Thread Number: 35803  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Huge airflow differences in the recent vacuums
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Post# 384285   1/15/2018 at 04:07 by Mike811 (Finland)        

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So I have been testing my vacuum cleaners airflow performance since I got my airflow meter.
Turns out to be, that differences are very dramatic.
Most commonly the bagged vacuums have much more airflow than the bagless vacuums. I had to find out why.
Turns out that the cyclone system eats huge amount of airflow. You can see it when I test the Dyson DC40 cyclone system in the video.
This is almost upsetting, because the Dyson cyclones work extremely well.
Also Shark has low airflow, but not low as the Dyson and the motor is smaller.

Miele C3 has huge airflow and the Sebo Felix with the EU 700w motor is also good.
I just wanted to share some of my thoughts.

Post# 384286 , Reply# 1   1/15/2018 at 06:15 by Tseg (World Traveller)        

Interesting. It makes one wonder what the airflow curve looks like for cleaning effectiveness as at some point there is a law of diminishing return. Yesterday we finally got the last of our (significant) Christmas materials put away and I had a field day vacuuming all the tiny bits that broke and fell off from various ornaments and decor. Some were small but heavy and my C3 sucked them up sounding like full velocity musket balls moving through the hose into the bag. Massive velocity through a long hose. My wife still hates a cannister vac due to maneuverability clunkiness and having to decide what attachment to use where (so basically only I use it) but its ability to place suction and airflow in tight spots easily and then move debris feet away into the cannister is impressive.

Post# 384289 , Reply# 2   1/15/2018 at 08:42 by blackheart (North Dakota)        

What's the wattage on your Miele C3? I've never seen one pull a 10, mine pulls a 7.5.

The last test with the cyclone was very interesting A loss of about 35 cfm by attaching it.

Post# 384290 , Reply# 3   1/15/2018 at 09:13 by Mike811 (Finland)        
Miele C3 should have 1200 watt motor

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Sticker in the bottom says 1600 watts, but the guy who sold it to me said that he swapped the motor. Now it should be 1200 watts according what he said. I guess it's possible to pull 10. For some reason now it pulls 9.
Dyson DC40 (1100 watts) had a hard time pulling just a 1.
Straight from the motor without the cyclones it pulls 8.
Old school Lux Royal D790 (1150w, longer 8.2ft hose) from the mid 90īs pulls 7,5 and with the Dyson cyclones it pulls 2. Not very efficient motor in the Dyson obviously.
My mid 90's Nilfisk GM80 with the 1100 watt motor and extra long 8.2ft hose pulls almost 9.
Here is all of my airflow and suction measurements:

Post# 384292 , Reply# 4   1/15/2018 at 09:52 by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
Mike, Way back in June of 2017

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I sent you a link for an inexpensive EU type power meter.

I've seen manufacturer's ratings be hilariously off.


Post# 384293 , Reply# 5   1/15/2018 at 09:56 by blackheart (North Dakota)        

We have 1200w motors here...Very odd.

Oh i was calculating for 7.5 to 2.5 the difference would be slightly greater than guessed.

Post# 384304 , Reply# 6   1/15/2018 at 14:18 by royalfan (Chicago)        

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Glad you're testing these. Though this is not new information of course Cyclones eat air flow that's how they work. By restricting airflow the dirt separates.
If you have a vacuum gauge that also varies greatly between putting it on the motor and after the cyclone.

Post# 384331 , Reply# 7   1/16/2018 at 02:07 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

We also have 15A 1800W motors-my Tornado "Task Forece" W/D vacuum has such a motor.My new VitaMix "Quiet One" blender has a 15A 1800W motor!

Post# 384338 , Reply# 8   1/16/2018 at 07:40 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I have one of the

Baird meters, the only canisters that will pull the indicator all the way back are the Apex Strato Cleaner, Westinghouse from 1959 and the Sunbeam Dual Deluxe....all are SINGLE FAN MOTORS!

Post# 384352 , Reply# 9   1/16/2018 at 15:13 by markhenry (USA)        

So the Miele is gonna clean better than all of them?


Post# 384365 , Reply# 10   1/16/2018 at 21:05 by jade_angel (Newport News, VA)        

All else being equal, yes - but all else rarely is equal. That said, Mieles have good power nozzles, so they do clean very well. Are they on par with Kirby or Royal for carpets? Probably not, but then, not much is. (Being a canister, the Miele is extremely versatile, of course.)

Post# 384369 , Reply# 11   1/16/2018 at 22:03 by markhenry (USA)        

JageAngel - that is true in theory.

Here is an example of what I mean...

Dishwashers... we ended up with one for free that it's normal price is around $600... I wanted to buy a Miele dishwasher for $2000 because "It is so much better"... but truth is... my dishes come out clean with the $600 one. So 2k on a Miele wouldn't have made it cleaner as it is 100% clean already.

I believe if you vacuum 2+ times per week, then you don't allow dirt/dust to build up in the home to the point where you need a "Kirby" type power vacuum. So long as you clean regularly, clean is clean. From this perspective, I don't think the Kirby does clean 'better'.

Post# 384382 , Reply# 12   1/17/2018 at 07:46 by jade_angel (Newport News, VA)        
On the need for high-powered vacuums

That's a fair point, and yeah, I think if you're assiduous about it, you can get away with a fair bit less oomph, as long as the vac you're using gets enough of the kind of dirt you actually have. See some of VacLab's tests on Youtube, for example - there are some vacs that do better on one kind of dirt than on others.

In my case, I have cats and I also have a lot of sand that gets tracked in, so there's a lot of both fur and heavy grit - something like a Dyson would not do very well on my carpets. The previous tenants had something that groomed the surface pretty well, but the first time I ran a more powerful vac over it (a Filter Queen, in this case), I pulled out a ton of sand. It wasn't until I'd vacuumed every other day for about a month, first with the FQ and then with a Kirby, that I stopped getting tons of grit.

I've also found that cat fur, unlike dog fur, weaves itself deep into the carpet if you don't get it right away, and takes some more oomph to get out: the FQ's power nozzle doesn't do a great job on it. However, my Kirby, Royal and both Simplicity machines (a Verve canister and a Freedom upright; I sold my 6970) get it without much fuss.

So yeah, you don't necessarily need the maximum power every time, but you do need a machine that gets enough of the dirt to stay ahead of it. Good mid-priced machines - Carpet Pro uprights, Riccar/Simplicity entry-level stuff, etc - do that well enough in general. I'm not totally convinced that most of the bagless Wal-Mart specials do, though. (There are a few bagged ones that clean well, but mostly lose on filtration, noise and durability.)

Post# 384392 , Reply# 13   1/17/2018 at 16:18 by markhenry (USA)        

JadeAngel -

Yes that is what I thought... if you get a cheap vacuum, you can vacuum all day every day and never get the stuff out, which means it is not a sufficient vacuum to do the job needed full stop... but as long as you got a decent vacuum, and do it regularly... each time you vacuum you get a 'bit more out' next day 'a bit more out' and eventually 1-2 months like you said, you end up getting it all out.

Now a Kirby and others with THAT much airflow, would have gotten it out much sooner... so yes they do 'clean better' in that regard... but after 2 months, (perhaps took longer with a less powerful machine that was adequate enough to do something) you end up with clean as well. So from this 2 month point (as example) both the most powerful vacuum and a regular vacuum are cleaning the same as nothing is building up for it to go backwards (getting dirty again).

Its kinda like $3000 will give you clean right now. $800 will give you clean in 1 month...

After that, it doesn't matter which one you use as it is 'clean'. For me $ price... the 1 month sounds good enough lol

I still think the best solution is wooden floors/tiles. Then you can use the cheapest vacuum for $50 and get the job done that a $3000 kirby would do. I mean a brush and pan would do the job properly cause there is no surface for the dust to get locked into.

It is kinda like... the more carpet (thick) you got, the more powerful a machine you need which means more $$$ needed. So no carpet and no machine needed (so to speak)

Post# 384403 , Reply# 14   1/17/2018 at 19:54 by Mike811 (Finland)        
Airflow difference in real life

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So what the airflow means in the practice?
For me it's the ability to vacuum faster, vacuum picks up more far away from the nozzle, deeper clean carpets and overall making vacuuming more pleasant experience. No need to try place the nozzle very near the dirt. This is my personal experience.
About the Miele C3 motor. It well might be very high wattage. Most powerful motors what we had in the EU were 2200 watts. I should get the power meter so I can find out.
Here is one video comparing the 100 cfm Lux Royal D790 vs 55 cfm Dyson DC40. Airflow difference is clearly visible.

Post# 384408 , Reply# 15   1/17/2018 at 21:27 by markhenry (USA)        

Mike811 -

I am about to go out and buy a Miele C3 myself.

(outside of US) they have the 2000w Motors (like cat and dog) in the electro brush models (the ones with LED Lights etc)...

The best one with turbo brush comes with the 1200w motor...

Is there an 'actual' difference?

I read somewhere people claim the 1200w motor has 20% more airflow than the 2000w motor as its the newer design...

I on other hand think its more like cars... more efficient to run 1200w than 2000w (modern cars over v8s)

From what I understood from Miele... the only reason the 1200w motor cleans 'as good' as the 2000w motor is because they redesigned the head. The head gives it 20% better airflow. That way the 1200w motor 'performs' as good as the 2000w.

However, the electric brush models at 2000w come with that better head that gives 20% more... so I assume the 2000w with that head will still be more than the 1200w ?

Would be interesting to see if there is a way for you to test that (2000w over the 1200w) ?

Post# 384422 , Reply# 16   1/18/2018 at 08:01 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I can't imagine we have a 2000 watt model here, with our voltage

Post# 384426 , Reply# 17   1/18/2018 at 08:29 by jade_angel (Newport News, VA)        

Yeah, 2000W on 120V is 16.6 amps. 20-amp circuits aren't rare, but in a typical home, most of the circuits aren't wired for 20A, and IIRC there are regulations about appliances not generally being designed to draw more than 13A. (Exceptions abound, of course, but they're typically well-known; I don't know the laws on that.)

You could easily find a 2000W motor in a central vac, but not likely in a portable one.

Post# 384433 , Reply# 18   1/18/2018 at 13:42 by Vacfan1982 (Cardiff)        

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Could someone tell me how a Shark which has low air flow gets a Silver award from CRI I and Metal Royal with very high airflow also gets a silver award?

Post# 384492 , Reply# 19   1/19/2018 at 07:28 by jade_angel (Newport News, VA)        

The Sharks do have decent agitation, which covers a lot of ills. But then, so do Royals. When I looked, the only metal Royals listed were rated Gold. I'd bet the shake-out bag versions got silver for filtration (which the Sharks do OK on, while the filters last).

Post# 384494 , Reply# 20   1/19/2018 at 07:55 by Vacfan1982 (Cardiff)        

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The commercial Royals get a Gold but the retail Royal had a silver at least the last time I looked it did.

I would have thought if you have strong agitation you will need lots of airflow to get the dirt into the bag?

Post# 384504 , Reply# 21   1/19/2018 at 12:29 by jade_angel (Newport News, VA)        

The more airflow the better in general, but if you can shake the dirt to the surface, whatever airflow you have will get more of it - this is why good agitation "covers" poor airflow to a point. (To a point - nothing beats airflow for moving fine dust).

Post# 384505 , Reply# 22   1/19/2018 at 12:33 by Vacfan1982 (Cardiff)        

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I see. What I was thinking was if the agitation was strong and the airflow weak a lot of the dirt would become airbourne before it's pulled into the cleaner.

Post# 384506 , Reply# 23   1/19/2018 at 13:04 by jade_angel (Newport News, VA)        

Some might, but most of what's getting bounced out of the rug is directly under or next to the brush roll, which is under the suction channel - so most of it either gets sucked up, or falls back into the rug rather than getting kicked into the air. (Though this is part of why the brush roll is on the front of the nozzle, rather than the back.)

Post# 384507 , Reply# 24   1/19/2018 at 13:11 by Vacfan1982 (Cardiff)        

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That would explain why some vacs with low airflow get good ratings then 😁

Post# 384560 , Reply# 25   1/20/2018 at 10:30 by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        

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The Metal Royals have some of the best airflow and agitation of all upright vacuum cleaners. Now that these Royals have cloth HEPA bags available just like Kirby's, they now Join the Kirby at the top of CRI's ratings with well deserved GOLD status.



Post# 384582 , Reply# 26   1/20/2018 at 23:29 by Mike811 (Finland)        
Shark cleaning well?

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I am not huge Shark fan, but I have to say that they clean well for what they are. For example my Shark NV500 did the flour under the carpet test surprisingly well. Now why if the airflow is bad? Small nozzle has good airflow density (cfm per square inch). Also the brushroll is agressive greating a good agitation. In certain carpets the brushroll pulls the vacuum forward.
Here is one video of the Kirby G6 vs Nilfisk GM80 vs Shark NV500. Nilfisk airflow 106 cfm and Shark 65 cfm from the hose end. Kirby is WAY over 100 cfm.

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