The latest and best mains powered Vacuum Cleaners
Tested and Reviewed by
For battery powered cordless vacs
Updated 4th December 2012
I have tested the following machines.
DYSON DC16, DC30, DC 31
Kirby G4 and G5
Exakt Dust Extraction vacuum for Powertools
Earlex Combi Powervac
Long term tests
My original DC01has retired to the loft but
served me well and represented a major breakthrough in domestic
cleaner technology (and a boost for UK inventors).
I have owned many Dyson vacuum cleaners and
overall am pleased with the performance and love the fact
I don't have to buy bags.
My long serving DC04 did develop a minor switch
fault and I was a bit annoyed that Dyson would not
provide diagrams or tell me how to take the machine apart to fix a
simple problem. Dysons are designed to resist
screwdrivers and only be opened by Dyson technicians. ( for safety
However Dyson do have a great website and customer
service and offer long warranties now with all new machines.
Reasons for poor performance of Dyson Vacuums
I have no doubt that the Dyson Dual Cyclone
system is the best and that overall Dyson vacuum cleaners are very
reliable and effective.
If you hear someone moaning about the performance
of a Dyson there are 2 likely reasons
1 They work for a rival manufacturer.
2 They sucked up their Hampster or failed to wash the
From my own experience and from what repairers and
shops have told me the main reason Dyson vacuum cleaners may lose
suction and fail to perform is due to blocked filters or dust bars
being wrapped up in pet hair or carpet fibres.
A vacuum cleaner needs to move air and dirt and
breath. If the brush bar cannot move it cant beat the carpet and
push the dust particles towards the filters and collection box.
Most Dysons have 2 filters, one before the motor
to trap fine dust and one after the motor to make sure the air it
pushes out is a clean as possible. (Pre and post motor filters)
This poor Dyson DC07 was thrown away as the owner said it was
rubbish and didn't suck anymore. If she had removed most of her cat
from the brush bar it would have worked a treat.
A word of warning!
Dyson vacuums are extremely powerful and are capable of pulling
apart really cheap or worn out carpets.
Dyson vacuums also have a thermal cut out in case of overload. Many
others just burn out. If your Dyson stops, just turn it off, let it
cool a while and try again.
I own 2 Dyson DC07 vacuums, one I bought and one I
repaired in 10 minutes after it was thrown away as it was dirty.
Dyson now give long warranties and pay more attention to quality
control ( as mentioned in their adverts) The latest models also use
"high fibre" plastic that is tougher and the type used in police
riot shields - (said the Dyson man)
My current Dyson is a DCO7
and is even better as
it has a HEPA filter and the easy empty mechanism reduces the amount
of dust getting in your face when emptying the canister.
My favorite Dyson is the DC07 as it is
robust and effective and easy to sue. It has 2 filters, one under the bin
(post motor) which cleans the exhausted air and the main "pre motor"
filter which is on the side and is made from washable foam. Keep
this filter clean and your Dyson DC07 will suck like - "a sucking thing".
If you own a Dyson and use it a lot I recommend having a spare foam
filter and to wash and change them over monthly to maintain 100% efficiency.
Other models of Dyson
The range has been expanded to include handhelds, lightweights, and
cylinder models to cater for every floor type, household or
Although I am not able to test and review every model I am confident
in the underlying patented technology of the dual cyclone that makes
Dyson vacuums superior in suction and performance to most other
Not having a bag does save you money but emptying the dust box is
not as clean as a Hepa sealed bag.
In March 2008 Dyson released the new DC25 which has the motor in a
ball to provide better manoeuvrability and balance. Also a slimline,
lightweight version called the DC24, but this has considerably less
power, which might not be so bad as I have heard reports that the
DC25 is so powerful that it can pull apart cheap carpets!
These are the most popular models, the DC14 is my" no firlls"
The new DC26 city has the highest power/weight ratio and fits on an
A4 size piece of paper!
New Power take off Vacuum cleaners for saws and
If you use a power tool that creates dust
like this laminate cutting saw or a sander then a vacuum cleaner
that includes a power
take off socket will make the job much easier. It does this
by saving you time not having to switch both of them on and off.
When you switch on the saw or sander the vac switches on too!
When you switch off your saw or sander the vac
runs for a few more seconds to collect all the dust and then
automatically turns off too!
As the vac has its own extra power socket you can use it like an extension lead as well,
even if you don't need the vac facility. This type of vacuum is
usually an expensive product for professional users but this
British made vacuum costs around £80 and will also suck up liquids
On top of this is can also be used as a blower and I even used it
outside to suck up small leaves and debris from my lawn and decking.
The British made Earlex Combi Powervac is the perfect workshop
vacuum as it has a power take off socket and does wet and dry!
see details on power take off vacuum cleaner
New Compact Power take off Vacuum cleaners for saws and
This little vacuum cleaner can be used like any
other vacuum but also has a power take off socket so you can use
it as an extension for any powertools that make dust.
When you turn on the tool, the vacuum comes
on automatically, which saves you running 2 cables and saves you
time switching them both on and off.
This vacuum was designed for use with the
Exakt precision saw and uses paper bags and a Hepa filter. It
replaces a similar Exakt PV600 model that did not have Hepa
Exakt PV600 power take off vacuum
Lightweight mains Powered Vaccuum Cleaner
Latest test Gtech SV01
New "V- HEAD" design
Following on from the HV01 handheld vacuum Gtech have now made a
larger mains powered version with a respectable 1300w motor.
The SV01 is a lightweight vacuum ( 4.7kg) suitable for all floor types but
especially good on hard floors. The cleverly designed, pivoting ,
V shaped head cleans right to the edges and accelerates dust into
the centre for increased efficiency. The head is relatively flat so
fits well under furniture too
At about £70 this is a good value vacuum and a pleasure to use.
It also has a pull out hose (which is a bit short) and a clear
plastic bin that is very easy to empty. The easy access filter can
be washed so running costs are low. Build quality of the
plastic parts looks good and it is not too noisy.
I have been using this machine instead of my beloved Dyson for a
while and for the hard floors it is clearly better. I love it !
Latest news! Ella my Polish Cleaning Lady has developed a strong
bond with the new Gtech and had a strop when she had to to use the
The V shaped head speeds the dust into the
Pivoting head and light weight
makes this a joy to use.
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The Best Vacuum Cleaner - My 15 year old Kirby?
This is my Kirby G3 vacuum cleaner. It is nearly 20
years old and still going strong. New Kirby vacuum cleaners are over
£1000 and mostly sold at shows or during home visits. My advice is to buy a nearly new or well serviced
one from e-bay as the Kirby sales technique is very pushy and has
been widely criticised on consumer affairs programs.
On the plus side,
the Kirby has phenomenal performance and the carpet cleaning
attachment has made my carpets last years longer.
The best feature of Kirby vacuum cleaners is the durability.
Kirbys are built like tanks and last forever. Parts are not cheap
but always available. Over time the Kirby begins to pay back the
initial investment and I am quite fond of my "old K"
Fitting the different attachments is a real pain, and requires lots of practice.
The bags are expensive, if Kirby made a cyclonic -
no- bag version it would truly be the best vacuum cleaner around.
However they would lose revenue on bags so I am not expecting one
Numatic Henry - A cheap solution to
A no-frills vacuum cleaner that lasts and is
cheap to run.
I know a lot of professional cleaners who use
the Henry for vacuuming hallways and public areas in large
The Henry has been around years and has a
reputation for being tough and effective. It has a superb cable
rewinding facility and all parts and accessories are easily
available. There are several models, from domestic to commercial
use, and one especially for animal hair. The CVC 370 model does wet and dry
vacuuming. Amazingly Numatic Henry vacuum cleaners are still made in Britain.
I don't think I have heard one complaint about a
Henry and have seen some very battered ones still in use.
This is the ultimate tried and tested product.
The bags are also cheap at about 35p each for
the standard and 55p for the Hepa bags.
If your hose gets damaged or eaten by a dog
you can replace the whole accessory kit for £18!
Compare this to £12- £20 for a Dyson hose
- animal hair
Home-Tek Steam Mop
The chemical free way to clean lino and tiled
I have owned 2 of these handy gadgets or over 4
years now and would not be without one. As a wheelchair user I tend
to make a mess of my floors and taking my shoes off when I come home
does not help!
A steam mop is basically a kettle on a stick
pushing its steam through a microfiber pad. My first one came with
small pads but these have now been improved and are larger and
better. The hi Tec pad and hot steam make a superb job of cleaning
away dirt and grime. I have 5 pads and put them all in the washing
machine after using them
The home-tek steam mop is great on sealed surfaces
like vinyl, lino and tiles. However I don't recommend it on
laminate or thin wooden floors as the heat of the steam can damage
the surface coating or warp the material
It comes with a carpet cleaning
attachment with bristles on it but I found this did not work
effectively on my carpets.
Some early y models like my ones suffered from a
minor fault that caused leaks. One of my ones developed this but was
easily repaired by my friend who opened it up and re-attached the
small tube from the tank to the outlet. Despite this, the small tank
capacity and short cable I do think the Home-Tek steam mop is a
superb bit of kit that will pay for itself eventually by saving you
money on cleaning fluids.
Get steamy on your kitchen floor!
braking news! - new type pads available with extra abrasive area for
KARCHER WV50 ELECTRIC WINDOW VACUUM
A Totally New Way To Clean Windows
This excellent new invention from Karcher of
Germany is a sort of cross between a wet -n-dry dustbuster and a
Firstly you soap up the window using a sponge (or
the spray gun and sheepskin supplied) and then swipe down the window
with the vac and in seconds you will have a perfectly clean window
with no smears or mess. All the dirty water is sucked into the
integral tank and kept away from the window.
The Karcher WV50 window vacuum is great on tiles
and cars too. I now use the Karcher every time I wash my car to dry
it off quickly after rinsing. This stops those annoying water spots
appearing. I find that the new smaller 170mm head is best on my cars
as it copes with the angles of the glass better.
I am a pretty hard person to please when it comes to
new gadgets but this one beat my expectations and also impressed my
window cleaning friend Chris and Polish cleaning lady ,who calls me
MacGyver, due to the enormous amounts of gadgets in my house.
You can see a short video of the Karcher
WV50Electric Window vacuum being used at my house
The Karcher WV50 did come with a spray bottle with a
built in cleaning head and can be used with just a drop of washing
up liquid or you can buy special Karcher window cleaning fluid ,
designed for this gadget.
The spray bottle/soaping head is now an accessory
and one you don't really need as any old sponge or cloth with do.
Great on car windows too!
Ibot Roomba - Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Two of my friends have these excellent little bots and love them. I have spent
some time studying them and am looking
forward to further developments that will make them more suitable
for my house.
Finally in 2011 I decided that the technology has improved
enough and is reliable enough for me to try one.
Also the main supplier has now changed to a company I know and I am
confident that the earlier reported problems with customer service
will be resolved. Spare parts are widely avaialble and reasonably
I now own a top of the range Roomba 581 and love it.
Several models have already evolved ( including the i-Scooba robot
mop) and most seem to be highly regarded by their users. They
are best suited to uncluttered rooms . Most reports and reviews are
positive but with any hi tech rechargeable product problems can
arise. The I Scooba is more complex and as an older product is
due for redesign.
As new batteries become more powerful and cheaper these machines will be more
affordable and effective - just like the Robot mowers I have been
using for 9 years. watch this space!
click here for Ibot Roomba and spares
Roomba 560 costs around £300
My top of the range Roomba 581 is around £370
If you work with any tools or equipment the chances
are that from time to time they (and you) will get covered in grease,
dust, paint and grime. If you cant get to a tap then trade wipes are
the answer and should be an important part of every tradesman's
Big Industrial wipes are impregnated with orange
oil and will clean almost anything off of anything with a few firm
In 2007 I gave them the Golden Shed award winner -best cleaning product.
A box of 80 is available in Halfords for around £7.
buy a tub of Industrial Big Wipes
Now available in green eco friendly versions!
And extra abrasive version with Nylon agitating
surface ( red lid)
I have found even better wipes! the new Dirteeze rough and smooth trade wipes are covered on one side with
small agitating bobbles that work like hundreds of tiny
fingers! The other side is an absorbent soft cloth that can soak up
The Dirteeze trade wipes
are impregnated with Aloe Vera so they smell nice and are safe and
healthy to use for cleaning your hands and your tools and surfaces.
I have been testing all
the above wipes thoroughly and have now decided that the Dirteeze
Wipes are best!
The killer application
is the small blue rubbery bobbles that get into irregular surfaces
and clean by the process of micro-disconbobbulation
(Actually I made up that
name but it does describe the process well).
These new wipes are now
called Hippo Wipes and are available in tubs of 50 or small packets
As this product is so good I have given it my
official endorsement as "tested by Fredshed"
On the dirty hands test the Hippo wipes (left ) wiped the
The Hippo Wipes are smaller but clean better than the Big industrial
buy a tub of Industrial Big Wipes
Hippo wipes come in tub of 50 wipes
buy a packet of 50 Hippo Wipes
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