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Easy to use and handle
Member Name: sunmeilan
Advantages: Does the job, easy to manoeuvre
Disadvantages: Not quite as good as a Dyson at picking up cat hair
Housework and I have never got on. This is perhaps strange when I come from a family of clean freaks (my mum took on a cleaning job after retirement because she 'likes' cleaning!), but I like to think of myself as a bit of a rebel, so maybe that's why. Unfortunately, vacuuming is something that I cannot avoid for too long - I have two long-haired cats who leave fur absolutely all over the place. I can and do leave it for a week or so before getting the vacuum out, but by that time, there is more cat fur than carpet showing.
I inherited a Dyson from my mother when I lived in a flat. It is a clumsy, heavy beast, difficult to manoeuvre, but it did a pretty good job of picking up the cat hair on rugs and hard floors. Then I moved into a house; one with a narrow hallway, landing and stairs and found lugging the Dyson upstairs every time I needed to use it was both difficult and dangerous. And actually vacuuming the stairs was next to impossible - the attachments just didn't seem to be long enough or work well enough. So I started considering another option.
Why I bought it...
I didn't have a huge amount of choice, to be honest; I couldn't afford very much, so another, lighter Dyson at well over £100 was just not an option. I picked up this Electrolux vacuum cleaner in my local Co-op about a year ago - it was on offer at the time for about £30, which I thought was very reasonable (it is now upwards of £50 according to research on the Internet - although the exact same model does not seem to be available now). And the full title of Electrolux Cyclonic Cylinder vacuum cleaner sounded impressive, although I'm still not entirely sure what it means. I was able to look at the display model, so knew that it was light enough for me to carry upstairs, while it should also be strong enough to deal with lots of cat fur, cat litter and general dirt and dust. (I know you're not supposed to hoover up cat litter, but as my cats carry it throughout the house, it is hard to avoid it at times).
To look at, the vacuum cleaner is quite neat. The actual body is small and a pleasant light blue; the tubing is grey. I think this is the only colouring available, but I find it hard to imagine that anyone would turn down a vacuum based on colour...although I could be wrong. I can easily pick it up to carry it upstairs, although the tubing does tend to get in the way if I'm not careful. The power flex can be automatically retracted by pressing a button on the one side of the body of the vacuum - this works smoothly with very little effort.
On taking the vacuum back home, I opened the box, expecting to need a degree in engineering to put it all together. However, it was surprisingly simple and I didn't even need to look at the instruction booklet. I can't remember whether the filter was already in the vacuum cleaner or not; whatever, it is very easy to insert and remove when it is time to empty the vacuum. There is a spare filter included; however, after a year, I've still not needed to change the original one. With the tubing, it was just a matter of clicking and slotting everything into place. I have used 2 pieces of the tubing, which I find adequate - I can stand up to hoover without having to bend over too much - but there is one more, should the owner be taller than 5ft 8in.
Just to reiterate, I didn't use the instructions while putting the vacuum together; nor have I used them since. However, looking at them for the purpose of this review, they are extremely clear and I fail to see how anyone could fail to understand them.
Use and manoeuvrability
For manoeuvrability, the vacuum has two wheels towards the back of the main body. These generally help with moving the vacuumr from room to room with relatively little difficulty - I just pull on the tubing and it follows me and I can barely feel the weight. It isn't brilliant at turning corners though; it does tend to tip over. However, that, I think, is a problem with most vacuums of this type, so I don't think it's a major flaw.
This is a bagless vacuum cleaner, which suits me perfectly - I hate having to constantly buy accessories. The filter is apparently washable, although I have to admit that I've never done anything other than bang it against the wall a little when emptying it, just to dislodge any lose cat fur and dust. Washing is advisable though. New filters are easily available on the Internet for around £6. Emptying the vacuum cleaner is very simple - it is just a matter of releasing a catch to raise the top of the body, removing the waste cylinder and filter, and tipping it upside down - obviously, you don't want to do that in the middle of the sitting room because there is a lot of dust - I tend to take it outside. The waste cylinder has a dust capacity of 1.7 litres, which is more than adequate for a month or so of vacuuming in my household.
I have been very pleased with the quality of the cleaner - it is a lot more efficient that I expected it to be. On hard floors, it is a godsend, miles better than my Dyson. It is also great on stairs, because the tube stretches much further than my Dyson one does and gets into all the groves. As for carpets, there is no doubt that it is not as good as the Dyson. I have so much cat fur to deal with that I often have to scrape the floor nozzle along the floor a few times to make sure it is all picked up, and even then there are traces. There is also an upholstery nozzle for use on furniture, but to be honest, I've never used it. Generally, I stick to using the Electrolux upstairs and on hard floors, and the Dyson downstairs on carpets; however, the Electrolux is definitely better for getting into tricky places like under furniture and behind the sofa.
I think I am very hard on my vacuum cleaners. I don't use them as often as I should, but I don't take care of them and when I do use them, they have to pick up all sorts of rubbish. My cats like to shred paper, which often gets caught up the vacuum tubes, yet I've never had any problem with un-stopping the blockage and getting on with things - in fact, my Dyson complains more than the Electrolux does. My Electrolux has also picked up cat litter and cat biscuits quite regularly, without any apparent damage. I'm sure it's not good for it and don't recommend it, but the fact that I can't see any damage does suggest that does seem to mean that the quality of the appliance is high.
For the price that I paid, I am more than happy with the service that this vacuum cleaner has given me. At full price (Amazon are selling a similar model for £55.92, which seems to be average), it probably isn't quite so ideal, but it is definitely worth shopping around. I'm also not sure how the cleaner would cope with a full and busy household. I live alone with just the two cats, and am too lazy to hoover all that regularly, so it is fine for that - but although I think the quality is high, I'm not sure how long it would last if it was being used on a daily basis. At a good price, it is probably worth a go though; I definitely recommend it.
Summary: Lightweight, easy to use, bagless
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