Product Type: Argos vacuums
Newest Review: ... tried it on several surface but again...nothing. Not for me! Only available from Argos.... more
Argos' Manure Sweeper!
Argos Manual Floor Sweeper
Member Name: Nar2
Argos Manual Floor Sweeper
Advantages: Cheap price, will sometimes clean floors, sloping head.
Disadvantages: Poor pick up, not well made, emptying difficult, sometimes refuses to shift along carpets.
When I come home from work and find that the dust has settled or I've managed to bring in some just cut grass from the gardens below my flat, there's nothing worse than having to fish out the vacuum cleaner and set to work on the dirt that has just appeared. Now I know what you may be thinking here - Nar has plenty of vacuum cleaners, he collects them - he's weird! Just like other members, yes there are a few quirks in my life, but when I've been on my feet all day and doing plenty, there are times when I don't want to take out the vacuum and go through the notions because frankly if I do that, I end up vacuuming the whole house!
Carpet sweepers these days seem to be low on the ground presumably because the "Swivel Sweeper " and other cordless sweepers you can buy replaces mechanical movement by battery power. It was at Argos I decided to try out their "Argos Value," Manual Sweeper that only costs around £8 (£7-99 and product code 855/0246 for those who need exact info), which I thought at the time looked like a great bargain. On the other side of the shops in Edinburgh I went to John Lewis and immediately baulked at the price of a Ewbank mechanical sweeper at £39-99. After all, what are the differences between brands and a sweeper design that has been going since 1876 under Bissell and then Ewbank followed in 1880?
Once it was taken out of its box, the 2 part handle is very easy to screw into one another before the final spindle can be screwed and locked into the main floor head. Unscrew the top part of the handle and the sweeper's short stumpy bottom handle part acts as a grabber to clean stairs, or so Argos would have you believe. In reality I found it difficult to clean my communal stair case with this sweeper when made to compact down into a "hand sweeper," holding onto the rod stump and trying to guide it a long a step! All made of plastic but rather thin, I did notice a lot of plastic bits in the box and against it's awful colour of all beige, the plastic on this sweeper is very thin and not robust feeling which didn't hold much expectation if this kind of appliance is to be bashed off walls when using. There are two wheels on the underside supported by a thin wire brush roll that turns correspondingly when the wheels move on carpet. Or, so this basic sweeper design is supposed to work.
One early advantage of having a mechanical carpet sweeper like this product is that the owner controls the "machine" from the very beginning of cleaning. Therefore when there are computer or electrical cables in the way, say under a study table at least you won't have the worry if the cables will get stuck in the brush roll. In this way it is far safer than an upright vacuum with a permanently rolling beater bar and at a few grams rather than kilograms, the Manual sweeper is very light to lift up as well as being quite capable of getting into awkward angles thanks to its pert little shape. Measuring just 23cm by 18cmand with a final height of 115cm the Manual sweeper is about the same size as my Salter kitchen scales on the floor head size and just as light and easy to store away as a normal full size kitchen/household brush. The total height however isn't high enough for me and I'm often stooping to use it on floors.
On carpet, especially thick pile or high pile I wasn't surprised to find that the Manual sweeper struggles to keep up let alone pick up dirt and general dust on the carpet. It ploughs rather than gildes and if you press too hard on the handle, the Manual sweeper can break. Forget edge cleaning too as this sweeper is just too basic to have this feature unlike a full size vacuum. This is down to the closeness of the wheels on the underside and the poorest rubber on each wheel doesn't really grip the material it is designed to glide over whilst the brush roll itself doesn't seep out onto the side profiles. Hit a carpet frame and the floor head topples over or protests to go any further. The sloping floor head is however welcomed as it means the Manual sweeper can get under low furniture without scuffing the top or any furniture you happen to need to get under such as low coffee tables and of course being mechanical you have to push some weight onto the handle to ensure the brush roll gets a decent stab at cleaning the floor. However with a constantly moving handle and a light weightiness to it, the Manual sweeper can also start to feel rather too flimsy in operation almost like it will fall apart whilst the single handle also bends in use. On hard floors, the Manual sweeper takes a few sweeps to get the brush going on easy pieces of dirt such as tangerine pips and I've often just resorted to sweeping hard floors with a dust pan and brush as it is a lot faster without worry of dust seeping out.
Carpet performance on short pile carpets seem to work better with the Manual sweeper as it doesn't tend to snag on thinner material. However it doesn't take too long for the sweeper's actual handle to come away from the body of the sweeper again, which is a constant pain to keep screwing back in! Emptying the sweeper isn't as well thought out either, each of the 2 dust pans open too easily, often lacking a stronger spring on the mechanism to close up properly that makes disposing the collected dirt a bit messy and you have to turn up the base of the sweeper to manually prise open the actual dust pans. When I turned a blind eye and left the Manual sweeper full of dirt after a month and a bit I wasn't surprised to find I was rolling the Manual sweeper about with collected dust emerging out of the unit!
After a month and a bit however disaster struck one day when my Manual sweeper refused to shift along the floor. With an abrupt push the sweeper skidded along the floor and the handle suddenly gave way breaking into three pieces. Onto replacement number two sweeper and one of the wheels came off which made it worse to shift along the carpets.
I like a bargain from time to time but in this case I definitely got what I paid for with Argos' Manual sweeper. After two replacements offered by Argos I finally gave up the experience; no buyer should have to face such a poorly thought out sweeper regardless of this cheap price. If you have children who love to clean up with you, this sweeper could make a better justification for a toy because at the end of the day when something as lightweight and flimsy as this exists, its no wonder that its function is severely limiting. Paint a face on it and make it fun for your child; ultimately for a helping hand in the home when you don't want to fish out your vacuum, there are better sweepers around, even if they may cost a bit more. Thanks for reading. İNar2 2009
Summary: Argos need to consider a proper sweeper that's better made.
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