachy and a little nauseous. So, be careful if you can’t take terrible smells from gases.
About the price, most people will say ‘dang it!’ as it’s not an affordable option. Still, the features make the vacuum worthy of spending a fortune.
Things You Should Concern While Choosing An Ash Vacuum
It’s always best to consider the key features of each product and compare them to one another before you make a purchase. So, here you go.
The bigger the motor is, the more powerful the suction is, and the more efficient result your vacuum will show you. For this, the first thing you should look for is whether it has a large-sized motor or not.
However, if you’re buying one only for handling smaller jobs, so much power isn’t a must-have requirement then. Speaking of the power of the motors, another thing you’ll want to be concerned about is the noise level. Get to know how much noise the machine creates, whether it is easy on the ears or not.
Consider using an ash vacuum cleaner having a double stage filtration system if you deal with a bulk amount of ashes. The filter system of your vacuum cleaner is something that you never want to compromise with.
The best vacuums for pellet grills should come with a HEPA filter that offers the best filtration systems. Moreover, be sure whether the filter is reusable. You’ll find some filters are simply washable but others need replacements.
Also, make sure your ash vacuum cleaner can cope up with hot ash and if you don’t always work with cold ash.
Ask yourself, how often will you use your ash vacuum cleaner? If you’re planning to use it regularly, a small tank may be enough as you’ll clean it daily. But if you let the ash pile up for some days, you have to clean a large amount of ash at once.
For the second case, a smaller tank won’t be enough, to be honest. It will compel you to stop and empty the tank once or twice before you finish the job.
However, generally, pellet grills create quite smaller amounts of ashes, so you can go for smaller tanks without worrying about emptying every few minutes.
What type of tank the cleaner comes with should also be a concern. The ash vac you’re going for should be made of metals so it can be heat resistant. About the recommended material of the tank, going for a stainless steel tank is the best decision.
Another factor closely related to capacity is compactness. If you choose an ash vacuum cleaner having a large capacity, you have to compromise the conveniences of compactness. So, you may struggle with moving the machine here and there afterward.
Therefore, if storage isn’t a headache for you and you’re ready to deal with a bigger machine then go for a larger capacity without thinking much. Otherwise, go for a compact ash vacuum, it’s better.
Who doesn’t want to reach every nook and cranny while doing a cleaning job? Be aware of this feature if you want to clean everywhere possible including spaces that are hard to reach.
So, opting for a long hose will help you save yourself the stress. A bonus point if the vac comes with an aluminum crevice nozzle that helps extend the suction into all the difficult-to-reach areas.
Similarly, a long power cord makes it easy to move around during cleaning ash particles. Also, it will help you to do double duty with your ash vac as well as use it as a shop vacuum for relatively larger spaces.
An extra feature you may look for is whether the model has a built-in cord organizer or a retractable cord for easy storage.
It’s always best to wait sometime after the fire goes out. Because there may be some burning embers still in there which isn’t good for the internal parts of your vacuum.
Yes, some models out there are known as hot ash vacuum cleaners but the majority of the cleaners can handle cold ash only. Now, don’t take it like your vacuum is only for cold ashes so the occasional warm ash will necessarily destroy the machine.
Most of the shortlisted models come with features like metal tanks, nozzles, and hoses that can withstand a little bit of heat. But the FILTERS may not be able to do so. Therefore, if you don’t see anything stated like the filter is fire- or heat-resistant, you better wait until the ashes cool down.
Let’s say you’ve decided to purchase a larger model. Now, you know that it will be cumbersome to carry your vac here and there.
Reminder, the weight will increase when you make it full of ash!
Most ash vacuums come with a handle but most user-friendly ones come with wheels. Wheels help in moving the machine from place to place more easily so now you decide which one you need.
There are ash vacuums that offer a full dust indicator. How it works is, a little LED light shows you once the metal canister becomes full and is ready to be emptied.
By now, you have known a lot about the most useful vacuums for pellet grills. As we used both ash vac and shop vac terms frequently, you might ask what’s going on there.
Before discussing them in detail, here’s a quick rundown about both vacuums so you can go through them at a glance.
- Ash vacuums deal with only ashes whereas shop vacuums can take in almost anything, wood, screws, nails, and whatnot!
- Unlike shop vacs, there’s a thermal hose in ash vacuums that’s made up of rubber-coated steel and the hose is heat-resistant.
- Ash vacuums are specially designed for handling warm ashes, shop vacuums are not.
- Pricing for ash vacuums is way less than shop vacuums.
- Shop vacuums are generally heavier than ash vacuums so the second types are super compact and easy to use.
As you can see, this section will rub off your confusion regarding shop vacuum and ash vacuum features and when you need which one.
So, that being said, what is a shop vacuum?
Shop vacuums are the ones that are generally used in woodwork and construction. But you can’t vacuum hot ash with a shop vac for some reason.
However, where you need a really high-power vacuum to deal with huge amounts of dust particles without damaging the motor, a shop vacuum is something you badly need.
What it means is, you can clean almost anything you want with a shop vacuum but ash vacuums don’t allow you to do everything.
Now, let’s see what you can do with an ash vac.
If you take summer barbecues too much seriously or you have a fancy fireplace, you’ll want an ash vacuum. It will not only safely collect ash, but it’s specially designed filtration system also offers you some more interesting features that you won’t get from a shop vac.
Usually, shop vacuums can’t deal with heat so you have to admit that there’s a fire risk. Just a little hot ash can literally burn through the shop vac’s motor or melt the rubber/plastic of the vacuum hose.
You should believe that the shelf life of your vacuum depends on how firmly you use, operate, and clean the machine. Both inner and outer filters of an ash vacuum cleaner need some maintenance day-to-day life to work properly.
Usually, ash vacuums’ outer filter system is made of fiberglass and it’s also treated with the chemical. Therefore, it’s recommended not to use any soap or detergent for cleaning the outer filter of the ash vacuum. Try to avoid using any chemicals while washing it.
Here’s how you should clean the outer filter of your ash vacuum cleaner:
- Clean the filter using an air compressor or an air compressor can.
- Once done, get help from another external vacuum cleaner and pull off the residual ashes.
About cleaning the inner filter, it’s pretty easy because you can use any cleaning agent like detergent to wash it.
Some other maintenance tips to use an ash vacuum are:
- You surely want to keep the suction power at its optimum level, right? Then, make sure you empty the tank regularly!
- Try your best to clean the filter after each time you use the vacuum. It’ll keep the filter from clogging as well as reducing the suction.
- If you notice the nozzle clogs, tap it on the side of the pellet stove or the fireplace and let the ashes loosen up inside.
- Don’t ever use your fingers to clear out clogs lest the embers could cause burn.
- Don’t vacuum any wet ash or dust to prevent the risk of causing permanent damage to your vacuum.
Question: How often should you vacuum your pellet grill?
Answer: It’s best practice to vacuum your grill before every use just to make sure you’re getting the most wood flavor without any dust particles contaminating your fest. If it’s not possible, vacuum it about every few weeks.
Question: Can you vacuum Traeger?
Answer: Yes, it’s a great idea to vacuum Traeger using a quality shop vac. Try to clean your Traeger once every 5 times using it.
Question: Can I vacuum charcoal ash?
Answer: The thing is, you should not vacuum charcoal ash because it’s too risky, even if you use an ash vac.
Question: Is wood ash bad to breathe?
Answer: Yes, it may trigger asthma attacks. If things get worse, it may lead to cancer and lung diseases in the future.
It’s really great that you’re still there! Have you got your answer to the ‘What vacuum is best for a pellet grill?’ question? Since we’ve talked about some awesome products out there hopefully, you’ve made your mind by now.
Still, if you ask our recommendation, the first name that would spring to our mind is Craftsman 17250. No matter which vacuum cleaner you choose, make sure you use it the right way to avoid any inconvenience.