Pros: IT SUCKS! really well, washable filters, bagless, height adjustment easy to reach
Cons: tools permanently attached, somewhat short cord.
My mother's ancient hoover finally got to the point where it was just not picking up anymore and so I went looking for a new vacuum to replace it. As you may or may not have noticed everything seems to be made of plastic these days, mostly for the sake of weight I'm sure.
I started my hunt by checking walmart's site to see what was available. This unit was advertised on their site and after a few phone calls I determined that it was also available for store pickup. Most of my decision to purchase this vacuum was based on three things:
3-the several good reviews on epinions and a few other internet sites that rated this vacuum fairly high for its price range.
I doubt this thing goes much over fifteen pounds, my 80 year old mother who complains about picking up the garbage bag can handle it. I carried the box out of the store with one hand. Very light.
What's in the box:
The handle is not attached to the vacuum when purchased, you must slide it on and install one screw, very easy. The instructions that come with it are fairly well illustrated and despite what the instructions state, the tools are already attached to the back of the vacuum (the instructions show you how to attach the hose and screw it on). You get a extension piece for the wand and a edge tool and a brush attachment. All three filters and the dust cup are preinstalled on the vacuum.
1-Install the handle
2-remove the shipping materials (I think there was some plastic around or in the dust cup to protect it).
3-set the carpet height
4-check to be sure all three filters are in place and be sure the dust cup is locked in place
5-plug it in and use it
The extension hose for the tools must be installed onto the connector provided for that purpose on the lower right side of the vacuum or you won't get any suction when using the beater bar (on the bottom of the vacuum). The beater bar continues to rotate even when you are just using the tools. The headlight on the front is always on.
I haven't gone through any belts yet, but I can imagine that with the bar rotating all the time this unit could be a belt eater; fortunately they are not very expensive and widely available. When I have to change a belt I'll post about how hard it was. The tools hose has a convenient handle on it and the vacuum has a holder on the handle to hold the hose when it's not being used (and keep it out of your way). The hose is an expandable type that gives you a fair amount of reach. There are holders on the back of the vacuum for the extension piece (the edge tool nests inside) and the upholstery brush attachments.
The unit is turned off and on with a switch on the side, the vacuum has the usual foot control to release the hinge for vacuuming under sofas, beds, etc. It also has a cord keeper on the side to hold the cord when it's not being used.
Like I said above, it sucks really well! We couldn't believe how much dirt it sucked out of the carpet, the old hoover really wasn't picking up well at all. The three filters are easy to reach and easy to remove and clean. The only filter that got really nasty was the one located inside the dust cup, this is a round piece of foam that catches the really fine dust. The other two filters are mostly on outgoing air if I'm not mistaken. The unit does a fine job of keeping the dirt inside the cup and not blowing it around the house.
Allergy sufferers should appreciate this vacuum, but, if you have allergies to dirt you still must wear gloves when emptying the dirt cup as you could still come into contact with it at that point. When you remove the dirt cup it is not covered, the top is open to the air.
What I think about it:
Easy to use, very light weight, functional headlight, picks up well at the edges. I really prefer the old scheme of removable tools, but I suppose this system also makes sense because you don't have to worry about losing pieces and the tools are all at your fingertips whenever you want to use them. I think the suction coming out of the tools is a bit weaker than what you get from the bottom of the vacuum but I suppose that can be expected when it must suck air through that long pipe. The washable filters are a big plus when you consider that the paper filters used by most bagless vacuums are pretty expensive and the costs can add up fast.
I priced the replacement filters for this vacuum and they were not too expensive. I imagine that the only one that will wear out fast is going to be the round one inside the dirt cup, the others are just flat pieces of material that shouldn't get too stressed by removal for cleaning. I washed my filters in a little bit of woolite and rinsed them well, they didn't take too long to dry.
The bagless design is a big plus as bags can get expensive, here all you do is dump the cup and put it back for the next run. The dirt cup is fairly large compared to some units I looked at.
This must be a popular vacuum. The local walmart supercenter was all sold out and all I could get out of the attendant is that "maybe" they'd get some in next week. My area has five walmarts in a twenty mile radius so I tried another; they had two on the shelf. When I got there someone was already eyeing the same model, together we bought the last two. It's the only low priced model I've found that has washable filters and that alone was a major selling point for me.