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FireGryphon
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What's a good vacuum?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:52 pm

My Dyson DC50 upright just died and I need to replace it. Looking for some input from my fellow gerbils. What vacuums do you use, like, dislike?

The DC50 was OK, but I frequently had to run over things a couple times to pick them up. It did fine on floors, but I found the detachable hose (for crevices and whatnot) was hard to maneuver. I'd like at least the second problem solved with the new vacuum so I can more easily clean things like furniture cushions and stairs.

I'm eyeing cordless vacuums. Anyone use those?

So far I've acquainted myself with the Dyson and Shark websites, but it's impossible to find a review that seems honest and thorough, so any advise you all can give me is much appreciated.
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:58 pm

FireGryphon wrote:
So far I've acquainted myself with the Dyson and Shark websites, but it's impossible to find a review that seems honest and thorough, so any advise you all can give me is much appreciated.

Those are easily the best two brands if you're willing to spend the money. I'd personally go for a recent Dyson upright, rather than their cordless stuff, but that's just me. Sometimes you're gonna have to go over stuff twice, that's life.
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:04 pm

Miele. There is no substitute. Yes, they're pricey, but they last forever (going on 15 years for mine). Also, canister will always be more versatile than an upright.
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:29 pm

I have both Shark and Dyson vacuums.

Over time, I have gravitated towards the lightweight cordless vacuums for my hardwood floors and stairs, and stronger corded vacuum for carpeted floors. The Dyson V10 does great for vacuuming pet hair and doing quick jobs, and supposed to have a 10-year battery life before needing replacement; it's docked when not used. I don't know if the Shark is better than other vacuums but it does a decent job vacuuming carpets; I just hate getting hair out of the rollers (same for any vacuum cleaner).

To me the more important factors are the frequency of vacuuming you expect to do and how well the vacuum suits that job. I have pets and I dislike pet hair clumping around so my fiancee and I vacuum here and there pretty frequently (once or twice a week). Getting the cordless vacuums have made it so that each vacuum session is not much of a chore - a big improvement over having to drag around a heavy vacuum up and down the stairs and making us less likely to clean.
Last edited by wtfbbqlol2 on Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:30 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Miele. There is no substitute. Yes, they're pricey, but they last forever (going on 15 years for mine). Also, canister will always be more versatile than an upright.


I agree! Miele is totally worth the investment.
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:57 pm

FireGryphon wrote:
My Dyson DC50 upright just died and I need to replace it. Looking for some input from my fellow gerbils. What vacuums do you use, like, dislike?

The DC50 was OK, but I frequently had to run over things a couple times to pick them up. It did fine on floors, but I found the detachable hose (for crevices and whatnot) was hard to maneuver. I'd like at least the second problem solved with the new vacuum so I can more easily clean things like furniture cushions and stairs.

I'm eyeing cordless vacuums. Anyone use those?

So far I've acquainted myself with the Dyson and Shark websites, but it's impossible to find a review that seems honest and thorough, so any advise you all can give me is much appreciated.


I've had a Shark Navigator Rotator for about 7 years now. I bought it on sale at walmart for $199 IIRC. I thought that was a great deal until sometime later I went to the Shark website and saw that I could have ordered the same vacuum for the same price and gotten a steam mop for FREE! Oh well. So definitely check their site as well as amazon, walmart and target to make sure you are getting the best deal. I have not had any issues with my unit. Nothing is broken or feels like it's about to break. The ergonomics of it seem very well thought out. Someone commented before me that they liked canister vacs. My model came with a little wheeled dolly that allows you to turn it into a canister vac! Shark has LOTS of models that come with a variety of accessories, so you REALLY need to carefully look at all the models to make sure you get the one that is suited for you. Another person commented that they had to clean the hair out of the roller on their Shark. I have to do that on mine too. But I recently saw that they have a new model that claims to not accumulate hair on the roll bar! The only bad thing I can say about my Shark is that while it does an excellent job on carpet, it only does a "decent" job on tile floors, which most of my house is. So because of this, and the fact that I HATE mopping, I just bought a Shark steam mop on sale at Target for $80 recently. I have not tried it yet, but I am confident that it will allow me to clean the floor better and easier than using the vacuum, as well as making me have to mop the floor less often.

I would stay away from the cordless models, just because you know for a fact that you will have to replace the battery eventually, and that is never covered under warranty.

Lastly, I have never owned a Dyson or Miele, nor do I know anyone that does. So I don't have any opinions about them, other than the fact that they are outrageously priced. I would find it hard to believe that they could clean that much better to be worth the price difference...
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:49 pm

I don't like canister designs - pain in the @ss pulling them around and watching them bump into things (and occasionally "hanging-up").


I own an Oreck (an older model that was their best commercial version at the time): the Oreck is loud, but it's very lightweight (enough so that you can easily "twist" the machine from the handle alone to lift the head to pick-up larger debris on the floor that the machine would otherwise just push around) and this makes it very easy to use in general, and particularly on stairs. It is EXTREMELY *durable and exceedingly easy to repair. It leaves a very nice "brush" finish on the carpet (..particularly with smaller pile carpet). You do need to get the "HEPA" bags though, not their cheaper bag. (..but the bags are overall pretty in-expensive.) It's not the greatest with suction, though still good. Replacing the bag is easy and an overall clean experience. (..I've got their smaller hand-held machine as well: avoid it, the bag is minuscule and it's overall a mediocre performer.) Other than having a light on our machine and a lifetime warranty, there really isn't much that substantively differentiates their commercial line - so whatever is cheapest is probably best (excepting various warranties), again though - make sure to use the HEPA bags.

No detachable wand, so you'd need to get another machine to accompany the Oreck. I don't see that as a bad thing, because you can get a better machine for this express purpose. Again though, do NOT get the little portable Oreck.

A good review here of one of their ugly little machines (..mine looks very similar, just all black and with a light):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkvN1dqBDX4



*I've read reports of faulty electronics boards - but that's pretty much like anything these days, the overall design and materials construction though is extremely durable.
 
Acidicheartburn
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:19 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Miele. There is no substitute. Yes, they're pricey, but they last forever (going on 15 years for mine). Also, canister will always be more versatile than an upright.

Seconded on Miele. Went through numerous vacuums for years. Finally bought a Miele and it's just fantastic. Well built, good suction, and incredibly quiet. All the tools and attachments feel like they'll last forever. It's easily a huge step up from anything else I've owned. I haven't been impressed with Dyson vacuums when I've used them. They're all made with soft, cheap plastic that feels like it's engineered to break, and the vacuums all seem to have large amounts of bending and flexing in them where they shouldn't. When using them I feel like I'm going to snap something in half. Dyson seem like the Bose of vacuuming. You're paying for the name and with that some great branding, design aesthetics, and advertising but an overall inferior product compared to cheaper alternatives.

Ask any vacuum cleaner repair man and they'll tell you to avoid Dyson like the plague. For that matter, try and find a vacuum repair place if you can and go there. They usually have better vacuums than all the mainstream ones you see advertised on TV and at Target/Wal-Mart, and they'll let you try them out before you buy anything. Plus they can recommend you a vacuum based on your use cases.

I also own a basic Oreck upright and it's the second best vacuum I own, though it's the one I use the most (my Miele is a cannister vacuum that I use for hose-vacuuming duties). It's loud enough I feel the need to wear earmuffs when I use it but it's so light weight it's a piece of cake to use and it has good suction. It's a piece of cake to change the bag and it's lasted close to 15 years now. It doesn't have a hose attachment (hence the Miele) but between the two vacuums there's nothing I can't handle in the house.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:48 pm

Clearly you should try to find one that really sucks!

(thank you, I'll be here all week...)
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:27 am

No complaints here with our $40 Eureka. Then again, Pixel (our pet Roomba) does 95% of the vacuuming and we have no carpet and no pets (except the aforementioned robot and the fish who don’t shed).
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:51 am

NovusBogus wrote:
Clearly you should try to find one that really sucks!

(thank you, I'll be here all week...)


That would be a *Kirby!

Sucks the dirt AND your money!

(..I'm only here for the weekend!) :P


*I have major nostalgia for this vacuum cleaner brand from when I was a child.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:02 am

Acidicheartburn wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:

I also own a basic Oreck upright and it's the second best vacuum I own, though it's the one I use the most..


Yeah, that's the thing about it (..and that it takes some pretty hard abuse), for like 85% of vacuuming in general and probably 95% most of the time - it's the go-to machine. I've had other vastly more expensive machines of different brands but the fugly little Oreck just goes about doing most of the weekly "grind" (..sometimes literally depending on what it picks-up), and it does that with a very nice brushed-look.

If I wanted a good deep clean I'd probably invest in a Bissell Big Green Machine PRO. (..for spot cleaning Bissell's "Oxy" chemical cleaner that you can find in Lowe's in the US is excellent stuff ..but NOT their more expensive "Pet" version.)

The Big Green Machine sucks real hard! :P
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:27 am

Yeah, my Oreck takes a beating. I don't have a commercial model but it's still a sturdy vacuum and a workhorse. I bash it into all sorts of things and it takes it in stride. It's surrounded by this semi-soft but really tough plastic that absorbs impacts well. It's so lightweight it pulls itself along on carpet just by the brush spinning. It's a great feeling when I get to replace the bag and use it with an empty bag because it's almost like pushing around a broom it's just so lightweight. Only floors my Oreck can't do is high-pile carpet or rugs with soft, flexible fibers. It sucks up the fibers and hangs onto them and kinda gets stuck in them since there's no way to adjust the height. For the high-pile carpet in my basement I have to bust out the big gun, an ancient Hoover Concept One Power Drive from the 1970's I got from my grandparents. Here's a very similar model to the one I have: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/IqIAAOSwK2Jcmp7m/s-l1600.jpg They really don't build them like they used to. This thing is built like an absolute tank. Heavy as heck but it really does drive itself back and forth and the suction is pretty decent but you can only use it on carpet as the self drive wheels will tear up anything not-carpet. It's also not as loud as you'd expect. About a year ago I accidentally sucked up a rather large screw hiding in the carpet and shattered the impeller. I managed to find a replacement part at a small vacuum cleaner repair store. It was a real bitch to take apart the vacuum and get to the impeller (again, built like a tank) but it was satisfying to save the old brute.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:48 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
No complaints here with our $40 Eureka. Then again, Pixel (our pet Roomba) does 95% of the vacuuming and we have no carpet and no pets (except the aforementioned robot and the fish who don’t shed).

On a more serious note, I have a fairly standard bagless Bissell upright that cost about a hundred bucks at a big box store. It works fine and I have no complaints, but I also don't use it very much because I'm a lazy engineer that never has visitors. No consumable costs is nice, though; it's the kind where the filters and whatnot can be washed and reused, which was a major factor in the purchase.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:55 am

I have a miele also, S2000 or something like that.

I also have one of these, great for the price, mainly for the garage, but with kids and pets, it has seen a lot of house duty, some of the things it picked up would have wrecked the miele lol
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:30 am

CScottG wrote:
NovusBogus wrote:
Clearly you should try to find one that really sucks!

(thank you, I'll be here all week...)

That would be a *Kirby!

Sucks the dirt AND your money!

(..I'm only here for the weekend!) :P


*I have major nostalgia for this vacuum cleaner brand from when I was a child.

We got talked into one many (18-ish?) years ago. At least we didn't pay anywhere close to list, but it was still a small fortune. It's built like a tank (with all the good and bad this implies). The carpet shampooing attachment is worthless (I think we attempted to use it just once), but aside from that it has done a good job over the years and has never needed any repairs beyond routine belt replacement.
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:11 am

I'm so far happy with my Shark Navigator Pro, but I have not owned it long. You do have to keep an eye on the beater brush and clean that off with pets and long hair. But if I had the money, I probably would have went with a Miele C series. Friend has one and it's so quiet and nice.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:41 am

I've also got a Miele canister vac. Expensive, but it will eventually pay for itself - my wife sheds hair and it'll get tangled up in the rollers. With the cheapie upright vacs we had before, it wouldn't be all that long before the belt melted through and my sense of smell wasn't good enough to catch it in time. The Miele has a toothed rubber belt for the roller/extra power attachment and it hasn't broken yet.
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:19 pm

Shark has some vacuums that clean the brush of wrap around hair, their calling it Zero-M.
Shark wrote:
Hair wrap means a whole lot of hands-on mess. With Zero-M®, that’s not your problem anymore. No scissors needed, no hassling with your brushroll, just nonstop hair removal and powerful deep cleaning.

https://www.sharkclean.com/technology/zero-m/
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:16 pm

Another vote for Miele canister - I've had two - both lasted over 10 years and suck great. My current one was about $700, so not cheap. HEPA.

A got a dyson animal 7 last fall ($250 or so) and it worked great til it started going erratic - a common issue its seems which the fix is to keep it clean. I've tried to keep it spotless but its doesn't always suck or goes on and off. This is a pain. It worked OK but no where near the Miele.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:57 pm

My combo of a Neato Botvac D80 for [mostly] daily clean up and a refurb Dyson Ball Animal that I got for about $250 as a refurb serves out household extremely well.

It's much harder to run the Botvac these days with a toddler cluttering up the floor, but it still runs a few times a week and stays on top of things quite well.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:06 pm

CScottG wrote:
..I've had other vastly more expensive machines of different brands..


I should probably comment on this a bit more, in addition to Kirby when I was child - later in my teens my parents purchased a Filter Queen. (..check-out the prices on that sucker.) A COMPLETE waste of money. (..My Grandparents even more stupidly had a whole-house system installed: that was a terrific way to waste money (..like car-money at that time).)

1. The Filter Queen is a canister vac: dragging it around was just annoying and while the air-flow was good the suction wasn't that great and the beater-brush was at best decent. (..by comparison the Oreck leaves a much nicer more prominent brush pattern in all carpets.)
2. Then there was the "versatility" of the unit, as if swapping items out on it was something you'd actually want to do (and that goes for any "multi-purpose" design). ANYTHING that takes extra time with such a mundane task is asking NOT to have that task done, and if someone left on the attachment you didn't want to use (which was often) - there was always that accuse to NOT do the task that you needed to do with it.
3. Yes, the filtration was about as good as you can get (and still is).. but as far as particulate matter in a carpet: the extra level of filtration wasn't worth it (my parents didn't smoke), and you could always purchase a much cheaper air filter for the house to handle the ultra-fine airborne particles.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:23 pm

just brew it! wrote:
We got talked into one many (18-ish?) years ago. At least we didn't pay anywhere close to list, but it was still a small fortune. It's built like a tank (with all the good and bad this implies). The carpet shampooing attachment is worthless (I think we attempted to use it just once), but aside from that it has done a good job over the years and has never needed any repairs beyond routine belt replacement.


Ironically the pricing on the Kirby hasn't kept pace with inflation (..well, depending on the dealer/salesman). In the early '80's it was around $600 without all attachments. Maybe a little over a grand for something comparable today.

Yeah, the shampooing is apparently a finicky process, and it's an attachment - so a pain-in-the-@ss regardless (..but at least it's an activity you wouldn't do that often). In fact its "versatility" and build quality reminds me very much of a Shopsmith system (..something that never got used for more than a table-top saw despite all of its features).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMOzj48zqsw

https://www.vacuumsguide.com/kirby-avalir-2/

It's just built like a tank (makes a Miele seem cheap by comparison), and so smooth to use UNLESS you have to actually PICK IT UP! :lol:


-still, the Kirby is one of those things that doesn't make you feel like you got ripped-off all those years later: where you look at it (and use it for typical stand-up vacuuming) and smile: pleased with your purchase. :D (..something tough to achieve with any product - particularly as you move beyond 5 years from the purchase date.)
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:51 pm

Pushing a Kirby back and forth can be quite a workout. I prefer my cheap mostly-plastic upright. I can sling it around easily.
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CScottG
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:08 pm

I remember the Kirby going nowhere with a height that was to close to the floor:

-with awesome suction comes great responsibility! :P


I've got that just a bit with the Oreck on the pull-back. Forward though and it kind'a wants to pull you (ever-so slightly).

Sort of a "tug of war" between the beater-brush/motor vs. the weight of the vacuum and the resistance it applies because of the suction (in relation to carpet and vacuum height). With the Oreck it's so light that it's all about the beater-brush/motor, where you are almost exclusively pulling against in on pull-back.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:35 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Pushing a Kirby back and forth can be quite a workout. I prefer my cheap mostly-plastic upright. I can sling it around easily.

At some point they added a "power assist" feature; ours has this. Enable it, and it senses whether you're trying to go forward or backward and gently helps push the vacuum in that direction. I'd guesstimate that it cuts the effort required by about 75% vs. with the assist switched off. An interesting engineering solution to the "we're unable/unwilling to make this thing any lighter" issue.

Unless they figure out how to get it to levitate, it'll still be a workout to carry it up the stairs though! :lol:
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:42 pm

CScottG wrote:
NovusBogus wrote:
That would be a *Kirby!
*I have major nostalgia for this vacuum cleaner brand from when I was a child.

Afraid that I don't. Grew up with a couple of these and yes, they are built like a tank...they also weigh in like one. Difficult enough on level floors and a nightmare to traverse stairs. Due to the bottom-feeding design, part of the unit's spectacular power is uselessly spent overcoming load resistance as the bag fills (or propelling the excess weight if it has the Assist feature JBI noted). The shampooing attachments take an already cumbersome design and make it Even Bigger, while doing a relatively mediocre job. Carpets shouldn't need shampooing that often anyway, and when they do, a purpose-built rental cleaner will do things far better.

I wouldn't rush to throw one away if I already had it, but someone researching a new purchase can do better.
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:19 pm

ludi wrote:
CScottG wrote:
NovusBogus wrote:
That would be a *Kirby!
*I have major nostalgia for this vacuum cleaner brand from when I was a child.

Afraid that I don't. Grew up with a couple of these and yes, they are built like a tank...they also weigh in like one. Difficult enough on level floors and a nightmare to traverse stairs.

Yeah, I do not try to use the power unit directly on the stairs, that would be suicidal! For stairs it's the accessory hose plus one of the attachments, with the power unit on the landing (angled sideways when on the upper landing so it can't possibly roll down the stairs on top of you if you pull on the hose).

ludi wrote:
Due to the bottom-feeding design, part of the unit's spectacular power is uselessly spent overcoming load resistance as the bag fills (or propelling the excess weight if it has the Assist feature JBI noted).

Ours has a hose that discharges into the upper area of the inner filter bag. From your comment I assume this was not always the case?

ludi wrote:
The shampooing attachments take an already cumbersome design and make it Even Bigger, while doing a relatively mediocre job. Carpets shouldn't need shampooing that often anyway, and when they do, a purpose-built rental cleaner will do things far better.

^ This! ^

ludi wrote:
I wouldn't rush to throw one away if I already had it, but someone researching a new purchase can do better.

Sure. We're not looking to replace it unless it breaks, but when it eventually does we will weigh the cost of repair against whether it makes more sense to get something more modern (read: lighter and less cumbersome).
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:11 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Miele. There is no substitute. Yes, they're pricey, but they last forever (going on 15 years for mine). Also, canister will always be more versatile than an upright.


Another vote for Miele!

I chewed through a couple of inexpensive uprights before finally caving and getting a Miele. It's made well and works well. And I was pleasantly surprised at how quiet it is compared to the other vacuums I've had.
 
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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:09 am

A good vacuum is one that SUCKS! (ba-dum-tiss) :D

I have used kirby and rainbow.
Between the two i'd prefer the rainbow cansister. (I think it was a rainbow. anyway...)
Kirby is way too heavy but you can do all kinds of cool stuff with it like shampoo carpets and couches etc.
If you have allergies it really gets the dust up.

We currently have a hoover bagless and it works ok.

I'm on a dusty dirt road with 2 dogs and 4 cats so that canister is FULL after every vacuuming.

I bet just going to wood floors and using a swiffer instead of carpet would cut down on the trapped crud.
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