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Bissell Zing Bagged Canister Vacuum

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Avg. consumer rating = 88/100 

The Bissell Zing bagged canister vacuum (model 4122) is a fairly simple machine and it doesn'’t come with a lot of frills and features.  It is also very inexpensive at around $50.  Owners are giving it great reviews and feel that it is lightweight, maneuverable and easy to store.  It is a good fit for a smaller home or apartment but it performs better on bare floors than carpet.

There are few online sources with owner comments and ratings for this vacuum but we managed to find two.  The two sources – shown in the table below – suggest that most owners are very happy with their purchase.  The average score for this vacuum is 88.2 out of a possible 100.  This is a good score and you can compare it against scores for other canister vacuums we have looked at here

We would like to point out however that there is a tendency for consumers to be more lenient with ratings for a machine that costs less.  This is understandable of course but it is something to consider when comparing one vacuum to another via their score.  A $400 Miele that scores 88 and this $50 Bissell that scores 88 are likely not “equally as good” vacuums.  The scores have a tendency to tell you how the consumer feels about their overall purchase, which generally includes both price and vacuum, and in some cases may also include other areas such as customer service.

 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.4 stars out of 5  84
 Overstock  4.6 stars out of 5  5

A review of owner comments provided the following insights into the 4122:
 
PROS
- Respectable amount of suction
- Lightweight & easy to carry
- Small and easy to store
- Very affordable
- Gets under furniture easily

CONS
- Not great on carpet – especially medium to high pile
- Short power cord
- Small vacuum bag
- Hose is stiff
- Crevice/brush tool isn’t very useful

A number of owners report that the vacuum is quite loud on its highest suction setting but others don’t feel this is the case - it may simply be a matter of what one is used to.  Also, almost all owners feel that the Zing 4122 delivers solid bang for the buck and is a great machine for the money.

Zing isLightweight cansiter
The Zing is lightweight

It is very important however to understand your cleaning needs before purchasing a vacuum such as this.  This is not a large machine and the nozzle width and vacuum bags are small.  As a result it is probably best for cleaning smaller areas.  In addition - and this is key - it is not designed to clean lots of carpet.  It can handle a small amount of low pile carpet but if your house is mostly carpet, especially medium or high pile carpet, then you are better off with a different vacuum.

The 4122 is a bagged canister vacuum powered by a 10 amp motor.  It is a smallish machine and it only weighs about 8 lbs.  Although when perusing specifications for this unit online you will find a wide range of weights quoted.  Perhaps some are “canister only” while others include the canister, hose, wand and floor tool.  Sometimes even shipping weights get quoted (this includes all the packaging materials).

The vacuum comes with a 17 foot power cord which is a bit on the short side*.  We often see power cords of 20 feet or more on a canister vacuum.  Indeed a number of consumers have highlighted the short power cord as a source of frustration.  The power cord does have automatic rewind however, a feature almost all owners like.

A few tools and attachments come with the Zing:
- telescopic wand
- combo crevice tool and brush
- upholstery tool

Bissell 4122 Tools
Tools provided with the Zing

The tools store on-board the vacuum but they tend to be small and cheaply made.  The tools do work but several owners report using tools from other vacuums in order to do a better cleaning job.   The telescopic wand is also a bit short. 

As highlighted by many an owner the multi-surface floor nozzle is really best for smooth surfaces.  Bissell marketing materials indicate it can be used for carpet, rugs and bare floors.  While this is true it should be pointed out that it is only adequate on carpet and performs best on short pile carpet.  The multi-surface floor nozzle does not have a brushbar.   A nozzle with a powered brushbar is generally what is needed to do a quality cleaning job on medium to high pile carpet.  A few folks also report that the 4122 nozzle head can be difficult to push on anything but low pile carpet.

A foot-operated rocker switch on the multi-surface floor nozzle allows you to move between “carpet/rug” mode and “bare floors” mode.  When the rocker switch is pushed down it extends brushes down for bare floor cleaning.  When the rocker switch is in the up position the brushes are retracted and the tool is in “carpet/rug” mode.

Zing 4122 Floor Tool
Floor tool with rocker switch

A full bag indicator on the canister body tells you when you need to change the bag.  A few owners report that the bags are a bit small (2.5 liters).  Also, there seems to be quite a bit of confusion regarding which bags to buy for the 4122 and where to find them.  We have noticed that the official Bissell site has a list of consumables (including bags), accessories and parts that they recommend for the Zing 4122 – you can find the information here.  Also 2 bags are provided when you buy the vacuum.

The vacuum has two filters that need to be maintained.  There is a pre-motor filter and a post motor filter.  Both can be washed clean with warm water and a mild detergent, but you may still need to replace them after 3 to 6 months or so – depending on how much vacuuming you do.

One of the big surprises on this machine is that is has an airflow regulator as well as variable suction controls.  The airflow regulator is essentially a hole in the handle or wand that can be varied in size thereby increasing or decreasing suction at the end of the handle or wand. This is a common enough feature.  But variable suction on such an inexpensive vacuum is not typical.  Variable suction controls allow one to set the motor speed thereby increasing or decreasing suction.  This feature is prevalent on the much more expensive Miele canister vacuums.  On the 4122 suction is controlled via a dial on the canister body.

Additional features include a tool caddy which attaches to the wand and holds the tools on-board, a built-in carry handle, and a fairly narrow cleaning path width of 10.6 inches. A narrow nozzle head may make for additional work when cleaning large areas but it also helps when maneuvering around lots of furniture and getting into tighter, narrower areas - so it is not necessarily a bad thing.  It depends on the kind of cleaning you are doing.

The Bissell Zing 4122 carries a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Vacuum Manual
A vacuum manual can be found here.  It provides an overview of the vacuum and its features and also has information on maintenance and troubleshooting.

Vacuum Video
The following video provides a useful look at the Zing 4122 and shows it at work.

*Oddly the American Bissell site says this unit has a 17 foot power cord while the Canadian Bissell site says it has a 16 foot power cord.  We’ve also seen some 3rd party sites quote 16.5 feet.

 

Image Nigel Russco has been writing for Vacuum Cleaner Advisor for years and has a background in business and engineering, as well as a keen interest in anything related to vacuum cleaners. Connect with Nigel on Google+
 






 

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About Me

Hello!

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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