“ Brand: Miele / Type: Power Head „
When it came to buying my larger Miele vacuum cleaner (S571) which itself had been second hand and a little long the tooth, I put up with the larger floor head it came with largely because Miele had stopped production of it and had an older style of hook on the back of it to slide into the park positions of the vacuum cleaner body when not in use. That larger floor head had a unique design that also pushes itself up and down slightly as well as being like all other floor heads where they turn on a 360º axis. My S4 cylinder vacuum however sported a brand new 12" floor head that does its job reasonably well even though it is much smaller by its main diameter and easier to get in between legs and chairs, it has a lighter shade of grey which means its more susceptible to showing up bashes and scrapes.
Now for most owners that wouldn't be much of a worry if you are a Miele owner. And to be honest although scrapes are minimal to where I'm coming from, I like my machines to be at least quick at what they do and whilst the standard floor head that comes with the S4 range is okay, it suffers from a small dust channel that increases my cleaning time.
The 550-3 floor head is therefore the same type 2 way universal floor brush that is available as standard with the larger Miele S5 Cat and Dog cylinder vacuum cleaner and indeed the larger S5 series of vacuums. For a limited time it was available to buy through Miele's customer services in the UK but now remains to be a one off private sales acquisition through many different repair sites for vacuum cleaners. Miele UK really tried their hardest to find the right floor head I was talking about even though I had sent them images; they were still unable to find the right one I was talking about.
The reason for its unavailability or as an item that is not available from Miele UK is simply because there's not much demand for it - or so Miele UK would have you believe. Over the fact that the floor head for my S571 was squeaking and loose after 8 years of ownership from the previous owner, it was no wonder that I felt it was time it had to be replaced, even though the metal sole plate was still intact, the rest of the floor head was starting to feel as if it would break away from its pivoting head.
The 550-3 "Classic" however has a few tricks up its sleeve however; this isn't just a basic 2 way floor brush that does what it says by its look. Engineered in thick plastic that Miele ensure goes into all their tools, let alone the same quality that goes into their vacuum cleaners, the 550-3 is a bigger floor head measuring 14" across its floor head which means it can cope with bigger homes without having to sweep as much against the smaller 450 floor head equipped with the smaller Miele S4 vacuums. Not only that but it possesses a greater strengthened pedal that pushes down the brushes for hard flooring that needs know little movement - therefore reducing feet fatigue - for preference of carpet or hard floor cleaning. A window on the floor head shows the floor type selected and all that it takes is a foot to press the foot once to get the brushes down, and another stamp on the same pedal to get the brushes back up for normal carpet or rug cleaning. This one step principle against the rocker pedal idea seems to be faster with cleaning tasks in general but again its more to do with the general design of this floor head rather than an improved pedal with a fancy square window that shows off the floor type you've selected;
Unlike the smaller 450 floor head the 550-E has uniform stiff brushes all around the base of the metal sole plate which means in theory and use; all dirt gets scooped in towards the larger dust channel. As a result I find getting around with my new floor head a darn sight quicker - coupled with all around edge brushing as opposed just the sides, the 550-E copes well with almost all types of dust pick up. Like all of Miele's floor heads, the 550-E has the same pivoting head, can lie flat to go under low furniture and thanks to its lock button design can be fitted to older Miele cylinder vacuums which have the same lock button mechanism on their pipes and hose handle.
It also has removable lint pickers that can be replaced like the smaller floor head that comes with the S4; this type of thinking shows that Miele are way ahead of other brands here who simply install cheap less well thought out floor heads that have adhesive style lint picker felt that can't be replaced. Thanks to further fact that its movement can also go up and down, the floor head is a lot easier to get onto different types of carpeting without having to lift the floor head off the floor. Over the standard floor head of the S4, there are times when rugs or free carpeting can fly up when the floor head is made to go over it. The 550's movement however is one of oiled precision even though it doesn't have oil parts on it! And it has the same hook design as both my S4 and older S571 cylinder vacuums so it can park easily either in the upright position of the vacuum or at the back of it when both machines are made to stand up on their hind bases.
So if you have a Miele vacuum cleaner that doesn't have this larger floor head, look no further if you need something that allows greater amount of dirt to be picked up in less of a time. At a cost between £24-95 to £30 as a replacement, it is worthy of consideration if you need something that has that extra helping hand when it comes to vacuuming up daily dirt. One other downside against its price is the fact that for the moment it's a tool Miele UK don't recognise even though it appears to be on sale at their customer services. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2009.
Classic combination floor tool / Short name: Miele SBD 550-3