The ongoing search for a cordless stick vacuum that actually works
continues came to an end today!
For over a year now I have bought, tried, cursed, and returned cordless stick vacs in search of one that works on a charge for longer than 5 minutes, holds more than 2 tablespoons of dirt, and most important of all, can pick up Cheerios with ease.
Why do I need a stick vac you ask? Why not just use my exorbitantly priced Dyson? Well, honestly, I wanted a vacuum that my children could use. I don’t have my children vacuum because I am evil and wicked (well, actually I am, but not to my kids!) but because once they were old enough to show interest in my daily chores, I felt that it was a good opportunity to kill a few birds with one proverbial stone. I wanted shared chores to help them develop responsibility (it did), pride in our home (it did) and possibly even make my job a bit easier (it didn’t). Having toddler helpers when cleaning requires a step back to allow them to actually do the task. If you correct their technique, you risk stunting their desire to help and learn. So sometimes, if the job absolutely has to be done right (and believe me, I have found most of them don’t) you need to covertly redo it, so my work load actually increased, but I promise, it is very much worth it.
As the wife of a man who’s addiction to infomercials has seriously diminished our DVR space, I avoid any type of infomercial product. I was raised to believe that things sold on TV are rarely what they claim, however after 13 years, the man has rubbed off on me. When I saw this sweeper on tv, I immediately dismissed it, yet was intrigued by the real life demonstrations. It is light (2lbs) and has a jointed handle to allow a 90° bend to get under furniture. The rechargeable battery lasts over an hour and the head is low profile with 4 spinning brushes. I didn’t buy it from the infomercial (for heavens sake! I would NEVER do that!) However, stick it in store and slap an As Seen On TV sticker on it and I am all over it! The dust catcher is integrated into the head and doesn’t hold very much (I have to empty it twice for each cleaning) The drawback is the spinning brushes get loaded with hair and grime that needs regular cleaning. We don’t have a single animal in this house, but evidently we shed like sheepdogs and it does get annoying.
The next vacuum I tried was a Shark. $50. This was another As Seen On TV doohicky, but I did not witness that infomercial. I can’t remember the exact model (they seem to put a new one out every six months) but the issues I had with this vacuum are still prevalent in each model that has come out, so I feel safe clumping them all under one review. This vac sports a power-head (or so they would like you to think!). It is basically the same vacuum as the Swivel Sweeper, with a similar jointed neck, but a huge head that hindered getting under even the highest of coffee tables. The dust collection bin was a bit bigger than Swivel Sweeper’s, but not enough to make any difference. It was also flimsy, the neck would bend at the joint when you didn’t want it to and after 2 weeks this vacuum had to go. The charge was very short-lived and this was quite annoying. Not having a vacuum when you need it (and I need it quite often) is just the worst.
This was the upgrade, I was sure I had the right one when I plopped $80 down for this baby. It used suction, not rotating brushes as the Swivel Sweeper and Shark models had, and was so positive I was on the right track I made a little squee noise. It utilized suction, and I even dumped saw dust all over the floor of the store to make sure it picked it up and stored it in its downright huge debris collector. I should have used Cheerios. This vacuum has amazing suction and lasts about 30 minutes on a charge and recharges in about 6 hours, so you could easily do a big clean up after breakfast and have it ready for the after-dinner clean up as well. Perfect! Except it didn’t pick up Cheerios. Or raisins. Or big crumbs. Now I know these things don’t belong on my floor, I am not defending the dirt I coexist with, but let me defend my lack of bending over 42 times a day each time something drops on the floor. I am a full-time stay at home mother and I have a full-time 40+ hour a week job. I am exhausted. And you are damn straight I expect my vacuum to pick up the stuff I haven’t. If I had my way, I would have suction vents built into my floors that opened up and pulled everything down into an incinerator…errant toys and discarded clothing be damned! But I digress. The Electrolux, or Mean Green as we called it around here, had amazing suction, even better than my full size Dyson. It worked on my wood floors like a dust mop! However, it left much to be desired (and by much I mean large chunks). After three months of first using the ol’ Swivel Sweeper to pick up the heftier stuff and then follow up with Mean Green for the dust, grit, and fine crumbs, I realized I had added way too much time to my clean up and was often avoiding it all together for lack of time and gumption for such a big job.
SWIFFER SWEEPER VAC
Having been burnt on the higher cost lightweight vacs, I took my chances on the Swiffer Vac. For $30 I figured if it did as shoddy a job as the rest, at least I would get to mop my floors at the same time. I cannot tell you how amazing this thing is! It is much like the standard Swiffer Mop, yet it has a very small head placed right in front of the mop pad. It swiffs, it sweeps, it sucks! Yay! Cheerios? No problem! Dust? Hitting it with double duty of the Swiffer mop pad and the super suction. Dirt Storage? Gotcha covered with an ample sized collection bin. Battery Time? Bzzzt. Fail. Under 8 minutes. Yes, you heard me right, under 8 minutes. And it doesn’t fade away while you scramble to vacuum up as much as possible with a dying motor sound. No, it just stops. Just stops sucking. And the insult to injury? It takes 12 hours to charge back up for another (hopefully) 8 minutes. This didn’t last 2 days in this house. honestly though, I mourn it. It was SO perfect.I had decided that if a corded model was available I would get it. But I can’t do a whole heck of a lot in under 10 minutes, let alone clean up after 3 hellions at feeding time!
So today I decided to take drastic measures. There is a cordless vac that I have lusted after (and yes, I am using that word correctly) for many months. Actually, my desire for this vacuum is what got me on the road to lighter vacs in the first place.
DYSON DIGITAL SLIM
I am a fan of Dyson to say the least. I wasn’t the first to get one when they came out, but I was in the first 100 I am willing to bet. I awaited this vacuums impending introduction to the scene of cordless vacs as if it were a Dallas debutante. I was totally picturing myself zooming through my house tackling hardwoods, shag, and stairs. Then I saw the price. $350. Wow. I paid over $400 for my full size, and I can’t imagine what this thing could do for that much money. Well, eight month, four vacuums that sucked (or rather didn’t) and countless trips to store later, I decided it was time to take the leap. This bad boy was on sale for $299 and while that isn’t a big drop in cost, I had $150 in gift cards (from returned vacuums. Ironic?) so I rationalized the budget pinch and made the plunge into super-expensive-convenience-appliances. I love this vacuum, it uses suction AND the spinning brushes and converts into a hand-held vacuum AND has attachments. It takes 3 hours to charge (which means its ready for every single meal AND snack time in this house!), and while the power head only occasionally picks up Cheerios, the power head can be removed and you can use it with just the extension pipe. There are two things that make me sad about this vac but that I am going to ignore. First, it is CRAZY HEAVY! The stats list 5 lbs as the weight, but that is NOT distributed throughout the vacuum, that is the weight in your hand. It feels like trying to hold a half-gallon of milk will pushing a rake around. In order to house all that power, the handle is top-heavy with insane amounts of hardware. Second, the on off switch is a trigger that you have to hold in (while hanging onto all that weight. Not fun, but it does extend the battery life. Regardless of those drawbacks, I am determined that this is the end of the my vacuum story. This is the vacuum I wanted in the beginning and I think I did my due diligence in exploring other less expensive options, so I am keeping it. As long as my carpal tunnel syndrome doesn’t get worse.
So there you have it, my review from experience on Cordless Stick Vacuums. Have you had a similar situation when searching for that perfect cleaning convenience item? Are there other products you would like to see me review? Let me know in the comments section!
Before I sign off, I would like to thank Kathy S. for coming up with the title to this post, I was stumped on what to call it and stay within my naming guidelines and she came up with 2 fantastic options right away, so I am using both. Thanks, Kathy!
Thanks for reading 🙂