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Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:22 am
by Dieter
I'm currently using a Shark Navigator Pro Lift-away (NV585; $180); it cleans much better and is much more versatile than my Dyson. I can recommend it. I wish it used an electric motor instead of a belt for the brush, but the latter has a lifetime warranty, so we'll see. Overall I was pretty disappointed with the Dyson, although their support was great when needed.

I also have a eufy RoboVac 11S and it's great. Cleans amazingly well for twice-daily maintenance, is relatively quiet (MUCH quieter than the Roombas I've encountered), and drastically reduces the need for manually vacuuming. For $180 they're a game changer, and really do make a difference. The consumable/replaceable parts are also reasonably priced (filters, brushes, etc.).

I've also used a Kirby (powerful, built like a tank (and weighs more than one) but not worth the cost), Rainbow (way back in the 90's; wasn't impressed and the water was a mess), and Oreck (90's XL model, I think; it was relatively quiet and very light, but didn't seem to clean so well). I've never used a Miele, but between my Shark and eufy I'm set for a while; both seem to be made well (especially for their prices) and I get the sense they'll last many years. I've had a selection of Hoovers and Eurekas (bagged, not bagless) over the years, a Panasonic (bagged; great until the belt melted and made a mess), and a really nice Sears model that was powerful but the HEPA bags were stupid expensive. In the end, I recommend a Shark (get the lift-away feature, and make sure it has the XL dust bin) along with a robovac.

On a side note, if you need really clean carpets, invest in a Bissell Big Green commercial machine (recently/still(?) on sale on Amazon). Loud, pretty slow, and a lot of work, but they do a great job deep cleaning carpets, and get out stains that Stanley Steemer couldn't touch. They're not super expensive on sale, and it should be the last carpet cleaner you'll have to buy. Use Bissell's commercial solution with it and your carpets will look like new (YMMV, of course).

Edit: sorry, just re-read your original post. The hose and attachments on the Shark are OK, but can be a little difficult to maneuver sometimes. If you're planning on using them daily/multiple times a week, you might want to try them out in a store first to ensure they'd work for you.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:15 am
by cegras
I splurged for a Dyson V10. I find the convenience unparalleled, and I believe Dyson's claims of durability and cleaning power. I believe my apartment is about 1000 sqft, and I have no trouble cleaning all of it in one go. The best part is that piecemeal jobs are trivial, since it is light and cordless.

I can see why Dyson has a reputation for feeling flimsy, to which I offer two explanations: 1) tolerance is loose on the fittings between attachments so it is easier to attach/detach, and 2) I've never seen any other manufacturer post the videos that Dyson shows of their torture test rooms:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3iXRFizaz8

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:16 am
by tanker27
FireGryphon wrote:
My Dyson DC50 upright just died and I need to replace it.


What died on your Dyson. They are practically 100% repairable, you can even DIY them. Plenty of YouTube guides and replacement part places out there.

if you want a new Dyson go for the V10 I use for th whole house, Hardwood floors, tile, carpet and a plethora of area rugs.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:33 am
by FireGryphon
Great discussion! I looked into some of the recommendations here. The hardy, expensive vacuums, Miele and that ilk, seem like they'd clean the best and last the longest. Uprights and canisters are strongest, and bagged vacuums are filtered the best. Hard to argue with those results. In the middle of all this my neighbor lent me a Dyson V8 to try out. I was skeptical, but for standard dirt (i.e. no pets) it picks up whatever's on the floor. The standout features are aesthetic: the Dyson V8 is feather light and not nearly as loud as, well, any other vacuum I've heard, by a large margin. The combination of being easy to use with at least adequate dirt pickup is hard to argue with. My search is not yet over.


tanker27 wrote:
What died on your Dyson. They are practically 100% repairable, you can even DIY them. Plenty of YouTube guides and replacement part places out there.

if you want a new Dyson go for the V10 I use for th whole house, Hardwood floors, tile, carpet and a plethora of area rugs.


I think it's the motor. It sputters a bit when I turn it on and then goes off. I will look into fixing it, but I already know there isn't an authorized service center close by. What other avenues are there?

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:41 am
by ludi
just brew it! wrote:
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?

Ah, okay, so they did fix that at some point. The original designs from time immemorial filled the bag from the bottom. Looking at the current selection I thought they were still doing it.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:38 pm
by pikaporeon
There was a series of Reddit AMAs with a vaccuum repair tech that had a lot of useful takeaways

Miele was the brand he endorsed the most thoroughly

Bag vacuums are always more reliable than bagless ones, primarily due to the additional filtration

Canister vacs are generally more reliable

Dyson are very overpriced for their abilities and failure rates

Kirbys are ancient heavy beasts not generally worth the money - you aren't getting more quality for that weight by and large

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:49 pm
by Usacomp2k3
pikaporeon wrote:
There was a series of Reddit AMAs with a vaccuum repair tech that had a lot of useful takeaways
Miele was the brand he endorsed the most thoroughly

I wonder how many thousands of orders he drove their way. something-something-coffee was his username, IIRC. That's where I first heard of Miele. Couldn't stomach the cost though. Especially for our very simple needs.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:11 pm
by bthylafh
His username was something like "touchmyfeckingcoffee", and yes, he's a reason I bought the Miele.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:29 pm
by tanker27
I never heard of Miele......WOW a company that isnt conglomerate or re-brand

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:33 pm
by tanker27
FireGryphon wrote:
tanker27 wrote:
What died on your Dyson. They are practically 100% repairable, you can even DIY them. Plenty of YouTube guides and replacement part places out there.

if you want a new Dyson go for the V10 I use for th whole house, Hardwood floors, tile, carpet and a plethora of area rugs.


I think it's the motor. It sputters a bit when I turn it on and then goes off. I will look into fixing it, but I already know there isn't an authorized service center close by. What other avenues are there?


to start with: https://www.ifixit.com/Device/Dyson_Vacuum

also: https://www.partswarehouse.com/Dyson-va ... s-s/49.htm

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:44 pm
by Ikepuska
I've had a Miele upright U1 since 2012 when we bought a house, and haven't had a single issue with it.
It's got actual bags and filters but they are not terribly costly, and they have a stopper on the inside that closes the bag when you pull it out so it's really not nearly as dirty to change as older styles.
My parents also had one from Germany when we lived in Switzerland when I was growing up that came back to the US with us, that's still going strong.

They are very durable, and if you get the right one you have all the features you want without a lot of dross for marketing points.
I did not pay as much for it as the 'lux' brands. I think it was $450 for the U1 at the time. The biggest trick is to not be in a rush to buy one, and if you can see if you can buy a used one from the early 2010's.
I've done a complete tear-down and reassembly on the model to make sure I could do my own maintenance and it was really easy and didn't really require anything special in the way of tools.
They apparently made some changes to the design in later models that reduced performance somewhat from what I hear. But the early 2010s are so durable, that if you can get a good deal on a used one it's totally worth it.


Also I second the suggestion on going to an actual local vacuum store. They've got a lot of the non-retail models that have all the key features but a lot less of the 'marketing bullets' that are cheaper, and some of them even deal in used models.
It also helps to know where they are, because if a part were to ever break on the upright, they can actually order the correct part number directly, and sell it to me, so I can do my own maintenance. I've ordered parts for my friends and family's vacuums before so I could fix them and they were very reasonable,
and I didn't have to go through the whole amazon or whatever order that delivered the wrong part song and dance.

ETA: Also they have a very robust parts supply system in place in most of the world including NA so getting parts are a cinch and not particularly expensive. That was honestly one of the biggest deciding factors for me when I bought it because I knew I could do all my own maintenance as long as parts were easy to get.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:50 pm
by Ikepuska
tanker27 wrote:
I never heard of Miele......WOW a company that isnt conglomerate or re-brand


The best thing about Miele is they are a home appliance company out of Germany that's been around since 1899 and is still family owned. And believe me that if they started cutting corners the German marked would crucify them for it.

I've never heard a bad thing about the Mieles from the vacuum techs when I went to talk to them about repairs on my friends and relatives other vacuums, and we talked about the state of the industry.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:03 pm
by jensend
NovusBogus wrote:
Clearly you should try to find one that really sucks!

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

My first reaction when I saw the title in the 'hot forum threads' on the homepage was along the lines of "well, it depends on what you need it for, but I'd say around 1 Pascal is a rather good vacuum." Then right before I clicked the link I realized 'oh, wait, probably just talking about appliances.'

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:06 pm
by Blink
I bought Hoover Platinum Collection Lightweight Bagged Upright Vacuum a few years ago. Upright doesn't have a hose, instead it comes with a small canister that you sling over your shoulder. Terrible on hard floors but why people use vacuums on hard floors is beyond me. Best carpet vacuum I've ever used. One of my parents many jobs as a kid was cleaning dentist offices. They always used Kirby's. Never thought too much of them myself. Dyson reliability is in question from what I know.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:52 am
by Masiee
We're most of the time running our robot vac but I cannot say it can replace our upright. We would still end up using the upright every once in a while. Although our roomba does a decent cleaning already, but there are just parts that it can't reach. We're happy that it can just clean on its own while we're away, although it's a bit tiring sometimes because its dirt box is small, so we have to empty it frequently.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:09 pm
by bfg-9000
In general I do not care for vacuums that were also sold in Europe after 2012 because the EU limited vacuum motors to 600w ERP then (before that, 1400w was pretty standard as in the 22lb DC07 and DC14). If that is enough for you, then the best cordless ones now actually do perform as well as those. The newer corded vacuums have noticeably less power even though when you open up say, a DC75 there is a 1600w motor inside but it's electronically limited. And yet I haven't heard of anyone "overclocking" their newer vacuum.

Personally, if I were after a lightweight, low-powered upright vacuum I'd get an 8lb Oreck XL or Bissel Prolite--but note those don't have a hose tool so are best if you have a separate canister vac too. There should be plenty of good 12-16lb uprights with a hose such as the Sebo Felix though.

Also, if you vacuum a lot of fine dust like drywall powder or ashes, then the "lifetime" HEPA filter in a bagless vac won't last any longer than a bag and yet costs more. The spinning junk in a bagless vac sure looks impressive but the truth is that's not the stuff that plugs filters, and bagless lose suction more quickly as they have less surface area in their filters than a bag does. My experience with a Rainbow was that it throws more particles back out into the air than any bagged or bagless vac--there's a reason cars quit using water or oil-bath air cleaners and it's not just because it was completely unfiltered during acceleration/braking/cornering. When airflow through the water is high, the bubbles are very large and dust actually manages to fly through the water column. I consider the evident dirty water to be a psychological marketing thing just like ear-candles or electrostatic filters--yes it looks like a lot of dirt is captured, but a lot also goes right through too! I suppose marketing-hype is needed to sell vacuums though because actual performance doesn't vary that much, especially not if limited to 600w.

And Roomba is not really a vacuum--it's more a sweeper with powered brushes and dust pans, with the low airflow mostly useful for cooling the motor. A carpet sweeper has its place though as it's a lot quieter than any vacuum!

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:50 pm
by MOSFET
CScottG wrote:
I don't like canister designs - pain in the @ss pulling them around and watching them bump into things (and occasionally "hanging-up").


May not be consensus, but those are my thoughts as well. Except for the dust cup, I strongly prefer Shark Rocket Ultralight stick vacuum to Kenmore canister vacuum (which is a very convincing Miele clone). However, having said that, I strongly prefer vacuum bags to dust cups. So I have both! (omg, Roomba is a pathetic PITA - have that too - worthless)

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:07 am
by bfg-9000
I would suggest a backpack vacuum over a canister except most of those (like the Oreck XL Pro 6) seem to be designed for cleaning hotels, while the cheap ones (like the Atrix) have so-so durability in reviews.

The cordless ones are actually pretty handy, but note the latest Dyson only runs for 7 minutes on "high" per charge. That's plenty for stairs and small spills, but you'll probably want a regular plug-in upright also.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:05 am
by Taxythingy
We ran into this problem about two months ago. Solution was to move from the old & broken Hoover canister vacuum to a Dyson V8. It's great.

If there's a bit of dirt/leaves around the entrances, grab, vac, done. Have never flattened the battery. It does a perfectly cromulent job on the normal setting - high is reserved for the most stubborn of things. We now typically vacuum the kitchen/dining areas, plus whatever space the kids have left of the lounge floor, then plug it back in. That's about 30% of the run-time and likely a full bin. It would not make it around a 250m2 carpeted house on one charge. I would recommend it to a friend. I like it enough to say that I want to vacuum. I probably need to get out more.

Re: What's a good vacuum?

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:13 am
by demolition
FireGryphon wrote:
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 have a Dyson V7 Motorhead and it sucks, quite literally.. (yeah, I know I'm not the first in the thread with this joke)
I am somewhat satisfied with it, considering its high price. I have a small apartment and the battery life is sufficient for what I need (but only just), so if you have a house or large apartment, then you might find the battery life a little on the small side (later generations have improved in this area). It works fine and I do like that it is cordless, but I do worry how the battery functions in 5+ years, seeing as the battery can't be replaced. And even if it could, it would probably be quite expensive to do so. I've been using my old corded vacuum for 17 years and it still works fine (just in storage in the basement now) and while I do need to connect the power cord to use it and replace the bag when it is full, it is not like those things are major hassles anyway.
And you should also note that even if the Dyson is considered bagless, it still has a filter that needs to be cleaned regularly, so bagless != maintenance free.

So a cordless Dyson could be a good choice if you have some money to burn and/or are really lazy or simply a gadget-freak. :-)

Having a cordless does make sense though if you also want to be able to use it in the car or other locations without power for a regular vacuum.