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Sebo vacuums from Germany have been a producer of long standing commercial vacuum cleaners since the 1970's. In the early 1990's Sebo started to produce cylinder vacuums in the form of their larger C series and then in the middle of the 1990's with their much smaller K series as a compact vacuum cleaner before Miele brought out their own compact vacuums (such as the S4000 range). Therefore unless you have a Sebo cylinder vacuum cleaner or the latest Felix compact upright, this swivel neck floor tool isn't suitable for X models as it only fits Sebo vacuums that use the additional lock on the neck of the floor tool or have extension pipes with the lock hole at the end.
The reason I had to buy this floor tool was simply because the one that came with my old Sebo K1 cylinder vacuum had begun to loosen with its singular pedal that puts down the stiff brush strip on hard floors. At the time Sebo were unable to sell the older floor head and in lieu had just launched the Sebo Kombi "Heavy Duty," floor head designed for longevity and with thicker plastic to cope with general years of abuse. Currently the price of this floor head is £34-20 and over the now improved standard 2 way universal floor head that comes with Sebo's cylinder vacuums, the Kombi head is ideal if your cleaning tasks involve use of cleaning different flooring and need a floor head that can swivel easily from left to right with the flick of your wrist rather than struggling with all plastic floor heads. Certainly over the lighter plastic floor tools, there is a bit more to the Kombi tool than its robustness.
Unlike normal floor heads the Kombi's first advantage is a very free and easy to move angle on its neck before the main tube from any Sebo cylinder vacuum can pushed onto and locked down. Whereas the necks on other floor tools are a little stiff and take some effort to turn left or right, the free angled nature of the Kombi's swivel neck is welcomed, able to turn easily from Sebo's additional handle incorporated on their K or C series cylinders' tubes. Gliding aspects are also very welcome and this is in due part no doubt to the bottom sole plate that has a mix of metal plates and plastic inserts to scoop in the dirt as well as providing a flush soleplate that slides over carpeting and hard flooring with easy. At the back of the floor head there are two larger wheels which are additionally rubber coated which not only prevents damage to different types of flooring but on hard floors the wheels grip the surfaces involved. I guess this is the reason why Sebo call it "Deluxe." From a normal point of view given that most floor heads of this type have one central wheel at the back, these separate wheels, bigger and more protecting in nature are very welcomed; they are also easier to clean when the floor head starts to get grubby depending on use. Not only do they grip the surface but they also add to the gliding aspect that remains floaty and maintaining suction all the time; here the quality is second to none with good acres of strong plastic, good labelling and a good sense of design.
Edge cleaning is also done extremely well as well as the fact that Sebo have managed to add in a flush front on the sole plate that allows dirt to be grabbed and sucked into the twin suction gaps on the floor head. And to tackle cleaning the brush strip couldn't be easier - a yellow catch on the right hand side of the floor head allows owners to pull and freely release the brush strip for cleaning. Now this is a good idea as it prolongs the design whilst lint picker sections are large, long and wide making it easier to wipe down when they get dirty. Generally for maintenance over standard 2 way floor heads the Kombi floor head is a much easier and thoughtfully designed tool in this respect but then again for the price of nearly £35 it should be!
However through use the Kombi heavy-duty floor head has two very big downsides;
The first hurdle I've often found is how difficult it is to change the setting of the floor type on the main floor head. There is no actual pedal that allows you to step on it but rather two small gripped added slider parts that induce the owner to step on the floor head and then with the other foot try and kick the slider along so that it locks into place to either put the brushes down or retract the brushes for normal carpeting. The slider system is quite stiff as a result even if it locks the setting the owner has faffed about with trying to select. Sebo's cheaper plastic floor head is a lot better thought out than this. Not only is the Kombi's slider bar difficult to move, remains stiff and doesn't like to be hurried, it also feels very rough if you try to do with shoes removed and as a result can hurt unprotected toes.
The next hurdle is storing the floor head. Now usually after each cleaning use any universal cleaning floor head can either be clipped via a built in clip that enables the floor head to slide down or attach, locking itself to any park position located on the cylinder vacuum cleaner from whence the hose and the pipes have come from. The problem here is that whilst Sebo sold many of these "robust," floor tools to consumers who couldn't get the older style of floor head replacements for their C series or K series vacuums, owners will find that the Kombi floor tool fails to slide onto the vacuums if they are normally sitting wheels flat to the carpet. In the upright position the floor tool needs to be turned around with the wheels sticking outwards before it can be slid down and locked. Older K1 cleaners before the Vulcano K3 model was launched three years ago have a slimmer park slide on the back of the cleaner which means the Kombi can't be slid down and locked with the floor head "looking" outwards. Try it by reversing where the main slide bar is and it falls over with the tubes and hose attached. Newer K series cylinder models have an improved slider park position but as a replacement for my older floor head I was initially disappointed to find it couldn't park itself as flush fitting as my old floor head.
Then there's the biggest hurdle of all; whilst the very nature of its name, "Kombi, Heavy-duty," floor head is a befitting name; without being attached to Sebo's light tubes and telescopic suction pipe, the floor head itself is quite a heavy item on its own and doesn't feel that particularly lightweight in use thanks to its metal build. My kitchen scales tell me that this floor head is very nearly 1kg which in my mind is too heavy for any floor head that only has suction only through its main purpose. Take it off the pipe by unlocking the button on the neck and most obvious sign of its heaviness is evident from the fact that the angled neck flips up all too readily with the weight of the floor head underneath it. Sebo need to rethink this floor head, particularly as it is sold across the entire range of vacuums that have lock mechanism pipes and as an optional extra without a moving brush remains an option for Felix owners who want to return to a cylinder idea but with the motor components and design in front of them to guide rather than pulling a cylinder vacuum behind them.
In terms of longevity however, I've had the Kombi floor tool for about five years now and each year it sustains bumps and scratches extremely well. However it is not the perfect floor tool that Sebo would like to think they have designed well. Fitted to the Felix, it will not take the weight of the cleaner and the Felix has to be set against a wall at an angle during its rest period when this floor head is attached because the neck of the head doesn't go further forwards enough. At £24-97 Sebo's standard 2 way universal floor head (6735DG) is a much better thought out floor head even though it doesn't have the same type of swivel access or metal/plastic build. Over the two floor heads, the lightest is the cheapest option and if you want to maintain lightness and gliding which Sebo is famous for when it comes to cleaning use, this is a much better prospect - even on the Felix upright. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2009
Suitable for both hard floors and carpets, including wool loop pile.