“ Brand: Wilko / Type: Nozzle „
With the life I lead on and off several review sites, and due in part to the boat load of vacuum cleaners I've owned and reviewed (some have been vacuum "clangers" as opposed to cleaners), I don't mind the few members from sites who ask me on the best appliances available, or parts/spares that buyers aren't prepared to pay full price for. I'm not a market researcher but I do like helping people out from time to time, as I do believe in karma. Though largely these days when it comes to a vacuum cleaner purchase, most buyers tend to go for bagless if they can't afford Dyson and only steep to the premium bagged vacuums if they have had enough of the bagless route, inclined to clean filters every couple of weeks to months dependent on the type of machine they've bought. Premium bagged brands like Miele include three cleaning tools as standard as opposed to Bosch and SEBO who only produce two for most of their cylinder pull-along vacuums unless you buy more expensive variants OR buy tools from SEBO such as the clip on dusting brush fit for any of their vacuums. Bosch's cleaning tools as standard aren't as well designed as Miele or SEBO and only offer minimal cleaning uses.
Not only just regulated by premium brands, supermarket brands and cheap exclusive vacuums often have a short life due to filter or bag replacements that can be hard to find and if they do offer a long life as a bonus, the likelihood is that the cheapest dust slide on the crevice tool has been offered as the only small cleaning tool built to cope with dust pick up. Wilko's universal dust brush is far better made and offers a versatile and more efficient way to pick up dust - without scratching and without plastic brushes snapping up leaving the crevice tool to scrape and damage surfaces, as some cheaper tools tend to do.
The Price, The Product & The Promise
Due to the overly produced market for vacuum cleaner accessories currently, there have only been a few franchises such as Argos, Tesco and ASDA who have stepped up to the mark to provide budget value accessories for vacuum cleaners in general - and this time, at Wilko, this franchise now offer a few tools and accessories at half the price you'd find online. Their universal "dust brush & upholstery tool" combo tool costs £5-50 for example compared to higher prices above £10 from other brands and what you get here is a tried and tested formula that has been sold the world over. Numatic's dust brush alone costs £3-20 whilst the flat upholstery brush costs £9-99 (£13-19) which is instantly too expensive given the combo design offered here by Wilko.
Teaming up with appliance brand Electrolux who has produced three kinds of smaller cleaning tools that you can buy to extend the versatility of your vacuum cleaner from Wilko, the "Universal dust brush," from Wilko has been seen before on many a classic Electrolux vacuum cleaner because the design offered here is known as the "butterfly" brush attachment. The product code for this tool is 0296428 and without the adapter fitted, the tool measures 16.5cm by 15cm width when the flat upholstery tool is folded out and 6.5 cm when folded.
The tools on offer at Wilko all have a standard measurement of 3.2cm/32mm with adapters included that reach up to the larger 3.5cm/35mm suitable for brands such as Bosch or Miele. Measured by the front opening of the handle before the suction tubes is probably the quickest way of being able to tell what your machine uses. Some suction tubes are tapered to meet wider channels at either end, so it is always best to find out the sizing from the opening at the handle and lining up a ruler at 0 along the central opening in the middle.
Whilst Miele, SEBO, Electrolux, Hoover, Numatic, Vax and Dyson all offer cost optional tools with higher prices, Bosch on the other hand doesn't offer many cleaning tools in the UK and as such, this universal dusting brush and flat upholstery brush idea from Wilko and Electrolux is well worth considering for Bosch vacuum cleaners alone - a brand that doesn't include a dusting brush generally.
General Performance & Downsides
I bought this brush purely to see how well it could work with one of my vacuum cleaners and also bought the brush because it can be used on my garden vacuum that uses a 35mm/3.5cm diameter and would be suitable for use getting rid of the cobwebs around the windows and tiles. With its lint picker fold down sides, it could be used to pick up sawdust from my worktable in the garage. Outdoors or indoors, this tool is fit for purpose though.
Generally, the design is quite ingenious as it has two flat lint picker wings that fold up to the sides allowing the dust brush at the top to be used, or reversed with the dust brush pushed up the suction tube and the wings flattened down for swiping on soft, non-textured material for dust cleaning. Handy for curtains, soft layer cushions, bed pillows and even car seats and seat backs, the flat upholstery tool alone by design alone these days has its work cut out for itself! Here, Electrolux supplies a well-made PVC construction that feels substantial in the hand and thick to the eye. Durable and entirely made in black colouring, Made of thick black PVC and non-branded, this is one very well made tool for the price - and it is a far better design than the Dyson copied "3 in 1" cleaning tool provided on the Vax Mach Air with its "coffee cup" oval "flat" upholstery tool that neither provides a flat sweeping process or an easy way to use it.
In general use, this is a good cleaning tool with only a few downsides. The flat butterfly style wings move precisely and don't flop down due to their design of being able to be locked down to four different positions. This allows the wings to clean effectively at any angle, not just down, though the slightest heavier pressure with the hand means that the sides will naturally push flat against a surface. An air outlet valve has already been added to the design like a lot of flat upholstery vacuum cleaner tools have in general and this gives a really easy to push process as well as excellent cleaning. One the wings are laid flat, they lock down flat and can therefore be used.
The dusting brush is another matter. To the eye it looks like the same kind of dust brush that Numatic produce for their Henry vacuums (and countless others such as Henrietta, Charles, James etc) as the bristles are quite long and have black and brown contrasting thin bristles measuring 4cm in length. In use, the brush copes easily with brushing up dust, bringing all manner of dirt and detritus into the round mouth of the suction channel, but like so many other dust brushes on the market that employ the round design, clogging can happen, often having to pull the brush off and swipe it against the open mouth of the handle or hose dependent on how you've placed the tool to enable the suction from the vacuum to suck up any clogged dust. Though round and easy to use, the square partition that holds the combo tool together can make this tool bulkier to use despite the long bristles and round attachment at this end. Where the dust brush fights back is on the ingenious design of an inner suction channel with 6 holes in it to allow the suction from the vacuum to pull dust in if the brush is pushed flat. Made of flexible soft touch rubber, the inner permanent ring also protects surfaces if the bristles are pushed down.
Dusting brushes on their own tend to be much smaller, designed to get into awkward areas and corners. Whilst the dust brush has a 4cm height between the bulkier rectangular partitions before the flat upholstery tool side at the other end, I find the general shape can knock things out of the way when the dusting brush is being used. Cleaning up high isn't a problem in general but if you want to dust shelves with books on them, the side bolster can knock them sideways.
Naturally being a budget value orientated tool, compared to Dyson, SEBO and Miele, the Wilko/Electrolux universal brush also lacks a 360° rotational pivot and can't be angled upwards or downwards, forcing the owner to relegate the handle of the vacuum and angle of the hand to do the work instead.
Although it comes with an adapter to fit vacuum cleaners that have the bigger 35mm sizing, the design of this tool is such that it is impossible to lock onto existing tool storers that some vacuums have - the Miele S6240 and countless other models from the Miele S2000 and upwards before the flagship S5000 and newer S8000 vacuums all have external tool storers fit for three default Miele cleaning tools - however trying to lock this attachment onto one of their slide on storers can be problematic due to the much longer length and size of this attachment compared to smaller Miele tools by default.
Thus it is a pity that whilst an adapter tube does come with this tool as standard, no thought or another piece of plastic that could be attached to a suction tube or hose is similarly offered - thus having to make the owner of this attachment site it nearby for use and storing after use.
If you require a dust brush with a combination flat tool, the Wilko universal dust brush is probably one of the best cost effective tools on the market fit for purpose and with the bonus of being well made and simple to operate. Handy to have if your vacuum cleaner doesn't have a brush as standard, the Wilko universal dust brush is worth checking out as it gives versatility to any vacuum cleaner where dusting in awkward areas are concerned. Though a touch bulky, its winning card is that it has an adapter that fits many brands. That and the additional turbo tool that previously carried Electrolux's ZE 060 model number and "Risor Visor" name also provides buyers with another cost effective additional tool for carpet stair cleaning - each by Wilko that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2013.
Video review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgpkI6FE1gU