Pros: High Quality; attached Hand Vac; bagless; adjustable handle.
Cons: Long hairs wrap around brush and will need to be removed every so often.
It all started about 7 years ago when I was first introduced to the concept of using a stick broom on my kitchen floor rather than the "age old" broom and dust pan. I bought a fairly cheap model and was so pleased with the ease and convenience that the stick broom offered, that I threw the broom out and haven't had a need for one since.
I went through 3 different stick brooms (2 Hoovers and a Bissell) in the first few years. All three of them started out effective enough but soon gave in and burnt out due to the constant use that they received in my kitchen. I truly think that I have the most "dirtiest" pack of boys alive. Other's assure me this is not the case, but I'm not so sure. How else can I explain how many vacuums I have burnt out cleaning up their muck and grime?
In all fairness to my boys though, I need to be honest and take responsibility for the third stick brooms demise. Only 2 in fact stopped running from over use, the third actually had an untimely death after falling from the ceiling. Yep, you heard that right. Why and how was it on the ceiling you ask? Well, would it be okay if I just said that I had one of my bright ideas and leave it at that! No, not good enough... you still want an explanation? Okay I thought it would be a good way to suck up a spider running across the ceiling. I got up on the table armed with my stick broom and tried to vacuum that icky creature up when I lost my balance, slipped, and dropped the vacuum, sending it to its death. But don't worry, at least one of us made it out alive. Pretty smart huh?
My fourth, and last, stick broom I purchased was the GE Combination Vac Bagless System. That has been almost 4 years ago and this baby is still working just as well as it did on the day I bought it.
What makes this stick broom better than all the others
I use my stick broom 3 times a day, EVERYDAY (after each "hog" feeding, I mean family meal). I have been doing this for almost 4 years now. Any vacuum that can hold up to that kind of use for that long, has earned a high quality mark in my book.
Two in one?
That's right! Not only is this a stick broom but it doubles as a corded Hand Vac. The Hand Vac (HV) attaches to the front of the base. This makes it perfect for counter top spills or spills in other places where you cant easily get your stick broom to. With just a click of a button, the HV pops out (cord already attached) and is ready to use. When done, just click it back into its place on the base and your are ready to vacuum normally again. Perfect for the multi task person. One unit that cleans it all. I can't imagine having to clean my kitchen without my GE combination Vac.
Look Mommy, I can vacuum too!
There are two large buttons located directly under the handle. One is to release the Hand Vac and the other is to adjust the handle. When fully extended the handle is as tall as a full size upright vacuum, when retracted, the handle stands at approximately 2 - 2.5 feet off the ground. Perfect to make the kitchen vacuum a chore for your youngest of children. My son has been "helping" out vacuuming the kitchen since he was 3 years old. To him it is all fun and games, to me it's an extra set of hands. I trained him young and well, now at almost 5 he is a master at the "kitchen vacuuming" trade. I am sure this wasn't the actual reason why they added this feature to this model, it was probably so that you could vacuum under tables and low places (which by the way, it works perfectly for), but I still think my idea is a winner!
No vacuum bags, No mess
This is a bagless system. (Which, by the way, was bagless when bagless systems were first coming out.) It has been a complete delight to not have to mess with those dirty vacuum bags. In this system, the fill container is actually in the Hand Vac (HV) tank. This is why the cord is attached to the HV. The HV on this stick broom is like the heart and lungs of this vacuum. The broom can't work without the HV in place.
When the dust cup in the HV gets filled, all you do is clean it out like you would any other HV. Remove the HV from the base, open, remove the filter, pour out the dirt/dust, wash the cup and filter and then set out to dry. Very easy and quick.
The only time this vacuum does not function at his highest effectiveness is when it is full and needs to be cleaned out. You will always know when it time to do this because you begin to notice that it is not picking things up as well as it normally does. However, once you have cleaned it out your vacuum goes right back to working in the same high quality as it always has.
It is suggested that you replace the filter from time to time. And although I am embarrassed to say that I have never replaced the filter in mine, I can honestly say that it hasn't needed it. I do clean it out fairly frequently and wash it, so maybe that is why it has held up so long. The filter comes totally off the plastic piece it sits on. Washing the "cloth like" material of the filter is very simple and it has always come perfectly clean with each washing.
Anything else that has been needed for maintenance?
The only other thing that I have had to do to keep my GE stick broom in optimum working condition is to clean the bottom of the vacuum/broom maybe 1-2 times a year. Sometimes all the crumbs and dirt will cake onto the wheels (especially if you have been vacuuming over spilled milk, koolaid or any other unknown liquid that magically appeared on your floor) and you will have to wash the wheels off to keep them from tracking it onto the clean floor.
The other thing is that anyone who has long hair like me, may have to clean out the rolling brush underneath every so often. Just like with most vacuums, the long hairs tend to wrap around brush. When you get too many hairs wrapped around the brush, it will cause the broom to not function as well. Taking the brush out and cleaning as much of that hair off as you can, is suggested from time to time.
Although I mainly use my stick broom for my kitchen floor, I have used it on my tile entry way and on my carpet on several occasions when I didn't want to drag out the regular full size vacuum. It worked on the tile perfectly. On the carpet, while it didn't give it the same "deep down" clean that the regular vacuum gives it, it worked fine to clean up the spills that I was aiming for. The best place for this vacuum is on linoleum, tile, hardwood or other bare surfaces. I have even used it on the concrete in my garage from time to time and it worked perfect out there too.
Why I think this is the stick broom of ALL stick brooms
As long as I have had this broom and as often as I have used it, it really should have already took its place among the many other stick brooms that came, saw, and moved on. But it hasn't. After almost 4 years, it is still running strong and with the same effectiveness as it did the first time I used it.
I highly recommend the GE Combination Vac Bagless System. I stand behind the quality and feel confident that you will find it just as wonderful as I have.