I'm a cheap bastard and I don't apologize for it. Over the past three years, my wife has managed to mangle three -- count 'em, THREE -- vacuum cleaners. I figured perhaps she was getting frustrated and beating the living hell out of them or something equally nasty. However, a couple of months ago, I saw her vacuum-destructing skills first-hand. She was running the vacuum in the living room when the thing just plain died. The motor burned out and the thing was history. That's all there was to it. I've decided my wife is cursed when it comes to vacuum cleaners, and it's as simple as that.
Recommend this product?
So, I decided not to spend a lot of cash on a new vacuum as I figure it will die within a year or two, anyway. So, off to eBay.com I went, and for a mere $30 plus shipping, I picked up the Dirt Devil MVP Swivel Glide Vacuum M086420. Considering I don't expect this thing to last for long, I figure I got my money's worth with this one.
First of all (and this could be important), this is a wonderfully simple machine. This I know because it arrived at my home in pieces so it could be put in a compact box. So, I had to put the thing together. Unfortunately, there were no instructions to guide me in my efforts to put the thing together. Fortunately, I figured it out just fine. There's not a whole lot to this vacuum, and that's important. Machines ought to be simple, after all, so that fewer things can go wrong with them.
The simplicity of this vacuum suggests there aren't that many features. That much is true. In essence, you get a decent upright with a hose and crevice tool for hard-to-reach spots, ceilings and etc. And, there's the benefit of HEPA filtration. Honestly, there's about all there is to it.
So the most important thing to mention is how this vacuum performs. Frankly, it works quite well around my home. I should point out that the carpets here are made of fairly short fibers, so I have no idea how this thing handles on plusher carpets. In my house, however, the Dirt Devil keeps the floor clean with little trouble. And, it's adjustable -- there are seven height settings for everything from thick carpets to bare floors.
The only problem I have with the thing, really, is that it clogs a bit easily. Whether that's just a common problem with this vacuum or something caused by the fact that it scoops up a decent amount of fur from our dog and cat is something I don't know for sure. However, it does tend to get clogs from time to time, but they're fairly easy to clear by either fishing them out with a coat hanger or pulling the cover off the vacuum and giving it a good, solid cleaning.
While we've had no trouble with the belt in this thing yet, that's easy to change, too. As I mentioned, it's a snap to pull this thing apart and stick it back together again, so replacing a belt is no trouble at all. If you can use a screwdriver with any degree of skill, you'll be able to change belts on this just fine. Of course, the bag is also easy to change. Unfortunately, it's not as easy to find bags as it used to be due to the increasing popularity of bagless vacuums. Still, finding bags for a Dirt Devil is still easy because so many people own that brand of vacuum.
As for the HEPA filtration, that's a nice touch as I have allergies and our doctor suspects the same is true of our daughter. Whatever we can do to cut down on pollen and such in our house is beneficial. However, I can't help but wonder about the effectiveness of the HEPA system as the Dirt Devil is a very leaky vacuum cleaner. By that I mean that air just flows out of the thing all over the place and none of the paths through which air travels look to air-tight or secure. Simply put, I'd be amazed if all of the air that flows through this machine is forced through the HEPA filter.
The swivel feature is a nice touch as it really does allow for easy cornering and makes the chore of running the vacuum that much simpler.
Overall, the construction just feels cheap. In addition to the "leaky" nature of this vacuum that I've mentioned, it just doesn't feel "solid." The chamber that contains the bag is secured with a badly-fitting door. The extension hose doesn't snap firmly in place.
However, I'm pleased with this vacuum. It doesn't feel like it will hold up to years of regular use, but I don't expect it to, anyway. I figure this one will last around a year (and, hopefully more!) before it falls victim to my wife's aforementioned curse. While I won't give this vacuum a glowing recommendation, I will say it might be just the thing for someone wanting a cheap, functional vacuum cleaner.
Critical update (a favored phrase with the Microsoft faithful):
The Dirt Devil, sadly, is dead, dead, dead. Alas, it died around November as my wife was running it under our coffee table.
We don't know why the Dirt Devil has been removed from our lives, but the fact remains the old gal has been put out to pasture. More accurately, I stuck it on the curb on garbage day a few weeks ago and shed some tears as I said goodbye to yet another victim of my wife's weird luck with vacuum cleaners.
I'm not sure what killed the Dirt Devil, really. It just up and quit, refusing to suck up any more garbage. It was full of clogs and the usual slop, but cleaning the junk away did no good.
Oh, Dirt Devil! We hardly knew ye!
Dirt Devil MVP
January, 2002-November, 2002
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Amount Paid (US$): 30!!!