I have three children (and one on the way) and have to say the Ergorapido has been my saviour. It's lightweight (2.4 kg) and easy to push and completly cordless with a huge 30 minutes battery life. It works well on a variety of different floors, including laminate and my kitchen tiles easily picking up the fluff and general debris made by my children on a days play. The LED lights on the front of the hoover are also incredibly handy. I wondered why they were there, but since having them on there I would miss them now! It means I can hoover behind the doors, under the sofa and it even helps highlight the crumbs in the kitchen. To empty the Ergorapido, it has bagless technology, which means you simply open it up with a press of the button, empty it direct into the bin, pop it back together, and it's ready to go again. I have found it holds quite a fair bit despite the small size of the casing, I have 3 messy kids and a messier hubby and I can hoover my whole house a couple of times before emptying it.It is perfect for the family, the middle vacuum is great for popping out for a a quick clean up and the actual vacuum is completely cordless which is a life saver!
When I initially reviewed this product way back in 2005 it sat in a market with very few rivals other than the Swivel Sweeper which was a product my father liked the look of. However with new carpets installed throughout the house and with constant use of our old Sebo and a myriad of uprights with a moving brush, the constant fluff pick up was a thought which had crossed my mind with the Swivel Sweeper. What my parents wanted was something along the lines of a dust buster with a stick attached to it, and having owned a similar Electrolux model which was mains corded and poor suction the thought of another Electrolux model was far from my mind. However the Ergorapido looked slightly different, much more compact and has the added advantage of having a separate dust buster hand held part which slips out at the push of a button. It also came highly recommended by friends who already own it.
Well two years on from purchase how has it got on?
** Nars Quick Skip Spec for Electrolux Ergorapido ZB271 **
Power supply; 9.6volts which gives on average 18 to 20 minutes running time on a single charge
Double Cyclonic action, 0.5 litre dust cup.
Cordless and Rechargeable via additional base.
2 in 1 Design; changes from stick vac to hand held via push buttons.
Lightweight at 3.7kg
2 Suction Settings from the handle.
Roller brush activation indicator light. (Goes out when theres little power or a clog).
Soft roller brush with removable squeegee and brushes.
2 laser blue LED charging lights on the charger base.
3 Way emptying design principle
2 Cleanable washable filters including HEPA design.
Smooth, seamless design.
180° turn around floor nozzle neck.
76 decibel quiet motor
Freestanding design with additional rubberised lower handle.
Price brand new £79-99 on average depending on stockist. Model number is ZB271X 2 in 1.
** Pricing **
Electrolux are number one when it comes to producing dust busters with a stick, known better as stick vacs. They have been producing mains and cordless powered vacs for a number of years now. Largely it was the price of the Ergorapido ZB271X that put me off, because at £79-99 brand new from Comet, Argos and Currys - and countless other stockists available, I thought that this was a bit costly. There are rival cordless stick vacs out there which have more power but having used cordless machines in the past; I have found there is a slight limitation to the actual time you can get with cleaners of this nature. I had heard nothing but good remarks concerning the Ergorapido though, with a long cleaning time of 15 to 20 minutes and its ease of use, it just had to be considered before anything else, especially the blessed "Swivel Sweeper," which my dad was continually ranting on about!
To boot I managed to source a reconditioned model from an Ebay seller - details about this will be given later in this long review - and the model cost me £37-00 plus an additional charge of £8 to send by post, totalling £45-00. A Bargain!!
** The Look, The Finish & The General Quality **
Electrolux have updated their Ergorapido now in silver and holds a different model number known as the ZB271TF with a proper roller brush against this squeegee and brush roller but it also comes in at £20 more at £89.95 brand new! The colouring on my older model is just the same as Electroluxs flagship "robotic" cleaner, which has been coloured in a silver and dark red (Electrolux call it "Cayenne," presumably after the pepper!) colouring. The same colouring has been applied to several models in this company's latest models from uprights to cylinder vacuum cleaners and of course to this new stick vac.
The quality of plastic and construction on this model surpasses ANYTHING I have ever used with the Electrolux brand label on and that's saying something from someone who has already experienced two stick vacs and a compact low powered mains model from this company before. The handle; the stick itself; the release buttons to release the hand held; the hand held; the design of the floor head - nothing has been produced here to a limited budget. It is extremely classy looking, very modern, soft and curvy too and literally reeks of expense against cheaper, less well thought out machines on the market. This is partly where £80 has been spent on. There are no sharp edges either; even the crevice tool which slides in and out at the bottom of the hand held unit has a smooth plastic texture to it.
Finish wise, the model has a beautiful and smooth, clean and organic finish with silver detailing around the dust cup area with its model name showing Electrolux's intent and classy approach. The colour here is that predominant Cayenne red against silver. Infact the silver dome (where the motor is) on the hand held section looks like a modern day microphone whilst the floor head has a very seamless fit with an additional white LED light that glows green to show the user that the brush is moving. When the light goes out, this means that there is a blockage. A bit like our main Sebo mains corded upright cleaner then! Also added for cosmetic and purchase delight is a little postcard tied to the top of the handle which explains the main features on the model. The tie cord is a silver elastic thread - and mimics an idea that Dyson fitted when he launched his DC01 and DC02 vacuum cleaners. What a shame then that he has yet to deliver a hand vac of similar status to this Electrolux cordless model. OH and for people who don't like to see their dust - the dust cup is a deep grey purple acrylic which hides viewable dust rather than other models on the market that have the lightest of plastic on show.
** If Delivered/Bought by Flat Pack **
The model comes in a flat pack box which is highly detailed from Electrolux - infact you are not lost for details on the highly coloured box. Inside the box cardboard is the main packaging that holds the cleaner in place and I found the machine in three parts all contained in clear polythene type bags. One main screw is enclosed which must be applied to the bottom of the stick handle before it can be attached to the main body of the cleaner. Once this is done the only aspect left to do is to attach the floorhead by pushing a silver disc lock into the cavity just below the main bellow (the dark hose that travels from the floorhead into the dirt channel of the stick) of the cleaner. This will lock the main floor nozzle to the 180° neck turn and to the main part of the stick cleaner. Once this is done, make sure that all packaging has been taken off the cleaner; Electrolux for example fit a tight seal of ribbed sello tape around the main controls so that they don't activate during transit and there is limited power already available when you get the machine in the box.
The manual is surprising for a stick vac; it's A4 in size, looks more like a brochure when you open it out. Pictures are well marked and the manual is written first in English, followed by Spanish, Portuguese and French. Although basic information is given there is no time duration given to the filters on drying out once they are washed.
** Assembling the Charger **
Once the stick vac has been completely assembled, a larger plastic block can be found at the bottom of the box. This is the charger base stand and with an additional short neck to hold the cleaner in place, you just slide the neck into the charger base, lock and that's it done! Then take out the 15V charger, plug it into an electric mains point and fit the adaptor to the side of the neck. Once this is done, the cleaner can be lifted onto the charger and via a hook which the cleaner hooks onto, the machine will happily free stand on the charger base. You have the option of wall mounting just the neck to a weight loading wall though - you don't need to use the base unless you want the charger on the floor; a neat consideration here.
When the battery on the cleaner starts to charge I was taken aback by the two LED's which lit up at the sides of the neck of the charger base. In a calming Ultra blue colour, these LED's will glow bright to show that charging is taking place and dimmer when the battery has reached its full charge. Since we have put this machine for the moment in the hall way we no longer need a night light for wanderers in the night to get to the small bathroom - the lights on the charger supply sufficient light on the floor!
** Charging Times For The Battery **
For first time use, the battery must be charged for at least 8 to 10 hours. After using the cleaner thereafter the machine must be installed back into the charger and left to charge for 12 to 16 hours. Thereafter you can leave the machine in charge mode whenever you want - the battery will not be overcharged - and it is completely normal over time for the plug to get warm. Three screws and plastic "Plasplugs" are also provided which enables the owner to wall mount the base unit - but you will need a suitable weighted wall which can take the initial weight of the cleaner. I've just placed the charger base on a flat surface floor, in the corner of our hall so that the machine is readily available.
** Controls **
Fingertip touch control (a silver slide down switch located at the top of the handle) means that you won't have to fuss about looking for the on button - and there are two speeds of suction power available - the first position activates a low rate of suction speed and as the manual suggests this is the speed which should be used for long periods, whilst the second position after this gives a greater and higher suction facility. The hand held is easy to spot as it includes the dust cup and can be taken off the main stick handle via two push in silver buttons located at the side of the stick in milli-seconds to transfer into hand held only mode.
** Hand Held Mode **
In hand held mode there is only one speed available and it's the highest, this time it can only be activated if the owner keeps their finger down on the finger tip button located on the handle of the hand held. The hand held feels like a modern and up to date "Dust buster," in use but you can actually see the dirt and dust fly around the main cyclone cone as it collects dirt. Like the main stick handle, the handle on the hand held is also contained in rubber which limits the loss of grip when in use. An excellent design here.
The additional tool on the hand held (aforementioned) is the crevice tool. This is a flat plastic rectangle which comes out at the base of the hand held and it can be slid back in when extra length is not required. Two pull catches have already been applied to the mouth of this tool so that the user can pull out the crevice tool when extra reach is required. Simple!
Once hand held use is over, replace the unit into the section of the stick vac handle and base. By listening out for the clicks to lock, the hand held is now part of the stick vac once again.
** Full Stick Vac Mode **
In full stick vac mode, the Ergorapido glides very well, partly thanks to its non adjusting floor head but also because of the nature of the brush roll - the brushes are actually the thinnest line of brushes I have ever seen accompanied by additional squeegees which make up the roller brush. This in effect counteracts the need to fit an inhibitor switch and the brush roll moves at only one speed even when greater suction is applied from the power slide switch. Lint pickers additionally, are also installed permanently on the sides of the floor head which means that there is some edge brushing to a degree. More often than not though this is NOT a main home vacuum cleaner remember - otherwise the floor head wouldn't be so adaptable; the cleaner wouldn't be so light to chuck around (3.7kg) and the dust capacity wouldn't be so small. At just 0.5 litres the cup gets very full if like me you take the cleaner around your whole home. Because suction in the dust cup is fast I did suck up some moths and spiders from the hand held unit mode and upon emptying both were still alive, so it's ideal and humane for creepy crawlies too!
However pick up is generally poor on carpet surfaces unless you attack carpets slowly; the problem is that the roller combination cant cope with thick tufts of carpet quickly which is probably why Electrolux have improved the model with a proper brush only roller bar.
If like me you are used to using a main vacuum cleaner with a cord, you will soon forget that this machine doesn't have one! At times I find myself wanting to take a cord out of a plug for no reason at all, only to remember that it's cordless. I have also managed to get around the house for the duration of the motor from the earlier charge - it does indeed last for 15 to 20 minutes on high power and can begin to loose power after that time. I change often from slow to fast suction depending on the amount of dirt. Heavy traffic areas of dirt need more power whilst on hard flooring, using the lower speed is sufficient. It just sounds like a Dust buster hand held, but without too much grating and whine; when my father was having a light sleep after his evening crackers and cheese, this stick vac quietly did its work around him!
The floorhead can move if needed in a 180° manoeuvre. This doesn't mean that it can be moved completely full circle to 360° pivotal although you wouldn't really need that facility. In effect what it means is that no matter how many times you bend down to get under the kitchen table, the floor head always remains flat on the carpet surface and additionally it can move left or right easily depending on the angle that you turn to steer the floorhead towards the dirt. In short, it tackles just about every angle you steer the machine at as well as excelling itself at vacuuming under low level furniture and through and by chairs.
** Any Downsides? **
From time to time in stick vac mode, the neck of the cleaner at the bottom sometimes protests and juts the floor head around - this has lessened each time I have used it, so it does take some time getting used to. One could argue and say that the hand held vac on its own could benefit from having a mini turbo brush added, but I think that defeats the purpose of this small compact vac - it's really designed to be a second cleaner in your home, one which could be considered a secondary model if you have a main cylinder type vacuum cleaner as opposed to a full blown upright. Or if you look at it another way, a better alternative to a dust pan and brush.
** The Filtration & The Cyclone Inside **
Here on this model there is a HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air) which allows only clean air to be expelled from the exhaust by the motor. In effect this means that the cleaner can and will brush up hair, particularly from pets but will hold back odours that pet hair often leaves. I must add that stick vacs don't usually have HEPA filters so again that £80 here has been justified here. What's more is that filters are washable too; good news for people on a budget.
Other Electrolux upright cleaners which are cyclonic usually have paper pleated filters but not here; the cyclone cups consist of a fine plastic mesh and an inner removable cone which has the cotton mix HEPA filter. Both cones fit into each other but they separate easily enough once they have been lifted out the top of the dust cup. Both filters must be room dried before they can be replaced. I have already washed the main filter and it took approximately 6 hours for the fine mesh to fully dry; 6 hours for the cotton mix type HEPA filter to dry. The manual doesn't mention this but I thought I would for the purpose of this review. You don't need to wash the filters though - you can easily brush the dirt off using a dry brush. ©Nar05
** Emptying The Dust **
This machine just gets more ingenious as time goes on! Unbelievably there are 3 ways to emptying the dust cup. Dyson and countless other companies should take note here;
1. The dust cup by itself and containing the cyclone cups can be completely removed. This is done by a lock either side which fits flush to the side of the hand held part of the machine. Press the two buttons and lift the entire dust cup out. Now the cup itself is a dark acrylic cup and the inner HEPA filter has a rubber lip running all around the top rim. By picking this up, you'll pick up both cones which reveal the dirt clinging to the mesh; take to a dust bin and pour the dirt into the bin by tipping it upside down and shake the filter so that dirt loosens and falls. Separate the cones by picking up the rubber membrane located at the top and this will separate the HEPA cone and the outer filter mesh cone. Once pushed back in as one cyclone fit to the dust cup and install back into the hand held. By putting the mouth of the filter against the main motor outlet, the dust cup fits snug and clicks into place. As I said previously, you can rinse the cyclone items if you wish or simply just leave alone. Or;
2. By leaving the dust cup alone and already installed in the hand held, there is a silver flap at the bottom of the dust cup. Once picked open, it reveals a small 32mm hole in which another hose from a vacuum cleaner can be applied to suck out the dirt. Whilst this removes dust that settles at the bottom of the dust cup, it will not loosen dirt and dust that is clinging to the cyclone cones. The door itself is protected by a double rubber ring to prevent dust leakage. Or;
3. The third option involves taking the hand held out of the stick vac. Just above the permanently fitted crevice tool, another mouth can be pulled up. This door also incorporates the second option vacuum hose entrance but it rises courtesy only of the user. By grabbing the bottom mouth, you can pull this up and take to a bin and pour dirt in. The door will not hold up on its own accord as it has springs that cannot be removed to ensure that it snaps shut and once again prevents dust leakage.
These options are extremely helpful yet strange that no one has ever applied the design before...
** Dirt Capacity **
Used every two days the dust cup will need emptying. After all it can only take 0.5 litres of dust and whilst fluff easily clings to the filter first, stones and hard dirt tends to fly around in a cyclone like motion before it settles down into the fluff.
** Removing Blockages **
Lastly, this is one area which you would think Electrolux haven't thought out but you'd be wrong - they have thought about every possible problem. The brush roll doesn't have a drive belt per se - it moves via motors on either side of the floor brush. To gain entry into the brush roll, there is a side lock which must be opened using a flat head screw driver. Don't use a coin as the manual suggests as this will damage the plastic "line" on the screw itself on the floor head. Once this is done, the brush roll comes out to reveal the squeegees and the brushes. By taking off one of the plastic caps at the side, you can actually take out line by line, and individually any one of the brushes or squeegees to wash or clean up - an excellent design thought here - because if you need to clean individual squeegees or brushes, you can slide one off one by one and just have two rubber inserts without the brushes, or vice versa.
If for example something has got stuck between the brush roll and the main dust cup, the grey hose/bellow will need to be removed. This is done by unscrewing only one screw which is located on the rear brace at the bottom of the hose/bellow. After the screw is taken out, the whole dirt channel and bellow comes away and any blockage can be taken out by a blunt instrument or a stick. Once this is done, putting everything back is child's play and the brush roll just slides in via the motors when the plastic caps meet the teeth of the motor rollers. Then back on with the side plastic corner with the screw, turn clockwise and the problem is cured.
If anything gets trapped in the crevice tool, this can easily be solved by putting a stick inside the crevice tool to loosen it.
** Purchasing the Ergorapido Reconditioned **
Basically reconditioned means that the motor and parts are all new but the external body may have been cosmetically altered. My model sourced from an EBay nominated Power Seller, came packed in a flat pack box but I have yet to find a cosmetic fault on the body of this stick vac. I've scrutinised the whole product and aside from a few scratches on the plastic cup (plastic and glass scratches can be hidden with a smidge of toothpaste) there is nothing that has been altered on this model. With the seller from EBay I get a year's guarantee which is what I would have got if I had bought the machine brand new. What's a scratch between friends anyway? - If it doesn't alter general performance or blight the use of the controls, I'm not the first to complain!
** Final Conclusion **
So is it worth considering after all that?? Well in some cases it is if you want a light cordless cleaner with a dust buster attached. It seems to serve my parents well for the study where paper and dust from the computers collect as well as dirt on the kitchen vinyl floor. In my mind however its just not worth £80 for the red model. Anything else and it just wont be able to cope. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2007.
This product was purchased from on EBay from a UK EBay seller : "Gradedelectricalsdirect"
Graded Electricals Direct
Tel: 01204 363453
Fax: 01204 523410
Dimensions: 114.0x30.0x16.0(H/W/D)cm, Weight: 3.700kg, Type: Stick, An upright is great for large carpeted areas / A cylinder is ideal for difficult to reach areas and hard flooring / Dust collection : Bagless, Dust is either collected into a bag or into a cannister / Filter type : HEPA, Filters remove dust particles, mites and pollen / Lifetime filters : No, No of filtration levels: 2, The higher the level of filtration the more efficient the cleaner is at removing dust, pollen and allergens that may cause allergies / Power: N/A, Dust capacity: 0.5 litres, Maximum capacity that the cleaner can hold / Surface adjuster: No, Cord rewind: No, Other features: 9.6 volts power, The higher the voltage, the higher the power / Turbo brush / ideal for pet hair / Uses a brushbar to increase hair & fibre pickup on carpets / Crevice tool: Ideal for cleaning skirting boards & inbetween furniture / Patented lid to empty dust cup & clean filter: For convenience / Short name: Electrolux ZB271 Er