Bested in power only by the Bosch, this 33-pound stainless-steel R2-D2 look-alike had us hopeful. It creates strong suction, and its filters keep dust out of the air while remaining clog-free. But the junction between the body and hose doesn't lock, and one hard yank detached the latter, sending forth a cloud of dust. Its tiny wheels wobbled a lot, too. [$100; shopvac.com]
Gear of the Year
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