7 Best Ash Vacuums (2020) – for Fireplaces & Pellet Stoves

About the Author: Hi, we’re Rosie & Chris and we run things around here. You can learn more about us here. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Our top Pick:

Bacoeng Advanced Ash Vac


The Becoeng Advanced Ash Vac ticked a lot of our boxes. It has strong suction power, dual filters, a long power cord, and a metal reinforced hose for warm ash. If we’re honest, the Bacoeng and Pallethead were equal as the best ash vacuums in our study, so we went with the one that was best value for money. 

Ash vacuums suck up ash, sawdust and other fine particles without blowing them back into the air. They’re a basic household accessory for most people who own a fireplace or pellet stove.

In our search for the top ash vacuum, we reviewed and compared the seven top ash vacuums on the market today. We found a wide range in terms of quality and value for money.

At the end of this article, we provide a complete buyers guide and frequently asked questions that might help you in your decision making. But we know that the main thing you want to see is our top recommendations. So here they are.

The best ash vacuums are:

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Ash Vacuum

Overview

Our Rating

 1Bacoeng Advanced Ash VacGet this one if suction power and a long electrical cord are important to you. (Go to review)

10/10 

 2Pellethead Ash Vacuum ProHonestly, this is just as good as the Bacoeng. Compare the prices and buy either! (Go to review)

10/10

 3KIMO Cordless Ash VacuumGet this one if cordless vacuums are important to you. But we find cordless isn’t able to maintain its power over time. (Go to review)

 8/10

 4Shop-Vac 4041300 Ash VacuumGet this one if you like to buy respected brand names. We also like the quality pellet cleaning kit. (Go to review)

 8/10

 5Snow Joe ASHJ201 Ash VacuumThis vacuum meets our basic requirements, but is less powerful than comparative vacuums. (Go to review)

7.5/10

 6Vacmaster Ash VacuumIt’s got okay specs, but you need to pay extra for things other provide in their main kit. (Go to review)

7.5/10

 7PowerSmith PAVC101 All-In-One Ash VacuumIt meets all the required specs, but there’s nothing that jumps out above the competition. (Go to review)

7.5/10

The 7 Best Ash Vacuums

1. Bacoeng Advanced Ash Vac

Quick Review: Our top pick for the best ash vacuum. It’s got everything we wanted: strong suction, quality hose, long extension cords, and double ash filtration.


This is our favorite ash vacuum.

Why?

Well, it’s got very good suction power for an ash vacuum. And that’s saying something. Ash vacuums have trouble reaching high suction because they have to work through two very fine filters.

But this one uses a 1200W motor – one of the strongest in the category – to maintain high suction. If you remember to clean out the dual filters, you should be able to maintain high suction with this vac.

We also like the filling level indicator. This indicator on the top of the canister tells you when the canister is full so you know when to empty it. When you empty it out, don’t forget to clean out the filters as well.

Another thing we love is the quality of the hose.

Ash vacuums need metal lined hoses for suctioning warm ash without causing damage. Quality ash vacuums have a metal inner lining and a plastic outer lining, with good flex throughout. This one’s 5 foot hose ticks that box.

We also love that it has long reach from a power point. It boasts a long extension cord – 15 feet long – which is toward the longer end in this category.

There’s one main thing we think you should look out for.

You can buy it as a ‘standard’ or ‘advanced’ vac. Make sure you get the advanced vac in order to get the crevice tool, brush and extension wands. Without them, you’ll get frustrated that you can’t access the ash in hard-to-reach places.

Why This Ash Vacuum

Keep in Mind

Warm Ash Suction: It can suction warm ash (not hot), but it’s usually best to let the ash cool completely to protect the filters..

Very strong Suction: The 1200W motor is in the top of the class.

Long reach from Power Point: The 15 foot cord allows you to vacuum a fair distance from a Power Point.

Empty Reminders: The filling level indicator lets you know when to empty your canister.

Nice Wheels: It’s good to see it comes on wheels, which isn’t necessary standard in this category.

Don’t get the ‘Standard’ Model: If you get the ‘standard’ model vac, you don’t get any of the extension tools for the hose, which are basic necessities when cleaning ash from grates. So go for the advanced model instead.

2. Pellethead Ash Vacuum Pro

Quick Review: Honestly, we love this one just as much as our top pic. If you watch the video below, you’ll probably be sold for this one as well!

The Pellethead Ash Vac is an impressively simple vacuum cleaner. Out of the box, all you need to do is snap the wheels onto the base (no tools required!) and you’re good to go.

So, our favorite thing about this vacuum is the simplicity.

It boasts the regular HEPA filter plus pre-filter. The hose is lined on the inside with metal, while the outside plastic section allows for added flexibility.

The hose’s flexibility is complemented by a range of really useful attachments. The aluminum tube attachment is the most interesting one – it’s great when sucking up warmer ashes. Make sure you always use the aluminum attachment when the ash is a little warm – but also remember that you should try your best to let the ash cool as much as possible before use to minimize risk of damage to the HEPA filter.

We also like the crevice tool which is great for getting into hard-to-reach places that you’ll often find in a fireplace insert, fireplace grate, fireplace screen, or pellet stove.

All of your accessories can be stored around the wheel rim, while you carry the vacuum from the top handle. The accessory storage can be a little loose and annoying at times, especially if you bang it against a wall – expect an accessory to fall out!

Why This Ash Vacuum

Keep in Mind

Warm Ash Suction Attachment: We like the aluminum tube that you install when suctioning warm ash.

Simplicity: We also like the simplicity of the design. What you see is what you get with this one.

Long Electrical Cord: At 10 feet, this is one of the longer extension cords on the list.

Nice Wheel Dolly: It’s good to see it comes on wheels, which isn’t necessary standard in this category.

Honestly, Nothing: We love it!

3. KIMO Cordless Ash Vacuum

Quick Review: If going cordless is important to you, get this one. Perfect for vacuuming cars or the grill out back. But, we find battery powered vacuums lose their power after a while.


The standout feature of this vacuum is that it’s cordless! This makes it perfect for someone who needs the freedom to use the vacuum anywhere. This is super important if you want to vacuum a grill or grate down near your outdoor fire pit or barbecue grill that’s nowhere near a power point.

It comes with a 20V rechargeable battery that (they say) can be used for 1000 cycles. But, we’re always a little weary of rechargeable battery vacuums. We’ve found several times in the past that they don’t stand up to the challenge. And this is even more important for an ash vacuum which relies on high pressure to handle the extra filtration.

So, will the KIMO buck the trend and be the cordless vacuum that goes and goes and goes? It’s hard to know, but we’re not going to risk it.

Aside from those features, this vac has the regulars – a good range of attachments including an aluminum tip for warm ash (although, they highlight the importance of suctioning cool ash only). 

Why This Ash Vacuum

Keep in Mind

Cordless for use Anywhere: Great if you want to vacuum an outdoor grill or car..

Battery Compatible with other KIMO Tools: It’s a great idea that the battery pack can plug into other power tools in the KIMO range.

Long Lasting Filters: You can wash the filters to increase their lifespan.

Nice Wheel Dolly: It’s good to see it comes on wheels, which isn’t necessary standard in this category.

 

Rechargeable Batteries: We are weary that rechargeable vacuums often have shorter life spans.

4. Shop-Vac 4041300 Ash Vacuum

Quick Review: Get this one if you like buying based on brand reputation. But it bothers us that it doesn’t come with a wheels or dolly to roll it around.


Shop-Vac is a very well known brand in the industry, with a good name. If you like to buy products based on their brand reputation, this might be the one for you.

The other thing we think is cool about this one is you get a pellet stove cleaning kit. The smaller attachments are not common, and a really good reason to get this vacuum over others.

Then there are the regular things that we tend to expect in an ash vacuum: steel lined hose, metal intake nozzle and 5 gallon canister (quite large for a vacuum).

But there are a few things that bother us.

First is the length of both the hose and cord. They hose and cord are both too short – too short for our liking. The 6 foot power cord, for example, is nowhere near long enough. You’ll need to get an extension cord.

It also has no wheels or dolly. Which is a big nuisance to us. We like to be able to roll our vacuums around when using them.

Why This Ash Vacuum

Keep in Mind

Respected Brand: Shop-Vac is one of the most longstanding brands in this product category.

Includes Pellet Stove Cleaning Kit: We like the pellet stove cleaning kit. It provides some great attachments for getting into the smaller nooks of your stove and grate.

No Wheels or Dolly: Really, this is something we think should come standard.

Cord and Hose too Short: They’re both toward the shorter end within this product category.

5. Snow Joe ASHJ201 Ash Vacuum

Quick Review: The Snow Joe meets minimum standards that we’d expect, but doesn’t have the power or accessories of others in the category.

The Snow Joe ash vacuum does tick our minimum boxes: it has dual filtration for catching ash, the filters can be cleaned with a dry paint brush, and it has a nice large 4.8 gallon canister. The 8.5 foot power cord is not short, but it’s not the longest in its class either.

So yes, it’s got the basics.

But why isn’t it at the top of our list?

First, it’s a 4 amp 500W motor. In real talk, that’s toward the low end for power in this category. So we don’t expect it to have great suction

Next, you don’t get the great accessories that many other ash vacuums provide. It doesn’t have the crevice tool or brush tool to get into the hard to reach places around your 

And on top of that, there are no wheels or rolling dolly. So you’ll have to carry this one around with its top handle. That’s not as big a deal for ash vacs because you’re usually just holding it in the one place dealing with a single grate, but it’s still a basic add-on that we’d prefer to see.

Why This Ash Vacuum

Keep in Mind

Large Canister: The Snow Joe Vac has a 4.8 gallon canister – toward the larger end of the category.

Metal Inner Hose: This is required for all ash vacuums.

No Wheels or Dolly: Really, this is something we think should come standard.

No accessories: Most other ash vacuums come with a range of accessories like crevice tools and brush tools, but this one doesn’t

Suction not the Best: With a weaker motor than most, this vacuum is not likely to have the best suction in the category.

6. Vacmaster Ash Vacuum

Quick Review: We initially liked the look of this vacuum, but it bothered us that you have to pay extra for anything beyond the basics.


The Vacmaster ash vacuum is ‘just okay’. It’s not great … but it does tick some boxes. The 960 watt motor is about mid-range, and the 12 foot cord is probably a little above average, but not by much.

It sits on a nice wheel dolly, too – which is great, and more than you can say for some other brands.

We also like that you can buy replacement filters directly from the reseller.

But there’s a lot that bothered us here as well.

First, it appears that you only get the bare minimum in your initial purchase, and you have to buy the extra parts as ‘add-ons’ which, in our opinion, should be core elements of the original sale.

For example, there are three filters you can buy. The question remains: how many come with the kit? It appears that only one comes in the original kit, whereas most ash vacuums come standard with a dual filter system.

Next, the accessories. You get two basic accessories with the original purchase. But if you want any accessories that help you get into stove crevices, you’ll need to buy the pellet stove kit separately, adding to the overall cost of the purchase.

So we think Vacmaster needs to go back to the drawing board and create a clearer all-inclusive package before we’d choose to buy this one.

Why This Ash Vacuum

Keep in Mind

 

Easy to Buy Replacement Filters: It can be really hard to find replacement filters. But these retailers allow you to buy them online!

Decent length Cord: It’s got one of the longest power cords in this category (but the hose isn’t all that long).

Nice Wheel Dolly: It’s good to see it comes on wheels, which isn’t necessary standard in this category.

You have to Pay extra for anything more than the Bare Minimum: If you want a pellet stove cleaning kit or additional filters, you have to add them to the purchase, pushing up the overall cost.

Not the Strongest Motor: It’s not the weakest, but not the strongest either.

7. PowerSmith PAVC101 All-In-One Ash Vacuum

Quick Review: While this one has the requisite specs and a great spare filter included, we’ve also seen several mixed reviews of its longevity.


Powersmith’s ash vacuum has many of the features of other rated products on this list, but we’ve heard mixed reviews about the build quality.

But let’s start with the things we like.

It’s got the expected double filtration system that’s necessary for ash vacuums – tick.

We like that you can buy it with a spare filter. Finding replacement filters can be a complete nightmare – so buying it with an additional filter at the start can save you the stress and annoyance in 12 months time.

We also like the canister fill indicator. Given that this canister is smaller than some others, it’s good to have it there to know when it’s time to refill.

The additional hose attachments – including aluminum end piece and crevice attachment – are great to have, and we’d say a necessity in an ash vacuum.

But we’re also weary that we’ve heard a fair few complaints about this one as well, from a few different sources.

The main complaint – that the motor may stop frequently – is not unique to this vacuum. All ash vacuums have overheating fail safes. But this one seems to get more complaints than others about this.

Why This Ash Vacuum

Keep in Mind

Spare Filter: We like that you can get a spare filter at checkout so you don’t need to go hunting for new filters in 6 months time.

Canister Fill Indicator: We like that there is a canister fill indicator placed on top of the vacuum so you know when to empty it.

Metal Inner Hose: This is required for all ash vacuums.

Nice Wheel Dolly: It’s good to see it comes on wheels, which isn’t necessary standard in this category.

Motor Longevity: We have heard complaints about the longevity of the motor on this one.

What to Look for in an Ash Vacuum

Dual Filters, including at least one HEPA filter

Ash vacuums operate in a dual filter system. The first filter, what we call the ‘pre-filter’, filters out larger grains, hairs, and other particles that your regular vacuum would capture. This helps protect the HEPA filter, which comes next. If you don’t have a pre-filter, the HEPA filter’s lifespan will be reduced.

Once all the larger gunk is filtered out, the HEPA filter catches the finer grains like ash. HEPA filters remove 99.97% of all airborne particles that are 0.3 micrometers (μm) wide. The HEPA filter is a delicate filtration system that you won’t find in a regular vacuum.

Metal-Lined Hose

Hoses in regular vacuums are usually plastic inside and out. But good ash vacuums have a metal-lined inner in their hoses to prevent warm ash from burning the hose. This increases the hose’s lifespan, but can also reduce the flexibility of the hose. 

Canister Size & Fill Indicator

Canister size is very variable in this category. The smallest you can get is about 3 gallons, but the largest is about 6 gallons. Obviously, the larger the canister, the less often you need to empty it.

But we find we’re regularly emptying our canister anyway. That’s because you need to clean a filter very regularly to keep the suction power nice and high. So canister size isn’t our biggest priority. We’d recommend using fireplace gloves when cleaning out your canister – especially if the ashes are still hot.

Motor Strength (Suction Power!)

A weak ash vacuum motor would be about 500W and 3 amps. A stronger ash vacuum would be about 1200W and 10 amps. The more motor strength, the more suction power. This is one of our biggest priorities, because ash vacuums have to suck through not one but two filters. So we like to get a strong motor for good suction power. Note that if you feel your vacuum’s suction power waning, try to clean out your filters. 

Cord Length (Or Cordless)

If you want to use your ash vacuum to vacuum out an outdoor patio fireplace or charcoal barbecue, you might need to extend your vacuum cord a long way from a power point.

You’ve got three options here: (1) get a vacuum with a long cord, (2) get a vacuum with a short cord and run an extension cord alongside it, or (3) get a cordless ash vacuum. Let’s go through each option one at a time.

A long cord for an ash vacuum is about 15 feet long. You won’t get much longer than that. This is a decent length, and you can always add an extension cord to the end of it.

A short cord is about 5-6 feet and might be good for an indoor fireplace. But you’ll need to add an extension cord, possibly for even inside jobs.

A cordless ash vacuum sounds like a great idea. But we’ve been burned a few times by over optimism about their longevity. Cordless vacuum batteries tend to weaken over the first year of their life, and in our experience you can usually really feel suction power decreasing pretty quickly. 

Wheel Dolly

We were surprised to discover that some ash vacuums don’t come with wheels! We would have thought that would be standard on a vacuum these days. So check to see whether there are wheels or an attachable wheel dolly if this is important to you. Fortunately, ash vacuuming is usually not something that’s spread out – you’re usually just cleaning out a stove or grate.

Hose Attachment Accessories

Check to see what accessories come in your kit. We’ve seen a variety – from no hose attachments at all, through to a pellet stove cleaning kit which is amazing. At a bare minimum, we’d expect the vacuum to come with an aluminum hose extension and a crevice attachment. We also like to get a brush attachment to get into fine spaces. Pellet stove attachments are smaller and finder attachments that work great when cleaning in under grates, around your firewood rack and even cleaning your fireplace tool set

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an Ash Vacuum?

Regular household and shop vacuums aren’t good at vacuuming ash. The ash is too fine for their filters and ends up being spat out into the air, only to settle back on the ground again. The ash also gets into the motors and can cause significant damage to a motor. So, most ash vacuums are unique because they have dual filtration with fine grained HEPA filters. This helps catch the ash without spitting it back out the back end of the vacuum or damaging the motor.

Can I vacuum Hot Ash?

It’s best not to. Hot ash will damage your vacuum’s filters, which are essentially paper. So, try to ensure the ash has fully cooled before vacuuming it up. You don’t want to be sucking up hot embers. However, most companies have created their vacuums to be fire retardant so ‘warm’ ash is often allowed. This is usually defined as ash that’s up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

How often Should I Clean the HEPA Filter?

Very regularly. The filters for ash vacuums are very fine in order to catch the ash. But this has the negative side-effect of decreasing suction. The more ash that builds up in the HEPA filter, the worse the suction will be. So, you’ll want to clean it much more regularly than a regular vacuum. 

Why is my Ash Vacuum’s Suction Power Weakening?

An ash vacuum sucks through not one but two filters. The consequence of this is that the suction is not as strong as if you only had one filter. Add the accumulation of fine particles onto the two filters, and the suction can rapidly decrease.

So what’s the solution?

Clean your HEPA filter. Regularly.

How can I Clean a HEPA Filter?

HEPA filters are best cleaned by dry paint brushes. If you have an air blower, it can also be of some use – but make sure you’re doing this in a well ventilated outdoor area where the ash can disperse. You might want to wear a mask while cleaning your HEPA filter.

After some use, your HEPA filter will need to be replaced – and you can get them on Amazon or direct from the manufacturers.

Final Thoughts

We think there are two winners for the best ash vacuum. The first is the Bacoeng Advanced Ash Vac. The second is the Pellethead Ash Vacuum Pro. They tie in terms of suction power and quality, so we’re happy to recommend them both.

The main things to keep in mind are that you want a vacuum that has a dual-filter HEPA system, metal-lined hose, and strong suction power.

We hope this review has been helpful to you, and all the best with your fireplace & stove cleaning!

Cheers,
Rosie & Chris