We have tried many brands of hoover over the years to get up cat hair efficiently - this is the latest!
We have had this for over a year and it still works, but not without some irritations.
Suction when all is well is pretty good, with good pick up. Cat hair pick up not perfect, but nothing we have tried ever is - but this is better than most.
Filters are easy to remove and clean, but you do need to make sure you do them regularly (ideally monthly) or else the dust picks up, but then drops back down creating black lines as you hoover.
Cord isn't terribly long, and the hose length is dreadfully short!! Stairs are a real problem with it, as you can only really hoover two at a time and then you have to move the hoover. The hoover also has to sit on the stairs while you are doing it and is very wobbly.
We are finding that the dust, instead of collecting in the bucket, is starting to collect above around the filter. This is a problem because you have to remove the filter to get it out ..... and the dust goes everywhere ... so you have to hoover again.
Being in a family of four and having two pets, a cat and a dog we need a good hoover to get up the mounts of hair the pets molt and we do. We've been through quite a lot of hoovers they all seem to do very good at the start then not do as good when continuing to get hair up. This is what has happened with the Bissell Vacuum it was great at the start then it kept breaking, we went through so many belts in the vacuum and we had so much trouble with the manufactors trying to send us new belts and after a few months we eventually got some but they still kept breaking.
I wouldn't recommend this hoover to anyone unless your only getting up dust mites or small objects as it can't take a lot of dirt. It's also a very heavy hoover and makes a lot of noise, sometimes I thought it was gonna blow up or something as it had a burning smell coming from it, but that must of been from the belt breaking.
Since I got my third dog two years ago I have managed to get through three vacuum cleaners. As you can imagine, due to the amount of hair and dust generated in my home, a powerful cleaner is an essential. The first of my vacuums was an upright Dyson model. This gave me a thorough clean and picked up well but the various parts and especially the suction tubes were always breaking. After having to pay a lot for replacement pieces I decided to try a different brand of cleaner and got an Electrolux Velocity Pet Lover which had been advertised in my dog's Crufts magazine, a fine endorsement - or so I imagined. The weighty vacuum ended up being a nightmare of spewing filter dust which left more mess than it collected. It also couldn't pick up a single dog hair when used in the upright position. I then found a second hand Dyson which I've been using until one of the major parts snapped and couldn't be fixed.
I went online to check out vacuum prices and was dismayed at the cost. A lot of them, particularly for the better-known brands, were hundreds of pounds. I was convinced I would need one of these super-dooper models to cope with the huge amount of strewn hair. I was on my way to purchase one of these mega priced machines when I stopped in at supermarket Asda to pick up some groceries and noticed they had a few vacuum models in stock.
The Bissell Powerforce model was mid-price in their range at only around £40.00. Although I had doubts about its possible performance given the cheaper price I decided to take a chance.
The vacuum comes boxed and is surprisingly light in weight. It is a self-assembly model and you need your own screwdriver. You must fit two supplied screws into the handle part which then attaches to the main body. The rest of the assembly is simply clipping the main suction pipe into place and attaching the various brush heads to the side of the machine. All filters and cups are already in place. A comprehensive user guide booklet provides assembly instructions as well as care and maintenance guides.
The vacuum's features are as follows: It has a 'Twist and Snap' Hose connector which is the main pipe on the cleaner. It is attached near the top and bends outwards and down to the foot hose. I find it sticks out a tiny bit but not enough to get in my way. The main hose also has stretch capabilities and doubles up as the hose used with the hand tools.
There is a long, straight hose wand/extension with a sturdy handle and an extra pipe with a slanted head as well as a combination dusting brush and upholstery tool. I find the latter hand tool marvellous as you it means you can change cleaning surfaces quickly by just using the other side of the tool. I do find the length of the main hose to be quite short compared to the vacuums I have used before. It means its more difficult to do long staircases - you have to take the cleaner up there on the stairs with you and hold it which is a bit awkward!
The vacuum has a thin 'powerfront' (the flat piece at the front of the machine), which is handy for sliding underneath the edges of sofas etc. It also has an excellent rubber guard around the front which means if you hit it off any furniture it won't scrape it. Lengthwise it is thirteen inches across. There are several height adjustments for the type of surface you are cleaning. The lowest setting should be used for bare floors, the medium setting for short and medium pile carpets and the highest setting for plush pile carpets. The main suction hole at the bottom of the powerfront is located closer to the edge than the centre and is about three inches away from the edge. There is a brush head with a spiral brush pattern and very stiff bristles. I find that this vacuum picks up from the very corner of the powerfront more successfully than any vacuum I've ever had before. You can slide it right up against a wall edge and it will pick up the dust there no problem.
To push around the vacuum feels very light and can be quickly turned to change direction. I am actually surprised that it is so easy to move given the powerful sucking action from the powerfront. It takes just one roll over any mess to completely clear it and leave the carpet looking clean and new. The brush head sometimes leaves brush marks on very short or new and fluffy carpets although it is not unsightly. It can infact help to make older carpets look as though they've just been spruced up or steam cleaned. When I am vacuuming the long power cord, which is coiled up just a tad too low on the machine, sometimes gets in the way and really needs to be held up with one hand whilst you move around. The 30ft electrical cord is also way too long for my personal needs. The power switch is at the bottom of the vacuum and is operated by your foot. It is simple to press and not too high up to mean it's an awkward task. There is also a release pedal near this power switch which puts the vacuum into one of three positions. There is upright, normal or low where the vacuum is virtually horizontal and can slide fully under tables. A wonderful help!
The cleaning system is based on a bagless three stage filter design. There are HEPA and charcoal filters involved. There are inner and outer circular filters as well as a filter cup and the dirt container. The container is easy to remove by just sliding a clip in one direction or the other and pulling it out. It can be trickier to replace though - watch out for spaces around the top of the container. The container has a central hole which means it provides less volume than it appears from looking at it from the outside. I find I need to empty it every other time I vacuum, but the process of emptying the dirt is extremely simple and quick. I do find that when vacuuming sometimes the hepa filter can blow out a sudden gust of dust or filter particles but this is only very occasionally. The inner and outer filters are cleanable and can be washed with mild detergent. As a pet owner the filters need to be cleaned more often than with normal use.
There are ten replacement parts available for the vacuum should you ever need them. These are listed in the user manual alongside the helpline and company contact details.
Overall I have to say I was actually shocked when I found this vacuum performs so well and I have to say better than my more expensive Dyson and Electrolux models. It is an excellent buy for any pet owner keen to receive a powerful clean. This just shows you that you don't need to pay over the odds for a vacuum that really works! Bissell's tagline is "We Mean Clean" and they really do!
The technical helpline for customers is:
(UK) 0845 300 7775
Their website is:
Around 7 months ago I brought a Bissell 6594E vacuum. Thought about getting a dyson but after seeing the price I brought one of these instead. I was a bit unsure when I first saw the Bissell because it's not a manfacturer that I was acquainted with. So here's a bit about the founders of the company, Ana and Melville Bissell.
The story of Bissell
In 1872 and Ana and Melville were running a crockery shop in michigan, USA. The crockery came packed in crates of sawdust and it was Ana's frustration with the sweeping up of that sawdust that caused Melville to invent a carpet cleaner device. The first 'Bissell' factory was opened in 1883. On Melville's death, Anna Bissell took control of the expanding bissell business, becoming one of America's first female corporate CEOs. It is still run by the bissell family, the present CEO being Mark.J.Bissell.
THE SPECS: The Bissell Powerforce is a 1,400 w , 12 amp bagless vacuum and has the following features:
*Easy to grab carrying handle
* Lightweight design for easy carrying
* Ergonomically Designed Handle for Easier Handling
*3.75 litre dust cup capacity
* Can clean on : Carpet, Upholstery, stairs, auto, Hard surfaces
*Scuff Resistant Bumper with Edge to Edge Cleaning
*12" WideTrack Cleaning Path for quicker cleaning
*7 height adjustments on the handle
*Easy to empty clear dirt container
*Flexible reinforced stretch hose
*25 foot Power Cord with easy release mechanism
*Foot Pedal On/Off Switch
*Crevice tool,extension wand
*On the back - combination dusting brush and upholstroy tool.
*4 Stages of Filtration including HEPA and Charcoal Filter ~ captures dust & micro particles and eliminates smells
The Bissell comes with a two year warranty. It has a very 'user' freindly instruction booklet which is well laid out easy to understand and includes everything you need to know including information about replacement parts. NOTE : When unpacking the hoover you will need to attach the handle which is packed separately, it's just a case of inserting a screw either side of the handle.
USING THE BISSELL
The Bissell 'powerforce' has great suction, however this suction will deminish if you don't clean the in-built filters on a regular basis. Bissell recomend you clean the filters once a month, if like us you have pets you may need to clean them a bit sooner. The filters are cleaned by running them under warm water and they need to be dry before they are re-inserted. Bissell's vacuum filration system is made up of 'Pre-Motor and 'Post-Motor filters. The pre-Motor protects the motor from debris and is located underneath the dirt container. The post-Motor filter returns clean air to the room and is positioned below the dust container lever.
Contary to belief 'HEPA' is not something you pick up at a NHS hospital. To be honest I hadn't a clue what HEPA was until I started using the Bissell. At home we have two cats which leave fur everywhere. I found myself sneezing alot when they were around, however not only has the Bissell been very effective at picking up all the cat hairs but it's also helped reduce my sneezing, which I'm very grateful for. What is a HEPA filter? (Hold on, just get my anorak)
HEPA (High-efficiency particulate air) filters are often advertised as being beneficial for asthma and allergy sufferers. The HEPA filter apparently traps the fine particles (such as pollen and dust mite poo) which trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. It's reckoned that they remove 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 micrometers in diameter (dust mites are 04 micrometers, apparently!). I'm quite prone to dust borne allergies so I'm all for the HEPA. The original HEPA filter was designed in 1940's and was used to prevent radioactive contaminants. (I suppose if you were threatened by radiation fall out- you could always get the hoover out, ha ha!)
CHARCOAL Filter : (Activated charcoal filter) This filter removes odours, that simple ! As mentioned above it returns clean air to the room. You can wash the filters but, if you do need to replace any of the filters you can buy them on line through Bissell or you can buy them through Curry's spare parts section on their sister website 'Partmaster'. I've included the address below. I have to say that up to now I haven't needed to change any of the filters. I did need to buy a drive belt a few weeks back which cost £7.99 but thats the only expense I've encountered so far.
Cost of replacement filters with Part No :
Inner and Outer Circular filters £6.99 (32064)
Pre-Motor filter £6.99 (203-1215)
Post-Motor filter £6.75 (32066)
Drive Belt £7.99 pack of two (32074)
You will find a more comprehensive list of spare parts in the Bissell users guide.
The Bissell works great over large carpet areas it has great suction. With a simple adjustment of the height adjustment knob It will also work equally well over bare floors. It picks up alot of stuff and you get to see it all in the clear plastic tank, there's something oddly satifying about that. In smaller areas the Bissell isn't so much fun mostly because the foot of the cleaner is quite large. When the cleaner is full you empty the hoover by simply sliding the lever which is positioned just below the dirt container from one side of the vacuum to the other. The furniture protection guard on the front of the cleaner is a handy addition, the way I hoover it's essential addition (you will notice that my hover looks a tad battered). The handle adjustment is also quite handy, it means that you can hoover under tables and chairs. Bissell claim that on the lowest setting you can clean under beds, but unless you've got large rooms to manoeuvre the 'hummer' sized cleaner around in it does make for hard work.
THE BUILT-IN TOOLS
With Bissells 'built-in' tools (dusting brush and upholstery cleaner) you can clean the sofa, shelves and other areas. You simply detach the hose from the base of the cleaner and then connect whichever adaptor you need. I have used it to hoover the sofa, unfortunately the last time I tried hooving the curtains they got sucked into the hose and I inadvertively pulled the curtains down. Despite Bissell claiming that this is a light weigth cleaner (12lbs) it does become quite a chore carrying it around if you've got lots of stairs to climb. We've solved that problem by having a little Goblin (called sid) who lives at the top of the stairs :-)
The Bissell is a great hover for cleaning wide carpet areas especially if you have an open planned type of house. It is reliable and has very good suction. It can also be used for cleaning soft furnishings and is very easy to maintain. However, the Bissell is quite a lump to carry up stairs especially if you have narrow stairs. All the weight is in the bottom (foot) of the hoover and it's easy to lose balance when carrying it, I've hit a few things trying to carry it upstairs (as the photo's of my 'battered' Bissell will show).
For UK Inquiries
The Boat Yard
105 Striaght Road
Berkshire SL4 2SE
mon - thurs 9am - 5
http://www.partmaster.co.uk/cgi-bin/home.pl?cam p_ id=currys
(for spare parts)
Short name: Bissell 6594