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Bissell Zing Canister Vacuum 2156A

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Avg. consumer rating = 82/100 

The Bissell Zing 2156A canister vacuum is compact and lightweight. It generates remarkably strong suction for a vacuum its size and owners like that it is not too loud, and that it has washable filters.  It also has an automatic rewind power cord and is a very affordable vacuum cleaner – usually in the neighborhood of $50.  However, due to the size of the vacuum it is not the best fit for large house cleaning.  It is more suited for a small home or apartment.  It is also not designed to handle medium or deep pile carpet.  Consider the 2156A if you have a small home with mostly bare floors and some area rugs.

Quick Specs
Type Canister
Bagged/Bagless Bagless
Best for... Hard Floors
Pet Hair Features No
Approx. Weight 10.2 lbs
HEPA Level Filtration No
Power Cord Length 16 feet
Motor Driven Brushbar No
Warranty 1 Year

 

Consumer Ratings
We found 3398 consumer ratings from three online retail outlets – see table below.  When averaged these ratings result in an overall score of 82.1 out of 100 (or about 4.1 stars out of 5).  This is similar to our site average for vacuum cleaner scores.  To compare this score to others you may wish to see all of our vacuum ratings, all canister vacuum ratings, all Bissell vacuum ratings, or use our Vacuum Cleaner Finder application.
 
Source Consumer Rating  # Ratings
Amazon 4.1 stars out of 5 3349
Kmart 4.5 stars out of 5 11
Wayfair 4.6 stars out of 5 38
 

Aside:
In our experience the average consumer rating (vacuum score) for an inexpensive vacuum is difficult to compare to the score for an expensive vacuum.  This has to do with consumer expectations.  Expectations are higher for more expensive vacuums, so any vacuum issues tend to result in more negative scoring.  In the case of an inexpensive vacuum, expectations are not necessarily as high and owners are often more forgiving with some of the machine’s shortcomings.
 
Consider this:
Vacuum A: Costs $50 and has a score of 85
Vacuum B: Costs $500 and has a score of 85
 
Do not automatically expect that these vacuums are equally as good.  Consider the consumer’s level of investment.

 
Bissell Zing 2156A
Pros & Cons
A thorough review of owner comments, reviews and insights has provided the following vacuum pros and cons:
 
PROS
- Strong suction
- Good on bare floors
- Automatic power cord rewind
- Not too loud
- Very light and easy to lift
- Large dust canister
- Very inexpensive
- Washable filters
 
CONS
- Attachments use compression fit
- Not good on medium or deep pile carpet
- No brushroll in cleaner head
- Not particularly capable on pet hair
- Tools do not mount on vacuum
- Small and not designed for large house cleaning
- Short power cord
 
What Are Owners Saying?
Many consumers are pleasantly surprised by the suction of the Zing 2156A and report that the machine really packs a punch.  This seems particularly surprising given the size of the vacuum.  It is rather compact.  It also has a largish dust canister for a vacuum its size, which is good as you don’t have to do frequent emptying.
 
Owners report that cleaning performance is very good on bare surfaces like tile, linoleum, hardwood, etc.  It is adequate on some low pile carpet.  The deeper the carpet the less capable the vacuum is at cleaning.  The 2156A is not the right fit for a house with lots of carpet, and it is absolutely the wrong machine for a house with lots of deep pile carpet.  It is a better fit for a smaller home with lots of smooth flooring.
 
Bissell Zing LightweightAs a small vacuum the Zing 2156A is lightweight and easy to lift.  A handle on the top of the unit also makes it easy to carry from room to room or up and down stairs.  The vacuum is actually so light that you can pick up the canister in one hand and use the hose/wand with the other for above-floor cleaning.  Some people even report using the vacuum to clean their vehicle interior as it is very portable.
 
In addition, owners like that the vacuum is not particularly noisy (despite having respectable suction) and that it tracks smoothly behind you as you vacuum.  The large back wheels help it to move over cords/cables without getting stuck.  Folks also love the automatic power cord rewind feature.
 
The most contentious issue with the Zing 2156A is that the attachments do not “click-fit” together.  As a result the extension wand falls off the vacuum handle frequently. The tools sometimes fall off as well.  The problem is that these items all use compression fit.  Meaning they are simply pushed on.  Compression fit does not lock the pieces together.  Many folks find this frustrating and we’ve seen many comments lamenting this design.
 
Performance on pet hair is mixed.  Some people feel it is ok while others have been disappointed.  It seems the pet hair sometimes has a tendency to get caught up in the cleaner head and you have to remove it manually. 
 
Also, some people report that the power cord is short.  Several folks have resorted to using an extension cord to get the extra cleaning reach they want.
 
Both the power on/off button and the power cord rewind button are located on the canister body (one on either side).  Unfortunately they look similar and are hard to tell apart.  Some owners complain that they press the wrong button frequently.  We’ve actually seen this same issue on some Miele canister vacuums as well.  They have a similar setup.
 
You can read many more Zing owner comments on Amazon.
 

Zing Models
There are several different Zing canister vacuums.  We’ve reviewed a few of them in the past – one bagless, the Zing 10M2, and two bagged units, the Zing 4122 and the Zing 6188.  This vacuum, the Zing 2156A, is bagless and it uses cyclonic technology.
 
Cyclonic Technology
Cyclonic technology involves spinning the air (in one or more cyclones) at very high speeds.  The dirt and debris are essentiall “flung” out of the air via centrifugal force and into the dust canister.  This approach is said to help maintain strong suction while vacuuming (as the dust canister is filling) and to also help filters stay cleaner longer.  It is the technology used by most bagless machines today. 
 
Filtration
The 2156A has a pre-motor filter and a post motor filter.  The pre-motor filter is located inside the dust canister and is easily removed (give the filter housing a slight twist).  When dirty the filter can be rinsed in water and, when completely dry, placed back in the vacuum.  The post-motor filter is located behind a grill at the bottom rear of the vacuum.  The post motor filter is also rinsable in water.  Note that none of these filters are HEPA grade.  This is not a vacuum that will help those suffering from asthma or allergies.
 
Cleaner Head
The cleaner head (vacuum floor tool) is designed to work on both hard surfaces and low pile carpet.  However please note that this cleaner head has no brushroll.  Brushrolls are the spinning brush inside many cleaner heads.  They are very important if you wish to do more thorough carpet cleaning. 
 
This cleaner head has a rocker switch on top which you can easily move back and forth with your foot.  This switch – in one position - extends a small row of brushes along the front of the cleaner head.  In the other position the brushes are retracted.  In this way the cleaner head is designed for both carpet and bare surfaces – depending on the rocker switch setting. 
 
Bissell Zing Cleaner Head
 
Many owners report that the cleaner head is very difficult to move on anything but the lowest pile carpet.  Also, with no brushroll it will not do a very effective cleaning job on anything but low pile carpet.
 
However, this cleaner head does do a good job on smooth flooring.  Cleaner heads with brushrolls will usually have the brushroll turned off when cleaning bare floors so the fact that this unit has no brushroll does not impact its bare floor cleaning capability.
 
The cleaner head has a cleaning path width of 10.1 inches.  This is not very wide and is similar to that of many stick vacuums.  There are pros and cons to a narrow cleaning head.  These heads tend to be very maneuverable and it is easy to get them into tight areas and in and around furniture.  However in larger open areas they result in the need to do many passes in order to cover the area. 
 
Wand, Power Cord, Hose
Cleaning reach on the 2156A is not very long.  The vacuum sports a 16 foot power cord which is quite short in our opinion (and in the opinion of several consumers).  We usually see lengths of 20 feet or more on most canister vacuums.  Adding to the minimal cleaning reach is the 4 ft 8 inch hose.  This length appears to be sufficient for most vacuuming chores but for some jobs, like overhead cleaning for example, you may have to lift the canister up with one hand while using the hose/wand with the other. 
 
The automatic power cord retraction feature is popular.  We have yet to find a vacuum where this feature is not popular.  It would appear most folks really do not like wrapping power cords.  On the Zing 2156A there is a button located on the top of the canister body that you depress to engage the automatic retraction.  The system works well.
 
An extension wand is provided with the vacuum and this can be attached to the vacuum handle (at the end of the hose).  The cleaner head can also be attached to the end of the extension wand.  The biggest issue here is that these are all just pushed together and there is no means of fixing them in place.  Many owners are frustrated that these sometimes come apart while you are working.
 
Variable Suction
We have seen this vacuum described as having variable suction.  However what we really have here is a manual slider on the vacuum handle (at the end of the hose) that you can open or close in order to bleed off suction.  This does work but it is not something we would typically refer to as variable suction.  Variable suction generally refers to the ability to set the motor speed.  It is the kind of thing you see on a Miele canister – the dial on top with 6 speed settings for example.  Again, the slider does work and it is useful when vacuuming delicate items like curtains or a lampshade, or if the cleaner head is sticking to an area rug.
 
Dust Canister
The dust canister on this unit is fairly large and it has a volume of 2 liters.  This is a reasonable size – especially for such a compact vacuum cleaner.  It is easy to detach and to empty.  It has the bottom empty design and you simply press a button near the bottom of the unit to open the base.  There has been some grumbling that dirt/hair/debris can get stuck near the top of the dust canister and that it doesn’t fall out.  This is a frequently a problem with bagless vacuums.  Typically in these cases you have to stick your hand in and pull it out.  If you can’t access it with your hand, removing the filter assembly may help. 
 

Emptying the dirt canister Bissell Zing bagless
 
Emptying a dust canister is not a particularly hygienic process as there is often a puff of dust.  A few manufacturers have tried to alleviate this issue with varying levels of success.  Dyson have the “hygienic emptying system” on some of the stick vacuums and handheld vacuums, while Miele’s new bagless canisters capture fine dust in a self cleaning filter which is in a separate compartment from the dust canister.  Bear in mind that these are much more expensive vacuums than the Zing.
 
Tools
The 2156A comes with a small crevice tool and a dusting brush.  These are simple tools and they can be fit on the end of the handle or on the end of the extension wand.  There is no place to store these on board the vacuum however.  So if you find you need one or the other while vacuuming you will have to fetch it from the closet or wherever you keep them.  Having on-board storage is not only convenient it also helps you from losing the tools over time.
 
Bissell Zing 2156A Tool
 
Warranty & Other Details
The canister body on this vacuum only weighs about 7.5 lbs so it is relatively easy to lift.  This is the weight of some stick vacuums on the market today.  With hose, wand, and cleaner head the entire assembly still only weighs just over 10 lbs.  There are two buttons on the vacuum body – the power on/off and the automatic cord rewind.  The canister also moves on three wheels.  The smaller front wheel swivels while the two larger back wheels do not.
 
Bissell Zing bagless canister
 
Bissell Zing bagless side view
 
The Zing 2156A carries a 1-year limited warranty.
 
Vacuum Cleaner Manual
The manual for this vacuum is limited in scope and it really does not provide very much information, but there may be something helpful in it depending on your needs.  You can view it here: Bissell Zing 2156A Manual
 
 

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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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