* Prices may differ from that shown
If you are trying to save money and need a new vacuum cleaner, spare a thought for your old one. Fair enough if it has a burnt out motor, there may be grounds for a new purchase. But if you have an upright or cylinder vac and it is having problems with picking up pet hair and threads, then the answer could lie in a decent clean out of the main roller brush bar (if you own an upright vacuum cleaner) or an additional spare part that isn't that costly to buy like an aftermarket mini turbo brush attachment. For most owners that own pets or have staircases, if you have a cylinder or upright vacuum cleaner with a hose, and you have to deal with cleaning carpets, the mini turbo brush is a very good cost effective idea than an all out purchase on a new vacuum cleaner that sports one. Not only suitable for pet hair (an idea that was thrown into the sole reason behind the mini turbo brush idea, originally) a mini turbo brush is great for general upholstery cleaning, carpets and anything really that a suction-only floor head or spare upholstery tool without moving brushes struggles with.
Life would be simple if there could be a universal mini turbo brush that is made to one design but thanks to market pressure, there are quality items and utter tosh for your money. Additionally it would be all very well if brands stuck to the same hose or pipe measurement. Generally for Bosch, Philips, Panasonic, Miele or Sebo owners, you're looking at the bigger 35mm measurement whilst those with Hoover, Dyson and Electrolux, 32mm sizes. There are types on the market that are made with the cheapest of plastic, ones which feel sturdy enough and last a long time and yet of the universal types that seem to be indestructible, they always seem to have four screws that must be undone before you can gain access to the mini roller brush. Those with screws can be an off-putting experience not to mention time consuming so it is a pity that Electrolux have fitted two cross head screws if you need to get into this little brush tool ** This is a long review **
What happens when your vacuum cleaner dies and you get a new model you think won't be able to use the turbo brush? This is where the Electrolux Riser Visor Mini Turbo Brush (ZE060) comes in because apart from its cheap price of £12 to £20 it comes with a 35mm tube adaptor that fits onto the end of hoses or pipes that measure 35mm via its friction fit adaptor.
The ZE060 mini turbo brush attachment is already featured quite heavily on most Electrolux vacuum cleaners these days that have the "Pet Lover," tag attached to the main name of the vacuum cleaner and indeed when it came to purchasing my Electrolux Powerlite Pet Lover, such a tool came with the actual vacuum cleaner. Of the universal brushes I've owned, not many last that long whilst ones that are exclusively made for the models such as Miele or Sebo brushes do not come with adaptors that can be used on other vacuums. Despite being lesser in size somewhat to Sebo or Miele turbo brushes, the light design aspect of the Electrolux ZE060 with its adaptor alone is worthy of considering. I've just bought another one since I gave one away to a friend.
Against universal floor brushes that have roller bars with tightly packed bristles, I've often found it difficult to loosen hairs and threads that wrap themselves tightly around the brush roll, not to mention the actual tufts of bristles that can often get crushed. On the Electrolux however there are thin lines of bigger spaced out bristles that prevent a lot of clogging and yet gives stairs and carpets a generally lovely "just groomed," appearance. Cleaning up pet hair, threads, stairs and car seats for example have never been as quick or as efficient until I discovered this nifty little tool.
Fitting the floor head to pipes or hoses is also easy thanks to its thin taper neck and friction fit design although the taper is thin and could do with being that little bit thicker for long term robustness. The ZE060 floor head shouldn't come off unless you feebly just fix it on and hope for the best. Therefore, the performance of the ZE060 however is fantastic but it depends really on the power of your vacuum cleaner. Because of its compact build, this turbo brush hardly loses any air, a fact of which can be felt by just feeling the turbo brush in action at seal points and if your vacuum uses a bag you may be surprised to find that the ZE060 still picks up at a fast speed. Fixed onto our old 1200 watt Vax canister for example, the speed of the brush really flies up to jet engine sounds although most turbo brushes on the market suffer from inherent noise and this tool is no exception. When I put this onto the end of my Miele vacuum at 1800 watts for example, I thought the brush may well pop out of its housing! Ferocious speeds of brush turns can be obtainable but I was amazed by the power of this brush because of its smaller size and how easy it is to use based on the fact that unlike cheaper universal brushes, there are no wheels on the underside to aid for gliding. Mini turbo brushes generally don't have wheels but of the ones that do, they often clog up with dirt or start to squeak thanks to the cheap quality. There are no wheels needed here, which is another welcome to cut cleaning, and maintenance times.
Basically how mini turbo brushes work is very similar to larger floor heads that have the same air-driven idea; suction from the vacuum cleaner flies around a toothed turbine wheel which is connected to a drive belt and then connected to a brush bar. The smaller the brush bar the quicker the suction applied will turn the turbine, therefore much more performance from a smaller brush compared to a large one and the belts are often sealed in lifetime toothed in design that shouldn't need replacing. With a nearly full dirt bag on my Miele S571 for example I was surprised that the little ZE060 could still turn so fast and give brilliant results on carpets.
But, there are other factors to its general performance. The ZE060 is also slightly smaller than Dyson, Miele or Sebo turbo brushes and for that fact alone it is a relatively easier brush to use, particularly when getting in corners or awkward areas where a bigger turbo brush may struggle. I find the foot wells in the car for example are one of the hardest areas to clean, particularly if you lift up the main rubber floor mat and try to get dirt out from underneath the pedals on felt material. This is where a turbo brush like the ZE060 can get in compared to Dyson, Miele or Sebo brushes which often appear too big for their own good and can get stuck because of the angle and size of the tool head.
The bonus however to the Electrolux ZE060 is down to its trademark name. The "Riser Visor," is a unique design exclusively produced by Electrolux and for those who don't like the idea of constantly bending down slightly to clean stairs or presumably cleaning flat to the floor in a downwards motion, Electrolux have fitted a small visor to the front of the floor brush that can be flipped upwards to reveal the top half of the bare brush roll. What use is this? Well it works superbly on the vertical parts of stairs without having to move with hoses or pipes, depending on where you fix this turbo tool on to. Cleaning in an upward position, the ZE060 brings up staircases well, particularly if they are completely carpet covered and with the visor lifted upwards, it cuts cleaning time too. You will not find that design on any other mini turbo brush on the market. In normal use the visor can then be flicked downwards according to need; a fantastic idea that has very few limitations.
The main downside to the Electrolux ZE060 is availability and Electrolux's constant UK webshop which never seems to be up to date or working. I have only ever seen it in shops such as Comet in their vacuum cleaner accessory section and not all Comet stores will stock it, as it is a relatively rare tool to be able to buy for its rising visor function alone, let alone the adaptor you get with it. Finding it online however reveals it is very much in demand! Some tools also vary in colour; mine is a dark grey model with a yellow visor (and has grey writing showing the "Riser Visor," name tag) whilst as the one pictured on Dooyoo, there is a grey model with a grey visor, whilst Pet Lover vacs by Electrolux have different coloured clear acrylic models that show up dirt more clearly. Another downside being a mini turbo brush is that like all brushes, it will require cleaning from time to time depending on the amount of pet hair or general dirt you throw at it. Because of its small nature, not much hair generally gets clogged and you don't need to fish out the screwdriver although a slide lock would have been more handy here. TIP: If you fit the friction fit adaptor on too tightly it can be troublesome to pull off as well; spray some furniture polish around the tubes or hose though and the adaptor will easily slide off.
Electrolux have a fantastic cleaning accessory here not just for existing Electrolux owners but also for many brands that have different sizes of tubes or hoses because of the additional adaptor. Tie in the general performance and the excellent rising visor idea and you have a mini turbo brush that, with regular cleaning may well turn out to be a saving grace. Shop online for it and you may even get a cheaper deal! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2009
** UPDATE May 2013 **
Wikinsons/Wilkos shop now sells a range of vacuum cleaner tools made by Electrolux and now sells the same unbranded ZE060 under the name of "Wilko Universal Cleaning Turbo Nozzle" and comes with the same adaptor for Bosch and Miele vacuums. Current price is £8-65.
Short name: Electrolux ZE060 Mi