Dyson DC35 Multi Floor
I have used several vacuum cleaners during my lifetime, most have broken down due to one reason or another, although I personally think that vacuum cleaners hate me and just don't want to do what they are supposed to do when I ask them too... this applies to kettle and toasters too, as I have no luck with those either. But enough ... about my paranoia and why certain electrical device and I just don't get on. I'm not here for that, I'm here to tell you about a vacuum cleaner that I have been using for a few months know and felt that it was about time that I wrote a little bit about what it is and what I really think about it.
The vacuum cleaner I am talking, or more writing about is in fact one from a very well known, and very expensive brand called Dyson, with the actual model being the Dyson animal DC35, (not to be confused with any other models of similar names).
Firstly though, let's get the more boring bits out of the way with..!
In the rectangular box you should get...
* The main body, motor unit
* Wall mountable battery charger.
* Tube, or wand as it is technically called.
* Docking station.
* Crevice tool
* Combination tool
* Mini motorise tool.
And the specs...
* It has the infamous and much advertised patented root cyclone technology
* The container can handle up to 0.35litres of dust.
* The motor unit is about 1150mm in height, 300mm deep and no more than 240mm wide.
* 65 air watts although it says that it only has 28 air watts when the tube is attached.
* 22.2 volts
* Cordless with built in rechargeable battery.
* motorised cleaning brush tool with carbon fibre filament.
* Now what does this Animal look like..
Remember years ago there was a certain kids show called Sesame Street. On that show there was a character who used to thrash out a lot of noise on a set of drums, a furry fluffy guy with white teeth, rusty coloured fur and a lot of energy... this guys name was animal... and this vacuum cleaner is called Animal... but this machine is nothing like that animal... luckily.
I don't know why I just said all that? It just sprung to my mind when I thought of the word 'Animal'....
So, anyway, back to reality, and what this animal looks like.
To me, when it has not got the tube, or wand, if we give it it's real title, but when the wand isn't attached to the motor unit, to me it looks like some kind of DIY tool, akin to a power drill. A space aged power drill that was probably used on the Starship enterprise.
Right at the rear there is the handle which has the motor on the top of it and the battery at the bottom. This design gives the unit that perfect balance with the weight of the motor and the battery compensating fro each other whilst you have full control over both.
The handle has a little red 'on' button on the inside, near the top, a bit like a trigger action, which makes switching it on and off a piece of cake.
In front of the handle there's what remains of the rest of the machine, which is basically the dust container and the cyclone suction magic that Mr Dyson is so proud of.
On the underside towards the front there is the dust container. This container is transparent, giving an easy view to see how much dust is in there. Inside the container you can see the plastic filter that sits in the centre of the container, taking up most of the room in fact. This filter has what looks like a million little holes drilled into it so that the air can flow though it whilst keeping the dust inside the container.
Above the dust container there is the cyclone wonder, which on this one is a rather odd purple colouring, having the purple edges going into the silver of the cyclone inlets.
Then, right at the front, above the dust container, sort of, there is the short length housing for the accessories to attach to, be that the wand, the brushes of the nozzles.
There are a few coloured buttons scattered around the unit, a red one on the side of the dust container, which releases the base of the container, and a bluey/purple one that sits on the top which separates the two parts of the main unit in order to gain access to the filter.
And that's the main part.
* What about accessories...
This comes with a few of them, and that's not including the long tube that you get either.
There's two different brush heads, one small, the other looking more like your regular size one, both are rather fine looking and very strong, capable of dragging the hairs from a dogs nostril if he gets too close to the spinning brushes.
These brushes use inbuilt motors to spin and drag through the pile of the carpet so that it gets deeper into the pile. The power for these motors comes directly from the battery through the little connectors that go from the battery right through to the brush motors, even going right through the long tube.
These brushhead boasts an anti-static feature to allow for more finer dust to be sucked up, giving more cleaning control and power throughout.
The brushes can be used on the end of the wand for those longer, harder to reach places, such as tops of curtains or around ceiling light or it can be attached directly to the motor unit and used on those closer, easier to reach places, such as stairs and worktops.
The crevice tool which looks like any other crevice tool, being longer and thin towards the end.
Then there's the smallest brush head/nozzle tool is almost a triangle in shape and has a set of fine yet firm brush hairs on the end which can get deep into the carpet pile. In other words this brush double up as the small nozzle, with the brush pushing forwards and backwards up the tube which is inside the brush itself.
* What about the power...?
The power comes form a rechargeable flat battery. Although when I say flat I don't mean it has run down and is dead, I mean that it is flat in shape.
The machine offers two different power settings, high and low, which is controlled by a simple press of a button that lies on the rear of the machine. The only way that you know that there is a change in power is that the motor changes in pitch and the air intake noise makes a different little whistle. That, apart from the change in suction, is the only way you know as there is no other indication on the unit itself.
The battery power does differ depending on how you're using the cleaner. For example, if you've got it on full power and using the brush then the power will drain quicker than if you've got it on half power with just the nozzle on the end.
In other words, the more power and effort the motor uses the more battery power it will take.
* Charging it up...
The battery charges up in about 3 ½ - 5 hours , using the supplied mains adaptor, giving you about 40 minutes of cleaning time
You can plug the adaptor straight into the battery by taking the battery out of the machine, which is a simple matter of pulling the battery down from the handle. Then, with the battery in hand, you simply plug the adaptor into the small hole that is on the shaft of the battery.
This method of charging can be done with the battery still inside the machine, just plug the adaptor into the same little hole.
You can also charge the battery using the docking station, which is a matter of leaving the battery inside the Dyson and slotting the entire thing onto the station, then, you use the same adaptor and slide it through a small tubing section that seems to be covering the adaptor port on the battery. This does the same thing as the other methods of charging, only the Dyson is hanging on its lovely cradle.
When it's charging the light should turn on and stay steady. If it's blinking then it's not charging up properly for some reason.
I haven't had a problem with the charging and have never seen the flashing light so I can't yet comment on how fast it flashes.
The little green light does tell you more than just if the machine is on or off, or whether it's charging up or not. It also tells you a few other things too, such as if it's flickering slowly then the battery is running low and will need charging up as soon as possible. If the lights is flashing like a Mac wearing weirdo who's wondering around the park at night then this means that the machine should not be used at the moment, (the booklet indicates reasons such as 'too hot' or 'too cold'.
But, if the light does not come on at all it's either because the battery is as flat as a witches preverbal or that, according to the booklet, there's something amiss with the filter.
So it is a multi-functional light that tells you more than you first think.
* How does it work..?
When you press the little red button on the handle the Dyson kicks into life immediately, with the trigger being very light and a little bit too easy to activate. If this was a drill of some kind then it would not have got passed the health and safety brigade sue to this over sensitivity. But as it's a vacuum cleaner theirs less safety issues surrounding the delicate trigger.
Anyway, once the trigger is touched the motor begins and the suction drags in all the air, and small particles that lie in the way of the nozzle area. To show you that the machine is actually running, as it is pretty quite to be honest, is that a little green light that sits on top of the handle area begins to glow.
When you release the red button the motor stops running and the machine stops. Simple as that really.
* Attaching the bits and bobs...
The brush, or nozzle, slot onto the end of either the long tube of directly onto the motor unit itself. Which ever one you slot it onto it locks into place using a smart little self clipping system. And this system is used to clip the tube to the motor unit so that what ever you clip to what ever part it is not going to move about in the wind.
As I mentioned before, there is an electrical path that runs through from the motor to the brush heads. This path also runs right through the long tube too so that this can be used with the brush heads too. This connection path is done by simply slotting the things into the main unit.
And don't worry about which way to slot them in as, due to the shape of the ends, there is only one way that they can fit into place.
Then, to take off the attachments or the tube you simply press the front section of the locking clip and slide the attachment or tube out.
Simple as that really.
* Is it going to bust your ear drums..?
No. there's no danger of you ever getting earache from using this, even I fyou put your ear right up to the motor itself.
This is as quiet as a mouse, although the mouse is wearing slightly hard sole shoes as he's wondering around your floorboards.
It's more a slight wind/whooshing noise as the motor kicks in and starts sucking air through the tubes, through the container and back out into the air, trapping the dust and what ever inside the dust container with the magic of the filtration system. The 'whooshing' noise does change slightly when the power goes from high to low, or normal to boost. But no matter what power the machine it throwing out the noise levels stay to a ear loving level.
* What about keeping it clean..?
Cleaning it is pretty straight forwards and, as long as you clean everything that needs to be cleaned, you should get a good life out of it.
The things that need cleaning are the brush heads and the filters, which, as I said, are all easy to do.
These brushes that comes with it is easily cleared of any debris, such as hairs and the like. This is done by unlocking the little catch on the side of the brush, suing a flat object like a screwdriver or maybe a coin. Turn the little notch and slide the actual brushes out of the housing. Then clear any debris away and slide the brush back in.
Don't forget to lock the little catch in place before continuing with you cleaning.
There area couple of little icons which resemble little padlocks, one open, the other closed, which tells you whether it's locked or not.
There is also a filter which is in the middle of the unit, sitting between the motor housing and the dust container, which needs cleaning regularly. To clean this filter you simply push down on the blue button that is on the top of the unit. This then split the entire Dyson in half, hinging slightly on the lower part, with the motor on one side and the dust container on the other. In the middle there is the oblong shaped filter that slips out of place and can be cleaned. There are lovely little blue images of taps scattered around the filter which basically tells you that you can clean this under a tap.
To clean the filter you can either give is a bit of a dust over, maybe a blow as well. Or, for a more severe cleaning, give it a wash under water and then lets it dry off properly for at least 24 hours.
* The dust container..?
This is only small and can only hold small amounts of dust, being a mere 0.33litres in all. But it's big enough for the small spills that this vacuum is expected to clean up.
Once the container is full it needs to be emptied, which is as easy as pressing a red button downwards, which is exactly what you do. Just make sure you're over a bin or something and press the little catch at the side of the dust container, which should release the bottom plate of the container and drop all the dust into what ever is waiting underneath.
Then, to close the container, you just push the bottom plate back upwards and click it onto place.
If there's things trapped inside the container, clinging onto the plastic filter, then you want to release the clear plastic casing of the dust container so you can get to the filter. This is done by pulling on the little red tab that is on the bottom of the dust container which you can see when you open the flap. this red tab pulls back to release the entire clear plastic casing, then, with a wiggle and a little force. Not too much force of course, just a little. You pull the casing away from the plastic filter.
Then you clean it all up and simple push the casing back over the filter and click it back into place, allowing the red tab to lock onto the bottom of the casing.
Job done. You're ready to carry on cleaning.
* And storage..?
This is where the cradle comes into its own, once it's screwed onto a wall and plugged into the nearest wall socket preferably.
Anyway, once you've finished with the Dyson you simply slot it into the cradle and it is store there until you need it again. Plus, it's charging up so that it's always got a full battery.
You can also store most of the attachments in the cradle too, with each one having its own spot to sit in, apart from the small brush which is like the black sheep of the family and has no where to sit for some reason? Which I find strange as all the other bits can be kept together though. I mean, what were the designer thinking when they looked at their finished designs and realised that they had left out the storage space for the small brush? They must have just smiled and thought "Ow well, never mind, people won't notice until they unpack everything..?"
I have the brush on top of the unit closest to the cradle so that I know where it is.
* And what do I think..?
This is one of the most powerful hand held I have used. But on the other hand, it's the most expensive hand held I have used too, so you'd expect it to be pretty good. And it is 'pretty' good. Not brilliant, but pretty good.
The reason I say that is that although it can suck up most things that are put in its way it can't last long enough for those, shall we say, "more awkward" jobs such as a half decent clear up in the car. The battery can't really last long passed a few minutes of use on full power, which full power is what is needed on difficult upholstery jobs really isn't it. So I end up either constantly charging up the unit or dragging a corded cleaner out of the cupboard and out to the car, or what ever I have left unfinished as the battery as died on the Dyson.
Don't get me wrong. It is a good vacuum and sucks up better than the class swot at exam time. It's just the battery life that lets it down for me.
The machine itself is made well, and looks nice hanging off the wall in the back end of the kitchen, with the entire machine being mainly a grey plastic with a few dashes of purple and a couple of red splodges.
It is so easy to use and the way it is designed really does make it so comfortable to hold whilst using it, with the weight of it being barely noticeable to be honest.
Adding the accessories couldn't be easier, slotting them until they click into place, then releasing them with a firm press of the locking clips.
The brush attachments are pretty good too, both being motorised, powered not by air suction, but by the battery itself, through the magic of simple connectors throughout the system.
I like the docking station, even though it doesn't look as well built as the vacuum cleaner itself. I like the fact that it can be screwed onto the wall near a power socket, so that when I am not using the Dyson it sits in the docking station and is always on charge, ready for use on those small cleaning jobs.
I also like the simple idea of the little notches in the crevice tools. These are to stop the tool attaching itself to something like your curtains as the air can still escape through the little notches. Come on, we've all been there? You're vacuuming away and then suddenly you come upon the bottom end of the curtain, or eve a duvet cover. Usually the material gets suck half way up the nozzle before you have time to react. But this simple idea of leaving a gap on the crevice tool stops that from happening so quickly whilst also allowing the dirt to go right up the tool and into the container.
Some other cleaners have a sliding section along the hose which, when slid open, allows air to escape so that the suction isn't as powerful. This is the same principal only the gap is on the tools themselves.
I've always said that some of the simplest ideas are the best.
* How much does Mr Dyson want for this hand held..?
This is what may just make your jaw drop to the ground, so be warned and brace yourself before I tell you what price tag is slapped onto this one.
Are you ready? Yes?
Well, this hand held Dyson sells for a staggering £200 - £260....
Now, you can pick you jaw up off the floor now...
I did warn you didn't I... so you can't take me to court for scaring you.
* Would I recommend this..?
I have to say that for what is really a hand held vacuum it really does cost a lot more than it should. Don't get me wrong, it's powerful and does exactly what it is supposed to do, but as it can only really be used for those 'short' cleaning jobs it's never going to make it's money back, so to speak, spending most of it's time sitting in its cradle sucking up the electricity whilst you get out your 'normal' vacuum to clean through the house.
So to answer that question? I'm not sure? Sorry.
It is one of the best handhelds I've used but I can't get my head around the price. It's just too much money for what it is.
If I had to give a yes or no for recommendation then I'd sway for no... but only because of the price. If it sold for more around the £100 - £120 region then things may be different. But for over £200 it's more money than it should be really, regardless of the Dyson technology that many other vacuums have a rough idea of anyway, although maybe not as technological of course.
In all, this is an attractive, well balanced and quite lightweight machine that can get the smallest of dust particles out of the back of the settee but you will have to dig deep into your wallet in order to pay off the asking price.
The reason for the 3 stars is mainly down to the battery life and the price, not the performance. If they could improve the battery life, giving me more time to clean up on one charge or even if I could have bought this for £150 or even less and I would have given it an extra star, or maybe two.... But as for now, only 3 stars really
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Dyson DC50 Animal
I purchased the Dyson Animal DC50 Upright vacuum cleaner a year ago, and am very pleased with it. It picks up all the dirt and pet hair from my carpet really easily on the first pass over. Its very easy to switch between using it on carpet and on laminate flooring. The long reach hose and cable means that i can vacuum the whole of my ... stairs leaving the machine at the bottom of the stairs (although it is a vert tight stretch to get to the very top step). One of the best features is how easy it is to empty the cylinder, just hold it over the bin and push the button and its empty! With lots of different attachments it means i can easily vacuum things other than the floor such as my sofa and curtains, as well as skirting boards. Although a little heavy taking upstairs and back down, i can manage it easily with just one hand. Its a great all round vacuum, especially for families with pets.
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Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution
As many of you may know by reading some of my reviews, I have been in an economical money saving routine for the last two years. From limiting my usage of vacuums to choosing to only use vacuums that have low power but offer good suction and performance to larger appliances that use up less power than what has gone on before. From money ... saving tips to continual use of LED plug in lights as opposed to leaving a table lamp on during the evenings, no wonder I continue to look for bargains and low energy run appliances. Does it all make a difference? I'd say so - with £150 less from my last energy bill, I'd say I'm doing rather well!
The EU though has not been resting on their laurels this year with the ever-increasing threat of a proposed law since 2010 to reduce the power usage of vacuum cleaners. It may sound a little mad and an issue where " a little too late " springs to mind. My own thoughts on lowering power seems to go against the thoughts of the bureaucrats who can't seem to offer up enough justification to why they feel a 2200 watt vacuum cleaner is more expensive to run than say a 3000 watt cooker, hob, rapid boil kettle or a washing machine. The EU law proposes to lower the motor power to 900 watts for upright vacuums and 1400 watts for cylinder vacuums - which for a lot of brands could well topple those who fight the advertising with "power promises," harder than brands that already offer low eco-friendly power rated vacuums. From 2011, the issue has produced a few reports in the industry that more or less offers up a £5 saving over a period of two to three years usage of a vacuum cleaner, though they can't seem to project whether this saving is made by using a vacuum cleaner daily, weekly, or monthly. In short, though the proposed law is a mere proposal, there really hasn't been that much data to provide the justification let alone proper tests of what can be deemed energy efficient or not.
For the most part, a lot of brands haven't been so quick to react with only a few well-known brands like Hoover continually churning out high-powered vacuums, with their latest model, the "Athos," features a 2500-watt motor for example. SEBO of Germany however has been producing low power high suction uprights since the 1970s and only a handful of UK buyers are now beginning to see the benefits of a SEBO upright vacuum cleaner in their home.
Bosch and Miele, the two other "bigger" German players in the floorcare market have also released "eco" versions of their vacuums over the years. After the purchase of the Miele S6240 Ecoline vacuum cleaner three years ago and being privy to the poor design of that model with its heavy floor head, I was at two minds to consider the Miele brand again. With its smaller than expected dust bag on board, it was not economical to keep the vacuum continually topped up with dust bags, even though I do prefer dust bags in general to bagless vacuums. Whilst I already own a Miele S5 model, it has a 2200 watt motor of which I'm not keen to use in my home because of its high power and the reason to why I wanted the S8 isn't just because it happens to be the successor model but for the fact that this brand new vacuum cleaner from Miele offers a little more than just an eco-friendlier 1200 watt motor...
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Brand and model: Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution Cylinder Vacuum.
* 1200 watts with 6 electronic speed settings.
* Twin stainless steel telescopic height adjustable tubes.
* 4.5-litre dust bag capacity in each bag - can last 3 to 5 months before needing to be changed.
* High Filtration dust bag for allergy sufferers as standard (HyClean, 7 layer) with self-sealing caps built in.
* Twin telescopic height adjustable tubes to an extended maximum height of 113cm.
* Crush proof 1.75 metre rubberised & ribbed hose.
* "Eco" AirTeq 2-way suction only floor head with added lint pickers supplied.
* Full size Turbo Brush floor head supplied.
* Full size Twister Parquet floor head supplied.
* 3 smaller cleaning tools - that hide away under a flap on top of the body.
* Super Air Clean filter - will not cope with smokers, or pet hair or allergy sufferers unless £10 yearly replaceable Active Air Clean filter is purchased or £20 to £30 HEPA filter is purchased for allergy sufferers.
* 7.1kg weight with built in castors for better gliding and movement.
* 6.5 metre cord length.
* Height 22.9cm by width 25cm by diameter 42.8cm
* 3 Park positions to the sides and back of the vacuum for easy storage.
* "Comfort-One Touch" Auto cord rewind.
* A current best buy awarded from Which? Consumer 2013.
* My price £209-95 from John Lewis.
* Average price £199 to £230-00.
General Impressions & Design
Although it has been on the market for two years, it would appear that the Miele S8 series really hasn't been given much of a thought from new buyers. No wonder, with prices starting at £200 and upwards, this really isn't a vacuum cleaner that many can afford - until you start to consider what you get for the cost price - and how it moves the game on, little by little compared to its predecessor. However the Miele S8340 is far from expensive when you consider that buying a likewise Dyson cylinder vacuum at the same price offers nothing but eliminating having to buy bags again and what you don't get is a user led design that is quiet on the ears, well built and offers twice as much dust capacity, even if you do have to buy dust bags for it. Comparatively speaking, the Dyson DC28 offers half the dust capacity and the same weight and same cord length as the Miele S8340 - but it lacks two vital floor heads that give you increased cleaning efficiency and versatility. Who is expensive now?
Similar to the more compact SEBO K1 Komfort vacuum cleaner suitable for smaller homes, Miele have tapped into SEBO's idea on the basis of not just offering one floor head at the time of purchase but to "sweeten the deal" further by adding two other floor heads completely free of charge, giving owners the optimum chance of covering every cleaning eventuality you would ever need. When you consider that Miele's standard S8210 costs £200 brand new, the S8340 Ecoline seems like a great bonus, even if you get a capped energy efficient motor of 1200 watts, thus ticking boxes for the moment where energy efficiency is concerned. The Miele S8340 also offers a bigger dust bag capacity than Miele's own S6240 Ecoline from 3.5 litres to one litre more, which for a medium-large home should be enough to get by on with Miele's statistical data of lasting three months before the next bag should be changed. Does bigger actually mean better, then?
Out of the box, there is very little polystyrene but more cardboard than anything else including a separate box that holds the three main floor heads consisting of the suction 2 pedalled "AirTeq" floor head that can be used on hard floors as well as carpets, the full size STB205 Turbo Brush Comfort floor head (usually a £45 extra), suitable for deep cleaning carpets and pet hair removal and the last floor head, Miele's rather excellent "Twister" Parquet hard floor tool (usually £30 extra) that can go around corners as opposed to the more standard fixed floor heads that you would normally find with standard vacuums.
Generally though, compared to the outgoing S5 model, the new S8340 is beautifully made and painted in a light cream colour with black PVC surrounds to protect it from scrapes. I'm not entirely sure as to why Miele feel that a cream colour is "eco-friendly" given that a few other brands have already painted their models in environmentally tagged green finishes, but I rather like the colour since it blends in well with my home.
Silver detailing around the hose mount on top of the vacuum as well as the obligatory motor exhaust still sandwiched on top of the vacuum cleaner between the suction speed controls and the function on/off and cord rewind pedals adds to the premium feel. No more dials are present though - Miele have moved their game on for the owner who will find pressing buttons the order of the day - and in some way alleviates the some what agonising experience of twisting a hand around a preset notched-dial step by step for more suction power. Here the suction controls move up and down with a rather more helpful, more precise foot tap-able "Plus" and "Minus" set of buttons with a corresponding 7 individual LED panel suction settings that shows each setting with a light orange colouring. The buttons exude that soft, push poshness that only Miele owners feel smug about bragging about, but it reiterates the price of this vacuum in general and what you get that makes life easier.
Yet, whilst the S8340 Ecoline Solution costs the same as the S6240 Ecoline but comes with a much bigger dust bag on board, there is no flimsy clip on exterior tool caddy-to-the-hose but at last, a proper place for the excellently made and well designed three-set smaller cleaning tools to hide under a flap that, just like the last on the S5, beautifully emerges and rises up slowly when the lid button on the top of the vacuum's main body is pressed. The button release is also decked in silver and despite the look good factor, the whole shape of the Miele S8 is open to question when laid out, with smooth, non-sharp sides that unfortunately makes it look like an upturned grub! No wonder the stock photos provide the vacuum with an upright position, as the outlook is a lot better.
I am slightly disappointed to find that Miele fit a piston valve mechanical dust bag indicator when everything so far is electronic LED based. Fitted with three rubberised castors though, the S8340 moves around supremely just like every Miele pull along vacuum before it, able to turn this vacuum on a 360° axis like every other Miele cylinder vac before it. This model in particular also features twin parking slots for the floor heads that provide ease of temporary storage if the vacuum is put into its upright position, as well as storing away after use.
Looks aside though, I am impressed with the added quality that Miele, have at last engineered into this vacuum cleaner. This is more apparent from opening the main bin door under the flush top tool door that has a large access point that displays the self-sealing GN style high filtration 4.5 litre HyClean disposable dust bag, of which one is included and a spare bag within the Miele "welcome" envelope that includes a user manual for both the Turbo brush floor head and a separate manual for the vacuum alone. Both manuals are written in very clear English with good diagrams too, even if it appears the user manual covers every model in the S8000 line up.
General Performance & Downsides
The S8340 Ecoline Solution continues with the trait of having an "AirTeq" suction only floor head as standard, because in theory a heavier floor head gives greater suction when motors have been capped for eco-friendliness on energy use. The floor head is just a slight redesign of the one I had to put up with on my old Miele S6 Ecoline and the weight is still the same of 765g alone, making it a touch unsuitable for those looking for feather light gliding on carpets. But there are ways around it, like choosing a lower suction power level or adjusting the handy air slider outlet at the top of the curvy light handle, but at the detriment of putting up with suction air noise, a feature that Henry owners will be used to if even the lowest setting isn't low enough! Thus, I find that I don't need to power up the S8340 Ecoline Solution for optimum suction power for instant pick up of dirt, and that's a blessing to my ears.
On hard floors, the rubberised wheels grip textures very well and there's plenty of movement that allows the floor head to remain flat to the floor, even if at times I have to twist my hand to go left or right, unlike SEBO's deluxe Kombi floor head that has the ability to go flat straight on. However, to be fair to Miele, they have recognised that the original floor head's pedals were sore to press on with a foot and have flattened out the pedals somewhat to improve the kind of pain I used to get when changing from hard floors to carpets and vice versa.
The bonus of the floor head is that it can clean right up to the edges very well, but it isn't for those after lighter gliding on carpet, which is where the free "main size" turbo brush comes in and does the job better, at the detriment of having a slightly bigger front hood that can get stuck under low furniture. This floor head in general is ideal for cleaning carpeted stairs though and even the boot liners of cars since it can be locked onto the main handle for ease of use. There's also the standard air slider on top of the floor head that allows for air to escape giving a much lighter gliding feel without the bristles of the roller burying in too deep into the carpet as well as lending a lighter push and pull movement that is exerted upon the owner. It is the floor head of choice for pet hair or deep cleaning of carpets removal alone!
It is a pity though that for all Miele has spent time redesigning key features that were cumbersome in the past that they haven't fully designed a floor head like Dyson where it automatically adjusts from hard floor to carpet without having to put your foot anywhere near a pedal. That said, the best floor tool that has so far proved to be my favourite is the castle cut fixed bristle "Twister" parquet floor tool - it only weighs around 306grams alone - and it is super easy to get into corners just by a twist of the handle of the Miele to get into tight spots on hard floors. Less time is wasted with this swivel type floor head but getting it to lay flat requires me to turn left or right, unlike SEBO's Parquet Deluxe floor head that remains flat when I go straight and lower the handle.
Elsewhere though, the Miele S8340 brims with fine intelligence, moving the game on from the previous S5 series. Compared to its slightly heavier predecessor, I was really surprised to find that this Miele S8 vacuum cleaner feels a lot lighter to carry around and to pull around, being a standard cylinder vacuum cleaner, but with a main grab handle that has been set at an angle pointing upwards for easy carrying. Infact, smaller seems to be the phrase that could also be applied to the Miele S8340. It seems to occupy a smaller space than the S5 when storing as well as appearing to be a little lighter and not as wide. It is still heavier than the SEBO D2 series though and Miele still persist in fitting this medium to large home sized vacuum cleaner with a 6.5 metre cord verses the 12 metre cable on the similarly priced SEBO D series and 10 metre cable with the Bosch BSGL5 series that makes do without both the SEBO and Miele's lockable hose, handle and floor heads.
Stats & Facts
As a general rule, the previous S5 measures height 22.6cm by width 27.5cm by diameter 48.7cm and a total weight of 7.4kg
This current S8 measures height 22.9cm by width 25cm by diameter 42.8cm, and a total weight of 7.1kg
Weight of twin pipes: 536grams compared to SEBO's stainless steel set of 504grams. SEBO's twin pipes have a total length of 94cm but you benefit from the suction pipes being lighter to lift for cleaning above the floor line and have less weight to pull due to the D2's excellent longer and lighter 2.1 metre hose compared to Miele's 1.8 metre standard.
As before though with most of Miele's cylinder vacuums you get a longer than average 1.8 metre length crush proof hose that gives more stretch than a lot of its rivals with telescopic height adjustable stainless steel tubes that can adjust for height from 60cm at its smallest to 103cm at its highest lockable height, making it super easy for those who are 5ft in height to 6ft. Once the tubes are locked, they stay locked. It is this design addition along with SEBO who first offered lockable tubes and handles that Bosch as a rival fails to offer in the UK, when their same machines in Germany appear to offer lockable mechanisms.
The far more reliable addition makes my life easy as I've never been that keen on having to physically and almost painfully remove pipes for shorter reach with other vacuums. Locking tools, tubes and handles make for a far more professional and yet quicker cleaning without much stress. It also makes for an instant vacuum that is reliable and doesn't have tubes that are difficult to remove, let alone floor heads or handles that fall off mid way during cleaning sessions. Thus both Miele and SEBO do well against Bosch who can't be bothered to fit likewise professional fittings to their vacuums for sale in the UK.
All the while, provided you have put the S8 into its upright position, you can lock the tubes via one of the floor heads parked into the nearby upright parking slot, giving you that added design facility of having everything you need in one place. The narrower design also makes the S8 ideal for storing in the upright position when cleaning stairs and the helpful tool tidy at the front means you can place the vacuum cleaner behind you safely with the lid pointing out from the stair for easy access to the snugly fit three cleaning tools on board.
In short, every cleaning possibility has been well thought out with the three floor heads you get here from Miele and the AirTeq twin pedalled suction only floor head is a bit more comfortable to use than what went on previously with the S6240 Ecoline model. When tube and floor heads of choice are parked by the handy park position on the rear, I find the 6.5 metre cable doesn't get tangled up when removing the handle, tubes and floor head from the parked position.
So to, at the end of cleaning if you park the floor head onto the back, it will not affect the return of the quick rewound action of the auto cord rewind that the Miele S8340 has, not to mention the beautifully designed "Comfort" rewind function first seen on the S6 where a tap to the pedal ONCE ensures all the cable can be rewound back into the machine after use; without having to do a balancing act by keeping your foot on the pedal, like other conventional vacuums. Again, you pay for quality and thought here - and you get a little bonus here in such a great design and safety aspect like that cord rewind.
Generally compared to most vacuums on the market aside from German brands, Miele's S8340 Ecoline Solution is supremely quiet with the first three settings even if the German company have been unwise to continue with the suggested "Silent Setting" on the fourth tap of the button that produces a louder motor noise. Generally even if you didn't know how to use a vacuum cleaner like this Miele vacuum, the well labelled controls and functions don't leave you wondering what they do - sensibly designed for the most part, the S8 exudes design intelligence without the stress caused to the owner by ill fitting plastics never mind poor cleaning tools with little versatility which luckily, the S8340 never suffers from, at all. The speed buttons also eliminate bending down to change the suction setting and ingesting the motor air, which I have found to be a design problem with previous Miele's general suction controls up until now.
Exuding ease of use and a certain luxury due to its overall design, life and usage with the Miele S8340 is a hushed but quick experience. When fitted with the main floor air driven turbo brush, I fins this attachment floor head to produce more noise than the vacuum cleaner itself, and of course it is so powerful that the floor head can't stick to hard floors due to a handy slider on top of the floor head that lets out some suction air to make gliding even easier.
Emptying & Consumables
Of course some compromises have to be made in general with this type of vacuum and for the fact that it can only use dust bags means it is far healthier than any bagless vacuum cleaner can dream of, but at the detriment of having to buy dust bags to keep it going. This is where ownership can be a downside for a lot of Miele owners but those who have the S5000/S5 series or S2 series benefit from having a bigger bag, the GN series that has a general cost of £9-99 to £12-99 for four dust bags.
Because the S8340 Ecoline Solution has the basic Miele Super Air Clean filter on board, you get this filter free with every box of bags, thus keeping the cost of filters down. Statistically Miele claim that every four bags should last a year. Now as the owner of a Miele S5 already, I can just about get one bag to last 2.5 months to three months and it has to be super jammed packed until the bag indicator suggests that the bag requires replacing.
However! You don't have to put up with the Super Air Clean filter if you have smokers in your home or have pets. Both are known to produce high odours that can come back into a room after cleaning and Miele have always produced two cost optional filters that last a year to two years. Consisting of the Active Air Clean filter that has a general cost of £9-99 to £12-99, this filter can be used instead of the exhaust Super Air Clean filter, provided that you still use the Super Air Clean filter for the secondary filter grid behind the bag in the vacuum cleaner.
Or, there is the £15 to £23 HEPA filter that is really only suited for allergy sufferers and has a blue grid to differentiate itself from the black grid of the Active Air Clean. Both filters are charcoal filled, so they absorb strong odours such as pet hair as it rots in the bag and like Dyson, require to be changed once or twice a year. It is however important to point out that if either charcoal filter is fitted, you won't be able to use perfumed powders for carpets or other scented means as these destroy the natural odour fighting molecules within the charcoal filters themselves.
None of Miele's filters are washable and reusable however but it points the way to total hygiene, which German vacuum cleaners in general are able to provide.
However, there's a bit more to why this vacuum cleaner (and its associated German brands like SEBO and Bosch are expensive to buy) because like SEBO, Miele offer cost optional cleaning tools to add to the versatility of your purchase. The standard three set small cleaning tools you get consist of a short crevice tool, Miele's supreme horse-hair round dusting brush that can be locked at different angles and their standard twin lint flat upholstery brush that is great for vacuuming up soft furnishings. Over a lot of brands I have used over the years, most of the German brands' tools are far better designed, better made, last the duration and are very light on the hand as well as being super easy to use. You can't store all of Henry's smaller cleaning tools on board, but with a Miele, SEBO or Bosch, you can!
Other Sorts & Final Thoughts
Currently Miele are offering six different S8 models such as:
* Miele S8310 base model in black, 2200 watts £200.00 with Super Air Clean Filter.
* Miele S8320 Cat and Dog in red, 2200 watts,
* Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution in "beige" / white £200 to £230 with Super Air Clean Filter.
* Miele S8390 Silence Solution in blue/bronze, 1200 watts £230 to £250 with HEPA filter as standard.
* Miele S8330 Solution HEPA in bronze, 2200 watts, £260 to £290 with HEPA filter as standard.
* Miele S8530 UniQ8 in bronze, 2200 watts, LED lights & Spotlight handle with HEPA filter as standard, £480-00.
For the meantime, the ultimate in low eco friendly cleaning for a medium sized home has arrived in the form of the Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution, providing buyers with not just one main floor head, but two free others that would normally cost nearly £70 to £90 extra when added together. The S8340 lacks a HEPA filter to keep costs low, but at the asking price of £200 to £230 and on account that you can buy the Active Air Clean filter separately that acts just as well as the HEPA filter, this vacuum cleaner alone gives pet owners an economical route rather than spending extra with the 2200-watt Cat and Dog model. On account that you can buy the tools separately that come with the more expensive vacuum from Miele, there's not much hardship here.
With a low, economical but strong suction motor on board, coupled with Miele's sealed suction design, quiet running noise, larger dust bags and eliminating the need to clean filters as well as being utterly compact enough to move around with, Miele can be proud of its S8340 Ecoline Solution vacuum. Better made and better designed than its smaller bagged S6 counterpart, the only fly in the ointment is a short power cord, which for owners who are looking for the ultimate similar vacuum should look to SEBO's D series. The SEBO D2 series beats the Miele alone with its much bigger cord length, 504gram tubes, 2.1 metre length hose, alone as well as the fact that the SEBO offers hospital grade filtration as standard as well as lower bag costs as they stock almost twice as many as Miele charge for a box of 4.
Exuding good design intelligence that doesn't make cleaning a chore, the Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution is modern, thoughtful and well equipped. Strong on power without hurting my ears, this is one vacuum cleaner that could be considered if you are fed up cleaning dusty filters AND if you are prepared to shop for far healthier high filtration bags that eliminate the need to get covered in dust. It hasn't quite beaten SEBO's D series just yet, but it bridges the need to consider that the Germans really know how to make and build a proper vacuum cleaner without adding stress to the owner, regardless. More importantly, it cleans home without being horrendous to use on power - and that's the whole point of an eco-friendly efficient vacuum cleaner. Thanks for reading!©Nar2 2013.
Nar2's Test Scoring of Premium German Cylinder Vacs
* 10/10 SEBO D2 Total. Weight 6.7kg, 5.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 10/10 SEBO K1 Pet/Komfort. Weight 5.5kg, 3-litre dust bag capacity.
* 10/10 Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution. Weight 7.1kg, 4.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S571 Weight 8kg, 4-litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S381 Weight 8kg, 4-litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S380 Weight 8kg, 4-litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S5211 Weight 7.4kg, 4.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S4212 Weight 4.5kg, 3.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S4210 Weight 4.5kg, 3.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 8/10 Bosch BSGL4000 Weight 6.2kg, 4-litre dust bag capacity.
* 8/10 Miele S6210 Weight 5kg, 3.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 6/10 Miele S6240 Ecoline. Weight 5.8kg, 3.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 5/10 Bosch BSGL5PROGB Weight 5.3kg, 4.5 litre dust bag capacity.
Read the complete review
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