I will be brutally honest here, at the risk of sounding stingy. I wanted a new vac, but I didn't want to pay for a new vac. After years of use my good, but very expensive, Dyson is finally on its last legs. I don't live in a huge, many roomed carpeted house, but I needed a vac that would efficiently pick up pet hair, general bits of grime and keep things clean mainly for the staircase and upstairs. As many people are, I am on a tight budget so I was literally after the cheapest, bagless vac I could find - the Bush BC-304.
I bought this from Argos a couple of months ago at a price of £40. It claimed to have almost as much suction power as many of the larger, upright models and came with additional tools and an extension tube. The fact that it is bagless was a major selling point too as I didn't want to go back to the hassle and extra expense of bags for a vac.
I took the vac home and was delighted at how simple and effective it actually is. I was expecting to be saying 'oh well you get what you pay for', but I was very pleasantly surprised. Although the lead to the mains wasn't as long as I had previously been used to it doesn't matter as the nozzle can be stretched a long way from the main device, meaning that the total distance it can reach from the mains is further than the upright vac I have previously used.
The suction wasn't quite as strong as I would have liked, but nevertheless, it did the job and picked up absolutely fine. This gave it the added bonus of not being absolutely deafening whilst in use too! One of the main advantages I have found with this vacuum cleaner has been due to the size and weight of it. It is quite a small machine, so storage is so much easier. It is also much lighter and easier to carry upstairs, it doesn't leave you gasping for breath on the landing! The stairs themselves can also be cleaned daily in one go. With my old machine I had to do the lower three quarters of the steps with the vac plugged in downstairs, then carry the vac up and complete the top quarter with it plugged in upstairs. Needless to say, this was a pain. This Bush vac has just made my life so much easier!
The cherry on the cake, however trivial it may sound, was a fantastic little button on top of the vac that retracted the lead. My previous vac that cost £200 had to be manually wound round and round - this one does it automatically. They say it can be the little things that count, and this really did.
To summarise, this may not be the best vac you will ever use, but for the price of it, it is absolutely fantastic. It does the job, and it does it well. It suits me down to the ground.
A few weeks ago I found myself shopping for yet another hoover, we have only been in our house 2 and a half years and are now on our third hoover, we only have a small house and there is just the two of us and 3 cats so I'm not sure how we go through so many. The first hoover we brought was quite cheap but my mum had the same one and hers was brilliant, unfortunately after about a year it broke, we decided to buy a slightly more expensive one, nothing too fancy but just a bit better quality than the previous one, however just over a year later whilst hoovering my lounge it stopped, I got my dad to take it apart and have a look but the motor was over heating far too much making it cut out, there was nothing we could do but buy yet another hoover. After having a look through the Argos book we came across the Bush BC-304 Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner, again it wasn't the cheapest hoover we could buy but it was not the most expensive one either. We studied the reviews on this product to get a better impression of how good this was going to be after, all we obviously were not a good judge of hoovers
The Bush Vacuum Cleaner came in a large rectangle cardboard box, it had the name of the hoover written on it, in this case "Bush BC-304 Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner", it also had a large picture of the hoover itself on either side of the box, I cannot remember exactly what the appearance of the box was like as we have since got rid of this. Inside the box the hoover was very well packaged, it was not fully assembled, the hoses and head were disconnected, each part was extremely well wrapped in polythene with sections of cardboard and polystyrene placed between the various parts of the hoover to prevent them knocking into each other and becoming damaged, I was extremely impressed with how well the hoover was packed in the box as you sometimes find with items like this they are jsut placed in a box with no protection at all.
The Bush Vacuum Cleaner does look quite basic, the main body of the hoover is in two halves, one half is dark red (there was no choice of colour), the second half is made from clear plastic, this also doubles up as the container for the dirt. Most of the other parts of the hoover are made from a light grey plastic (although the Argos website shows this as black), on the main body of the hoover is a grey clip which releases the dust container from the rest of the hoover, the on/ off button and handle are also on the main body of the hoover and are dark grey. The hose on the hoover is again made from grey plastic, this then connects onto a chrome colour adjustable extension pole, on the end of this is the hoover head, again grey to match the rest of the hoover, even the plug and cable are grey to make them blend in.
Now I'm not too good at all the technical bits but I will do my best to explain what I can. The power of the Bush BC-304 Bagless cylinder Vacuum is 1400 watts with 210 air watts, to be honest when I first read this in my instruction book I didn't know if this was good or not, however after trying the hoover I discovered that it was reasonably powerful so took it that this must be a good thing. The power of the hoover is actually adjustable by turning the on off button on the top of the hoover, personally I only very use it on maximum so cannot comment on how powerful the other settings are but the maximum setting is powerful, just what I need to deal with the cats fur on my carpet. For me the next important aspect was the size of the dust container and how easy it was to empty, there's nothing worse than having to spend ages fiddling around trying to empty the hoover. The dust container makes up half of the body of the hoover and simply clips on and off by pressing a small button on the top of the hoover. The total capacity of this section is 2 litres which is an ideal size for us, we don't create a lot of dirt between us, the main thing we hoover up is our cats fur which often appears in clumps throughout the house. I usually try to empty the hoover every time I use it, although this is not always possible especially if I am hoovering in a rush so if I do not get to empty it every time I do not have to worry about it being too full as the container is plenty big enough. When you remove the container the opening to it is covered with a anti bacterial fibre filtration, this is a black coloured fabric, it somehow works by the dirt being sucked down the hose of the hoover and into the dust contain, the fabric keeps all of the small particles and dust inside the container so that it does not get into the main motor of the hoover.
Other simpler functions on the hoover, which are more my thing include the foot control cord rewind, this doubles up as a handle for the hoover, this sits just at the back of the hoover, to pull the cable out you pull on the cord until you see the small yellow band on the cable, to rewind it you simply press the handle down with your foot and the cable winds itself back in, it is an idea to keep hold of the plug at the same time as it does wind in a bit on the fast side. The on off button is also foot controled, this doubles up as the power adjuster, to turn the hoover on or off you press on the button with your foot, if you want to adjust the suction power you twist the same button either clockwise or anti clockwise. There is an onboard tool storage, which is basically a posh way of saying that there is a small clip at the back of the hoover which holds the brush attachment that comes with the hoover, this attachment is a small brush which can be pushed onto the end of the hose, it is ideal for hoovering skirting or getting into small space. I wasn't too bothered about the length of the cable, obviously I didn't want it too short that I have to constantly keep unplugging it and moving it, however the cable on the BUsh hoover is 5m so is plenty long enough, I have to unplug and move the cable maybe once when hoovering through the whole house but for me it is plenty long enough. The hose of the hoover measures 1.5m, again the length of this didn't really matter but after using the hoover several times it seems to be the ideal length.
Our house is open plan so our stairs actually come down into our lounge, this means that although I hate hoovering the stairs I have to keep them looking clean, with my previous hoovers I have struggled with hoovering the stairs as I find them a bit heavy to hold with one hand and hoover with the other, the Bush hoover weighs 4kg, I'm not sure if this is more or less than the previous hoovers I have had but although the hoover is light to carry in and out of the house it is still a bit heavy to hold with one hand for a prolonged amount of time whilst hovering. Storing the hoover for us is not a problem as we keep it in our garage where there is plenty of space, however for those who are a bit limited on storage space the Bush hoover is not massive measuring H22cm, W21cm and D33cm so storing the hoover should not be too much of a problem.
Price was one of the main things we looked at when buying our third new hoover, the Bush BC-304 Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner cost us £39.99 from Argos, personally we felt this was a very reasonable price, some hoovers are very over priced in my opinion. The hoover so far seems well worth the money, it is strong and durable, despite it being made mainly from plastic it does not feel weak and flimsy all parts of it seem strong and hard wearing. Personally I feel the hoover was very fairly priced due to the excellent quality of it.
Basically I am extremely impressed with the Bush Vacuum Cleaner, it is hardwearing and sturdy, it is also powerful and removes dirt, dust and fur from my carpet quickly and easily. The hoover head is suitable for carpets or hard floors, you can press a button on the top of the head to release the brushes which is very useful for getting fur off of the carpet. The hoover is very easy to empty and maintain, there are no complicated parts which need removing it is simply one container to remove and empty. The hoover is also not too bulky and easy to store. Every time I use the hoover I am impressed with the results, my carpet is getting a bit old and could do with replacing but after using the Bush on it looks pretty good and I can be confident that my carpet has been properly cleaned. I would definitely recommend the Bush BC-304 Bagless cylinder Vacuum Cleaner to anyone looking for a basic hoover which is reasonably priced yet very effective at what it does.
Short name: Bush BC-304