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Design: Cylinder / Bagged / Power: 1400 Watts / 220 Air Watts / Hose Length: 1.5m / Bag Capacity: 2 Litre / Accessories: hose assembly, plastic floor brush, crevice nozzle, upholstery nozzle, upholstery brush / Cord Length: 4.8m

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      18.05.2009 10:14
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      If ever I go bald I'll buy another one!

      Argos Value Range SL204 Bagged Cylinder - Don't buy it if you're hairy!

      Years ago I had a Dyson, but it started falling apart, quite literally. I had problem after problem with that thing, and in the end the hose attachment on the back snapped off, meaning there was no way it could vacuum the edges of the room - the place where all the dust seems to gather. I'd never buy one again, especially since going into the back room of a second hand electrical shop owned by a friend. I have never seen so many Dyson cleaners in my life. He even had one member of staff whose sole job it was to fix these broken Dyson's ready for sale, which is pretty remarkable seeing as this shop sold every type of electrical goods you can imagine. Anyway, I'm not here to bitch about what I now feel to be the over-hyped Dyson, I'm here to tell you about the vacuum cleaner that was meant to be a temporary replacement, but is still being used 5 years later.

      It was actually my dad who bought me this. At the time I had just moved house and was skint, and couldn't afford to replace the broken Dyson. I knew this was a budget cleaner - in fact it's the cheapest one Argos sell, but at the time I didn't particularly care, because all I was bothered about was being able to vacuum around the skirting boards, rather than getting on my hands and knees with a dustpan and brush.

      ~Appearance and Design~

      Now my cleaner is silver in colour, but the one currently showing in the Argos catalogue is red and looks to have a metallic finish, in comparison to mine which is matte. It's quite a small compact design and has two large buttons on either side - one for power and one for rewinding the cord. Both are very large buttons, and easily pressed with your feet. I don't know if you're supposed to press them with your feet, but that's how I do it! There's also a dial on there which allows you to vary the power.

      It has two wheels on the back which you can pull it along on and the long part which attaches to the floor brush is metal. I find that it wheels along quite smoothly on both carpeted and hard floors, and the cable is a really long distance too, so it's useful if I want to go from room to room, as I don't have to stop to unplug it all the time. The hose is also 1.5m long which helps things.

      It has a carry handle on one side which is really useful and the weight isn't too bad at just 4.8kg.

      It comes with three attachments - the long floor brush, which has a pedal on to change from hard to carpeted floors. It also has a small upholstery attachment, which I find very useful for cleaning the sofa with, and two of those little brush attachment things. For these three smaller attachments I would have expected somewhere to store them on the actual vacuum itself. Previous cleaners I've owned had this feature, so it's disappointing that this didn't and they need to be stored separately from the cleaner, meaning I can never find them, and in fact one of the little brushes is long gone!

      ~Using it~

      When using the cleaner the noise level isn't too bad. Obviously it's still a vacuum cleaner and it still makes quite a bit of noise, but you can easily have a conversation whilst using this and you don't need to shout too much!

      The vacuum has variable power controlled by the dial on the back, but I find that I have to have it on maximum all the time for it to be effective. The suction of the vacuum is good, and it will pick up most dust and debris from my floors.

      The one thing I find this cleaner to struggle with though is hair. I have very long hair, and it seems to get absolutely everywhere. Whilst the cleaner picks up hair from hard floors and surfaces with no trouble, on carpeted areas it's a different story. The vacuum struggles to pick up hair, and so what I actually do, is press the button on the long floor attachment so the bristles stick out, and pull it backwards towards me. This effectively rakes the hair up from the carpet, and any hair that gets stuck in the bristles, can be pulled out and sucked up by the vacuum. This may seem a little bit ridiculous, but I've been doing it since I got the cleaner, and I've just got used to using it like that! Needless to say, because of this, I wouldn't recommend it if anyone in your home has got long hair, and there's a good possibility it wouldn't really be suitable for pet owners either.

      After nearly five years of use, the button on the floor attachment has broken, and is now difficult to press down, so I am considering buying a replacement cleaner sometime in the near future.

      This cleaner does use bags, and they can be bought from Argos at a cost of £5.89 for a pack of 5. The bags have a 2 litre capacity. Changing the bags is very easy and pretty much mess free. The cleaner opens up easily, and the bags have a solid cardboard part which slides in and out of the holder easily, so you rarely get any spillage.

      ~Price~

      This is a budget cleaner, and costs just £27.39 from Argos. I think this is good value, and mine has lasted a lot longer than I expected it to.

      ~Conclusion~

      If like me, you have a fairly small home to clean, then this cleaner is more than adequate. If however, you have carpets and also long hair or a pet, I'd advise going for something else. For the price though, this has lasted me well, and if you're looking for a budget cleaner it is certainly worth considering.

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    • Product Details

      Short name: Argos SL204