DeWALT DCV517B 20V wet/dry portable vac

Please find below my review of the DeWALT DCV517B shop vac. I followed my Review Strategies for vacuum cleaners for this review.

Estimated price: $80
Available from:

Click here to find the DCV517B on Amazon

Short description of the DeWALT DCV517B 20V MAX 1/2 gallon wet/dry portable vac

Please note: this exact product comes without a battery. You can use your existing DCB204 20V power pack with it. If you don’t own (sufficient) power packs, then perhaps you should consider buying the DeWALT DCV517M1, which will include one 20V lithium ion battery and a charger for a better price than the three items sold separately.

The DeWALT DCV517B is a portable vacuum cleaner, which you can use with your existing DCB204 batteries. It is great for the general jobsite cleanup and comes with a HEPA filter (HEPA filtration removes 99.97% of all particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns or more and largely prevents these asthma and allergy triggers from being returned back into the air via the vacuum’s exhaust). The filter is washable which you can clean with a tap water rinse.

A vac like this is ideal if you’re not in your workshop, such as on the job, or in your car. This vac can be used for dry as well as wet debris removal.
Since it’s wireless, the suction power is less than what you would get from a plugged in vac, but still most reviews state that users are content with the power on this vac.

Let’s take a look at some different properties.

In the box

In the box you will find only the DCV517B. So NO battery, and NO charger.
As stated before, if you need a kit, the go for the DeWALT DCV517M1, which is sold for about $180,- (Buying the DCV517B + battery + charger separately would cost you about $220,-)

What is it for?

The DeWALT DCV517B is a portable general jobsite cleanup vac.
It’s a portable vac, so it’s intended use is either sporadic, or in places where a cable vac is not available or impractical.

Who is it for?

The DeWALT DCV517B is intended for anyone who needs a portable vac, either often or once in a while. Wet and Dry.


Only compared to cord-powered vacuums, this vac will under-perform. However, taken into account that this is a portable vac running on a standard DeWALT 20V battery pack, its suction power is plenty good enough.
Do make sure that you keep the filter clean, because obviously a dirty filter will reduce suction capability. Also check your nozzle if suction drops quickly. There may be something stuck in the tube. Please note that a wet filter will also lessen the suction power.


Three items will need regular cleaning, namely the main filter, the secondary filter and the dust bin.

The dust bin can be detached easily and cleaned out. The sides have a bevel, so you will have to turn it upside down the right way, but apart from that cleaning this is a standard job.


The main filter can be cleaned by rinsing with tap water. The folds are quite deep, so sometimes it will be difficult to get some particles out from the depths of the filter.

The secondary filter is essentially a piece of foam which can be cleaned by rinsing with tap water. The secondary filter is accessed easily when the main filter is removed.


Optional accessories

several optional accessories exist for this vac:

  • DCB204 Battery for about $90,-
  • DCB115 Charger for about $50,-
  • Replacement filter. DeWALT advises to only use DeWALT filters. for about $20,-
  • Shop-vac 9064300 1-1.25″ Household Cleaning kit for about $8,-
  • Shop-vac 9061400 1.25″ Extension Wands for about $13,-

If you want to order the last two optional accessories along with the DCV517B, then Amazon makes it easy for you, since you will have a link on the Amazon listing where you can order these three items all at once.


The weight of the DeWALT DCV517B is 4.5 pounds. Adding a battery pack of 1.5 pounds, will make this portable vac weigh 6 pounds. Still less than my home cable vac of about 10 pounds. It’ll get heavier with all the cleaning you’ll do with it of course 😉

For those interested in buying the DCV517B, click here to find it on Amazon

Customer reviews

At Amazon, I found the following reviews most useful:
The 1- and 2-star reviews note that the suction is not good enough, or the machine just not switching on after a while [Wouter: these seem like production errors to me].

On the positive end, people comment that the machine has good suction for a 20V battery powered vac; it’s versatile because it’s cordless, and you can attach 1.25″ attachments.

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