How to choose between a domestic and commercial gutter vac

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You have likely seen videos showing the impressive power of small gutter vacuums. If you are in the market for a gutter vac you may be asking yourself whether a domestic gutter vac be powerful enough? Or is it worth it, or necessary, to spend the extra and buy a commercial gutter vac?

I’m going to talk you through it with the Panther and the Predator from GVS, and help you decide which one is the right one for you.

Fed up of reading? You can watch my review here!

Designed for different jobs

These are both fantastic machines that I rate very highly, but they are designed for different things. It is like comparing a Ford Fiesta with a Transit van. Both are great for certain things, but they are not identical.

Are you looking to occasionally take some rubbish to the tip? Or are you transporting goods every day? Will gutter cleaning be an add-on that you do occasionally, or will it be a key part of your business? Are you looking to do mostly residential jobs or are you trying to do large commercial projects?

GVS Panther gutter vac

The Panther is the baby of the GVS range, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking power. It has a 1400w motor as standard with an option for a 1700w motor, 51mm hose and a massive 72mm side inlet. It weighs in at just 12kg and is compact, meaning for many people it can just be left in the van permanently.

This is great for residential work, regular two-storey and occasional three-storey gutter cleans.

The portability makes it easy to actually lift up onto flat roofs for access, the 37-litre drum should be enough for most residential gutters, and at just 60 dB you won’t be disturbing the entire neighbourhood.

The Panther is very well designed and made, but it is mostly made from plastic, whereas the industrial vac has more durable metal components.

When you need to empty it, you pick up the whole frame and tip it upside down. There is no pivot point on the Panther.

GVS Predator gutter vac

The Predator is a beast with 3 x 1200w motors providing a massive 3600w of power. This is as much as you can run from a normal electric circuit, and they sell a heavy-duty extension lead with thermal cut off that can help make sure it’s safe when being used.

You can, of course, just activate one or two of the motors to run it at 1200w or 2400w if needed.

It is very easy to move around on its castors and trolley. With its massive 76 litre drum you can suck a lot of gutters without having to empty it. When you need to empty it, it’s easy because it pivots on its frame.

This is a great machine if you are regularly cleaning large buildings where the extra size drum will be really useful to you. It’s also the machine to go for if you are regularly doing three-storey work or higher.

It is, however, heavier at 27.9kg, and much larger. It may be harder to store, too large to keep permanently in your van, and unsuitable for areas with difficult access.

If you are working where power is not available you will need a much bigger generator to run this vacuum. GVS recommend at least a 5.5 kva generator. This would obviously be more expensive than a generator that you would need to run a smaller vac such as the Panther.

The Predator is made of heavy-duty materials. It is on a solid trolley with large castors and has a metal drum. It will be able to take more abuse without breaking.

My recommendation

I am fortunate enough to own both of these machines and they are both fantastic bits of kit!

Personally, I take the Panther out with me more because most of my work is residential two-storey work and it is easier to load into the van. I haven’t come up against anything that was too tough for it.

If you want to see the range of packages available to buy the Panther you can click here.

If you are doing mostly commercial work the Predator will get it done quicker and can take more abuse from you so it would likely be the better one to go for.

If you are looking for the packages available to buy the Predator you can click here.

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