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As an owner of three dogs I have to vacuum regularly. I find that the amount I use the machine combined with the job of picking up all that pet hair means that my vacuums tend to break down sooner than they should. My latest purchase is my fourth or fifth vacuum in about three years!
I purchased this vacuum at Argos. If you read their catalogue or look online they have a handy buyers guide to what you need to know about the product specifics and what they mean. There are certain features you should look for like the power, given in watts. Argos say that cylinder machines should be at least 1400W. When I was looking across the machines there were many listed up to around 2000W but this model has a 1700W motor. Argos also provide details of the suction power - again the higher the number the better it performs. This has 200 air watts.
When I carried the box from the shop I was a bit worried as it was so lightweight. This however proves to be a good thing. In comparison with other hoovers I've owned, like my ten ton Dyson, this is a dream to lift and move.
The vacuum requires some self assembly but it's the easiest model I've ever put together and infact the first I could do unaided! All you need is some upper body strength and a screw driver with a cross shaped point. All the screws are included. The manual is a bit vague and actually only shows pictures of how to fit everything together. It's relatively easy to recognise what's what though. The most difficult part of the set-up was attaching the main hose to the body. Make sure that you align the tabs correctly or the hose will protude out on one side - and it's almost impossible to get it back out if you do this!
The way the vacuum is built poses some problems and I would improve certain parts of it. The power switch is at a foot pedal position but is obscure by both the cord reel and the height adjuster pedal. The power switch is also too small to reach with a full foot - you have to sneak your toe under the cord reel to press it. I sometimes catch the height adjuster pedal by accident. I also think the hose pipe that leads into the main head sticks up too much and constantly pulls at the hose. I have to keep re-adjusting the hose so that it remains in the hole. Once I was cleaning and I noticed the dust was just whirling up into a typhoon until I realised the hose had come out, and that was after having placed it securely and with a lot of might into the connecting hole. I also find the 7m long power cord is just on the short side for the ground I have to cover. Another slight issue I have with the vacuum is that it blows hot air from the front of the machine. Now it's just hot air - there is no dust or dirt in it, but it's very warm and if you lean over to adjust the machine in any way you get a right blast!
The vacuum cleaner is an attractive red model but the outside needs cleaning regularly as the shiny surface creates a lot of static and hair and dust stick on the sides.
The build has some really good points too though. The height of the handle is excellent and it's very comfortable to hold. There is a ridged segement for extra grip. The extra tools are clipped onto the front and back and do not cause any obstructions. They are easy to remove and replace. There is a special 'turbo' tool built especially for picking up pet hair.This is a hand brush and it has strong, deep bristles and a rotating head. There is also a lengthly crevice tool with a pointed edge for corners and hard to reach places.The vacuum is also easy to manoevour and because it's quite light it's easy to lift up staircases. The 3 metre length of the hose is long enough to reach the tops of curtains and walls. The flat and narrow head means you can get underneath sofas and small spaces with no problem. It also picks up from the very edges of the head.
It really works a treat on removing pet hairs and this is the acid test for any of my vacuums. Even hairs that are sticking right down into your carpet come flying out.
I'm very happy with the capacity of the dust container. It is 2.51 litres and means that I don't have to empty the container after every clean. The container is light and easy to handle as it has a big handle at the top and front. It clicks in by a button at the top. To open you twist the top off. It seperates into two parts with the filter being on the top part. Sometimes a lot of pet hair sticks to this filter so you have to scrape it off as you are emptying.
When you switch the vacuum on it slowly whirrs up to full speed and power but I notice no lack of suction during this start up phase. It's also a bit more easy on the ears and it is more pet friendly that a vacuum that suddenly growls into life and scares my dogs witless! The suction power is very strong and it doesn't require a lot of pushing and pulling over the same spot to pick up dirt. It is just as powerful when I use the hand tools as when it is in the upright position. The filters are washable.
Ultimately I'm very pleased with my purchase and so far so good as far as durability. It's definately one I'd recommend as it is priced relatively cheaply at around £68 and it gets the job done.
Short name: Bush BU-204