Good For It's Intended Purpose

Feb 3, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:easy to use, light, no cords, maneuverable

Cons:not powerful, rollers clog, limited canister size

The Bottom Line: Great for quick hard floor sweeping, but stick to what it does best or else be disappointed.

After moving from a carpeted apartment to one with all hardwood floors, I felt our Eureka Boss was a little overkill for everyday vacuuming. We still had several rugs, so the Eureka was not ready to be put out to the curb, but something smaller and easier to use was on my radar.

A quick search led me to passive sweepers which mainly consisted of spinning brushes that collect dirt and debris as you push the unit along the floor. Then there were the powered units that were more like mini-vacuums, but not much bigger than the sweepers. The modern powered sweepers can get fancy. The Hoover Linx uses Lithium Ion batteries that are interchangeable among the family of appliances and is priced accordingly.

At some point I came across a flyer from one of the discount stores in my area and that's where I saw the Bissell Versus (21R9). It was only $20 so I picked one up.

The Versus is like one of those old passive sweepers except it has a motor and sucking action like a vacuum cleaner without the spinning brushes. The head is shaped like a 'V' which acts to guide the dirt into the suction tube and into the canister. Three small rubber rollers help keep the sweeper rolling. The handle comes in three pieces and has no controls. You must press the power button on the body to start it up which is easy to do with your foot. The handle tilts and locks upright automatically; no levers. With the relatively small head, the Versus can get under furniture fairly well. It can also get to edges and around legs. The head also pivots so it's like using a Swifer with suction power. There is a small canister made of clear plastic on the rear of the unit. The canister has a built-in filter for the outgoing air and can be removed by pressing a button at the base of the handle.

The Versus gets it's power from a built-in rechargable battery. I'm not exactly sure what type of battery it is. There is a red LED on the back of the unit that turns off when fully charged. My sweeper has lost this function and the LED will stay lit no matter how long it charges. I'm not sure if it's just not fully charging or the indicator is broken. It does seem to be charging fine, however.

On a full charge, the Versus gets about 20 minutes of use according to the manufacturer. I have not measured this claim. I do notice that the power falls off as the battery drains and it basically becomes useless with no suction. For our 900'ish sq ft apartment, i can pretty much get a couple of full, thorough sweeps between charges.

So how well does this thing do?

The thing to remember that this is NOT a vacuum cleaner. I call it a powered sweeper. It has no spinning brushes to aggitate debris nor does it have anywhere near the power of most vacuums. This also limits this to where it can be used. Vaccum cleaners can be used on carpets and rugs. The Versus doesn't like anything but hard surfaces. It's rubber wheels and brushes bog down on even no-pile rugs/mats.

On our wood floors and the bathroom tiles, it's great. It flies and makes sweeping cat litter trails, food bits, dust bunnies, etc. much less of a chore than the old broom and dust pan. It also doesn't sweep all that dust into the air like a broom. In the broom's defense, though, the Versus can't jam into crevices along baseboards and around objects.

The handle allows the Versus to get under our futon and other furniture. Also, the 'V' shape can sweep against chair and table legs. Like I mentioned earlier, it's as easy as using a Swiffer with almost the same manueverability.

Cleaning out the Versus is easy. Just press a button to release the canister, then pull off the cover and empty. The canister is not big; big enough to sweep our entire floor once without getting jammed too much. The foam filter gets clogged after a lot of sweeping but a quick shot from another vacuum hose will fix that.

The little rubber wheels on the bottom of the unit are snapped in place on metal pins. The combination of the rubber and small metal pins makes it a magnet for hair. I've had to pop the wheels off several times to remove wadded up hair that prevents the wheels from spinning. This causes the unit to drag/skid along the floor instead of roll. I really haven't seen it leave skid marks, but I can definitely tell when the sweeper isn't rolling smoothly.

For the year plus of use the Versus has seen, it's held up fine. Like I said, the LED for the battery charge indicator has stopped functioning properly but otherwise, the unit is still going strong. I'm a bit of a speed cleaner so I don't baby the thing around corners and chair legs and such. It's seen some abuse in other words and still functions.

If you go in knowing what you can and can't do with the Bissell Versus, you won't be surprised or disappointed (hopefully). It has it's limitations and isn't going to be the best sweeper for some houses. Stick to the hard floors and light, moderate duty and you'll find that it's quick, no cord availability will keep the floors cleaner just by the fact that you won't drag your feet because you have to haul a vacuum out every day.

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