Are Shop-Vac Hoses Universal? (Explained!) + Make it Longer!

Are shop vac hoses universal

Finding a new shop vac is easy. Difficulty arises when you need a new hose that fits into any choice of the shop-vac you make (A universal hose).

However, even with the best hose comes the realization that you might need to buy a new shop vac or upgrade the one you already have.

Then would it be possible in any way to find a universal shop vac hose that you can take anywhere and for any job without worrying about compatibility? This article will show you if there are any universal shop vac hoses and how you can possibly turn any hose of your choice into a handy craftsman hose.

Are Shop Vac Hoses Universal?

The simple fact is that NOT ALL shop vac hoses are of the same size. They come in different diameters and lengths. However, some of them are more compatible with a very wide range of machines than others and this can often be mistaken for universality.

As a woodworker or a construction worker, you are probably concerned about getting a shop vac hose that connects easily to both your track saw and sander. Finding this type of hose is difficult but possible.

Different Sizes of Shop-Vac Hoses

Shop-vac hoses come in a variety of sizes (diameter and length) and each size plays an important role in the functionality and effectiveness of your vacuum. There are however some hoses that can be more commonly found than the others.

Note that shop vac hoses are better measured based on the internal diameter of the hose as this is what determines the size of debris it can pull in.

The most common hose diameters include 2.5 inches and 1.25 inches, which are approximately 63.5 mm and 31.75 mm respectively.

You will also find some very rare variations. They are either larger in terms of diameter than the ones earlier mentioned or smaller. You will find they are one inch or a little less than two inches.

Can I Put a Bigger Hose on My Shop Vac?

The perfect universal shop vac hose will be in the range of 1.5 inches in diameter and 20 inches in length. However, if you need to add on a bigger hose to your shop vac, you should note that you would be compromising on suction power.

Nevertheless, there are ways to make any shop vac hose work for all your machines and tools. We will discuss that further in the article.

How Do I Make My Shop Vac Hose Longer?

People have to always carry the shop vac around as they work because of a short hose. To cover more ground while you work with your shop vac, there are proven ways to elongate your shop vac hoses for more flexibility.

With the use of hose extensions, you can connect two shop vac hoses into one. How to do it? Add equal size extensions to one end of both hoses and fit one over the other.

Note that the longer the hose, the lower the suction so you might want to take caution as you join hoses.

Can You Connect Two Shop-Vac Hoses Together?

You can connect one end of your shop vac hose to one end of another hose as long as both hoses are of the same internal diameter.

To join two hoses with different internal diameters, you would need the help of vacuum adapters.

Most adapters come in a variety of diameter levels and you have to cut the adapter to the point where it fits perfectly into your house.

Does Hose Diameter Affect the Vacuum?

The basic idea is that the bigger your shop vac hose, the more suction power it would require to pull in more debris. This is because a much bigger hose pulls in more air with only very little suction.

Sure you will be able to fit larger debris into the hose but with a much lower productivity rate.

Many craftsmen prefer to use smaller shop vac hoses for better results and that is why there are more of those.

Does the Length of the Vacuum Hose Matter?

When choosing your shop vac hose, you must take note of the actual length of the hose. The length of your hose plays an important role in the effectiveness of your work.

A longer hose doesn’t only help you move around more freely in your workplace but also gives you a larger volume of air space. However, this doesn’t compromise suction power as in the case of a wide-diameter-hose.

Nevertheless, remember, as mentioned earlier that the longer the hose, the lower the pressure, hence, keeping the hose length between 20 to 30 feet is ideal.

How Do You Make Any Shop Vac Hose Become Universal?

As mentioned earlier, shop vac hoses come in several sizes and are usually for different functions.

However, there are ways to make your shop vac hoses more compatible with any kind of machine, no matter what size you have.

A known way to do this is to connect vacuum adapters. Although many shop vac hose manufacturers add different sizes of adapters to the box, you may have to get additional adapters for your hose if you work with rare machines.

What Size of Hose Is on a Craftsman Shop Vac?

The most common size of shop vac hose you will find on most Craftsman shop vacs is the 2½ inch hose.

Choosing the Right Hose for Your Shop Vac

Choosing a shop vac hose is a seemingly tough decision if you are considering getting something that serves as a universal hose without the use of adapters as suggested above.

There are several reasons why you might need a shop vac hose and for each one of these purposes, there is a suitable one.

Below are some considerations to bear in mind before choosing one:

1- Internal Diameter

The larger the diameter of your shop vac hose, the more suction power it would require to pull in debris.

To choose the perfect hose for your shop vac, you should measure the internal diameter of your shop vac as this is what determines whether the hose will fit or not.

2- Manufacturer

It is no news that certain shop vac hose manufacturers are known for certain types and sizes of shop vac hoses. It always helps to be sure what you want and which of these companies can provide you with the best one.

Some of the most common manufacturers in the industries include names like Ridgid and Festool.

Ridgid vacs and their hoses usually come in three diameters including 2+ inches, 1.25 inches, and 1.75 inches. This means that you are sure what size of hose you’ll get for the type of vac you have.

The trick here is to buy a Ridgid vac that has the same diameter as the other machines and tools you have in your workshop if you want to make it universal.

Festool, on the other hand, generally, has small diameters and unless all your other machines have the same size, you might want to consider other options.


No matter what type of shop vac you have, a wrong choice of shop vac hose can make a simple day’s job look more time-consuming than it really should be. This is why you must take note of the instructions offered in this article when choosing or connecting a shop vac hose to your machines.

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