Bissell 3920 Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum Review


Avg. consumer rating = 79/100 

The Bissell 3920 Pet Hair Eraser appears to be another in the line of “love it or hate it” vacuum cleaners.  Many consumers indicate that it does a great job, has fantastic suction and is good value for the money (several even feel it does a better job on animal hair than the Dyson Animal models).  However there are also folks that give this vacuum cleaner less than stellar ratings, citing decreased suction over time, an overly aggressive brushbar and a “messy to empty” dirt canister.

What are consumers saying they like and dislike about the Pet Hair Eraser?

- Good value for the price
- Long power cord
- Strong suction
- Several useful attachments

- Heavy
- Not as good on hard surfaces as it is on carpet (not uncommon with an upright)
- Some consumers comment on a lack of suction after several months of use
- Poor assembly instructions
- Emptying dirt canister can be messy
- Some comments about continually rotating brushbar harming carpets if kept in one place

Several quality sources indicate the following consumer ratings for the Bissell 3920 Pet Hair Eraser:

Ratings Updated April 2016
 Source  Consumer Rating  #Ratings
 Walmart  4.1 stars out of 5  839
 Amazon  3.7 stars out of 5  625
 Epinions  3.5 stars out of 5  12
 Overstock  3.9 stars out of 5  36


Vacuum Features 

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is an upright, bagless, HEPA capable vacuum cleaner that is designed to effectively remove pet hair.  You can read more about some of these vacuum cleaner attributes in our Vacuum Guide.  Generally speaking:
- Uprights tend to better than canister vacuums on carpets but less effective on hard surfaces.
- Bagless vacuums use a "dirt container" that is filled, emptied and re-used, as opposed to a disposable bag. There is a long standing debate between consumers about which is better (bagged or bagless).
HEPA filtration means “High Efficiency Particulate Air” filtration and is filtration that removes 99.97% of all airborne particulates of 0.3 microns or larger that pass through it.  It is particularly popular with allergy sufferers.

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser has a 12 amp motor (1440 Watts) and uses two-stage cyclonic action to provide suction.  Bissell claim that this two-stage approach increases the suction power of the vacuum.  The 3920 also comes with a plethora of on-board tools including a curved hose wand, an extension wand, a dusting brush/upholstery tool, a crevice tool, a Pet TurboBrush (uses a rotating brush to help remove dirt and hair from small flat areas), a Pet contour tool (aids in pulling out dirt and hair from hard to reach places such as stairs) and a Pet Hair Lifter tool (a specialized tool that works by pulling up hair when you pull back, and releasing and sucking up the hair when you push forward). 

The 3920 also has 7 height settings although you must set these manually.  It is claimed to have an easy-to-empty dirt container but several consumers find emptying the container quite messy.  It does have a fairly long power cord – 35 feet – and compared to quite a few other vacuums that is indeed a decent length.  A short cord can be frustrating.  The Pet Hair Eraser has a 15-inch wide cleaning path, edge cleaning capability, an indicator that tells you when the filter needs to be cleaned, and a headlight.  The vacuum stretch hose is 14 feet in length and the vacuum weighs in at 20.5 lbs (this is fairly heavy in our opinion).  Dimensions of the Bissell 3920 in inches are as follows (WxHxD) 15x45x15.25.  The unit’s warranty is one-year limited –- frankly speaking it is a short warranty but not unlike warranties for a lot of vacuums these days.

At Home Depot you can view the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser vacuum cleaner manual.  This is a PDF file.




0 # Damon 2017-02-04 17:24
This is high maintenance and is not as easy as it could be to clean of the very pet hair it claims to handle. It cleaned well when brand new but soon would blow dust out when the brushes were turned on. It needed cleaning.... Instructions: 1) take the canister and hose off the base. 2) Clean any hair balls out of the hole in the base where the hose had been. 3) Turn the base upside down over a trash can to dump out the dust through that same hole. 4) Get a medium Phillips-head screwdriver. 5) Carefully remove the eight screws from the PURPLE plastic cover around the rotating brush in the bottom of the base. (THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DESIGNED FOR FREQUENT CLEANING) 6) Remove the purple plastic cover. 7) Clean the the short hose of any clogs. 8) Reassemble in reverse order. NOTE: It may be possible to clean the short hose in the base without removing the purple cover but I was not successful. Agree with others that cleaning this units CREATES a mess and spreads dust. Shop-vac is best!
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0 # Sherri 2012-04-15 17:46
This vacuum is horrible. After just two months the suction is horrible. Have cleaned all filters and still terrible. The vacuum is extremely loud now. I wish I never would have bought this, but I figured Bissel was a good name.
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0 # lori english 2012-03-24 18:48
I\'ve only had mine 32 days and it won\'t turn on
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0 # Mark 2012-01-11 05:33
I have a Newfoundland and it was great for the first year. But now on my second year of use and I\'m starting to see that it\'s less effective and I\'m needing to clean more frequent and having to go over the carpet more then once to pick up balls of hair.
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0 # Bernie 2011-09-04 16:55
Similar complaint about loss of suction solved by washing and drying the foam \"pre-motor\" filter located beneath the dirt canister. Slides out. Mine went from beige with dirt and dog hair back to dark gray. After months of frustration, vac works well again. Almost went to buy a new vac, but looked up manual online and discovered this extra filter - not the large white pleated HEPA filter.
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0 # Laurie 2011-06-25 20:02
At first, for about the first 6 months the suction was terrific! I do love the turbo pet hair attachment, it works great on my furniture to remove doggy hair, lint, etc.
I have a couple complaints though and it is because of these complaints that I am replacing this vac ASAP! I have had enough of this! I HATE that the rotating brush bar will not shut off even if I put the setting on \"hard floor\", and there is no on/off switch for it either. So when Im using the attachments to get into tight places, I have to prop the vac edge up on a book or something else, to keep the bar from turning continuosly on my carpet and ruining it. Before I realized this problem, I had a ruined spot of my brand new carpeting! My other complaint is the DIRTY MESS I get when emptying the canister! It\'s a HUGE mess!! Dust and dirt go everywhere!! And it never fails, the top cyclonic bin gets clogged, so I have to reach up into it to clear it, or pull the middle out, which makes a huge mess and is a pain in the rearend to get it back into place! I also have been shocked many times when placing my hand up there right after vac\'ing to clear it.. so I have to wait a few mins before doing so. What a pain!
Oh and on the rotating brush bar issue... I have several spots of my cord that have been worn through by the brush bar because it was caught under the vac and I didn\'t realize it, and while I was using attachments, the bar was just wizzing away on my cord... so I now have a vac that has lots of spots of electrical tape around the worn areas of my cord!

Im done with this piece of junk!
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0 # Dawn 2011-04-16 07:23
I have had it for a couple of years but never use it any more. I had nothing but problems. I have three large shedding white dogs, the first time I used it the power was fabulous not only did it suck up the pet hair but was sucking all the brown fibers out of my french rug. I contacted the company they had me change the height setting, but this didn,t help. I found that I could only use it on my wall to wall carpeting in the bedrooms. Works terrible on floors just blows stuff around. The rotating pet brush attachment worked great a couple of times for my couches but stopped rotating and no matter what I did could not get it working. Over time the machine has lost suction and blows dust all over the room. The hose attachment constantly falls out. The dirt chamber is a good size, but is very messy to clean. I was disapointed with this vacuum from the start.
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0 # Susan 2011-02-05 09:40
had it for about six months also, same problem. perfectly fine the last time it was used.one week later, won\'t turn on. did anyone have this problem? also did anyone solve it? also very disappointed!
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0 # LISA 2011-01-29 08:55
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0 # Amanda 2010-06-21 13:46
I have owned this vacuum for about 3 years now. It does not get the job done. The last time I vacuumed, I had to follow up with a lint brush to get the dog hair off of the rug. It damages the carpet if left standing while on. The hose attachment comes off easily if bumped which causes loss of suction while vacumming. The vacuum overall gets extremely messy. Dust flys everywhere and does not stay contained in the canister very well. I often complain that I shouldnt have to clean my vacuum cleaner after I use it. All in all--I would not recommend this vacuum.
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0 # Anon 2010-03-02 10:08
Would it help if the roller was replaced? I\'m having the same issue. It seems that the roller is having a really hard time turning and everytime I put a new belt on, it breaks. I don\'t want to invest another $30 if that\'s not going to fix the problem though.
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0 # Guest 2010-02-04 11:11
I also agree. On top of lack of suction, the brush only rotates about half the time it\'s in use. Save your money and buy something else.
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0 # ben 2009-12-25 07:48
this vacuum worked great for about the first 6 times i used it. now it has little to no suction and i can\'t figure out why. it mostly just distributes dust into the air all over the house now. i am incredibly disappointed with this. a vacuum for $160 should last longer than 6 uses.
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0 # Guest 2010-01-09 07:14
Agreed... I had the same experience with this vacuum. Also, the roller brush stopped working consistantly.
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0 # Stanley Leone Jr 2010-10-17 08:42
I\'ve had the same experience - no suction, overly aggressive rotating brush, and messy dust flying into the air.
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About Me


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.