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Thread Number: 34015  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Modern well-rounded vacuums - What to like?
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Post# 368752   3/20/2017 at 07:23 by tseg (World Traveller)        

I'm new to this site but have immersed myself in vacuum offerings the past few months after I set out to replace my failing Dyson DC14. I've come to the conclusion there are only 2 things one needs in a vacuum:

1. Cleans what one wants it to clean
2. One loves their vacuum and enjoys cleaning with it

Of course each of these criteria have many arms and legs. One needs to assess and know what they really want to clean which influences what design and attachments are optimal. Also, one needs to enjoy their vacuum because one of the better ways to clean is by actually using one's vacuum.

It was not until I started my research that I realized there were a lot of spots in my home I had neglected cleaning for a long time... my world of what I needed to clean expanded dramatically. Also, for the first time, I thought to do a critical assessment of the surfaces in my house to be cleaned and what were the appropriate tools to do that cleaning. From there I was able to narrow the list of machines that I thought could effectively accomplish mission 1: clean my surfaces competently I want cleaned.

I then also learned about a balanced vacuum offer. There are long lists of features to consider, and as with anything a hobbyist/geek/aficionado may collect, the most refined solution does many things well. Any vacuum (or other collectible) can be the best at one thing, but frequently to the detriment of all else. An optimized solution typically can deliver a much more pleasurable all-around solution. The hard truth I arrived at is (mission 2) if I enjoy my equipment I'll use it more. If I use it more my house will likely stay cleaner over time and at any given moment.

My conclusion are there are a lot of vacuums that can accomplish the task of sucking up debris and particles well (and many not-so-well) and the list narrows from there machines that have the necessary design/attachments to suck on more unique and hard to reach surfaces. However, it is the non-cleaning aspect of a machine that drives that 'balanced' solution that separates the wheat from the chaff... that determines the "refinement" of the machine and makes it lovable. Just like I'm not a fan of professional movie critics, I tend to take all professional 'reviews' with a grain of salt... and forum comments with 2 grains of salt. With the internet one can now read feedback from many many actual users that use a machine beyond an initial test and really understand the machine's nuances. As an example, I always find it interesting when 50 people characterize a particular machine as 'light' and then 2 call the same machine 'heavy'. Collecting/assessing Big Data from actual users is very helpful in assessing what one may actually experience. Another example is a lot of 'experts' pooh-pooh turbo-brushes... even for low-pile carpets it is referred to as a compromise. At the same time I looked at hundreds of user reviews across several countries of a particular turbo-head and see 90%+ giving 5-stars and <2% giving it 1 star, critiquing it does not work well on thick, high-pile carpeting - no kidding. Anyway here is my summary of some key refinement considerations to make a machine loveable and usable:
- Relatively light weight
- Durable
- Quality materials
- Tight fit and finish
- Easy to maintain
- Good lighting
- Serviceable / good warranty
- Simple to use and ergonomic
- Price

... etc....

Ultimately, I ended up getting a Miele C3 Alize + Turbo brush + Mini-Turbo Brush to clean my house with wood floors, Berber carpet w/ carpeted stairs and Persian rugs after balancing all considerations. I'm feeling really good with my decision. After over a month of use the whole package has worked outstanding for me. I love this vacuum combo.

Post# 368762 , Reply# 1   3/20/2017 at 09:27 by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        

turbo500's profile picture
It sounds like you made a good decision - a cylinder/canister vac with a powerhead is always a good option for homes with multiple floortypes.

Personally, and I'm not sure how things are in the US at the moment, but the vacuum market is very stale currently. Once upon a time, you could spend any amount of money on a vacuum and it would clean relatively well, but now there's so much rubbish on the market that it's becoming increasingly more difficult to find a decent cleaner.

And the criteria isn't the same as it used to be either, with various brands now having different ranges sold under the same name but completely different cleaners - some good and some are terrible. It's not as black and white anymore as "X brand is good, Y brand isn't"

Post# 368763 , Reply# 2   3/20/2017 at 09:48 by tseg (World Traveller)        

I suppose many vacuum brands have not only stretched capability over the years but competency as well in the name of differentiating price points/internal costs. How clean is clean? On the high end I've seen HEPA claims differentiation between 99.0% vs. 99.7% effectiveness. Is that extra .7% going to get me to the promised land? On the low end things to consider are does it pick up hair? sand embedded in carpet? what % of sand embedded in carpet? And will it last 1 year? 2 years? 7 years? 20 years?

My basic observation is in the world of vacuums there is a price point and a functionality capability that spans the gamut... of course sometimes (many times?) price does not = capability. The trick is optimizing both and that takes as much, if not more effort than assessing a new automobile purchase if one wants to do it effectively (of course some vacuums can cost nearly as much as a car). I suppose this is one reason vacuum obsession is possible... if it is straight forward and clear cut it would be very easy to lose interest.

Post# 368764 , Reply# 3   3/20/2017 at 09:49 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

sebo4me's profile picture
They are spoilt for choice in the US, over here if you want a bagged upright you have the choice of a Sebo or a Sebo.
Plenty of bagless uprights.

As for cylinders there's still Sebo and Miele and and a few others such as AEG and Bosch. I've not found a bagless cylinder I like yet.

Post# 368765 , Reply# 4   3/20/2017 at 10:16 by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        

turbo500's profile picture
I wouldn't even say it's about bagged vs. bagless, it's more about quality and efficiency. Vacuums are cheaper than ever to buy new now and the majority of the public seem to expect this. Prices haven't changed much. To use my mother as an example, she doesn't ever want to spend more than 100 on a vacuum because "she's never needed to" but what she seems to forget is that 100 30 years ago was a lot more than 100 is now and as a result, the quality is lower.

Post# 368766 , Reply# 5   3/20/2017 at 10:25 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

sebo4me's profile picture
For sure the quality is lower with most vacs being cheaply made in the China but you can still pick up a Sebo E series or Miele C3 for a very reasonable price and they will last many years if looked after.Both excellent machines.

But you're right there is so much crap out there today and I fear it's only going to get worse!

Post# 368771 , Reply# 6   3/20/2017 at 10:49 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

sebo4me's profile picture
Although vacuums sold in the EU (which won't apply to us when we leave) will still have to reach certain standard for soil removal on carpets and floors, filtration ,energy and I think the motor will have to last at least 500 hours so that's something.
Btw the testing is done in one of 4 designated testing factories and the manufacturer is not allowed to be present.
I spoke to theD of Kirby and he told me they sent an Avalir to be tested and they weren't happy with the results so they pulled out. He said the results were worse than a Sebo which he said was ridiculous and they hadn't set up the cleaner correctly.

Post# 368772 , Reply# 7   3/20/2017 at 10:50 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

sebo4me's profile picture
5000 hours I meant :-)

Post# 368773 , Reply# 8   3/20/2017 at 10:55 by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        
testing is done in one of 4 designated testing factories

turbo500's profile picture
That's new! When the testing first came in, it was down to the manufacturer to carry out.

I fully support the wattage cap, but the ratings are ridiculous and the fact that the Kirby crashed and burned in testing just goes to show you that these lab settings and test criteria don't reflect how people use these cleaners in their home or the types of cleaning tasks they're carrying out

Post# 368776 , Reply# 9   3/20/2017 at 11:07 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

sebo4me's profile picture
This is what the MD of Kirby told me so I guess it must be correct but I totally agree with you. The carpet test is a mockery but the other tests are quite accurate I'd say

Post# 368777 , Reply# 10   3/20/2017 at 11:19 by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        

turbo500's profile picture
I wouldn't have said the hard floor test was particularly accurate either. Lets not forget that a Vax upright with no brushroll on/off controls got a higher rating on hard floors than a straight suction Henry - we both know which is better on hard floors.

Post# 368779 , Reply# 11   3/20/2017 at 11:29 by tseg (World Traveller)        

I would rather "the invisible hand" determine which vacuums work effectively. They aren't drugs, for crying out loud.

Wattage maxes are also a double edged sword... need to consider complete life cycle. If wattage is reduced to the point one must vacuum twice as long for the same result (or not even achieving the desired result), so similar energy is consumed yet vacuums get used up twice as fast, how far ahead are we really. Look what happened with the world saving promotion of ethanol decades ago, only to find out when the full life cycle was considered the whole process actually consumed significant more energy.

Post# 368780 , Reply# 12   3/20/2017 at 11:30 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

sebo4me's profile picture
Well that is incompetence then because it shouldn't be too difficult to do an accurate test on hard floors I wouldn't have thought. They are going to have to improve the standard of testing because this year the new regulations come in and if they don't meet a certain standard they won't be able to sell them in the EU and the standard is getting tougher.

Post# 368781 , Reply# 13   3/20/2017 at 11:32 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

sebo4me's profile picture
Good point world traveller 😁

Post# 368839 , Reply# 14   3/21/2017 at 08:58 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
If I had to use

A new machine....which I don't...I would have a Sebo Airbelt or some type of Miele, one new vacuum I WOULD like to have is a Henry....But try and FIND one!!!!

Post# 368848 , Reply# 15   3/21/2017 at 13:58 by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        
You can find a Henry here In the states

It will just cost you your left one. One website wants $679 for a 110v Henry.

Post# 368849 , Reply# 16   3/21/2017 at 14:07 by singingrainbow (Texas)        

Henry vacuums are available for much less on amazon.

Post# 369257 , Reply# 17   3/26/2017 at 13:08 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
getting a henry

E vvacuum store has Henry on sale right now if you want to get one. This does not have a power nozzle though so it would not clean carpets well unless you pair it up with something like the volt power head.


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