The cordless 1/2-gallon DeWalt DC515K (*Est. $140) is essentially a handheld vacuum that can pick up liquids as well as dry debris. The small wet dry vacuum runs on any 18-volt DeWalt battery, and it comes with one battery pack and a one-hour charger. Be aware that DeWalt also sells a tool-only model of this vac, DC515B (*Est. $80), for users who have compatible DeWalt battery packs and chargers. Users say the battery-powered wet dry vac runs for approximately 10 to 15 minutes per charge. Reviewers say they appreciate the vac's powerful suction, HEPA filtration and extendable hose; however, some users say the DC515K's loudness overshadows its merits. While most users find the vac's small size useful for vacuuming in tight spaces and like its portability, some say the 1/2-gallon bin is simply too small and requires cleaning too frequently. For a larger portable option, consider the 2-gallon DeWalt DC500 (*Est. $100), which functions as both a corded or cordless wet dry vac.
We found no expert comparison reviews of the DeWalt DC515K, although it did appear on a list of the best wet dry vacs on Squidoo.com; a consumer's comparison review on Toologics.com also included the DC515K. However, we did find plenty of consumer reviews on Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com and Northern Tool & Equipment, and they give us a fair sense of how the DC515K stacks up over time.
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These owner ratings and reviews can be useful supplements to professional reviews; users often report on durability and find usability problems that experts can miss in the short time many have to test the product for their review. More than 85 users review the DeWalt DC515K, giving it a favorable overall rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Some reviewers, however, found the DC515K's noise difficult to tolerate.
Review: DeWalt DC515K 1/2 Gallon 18-Volt NiCd Cordless Wet/Dry Vac, Contributors to Amazon.com
HomeDepot.com publishes owner reviews and ratings of the wet dry vacs it sells. It's less convenient to check ratings here than at sites like Amazon.com because you have to click on a specific model to see the average rating. Although a few users complain of the noise and say the suction is lacking, most Home Depot customers like the DeWalt DC515K, rating it an overall 4.4 out of 5 stars based on about 25 reviews.
Review: DeWalt DC515K 18-Volt 0.5-Gallon Heavy-Duty Cordless Wet/Dry Vac, Contributors to HomeDepot.com
3. Northern Tool and Equipment
The DeWalt DC515K is one of the few wet dry vacs on the Northern Tool & Equipment website with enough user feedback to yield a meaningful average rating. Based on about 15 reviews, the DC515K has an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. Users say they like how long the vacuum's battery packs last and appreciate its filtration, but a few wish it had more power and a larger collection bin.
Review: DeWalt Cordless Portable Wet/Dry Vacuum -- 18 Volt, 1/2 Gallon, Model# DC515K, Contributors to Northern Tool & Equipment
Author Jude Herr describes her search for a wet dry vac that is "small and portable, yet powerful and durable." She considers four, including the DeWalt cordless DC515. While she appreciates the shop vacuum's battery operation and compact size, she says she is disappointed in the DC515K's low suction pressure rating.
Review: How to Choose a Wet/Dry Vacuum, Jude Herr, Nov. 5, 2007
This review discusses attributes of the "best wet/dry vacuums on the market today." The DeWalt DC515B is one of the three picks. The author appreciates its cordless function and finds the Gore HEPA filter effective at trapping dust. The only con cited is that the batteries are not included with the DC515B model, whereas the DC515K comes with both a battery and charger.
Review: Best Wet/Dry Vacs Reviews, UltraMilk