DeWalt DCV581H vs DCV517B

DeWalt DCV581H and DeWalt DCV517B are portable wet/dry vacuums that are equipped with HEPA filters. They are really practical to use. You can use them to clean your desk, couch, dresser, or even car interior. In this article, we will discuss the differences between DeWalt DCV581H vs DCV517B to help you decide which model that is better for your money.

Continue reading below to learn more about:
– The size and weight of each portable wet/dry vacuum here
– The tools and attachments that are included with each model
– The water tank capacity of each model
– Which model that is easier to use
– The cleaning power of DeWalt DCV581H vs DCV517B
– The power requirement and battery life of each model
– Which model that is more recommended for you

Size and Weight
If you put DeWalt DCV581H and DeWalt DCV517B side by side, you can immediately see that they are two very different things. Well, they both are classified as portable wet/dry vacuums, but DeWalt DCV581H is still much bigger and heavier than DeWalt DCV517B. Hence, when choosing between these two models, you need to consider carefully whether you really want an extremely compact unit or not. See also: DeWalt DCS380B vs DCS381.

DeWalt DCV581H measures 17.2 inches x 12.3 inches x 13.1 inches. The weight is about 11.06 pounds. In general, this unit is already quite portable. It is neither too large nor too heavy. It is much more portable than a full-size upright vacuum or steam mop, and you can easily carry or transport it. Combined with the excellent durability, the compact and lightweight design creates a versatile unit which you can easily handle for cleaning upholstery and other furniture items.

DeWalt DCV517B can be your choice if you are looking for something which you can hold effortlessly with a single hand. It measures 8.4 inches x 6.4 inches x 17.7 inches. The weight is about 4.5 pounds. It is very nice for above-floor cleaning. The portability makes this model very practical for various cleaning tasks in home and even jobsite settings. However, it does have some weaknesses, such as the lack of a hose and the much smaller water tank.

What’s Included
Before we proceed further, let’s take a look at what items that come with DeWalt DCV581H vs DCV517B. You should note that DeWalt DCV581H is a bundle which includes several accessories, whereas DeWalt DCV517B is a tool-only package that does not come with additonal accessories.

DeWalt DCV581H comes with several accessories. After opening the box, you can find the vacuum unit along with the Gore Wet/Dry HEPA Filter, a regular filter, a 5-ft heavy-duty crush-resistant hose, a crevice tool attachment, and a wide nozzle tool attachment.

These additional accessories are definitely very useful. The hose is incredibly tough and durable, so you will never need to replace it. The crevice tool will allow you to clean narrow corners and tight spots easily. The wide nozzle tool is very useful for covering a large surface area quickly.

DeWalt DCV517B, on the other hand, does not come with any additional accessory. This is a tool-only package. The box only includes the vacuum unit and the Gore Wet/Dry HEPA Filter. So, if you want to pair it with a tool attachment like the crevice tool or the wide nozzle tool, you need to buy them separately.

Nevertheless, this model only has a short integrated hose which has a tapered end. It can work with various standard accessories. You can also purchase an extension hose if necessary, although pairing it with a long hose is not really recommended because such configuration may reduce the generated suction power.

DeWalt DCV581H and DeWalt DCV517B don’t come with any battery or charger. This is the case for almost every DeWalt cordless model that is designed to work with the 20V MAX battery. If you already have one 20V MAX battery which you use for other DeWalt power tools, you don’t need to buy a new battery – you can use the same battery and charger for powering and recharging your DeWalt DCV581H or DeWalt DCV517B.

Water Tank Capacity
One of the most noticeable differences between DeWalt DCV581H vs DCV517B in practice is the water tank capacity. DeWalt DCV581H has a much larger tank than DeWalt DCV517B, so it will require less frequent emptying when performing a wet vacuum session.

DeWalt DCV581H comes with a 2-gallon water tank. This huge capacity will give you enough room when you need to empty a clogged pipe line or a toilet. You can vacuum all the liquid in one run instead of performing several cycles of vacuuming and emptying the water tank.

DeWalt DCV517B has a 0.5-gallon water tank. The capacity is much smaller. It is probably enough for taking care of a light task, such as vacuuming some spills or a clogged pipe that isn’t too long. However, when dealing with a heavy task, you may need to repeat the cycle of vacuuming and emptying the water tank once the capacity is full.

On-board Storage
DeWalt DCV581H has several on-board storage compartments for the accessories. This is very convenient. You can put the crevice tool in the handle and the wide nozzle tool in the front side of the unit. Meanwhile, the hose can be stored on the back side, just under the open battery compartment. So, the tools are always there, ready for use whenever needed.

DeWalt DCV517B has a much simpler design. It is only composed of three parts, which are the vacuum base, the water tank, and the removable filter. It does not have any on-board storage compartment. So, if you do buy some optional accessories, you need to store them in a separate place.

How is the performance of DeWalt DCV581H vs DCV517B? Well, they are pretty much similar. They are powerful enough to pick up most dust and debris. However, being portable vacs, it is not surprising that they are not suitable for heavy-duty tasks.

DeWalt DCV581H is surprisingly very quiet. The relatively silent operation is definitely one positive perk of this particular model. Other vacuums are much louder, typically with a high-pitched buzzing sound. When you just want to clean up some mess without waking up the entire neighborhood, DeWalt DCV581H makes a nice solution.

The suction power of DeWalt DCV581H is adequate. It can pick up dust and debris just fine. You can use this unit as a portable dust collector, and the included hose accessory will make it really handy for that purpose. The HEPA filter is rated to have 99.97% efficiency in capturing 0.3-micron particles. It does an excellent job in capturing fine particles and allergens.

However, the suction of DeWalt DCV581H is not strong enough for heavy-duty cleaning tasks. For example, it is not really good for cleaning a low-pile carpet surface. It can certainly pick up the dust on the surface, but it won’t capture the deeply embedded dirt and tangled hair.

DeWalt DCV517B is attractive because it is much easier to handle than a 16-gallon shop vac. However, portability often comes with a trade-off on suction power, and this also happens here. DeWalt DCV517B isn’t really powerful.

Well, to be fair, DeWalt DCV517B is never designed for heavy tasks. It is only designed for light works, such as picking up dust on your desk, drawers, window frames, and couches. And, for such purpose, it works very well. The compact and lightweight design makes it very easy to navigate. You can easily aim it to target narrow crevices and difficult spots.

Using a long hose attachment is not recommended for DeWalt DCV517B, as it will reduce the suction power even more. Nevertheless, just like the sibling, this model is not too noisy when working. So, this is also a nice option when you want to perform a light cleaning task without waking up your family early in the morning.

Power Cord and Battery
Last but not least, one difference between DeWalt DCV581H and DeWalt DCV517B is how you can power up these portable vacuums. DeWalt DCV581H is generally better because it is more flexible and versatile in this aspect than DeWalt DCV517B.

DeWalt DCV581H is indeed compatible with the 20V MAX batteries. The company offers a wide range of capacity options. There are 1.5AH, 2.0AH, 3.0AH, 4.0AH, 5.0AH, and 6.0AH batteries available. If you want the longest battery life, just choose the battery with the largest capacity. As a note, a 2.0AH battery can operate continuously for about 12 minutes, whereas a 5.0AH battery can operate continuously for about 35 minutes.

However, DeWalt DCV581H can also be operated with AC power. It has a 5-ft power cord, which is long enough to allow some mobility. So, when you don’t want to use a battery, you can resort to the power cord.

DeWalt DCV517B can only work with a battery, as it does not have any power cord. It is compatible with all 20V MAX batteries, but most users recommend using at least a 4.0AH battery to allow complete operation from start to finish without any interruption.

DeWalt DCV581H vs DCV517B

- Can operate corded with an AC outlet, or cordless by an 18v or 20v MAX battery
- HEPA Rated filter traps up to 99.97% efficiency
- Washable/reusable filter;2-Gallon tank capacity
- Crush-resistant 5ft hose.Heavy-duty, crush-resistant, fully-integrated 5' (by 1-1/4" diameter) hose provides durability, flexibility and ease-of-use
- On-board storage for easy transport
- A HEPA wet/dry filter traps 99.97% of dust at 0.3 microns
- Washable filter can be cleaned with a tap water rinse
- Dual clean-up modes with either the front utility nozzle or with an extendable heavy duty rubber hose
- 1/2 gallon tank capacity is easy to empty and clean
- Powered by a 20V Max* DEWALT battery for long run-time (Battery sold separately)

Between these two models, DeWalt DCV581H is more recommended. It comes with useful accessories, and it has a much larger water tank. It also has better suction power, although it is also not suitable for heavy-duty tasks. It can be operated with AC power or a battery.

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