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Bissell PowerEdge Hard Floor Vacuum (81L2)

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Avg. consumer rating = 84/100 

This is an inexpensive (about $50.00) and fairly simple stick vacuum manufactured by Bissell.  It is somewhat innovative in that it has a “v-shaped” nozzle that is designed to direct larger debris to the unit’s main suction area while the arms of the “v” pick up the finer dust and particles.  The 81L2 is a corded, bagless upright that is light, manueverable and good on hard surfaces but it has limited effectiveness on carpet and some owners feel it is a bit loud.

This Bissell stick vacuum uses a similar head design to the Bissell 76T8 Versus vacuum cleaner (but this stick vac is better liked by consumers).  The “V-shaped” nozzle looks rather strange but consumer comments generally agree that this design works reasonably well although it has a few shortcomings. 

Bissell call the 81L2 the PowerEdge Hard Floor Vacuum.  It can be a little confusing because they also manufacture the 81L2-T PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum and these machines are almost identical.  However Bissell indicates that the 81L2 has superior edge-cleaning and is capable on both bare floors and low pile carpet.  The 81L2-T is marketed as a stick vac that is great for picking up pet hair but is best on bare floors.

Looking at the PowerEdge 81L2,  a review of several quality websites indicates the following consumer ratings.  In general one can see that the unit is fairly well liked.

Ratings Updated March 2016
 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.2 stars out of 5  4816
 Walmart  4.3 stars out of 5  130
 Overstock  4.3 stars out of 5  12
 Viewpoints  5 stars out of 5  6
 Bed Bath & Beyond  4.1 stars out of 5  93
 Macy's  5 stars out of 5  2

 

Consumer comments indicate that there are quite a few areas in which owners are pleased with the PowerEdge but there are also a few in which they agree the unit has its shortcomings.

PROS
- Light
- Inexpensive
- Compact and easy to store
- Powerful for a stick vacuum
- Works very well on hard surfaces
- Very easy to maneuver
- Dust canister is easy to empty
- Good for getting around furniture and along edges
- Handle lays quite low so good for getting under furniture
- Fairly good at picking up pet hair

CONS
- Loud
- Suction isn’t that strong at the far ends of the “v-shape”
- Not really designed for carpet but can do a little
- Power cord could be longer
- Has no attachments

This is also a corded vacuum cleaner - a plus for some and a minus for others.  It really depends on the intended usage.  It is generally a positive for those looking for more power and no recharging hassles but if one doesn’t want the bother of finding an outlet or moving from outlet to outlet as you vacuum, it can be a downside.  The cord on the Bissell PowerEdge is 20 feet in length.  Perhaps not too bad for a stick vacuum but for larger area cleaning it will come up short.  Indeed some owners have reported that they have found this an issue.

The PowerEdge is reported to be quite maneuverable and the vacuum head swivels and does make vacuuming around furniture (like table and chair legs) fairly easy.  Maneuverability is also made easier by the unit’s light weight of 7.5 lbs.  According to Bissell, the ends of the v-shaped nozzle make edge cleaning and cleaning up tight against baseboards simple and effective, although some consumers feel that the suction is sufficiently diminished towards the ends of the “v” that pick up is somewhat limited.

The Bissell PowerEdge is powered by a 5 amp motor and it uses cyclonic suction.  This is the same approach used in Dyson vacuums where suction generally does not diminish over time and the filters stay cleaner longer.  The PowerEdge does not have HEPA filtration and it uses a basic pleated circular filter to remove particles from the air.

The dirt canister on this bagless stick vacuum is said by owners to be easy to empty and the vacuum also has a fairly wide (for a stick vac) cleaning path of 11.35 inches.  There is only one height setting and the product dimensions are (in inches) 10.6 length x 11.3 width x 44 height.  Consumers report that it will also stand up on its own. 

It is purportedly quite easy to assemble (consumers agree on this) and it carries a 1- year limited manufacturer’s warranty.  In addition, it should be noted that this stick vac does not come with any attachments.

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Comments  

0 # Karen Glasser 2011-05-01 18:25
I purchased the Bissel 81L2T series today so I have only used it once. So far I am very happy with it. It was very easy to assemble and I only wanted it for my hardwood floor in my kitchen and dining room. I have 3 little dogs who are constantly going in and out and it did a great job on my floors. I would recommend this vacuum. I don\'t plan to use it on my carpet. I feel it is only meant for hard floors :-)
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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.  

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