Thread Number: 36275  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
The worst vacuum I've ever owned
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Post# 388988   3/24/2018 at 21:00 (208 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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I have this flashback I'd like to share with you guys.

The year was 2001. My family had just moved into a new home. We got rid of both our Eureka Ultra ESP and original Fantom Fury, and thus needed a new vacuum. So my parents bought a brand new Dirt Devil Swivel Glide Vision in light gray. As a bonus, it came with a "Swift Stick" stick vacuum for scatter-free cleaning of bare floors.

Turns out that the Devil made my parents buy this vacuum! (pun intended) Although it cleaned really well and had good suction, it had lots of drawbacks. This was a heavy vacuum; I assume it was hard to push for my parents. It was also a very noisy machine; this was the first vacuum I was scared of. Little me would cover my ears before the vacuum came on.

Despite having a HEPA filter on its exhaust, the Dirt Devil was a stinky vacuum. VERY stinky. It gave off this TERRIBLE dusty smell, even when not being used. The stench of this vacuum still lingers in the back of my brain.

To top it all off, my mom had a little accident and managed to break a belt on this vacuum! Luckily, there was an extra belt stored on a special area on the back of the machine, so she replaced it.

Now for the usability drawbacks. The hose was a "Hide-a-Hose" system with a good set of attachments: an "Edge Wedge," a 2-in-1 dusting brush and upholstery tool, a telescopic wand and a crevice tool. It claimed to have 16 feet of reach. However, the big issue with doing above floor cleaning was that the hose was attached to the middle of the vacuum, so that made it VERY prone to tipping over. There was a "hose anchor" that could be hooked onto a special slot near the bottom of the vacuum to try and prevent that. But hooking it on and off was hard to do, so why bother?

The next bad part of this vacuum was the dirt container. In an era when Fantom was about to go bankrupt, there weren't many good options for a cyclonic bagless system, from my understanding. Dirt Devil's implementation of bagless had a large, pleated "Perma Filter" that sat in the middle of the container all the way up and down. The problem is, it trapped EVERYTHING and made the dirt difficult to empty, because it sticks to the filter. You have to pull out the filter and bang it against the inside of a trash can, which is just plain nasty! Dust flies all over the place.

In early 2004, we finally got fed up with this vacuum and replaced it with a Bissell CleanView, which turned out to be an impressive vacuum, especially for the price (about $80).

Here is a pic from Amazon. Has anybody had experience with this monstrosity?

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Post# 388990 , Reply# 1   3/24/2018 at 21:13 (208 days old) by Gj3476 (Dallas,TX)        

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I remember back in 2000 when I was 5, my family and I went to a Walmart supercenter to go shopping for the house and I remember my mom buying a green Dirt Devil swivel glide vision and I remember being a bit scared of it after she assembled it, but whenever itís not on I definitely remember playing with it but I never got a chance for myself to vacuum with it, and I believe till 2003 when we were about to move, I think she got rid of it, donít know why but no biggie, hopefully Iíll find one like the one we had again one day.

Post# 388994 , Reply# 2   3/24/2018 at 21:30 (207 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Had a bagged version in maroon, I was not a fan

Post# 388997 , Reply# 3   3/24/2018 at 22:12 (207 days old) by HonestJoe68 (Mansfield, Ohio)        

Hey Nick,

I remember that exact vacuum, the reason why is the commercial stood out for two reasons... One, they sucked up the cute little Lego Guy Figure (pic 2) and he spun around inside the canister. Two, I was fascinated by the two casters as back wheels and thought that was genius... until I actually used one and realized it just made it harder to push instead. LOL

I was going to buy the dark green version of the Vision (pic 3), but then changed my mind last minute and instead of buying the Swivel Vision.. I bought the Heavy Tank.. the Dirt Devil Ultra MVP Bagged Upright (pic 1). I LOVED that vacuum more than any (except that it was Red) and remember I loved how well it cleaned and I too liked the triangular attachment tool that stored in the front of the bag door on my Ultra MVP.

I also bought the Dirt Devil RoomMate and the Dirt Devil bagged hand vacuum. I really wish I still owned both of them and especially wish I still owned my Ultra MVP. It was very heavy I remember, but I loved everything else.. even the handle on the Tool Attachment Hose.

Anyhow, yes the filters were horrible to clean on all those Dirt Devil with the long pleated filters... my friends Mom had one and loved it but she had bought two sets of filters so she would take it out and put the clean set in and have her husband vacuum the dirty filter with his Shop Vac in the garage and I remember seeing him make this HUGE cloud of dust taking the air compressor hose to it as well. I always wondered why they went to all that trouble.

Thanks for sharing Nick.

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Post# 389015 , Reply# 4   3/25/2018 at 11:11 (207 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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It's plastic. It's bagless. What more does one need to know to stay away from it.

Post# 389028 , Reply# 5   3/25/2018 at 15:12 (207 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Black and Decker Air Swivel / Simple Value Bagless Upright

Cheapest and the worst vacuum I have ever own.
Suction/airflow is horrible. I tried to measure the airflow, but because the baird airflow meter only shows above 45 cfm it didn't even move.
I was able to measure the suction and it was very low 63 Inches Of Water.
Plastic in it is VERY weak. You have to extremely careful when using it.
It's very short giving unpleasant vacuuming experience.
Now to the biggest problem. It's very picky what type carpet it can handle. On medium to high pile carpet it's very hard to push and the belt starts to slip. It only works ok on the low pile carpet, but stil even the new belt won't last long before it starts to slip again.
Surprisingly there is something good in it.
It's very light and light to use on the low pile carpet. Swivel system works well and makes it pretty nice to use. It also has fairly aggressive brushroll and it picks up from the low pile carpet quite well.
What a horrible vacuum. Every time I used it I felt like it's going to fall apart at any point.

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Post# 389031 , Reply# 6   3/25/2018 at 15:44 (207 days old) by HonestJoe68 (Mansfield, Ohio)        

Hi Mike,

I agree with you on your particular Black and Decker vacuum and the Air Swivels Without Carpet Height Adjustability... but I had quite the opposite feelings toward the more deluxe Model with a Carpet Height Adjustment Lever and HEPA filtration. Plus you can see in my pictures, the cyclone and inner parts of the dust bin on mine are Very different than yours. I also know this B&D of mine has such powerful suction, you need the carpet height adjustment correctly set or you canít even push it on the thicker carpet. Anyhow, I attached pics to show mine and itís funny how the same company can make a similar vacuum with the same name even and change SO much inside where the consumer cannot see it and make terrible vacuums and good vacuums look almost identical. I know they are playing a game with us, but I wish they wouldnít do that and instead change the names of each model as the quality gets better.

My Black and Decker is a Power Swivel Complete, with HEPA. Itís model number BDPSC102 and besides having great suction and a manual carpet height adjustment lever, I think it must be made with better materials than yours, just because this one feels pretty nice to me. Iíd but the build material quality Above Bissell and Hoover vacuums but of course below Sebo or Dyson. Also, I think I bought this one at my Target store, so not sure if itís an exclusive model??

Regardless, sorry the version you have is horrible. If you ever see a model for your country, that has the height ajustment and HEPA filter.. check it out if you can. I find with so many vacuums the price determines the quality.. But NOT always the cleaning ability. So many vacuums.. so little time! LOL

Thanks for sharing Mike.. I really enjoy your videos too and appreciate everything you do. Take care and thanks again. Hope you have an excellent week Mike!

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Post# 389033 , Reply# 7   3/25/2018 at 16:05 (207 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Power Swivel Complete looks MUCH better. It has basically solved all the problems what mine had (I gave it to the goodwill). Better suction and carpet height adjustment sounds like the best improvements what it has. Hepa filter in it means that they have really stepped up to the next level. It also looks like it has multi cyclonic bin? Also hose seems to enter from the middle what is much better than side suction port in the nozzle.
Thanks for the message 😊

Post# 389105 , Reply# 8   3/26/2018 at 14:36 (206 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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I own a green Vision but it does not have a performance indicator. There were two different type of motors that they've used on their Swivel Glide Visions, the one I have is the louder Ametek version and it sounded like yours had the same motor as well. I agree with you that the motor is noisy but I overall like the motor to be quite honest. Ametek makes one of the best vacuum motors on the market. They are bullet proof, they are powerful, and they do last a very long time. I wished they've would've put a noise suppressor filter around the motor to make it sound quieter but it also would've helped better with the filtration on these.

Speaking of filtration, when these first came out back then, the F1 filters were terrible. There are aftermarket F1 filters that have improved the filtration and you can now wash them but for half the price off. There were two different types of exhaust filters that they've used on their Swivel Glide Visions, the microstatic or the HEPA. The microstatic is washable but they don't filter well enough as the HEPA. Like the F1 filters, they weren't that good. And again, there are aftermarket HEPA filters that also improved the filtration but they still can't be washed like the genuine ones.

It's actually not a heavy vacuum to be quite honest. I used to think that it was heavy but it really isn't. It's also not really that heavy to push but I would say that it's awkward to push or pull.

I think the hose and attachments are alright. I could care less about the Edge Wedge tool and of course like you said the vacuum tips over. But one thing I don't like about it is that the hose likes to come off when you use it and it is much harder to take the hose off if you push it back in too tight.

Some of the other things that I also don't like about it; The switch is on the side, I don't like having to bend over and turn it on. The handle grip likes to come of when you use it, it also makes it a little more awkward to use it to push or pull the vacuum. I don't like that the handle release pedal is on the other side, if I was a lefty it wouldn't be a problem, not only that but I've seen they break alot on these. I've seen the later version not only put the handle release pedal on the other side but I've heard that they've also improved it to prevent from breaking again, I'm not sure if they really did or not but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't. I also don't like the plastic on this, it feels like it would easily break if it got tripped on the stairs. And the main thing that I don't like about it is that they are a mess to empty, I definitely prefer replacing the bags on the bagged Swivel Glide models over these.

But what I really like is that the brushroll mine uses has 3 rows and it is very aggressive on carpets. What I think is unique is that the brushrool is made of wood and each brushstrip has American colors on it such as red, white, and blue. Another thing that I like about is that it has good suction and airflow because again it uses a powerful Ametek motor. I also like how well it filters because I've replaced mine with generic filters and they do a good job. And again even though it's messy to empty, I still like that I can see the dirt coming in the bin when I'm vacuuming.

Overall when I used to use one when I was little, I used to think that it was the worst vacuum ever because again it was loud and awkward to use. Now, in my opinion it's one of the best Dirt Devils I've ever used. Definitely the best bagless upright that Dirt Devil offered in my opinion. But for a bagless upright, I think it's perhaps the 2nd best one that I've ever used.

Anyways that's my two cents.

Post# 389115 , Reply# 9   3/26/2018 at 15:27 (206 days old) by mariotron (Texas )        
Reminds me of piece of garbage.

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After my parents got rid of our carpet we got rid of our Hoover Wind tunnel self propelled and got this... The exhaust was in the front so it blew everything front of it accros the floor and made the blow all over the place. The placement the filter resulted in horrible clogging, it didn't have good filtration at all (Our doctors told us bagless was better at the time for allergies... yeah) and to top it all off the dust cup would fall off sometimes resulting in very fun times.

I admit though as kid it thought it looked cool seeing the stuff fly around inside of it like a tornado.

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