Vax H90-GA-B Gator Handheld Vacuum

A review of the Vax H90-GA-B Gator Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

A Top Quality Vacuum at a Great Price!

For those looking to vacuum small messes on a budget, the Vax Gator Handheld could be for you. For small easy vacuuming like clearing up crumbs, ashes or stray hairs, this 100 Watt vacuum is capable. It’s lightweight too and easy to manoeuvre at just 1.2kg.

With a battery life of under 10 minutes, this cordless vacuum cleaner is for small, fast jobs that don’t require a larger machine and with the built-in crevice tool, you can even use it for tricky places like car seats. In fact, having this as a dedicated car vacuum isn’t a bad idea, especially as it’s so small and compact.

Key Points:

  • 1.2kg
  • Runtime: between 7 and 12 minutes
  • Charge time: 24 hours
  • 8v 100w
  • Flip mouth for easy emptying

While this Vax H90-GA-B Gator vacuum isn’t going to win any design awards, it simply does what it says it’ll do. It’s not powerful enough to remove hair tangled into carpets and stairways but it’s good at removing crumbs and loose hairs from cars and sofas. For the price, it’s a useful little tool.

Although the run time is short, it’s actually not very different from more expensive handheld vacuums. This is mostly because the higher quality handhelds have more powerful suctions, requiring more battery power while this one will use less power. For small messes though, the 7-12 minute run time is just fine.

 Hygienic Dust Collection Disposal

With a drop down ‘alligator-like’ mouth, the disposal is fairly hygienic and you shouldn’t need to get your hands dirty. This is useful especially as the dirt compartment is very small at just 0.2 litres.

The precision tool is retractable for easy storage but not particularly long when you want to get into corners. With brush attachments, this isn’t good for delicate areas like desks and bookshelves but it works well on chairs and sofas. Loose pet hair can be picked up by the Vax Gator with easy, for pet hair embedded in fabrics and carpets however, a different method needs to be used.

For a budget machine, the lightness and ease of use is a pro but the lack of quality suction power might be more of an annoyance. This is really only for very easy messes – great if you’ve got small children who lie to eat in the car!

Pros – A Lightweight Cordless Vacuum

The handle is comfortable although the weight distribution is far forward, meaning that you’ll need to use more wrist effort to manoeuvre it around. Still, at just over a kilogram, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the majority of people. For those looking at very undemanding handhelds, the Black and Decker flexi is a great compromise – affordable although not budget, but is very easy on the arm and wrist muscles and good for the elderly.

The charging cable is thin and needs taking care of when not in use to prevent damage. Similar to a phone charging cable, it adds to the feeling of cheapness that comes with this overall package but again, you get what you pay for.

Cons – Long charging time

The major problem with this vacuum is that the charging time is a whopping 24 hours. That’s pretty over the top considering the usage time is around or under ten minutes. Because this kind of vacuum is good for cars, it means you’d have to remove it from your car often and then charge it for a full 24 hours – making it not particularly fit for purpose. Depending on how often you’d envisage using it, this could be a deal breaker.


While not particularly powerful on the suction side of things, this is an good vacuum cleaner for those who just like to tidy their cars up a quickly here and there, especially if pets and messy children and frequent passengers. The long charge time might be a problem but if you won’t use it often then it could be overlooked.

Vax H90-GA-B Gator Handheld Vacuum Cleaner – Orange

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Black and Decker Lithium Flexi Vacuum + Pet Hair Review

A Review: The Black and Decker Lithium Flexi Vacuum Cleaner with Pet Hair Removal Tool

Black and Decker rarely make a duff machine and this Lithium Flexi vacuum cleaner is a great piece of equipment, especially for those with a family pet. Lightweight, handheld and very easy to use, the Black and Decker Flexi is suitable for all homes and can be effectively used it hard-to-reach places including cars, ceilings and nooks.

While stored, the Flexi is foldable around on itself, making it small and neat to keep in a cupboard or out of the way on its charge stand. With a lithium ion battery, the weight is significantly reduced, making it a good handheld vacuum for everyone, including the elderly.

The key attribute of the Flexi is the flexi suction hose that can use several different attachments. With a pet hair tool, a crevice tool and others, this one small handheld vacuum is capable of removing any hair, debris, dust and fibres from carpets, cars and ceilings.

Quiet yet powerful, just like the Dyson range, this Black and Decker has a hygienic disposal function that’s button operated and won’t leave you with dusty hands or clothes. The only downside? Vacuuming with this Flexi is a two-handed operation.

Key Points:

  • 5m flexible hose
  • Lithium ion battery for lightness and power
  • 14.4v
  • Runtime: between 7 and 12 minutes
  • Weighs 1.4kg
  • Two handed operation
  • 20 Air Watts Suction Power

The Black and Decker Flexi with Pet Hair Tool has a 4 foot flexible hose that folds into itself for easy and clever storage. It’s this hose that makes the machine so highly usable with the ability to clean stairs, skirting boarding and high up shelves and corners.

The pet hair brush is specifically designed to work stubborn hairs from the carpet where they can easily become tangled and embedded. Thanks to the Flexi’s power and design, hairs are quickly removed without much effort and high-tread areas are back to the bright carpet you once knew and loved.

Lightweight, easy to wield


Like other handheld vacuums, the main purpose of the Black and Decker Flexi is to provide a lightweight vacuum for hard-to-reach areas and for quick jobs. Why go to the trouble of lugging your huge, carpet vacuum cleaner all the way upstairs just for a small patch? The flexi is extremely lightweight and the add-on tools are easy and fast to attach.

With its three-stage filtration system, the Black and Decker Flexi stops captured dust from escaping the machine and its cyclonic action keeps the filter working efficiently. Considering it’s less than half the price of the latest Dyson DC model, this handheld from Black and Decker is extremely good value for money and has amazing results.

Suction isn’t too bad in this Flexi model and it has 25 Air Watts which means impressive suction power. It’s not has aesthetically pleasing as the funky looking Dyson versions but it’s incredibly useful thanks in part to the flexible hose.


Tools and attachments

Not a one trick pony, this Black and Decker Flexi with Pet Hair Tool comes with a range of attachments for you to clean every aspect of your home and car. The crevice tool is long and think for sneaky areas like down the backs of sofas and car seats as well as ceiling corners while the 2-in-1 nozzle and brush head is highly effective for small and large mess. The pet hair tool teases animal hair quickly from where it’s embedded from the carpet and soon your dog won’t even realise he’s been there before.

Eco charging

While it takes four hours to charge, compared to the Dyson DC58’s three hours, the Black and Decker Flex has an eco function that switches the charger off when the machine is fully charged. This means you can leave it charging happily without having to remember to switch it off.


Downsides / Cons

The only real downsides of this is that the filter has been known to breakdown after a while and isn’t replaceable. The suction power isn’t as good as many larger, floor models or the Dyson handhelds and those coming from those machines may be disappointed.

With the battery life lasting 10-20 minutes depending on age of the machine, this is comparable to other similar models but as the suction isn’t quite as good as the Dyson DC range, it won’t be as effective overall.

Overall, this handheld is lightweight and fairly powerful and is ideal for those who want a small machine for quick and awkward jobs, especially those who have pets that malt. Even with attachments this is easy to store and while it may not have quite the same brute power as a comparable Dyson, this is a bargain for the price.

You can buy it here Black and Decker Lithium Flexi Vacuum Cleaner

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Black and Decker Lithium Compact Pivot Vacuum Review

Black and Decker Lithium Compact Pivot Vacuum, 18v


An odd looking handheld vacuum, this Black and Decker Lithium Compact Pivot Vacuumis an exercise is design gone mad. But, actually, it’s quite good. The cornerstone of the Lithium Compact Pivot Vacuum is its unique, patented nozzle that is manoeuvrable in itself. This makes it highly adept and getting into all those hard-to-reach places like the top of high shelves, lampshades, sofa creases, car areas and other tough spots.

Although it looks like small animal, this Black and Decker hasn’t compromised on power and suction to create this lightweight, cordless model. In fact, the suction is actually very good for the size. The pivoting nozzle folds neatly down for storage, creating a compact machine that’s easy to whip out at a moment’s notice when something is spilled.

The dust hatch is opened without your hands getting dirty and you can empty it quickly and wash or shake out the removable filter. With 35 Air Watts, this is also a pretty powerful machine and the suction is excellent for the price. Well designed and thoroughly eye-catching, this is probably Black and Decker’s best handheld and a true rival to the Dyson empire. See all the reviews here

Key Points:

  • Runtime: 10 minutes
  • Charge time: 4 hours
  • 18v
  • 200° nozzle for hard to reach areas
  • Ecosmart function shuts off charger after vacuum is fully charged

The overall design of this Black and Decker Lithium Compact Pivot 18v Vacuum cleaner is really interesting and very practical. A one-handed design, this is more efficient and easier to use than the Black and Decker Flexi model and the 200° pivot nozzle allows you to get into, on top of and under any awkward object.

Lightweight and comfortable to use

The usability of this machine is further increased by the lightweight and comfortable design. Balanced perfectly as to not strain or tire your arm, this light machine uses a lithium ion battery to reduce the weight more. Because the nozzle pivots, you don’t need to more your arm into awkward positions to get to the dirt and dust and this means that it’s a great tool for everyone, including the elderly.

Designed for small to medium light jobs, this is great for loose pet hair, crumbs and dry spills but doesn’t have the power for embedded hair or tough dirt in carpets. It makes a good car vacuum cleaner for the times you need a quick tidy up before your mother-in-law is a passenger and is ideal for those last minute clean ups before guests arrive at home.

The translucent dust collector enables you to see when to empty it and with a 0.44 litre capacity, that’s not necessarily every time you use it. For hygienic emptying, simply open the side door and tip the contents into the bin. The filter is removable and washable and if cleaned regularly, this should last a long time.

Included Tools and Attachments

An integrated crevice tools means nooks and corners aren’t off limits to this Black and Decker pivot vacuum cleaner and it can easily get down the creases of sofas and car seats. Without a brush attachment, delicate areas like full shelves aren’t going to be easy to vacuum but this is really a tool for soft furnishings and cars.

The charger is very useful with an auto shutoff feature that turns itself off after the vacuum is fully charged. Charging takes around four hours and the machine has about a 10 minute run time. This is fairly typical for this type of handheld but it’s still short compared to the new Dyson DC58 which runs for 20 minutes and has greater power and suction.

The Black and Decker Pivot Vac is a mid-range handheld that’s designed for small, loose spills and quick clean ups. It charges fairly fast and folds up neatly. For those who don’t want to spend too much on a handheld, this Black and Decker is one of the best in the range and it looks pretty cool too.

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Dyson DC34 Multi Floor Vacuum Review

Dyson DC34 Multi Floor

Although superseded by the DC58, this Dyson handheld vacuum cleaner is still a fantastic machine and is now a total bargain. With amazing suction, fast and hygienic dust disposal and 15 minutes of run time, the Dyson DC34 Multi Floor is a proud homeowner’s best friend, saving you time one every small spill.

Key Points:

  • Run time: 15 minutes
  • Charge time: 3.5 hours
  • Weighs 1.3kg
  • Twice more suction than any other handheld on the market (except the DC58)
  • 28 Air Watts
  • Includes crevice tool and brush/wide tool

The Dyson DC34 doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to design specifications and it’s simply a fantastic piece of innovation and machinery. It’s a bargain for those who want the quality and suction of a Dyson but don’t want to pay huge amounts, as it’s now been superseded by the DC58, knocking down its price.

Designed for short, small jobs, this is excellent for stairs, high-tread areas like entryways and for cleaning up the car. It’s capable of removing embedded hair and fibres with ease from carpets and sofas as well as the finest dust particles, making it suitable for households with allergy sufferers.

If you want to save yourself time every day, this is the perfect vacuuming tool. It’s lightweight, exceptionally well balanced in the hand and works quickly and effectively. No more dragging out the main upright vacuum for little jobs when you’re short on time.

Dyson DC34 Multi Floor Handheld Vacuum with Longer Run Time

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Dyson DC58 Animal Handheld Vacuum Review

Dyson DC58 Animal Handheld Vacuum Review

Dyson’s newest handheld vacuum cleaner is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous model with a 20 minute run time, a boost suction button that allows for super-powerful cleaning for up to 6 minutes and durable Lithium ion battery.

The Dyson DC58 Animal Handheld has a hygienic emptying function too, just a button that allows the dust and debris to fall directly into the bin – no more dusty hands trying to take it apart!

With stiff bristles on the vacuum foot, hard-to-remove fibres like pet hairs are forced out of carpets and sucked up with ease. This ensures that the new DC58 Animal is an excellent tool for those areas of the house and car where dirt, dust and hair is often walked into the carpet such as entryways and footwells.

Lightweight and ergonomic, this Dyson DC58 has a comfortable handle that makes it easy to manoeuvre for young and old alike. With a range of add-on tools for crevice vacuuming and tougher spots, this is an all-round excellent vacuum that will make the place look spick and span when you’ve only got ten minutes until the dinner guests turn up.

Key Points:

  • Runtime: 20 minutes
  • 6kg with weight balanced for comfort
  • Hygienic button operated disposal
  • 28 Air Watts
  • 6 minutes of Boost time at 100 Air Watts
  • Charge time: 3.5 hours

Neat, clever and no unattractive, the new Dyson DC58 Animal Handheld is designed within an inch of its life. No part of this highly practical household appliance is excessive nor are there any sections that haven’t been perfectly though through. It’s easy to see when you first pick it up, that the weight distribution and handle comfort has been one of the primary design specs because there’s no hint of awkwardness.

Ergonomic Design

The handle allows you to control everything without having to move your hand. Not only is the power button there, the hygienic waste dump button is too. Meaning this is really a one handed job. Despite the controls on the ergonomic handle, the DC58 Animal is designed so you don’t accidentally press something you don’t want it. It’s pure, easy and surprising simple.

The primary vacuuming section, where it touches the surface or carpet, is a motorised bar with nylon bristles to force hair, fibres, dust and dirt up out of the carpet. Amazing effective, you’ll never find yourself needing to go over the same spot twice and you’ll be amazed at how easily debris is eradicated.

Thanks to these stiff bristles, high-tread areas like stairs, entryways and cars no longer have to always have that slightly dingy, trampled look. The DC58 will draw out the hair, dust and dirt with immense cleaning power.

Dyson DC58 is the Most Powerful Handheld Vacuum

The motor in the DC58 handheld is where Dyson really comes into its own. The Digital V6 motor spins over 100,000 times a minute and is 3x faster than normal vacuum motors. This is at the heart of why the DC range is so powerful and so effective. Even the finest dust particles are captured and removed thanks to the 15 cyclones in 2 tiers, leaving your home and car cleaner than you even thought possible.

With 28 Air Watts on normal setting, this is already a highly powerful machine but with the addition of the Boost setting (which lasts for 6 minutes), you can benefit from 100 Air Watts! This means even the most stubborn areas will look good as new again.

Longer life than predecessors

The biggest complaint with the DC58 Animal’s predecessors was the battery life and although this range is designed to be used for short tasks, Dyson certainly listened. Completely re-engineering the battery, this new DC58 Animal now has a life span of 20 minutes or 17 minutes if you’re using the motorised tool with it. This is a huge difference and really makes the DC58 worth having in your home.

Tools and Attachments

Whether it’s animal hair, car footwell dirt, cobwebs or just plain old household debris, the DC58 Handheld can cope with it. With a range of attachments included, it has everything you need for a fast clean up. The crevice tool slots on easily to enable corners, skirting boards and the fiddly bits in cars to be as clean as new, while the mini motorised tool provides instant eradication of animal hairs, even those trampled deep into the carpet. The wide nozzle tool speeds everything up and there’s no job that this DC58 can’t do.

Easier cleaning equals cleaner home

It’s easy to put off vacuuming when there’s only a small bit that needs to be done and the vacuum cleaner needs digging out from the show cupboard. Who can be bothered when you need to find a plug socket, pull the vacuum around to the dirty area and then put it all away again afterwards? No one – the DC58 is your new best friend.

Super small and super lightweight at just 1.6kg, the DC58 is highly effective and powerful for short jobs. With the one-button hygienic bin emptying function, you don’t need to put off empty the machine because it takes a split second and won’t make your clothes dusty.

With a run time of 20 minutes, this is hands down one of the best small handheld vacuum cleaners on the market today and this new DC58 model even has an LED battery indicator so you know how long you’ve got.

Dyson puts technology, usability and customer experience at the forefront of their designs, and thisDyson DC58 Animal Handheld really is worth the price. You get what you pay for, and here you’re paying for gold.

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Hoover Jovis Turbo Power Nozzle Bagless 12v

Hoover Jovis Turbo Power Nozzle Bagless 12v Vacuum Cleaner – Handheld

A lightweight, cordless vacuum cleaner from Hoover, this Jovis Turbo Power is a handheld compact cleaner that’s especially adept at picking up pet hair. Small and comfortable to hold, it has a good run time for it’s type and requires only one-handed operation. Save yourself time by using a small, handheld vacuum for life’s little spills.

Key Points:

  • 12 volts
  • Run time: Up to 17 minutes
  • Charge time: 16 hours
  • Wall mounted charger
  • Weighs 1.5kg
  • Turbo button for extra power

The Hoover Jovis Turbo is an affordable handheld vacuum cleaner with enough power on the Turbo setting to get rid of stubborn, embedded hairs and dirt. With a HEPA filtration system, it’s designed to pick up even the finest dust particles making it suitable for households with allergies.

Designed for short bursts of cleaning, the runtime of 17 minutes is really good for this size of vacuum and its peers across other brands often have shorter run times with the exception of the Dyson DC58. While the run time is good, the charge time is very long at 16 hours.

Bagless and comfortable to hold, this is an easy vacuum to use and it’s longer runtime makes it good as a car vacuum cleaner than you can keep in the boot for clean up crises. The dust disposal function isn’t as fluid and hygienic as some other brands like Dyson and Black and Decker, but it’s not too clunky and is quick to empty.

The wall mounted charging base keeps this Hoover out of the way and an LED light shows battery charge. Overall, it’s an excellent budget option.

Hoover Jovis Turbo Power Nozzle Bagless 12v

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Ryobi CHV182M ONE+ Cordless Hand Vac

Ryobi CHV182M ONE+ Cordless Hand Vac, 18v


Nicely designed and capable of cleaning both wet and dry spills, the Ryobi One+ Cordless vacuum is a great budget machine. Not clunky or particularly cheap feeling, this is a basic vacuum that’s particularly useful as a car cleaner or for quick jobs around the house and will save you time.

Key Points:

  • Cleans both wet and dry spills
  • 86kg (excl battery), 1.4kg (incl battery)
  • 18 volts
  • 173ml dust capacity
  • Run time: up to 15 minutes
  • Only works with Ryobi batteries which must be purchased separately

With a rubberised grip handle and a great colour scheme, this Ryobi One+ is the ideal handheld cordless vacuum for those who like to keep their car tidy and give their home last minute cleans. The suction power is suitable for loose crumbs and hair and it manages to capture fine dust particles as well.

The drawback of this hand vacuum cleaner is that you need to buy the batteries and charger separately…and it only accepts Ryobi batteries. This s a good option if you already own Ryobi tools and can use the battery packs interchangeably. If you don’t, the price will soon add up and you may be better off investing in a different product such as the Black and Decker handheld range.

Ryobi CHV182M ONE+ Cordless Hand Vac, 18 V (Body Only)

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VonHaus 7.2V Handheld Vacuum Review

VonHaus 7.2V Handheld Vacuum Review

This budget vacuum cleaner from VonHaus is small, compact and good for small jobs like sprucing up the car. With a run time of around 15 minutes on a full charge, you no longer need to worry about lugging the upright vacuum upstairs or out to your car. Having a small handheld vacuum saves you time and effort – no more rushing around before the guests arrive.

Key Points:

This is a very basic and very affordable handheld cordless vacuum cleaner from VonHaus. It’s powerful enough to suck up loose hair, debris and crumbs, making it ideal as a car vacuum cleaner, especially for those will small children and pets. With a run time of up to 15 minutes, you can quickly and easily zap up those dog hairs each time, before they get embedded into the seats.

With a comfortable handle and wheels to support the weight, this is useful for small areas in home and in the car. It lacks the sheer lightness and ease of use that Black and Decker and Dyson models have, but for the price, it’s not a bad option.

With a small charging station, a brush tool and a crevice tool, this is a handy machine for time-saving clean ups.

VonHaus 7.2V Rechargeable Portable Handheld Vacuum Cleaner with Dust Brush, Crevice Tool and Charging Station – Free 2 Year Warranty

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Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Terms Explained (pt. 2)

This is a continuation of Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Terms – Explained for everyone. You may be interested in reading part one too.

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8. Vacuum Power Ratings

This is a much confused subject. Power is measured in Watts and refers to how much power the motor uses. This is a rough indication of how powerful suction will be but does have some caveats. Firstly, different vacuums use different motors, and some will be more efficient than others. For example, Dyson have incredible electric motors that are very efficient, where as other manufacturers might have a much poorer quality motor which will produce less suck for the same power input.


Dyson DC34

Secondly, a higher power rating (W) means that the battery life will quite often be shorter, or that the vacuum will need a bigger and heavier battery to achieve the same run time as a less powerful motor. So hight power vacuums are almost always going to be heavier and larger, and do not always provide more suction power.

Some people confuse volts with the power rating of a vacuum. Volts is related to the battery being used and does not affect the suction ability of the vacuum. Although, saying that, generally a higher voltage battery will be required by a higher power motor that draws more power so has a high wattage.

9. Docking station

Many handheld cordless vacuums come with a docking station. This is where you can place the vacuum when it is not in use and the docking station will charge it. Therefore the docking station needs to be plugged into the mains somewhere.

Black and Decker Lithimum Flexi Vacuum Cleaner

Black and Decker Lithium Flexi Vacuum Cleaner

Docking stations can be wall mounted and offer a convenient place to store your vacuum, especially since it will always be charged and ready to go.

10. Charge Indicators

Some cordless vacuums include some sort of charge indicator on the device. This is a really useful feature as you can easily see how much battery life is remaining and can therefore judge whether to start on the next project or put the vacuum on charge first. There’s nothing worse than only getting half a job done!

11. Attachments

Most cordless vacuums come with a selection of attachments. these attachments go on the suction end of the vacuum allowing the appliance more versatility. for example, a crevice attachment for getting into small corners, or a brush attachment for soft furnishings. When buying a vacuum always check what is included, you may find that the attachments are some of the most useful things that come with you vacuum.

12. Pet Specific Vacuums

Some cordless vacuums come with attachments specifically for pet hair removal. These pet hair vacuums usually consist of a special attachment that is designed to pick up pet hair from a variety of surfaces. Some attachments are designed so that the pet hair does not clog the nozzle and are easy to clean.

If you have a hairy pet or partner, then the pet hair removal tool can be an essential part of your cordless vacuum. If you intent on using your vacuum for mainly pet hair removal then you may want to choose a more powerful model that has the capability to suck up stubborn hair from around your home.

13. Wet and Dry Vacuums

A wet and dry use cordless vacuum is a real bonus. You can use these vacuums to suck up spills, such as coffee or water around your home. They work equally well for normal vacuuming and the dirt and water is collected in a removable collection bin. You may find that you have to rinse out the collection bin when you empty it as the dampness will have caused the dust to encrust itself on the inside. This isnt a very fun job but the ability to suck up spilt cereal and milk for example is pretty handy.


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Cordless Vacuum Terms Explained

Why Choose a Cordless handheld vacuum?

A cordless handheld vacuum won’t replace your main house vacuum but it will give you the ultimate convenience for small areas. These small, lightweight cordless vacuums are ideal for everyday spills, for example in your kitchen or even your car. As you are not restricted by a cumbersome power cord you have the freedom to clean everywhere unrestricted. This can make those previously hard to reach areas so much more accessible


Next we will discuss some of the common terms used to describe these handheld vacuums.

1. Battery Run Time

This is one of the most important features of any cordless appliance as they run on battery power alone. How long the appliance runs for on battery power is stated by the manufacturer in ideal circumstances and in the real world many consumers have noted that the run time is significantly less than advertised. The only manufacturer that does provide accurate battery life data is Dyson, for all others you could take off between 10% and 30% for real world values.

Handheld Cordless Vacuums have relatively short run times, typically between 10 minutes and 30 minutes. As previously mentioned, they are not designed to vacuum your entire house, but to be on hand for emergencies and for those hard to reach areas. As with most things, there is a compromise and handheld vacuums cut weight and size by having smaller batteries, and as a result, shorter run times.

2. Charge Time

Charge time refers to how long it takes for a flat battery to be fully charged. Cordless vacuums use one of two battery types. Cheaper models use Nickle Cadmium (Ni-Cal) batteries and more expensive models use Lithium Ion (Li-ion). The latter is far superior but is only found in the more expensive vacuums. Li-Ion batteries require far shorter charging times, typically around 3 to 4 hours compared to Ni-Cal batteries that require upwards of 8 hours. When buying a cordless vacuum you have to consider how often you want to use it, for handheld vacuums the run time is quite often short so opting for a fast charging Li-Ion model is often a good choice that will avoid the frustration of waiting for you appliance to charge.

3. Weight

Handheld vacuums are supported entirely by your arm so you need to be able to easily lift and manoeuvre the vacuum. Weight therefore is an important consideration, especially if you are planning to vacuum hard to reach areas such as book shelves, curtains or other hanging furnishings.

Upright vacuums are supported by the floor and pushed along by the user, therefore weight is a consideration but perhaps not as critical as for handheld vacuums. However, you may still need to carry the vacuum up stairs and to wherever you store it so being able to lift it will still play a part in your decision process.

4. Dirt Collection Capacity

Sometimes referred to as just “capacity” or “bin volume”. This is how much the vacuum can pick up and store without the need for emptying. Handheld cordless vacuums typically have small collection bins of about 0.3 litres volume where as upright and stick type cordless vacuums have larger capacities, up to 1.6 litres.

Most cordless vacuums are designed to be small and light and as a result have small collection bin capacity. This is one of the trade off with having a smaller machine but does mean that you may have to empty the bin after almost every use.

5. Bagless

Modern cordless vacuums are almost all bagless, that is, the collection of dirt is not held in a bag but in a plastic container that you remove from the vacuum and empty into your household refuse. Some people prefer bagged vacuums are the dust is neatly contained and this option can be better for people who suffer from allergies. However, for most people the convenience and simplicity of bagless collection is a major plus point.

6. No Loss of Suction / Cyclone Technology

Some manufacturers advertise that their vacuums do not lose suction power whilst vacuuming. This was invented by Dyson and is what made them the market leaders. Other manufacturers also offer cyclone technology vacuums these days and generally they are just as good. Many bagged vacuums will lose suction power as the collection bag fills during cleaning, this is another reason why most manufacturers now use bagless technology.

7. Boost Mode / Turbo Mode

Some vacuums offer a boost mode.This is an option to increase the suction power but at the expense of battery life, shortening the run time of the appliance. Sometimes you may find the manufacturer has listed the cordless vacuum’s run time with 2 numbers, for example 8/15 minutes. This refers to how long the vacuum will last at either high suction mode or regular.

Continue to PART 2

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