Well-researched vacuum cleaner reviews & vacuum ratings by a professional engineer.
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The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed with DuoClean Technology (model NV801) uses the latest in upright vacuum technology from Shark. We’ve used this vacuum for a number of weeks and have also run it through several tests - so far we have been impressed. It is great on bare floors, effective on carpet, and capable on pet hair. DuoClean technology does appear to add to the cleaning ability of the vacuum. This is also a lift-away machine which really adds to its versatility. In terms of drawbacks, we would have liked a longer hose and the unit does have a rather narrow cleaner head.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is one of the latest upright vacuums in the Dyson stable. The term “Animal” is intended to highlight its capabilities in households with pets, however there may be another reason. This vacuum cleaner is something of a beast. It is hugely powerful and also a bit of a handful to wield. Is this is a good thing? Well, for the most part it is good but in some cases it isn’t. The machine’s colossal suction ensures top notch cleaning of pet hair, bare floors, carpet, etc. but the weight of the vacuum makes it a little cumbersome despite the added maneuverabiity of “Ball Technology”.
The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Canister Vacuum model NR96 is getting very solid reviews and ratings from owners. This is the first canister vacuum we have seen with the lift away feature - a feature that allows you to carry the motor/dust-canister assembly with one hand and the hose/wand with the other. Owners like the lift away feature in their uprights and they also like it in this canister. The vacuum also has HEPA filtration, a retractable power cord and a low profile nozzle. In addition, it performs well on carpet, bare floors and pet hair. The unit is on the small side however and this is reflected in the smaller nozzle and the dust canister.
In this article we highlight the pros and cons of the Dyson V8 Absolute stick vacuum. The V8 is a popular machine and it is getting very good reviews and ratings from owners. It is Dyson's next generation of stick vac after the V6, and there have been some significant changes. In our detailed review we scored the V8 a very high 94/100 which placed it near the top of the stick vacuums on our website (see stick vacuum ratings).
You may wish to read our comprehensive Dyson V8 Review or simply get the quick facts in this article.
In the following two videos we discuss the pros and cons of the Shark Rocket Complete TruePet with DuoClean – model HV382. Consumers are quite pleased with this vacuum cleaner and when we averaged consumer ratings from 5 different retail sites we found a score of 4.6 stars out of 5 (or 92 out of 100). This is a very good score. You may wish to read our detailed Shark Rocket Complete Review or simply get the quick facts in this article.
The Oreck XL Classic Limited Edition (UK2200) upright vacuum cleaner is getting pretty solid reviews and ratings from owners. This bagged, “no frills” machine is very lightweight and easy to move and maneuver. It is also reasonably priced and it performs well on carpet and bare floors. However there is no hose and no tools or attachments, and some folks struggle with moving it on deeper pile carpet. In addition, the power cord is also a little on the short side.
The Oreck Commercial BB900DGR XL Pro 5 is a compact, bagged canister vacuum that is meant to be carried. The machine is well liked for its over-the-shoulder carry strap, light weight, host of cleaning tools, lengthy cleaning reach, and solid suction. However, some folks have issues with the unit’s short, somewhat inflexible hose and the loose fit between the hose and the extension wand. Some owners really love this vacuum while others are not impressed. Overall consumer ratings are fairly average.
The Black and Decker Air Swivel Lite (model BDASL202) is a very lightweight, bagless upright vacuum cleaner. It is also compact and easy to maneuver. The suction is good, it performs well on pet hair, and the machine is affordable. It does have some issues however. A number of owners have reported that it just stops running for no apparent reason and it either has to be repaired or replaced – there doesn’t seem to be an easy fix. In addition, there are several instances of the belt breaking.
The Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Pet (model UH72630PC) is a popular vacuum cleaner that Hoover refers to as "Our Best Cleaning Bagless Upright". Consumers report that it has tremendous suction and that it cleans bare floors and carpet well. It also excels at pulling up pet hair from upholstery and carpet. In addition, it has an exceptionally long cleaning reach due to a lengthy power cord and stretch hose. However, the vacuum is heavy, hard to maneuver, and can be difficult to push or pull on carpet.
The Bissell Zing 1668 is a small, bagged canister vacuum. It is lightweight, compact and easy to carry. It is designed for bare floors, rugs and carpet but performance on carpet isn’t particularly good as the floor nozzle does not have a brushroll. It does perform fairly well on bare surfaces however and the unit is very affordable at well under $100. This vacuum is very similar to the Bissell Zing 4122, and we believe it is actually the replacement for the 4122.
Is the new Cruise cordless vacuum Hoover’s answer to the Dyson V8? Judging from the design and features it certainly looks like this is what Hoover intends. But is it a good alternative to the popular Dyson stick vac? Well, yes and no. Consumers are very pleased with the vacuum’s light weight, long run time and affordability (it is a fraction of the cost of a Dyson). It is also a 2-in-1 vacuum and the ability to quickly convert to a handheld unit is an asset. However there are reports that the suction is not very strong and that the cleaning head isn’t that easy to control.
We have collected all of our “best vacuum cleaner lists" for 2016 and put them on one page. This includes bagless vacuums, bagged vacuums, uprights, canisters, stick vacs, lightweight vacuums, pet vacuums, cordless vacuums, vacuums under $100 and vacuums under $200. Please consider that prices have been estimated from Amazon over the course of 2016 and have a tendency to go up and down.
The Bissell 1535 OptiClean canister vacuum is adored by some owners but disliked by others. Folks who are happy with their machine point to its light weight, ease of use, and compact size, however those less enthusiastic allude to problems with suction, poor performance on carpet, and limited cleaning reach. Overall consumer ratings for the 1535 are a little disappointing but the vacuum is quite affordable.
The Bissell 1984 Air Ram vacuum is a cordless, bagless upright. Its extreme light weight and swivel steering make it very maneuverable and easy to lift. It is designed for carpet and bare floors and most owners are pleased with the suction power. The dust canister is easy to empty and also has a feature to push dust/debris out. It has a respectable run time of about 30 minutes on a charge. It is not great on deep pile carpet however and it does not come with a HEPA filter. Also, the Air Ram is compact and it may be better suited for a small home, dormitory or apartment.
The Shark Rocket Complete TruePet with DuoClean (HV382) is an interesting vacuum. In many ways it adheres to typical vacuum design but in some ways it does not. First, it is something of a hybrid between a stick vac and an upright. Second, it has 2 brushrolls in the main nozzle, and comes with an odd looking “under-appliance” wand. Differences aside, does it work? In our testing & analysis the vacuum works quite well. It is versatile, has great suction, includes useful tools, and has a long power cord. But it does have a few drawbacks - there's no HEPA filter and it won't stand on its own.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (model 1650A) is a bagless, corded upright vacuum cleaner. As the name suggests it is designed for households with pets and while it can also be used on bare floors, it excels at removing pet hair from carpet. Specialized features include an effective tangle-free brushroll, a system that separates hair from debris which helps when emptying the dust canister, a Febreze filter for removing pet odor, and a sealed filtration system. These all work fairly well and result in a good pet hair vacuum, however this machine is quite heavy and the hose & wand assembly is a little short.
We just got our hands on the Dyson V8 Absolute cordless stick vacuum and have been running the machine through its paces. For the most part, we’ve been impressed. The V8 is a lightweight vacuum that is both a stick vacuum and a handheld. It is maneuverable, easy to empty and very powerful for a cordless (in High Power Mode). It includes an assortment of tools in addition to 2 specialized cleaning heads; one for carpet and one for bare floors. It also sports a HEPA filter and a new hygienic system for removing debris from the dust canister. Is it better than the still-popular Dyson V6 Absolute? In our opinion, in many ways it is.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tom Gasko, curator of the Vacuum Cleaner Museum and Factory Outlet in Saint James, Missouri. Tom has years of experience with vacuum cleaners and has had the opportunity to work with the likes of Rainbow, Kirby, Electrolux and Filter Queen. He has also provided design input to manufacturers and even has a vacuum series named after him!
Tom has seen all sides of the industry and has been involved in vacuum cleaner design, sales, repair and collection. His vacuum cleaner collection is comprised of a staggering 800+ machines and includes some of the most interesting and important vacuums manufactured over the past 100 years. We were excited to ask Tom some questions...
The Hoover WindTunnel 2 Rewind bagless upright vacuum (model UH70825) is a very affordable machine and can often be found for under $100. It is fairly basic and comes with HEPA filtration and several tools. But its claim to fame is the retractable power cord – something not very common in uprights. This is a feature that consumers are very pleased with. However the vacuum itself doesn’t get stellar reviews from owners and it is a bit on the heavy side. It also has no brushroll on/off control and it has an annoying propensity to clog and to shut off.
The Miele Complete C2 Limited Edition canister vacuum is a favorite with owners. It gets very good ratings and comments and is a great fit for homes with bare floors, low pile carpet and some area rugs. The machine is not such a good fit for those with deeper pile carpet. It is a quiet, well built vacuum with variable suction and an auto-rewind power cord. However genuine Miele bags are not cheap and some folks feel that the power cord is too short resulting in the need to frequently plug and unplug the vacuum when moving from one area to another.
The Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum (model 1782) is designed for households with pets. It comes with several tools one of which is a motorized brush tool that excels at pulling up pet hair from carpet and upholstery. The vacuum is not too loud and is also quite lightweight. However, it doesn`t come with a stand and it takes about five hours to fully charge the battery when it is out of juice.
In our most recent interview we speak with John Long of Pittston, Pennsylvania. John is an avid collector of all things Hoover, especially vacuum cleaners, and has traveled across the country in his pursuit of elusive vintage machines. John is also the Vice President of the Vacuum Cleaner Collectors Club and he makes annual pilgrimages to North Canton, the birthplace of Hoover.
We took the opportunity to ask John some questions about vacuum cleaner collecting and Hoover...
The Hoover C2401 backpack vacuum gets fairly good reviews and ratings from owners. Many feel that its efficient design reduces cleaning time and that the machine is something of a workhorse. It is also considered by most to be quite comfortable to wear. It comes with a HEPA filter and also excels on bare floors, but is not particularly good on carpet (no brushroll). In addition, the unit comes with a reusable bag but this requires frequent cleaning and emptying.
In this infographic we highlight the top 10 upright vacuum cleaners on the market in 2016. We’ve reviewed all of these vacuum cleaners and found them to be the best of the uprights. Brands include Shark, Miele, SEBO, Dyson, Bissell, Oreck and Hoover. Prices range from below $100 to close to $800. Shark has managed to get 3 machines in the top 10 list while Oreck has 2. You can see the key vacuum features of each vacuum in the infographic.
You can also see our detailed writeup on these upright vacuumshere.
We recently had the opportunity to discuss vacuums with a passionate collector from Pennsylvania. Robert Alexander Taber, or just “Alex” as he prefers, has made vacuum cleaners his life. As a child, when other children were playing with toy cars, Alex was pulling apart vacuum cleaners.
At the early age of 17, when standing outside an Electrolux office looking at the new machines, he noticed a help wanted sign. Shortly thereafter he began selling vacuums for Electrolux. In 1975 he started selling for Kirby and worked with them for over 20 years.
Alex is now retired and lives on a farm in Pennsylvania but the vacuum obsession still runs strong. He is the founder of the Vacuum Cleaner Collectors Club and continues to work on his private collection. In our discussions with Alex it is apparent that he is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to vacuums and is also something of a historian on the topic.
We asked Alex some questions about vacuums and collecting.
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I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada. I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.
I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate. My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.
I also like to help when I can so feel free to send comments.
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