When I first purchased this Electrolux it was on sale at Makro for under £30 and at the time of purchase in 2005 it looked like a safe bet against cheaper brands even I had never heard of. Index used to sell this model under their Swan brand name before they went bust whilst online EBay sellers have sold this model for £40 and as such remains to be a budget offering against the small and diminishing market that bagged cylinder vacuums used to command. What this model has against cheaper alternatives is a strong motor which gives greater suction, lower noise and thoughtful features.
**Quick Skip Review Specifications**
1600 watt power with variable suction control dial.
200 to 250 air watts suction.
1 Paper Bag & 1 Permanent washable bag enclosed.
Metal Tubes; with rubber tops which are easy to add or take off.
Crevice Tool, upholstery tool & small brushed tool hides on machine.
4 litre dirt capacity (3.5 with washable textile bag)
4.0 kg weight.
2 Park Storage Design
Dual Purpose Main Floorhead
Mechanical Dirt Full Indicator
Thermal Cut Out
Now appearing on Ebay under basic B4105 models.
** Quality **
In so many ways the B4105 is very similar to other brand company cylinder vacuum cleaners such as Hoovers long standing Telios model. In this instance then youll find the same tool cover at the top which keeps all the smaller tools hidden away, an easier to locate exhaust filter which can be upgraded to HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) if you own pets or suffer from allergies, whilst the general soft touch plastics on the whole machine means it is easy to spot dials and buttons with the aid of good lettering and decals. Compared to my Hoover Telios parts of the body of this machine have been made to a cheaper standard. The tools cover that is set within the main bin lid (like many cylinder cleaners these days) can be a touch flimsy although getting into the tools is easy as they fit on top of each other and to the side. Like many budget machines the crevice tool and small dusting brush can be used together or separately but it is good to see that Electrolux haven't been mean not to include a separate upholstery brush which is ideal for soft furnishings such as curtains and sofa coverings including the cushions.
All the plastics on the Electrolux are soft and easy to touch. Three years on since new, the Electrolux hasnt dulled with age and the plastics have withstood abuse from general usage.
** A Short Power Cord but Extra Length of Hose **
The total length of cord supplied with this machine is a short 5 metres although the radius of the hose that connects via locks (just like the Telios!) on the main bin lid has a total area of 7 metres which means that you have a lot of hose as well as the standard metal tubes. One part of the mains cord has a yellow band on it to indicate that the ideal length of cord can be found whereas a red band located at the end of the mains cord from the machine indicates that the cable cannot be extended anymore.
Thankfully there is an Auto cord rewind pedal but as with new machines, watch this cord as it is quite fast and ferocious.
** Practical Tubes **
Thankfully because the metal tubes have plastic "squeezable" channels located at each end of the metal tubes, it is so easy to twist and squeeze the metal tubes on - so taking them on and off is a breeze compared to the Telios, or any other cylinder cleaner which retains the cheaper idea of friction fit tubes which have no protection at the top and thus bonds to the other tube and cant be taken off useless if you want to shorten the pipe for example.
** Uses Paper Bags, so it's not Cyclonic **
Like the Hoover Telios, the dirt capacity of the paper bag in this Electrolux can take up to 4 litres of dust and in use one bag generally lasts on average up to two months until it is completely full. The beauty of this Electrolux however is that it also comes with a permanent washable cloth bag that can be used instead of paper bags and can be washed under a low temperature washing machine programme and similarly dried in a low temperature tumble dryer; both bags have a deep 4 litre capacity too so its purely for the owner as to what they choose to use for dirt.
** Fitting the Bag **
This is actually a very easy procedure to do. Like the Telios, (and many cleaners before it) it has a grate which allows the bag lip to be slid into. By pushing an orange flick bar to the side of this grate, this unlocks the grate and you can fit the bag manually without actually bending down into the machine and fussing about. Once the bag is fitted into the grate, replace back into the machine slide the card right in until it meets the side of the grate fully. The orange lock sits slightly to the right hand side when opening the lid and when a bag is slide into place, it moves out of the way to act as the bin lock. If the bag hasn't been fitted properly, the bin lid will refuse to close properly. Neat!
Thankfully Electrolux have a flip over cover on the bags as opposed to Hoover's daft sealing bags because if you don't fit the bag in the Hoover correctly, it comes away and seals the bag even if it's a fresh one, thus wasting money.
** New Design of Floor Head **
The design of the main floor head, which by market standards is a bog standard 2 way brush up brush down suction head, has not been made to budget standards. Brush down for hard flooring, brush retracted for carpet pile and other similar surfaces.
Closer inspection reveals that the wheels for this head are flush under the main pivot head and there is a permanent stiff squeegee which is set down even when the brushes are retracted to be used on normal carpets. Therefore there is a marked gliding action that is better than anything I have used before at this price. Also the design of the dirt channels is wide which means that the twin lint pickers and the dirt channels have a chance to work in tandem. As a result, even when suction is set at its highest via the control slider beside the On and Cord Rewind pedal, the floor head doesn't stick to the carpet which results in an easier gliding action as well as less chance of ruining carpet textures. There is also an air inlet valve at the top of the hose which can be loosened to let out air for an even lighter gliding factor.
Coupled then with the extra length hose and tubing it is very light to pull the machine from behind and the ease of use without aching for too long. It is a smidge lighter than big standard size cylinder cleaners too, so it's no surprise that at just over 4kg it is easy to move despite its large side wheels and one central 360° wheel on the base of the machine.
** Colour & General Design **
The cleaner is coloured in a light yellow cream colour which I don't personally like, but having had deeper coloured cylinder cleaners in the past, at least scratches are kept at bay. The plastics on this body aren't the toughest but at least there is a bumper fitted all around the machine to ensure that scratches and scuffs are kept to a minimum.
** Endurotronic **
This is one of the features of the "Endurotronic," applications. It has a slow start function of the motor as soon as the vacuum is activated. To the ears this means a low noise before the motor gets into the gear selected by the variable suction control. The application is set on other cylinders made by Electrolux although the idea isnt from Electrolux; it is one of the many features on premium cylinder vacuums from Miele but its inclusion means that generally the cleaner's motor will last longer than machines which do not have this feature.
The thermal cut out facility occurs if there is a blockage like most cylinder vacs but I have never suffered a blockage and the Electrolux gives great performance despite the slow start off.
** Noise **
One of the beauties of this cylinder cleaner is the noise factor with 1600 watts of power, and a variable suction control there is no need to use all that power to clean up a room. The Electrolux is very quiet when the machine is set to the middle and at low power suction is still very able without costing too much noise to your ears.
** Using It Geographically **
Because of the radius of the hose to the main handle and then to the tubes, there is actually a lot of useable "room" between the cleaner and the mains power socket. The Electrolux is a lot easier than my Hoover Telios because of the nature of the hose - it does seem bigger even at all angles when the machine is being used around areas of the house. You get a touch more length and practicality with the hose.
** Filtration **
The manual is fair with instructions to how to use the cleaner, particularly with regard to filter replacement codes. The filters for example on this machine are basic, with a 2 stage filter fitted to the exhaust grate and a primary filter found near the bag and motor. Filtration levels are therefore 4 layers in total which sums up the "Micro Filtration," inclusion on the cleaner. Later in the manual, in small grey writing you are told what the code is, so be aware that the writing in this manual is small and you do need to read carefully what the company have suggested.
Compared to Hoover, Electrolux give away filters WITH their 5 bags, so finding filters could be considered a touch easier than having to buy separate additional parts.
When you open the main bin lid by pressing down the lock by the handle you can get the Exhaust filter out by picking it out. It is located before the mechanical dirt bag indicator which is a spring loader mechanism that indicates RED when the bag is full.
This filter has rubber seals fitted to it which ensures dirt leakage is minimal (Hoover should do this). Once and for all, Electrolux should be commended for mentioning in the manual that this filter should be replaced once a year whilst the primary filter is washable - but must be dried before it can be slid into place before the motor. The plastic grate also means that you could buy a HEPA filter and fit it into the grate - so there is the facility at least to update the filters when needed.
** Some Annoyances/repairs? **
In use, like most cylinder cleaners, you can store the cleaner upright with the hose parked into the location area on the back of the machine below the main handle. Simple enough but like many park positions, if cupboard space is at a premium, you either have to remove the entire hose as it bulks out too much or try to curve the hose around the machine.
In use, I have found this machine to be quick and efficient compared to the Hoover and some other cylinder cleaners I have used. I have found that it is easy to store the hose as there is already a tongue fitted on the back of the main floor head and another tongue clip on the back of the tubing which can be raised or lowered depending on personal choice to store the tube and hose while the machine is on. You just slide it onto the catches that exist on the cleaner.
In 2006 the Electrolux stopped working completely; I thought a year on it could probably just break due to its plastic construction, but after taking the machine to a electrical repairer, I was charged £8 for the auto cord rewind control, which had loosened the wiring on the actual power cord and needed to be fitted back in. Since then it has been used continually and gives excellent all round performance.
** Is It An Electrolux and who is Boss? **
Electrolux have now phased out many of their older models, including this model which carried a different model name before Boss applied their stamp to it. New models from Electrolux have higher costs of filters and some specification changes whereas Boss, the American arm of Electrolux, supplies the market with older machines that are still capable of doing a good job. You could say that Boss are therefore spinning out older machines, recycling the designs and selling them at cheaper prices than before...
** Product Conclusion **
If you are looking for a main cylinder vacuum cleaner that uses paper bags or cannot afford the best due to high price I would consider this machine.
It is not compact enough to be hidden away but as a main cylinder cleaner, it excels at being used in the car and home because of its extra length hose and radius between power cord and machine. The smaller cleaning tools are easy to fit either onto the hose or the tubes whilst the inclusion of a small air outlet valve ensures that for the price of this machine, versatility has been added to its list of advantages.
The model can also be used on stairs as well as turn on all three wheels. Of the filters that are washable and the inclusion of a permanently washable bag, the only additional cost will be bags and filters - which Electrolux provide all in one bag at the time of purchase. It has been well designed, even if it just uses a basic design but sometimes the basics may be just what you need. Thanks for reading ©Nar2 2007.
Bag Code U66 currently retail price of £5-99.
Electrolux Group Floorcare Helpline: 08706 055055
The Electrolux Group
101 Oakley Road
Short name: Electrolux B4111