Pros: Offers Enough Suction To Get The Carpet Clean, Long Cord, No Bags
Cons: Filters & Plenty Of Them
I think remember counting the number of houses we looked at in the Nashville area before we finally selected our house out in the country. The number was around 75... That is a lot of looking and we did it all in about three days. Unfortunately, if I had to pinpoint a reason why the house we bought didn't sell before, I'd have to venture and guess it was probably the carpeting. Three bedrooms, a hall way, and a living room all covered in black and white office carpeting with a pad underneath it. I don't know what the previous owner's were thinking, but its really the oddest thing I have seen and unfortunately, I'm not in much of a position to change it, but you better believe the second I find a couple grand hiding somewhere the hardwood will be down.
Back from my dream, I realized one thing. We were moving from a house that had less than 90 square feet of carpeting (and that was in a closet) to a house full of carpeting. This was an issue since I only had a light weight mini vacuum that wasn't going to be able to brave the dirty carpeting in this house. I opted not to shampoo it, knowing that it would be gone the second I could afford it and we picked up a new vacuum, the Bissell PowerForce Bagless and a whole bunch of cleaning/freshening powder.
This PowerForce vacuum turned out to be a good choice because it has helped clean up the floor without renting the shampooer and spending the time to really clean the carpets. Within a weeks worth of vacuum the carpet everyday the dirt stopped coming out of the carpet and walking across the carpet no longer meant the bottom of my feet were black. But, I hate to use this vacuum.
The main reason for this love/hate relationship is the fact that it has so many filters. The PowerForce Bagless contains a pre-motor filter, an inner and outer circular filter (just below the dirt cup), an upper tank plastic filter, and a post motor filter. The vacuum is nice in that all of these pieces are cleanable, so your not replacing them constantly, but I usually feel the need to clean all of them, all of the time. While some probably don't see this as a necessity, and I can often skip the post-motor filter in my cleaning routine, I can't get it through my head that the vacuum would work just as efficiently if I did not. This means that emptying the dirt container, for me, often includes washing out most of the filters, of which the inner filter takes quite a while to dry.
"The only tool you'll need..."
is a screwdriver. This is true when it comes to assembling your vacuum out of the box. Unfortunately, I didn't have a screwdriver at our new house when we purchased the vacuum. Coming up with substitutes was hard, but I eventually found something. The main assembly includes putting two screws to attach the handle to the top of the vacuum. Pretty simple.
I have also had to replace a belt on the vacuum in the 6 months we have had it. The belt snapped when I picked up a penny (something my son tends to play with quite a bit) and apparently it hit something just right to break the belt. The belts were easy to find at a local Wal-Mart and are sold two to a pack. This turned out to be a good thing since I managed to snap the first replacement because I didn't getting adjusted in place just right.
A Powerful hose with attachments...
Another upgrade from my mini vacuum to the PowerForce Bagless was the fact that this one has a hose. The hose functions a bit different on this vacuum than what I was use to with previous full size vacuums. On this vacuum the hose attaches into the base of the vacuum and to use the hose, you simply unhook it. This is much simplier in that you do not have to flip a switch or change a sitting anywhere.
The hose also has a crevice/upholstry took, an extension, and a crevice tool. The crevice tool has been the must useful because the vacuum doesn't fit snug enough against the wall to coax dirt away from it and we used it quite a bit to get the crud out of the corners and around the baseboards.
The PowerForce Bagless has a long cord on it, which was an upgrade from the 15' cord on my mini vacuum. Since our living room is 20 feet deep this just didn't work well at all. With this vacuum though I can plug in and make it part of the way down the hall way before I have to switch outlets.
The handle, like most vacuums locks into an upright position for storage and can be let down for use. The vacuum can be position with the handle straigh up and down all the way down until it is parallel with the floor. The base of the vacuum is a bit bulky, however, but you can still reach under beds quite a ways.
The vacuum has a number of different height adjustments to adjust to different surfaces and different pile lengths in carpets. We have been using ours at the lowest setting, given the type of carpeting in the house and the fact that we don't have to switch it if we want to run into the kitchen with it as well.
The price of this vacuum when I purchased it was around $50. Given the experience I have had with it, I would say it functions well and is definately worth the money. At the same time, I don't tend to invest large sums of money in vacuum cleaners and I have always leaned towards cheaper options. With that said this is the second Bissell I have owned and the second Bissell I have been happy with. The only downfall I have found with this sweep is the fact that the filters drive me crazy.