Flutterby™! : Vacuums suck

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Vacuums suck

2007-01-10 19:32:28.454348+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

We finally became convinced that the Eureka vacuum that we inherited from the shutdown of the Coyote Grits[Wiki] was depositing more than it was picking up, so we tossed it. We have a Kirby G4 that we got from somewhere, I think from an acquaintance of Charlene in the hopes that the resale value here in upscale Marin would be better than wherever they were, but having looked at eBay and Craigslist, and having used the loud machine with poorly fitting components we're just hoping that the local thrift store will take it off our hands.

And last time I talked with my mom about her Electrolux she was rather neutral about a tool that should be awesome (and is certainly priced that way...).

Why can't anyone make a decent vacuum? Our Festool[Wiki] dust collector can double as a shop vac, and it's quiet enough that you can actually talk over the thing when it's running. However, it doesn't have a rug beater attachment. But given the relative performances of the various things I've tried, I think we'll shell out the outrageous bag costs and use it, because even though it's expensive, and even though the bags are moderately expensive, it still seems to be better and cheaper than any of the devices actually sold as home vacuums.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Festool ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-10 22:07:54.725558+00 by: Nancy

I have long agreed with this. And I think the dyson hype is just that.

We have an in-house vac and badly need some new attachments. Not to mention replacement bags. Fortunately we have little carpeting; mostly tile and area rugs.

There's quite a bit of general vacuum information available at consumerreports.org without subscribing. But, FYI, the Eureka Boss Smart Vac Ultra 4870 is a consumer reports best buy at $150. Kenmore's 'progressives' are highly rated too.

I used a vacuum I got for $5, left over from a friend's yard sale, for years and was happy with it - no memory of brand, but it was an upright, which I prefer.

Hey! I can talk vacuum cleaners ;-) Just don't start hacking them or you've lost me.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-10 22:19:29.728089+00 by: meuon

Add a rug beater to a shop vac? Easy, use the vacuum powered beater head from a whole house vacuum system.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-11 14:42:06.944467+00 by: ebradway

You saw that apartment Asha and I had in Chattanooga - about 1500 square feet all carpetted. We "splurged" and bought the "Electrolux Oxygen Ultra" for way too much money at Lowe's:


While it's not quite as bad as the first reviewer's experience, it's definitely not worth what we paid for it. It is very quiet and it does clean the air nicely (even vacuuming cat litter). But Asha hates it and always has problems with the attachments.

Some research led me to understand that these models of Electrolux aren't really made by Electrolux. The only way to get a REAL Electrolux is to go to an Electrolux dealer. From what I've seen, their better vacuums start at about double what we paid for the Oxygen Ultra.

Better spend to money on replacing the carpet with resilient flooring. And several folks (all with cats) have had very good experiences with the Rhoomba.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-11 15:06:21.121189+00 by: Dan Lyke

Electrolux is the same company as Eureka, just a higher price point than the Eureka brand. But when you buy a Cadillac or an Infiniti you expect more than a Chevy or a Nissan.

However, I know that when you buy a brand you recognize in Wal*Mart[Wiki] you're buying at the extreme bottom end of that brand versus when you buy it in a higher end store, and that sort of brand dilution is the reason you'll never see a Snapper product in Wal*Mart[Wiki].

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-11 18:08:34.147853+00 by: other_todd

The problem really is one of design.

It's very inefficient to do a whole rug on your hands and knees with a suction pickup. Inefficient for YOU. It's very efficient for the vacuum.

So as far as I'm concerned vacuum cleaner design is a constant tradeoff between "I want to be able to clean this rug by pushing something over it while walking upright" vs "I want suction that actually is worth something." I have always dreamed of hacking an upright vacuum to just take the damned agitator out - I think my rugs would get cleaner.

I like canister vacs better for this reason, and I like to use them with nozzles that have no agitator, and I like hoses as short as I can reasonably get away with. As far as I'm concerned 'more hose' is to 'vacuum' as 'more wire' is to 'resistance.'

I have an upright vacuum whose middle pops out to basically become a small canister vacuum. Since the only part of our house which is carpeted is the stairs and upstairs hall, I use the upright very briefly in the hall, where it does a lousy job, and I use the canister part by hand working down the stairs, where it does a much better job. And it's still not a very good model.

Dysons actually work but suffer the limitations of upright design. If Dyson ever makes a canister vacuum I will probably spend the outrageous sum they will probably charge for it.

Meanwhile, if you can stand the noise, get a good shopvac, and if you really want to be upright, mount the nozzle on the end of a pole.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-11 18:34:52.566354+00 by: Dan Lyke

Well, this dust collector doubling as a shop vac is quieter than any household vacuum I've ever used, so I think we'll just be using it as our primary vacuum from now on.

It just amazes me that there's something about the market for home use that makes vacuums loud and noisy, but when they're called something else, or sold into a different market, all of a sudden they can be quiet and effective.