Thread Number: 38029  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
What's "The Vacuum" of the 2010s?
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Post# 405317   2/10/2019 at 01:41 (420 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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Years from now, what vacuum model will future collectors think of when they look back on this decade? Like the '90s were certainly the Hoover Elite (and clones), and I'd probably put the Dyson DC07 at the top of the list for the 2000s. I wasn't around prior to the 90s, so of course I can't pinpoint from experience before then, but I usually just think of whatever style of Convertibles around were the norm.

I'm thinking for the 2010s it's either the swivel-neck Sharks or cordless Dyson stick vacs. Walmart seems to sell a ton of Bissell Powerforces, but they aren't really a new design and are too disposable. The new Sharks and Dyons have a real original look to them, and aside from battery degradation with the Dyson, I think they will last long enough to pop up in future collections.

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Post# 405320 , Reply# 1   2/10/2019 at 01:48 (420 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Stick vacs, for sure.


Post# 405334 , Reply# 2   2/10/2019 at 19:50 (419 days old) by kirbyduh (Louisville, Kentucky)        

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The Shark, in my opinion will be identifiable as "the one" of the 2010s. This decade is almost over, and battery powered stick vacs have really just begun to go mainstream over the past couple of years. Before that, they were really a niche luxury. Because of that, I do think the battery powered stick vacuums will be synonymous with the 2020s. they have really gained a lot of traction (mostly due to Dyson and the ubiquitous competitors).

I agree with the Dyson DC07 being an icon for the 2000s. As much, the Shark taking that title for the 2010s is a true testament to mainstream Americans' ever changing tastes and price sensitivities, to which Dyson did not seem to effectively cater.

Post# 405342 , Reply# 3   2/11/2019 at 01:59 (419 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwestern US)        

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The Shark Navigator? (various iterations) I mean it seems ubiquitous that coming out of the 2008 recession people want a new shiny "hip" vacuum - and there was Shark. Chrome plastic and all.

I mean you can just imagine there is a Shark inside this 2010 HGTV press release photo of a "green home".

Post# 405343 , Reply# 4   2/11/2019 at 04:48 (419 days old) by Superocd (PNW US)        

I wouldn't say that the PowerForce is disposable in and of itself, at least the older style ones from 2000-2014ish (bagged and bagless). Are they cost effective to repair? Probably not beyond the brushroll or a few other parts here and there (a new OEM motor may cost as much as the machine when new) but I think those were decently designed. For their spot on the totem pole, they're certainly not flimsy and do seem to last a while. I see the older ones all the time in restaurants, stores, motels, etc. that didn't want to pay the prices of a commercial duty Sanitaire/Windsor/Oreck/etc. It wouldn't be my first choice for a commercial use machine but they do seem to hold up.

I guess it's a design that has worked so well that they sell the original PowerForce bagged machine as a commercial model, albeit at 150% the cost of the household version, kind of like how Eureka took their tried and true F&G upright and spun off their commercial line, Sanitaire, using the same basic parts as the home machine, just with a few modifications such as dump out bags, Quick Kleen, longer, grounded cords, etc.

That said, I'm not so sure on the new domestic PowerForces (2014-15 on up?). I'm sure that there has been some major cost cutting in those as far as materials go. They don't feel as well put together (at least by my limited touch-and-feel while in the vacuum aisles at Walmart/Target/etc). Plus, the motors are only rated at 6-8 amps IIRC.

I had a 12 amp Bissell PowerForce bagged vacuum (first vacuum cleaner I owned) before I bought my Sanitaire SC886 and it was a great vacuum for just $50. Lasted me for five years and was still in tip top shape when I donated it To Habitat for Humanity. I think it could easily last a decade with common sense and care. To me, it seemed to be better built than a recent Dyson ball-type vacuum, which just seems so fragile to me.

Post# 405346 , Reply# 5   2/11/2019 at 08:12 (419 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
There won't be any...

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Because all of today's vacs (and other appliances) are made of plastic, contain circuit boards that double as self-destruct devices, and increasingly contain non-replaceable batteries intentionally engineered for short lifespans, there won't be anything from around to collect from this decade—and maybe decades going forward if trends continue the way they are going. At best, future archaeologists will dig up plastic shards from landfills, wonder what the hell these devices were used for, and probably get it laughably wrong.

Post# 405383 , Reply# 6   2/12/2019 at 08:51 (418 days old) by dysonman1 (Rolla, MO)        

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There just won't be any 10 year old sharks. Much less 20 year old Sharks. Yet, 70 year old Compacts still run and clean. I hate this new Chinese disposable stuff so much...… Give me a Air-Way or a Rainbow any day of the week.

Post# 405393 , Reply# 7   2/12/2019 at 12:10 (417 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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"There just won't be any 10 year old sharks. Much less 20 year old Sharks."

Really, eh? I beg to differ with you on that point. Shark Professional/Legacy canister, circa 2008, & still runs perfectly :-)


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Post# 405396 , Reply# 8   2/12/2019 at 12:50 (417 days old) by dysonman1 (Rolla, MO)        

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I meant there won't be 10 year old Sharks, much less 20 year old Sharks, that have seen use in a single vacuum home. I have almost new 10 and 20 year old vacuums in my collection too. But in 20 years, I'll be dead and those machines will be in the landfill. Collectors in 20 years still won't be able to find Sharks from this time period unless one just happens to have not been used.

Post# 405400 , Reply# 9   2/12/2019 at 16:09 (417 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        
I am in agreement with Tom

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Not just Shark, but many of the other planned obsolesce machines.   They are just not designed to last very long, because the marketing plan is to sell more soon.

Post# 405401 , Reply# 10   2/12/2019 at 16:31 (417 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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Planned obsolescence applies not only to vacuums but to every type of appliance - fridges, stoves, freezers, washers, dryers, dishwashers, small appliances, lawn mowers, snow blowers, cars, trucks, etc. Nothing is built to last any more...we have become a disposable society which is shameful.


Post# 405405 , Reply# 11   2/12/2019 at 18:30 (417 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I agree on Sharks and stick vacs, certainly.

"That said, I'm not so sure on the new domestic PowerForces (2014-15 on up?). I'm sure that there has been some major cost cutting in those as far as materials go. They don't feel as well put together (at least by my limited touch-and-feel while in the vacuum aisles at Walmart/Target/etc). Plus, the motors are only rated at 6-8 amps IIRC. " - SuperOCD

I don't know about that. The new Powerforce bagged still seems to be a good basic vacuum that's easy to maintain. I like the Powerforces too, they're lightweight and easy to use.

IMO, the 6-8 amp motors are a good thing. They use less electricity and are usually quieter than a 12 amp. The "amp wars" in the 90s that brought us 12 amp vacs, which were supposedly bringing better cleaning power, but really just made for hotter running "screamer" Hoover Elites, Eureka Bravos and Bissell Poweramps whereas the lower amp motors of earlier versions were sufficient.

Post# 405418 , Reply# 12   2/13/2019 at 02:30 (417 days old) by superocd (PNW US)        
Can confirm that planned obsolescence is a thing...

I do residential/commercial HVAC and a I've noticed that a lot of replacement jobs are for units that are 10-15 years old that are not cost effective to fix. There is only so much that is cost effective to fix, and then even still, as soon as year 10 approaches certain parts begin to become unobtanium (if not already after the unit's 5th year since its last production) so it's either 1) try to improvise and substitute a similar part, 2) hope that the part is hiding in our warehouse or can be ordered and shipped quickly, or 3) throw in the towel and replace the unit.

And when it's my turn to take our scrap furnaces, condensers, air handlers, RTUs, etc. to the shredder, it is not uncommon for me to see a newer (~6-10 yr old) car in one of the piles, waiting to be shredded and sent off to China to be melted down and recycled into new sheet metal. Last week I saw a 2012-ish Ford Focus/Fiesta (it was one of Ford's newer small cars). Another trip I spotted a 2010-ish Audi A4.

I see newer Nissans and BMW 3-Series at the shredder on a regular basis. Very eye opening to say the least since I knew for some time that these cars were not so good (Nissans probably due to a bad CVT, BMWs because of a bad engine or electrical meltdown) but didn't know they were so bad that they were getting junked close to or not far past their 10-year mark. Could they be there because of being totalled out in a wreck? Maybe, but my money is on that those cars most likely had an expensive mechanical/computer/electrical failure just out of warranty. I see tons of newer fridges, ranges, washers/dryers there too, sometimes they're so new looking that it looks like a Sears showroom hit by a tornado.

It's just crazy.

Post# 405420 , Reply# 13   2/13/2019 at 05:35 (417 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
My Shark

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was used daily for almost 5 years and it still works, but the motor started making a burning smell when turned on but it would dissipate after running for a bit. Anyway, I got a new bagged vacuum because I was sick of dealing with bagless.

But about the planned obsolescence. What KILLS me about that is about how the world is so worried about climate change and protecting the environment....creating strict rules but at the same time completely IGNORING this aspect is painfully cringy to me.

Post# 405421 , Reply# 14   2/13/2019 at 08:19 (417 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Planned Obsolescence...

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superocd wrote:
I do residential/commercial HVAC and a I've noticed that a lot of replacement jobs are for units that are 10-15 years old that are not cost effective to fix.

I reply:
Absolutely. My house was built in 1970 and still has its original Singer gas furnace and air conditioner. And at 49 years old, they still run like the sewing machines with which they share their name. I've had to have a couple of minor repairs to the system in the five years I've lived there and without fail, every tech who has seen it has told me that even though a newer unit might be a little more efficient and possibly save me a bit on my utility bills in the short run, I would be paying through the nose over time since I'd be looking at replacing them every 10 years--if I'm lucky.

And I wholeheartedly agree with Mark that planned obsolescence is an absolutely criminal waste of resources. Yeah, recycling is good but it takes more energy to do that than to keep good quality machines/appliances/vehicles going. We as a society have allowed ourselves to become way too enamored of the latest whiz-bang gimmicks and thus willfully ignore the wisdom of our forebears that durability is the true mark of quality.

And I have to throw repair-ability into the mix here as well. Manufacturers willfully and intentionally design their products NOT to be repairable. Case in point: I have two Remington Electric razors. The older one I bought about 20 years ago and the newer one I bought about five years ago. The older one is held together with screws and when the NiCad batteries finally failed after about six years, it was a five-minute job with a soldering iron to replace them with better quality NiMH batteries to get another 10 years of use out of it. The newer one is plastic welded together and the instruction sheet actually shows how to physically destroy the device to remove and recycle the batteries when they fail and the product thus "reaches the end of its useful life". It irks the hell out of me that the product's useful lifespan is being arbitrarily determined by a consumable component that could easily be made replaceable for little if any additional production cost. The real cost to the manufacturer is in future profits because the consumer would be able to avoid the replacement treadmill by continuing to use the old product for a longer period of time and we just can't have that now, can we?

The ultimate absurdity of it all is that manufacturers assert their right to make their products non-repairable by saying that consumers don't really own the products they buy, they just license their use, and thus any attempt by an end user or other third party to repair the item is a violation of the manufacturer's intellectual property rights. A number of states now have "Right to Repair" legislation pending to combat this practice. Check the link below to learn more.


Post# 405443 , Reply# 15   2/13/2019 at 18:18 (416 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        
It's a wacky world we live in

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I never thought I'd be big into the right to arms, etc. But it's getting to where the right to own/use anything is being impinged upon by all of this modern legislation and laws. (I won't get into politics here) but I think we can all agree there are places the government and politicians need to stay out.

Post# 405449 , Reply# 16   2/13/2019 at 19:35 (416 days old) by vexorgtr (Sheffield, Ohio)        
I had singer furnaces too!

I had Singer furnaces here too... 70's era. When the larger one failed, The Furnace techs across the street told me I'd have to find "generic" parts to fix it. They were right, as online I found parts to fix it and convert it from Standing pilot to spark-light. That bought me another 5 years. Eventually, they did buy the farm, and I found an HVAC tech that supplied me with new Rheem furnaces that are pretty simple in design.. So far, those have been OK with no issues. Some things are Over-Engineered, and a feature that you don't really need can cripple the whole system when it craps out.

Since it's a Vacuum board, In Vacuums, one thing I really like about my Central vacuum is the simple design.... The electronics are nothing more than On/Off, so there is very little that can fail on it. Sometimes simple is just better.

Post# 405450 , Reply# 17   2/13/2019 at 19:54 (416 days old) by Superocd (PNW US)        
Ah, Singer...

I first learned about their foray into HVACR when I was called out for a no-cool on a Vulcan-Hart reach in from the '50s/early '60s. It was at a VFW hall if I recall. It had its original Singer compressor, which finally locked its rotor. Before then, I had only assumed that Singer was in the sewing machine business. There's lots of well-known companies that have ventured into industries that you wouldn't expect them to be in. For example, Colt Firearms had a commercial dishwasher division way back when (Colt Autosan). I think they had an electrical equipment division as well. The tractor and farm implement maker Allis Chalmers was really big into power distributuion equipment back in the day.

Post# 405454 , Reply# 18   2/13/2019 at 21:27 (416 days old) by bryan1980 (Texas)        

Yup, I remember being around plenty of Allis-Chalmers transformers in substations back in the day (I'm in the electrical field). Siemens bought their power distribution unit years ago. They did a lot of power plants in their time, too.

Post# 405463 , Reply# 19   2/14/2019 at 09:22 (416 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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According to one of the HVAC techs that serviced my Singer system, Singer sold off their HVAC business to American Standard. I had a pair of American Standard heat pumps in another house I owned a few years ago. Although I hate heat pumps (blowing cold air to heat the house makes no logical sense to me), they were pretty trouble-free.

Post# 405464 , Reply# 20   2/14/2019 at 11:40 (415 days old) by vexorgtr (Sheffield, Ohio)        
In terms of reliability........

Simple designs usually last longer, because there is less to go wrong that will cripple the whole system. 1 stage furnaces have a simpler motor (on/off) and that eliminates all the circuits to slow the motor to half speed... less to fail.

The public has been bonkers for stuff with blinky lights and fancy screens.. (even refrigerators have screens!)....

Think about those old Nokia phones from 2000... hard plastic, simple screen, long battery life, makes calls, hard to kill.

Post# 405520 , Reply# 21   2/16/2019 at 15:22 (413 days old) by DJub85 (Virginia)        

Here's a question... was there ever "the one" from any other era? Growing up, I thought the 1521 Electrolux models were "the one" from the late '80s and early '90s because I saw them in so many friends' houses, but I'd wager that the only people who agree with me would be other Electrolux fans. Some people probably even think the 1521 was the antithesis of "the one" from that era because it was based on 60s tech and ushered out the last days of the company being widely popular.

Dyson and Shark vacs are the only ones that get much commercial space today in magazines and especially on TV, so maybe they're "the one" that people will remember from ads, but I really don't know. My parents had both recently. The Dyson didn't fit where the old skinny Electrolux wands went (lucky me for inheriting the DJ), so they replaced it with a Shark that died after 3 years. Recently they went back to Aerus and got a battery-powered Lite Cordless.

A lot of the most popular new stuff (Shark, Dyson, etc.) has, like you guys have mentioned, some degree of planned obsolescence, so the most popular models will be few in number down the road. But then the well-built stuff (Miele, Aerus, etc.) has minimal advertising recognition, sells in small numbers, and lasts so long it rarely gets replaced. There's just not going to be much left in 20-30 years. The popular stuff will have mostly died, and everything else sells in small quantities. It's not like the old days when the Rainbow vacs, Kirby vacs, and the model G Electrolux vacs were both most popular and long-lasting. Now it's kind of one or the other. Either way, there won't be many copies left of anything over time.

Post# 405521 , Reply# 22   2/16/2019 at 15:24 (413 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwestern US)        
@ DJub85

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....and that is why we collect vacuums. :)

Post# 405522 , Reply# 23   2/16/2019 at 15:39 (413 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwestern US)        
@ human

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The best way to make your furnace more efficient is not to replace it - it's to seal all the gaps and butt-joints in your ductwork with mastic or foil tape, and make sure all the door and window seals around your house are 100% perfect and hold the heat in. Accomplishing that, you won't have any issues. You could have a million dollar furnace but if your ductwork is garbage and your house has more drafts than a barn, then it's all going to waste.

I used to have an old 1960's GE furnace in my basement, but it had to be replaced because it developed a gas leak and for liability reasons the company that inspected it had to replace it. They said if we didn't believe in God, that we should because it had every reason to have blown up, but somehow it didn't. The furnace I have now is an Amana from the early 2000's (this was installed in 2004) and it's been good so far, but the burners like to melt off for whatever reason after so many years, cheap pot metal. But other than that it seems OK. My great grandmother's house had a gorgeous 1940's Coleman with all the art deco flair and streamlining, it must have been one of the first gas furnaces, it sure looked like it. It was also killed off by gas leaks and the fact that the parts were so obsolete they couldn't even find anyone to fabricate replica parts for it.

But the people that installed the furnace in my own house must have been in elementary school because the fit and finish is so sloppy and poor. The idiots even tore a lot of the asbestos tape off my ductwork when fitting new ducts (they didn't even change the main trunk), I bet they have cancer by now.

I like to watch "Holmes on Homes" and I have learned a lot from that show on how to do basic repair on HVAC at tidying it up and sealing gaps. It's improved it somewhat. I did find that the duct to the kitchen line is crushed like a fortune cookie somehow and the duct to the bathroom is just not even attached, so those need fixing (beyond my skills), but they've been like that for about 40 years. I guess it was fine in the 80s when stuff was cheap but now the price per therm has gone up, can't afford to waste any.

Post# 405525 , Reply# 24   2/16/2019 at 19:07 (413 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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My house is surprisingly tight for being spec-built and I've made it even more so a couple of years ago by adding good vinyl replacement windows. Winters are short and mild down here, but the summers really give the air conditioner a workout.

When I was buying the place, the inspector actually had the gall to suggest I replace the whole HVAC system because the original thermostat was on its way out. It did indeed fail a couple of months after I moved in and I upgraded it to a programmable digital unit--the only circuit board in the whole system.

Post# 405569 , Reply# 25   2/17/2019 at 08:40 (413 days old) by robsmith1977 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)        

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Unfortunately I would have to say the Shark navigator blah blah blah and the Dysons, usually in stick vac form. The chinese seem to make all the vacuums that everybody wants these days - along with microwaves and shoes.

Post# 410422 , Reply# 26   6/13/2019 at 17:41 (296 days old) by CMBCOOL01 (United States)        
Some bagless plastic crap

Probably a Dyson or Shark probably a cordless stick mabye vacuum facts will be in euphoria and it will be the Dyson V11 or whatever all i hope is we see more bagged vacuums the next decade or at least see the ones thats exist now marketed better

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