I bought this handheld vacuum some years ago and to be honest it doesn't get used an awful lot - why - well it doesn't do as it says on the tin!
What it should do
It should collect dust and dirt using the dry nozzle, effectivley.
It should hoover up wet puddles using the appropriate nozzle.
What it doesn't do
Both of the above. The machine doesn't have enough power to effectively clean up anything. Using the attachments seemed to help a little but I just felt I might as well get out the normal upright hoover as it worked much better and saved me time not having to go over and over the same spot. The wheels on the opening end of the vacuum don't allow you to get close to the bits you want to remove unless you put the attachments on, this is a real pain.
What it does do
It is best used vacuuming up crumbs from hard surfaces, I have used it the past to vacuum up the crumbs on my children's table where they do craft activities and have snacks.
When using it as a wet vacuum you should remove all dust and crumbs from the container prior to doing the wet vacuum. It should hold 1.2 litres of liquid, I haven't need to use it to vacuum this amount before and when I have used it for liquid again the suction isn't great.
The charging station is easy to use. It is upright and the vacuum slots onto it and remains in place. You do have to get it in just the right position, but with practice this is easily done. If the vacuums internal battery runs right down it takes 16hrs for it to fully recharge again. This seems a long time but I am not sure how this compares with other handheld hoovers. It should always be left on charge so is ready for use at all times. Unfortunately even when fully charged the battery doesn't last very long, approximately 10 minutes, just enough time to clean up a small area before having to put it back onto charge again.
The vacuum is great to take apart and each little bit can be cleaned relatively easily. However, it is not easy to clean the main internal compartment as bits get stuck down the container and as it is small you can't get anything in there to clean it out.
I wouldn't recommend buying this handheld vacuum. The suction just isn't effective enough. I prefer to get the big upright hoover out than to faff about with this one!
Having always found things like vacuuming the stairs and worse still cleaning the car a bit of a pain in the neck with our upright vacuum cleaner, we made the decision to purchase a hand held version, just for these occasions. We didn't wish to spend a great deal of money on it, and so after hearing good things about the Electrolux brand in general, decided to buy the Electrolux ZB404WD model.
We paid £65 for this a couple of years ago from Argos, although having a quick look around the web now, can find it still pretty easily and selling for around the £50 mark, which was about what we had budgeted for this cleaner. The product description is all rather fancy, the usual spiel of being the greatest cleaner ever made and so forth, so we were quite excited about giving this a go.
It has to be said that features wise, for a cheaper hand held vacuum cleaner, it should tick all the right boxes, it is light at just 1.2kg, so moving it around is very easy, and it is relatively small which again helps for those harder to reach areas. It has a couple of wheels on the front, so that it glides effortlessly across the ground, again aiding in its easy to use feel, and the wheels will protect things like furniture if using to give seats etc the once-over. The design of the cleaner itself is quite stylish and modern to be fair to it, and although the charger unit is a little bit large and cumbersome, we store it in the under stairs cupboard and so it is out of sight. It is also a wet and dry model, making it even more versatile, and can be used to clean up spills from harder floors too. The handle is pretty easy to hold also, meaning no aching arm after a few minutes of use. It is also cordless, coming as it does with a charger unit, which the cleaner is stored in when not in use, again a bonus as no fiddly wires to manoeuvre around. It has a 0.5l capacity for dust and liquid, which is adequate for the uses that we had envisaged for it, and the front clips off pretty easily to empty and clean, and goes back together easily too. The storage area is also made of a transparent blue plastic, which means it is very easy to see when it needs emptying, which again is a nice little design feature. It takes approximately 2 hours to charge up, but it is advised that you store the unit in the charger with it turned on for optimum performance, with the running time just 10 minutes, but again this seemed sufficient for the workload we were asking the vacuum cleaner to do.
All this sounds pretty good, and a bargain I hear you all say, well sadly not. After several months of perseverance with this cleaner, patience has finally run out. The ten minute running time is a maximum, with it struggling to last the pace after 5 minutes, it does keep going manfully, however at a greatly reduced suction capacity. The suction capacity itself is rather disappointing even when first used after charging. The suction hole is only very small, which you might think would enhance the power, but it is barely noticeable, even if you place your hand over it! At the cost and the fact that it only packs 4.8V, expectations were rightly low regarding the suction power, and I didn't for an instant expect it to deal with engrained pet hair or larger pieces of dirt or rubbish, but it struggles to pick up even the lightest piece of fluff. You find yourself going over the same area time and time again to remove the smallest amount of dirt, and as such, it runs out of charge before the task is completed, and you are back to square one. It comes with a couple of attachments for harder to reach areas, but again these aren't really worth talking about, as the level of suction isn't increased by using them, and so the harder to reach areas stay as dirty as they were before you started! To be fair, it is a little bit better on a hard floor, especially cleaning up spills of liquid. It picks water up quite effortlessly, but to be honest, its only water and I would generally use kitchen towel anyway unless the spill was massive. Although it is reasonably effective on the harder flooring, it is questionable whether the benefits of it outweigh the downside of getting onto hands and knees to use the thing, and whether a simple household brush would do just as effective job anyway. On the plus side, I have found that the filter is quite effective, and hasn't needed replacing, but this could be that so little dust and dirt makes it as far as the filter, that it hasn't been given a proper work out. It also doesn't need emptying very often for the very same reason. To be fair to it, the noise level of the unit is very quiet, so it won't wake anyone up, but again this is to be expected for a 4.8V device, and shouldn't really be considered as a positive aspect.
So to sum this one up, I would have to say that I am slightly disappointed by the Electrolux ZB404WD hand held vacuum cleaner. Whereas I didn't expect the world from it initially, I did expect it to do a reasonable job of collecting small dust particles and make the cleaning of the stairs and inside the car a little easier. I've gone back to the old lugging of the upright cleaner for these tasks now, and this model has been placed into the under stairs storage, to probably never see the light of day again, except to be taken to the tip during the next big cleanout. In short, it is a classic case of style over substance, with the impressive design and ease of use not being anywhere near enough to outweigh its disappointing suction performance, and so it is one I would advise you to steer well clear of.
Thanks for reading and this review may appear on Ciao under my same username.
I bought this product about a year ago for those times when you need to clean a small area, such as in the car or on laminate flooring without having to go and get out the big vacuum cleaner. The product has a stylish modern design and comes with it's own charging station which can be plugged in at the mains and has a LED charging indicator. It is a compact product that can be stored to one side and doesn't really get in the way. I bought it for £29.99. It is lightweight, has a 0.5 litre transparent dustbin and has wheels so that you can roll it across the surface .
After using this product I probably wouldn't recommend it. The machine isn't really powerful enough to pick things up from carpets and you can spend ages going over the same area repeatedly to try and pick things up - so not much use for the car. It works a little better on laminate flooring to pick up dust or crumbs that may have fallen but doesn't really last long enough to do a large area at once. The machine also has to be on the charger continously when not in use.
Short name: Electrolux ZB404WD