Pros: Picks up all dirt and pet hair; affordable; light; easy-to-use; durable
Cons: Loud; can be cumbersome to use when using tools; not the most attractive vacuum cleaner.
I purchased my first Dirt Devil Featherlite (M085590) nearly three years ago because I needed a vacuum cleaner for a good price. At the time, I had just purchased an expensive vacuum cleaner that stopped working just after the warranty had expired, and the cost of having it fixed was the cost of a decently-priced vacuum cleaner! I was so disgusted that I was not in the mood to have it fixed, or buy another expensive vacuum cleaner.
This began my search for a quality, relatively cheap vacuum cleaner. Quality was very important because I have three dogs, one of which is a German Shepherd that sheds immense amounts of hair on my red carpet several times a year, and I needed a vacuum cleaner that could not only pick up all the hair, but do so without getting clogged up. Initially, I thought I was asking too much, but the Dirt Devil Featherlitefit the bill perfectly!
What Dirt Devil says about the Dirt Devil Featherlite (DirtDevil.com):
"The lightweight design is easy to push and easy to carry from room to room or up and down stairs. The powerful 12-amp motor gives you the power to pick up dust and dirt quickly. Clean stairs upholstery and more with the on-board stretch hose and tools. MicroFresh™ filtration traps more than 99% of dust and allergens. Automatic height adjustment makes it perfect for carpet and hard floors."
- Lightweight - Less Than 12 Pounds
- On-Board Tools
- Stretch Hose
- Bright Headlight
- Bagged Design
- Automatic Height Adjustment
- Allergen Filtration2
- 25-Ft Cord
- Powerful 12 Amp Motor
- Extension wand
- Dusting brush
- Crevice tool
When I received the Dirt Devil Featherlite, I was immediately struck by how light it was. At less than 12 pounds, the vacuum cleaner weighs a little more than my Chihuahua. It comes mostly assembled, but you will need to attach the handle yourself, which I found extremely easy to do. You will require only a screwdriver to accomplish this. After attaching the handle, the Featherlite is ready to use, as it comes with a vacuum cleaner bag already attached to the inside of the machine. When you're ready to use it, plug it in, step on the peddle on the bottom left of the cleaner to change the angle of the handle, press the "Power" peddle (also on the bottom left of the machine) to turn it on (and off, once you're done), and you're ready to go!
My first impression was that this thing is loud! It's not unreasonably loud, in my opinion, and I generally expect vacuum cleaners to be loud, but if you're trying to find the quietest vacuum cleaner possible, this isn't it. I've found most everything else about this vacuum cleaner to be impressive, though, especially for the price. The first time I used the Featherlight, it was on a pretty dirty carpet because I only had a broom to use while shopping around for the new vacuum cleaner. The broom was fine for bigger things, but it could not remove all of the fine dirt and pet hair, so my carpet was quite a sight by the time I received my new vacuum cleaner. No problem for the Featherlight! The suction on this thing is powerful! It blasted right through the layer of dirt and white hair on my thick, red carpet after only one pass and left it as clean as the expensive vacuum cleaner that I previously owned. It didn't leave behind dirt and hair or spit it back out. I was sold!
The Featherlite works just as well on my hard floors, and I don't have to press any buttons or make any special adjustments when making the transition to a hard floor, as with some other vacuum cleaners. The attachments do a great job, as well. The vacuum cleaner can be cumbersome to use when using the tools, but the suction is amazing. I use the tools frequently to clean the stairs, my furniture, and to dust. To use the tools, you must detach the hose from the bottom of the machine (by twisting and pulling) and then attaching the tool to the end of the hose. When you are done, the tools can be stored on the back of the machine.
To keep the Featherlite working optimally, it is important that you change the bag before it gets full. Dirt and hair can and will get backed up into the machine's tubes if the bag becomes too full, and the vacuum cleaner will lose suction. Also, the tubes can be very annoying to clean out if you let them clog! The bag should be changed anytime the dirt in the bag nears the top, where the tube that empties the dirt into the bag is located. Changing the bag is very easy. Simply pull back on the latch at the top of the front panel of the vacuum cleaner and pull the panel off; pull off and dispose of the bag; fit the circular opening of the new bag over the tube opening; replace the front panel.
Nearly three years after my initial purchase of the Featherlite, it was still going strong, but gave out two months ago after my niece attempted to vacuum a damp area of the carpet. No doubt it would still be going strong had it not been for that incident. It never needed a single repair in the interim. I shopped around for a bit for another vacuum cleaner and even tried out a new one at home, but I ultimately came right back to the Dirt Devil Featherlite. I've never used a vacuum cleaner that both works well for heavy duty jobs and costs less than $50! This has certainly been $40 well spent.