Reviews say the 16-gallon Craftsman 17066 wet dry vac has plenty of power and picks up dry and wet debris equally well. Reviewers like the way this Craftsman shop vacuum can be used as a leaf blower, thanks to its detachable top. However, some owners say the lid and hose do not fit tightly, and tests demonstrate that this model emits more dust in its exhaust than the Ridgid WD1450 (*Est. $135), which also doubles as a leaf blower. For those who plan on sucking up much liquid with their shop vacuum, Shop-Vac offers several comparably sized and priced wet dry vacuums that feature a water pump or built-in drain -- for example the 16-gallon Shop-Vac 934-16-11 (*Est. $120).
ConsumerReports.org includes the 16-gallon Craftsman 17066 in its thorough comparison tests of 23 consumer-grade wet dry vacs, as does Popular Mechanics in its tests of six shop vacuums. An earlier review in American Woodworker compares the Craftsman not only with two consumer-grade shop vacuums, but with more expensive pro-grade models as well. Also, quite a few owners posting at Sears.com say they've tested the Craftsman 17066 for a wide range of uses over a long period of time.
ConsumerReports.org includes the Craftsman 17066 in its 2007 review of 23 consumer-grade shop vacuums, comparing it mostly with four other consumer shop vacuums of similar size. Each wet dry vac is tested, then assigned a total score, plus separate ratings for wet and dry pickup performance, emissions and ease of use.
Review: Wet/Dry Vacuums, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, March 2007
This review compares the Craftsman 17066 with five other wet dry vacs ranging from 4.5 to 16 gallons. The Craftsman 17066 is the fastest at sucking up both dry debris and water, and the blower feature is nice. However, like the other shop vacuums tested, the Craftsman 17066's actual pickup capacity falls short of the stated capacity of 16 gallons.
Review: Wet/Dry Vacuum Showdown: We Test 6 New Clean Machines, Tom Klenck, Sept. 1, 2007
More than 80 owners review the Craftsman 17066 wet dry vac on the Sears.com website, giving it a near-perfect rating. However, there are some complaints that the hose and lid don't lock securely to the tank, along with a few concerns about durability, especially when this shop vacuum is used a lot as a blower.
Review: Craftsman 16-gal 6.5-peak hp Wet/Dry Vac with Detachable 265 mph Blower, Contributors to Sears.com
4. American Woodworker
This review compares six shop vacuums, including the Craftsman 17066 and two other general-purpose wet dry vacuums, as well as three pro-grade, tool-activated models. The Craftsman 17066 outperforms the Ridgid shop vacuum reviewed here, except that it's noisier.
Review: Tool Test: Shop Vacuums, George Vendriska and Tony Caspar, Oct. 2005