If you’re looking for the best Milwaukee vacuum to use for car cleaning, you can trust the Milwaukee 0880-20 to get the job done. Our team was impressed with this cordless wet/dry vacuum because of its elegant design and strong suction power, especially for a battery-powered model.
In our review of the best car vacuums, we named the Milwaukee 0880-20 the best cordless vacuum. While we believe this vacuum is excellent both around the home and for DIY projects. Depending on what you need it for, there may be cheaper alternatives better suited to your needs. Learn more to decide if the Milwaukee 0880-20 is right for you.
Milwaukee 0880-20 Overview And Features
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Power: 18.0 volts
- Tank Capacity: 2.0 gallons
- Power Source: Rechargeable 18.0-volt lithium-ion battery (sold separately)
- Wet or Dry: Both
- Cost: Around $170
What’s In The Box?
The Milwaukee 0880-20 comes with the following accessories:
- Crevice nozzle
- Wide nozzle
- Flexible hose tube
Noticeably not included are the required 18V battery and battery charger. If you own a set of Milwaukee power tools, you may already have the battery and charger, as the battery is compatible across Milwaukee’s line of products. If you don’t already own the battery and charger, this can set you back another $80.
Milwaukee 0880-20 Testing Process
We subjected the Milwaukee 0880-20 to a range of tests to determine whether it’s a good car vacuum. Our testing was designed to measure its performance across several categories that we believe are important in a car vacuum.
- Suction Power: Suction strength is one of a vacuum’s most valuable traits. While you need only a little suction to pick up dirt and crumbs, only a high-powered vacuum can remove deeply embedded animal fur. We tested the Milwaukee 0880-20’s ability to remove chips, glitter, and dog hair from a cloth floor mat.
- Maneuverability: A good car vacuum should be easy to maneuver through your vehicle so you can reach every nook and cranny. We put the Milwaukee 0880-20 to a practical test by cleaning a sedan front to back.
- Ease of Maintenance: You must eventually clean and empty every vacuum. We serviced the Milwaukee 0880-20 after use and rated it based on how easy it was to disassemble and clean. Maintenance also includes storage, so we evaluated the Milwaukee 0880-20 based on whether the vacuum stores well and offers adequate accessory storage.
- Versatility: We used the Milwaukee 0880-20 to pick up three types of debris – chip crumbs, pet fur, and glitter. We also used it in different parts of a car to assess its versatility on various surfaces, including rubber floor mats, fabric floor mats, seats, and the center console.
What We Like About The Milwaukee 0880-20
The Milwaukee 0880-20 has ample suction power and is easy to maneuver. The elegant design makes this vacuum easy to store and maintain. The Milwaukee 0880-20 also scores high marks for versatility since you can use it for wet or dry vacuuming and it features a blower function.
Overall, this is a well-rounded vacuum that combines the power of corded models with the maneuverability of a handheld vacuum.
Suction Power: 4 out of 5
While this vacuum doesn’t have quite the suction strength of corded models, it performs much better than an inexpensive 12-volt vacuum. It has a max airflow of 45.0 cubic feet per minute (CFM). The Milwaukee 0880-20 managed to pick up crumbs and glitter easily and passed the toughest test – embedded pet fur.
Maneuverability: 4 out of 5
At just over 2.0 pounds, this vacuum easily fits inside your car and is holdable with one arm. The only downside to maneuverability is the short vacuum hose length. This can make it difficult to reach deep under the seats.
Ease of Maintenance: 5 out of 5
When folded up, the Milwaukee 0880-20 takes up very little space and can easily fit in your trunk or back seat. Clips on the side of the vacuum provide access to the top chamber, which stores the hose, attachments, and battery. Debris accumulates in the bottom chamber, which you can access by another set of clips lower on the vacuum.
This was one of our favorite vacuums because of the elegant and simple design – the accessories perfectly fit into their slots. However, the Milwaukee 0880-20 doesn’t have a vacuum bag, which can make cleaning out the collection canister more of a chore.
Versatility: 5 out of 5
This is a versatile vacuum that you can keep in your car or store in your home or workshop. It doesn’t come with many attachments, but the Milwaukee 0880-20 has the most important accessories for car cleaning – a wide nozzle and a crevice tool. An extension hose could improve this vacuum’s ability to clean out a car, but it wouldn’t fit easily in the box.
What We Don’t Like About The Milwaukee 0880-20
Perhaps the biggest issue with the Milwaukee 0880-20 is that it doesn’t include the necessary battery and charger. The required 18V lithium-ion battery isn’t cheap. For a lower cost, you can purchase a more powerful corded vacuum. However, this type of vacuum is less portable than the Milwaukee 0880-20.
A potential downside to this vacuum is the battery life, which has around 40 minutes of run time. For most people, this is more than enough time to clean up your entire car, but if you clean multiple vehicles or forget to charge the battery, you may have to wait.
Milwaukee 0880-20 Reviews
Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on over 500 ratings
The product gets 4 or more stars from 94 percent of reviewers. This vacuum has far more reviews on HomeDepot.com, where it has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 from over 2,000 reviews.
Positive Milwaukee 0880-20 Reviews
Satisfied customers on Amazon tend to appreciate a lot of the same qualities of the Milwaukee 0880-20 that we do. Reviews frequently mention portability and good suction power for a battery-powered vac.
“Everything is 100 percent better than [they] advertised.”
– Mike B. via Amazon
“This is exactly what is needed. It’s easy to manage, lightweight, and does a great job.”
– Maurice D. via Amazon
Negative Milwaukee 0880-20 Reviews
Not everyone is pleased with this vacuum, of course. One customer says their latches broke, and another claims the battery malfunctioned.
“[The] battery connector broke after a few times of using! [I] sent it in for warranty, and they wanted to charge me $75 to fix it. Not worth buying.”
– Pedro via HomeDepot.com
“I bought this vac because I already had the m18 battery system with various tools. Ater a year or so, it didn’t work anymore. … I went back and got a second [battery, which] only lasted about two months, and it went dead again.”
– Jose via HomeDepot.com
Our Take On The Milwaukee 0880-20: 4.5 Stars
The Milwaukee 0880-20 is a battery-powered vacuum with decent suction, and it’s easy to store and maintain. This vacuum is a bit expensive, especially if you need to purchase the required battery. While some customers complain about poor battery quality, the vacuum has overall high customer ratings.
|Our Rating||4.5 out of 5|
|Ease of Maintenance||5|
Buy this product if you need an easy-to-maintain car vacuum capable of portable wet and dry applications. If you have a pet and need to remove pet hair, this vacuum can get the job done. We don’t recommend that you buy the Milwaukee 0880-20 if you’re on a budget or portability isn’t important to you. You can get a more versatile and higher-powered corded vacuum for around the same price.
If you’re looking for something cheaper for smaller messes, consider the ThisWorx 12V. If you need something with more suction power (such as a shop vac) or prefer a vacuum that doesn’t require charging a battery, check out the DeWalt DXV08S.
Why You Can Trust Us
Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. A team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.
We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.
Milwaukee 0880-20: FAQ
*Data accurate at time of publication.