Since 1995, Electrolux have been quietly selling their small and lightweight "dust buster with a stick handle," Superbroom series in the UK to smaller and privately owned hardware shops. My first experience of a Superbroom was the ill-fated Z161A green model I had to put up with when sharing with friends in a 2 up 2 down flat with carpeted stairs and a large vinyl floored kitchen. Back then the little green machine did very little other than pick up dust from the kitchen floor and Argos stopped selling the green coloured Superbroom because of poor sales.
The Superbroom Z168 however is a slightly different stick vac with a little more thought. Although not on sale on the high street anymore I only happened to see one in a private shop in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago and at a cost of £29-99 the little red Superbroom brought back great student budget memories! Naturally I just had to buy it again!
The major difference between the Z168A/Z168 and the older Z161 is that there is a main corded handled dust buster that slips out by the touch of a lock button, out of the cradle that forms part of the upright design. The Z168 is also red in colour (I know I've said it twice but some members seem to think the green or yellow version is the same, but it isn't!) This gives the Z168 a 2-in-1 cleaning approach from it's organically curved hand held unit with 100 watts of power able to suck up crumbs and dust with ease. It is this kind of Superbroom model that effectively paves the way with cleaning versatility that the recently launched cyclonic "Star" vac makes much fuss about - having two portable cleaners in one design - that makes the Superbroom Z168A worth shopping around for. In the United States under the Eureka branding, Electrolux's Superbroom is still available and in particular it is not difficult to see why - against the suction only model of the older green Z161, this one has a brush roll that is worth it's weight in gold. Talking of weight, the Z168 only weighs around 1.5kg so it is an extremely lightweight stick vacuum to consider if you're fed up sweeping your kitchen floors with a dust pan and brush.
The whole design format centres around the principle of the Z161 and it is easy to put the handle together by slotting the pole and already bonded handle into the main body of the Superbroom simply by sliding in and then locking it via the black lock at the top of the body. Then the mains dust buster part simply locks in and all you do is plug in the mains plug and switch on. Unlike the cyclonic "Star" vacuum, the Electrolux doesn't have an air driven brush whose speed is determined by the amount of suction. Suction is weak on this stick vac thanks to the 100 watt built in motor, but the secret behind the Electrolux is that it has a separately controlled motor driven brush roll which improves its general performance. No smaller cleaning tools are equipped with this stick vacuum but with its 2 in 1 design means quick and effortless cleaning for quick dry spills, or if you can't be bothered to wheel out your larger vacuum cleaner.
Performance is how I'd expect from a low priced, lightweight low powered stick vac as generally poor - IF I still had my suction-only Z161 but the pick up on the 40 watts less Z168 is brilliant all because of the motor driven brush roll. Threads, crumbs and pet hair gets picked up relatively well but a downside being that it can clog badly because of its main dust channel being particularly smaller than any larger upright vacuum cleaner on the market and only having 100 total watts of power means it has as much suck as you and I inhaling a paper bag! However the brush roll also has edge cleaning built in and the little Electrolux does wonders at picking up dust both on hard floors and carpets.
Many buyers who have bought this particular "2 in 1" stick vac complain that it is not powerful enough - but it is a relatively low powered vacuum and when Electrolux made it, cyclonic vacuum cleaners were still in their infancy. The other downside is that the Electrolux has a relatively small dust bin/cup at just 0.5 litres and thanks to its bagless style, a thin paper like filter cup similar to a cordless dust buster means that any dirt collected sticks to the filter cup and must be brushed off. Just like the older Z161, the Z168 has a blunt serrated edge on the back of the dust bin so that the filter can be scraped clean. A relatively neat idea here, the filter can also be damp cloth washed but it must be completely dry before it is popped back into the dust bin.
The quality of build is okay for the price of the Z168; soft and curvy is the best part of the hand held dust buster that pops out and you're left with an empty cage of the upright design complete with the larger floor head. The Z168 isn't noisy either, only a slight whine from the suction motor and more grating noise from the brush roll which can be removed by two screws for easy cleaning. It's in the dust bin's top that you have to watch as it has a few sharp edges thanks to its angular shape. Other downsides are that it has a small amount of cable around 5 metres; so if you're expecting this vacuum to take the place of a larger upright vacuum, think again! Two fix points on the back act as cord holders but they are not adjustable.
All in all, the Electrolux Superbroom Z168 is well worth looking out for. It may be an old stick vacuum but it has a better performance all because of its beater-less brush bar fitted on the upright part and makes cleaning so much easier than a dust pan and broom any day! Tie in the removable hand held dust buster which has generally good suction for quick pick ups and it is easy to see where Electrolux got the inspiration for in their later Ergorapido cordless stick vacuum. The difference here that with continuous mains power, the Superbroom Z168 can be trusted for continuous cleaning, even if it needs constant emptying. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2010
Having bought the Electrolux Superbroom for just under 20 quid at Argos, I didn't expect it to be wonderful. But, being a vacuum cleaner, I expected it to vacuum up dust. It doesn't. We are now going to buy something a bit pricier. The first time that I used the Superbroom it managed to clean the carpet of the living room relatively well. Then the bedroom, too. It looked at first like 20 pounds well spent. But after the second room that I vacuumed, it stopped picking up much dirt. I emptied it (it is bagless), and it began to work again. But only, I found, if I emptied it every five minutes. We have a very small house and don't wear shoes inside so it is quite clean. Even when it has just been emptied it doesn't pick up small bits of fluff. Yes, you can pick them off the floor, but who wants to? The vacuum cleaner is supposed to, and every other vacuum that I've had has been able to. The fact that I have to empty it so often shows that it does pick up some dust, but to be honest it is not a lot. I think that it is worth spending more money in order to get something that does the job. If I had the money, I would go for a SEBO. They get excellent reviews, wherever I've read about them. However they are significantly more expensive. Still, better to pay more for something that works, rather than paying less for a vacuum cleaner that doesn't work and will have to be replaced.
A vacuum cleaner sucks up dirt. They all do it. So why do you want a Dyson? Because it sucks up dirt at the subatomic level? It's a con, a complete con. I had a dyson DC02 for about five years but emptying it became a pain, the bagless technology is all well and good, but the dust goes everywhere when you put it in the wheelie bin so all this greatness of how you have no dust in the house is fine, but it still goes up your nose when you dispose of it. So I went out to the shops to buy a new cleaner. And that's when I saw the Electrlolux Superbroom Stickvac Lightweight Vacuum cleaner. It's an upright cleaner, thin, compact, snazzy looking but high as a normal upright. No electric winder (another not needed feature) but a hook to tie the cable around the back, classy and at only 20 pounds a bargain, but it gets even better. The thing I hate about vacuum cleaners is the weight this one is only 3.5 lbs (about 2 kilos), yes I did say 3.5 pounds, none of this six, seven, eight kilograms. We're talking mega light. None of this straining yourself to move it around, perfect if your elderely. Sucking power 140 watts. What???????? You say I want a 1500 watt super turbo vacuum cleaner. Let's take a step back shall we, let's go to the reality of using a vacuum cleaner. You stick it on the carpet and turn it on, zoom it starts sucking away, there goes the crumbs, bits of fluff but then there's that thread tangled in the carpet, that statically charged bit of dirt. Does the dyson suck it up? No Does any vacuum suck it up? No. Solution pick it up with your hands. What I'm saying is that the Electrolux picks up as well as any of the others with wall to wall cleaning ability, and yes when you look at what you've picked up its sucked up all that dust and grime, it won't pick up something as heavy as a coin, but then who cares? It won't suck a sock, again why do you need that kind of
power? Will it suck up the dust? Thing about it dust is light of course its going to suck it up as good as a dyson, but you say doesn't the dust come out again because I don't have a turbo charged super dooper HEPA filter, again I say you've been taken for a ride. The filter on the electrolux is a washable mesh and captures all the dust. How can I tell? Simple I'm quite suseptable to dust I can smell it, and have sneezing fits. But it doesn't smell and no sneezing fits, thus the dust doesn't come out, and when you look at what it's collected dirtwise you know its good. The vacuum uses a bagless system which simply empties into your kitchen bin, none of that going into the wheelie bin business. Yes because it's smaller you have to empty it every five vacuums, but that's not a problem, stick it direct into a plastic bag and dust doesn't go anywhere, takes half a minute. What about attachements, simple doesn't have them. Oh now how do I clean my furniture??? Simple hard brush , sweep onto floor, and that's it. None of those stupid attachments that fall out or that are too powerful and nearly rip your sofa to bits, again influence of adverts. What do you really need? So the vacuum cleaner is great. It's small can hide away or be hung up. 15 foot cable, light and on tiny wheels so its so simple to sweep on the carpet. Yes the head is smaller that's why it has less sucking power, but because it's so light and manevourable it's much faster, and at twenty pounds. YES twenty pounds, your laughing. Only problem is I wouldn't recommend it to clean a mansion, then it will strain a bit take too long, but we don't live in mansions in England, unless your really rich in which case you have a maid to do your cleaning. The reason this cleaner is good, is that it doesn't have many parts thus not much can go wrong and its sucking power is reall
y fine for everything. So try out the alternative solution. You can find it in Argos for about 19.50 pounds I mean how can you go wrong. BUY IY STOP BEING CONNED THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED SAVE YOURSELF A FEW HUNDRED QUID.
Short name: Electrolux 168A