Thread Number: 15897
American vs. Foreign Canisters.
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Post# 169469   2/13/2012 at 22:52 (2,977 days old) by RainbowD4C (Saint Joseph, Michigan )        

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I've noticed something over the last few years when ever I do any kind of research. Canisters from the US and Canada you can find with power nozzles as opposed to those in Europe. Most canisters in Europe most likely come with just a combination floor brush. If you want anything with a carpet brush you almost have to go with an upright. Anyone know why this is?

Post# 169474 , Reply# 1   2/14/2012 at 00:04 (2,977 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

It's cos us europeans (well, if you admit to being one!!) apparently like to have backache with all the scrubbing of carpets you have to do with cylinder vacs, personally I can't be bothered with that and that's why I fitted my Electrolux Slimline Z1185e with a Eureka rotomatic PN, because I couldn't be bothered having to deal with cleaning floors in the way it was designed to, and also why I have a TristarCXL too, cos it's just great... :P

Some mieles and most Sebos have them though, but other manufacturers, haven't a clue really, I guess it just saves money not having to construct electric hoses, additional wiring and a power nozzle... :\

Post# 169476 , Reply# 2   2/14/2012 at 03:23 (2,977 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

The UK is one of the few places in the world to have gone with fitted carpets, and probably the only place in Europe to do so. Therefore, in Europe a cleaner which grooms carpets is not really something of huge importance in that sense. But one only has to look at Markus' pictures and messages to see that many cleaners were available with PN as an optional extra or part of the original purchase on certain models.

In the UK, consumers loved uprights when it came to carpet grooming, and I suppose because of their popularity, there was probably little need to own a cylinder machine which claimed to do the same. UK homes are traditionally rather small and cramped, which means there isn't always that much floor space to clean anyway. Of the cleaners we've had which came with PN, those cleaners were usually large and bulky, and the hoses stiff and unwieldy. In other words, there wasn't the space available to pull one round easily.

I am won't say the Hoover Sensortronic was the first cleaner in the UK with a PN as I know at least one Freedom model had facility for such a thing, and there may have been others, but the Sensortronic is the one I always thing of as it was advertised quite a bit. It was a beast of a cleaner. I disagree strongly that manufactures haven't a clue, I think they knew / know exactly what they are doing and know that cylinders with a PN have been poor sellers. Think also about the cost of these cleaners. For what they sold for in the UK, a consumer could quite literally have bought two cheaper cleaners for the same price, and although I suspect they were never purchased at the same time, a lot of people do seem to have owned an upright and a cylinder cleaner.

Although the cylinders with PN may arguably have the same cleaning performance as an upright, what is often overlooked is that the overall convenience of a small upright cleaner -where one can just plug-in &go and move around easily- is lost with the cylinder cleaners with PN. I would add also that they don't make that great a cylinder either, in my own experience, as the weight of the hose makes tasks like dusting rather daunting and heavy on the arm. Add to that the disconnecting of the mains lead to the PN every time the hose needs to be detached, it does seem to be a lot of bother. Of course, I appreciate fully that more modern cleaners have addressed that last part in a fashion, but the hose and tubes are still bulky.

The suction-driven turbo heads have certainly come into fashion in recent years though. They have been around for a long time but seem to have become the 'norm' for so many cleaners sold here in the last 20 years. But even then, for me nothing grooms a carpet like a good upright cleaner.

Post# 169479 , Reply# 3   2/14/2012 at 05:42 (2,977 days old) by danemodsandy ()        
American for Me

As everyone here knows, I'm a fan of Luxes and TriStars. My experience with a European cleaner was pretty abysmal. It was a Miele White Star my late partner got smooth-talked into buying. It came with a turbo brush that was supposed to be as good as a power nozzle. NOT! It did an extremely poor job of picking up, and it did almost zilch to groom the carpet; you could hardly tell you'd vacuumed. Discussions with the dealer who'd sold this wonder elicted the fact that a true power nozzle was available at an extra cost that would buy a new Kenmore complete with PN. We passed.

Eventually, the Miele was put on eBay, where it did fetch a good price. And I finally found and restored a TriStar CXL, which went through paper bags like crazy for a while, pulling up all the dust the Miele had left behind.

I understand that Mieles are better suited to American conditions now, but I don't think I'd spend the money for one when American vacs that are well-suited to American carpet are more available, and usually cheaper.

Post# 169488 , Reply# 4   2/14/2012 at 07:11 (2,977 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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It's important to remember a bit of history:

The carpet-cleaning upright vacuum cleaner was born in the USA and was developed by the American Hoover company.

The suction only canister was born in Europe and was developed by the Swedish Electrolux company.

There is a larger proportion of large, individual houses in North America compared to Europe, because there is more real estate available here. So our suburban homes often feature larger living rooms and bedrooms and hallways, often covered in wall-to-wall carpeting. It's easier and faster to clean these with an upright than a canister.

Small, powerful canister vacuums are easier to store and carry and move around in the smaller apartments and homes of the cities and towns of Europe.

The attempt to combine the deep carpet cleaning abilities of an upright with the powerful flexibility offered by canisters for cleaning everything else has often met with poor results. The engineering "gymnastics" required to electrically power a canister's power nozzle results in bulky hoses and hose handles, and repair prone electrical connections, besides the often poor cleaning performance by the power nozzle itself. Adding above-the-floor cleaning tools to uprights has its own challenges and downsides: short hoses, on-board tools that are "dumbed down" to keep them lightweight, and hose connection systems that make it difficult or dangerous to move around the main upright unit.

Uprights are for carpets. Canisters are for everything else. And never the "train shall meet" - I say. You can often buy two separate vacs for less money that do each set of tasks better than a combination machine that compromises the ability to clean.

Just my 2 amps worth! :-)

Post# 169499 , Reply# 5   2/14/2012 at 08:29 (2,977 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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As above, although I'd say its the weight issue mainly and I prefer that. Not much point in having excess hose saddled with extra cord, extra weight on the machine, only to have another extra weight at the front - an upright vacuum has everything on board in front of you, weight wise.

You must also remember, the UK is like parts of Europe = France, Germany - we're a much smaller country than the U.S will ever be geographically and here products in general aren't super sized. Therefore our upright vacuums are generally smaller than what you would buy in the U.S

It's one of the reasons alone to why out of the all the U.S brands, only the Kirby vacuum here has been sold - we don't get the Royal uprights here, although some commercial companies in the past have sourced them for the U.K - I recall using a Royal upright only a few years ago and loved the whole concept- but it was huge compared to the Sebo BS36 I was normally used to.

The only successful appliance that has been of a great influence, U.S origin wise are the grand large American style fridge and freezer appliances - and even at that, home owners don't usually measure the size of their front doors or kitchens to accommodate said appliances and end up putting them in their conservatory because it can't get through the front door!

Post# 169524 , Reply# 6   2/14/2012 at 13:58 (2,976 days old) by twocvbloke ()        
"only the Kirby vacuum here has been sold"

Along with Dirt Devil (aka Royal, before TTI took over), Tristar, Rainbow, Filter Queen, Hoover, Sanitaire (as Electrolux), and some others that escape me... :P

So, yeah, only Kirby sold here in the UK, apparently....

Post# 169526 , Reply# 7   2/14/2012 at 15:15 (2,976 days old) by RainbowD4C (Saint Joseph, Michigan )        

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I guess I don't know as much as I thought!!! It was just something that I noticed. I have however seen on the Dyson UK site that the canisters have the air powered brush which I don't really care for but I think the Dyson UK also had the motorhead model still available.

It's something I notice because it's always been my dream to move to Europe Italy, France UK and I guess I just look at the whole big picture when I dream about the idea of moving and it just crossed my mind. Not being a upright peson I naturally look at canisters and it's just something I noticed with the power brushes.

Hope everyone is well.

Post# 169531 , Reply# 8   2/14/2012 at 15:39 (2,976 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Hello again. I've note noticed a Dyson cylinder with PN on sale here recently, and I will admit to only having experienced the DC05 motorhead. To say that I felt it was nowhere near as good as an upright is a huge understatement. As I said earlier, the suction-driven turbo heads have increased in popularity over time, but I think that is because more and more cleaners have had them as a standard accessory. As has been said already, uprights are for carpets and cylinders are really for everything else. This mentality has been lost now, as manufacturers have encouraged people to buy their cleaners without really selling the advantages of each type.

In the absence of tools, my mother used hand brushes with her Hoover upright. The gift of her Electrolux 504 in 1975 put a huge spring in her step, as for the first time ever she had a set of tools. In 1978 she 'dared' to buy an Electrolux 302, which was a fairly basic machine, but it was still very effective and although purchased with the intent of leaving it upstairs (where my parents only had floorboards and rugs) my mother often asked me to bring it downstairs for her to use as she said the suction power on the hose was 'more useful' as she used to say, than that of her Electrolux upright.

Post# 169533 , Reply# 9   2/14/2012 at 16:03 (2,976 days old) by whirlpolf ()        
Brian's (eurekaprice)'s answer covered it pretty wel

It's the surface available, mainly. And some living conditions.

Seen from here (Germany), large carpeted areas have never been a major concern.
After WW2 it was predominant to get rid of dust at all, so any good stick vac/ handheld /canister would do.
50s: Starting the vac business, most firms came up with stick vacs (resembling the broom), Vorwerk had a big influence on that (their tiny handheld didn't make a good appearance in shops, so they took to door-to-door sales)
60s and 70s: More and more fitted carpets were sold. Result: More and more firms came up with "Klopfsauger" (= beater type vacuums, this coming from Hoover's "it sweeps as it beats as it cleans") Still, Hoover was considered the "second choice" and "off the shelf" cheap brand (Vorwerk having introduced its extra power brush for any stick vac being sold)
80s and 90s: Dust allergies, fear of dustmites and all that: Retreat from fitted carpets, still no sufficient square metres (Europe IS and will remain cramped, so many people just kept their machines as they were bought in the first place). Besides: Some homes had fitted carpets now, but they would not lift up during suction, so the industry changed from "Klopfsauger" (beater type vac) to "Bürstsauger" (active brushing vacuum) and the beater bars were gone. Even our language reflects this: the term "Klopfsauger" is gone today.

Upcoming "laminated" (= wannabe wood) flat floors, some throw rugs here and there, still lots of furniture everywhere.
The trailblaze of the swiveling combo nozzle (sweeps around any chair leg, click and you are ready to go for carpets). Follow up in corners (Grooming and deep cleaning being one of the things "to be done some day, ok" = never)

2000s up till today: Europe still cramped and lesser surface than compared to the US, furniture taste swinging back to "minimalistic 60s revival" = flat and blank surfaces, more wood, less fabric = still no full chance of full textile surfaces, let alone fitted carpets all over.
Upcome of the "bagless" ingeniuities and cheapo-vacs (Mr. Dyson and DD zigzag filters). (No money for a PN for THAT price).

Overall: Each time a substantial PN came up, customers would complain about the extra costs for an electic hose or wand (helping them nothing or rarely). So companies took to offering PNs as an extra tool, cable clips included (in case you want to do this extra "to be done job" every once in a while)

ALL manufacturers here offer power nozzles, but all do this as an extra tool (on option), it is hardly ever sold directly (apart from Vorwerk, they do sell it as a standard, an extra motorized unit gives you extra points on your sales score, logically, it is door-to-door business, isn't it?)

Post# 169549 , Reply# 10   2/14/2012 at 17:13 (2,976 days old) by RainbowD4C (Saint Joseph, Michigan )        

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I have always lived in areas with lots of carpet either wall to wall or a variety of different floor types. Even with lots of carpet I have never really been interested in uprights. I have always felt that they were just to heavy and hard to work with. I like having a canister with a good powernozzle which is why I I think I like my Rainbow so much I use my vacuum for everything from dusting the up the walls knocking cobwebs, to cleaning the tracks in the door, to vacuuming floors and rugs and the furniture. I have just found that uprights are to cumbersome to work with with all that I do

For all the times I think about a new vacuum I find myself first trying to look at a upright but then I just constantly go back to looking at canisters.

Post# 169550 , Reply# 11   2/14/2012 at 17:17 (2,976 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Personally, I like just the floor tool with no brush roll.

OK, you have to "scrub" a bit, but it gets your arms working if nothing else.

The reason people love cylinders (canisters) is mostly because they are maintenance free almost, but if you have a PN on them, that makes them maintenance items, because the belt wears on the PN.

Post# 169551 , Reply# 12   2/14/2012 at 17:29 (2,976 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Well my friend, there you go. There are a good deal of people here in the UK who dismiss upright cleaners for all the reasons you do, though I think it is fair to say they would generally go for the sort with a combi tool rather than a PN, be it motorised or suction driven. I will admit to having used cylinders with combi tools many times on carpeted areas, but this was largely due to not having the floor space to move an upright around.

Although I have seen a good deal of turn-over tools and carpet-only tools worn right down on the carpet setting, it was always something of a habit of UK cylinder owners to use the floor brush or combi tool on hard-floor setting on carpets, to assist cleaning performance. I mentioned my mothers two Electrolux cleaners already. Both had a turn-over floor tool with them, the one on the 504 upright being a better quality tool than the one with her 302. Mother always used the tools with brushes down on carpets. She used to use both floor tools, keeping the 504 floor tool downstairs with her 504 and if bringing the 302 downstairs she would use the 504 tools on it. He biggest complaint about both tools was that when going under furniture like beds, turning the tube to the side to allow access meant that air directed to the floor would be directed out the top of the tool too as the cleaning angle left the neck of the tool in a sort of middle position. When I got my shop, I found her a floor tool from a Goblin cylinder, which was designed just for floors. Mother used it on carpets, rugs, walls, floors, you name it. That tool never left that cleaner to the day she died, some 20 years later.

Post# 169552 , Reply# 13   2/14/2012 at 17:29 (2,976 days old) by RainbowD4C (Saint Joseph, Michigan )        

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Belts are just standard upkeep. I just replaced the belt on my Rainbow the other day. I turned the vacuum on and it pretty much took off on me. LOL

Post# 169553 , Reply# 14   2/14/2012 at 17:40 (2,976 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Jmurry hello again. Interesting comment you make about people liking the cylinders as there is no maintenance. I have never heard anyone say that was why they wanted a cylinder. A lot of upright owners who bought their cleaner to me for repair knew nothing of the need to change belts and such. Usually the choice for a cylinder was based on a preference for it's ability to do so many different jobs as fitting tools to so many upright machines was a job in itself. Even those which were easy to attach still had to be stored and moved about separately. Though not perfect, the arrival of upright cleaners with on-board tools did turn quite a few cylinder users over to uprights, according to research at the time.

Though I am not sure how people before say the 1960's initially chose one type or another, I know for a good many years women often bought the same style as their mother had and you could often see whole families using the same sort of cleaner.

Post# 169557 , Reply# 15   2/14/2012 at 17:57 (2,976 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Here's another interesting angle to add to our dicussion:

In Europe, I imagine good carpet cleaning upright vacuum cleaners are needed for large commercial spaces such as large hotel lobbies and concert halls and banquet halls and conference centres.

I fondly remember seeing a documentary film about the British royal family, and watched with wonder as the cleaning crew slowly "Hoovered" nice parallel tracks down some large acres of broadloom at Buckingham Palace! :-)

This is probably one of the main reasons that uprights by Hoover and Kirby are available on the eastern side of the Atlantic.

Post# 169559 , Reply# 16   2/14/2012 at 18:09 (2,976 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Well here in the UK, although there are a good many commercial upright cleaners still available, they are expensive, and certainly in this instance we come to the point Jmurry makes about maintenance. Commercial cylinder cleaners are much less problematic than uprights, and historically are a good deal quieter too, which of course is very important for the both the safety of the employee who needs to hear all of what is going on around of them, and also the comfort of anyone using the building whilst cleaning is taking place.

Here, the Numatic cylinder cleaners (especially the Henry) have really taken the lead since the 1980s. Commercial carpet here is usually stuck-down to the floor too, and is often made from man-made looped fibre. All of this lends itself to cleaning from a suction-only cleaner. However, if whole floor spaces are to be cleaned, I too would expect to see an upright, for conveniences sake. But we rarely do see this.

Post# 169569 , Reply# 17   2/14/2012 at 19:11 (2,976 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Thanks for that explanation, Benny. :-)

On a similar subject, I wonder how popular central vacuum systems are in Europe. These systems would probably provide the most convenient way to clean a multistory British home with lots of stairs. After all, it is in essence a very "long-hosed" canister vac!

But I imagine there is a large proportion of older residential buildings in Europe - with a lot more "flats" rather than separate residences. So perhaps the more traditional architecture of European city residences does not lend itself to the installation of "in-the-wall" vacuum systems.

I recently stayed in a hotel in Montreal, and I was amazed to see the cleaning staff using a central vacuum system to clean the guest rooms. The benefits for a hotel are many - very quiet, and very clean with regard to emissions as the air is filtered way down in the basement where the central power unit is positioned!

Post# 169575 , Reply# 18   2/14/2012 at 20:23 (2,976 days old) by danemodsandy ()        
Um, Not For Me....

"Uprights are for carpets. Canisters are for everything else."

Except for those of us who detest one type or the other. There are canister people, and there are upright people, and while we can all be friends and leave each other to our individual preferences, many people would not consider using an upright when they prefer a canister, or vice versa.

Me, I'm a canister person. I hatehatehateHATE uprights. I mean HATE. Heavy, clunky, unmaneuverable, often won't get under low furniture and are about as convenient as a root canal without anesthesia when it comes to above-the-floor cleaning. Where I live, I see Kirbys in thrifts about three times a month, at very cheap prices (the last was $14). Never even been remotely tempted.

With a canister, above-the-floor is easy. A sleek power nozzle easily gets under the bed. Suction is phenomenal. And the grooming done by a good PN is very good indeed.

I'm glad a lot of you love uprights so much. It leaves that many more canisters for those of us who love those. But please don't try to tell me that an upright is a necessity, because it just isn't.

Post# 169577 , Reply# 19   2/14/2012 at 20:41 (2,976 days old) by RainbowD4C (Saint Joseph, Michigan )        

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It's not that I hate uprights there are a few that I like. I like the older model Panasonic where the hose plugged into the back port I like the Electrolux Aerus upright, Kirby's I can take or leave but I like the older 60's 70's 80's models with the converter tray at the bottom because they worked like a canister.

To me growing up if I saw a upright it was always by older people so to me an upright was a old lady vacuum.

Post# 169597 , Reply# 20   2/15/2012 at 03:01 (2,976 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

I am not 'trying' to tell anyone anything. At my age I can't bother, and certainly not to a group of people who I will never meet. Sorry if you thought this from what I said. My comment about uprights being for carpets and cylinders for everything else was based on a literal overview of both types of cleaner. I did try very hard to make the point that people buy what they like, but clearly that didn't come across.

Post# 169601 , Reply# 21   2/15/2012 at 05:42 (2,976 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Very interesting thread! I'd like to thank whoever created it (I would check, but by the time I scrolled down to the bottom again I'd have forgotten).

I was talking about this to somebody the other day actually, the type of Vacuum Cleaners used by cleaners in schools, offices etc...

In the USA, they all seem to use upright Vacuum Cleaners, mostly Kirbys (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!), but here in the UK, we use our famous Numatic Henry, even though it doesn't have a PN (well, there is one available but every time I've seen one in use it has never had a PN fitted).

I think this may be down to the fact that Kirby is American, and Numatic is British, so we both use "our" brands. Again, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I often am.

Another thing may be that in America the carpets are perhaps of better quality with less hard floored areas, and require the brush roll of an upright, whereas here in the UK most carpets of schools and offices etcetera are very very thin pile carpets for which a brush roll would do no good, and there are a lot of hard floored areas also.

Just my Tuppenceworth.

Post# 169607 , Reply# 22   2/15/2012 at 06:34 (2,976 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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VR - I agree that Henry has really taken the lead. In schools especially, the instant accessibility and for the fact that everything else is on board just makes Henry really convenient as well as other Henry spin offs from commercial private cleaning companies who refurbish Henry machines and put slightly different parts.

As a fan of John Lewis stores, I was not surprised to find a lot of the carpeted areas are kept clean with the Sebo BS36 uprights. You can usually find them somewhere at the back of the stores by the stair exits or just to hand behind the cleaning storage rooms if cleaners have left the doors slightly ajar... Our local hospital also has a line up of old Sebo uprights as well as Henry vacs.

Post# 169608 , Reply# 23   2/15/2012 at 06:35 (2,976 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

In the US for commercial carpet vacuuming-Sanitaires would be first and Orecks.Then Hoover Guardsman vacuums.for canisters-ProTeam backpacks.

Post# 169612 , Reply# 24   2/15/2012 at 06:52 (2,976 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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When you say Oreck, is that the XL based uprights or the commercial uprights that Sebo supply to Oreck?

Post# 169615 , Reply# 25   2/15/2012 at 07:04 (2,976 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Another commercial US canister vac-NSS M1.And commercial Sanitaire Mighty-Mites.

Post# 169616 , Reply# 26   2/15/2012 at 07:06 (2,976 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

The XL based ones.Usually a red body without headlight and the orange 3 wire grounded plug cord.All US commerical vacuums must have 3 wire grounded plug cords to meet US OSHA safety regulations.The metal parts of the vacuum the operator can touch or hold must be grounded.

Post# 169624 , Reply# 27   2/15/2012 at 11:30 (2,975 days old) by Sanifan ()        

I agree that Sanitaire is most often used in US institutional settings. At least that's what I've seen. Nowadays, however, there seems to be a proponderance of Windsor/Sebo type vacs aimed at the commercial market. You know the ones - they are copies of the Windsor Versamatic (dual motor) or XP12. I don't know how deeply these have penetrated the institutional arena here in the US. I understand that quiet uprights, like the Windsor Versamatic or Lindhaus Health Care Pro, are often used in hospitals. Again, though, I haven't personally witnessed anyone vacuuming in a hospital so I can't say. I've seen maid services using Oreck XL's. I think the appeal is their light weight which make them very easy to transport. I'm quite ambivalent to Oreck XL's, myself. I like their weight, but I'm not sure how well they clean. The one I have is kinda loud, too. Caveat is I just got it so it's pretty new to me.

Most office and hospital carpet here in the US is also that low pile, thin, commercial grade carpet. We have some in our apartment building and while it has gotten discolored over the years it is very durable. There's not a lot of loft for dirt and grit to settle into, so it's quick and easy to vacuum.

Speaking of cleaning commercial carpet, I saw a marketing video that Pro Team produced where the cleaning staff at a small college or school switched to Pro Team backpacks. The cleaning staff talked about how they were really hesitant to make the switch, and how difficult is was to adjust to the backpacks. After they got used to it, however, they found that cleaning went a lot faster, with less fatigue. In fact, there was one point where one of the staff said that he didn't have any problems with his wrist any more, like he did when he used the Sanitaire (meaning upright-type vacs). The most surprising part for me was watching him vacuum the hallway. He walked down the hallway with the backpack vac attached to an unpowered rug brush on a long wand. As he walked down the hall, he pivoted left, right, left, right, left, right in quick arcing motions (as if he were cutting rye with a scythe). It was very fast and I wondered how could you possibly clean a carpet by passing over it that quickly with the nozzle? But that's what they did at that school. I couldn't find that video, but I attached a link to one showing the same pivoting motion.

For detail and above floor cleaning I find the red Sanitaire Mighty Mite commercial canister absolutely great. It's light, goes on a shoulderstrap, is very powerful, and is Hepa filter ready. I can't tell you how much easier cleaning moldings, shelves, cabinets, windowsills, baseboard heaters, etc. is after you've removed all the built up dust, dirt, grit, and debris first with the Mighty Mite. You don't have to deal with grungy water during the wipedown, as most of the dust and debris has already been removed. My only complaint is that the vacuum is loud. It has a plastic shell which give very little sound insulation.

Even better, though, for above floor cleaning is a backpack vacuum. OK, if you are just hitting a spot or two it's overkill. But if you're doing a bi-weekly or monthly cleaning of the whole house - hitting the cobwebs, hard stair cases, light fixtures, windowsills, moldgings, baseboards, the top surfaces of shelves, counters, TV's and tables, lamps, etc., a small to medium backpack vacuum is so convenient. Even more so than the Mighty Might. Just strap it on, walk around, and clean.

I've heard a lot of good things about the Numatic Henry and regret they don't sell them in the US. One question I have, though: is there anything special or unique about the Henry? From outward appearances it looks a lot like a $30 utilitarian wet/dry vac. I assume the motor is very powerful. How about noise levels and filtration? Is there anything to recommend it over, let's say, a Tristar CXL?


Post# 169627 , Reply# 28   2/15/2012 at 11:49 (2,975 days old) by Sanifan ()        
Sanitaire 3686

Here's a link to a Sanitaire 3686 video. This one is a grey model, but most of them you'll find are red. I use mine on the shoulderstrap most of the time. I find that the adjustable metal wand heavy and only good for cleaning bare floors. It's too heavy for easy above floor cleaning. For that I use one or two short plastic wands, or just the bare handle, and whatever attachment I need. On the Sanitaire website, it's rated to move 135 CFM, so it's quite powerful. Love it!


Post# 169628 , Reply# 29   2/15/2012 at 11:49 (2,975 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Sanifan - they do sell Numatic Henry models in the States - its just usually restricted to online sales. have them (

The Henry vac was originally founded on plastic barrels with a motor on the top i.e. your usual "Shop Vac" or round canister tub vacuum. The reason they are so good is because they have excellent sealed suction dust bags, large capacities of 7 to 12 litres dependent on the sizes, made of thick and good PVC plastic, good power and low noise motors.

One of the other reasons to why Henry is so successful is simply because he was originally sold with a long 2.5 metre hose over the shorter hose domestic versions and has a manual cord winder (as well as a long cord) on top as opposed to auto pedal or lasso'ing the cord up after use.. Although on board cleaning tools can't be stored on the main body of the vacuum itself, the suction tubes are unique because the top pipe is a metal "bent" tube that allows you to swap that around to the bottom of the tubes to get into awkward areas - but usually incites the use of an extra adaptor to make it work successfully.

Because "he" is commercially based you can buy plenty of spares and accessories for this model, but his main filtration aspect is a washable material "basket" filter with additional HEPA also available. The basket is also double rubber lined to seal the dust in - so effectively you can use the Henry as a bagless vacuum - but it can be very messy!.

A downside to Henry is that he's difficult to store, can't be put on stairs due to his shape (hence the long hose) and can topple over due to his round, squat shape.

Post# 169630 , Reply# 30   2/15/2012 at 11:57 (2,975 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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There's even a pink one called "hetty" if it takes your fancy.

The year Charles and Camilla got together, a good friend I know on another vacuum cleaner forum suggested that a gold and black Numatic limited edition called "Camilla" was about to be launched and even though it was clearly a joke, a lot of people thought it was a serious launch!

Post# 169631 , Reply# 31   2/15/2012 at 12:01 (2,975 days old) by Sanifan ()        
Numatic Henry...

Thanks for the link. Good to know it's available stateside.

Holey Mole! It's a lot more expensive than I thought it would be! $312 on Amazon! It does look like a quality vac, however. I kinda like Hetty, too.

Until I run across a great deal on one, I'll have to stick to my $13 Tristar CXL thriftstore find. Henry's on my list, though.


Post# 169632 , Reply# 32   2/15/2012 at 12:30 (2,975 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
Where do I start with Henry... He's fantastic!

Since his introduction in 1980, things have just gotten better and better.

The bucket is strong, the motor is incredibly quiet and powerful, and hose is 2.5 meters, the flex is VERY VERY long, and the bag is 9 litres.

OK, there is no place to store the tools, nor is there automatic rewind, but honestly, I couldn't care less. He gives so many years of reliable use that I am willing to carry the tools around with me and wind the cord back myself.

Henry - The best canister Vacuum Cleaner around - FACT! :)

My Henry is a 2007 model, and I will bet that in 2027 I'll be back here boasting about my 20 year old Henry that works like new.

Post# 169635 , Reply# 33   2/15/2012 at 13:49 (2,975 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Nah, my Tristar would easily outpace it, and it's already 20 years old... :P

Post# 169643 , Reply# 34   2/15/2012 at 14:12 (2,975 days old) by whirlpolf ()        
Henry quiet? ...nah....

Well, either the one I saw was from outer space or I had a smiley face printed on my contacts. The Henry canister "vessel" or "bucket type" vacuum that was shown to me here would scream the place down like any other commutator-motor type vac without any sound insulation.
The hose length was average (marketwise) as well. Nice face anyway ;-)

Tristar! Yes, anytime! Unfortunately Tristars come in 120 volts only, so a jump to their Italian makeovers (Ghibli's Vortech Force) is mandatory (I would have given my left arm for some Euro-current version of the original Tristar....)
On top of that: Tristars have this distinct "retro sci-fi" Gattaca look to them, that's what I like.
Don't mistake me: I love the Henry vacs as well, so friendly! But without this face they would be like any other run-off-the-mill bucket vac, wouldn't they?

THIS Henry here was loud.
Plainly loud.
I had a yes for it all the way through the demo, it changed to a no when they turned it on. *shrugs*

Post# 169645 , Reply# 35   2/15/2012 at 14:14 (2,975 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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You must have had either an older model with the older style motor, or you got a dud, as the newer Henrys, as everybody will tell you, are very very quiet.

Post# 169662 , Reply# 36   2/15/2012 at 14:30 (2,975 days old) by whirlpolf ()        
could well be

Hm. I leave it to the experts....

To each his own.
The only Henry I do take serious is the small table-top battery Henry, looks cute, is cute (due to its size) and will make any user look heartwarmingly silly (THIS one I do want!) ;-D

Post# 169664 , Reply# 37   2/15/2012 at 14:41 (2,975 days old) by twocvbloke ()        
"Unfortunately Tristars come in 120 volts only"

Apart form the ones sold here in the UK with 240v motors of course... ;)

And of course, like my Tristar, they can be fitted with 240v motors, the main motor is the same sort that Henry vacs use, and the PN motor is a standard Lamb PN motor, which aren't hard to find, so there's no good excuse for not owning a Compact or Tristar... :P

Post# 169667 , Reply# 38   2/15/2012 at 15:31 (2,975 days old) by petek (Ontario)        

Seen a few Henry's around here,, our local Habitat Restore uses one as their store vac, they bought it new for that purpose. It's pretty quiet, not any louder than a Miele imo.

Post# 169672 , Reply# 39   2/15/2012 at 16:32 (2,975 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        
Order of Vacuuming - Uprights versus Canisters

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There is another important reason that upright vacuum cleaners are better for cleaning deep pile carpet. And it has to do with the way you start and finish vacuuming a room.

In order to leave behind a nice, freshly vacuumed carpet - with nice vacuum patterns left behind, and no footprints, it is important to begin vacuuming at the far end of the room and make your way backwards towards the door or entryway. It is very inconvenient to do this with a canister vacuum as you are forced to keep pushing the main vacuum unit backward to get it out of the way. With an upright, all you have to do is keep collecting the electrical cord as you make your way backward towards the door.

With bare floors, this does not matter as much. In fact, it is probably better to proceed from the entryway to the far end of the room with your canister vacuum, as you have less chance of kicking up loose dust and dirt with the exhaust of the vacuum if you remove any surface debris on your way to the far end of the room. So for bare floor cleaning, it makes sense to have a canister vacuum that is trailing behind you as you proceed into the room. And the long hoses and bare floor attachments that you can use with canister vacs make it far easier and safer to remove dirt from floors compared with using an upright (especially if you can't turn off the upright's revolving brush).

Post# 169674 , Reply# 40   2/15/2012 at 16:54 (2,975 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Jmurray, where did you find the date of 1980 for Henry, only I've been trying to find a date and have had no luck. I started stocking them towards the end of the 1980's and in fact had some of those rare models in beige & brown.

I will go along with the fact that the 'noisy' Henry could have been faulty or well-used, but wouldn't have said it was noisy purely because it may have been an older model (if it was older) as one of the key features of the Numatic has always been the low noise level.

It's funny, because the absence of an automatic cordwinder has been marked up as a negative on several reviews i've read online. What the people writing this don't seem to grasp is the fact that the winder being manually operated is what makes the Henry what it is in terms of reliability. Automatic cord winders can be problematic and are more difficult to repair. Added to this, at one time Numatic used to suggest only pulling out as much flex was needed as the rest would unwind as the cleaner was pulled round. The new cleaners will still do this, but the instructions make no reference as to whether the lead should be unwound fully or not. Of course from a safety point of view, its a double-edged sword, as leaving the flex wound up presents a potential overheating hazard, whereas unwinding it all introduces a very real trip hazard.

There are many features which make Henry special and unqiue. I'd say that's been covered already now. I just worked out that they cost about 150 US dollars (based on £95). One group of people who've always seemed to go for a Henry at some point are people who've spent loads on expensive cleaners with flashing lights and promises of I-don't-know-what, and found them to be useless or problematic. Henry makes few promises and does what you want him to do. He is a rugged little fellow.

Post# 169675 , Reply# 41   2/15/2012 at 16:55 (2,975 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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Very well said Brian!

Post# 169678 , Reply# 42   2/15/2012 at 17:02 (2,975 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
I found the date 1980 on Wikipedia Benny, but I'm not sure if that is correct.

I know what you mean about people marking the manual rewind down - I've seen it in many Ciao reviews.

Utter rubbish, it is less to go wrong!

As for the cord Hoo-Ha, I pull it out as far as it will go before Vacuuming, but maybe I shouldn't do that ? Any advice ?

What I meant by it being an older model, was that if it were older it would probably be more worn, which would make it louder. Of course, the age itself wouldn't just make it loud, it would be the fact that being old usually means it has been used for a long time.

Your closing statement is so true. He is very tough and I don't think I could kill mine, even if I wanted to.

Post# 169680 , Reply# 43   2/15/2012 at 17:11 (2,975 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

You can chose to pull all the flex out, like I said, leaving it wrapped up could cause it to overheat, even though I never saw one which had done so. It is a case of which danger is more likely; tripping over or overheating.

I just checked the Numatic official site and it says Henry arrived in 1981, so Wiki wasn't far out, but I confess I did not realise that Numatic and Henry had been around for quite as long as they have been.

Post# 169681 , Reply# 44   2/15/2012 at 17:14 (2,975 days old) by sanifan ()        
Henry pricing...

I hope to find a new Henry at $150 stateside, but I fear it may be a case of reasonable pricing in the home market and exorbitant pricing in export markets. According to the Amazon link and some other online vac shops, they are selling for $315 give or take. If anyone if a cheaper US price, please give a holler!

Post# 169682 , Reply# 45   2/15/2012 at 17:14 (2,975 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

I will say that one thing I don't understand is why the cleaners Numatic make for 'homes' have the switches on the back, whilst the new 'commercial' models have them at the front. The front is a much better place to have them.

Post# 169683 , Reply# 46   2/15/2012 at 17:15 (2,975 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
What exactly do you mean by "tripping over" ?

Also, as for older Numatics, I'd love to have one of those all metal red Numatics in my collection.

Post# 169686 , Reply# 47   2/15/2012 at 17:17 (2,975 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

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I suppose you're right (switches at rear), but I must say it never occurred to me.

The one thing I dislike about the new Henrys is the push switches. I much prefer the more reliable rocker switches my Henry has.

Post# 169688 , Reply# 48   2/15/2012 at 17:22 (2,975 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Tripping over, well, it's what happens when one gets something wrapped around ones feet, for arguments sake lets say the mains lead of a Henry vacuum cleaner, and then one trips over / falls over, call it what you will. With the flex wound into the cleaner, the risk of this happening is reduced.

The push switches on Henry and others were very short lived as they had no end of problems with them. They only did this for about 2 or 3 years. The main issue was that the rocker switch on the back of the Henry was rather hard to find, although some cleaners did have a white dot on top of the cleaner to show where exactly the switch could be found. A foot-switch was a really good idea for Henry, alas it was one idea which failed miserably.

Post# 169690 , Reply# 49   2/15/2012 at 17:25 (2,975 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
Oh that's what you mean! I thought you meant the electricals short circuiting or something.

I'm careful, so tripping over isn't a worry for me.

The only worry with pulling the cord out all the way was that it may loosen the connection over time. Would that happen ?

Post# 169693 , Reply# 50   2/15/2012 at 17:29 (2,975 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Yes if you constantly yanked at it. More likely on autoflex cleaners.

Post# 169737 , Reply# 51   2/16/2012 at 02:08 (2,975 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I have the ProTeam DVD video that came with my ProTeam Backpack.Backpacks are BAD for home use-anyway the commercial sized ones-remember the ad of the "Drag Along Tragedy"?With backpacks in the home its "Bump into Tragedies"prefer a wheeled floor mounted canister for the house.and the ProTeam DVD shows the same Mop Swing" method for the floor and carpet tools.You swing it like a commercial mop.I just don't think the suction only carpet tool will get the carpet floor as clean as an upright with the roller brush.the canister carpet tool will only get surface stuff.And,really,its harder to use.the upright with roller brush is easier.the backpack would be helpful for BARE floor.But--to me and many other commercial users the NSS M1 is the king of commercial canister vacuums-has higher airflow-longer motor life-and an almost unlimited array of tools to fit it from NSS.Even tools to clean out boiler flame tubes.Some M1 s do this duty.and a powernozzle can be used on an M1 gives even better performance than the unpowered carpet tool.And air powered carpet nozzles can be used on M1's-its strong airflow runs them nicely.and still another cansiter vacuum from NSS is the "Designer Dry"A large canister with about 5gal capacity-uses bags-that uses the same attachments as the M1.Its less expensive then the M1.Been looking for one for my collection-it would be somewhat like the Numatic "Henry" type vacuums.The cleaning contractor at where I work uses the Sanitaire Mighty-Mite.they are nice little vacuums.Powerful,easy to use and cheap to buy.I love my small fleet of M1's used them for radio station transmitter and studio cleanout work.and you would be surprized at how much fine dust a neglected transmitter accumilates-one filled up the M1s huge bag!showed it to the station owner.He was shocked I picked up that much dirt out of his transmitter while repairing it,too.I collected enough money from that job to buy my 3rd M1!

Post# 169753 , Reply# 52   2/16/2012 at 06:56 (2,975 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

sebo_fan's profile picture
Replacing a cord on the Henry is dead easy though - there's a great You Tube video about it I saw ages ago.

I must admit VR, I have never noticed the switches - the beauty of Henry's top is that you can lock it on at any angle, so even if the hose is at the front, you could position the head at any angle that the circular head can be locked to, so even if the switches are at the front, it can be put to the back.

Post# 169757 , Reply# 53   2/16/2012 at 07:24 (2,975 days old) by danemodsandy ()        
That's Your Preference.....

"It is very inconvenient to do this with a canister vacuum as you are forced to keep pushing the main vacuum unit backward to get it out of the way. With an upright, all you have to do is keep collecting the electrical cord as you make your way backward towards the door."

That is definitely part of using a canister. But those of us who prefer them gladly work with it, the same way those of you who love uprights have to deal with a total inability to get under beds with many models, and the sheer weight of the things.

This is preference, and if we start talking about the logic behind each type, then there are logical pros and cons for each, with no clear winner. You prefer uprights. You will see Jehovah's Witnesses vacationing at a nudist resort before you will see one in my house.

Post# 169778 , Reply# 54   2/16/2012 at 12:46 (2,974 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        
You will see Jehovah's Witnesses vacationing at a nudist

jmurray01's profile picture
Ha ha, good one!

I love both uprights and cylinders. They both have pros and cons.

Post# 169785 , Reply# 55   2/16/2012 at 13:28 (2,974 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Sebo fan, yes I know the head of Henry can be put in any position, say with switches facing the3 front, but the cord will exit from that same position too which is jolly inconvenient as it gets caught under the wheels. Added to which, the cleaner can't be left to unwind the lead as it goes if the lead comes from the front.

Post# 169862 , Reply# 56   2/17/2012 at 09:31 (2,974 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        
Henry quiet? Nah.

sebo_fan's profile picture
VR - I have honestly never noticed that - but then with all my canister/cylinders, I always pull them out of the way of the lead, and if they have to go over the lead, I pull the machine through. Some brands like Miele and Sebo allow the wheels to "jump" over the leads with ease. I can see your point with Henry's larger wheels proving a bit of a nuisance.

As for Henry noise - Well current Henry motors are reasonably quieter, whirlpolf - especially ones with the 2 speed variable motor. I find the lower power even quieter than my Miele S6 Ecoline, and they're both rated the same power.

Post# 169875 , Reply# 57   2/17/2012 at 13:37 (2,973 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Hi Sebo fan. Well you see with the Henry, as I said the original idea was that as cleaner was moved round, so the lead pulled itself out of the machine. This doesn't work when the top is fitted with the lead coming out of the front.

I have a girl come in and clean for me once a month, or occasionally more often. I say girl, she's late 30s. Sometimes her sister helps. They have a good business locally and they use a Henry and I've noticed she pulls it round so that the lead feds out. I tend to go out once the girls have arrived, they are lovely but I don't ever really speak for too long. Anyway she came with a shiny new Hetty a while ago, so I asked where Henry was. She said he'd died and was at the back of the garage "with a pile of others" as she put it. She didn't know I used to have a repair shop so I offered to fix any of them for her. Thus the next time she came she bought 3 broken Henrys, a James, and an assortment of hoses! That kept me busy!

Post# 169911 , Reply# 58   2/17/2012 at 18:13 (2,973 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Many henries I've heard running in shops I've just wanted to take away from the person using it like a social worker takes kids from bad parents, cos the motors always sounded like they had severely dry bearings, and these were new-looking models, I'm not a Numatic fan, but, I hate hearing bad motors, especially when they're practically the same one I have in my Tristar, I could never let my vacs get that bad... :S

Post# 169957 , Reply# 59   2/18/2012 at 02:40 (2,973 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

It is a vacuum cleaner being used for it's intended purpose, in a commercial setting. Do you honestly think the cleaner cares about the motor getting that 'bad'? Linda, that's the girl who comes to clean for me, her cleaners are there to be used and use them she does. Of the four I recently repaired for her (well three were repairable), all looked at bit shabby on the outside, and two didn't sound so good when running, but all were spotlessly clean inside, with clean filters. In a commercial setting, I doubt the cleaner would have the time or interest to keep the inside clean. Of the commercially-used cleaners I've had bought to the shop, most were rather unkempt inside.

Post# 169977 , Reply# 60   2/18/2012 at 09:22 (2,973 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Oh I know, society today is more interested in things being cheap and disposable, whether it's a toothbrush or a car... :\

I'm at the other end of the spectrum, I prefer to look after the machines I like, both inside and out, especially the motors, there's nothing worse than the smell from a burnt out motor (okay, I've not properly burnt out a vacuum motor to date, only burning out DC motors like my old cordless drill, screwdriver, fans and other things I've seized up or overvolted intentionally), and the noise bad bearings make really gets to me, regardless of brand... :S

Speaking of using Henries commercially, there was a chimney sweep doing a job in the village where my uncles live, and I noticed he had a pair of Henries for soot cleaning, now I don't know how fine Numatic's HEPA filters are, but I'm pretty sure they don't cover soot, I certainly wouldn't want to be breathing what is coming out of Henry's backside when they're picking up soot... :S

Heck, I wouldn't want to breathe the exhaust from my Tristar, even with both filters fitted if I were to use it for picking up ash and soot... :S

Post# 169980 , Reply# 61   2/18/2012 at 09:49 (2,973 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Hi 2CV. Well I'm not so sure it's a case of 'cheap and disposable' as much as it is just getting on with life. You know, something is bought to be used and looked after within reason, but not at the cost of putting ones life on hold. For instance, my girl Linda, she will be doing 2 - 3 houses a day, more if her sister is with her, and the object of the exercise is to provide a service for the local people, and of course make a living for herself. It is only cost-effective for her to do certain things in a certain way, like her going out and buying a brand new Hetty. As she said to me, "Mr Broadbent, he (Henry) was the last one I had that worked and when he died on me in the middle of the day, I was truly lost". For her, it is about keeping the wheels in motion, keeping the plates spinning, and making sure her business carries on going, by not getting over-attached to a certain product.

I take your point about the soot in the Henry. However, what you have to ask yourself, is what the alternative is. There would probably be far more soot in the air from doing the job itself, irrespective of what left the exhaust air of a Henry.

Post# 169982 , Reply# 62   2/18/2012 at 10:02 (2,973 days old) by twocvbloke ()        
"However, what you have to ask yourself, is what the alt

A specialised Soot vac, I've seen them (via another forum where Woodburning and multifuel stoves are commonly discussed), basically a steel drum with a powerful motor on top with some very hefty filtration, it's not cheap, but it's a lot cheaper than a sweep being sued for causing somebody breathing ailments or for leaving fine soot all over the house... :S

Post# 169983 , Reply# 63   2/18/2012 at 10:09 (2,973 days old) by vintagerepairer (England)        

Well, anyone in this day & age who might be sued for someone would be a fool to indulge in a practise which leaves them wide open for such. I guess either the man is a fool or else he knows what he's doing.

Post# 169989 , Reply# 64   2/18/2012 at 11:05 (2,973 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        
Longevity expectation versus ownership use & abuse.

sebo_fan's profile picture
RainbowD4C - Strange, but I'm completely the opposite. I was raised with upright vacuums in the UK, because we had carpet and very little else as an alternative. It took me years to appreciate canisters/cylinders because they're a lot lighter to use and without PN/Power nozzles, they're far more versatile to use, especially for detail cleaning - so handy to take the whole machine up a ladder to clean the loft with one hand on the hose, the other holding a lightweight machine like a bucket. Uprights with hoses and stretchable tools offer similar versatility but it is almost always too bulky and time consuming and I could never see myself lifting up upright vacuum in one hand whilst standing on a ladder to get rid of cobwebs and dust around smoke alarms up high!.

Twocvbloke - "society today is more interested in things being cheap and disposable, whether it's a toothbrush or a car.."

Not quite, which is why brands like Miele, Bosch and Sebo exist. In the car world buyers are now realising going for Skoda is better than SEAT (both owned by VW) because the parts are cheaper but the cars are reliable despite the jokes. Same with Hyundai and Kia who at one time churned out rebadged Mitsubishi's and Mazda/Ford U.S based cars, yet one of very few brands who offer a 7 year warranty. As for toothbrushes, Braun hold the top spot for quality - another German - against Philips where the reliability isn't as efficient in their dental care - in the UK at least.

It goes in leaps and bounds - buyers now have the choice to buy cheap 'n' cheerful or better quality - it has always been the way since UK has had the opportunity to be flooded with European & U.S products.

VR does make a valid point that products are being bought with expectations that it will last but additionally owners don't counteract or add the abuse they'll give those appliances with the same initial expectation! I've had a cheap Hinari iron that's lasted me 23 years and I never thought it could last that long - yet it doesn't go through the abuse my mum puts her professional expensive Tefal iron through. I just iron and put it away slowly instead of "throwing" it into the cupboard.

As for Henry - Ive seen Henry vacs being used to suck out petrol when car owners have mistakenly used the petrol pump for diesel! It isn't something I'd recommend - but then Henry machines can be used Bag-less because their basic filtration isn't HEPA based but simple 2 stage microfiltration through the cloth, washable basket. The motor is also similarly protected.

Post# 171266 , Reply# 65   2/28/2012 at 15:22 (2,962 days old) by uksausage (eastbourne east sussex UK)        
uk machines vers american

i have always wondered why we dont have more cylinder cleaners with power nozzles here in the uk, considering a lot of the TTI machines are also available in the uk badged under the hoover and vax label and now wertheim, the TTI machines in the states are availablw with the powerhead while the exact same model in the uk has an air driven turbo brush, wertheim vacuums which are relativly new to the uk but have been around in australia for years are now TTI machines but with the powerhead unfortunalty reliability is a problem for these machines,they used to be made by electrolux ( the kind of electrolux we have in the uk not the american style ) as much as i love uprights i do like cylinder cleaners with power nozzles i bought a power nozzle for my miele cat and dog and it improved the performance 10 fold, i have a tristar exl with an amzing power nozzle also 2 wertheim machines and a vorwerk tiger with a power nozzle and i have to say they all clean better than any of the upright machines, the wertheim machines have resorted back to having metal beaters on their brush roll and the dirt they pull out the carpet is emense just a shame they break so easily, i feel we should have more power nozzle cylinder cleaners in the uk i think they would prob sell now unlike the machines of years ago, im still trying to lay my hands on the vax bagless cylinder with a power head but they are so hard to find, if anyones intrested by the way my tristar is up for sale i need to clear some machines out as i have to many lol
thanx for reading guys, by the way can someone tell are tristar still sold in the uk

Post# 171292 , Reply# 66   2/28/2012 at 17:37 (2,962 days old) by venson ()        

A lot has to do with perceived need. Unfortunately, for we Americans, satisfaction is in no way intended as part of the game plan for America consumers by those out to sell us things. We "need" everything and at least two of everything at that.

Europe, while I was there, appeared a more conservative place. There were lots of people I knew that could have had just about anything they wanted -- including someone to come in and clean -- that were perfectly satisfied with wood or tile flooring and maybe just an area rug or two. Living spaces weren't usually large stuffed with a lot of "must haves".

What amazed me about Europe is that I saw washing machines that hooked up to one line only and heated their own water. That's literally unheard of in the U.S. Europe is where I saw the first instant water heater. You turn the tap it kicks on with the water flow and shuts off as soon as the demand for hot water ends with your closing the tap. Here we usually have a device to heat and hold water in a large tank, all day long, whether you're in or out. Not necessarily economical, but that's the way we do it.

We have never had such a thing as a floor polisher and vacuum as an all-in-one so you could buff and sweep simultaneously. You've had steam cleaners for years. They're just coming to us now and, even with those, some are being bastardized to call for need of detergents they're intended to keep us from buying.

We didn't have much call for power nozzles in the U.S. until synthetic materials allowed for an abundance of materials that weren't the real thing but looked enough like it to allude to affluence. Those same materials came cheaply enough to be readily accessible to the working and middle class here AND the race for not only high style but ways to keep it clean was on.

Post# 171297 , Reply# 67   2/28/2012 at 18:01 (2,962 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Yes but to be fair Venson, everything in America is automatic, or automatically done for you, thus stopping you from lifting a finger. From self driven mechanised uprights to sofa and chairs covered with that awful plastic wrap stuff to avoid dusting, America seems to have it all against Europe which pushes the home owner or appliance owner to work that little bit harder.

Our washing machines are now beginning to have hot or cold fill options - and the portable condenser tumble dryer is also changing from having to empty the water tanks yourself to having a tube at the back being able to drain automatically. Its only taken 10 years or so for "auto-draining" features to be added as well as Direct Drive (LG) against Miele, the most expensive brand of all who still stick with traditional features but are the only brand that you to "upload" or "upgrade" the electronics via your PC and the net.

Much prefer top loaders, even the big American ones you can buy here in the UK.

Same with your cars- whereas America loves the auto-shift, we prefer manual gearboxes - or "stick shift," as the Americans know it - although some of my U.S friends only prefer manual/stick shift on high performance cars.

Post# 171298 , Reply# 68   2/28/2012 at 18:02 (2,962 days old) by Rolls_rapide (-)        

Uprights for me, because they consistently dealt efficiently with embedded grit and dog hair.

Cylinders are useful for furniture, cars and nooks and crannies.

Post# 171311 , Reply# 69   2/28/2012 at 20:43 (2,962 days old) by venson ()        

For a moment you gave me a most humorous remembrance of Tenerife, to wit: "I know you Americans -- you all have televisions in your kitchens."

If all you say is happening in Europe is true, man, are you in trouble. Here I was thinking you guys were winning BUT you're becoming American. Despite your high imaginings of us, thank you very much, nothing's automatic here unless you can afford the price of the ride. We had Electroluxes that were automatic. Once the bag filled, machine was mechanically switched off as the front end of the cleaner flipped open. They now cost about the price of a used car but do they flip open and shut off anymore? No!

As well, we're being discouraged to favor top-loading washers because front-loaders use less water. And, you being blessed with 220 volt power as standard, can plug a dryer in anywhere you feel like and do just fine. If I want a full-size dryer I'll have to call in an electrician and have a 240-volt line laid in at the price of a year's rent. Our only self-propelled vac on the everyday market is one Hoover Wind Tunnel. Self-propelled Eurekas, Kenmores, etc. are all long gone. All that's left beyond that is Kirby but that's the price of a used car. Speaking of used cars . . .

As regards standard shift, my old Bimmer offers that along with automatic drive. It took all I could do to negotiate Manhattan without starting to gnaw on the steering wheel. That's why I never used the shift option because it would have proven one more way to drive myself (pardon the pun) nuts. It's never good to have me on the road and annoyed.

In any event I wonder how it is -- especially at this point in time -- that Europe sees us as happy go lucky spendthrifts when so much of the populous here is only as good as the next credit card payment.

Post# 171312 , Reply# 70   2/28/2012 at 21:01 (2,962 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

Everything you say is absolutely true, and yet - there's another side to the story.

With so many Americans so blissfully wedded to wastefulness, a lot of very good, very useful things end up in thrift stores, in yard sales, on Craigslist, and sometimes just on the curb.

Vintage Electroluxes that are far better vacuums than most today are available for nothing, or next to it. My top-of-the-line Maytag washer and dryer were being discarded because the dryer wasn't heating and they were "too old to fool with." $50 worth of parts bought on eBay restored the dryer to full function; that was my only cost for the pair.

I own huge amounts of vintage Farberware (stainless cookware with aluminum bottoms; so good that James Beard used to say it was the best cookware for the money), found in thrift shops for a dollar or two per piece. Vintage Corning Ware Pyroceram was bought the same way.

There is not a new piece of furniture in my house, and every last bit of it is actually wood, not today's chipboard.

I do have to repair things, and spend some money on replacing things like vacuum tools that were carelessly discarded by a former owner. I still come out wayyyyy ahead - and I end up with lasting quality instead of today's plastic marvels. Along the way, I meet interesting people (like on here) and I learn a lot about industrial design and corporate history from a time when corporations served people, not the other way 'round.

So, to the people who thought that Maytag washer and dryer were "too old to fool with" - thank you. Same to whoever bought a new vacuum instead of repairing my TriStar CXL. And the folks who didn't hang on to their Farberware, or their wood furniture. I hope all of you are enjoying your nice new things. I'm enjoying your nice old ones. Cheap.

P.S.: My credit card debt is zero. Special thanks for that!

Post# 171331 , Reply# 71   2/29/2012 at 06:03 (2,962 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        
We Brits Are Becoming Americans..

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The thing is though Venson, I don't think the UK are in that much trouble, if we turn "American" in our buying options - well aside from maybe taking half your house down to get the American style large, grand fridge/freezer tandem appliances in! I can't wait to be able to buy a filter coffee machine that grinds the beans - we've had to put up with basic machines where you have to buy in the powder.

I have to say in the defence of Americans, I was lucky when I was growing up, because we had a U.S Naval base based in our town - I got to taste Baskins & Robbins ice cream at the age of 14 plus a whole host of American confectionery which was unheard of in the UK generally - unless your town ALSO had a U.S naval base or military operation. I got to see (and ride in) a lot of old wide "magic carpet ride" Cadillac Eldorado cars, Pontiacs, Trans-Ams - you name it - we must have had it! I also got to see a whole long list of household appliances that were particularly novel as well as a feast of Hoover models that we just didn't have in the UK. Our town had integration of Americans and Scots everywhere, but the military also had a section of land whereby American voltage/power station was embedded so that American families could run their appliances. It was a remarkable life, larger than life I'd say even - and Reagan pulled the plug on them tail end of 1991.

Our little Scottish town hasn't really recovered since.

My mum also fondly remembers that she loved the Americans for bringing "Pampers" into her life - or whatever they were called at the time. In the UK we had to make do with heavy nappies you wash, but oh no, the Americans had already had disposable nappies in the 1970s well before the UK had seen them, 10, or 15 years later!

As for me, some of my cookware is also vintage Corningware - it appeared very slowly in the UK in the 1990's and then disappeared, only being able to buy certain pieces from trader companies, like Scotts of Stowe. Corningware is just so versatile - it's like Pyrex that you can put on your hob, in the fridge/freezer in the microwave AND the oven. Typically American (ours show "made in the USA") but the company turn out to be French/Swiss- it's so easy - unlike traditional Pyrex that can only be used in 3 applications out of 4.

Yet now, by the demands of our struggling economy, a lot of buyers are just making do with what they have - and buying the basics. Supermarket brands have never had it so good with buyers now tending to go for "Value" products - and of course Made In China products - based on price alone.

Post# 171332 , Reply# 72   2/29/2012 at 06:33 (2,962 days old) by venson ()        


You've a great and enviable sense of thrift that I certainly appreciate. As well, I thoroughly agree that there are used items that can, either "as is" or with minimal tending to, serve as good used as when new.

Yet, we have a lot of the same down my way here in Florida but unfortunately a lot of that easy, low-cost availability household furnishings and doo-dads in great shape is not necessarily because of wastefulness but due to jobs folding up, foreclosures and the high cost of living. Come to think of it, that's how I ended up here.

Before I came down, I'd already begun to see signs. I worked doing vac demos nearing the end of 2010 and though the spring of 2011. I was stunned at the number of people who'd smile politely as they nodded recognition but kept on walking toward the end of the aisle and sales items usually beyond 80 bucks but seldom over 150. There were also the many that stopped to look at the demo and to talk, finally telling me that though they thought the product was great, they couldn't afford it at the moment.

I mentioned this to a friend in the business and was told that there's sort of a standing rule as far as vacuum sales go: 20-percent of perspective vac buyers seldom spend past $100, 20-percent seldom spend below $500. It's the remaining 60-percent that are open to persuasion. I've sort of accepted that but still think the economy has a large influence on things. If industry here was "healthier" wouldn't there be a definite difference?

I was raised on a farm. Though I never had to milk a cow, I've been a holy with a screwdriver since the age of six. Like you, I was taught how to be relatively self-sufficient. However, a large part of consumers here haven't been taught the same skills and end up buying what they can -- the more affordable of which comes from foreign shores.

As far excesses go -- I ditched my TV years ago and am perfectly happy to rely on a very good refurbed computer and decent broadband for everything -- entertainment, communications, edification/education, etc. However, what I've been noticing is that despite our economic situation, entertainment is somehow the cash cow here in the U.S. Many who wouldn't even dream of spending 300 bucks on a vacuum will drop 1,500 on a wide-screen TV in a heartbeat.

Post# 261280 , Reply# 73   12/30/2013 at 23:52 (2,291 days old) by AlexHoovers94 (Manchester UK)        
Reply 18

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Hate UPRIGHTS!!!!!! Christ...I can barley stand!! I would rather not vacuum at all than use a cylinder.
I find it pointless having a cylinder with a powerhead, whats the point? that just makes it more heavy and clunky, plus an upright would and will perform better anyway, as it has the bottom weight to it, but is still easy to move around. The majour thing though, for me, is that with an upright it is all there infront of you unlike a cylinder and you not having to worry about pulling this "thing" around that inevitably will get caught on everything.
Horses for corses I guess.

Post# 261296 , Reply# 74   12/31/2013 at 06:17 (2,291 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Alex - just because your classic Hoover uprights are bottom heavy, doesn't mean they will automatically clean well for all floors. Whilst I agree that cylinder/canister vacs would have a heavy power nozzle, they do work well for those in homes that have carpets AND awkward areas that would be better served with a hose, tube and floor head set up.

It is certainly not "easy" to shove an upright into a tight corner, where I'd imagine the on board tools and hose (where fitted) would come into their own. It is still a bulky compromise though, having to drag a built in short hose and fix whatever tool you need than it is to use a much longer hose from a cylinder/canister vac, far more nimble and not likely to mark anything.

It reiterates the point so many times made, that there isn't a perfect vacuum cleaner regardless of brand or type. Its what fits well into the home at the time and what is required that is near perfect.

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