Reviews praise the 13-gallon Bosch Airsweep 3931A shop vacuum for its automatic self-cleaning filter and overall versatility. The Bosch Airsweep 3931A is tool triggered, and it's designed to work with power tools like sanders and drills. Unlike some tool-triggered vacuums, it works with higher-amperage tools, and it features an adjustable suction dial for optimal use when sanding. The Bosch Airsweep 3931A gets mixed reviews for its noise level, which varies depending on the suction power. It goes as low as 62 decibels, but one recent comparison review measures the Bosch's top noise level at 91 decibels, louder than the five other tool-triggered shop vacuums tested. With a more modest 74-decibel top noise level, the 15-gallon Fein Turbo III 9-20-26 (*Est. $485) offers a quieter tool-triggered alternative. If you want to spend less, experts recommend the Ridgid WD1450 (*Est. $135) for general cleanup jobs, though not for dust collection.
Fine Woodworking tests the Bosch Airsweep 3931A with five other tool-triggered shop vacuums in its 2011/2012 Tools & Shops issue, while an earlier Tools & Shops issue compares the 3931A with its predecessor, the Bosch Airsweep 3931. Also at Fine Woodworking, a contributing editor reviews the Bosch 3931A based on its performance in his own shop. Fine Homebuilding considers the Bosch 3931A alongside four competitors; a variation of this review appears in Taunton's 2009 Tool Guide.. Additionally, we found relevant reviews comparing the earlier Bosch Airsweep with other shop vacuums from The Journal of Light Construction and Tools of the Trade.
1. Fine Woodworking
Asa Christiana and Fine Woodworking shop manager Bill Peck compare six HEPA-equipped tool-triggered shop vacuums, including the Bosch Airsweep 3931A. The Bosch 3931A wins the Best Overall title for its automatic self-cleaning function and speedy airflow restoration, in spite of being the loudest model tested.
Review: Tool Test: Shop Vacuums, Asa Christiana, Winter 2011/2012
2. Taunton's 2009 Tool Guide
This review of five tool-triggered wet dry vacs, including the Bosch Airsweep 3931A, presents basically the same information as Fine Woodworking's June 2007 review. Readers agree with the editors, ranking Festool and Fein models above the Bosch 3931A.
Review: Tool-Triggered Shop Vacs, Rob Wotzak and Taunton Press editors, Nov. 2008
3. Fine Homebuilding
Carpenter Rob Wotzak and his crew head to a jobsite to review the Bosch 3931A shop vacuum along with four other wet dry vacuums. The Bosch 3931A ranks at the top for power, but it loses points for noise and awkward mobility.
Review: Tool-Triggered Shop Vacs, Rob Wotzak, June/July 2007
4. Fine Woodworking
Contributing editor Roland Johnson tests the newest Bosch shop vacuum, the Airsweep 3931A, in his own workshop. Johnson doesn't offer any criticisms, and he details the features he likes. Power-management, versatile fittings and self-cleaning dual filters are among the positives.
Review: New Vacuum from Bosch Tames Dust and Debris -- Quietly, Roland Johnson, July/Aug. 2007
5. Fine Woodworking
This article previews new tools that were displayed at the International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair in August 2006. Editors hail three improvements in the Bosch shop vacuum, the Bosch Airsweep 3931A. Here, the sound level is measured at 69 decibels.
Review: Highlights from IWF 2006, Editors of Fine Woodworking, Winter 2006/2007
6. Taunton's 2005 Tool Guide
Editors say the older Bosch 3931 effectively collects wood chips without clogging. The 26-foot power cord is also a plus, and editors praise the way the filter is mounted above the motor, preserving air flow. The Bosch 3931 was too new at the time to be included in the readers' survey.
Review: Bosch 3931 Review -- Shop Vacuums, Editors of and contributors to Fine Homebuilding and Fine Woodworking, Jan. 2005
7. American Woodworker
This review compares the Bosch 3931 with five other shop vacuums, testing each for power and air flow. Editors pick the Bosch 3931A as the best shop vacuum for collecting dust from power tools. They note that it's much louder than the Fein Turbo III shop vacuum, but they find that the Bosch has slightly better airflow.
Review: Tool Test: Shop Vacuums, George Vendriska and Tony Caspar, Oct. 2005
8. Journal of Light Construction
Professional contractor David Grubb tests the earlier Bosch 3931 along with six other tool-activated shop vacuums. The Bosch is the top choice for workshop use because of its power and filter-cleaning system. However, it's not as easy to move to jobsites as the lighter, more compact Porter-Cable 7812, his top choice for jobsite use.
Review: Tool Test: Tool-Activated Vacuums, David Grubb, Dec. 2004
9. Tools of the Trade
After putting nine pro-grade wet dry shop vacuums through a set of torture tests, Chris Kulczycki ranks the Bosch 3931 at the top. He says he especially likes its pulse feature, which helps clear the filter, as well as the fact that it's always ready for wet pickup. It also has a stable design and plenty of suction, he says.
Review: Wet/Dry Vacuums, Chris Kulczycki, April 1, 2004
About 10 owners give the Bosch 3931A a high average rating here. Most say they picked the Bosch because they were tired of fooling with noisier shop vacuums and like its power, big hose capacity and self-cleaning filter. The only complaints they had were about the difficulty of maneuvering the Bosch wet dry vac from one place to another.
Review: Bosch Airsweep Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner w/Power Broker 3931A, Contributors to Amazon.com
ConsumerGuide.com editors pick the Bosch Airsweep 3931A as a Consumer Guide Best Buy. The editors appreciate the shop vacuum's four operating modes, self-clean function and power adjustment dial, and they find the noise to be tolerable. As for cons, they say lifting the 45.7-pound shop vacuum may not be doable for most users, and the one-year warranty seems too short for the Bosch 3931A's sizeable price tag.
Review: Expert Review: Bosch Airsweep 3931A Wet/Dry Vacuum, Editors of ConsumerGuide.com, July 7, 2008