Goodbye 10-year-old cordless Electrolux Ergorapido upright stick vac, Hello Gtech! If like me you're savvy about the latest appliances that have hit the market then you or many buyers have either considered or about to run out and buy the latest new "vacuum cleaner" on the market that is feather light, cordless and goes under the name of the "Air Ram," by Gtech. The "British" cordless dust sweeper company claim that their new cordless upright is a vacuum cleaner and not a dust sweeper since the motor does produce some suction and has a longer lasting battery with a bale like dust capture principle, making it easier to clean out the dust pan when it needs to be emptied. It also looks cool and ultra modern. Although it has just been launched, it comes with quite an expensive cost price of £229-00 and like so many other cordless upright stick vacs on the market that came before it, all of them seem to be priced expensively.
Still, I can see why some buyers may well be attracted to a cordless upright vacuum cleaner - but whilst there's the more expensive option, Gtech still produce their trusty ranges of cordless dust sweepers at a healthier, easier to purchase and far more readily available range starting at £39-99 on average and upwards. Now you may be asking why on earth would I want another vacuum, or another sweeper - but at the time of purchase before my mother took ill, - I bought the Gtech for her to use in her home - but as the months floated on and her illness became more serious she wasn't at home to try my new toy. Thus, it was passed onto me - and this little sweeper has since been my saviour to home visits from friends - far quicker when it comes to cleaning up dust and dirt brought in.
Compared to the cost of a new AEG Ergorapido (same company owned by Electrolux, now) at £129-99, the famous Gtech SW02 that was first seen on Channel 4's Big Brother household came home with me at a cost price of £49-99. This sweeper also comes with a 1-year warranty as standard with a further 2 years available direct from Gtech at an additional cost of £12-95 although they are currently offering this warranty free if you buy direct from them but excludes the battery life.
==Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec==
* 7.2Volt cordless battery with 16 hour charging time.
* 0.5 litre pull out dust bin - no filters to clean.
* Permanent rolling beater brush bar with side edge brush wheels.
* Removable hood for cleaning and cleaning stairs.
* Adjustable telescopic height handle and removable.
* 60 minute running time comes with charge adaptor and plug.
* Current 2012 price £49-99 with 1 yr standard guarantee/warranty.
* Total weight 1.2kg and handle has hanging hole ability.
Basically, the Gtech SW02 cordless sweeper has been on the market since 2004. It has a run time of 60 minutes per 16 hour charge - If you look at this appliance as a second back up to your normal high power vacuum cleaner, the Gtech principle of saving money can be worked out easily by the amount of times you use it and the amount of time it spends being charged up. For the cost price of £90 I could have settled for the more expensive SW20 "Premium" cordless sweeper - but for that price I could well have just topped up and replaced my old Electrolux with the latest cordless AEG model and have the same performance all over again with its heavier lift-out optional dust buster. The Gtech SW02 is just so much simpler - and far lighter than the 2.4kg AEG Ergorapido can ever hope to be - that also only lasts for 20 minutes before it runs out of puff.
This £49-99 lightweight cordless sweeper has a much simpler design to a lot of cordless stick vacs on the market and the handle can be taken off with just the floor head and its stubby "joystick" handle for cleaning stairs as well as the sweeper being fitted with soft bristles to cope with hard flooring as well as carpet. A bonus to Gtech is that you can lift out the battery yourself if you sweeper dies out through the years - and battery replacements are also available from Gtech.
Out of the box, where assembly and quality is concerned, the silver painted plastic SW02 takes a few minutes to work out how to put the handle and spine together - and it can be tricky as this is no "ordinary" spine, as the spine will adjust to every user's height as far as being 6ft 4" or a total height of the sweeper's handle and spine to 82cm. It may appear to be simple since there are three parts to the spine and although it looks simple thanks to its push-pip-to-lock mechanisms on each end of the quality brushed aluminium spine, I managed to break the spine by putting the wrong end in at the top of the easy to grip looped handle!
This is because the user manual needs better clarity in so far as pushing in the right ends, but even if I managed to put the wrong ends in, the handle and corresponding spine are easy to fit and lock up. Throughout the process though, the quality of the Gtech SW02 seems okay for what you're paying for - the spine of the sweeper is a lightweight aluminium pole that also adjusts for height for the owner due to a ratchet lock, a similar mechanism you'll find on any cylinder vacuum cleaner that sports an adjustable height suction tube. Similarly though I've yet to find a mechanical sweeper on the market that has an adjustable handle for height, so top marks to Gtech for adding this versatile design aspect. After the handle and spine are locked together, all you do is put the complete handle assembly and lock it into the handy grab handle on the bottom of the sweeper, acting as the main grab handle once the spine/tube is taken off for cleaning stairs, car seats or boot liners. Every lock has a push in push-release pip lock, so once that handle and spine are locked in, it won't come out unless you press the release pips that have been cut into the metal and plastic parts for access.
Some owners online however never think to check the dust tray on this sweeper upon taking it out of the box the first time - resulting in moans about a lack of battery - but this is where you will find the battery and plug adaptor, hidden in there before it can all be unravelled and used. It also allows you to easily store the sweeper up if you take it away to student halls or to a holiday home.
On your marks set! !...2...3! Frankly I don't know why I waited until now to get myself a GTECH cordless sweeper! Whilst there are so many different models from Gtech in so far as cordless sweepers from the "antibacterial" Germguard SW18 model to the premium shorter-charge SW20 and my original model, the SW02, where performance is concerned, this sweeper deserves a gold medal! The SW02 may well require 16 hours charging for a 60 minute operation - but it hasn't taken me a full 60 minutes to run around my big home to clean and after one charge per week, the SW02 has been used practically every day for a couple of minutes at a time. This little baby does more than just offer a long lasting power runtime. It swivels, sweeps and steers on a dime because it is so lightweight, nimble, fast and eager for dirt! There's even a small LED light that shines in green to indicate the sweeper has been activated. The motor noise isn't too loud either and the sweeper has two large wheels that are well made and well protected with rubberised outer shells to protect hard flooring when in use. It is just a shame that though it offers excellent gliding characteristics, the underside of the Gtech can be a bit rattily in use, but this is down to the general design and doesn't impede on performance. The sweeper can take its fair share of knocks too, being coated in PVC plastic on the underside and the silver painted parts on top.
The operation is a dream come true too, with a big oval silver/black plastic foot power button on top of the hood at the back and an easy to grip handle at the top. All you do is put one foot on the front of the floor head to release the handle a la Dyson and away you go! The secret behind the Gtech's whole design is that the neck and floor head of the Gtech both swivel from left to right, also compensated by a reasonably flat floor head (28.5cm floor head by 4.5cm height) that can slip under coffee tables and kitchen tables with ease! The floor head also has a flat-to-the-floor design where it can be laid flat to clean as well as being pivoted from the handle for more contact on carpets by adding a little more weight from your hands. Threads, hairs, coins, general household dust and even DIY grommets like bolts or nuts are eaten brushed up by the Gtech SW02; a mean feat for most conventional upright vacuums these days!
I thought my swivelling main vacuum Sebo Felix upright was fast, but the Gtech cordless sweeper is a good, lightweight and alternative companion to the Sebo and it is a marvel to get around the home, reminding me of my old Swivel Sweeper and allowing me to clean up in less than 10 minutes, after darting from one room to the other! Like my Sebo Felix, the Gtech SW02 is eager and hungry for pet hair off carpets, rugs and hard floors. If you abhor the thought of a manual work out with a mechanical manual sweeper, the Gtech SW02 is a bit of an athlete ready to sprint with you, not against you! The revelation here is that due to its design, the brush roll and the back wheels work in tandem giving me a feather light gliding action at all times.
The other secret behind the Gtech's design here is that the entire roller/floor head can be detached from the telescopic, height adjustable tube and handle. This then gives you the option to use the handle at the bottom of the sweeper to clean stairs.
When it comes to cleaning stairs, the Gtech and its other brothers has been met with opposition from several reviewers and owners but let me make this a bit clearer. The Gtech has a removable clear visor at the front. Handy to see when the purple bristles need cleaning at the same time, the visor just comes off by pulling upwards to release from the plastic oval locks at either side. Then take off the main handle and spine from the release pip at the bottom of the sweeper. Once this is done, the brush roll is completely bare and the base handle on the sweeper's floor head becomes like a joystick, able to move the Gtech inwards at an angle to enable cleaning stairs.
Now, whilst this can be a tricky process to work out how such a sweeper could possibly clean stairs, there is more to the SW02 than meets the eye. Whilst I had no trouble at all cleaning carpeted stairs moving the sweeper horizontally up and down to remove fluff that an otherwise hose and vacuum cleaner tool (with machine on the stair or at the bottom if you have a longer hose) would take up, the whole process takes seconds to do. Granted the only downside here is that the small slide out dust pan can get clogged up pretty quickly with lots of dirt collected, the Gtech not only provides cleaning for stair lintels but also for the stairs you walk on, simply by snapping the visor back on at the front and then by hand, pushing the sweeper back and forth on the steps. Nothing could be simpler! Even if your steps are narrow, half of the floor head's spinning brush can still clean all matter of dirt embedded on the steps by moving it forwards and backwards.
However, through this process I have also encountered some other wonderful tricks that this sweeper employs. When the handle is taken off and it looks like I'm about to clean stairs, I find this sweeper is great for cleaning crumbs off the kitchen table as well as the work surfaces! If the late Jade Goody got away with Dyson'ing her kitchen table, I don't see why I can't with my Gtech! This is because the bristles are soft on the Gtech, so it is impossible to damage delicate surfaces and because of the motor's soft power and relatively lower spinning brushes, this whole design makes cleaning thick pile shag rugs like bathroom rugs and similar additional rugs a breeze where conventional upright vacs would turn their nose up at - with an impending drive belt breakage if the long, thick straggly pile gets caught up in the roller. Not so with the Gtech - this little baby brings up thick pile carpets with a lovely groomed appearance - but also removes dirt and especially on bathroom rugs - annoying bits of paper or loose threads - without balding the rugs in the process!
In terms of downsides there are only but a few with this cordless sprinting sweeper! The Gtech SW02 has an excellent sweeping action but at the sides you'll find round spinning edge-cleaning brushes that constantly rotate at the same time as the brush roll. The brushes do the job as intended and they are super for getting dust out of skirting boards. However, the brushes themselves are set on a rubberised wheel, probably to reaffirm that the Gtech can be used on hard surfaces and to protect the machine and the home. But, in use, depending on the resistance of the carpet that the sweeper is required to clean, the Gtech's side brushes can often stop the natural gliding flow that the sweeper generally demonstrates. Although this can be felt from the handle, it reaffirms that the Gtech is a low power cordless dust sweeper and not a vacuum cleaner, thus taking a little more time to clean rather than sprinting around the home with it. Raised carpet on skirting boards can often stick the rotary side brushes even though they do the job as intended.
Another downside is that the edge brushes are very eager and often if you clean in the vicinity of thin cables such as audio cables to and from your computer and if they trail on the floor, the Gtech can snag easily on cables. This has occurred to me on occasion but each time, the cables and the sweeper have not been damaged - you'll just know about it when there's a slight judder and a louder noise from the motor when something gets caught. Again having that removable visor to remove or clean the brush roll is very handy and the brush roll itself is fairly easy to get at for removing hairs or wound up threads.
Lastly where downsides are concerned, my SW02 is a 2012 model and has dark silver and light silver body colour as opposed to the original dark grey, silver and purple "bottom handle" model. That model also came with a handy duster attachment that this model now lacks. I don't like dusters in general but it could have been a handy bonus to keep this on, Gtech!
When it comes to charging and emptying, the process is just as easy and quick to do as using the Gtech! There is a single LED light just below the main power on/off pedal that goes red when the plug is charging the sweeper. When it has finished, a green light comes on to indicate that charging is done and the sweeper only re-charge itself if the sweeper has been switched off via the pedal, i.e when the brush roll is not moving.
For emptying, a flush, slide out dust tray reveals dirt collected and can simply be emptied in a bin. There's a helpful concave in the plastic that is shaped especially for hands to grab the dust pan from the top and bottom before pulling the slide tray out. Although Gtech stipulate that the sweeper has to be emptied each time you use it, I don't tend to do this and thus clean out the dust tray once a week. now this process is a double edged sword, because over time dust will leak out of the Gtech if you don't empty it and assume the dust tray can be emptied as soon as the flush acrylic clear panel shows that the dirt is bursting out of it. So far, I've only had one occasion where dust leaked out of the Gtech and that was simply because I didn't empty it as much as I should have! If however your home is susceptible to daily or weekly visits from people, and the Gtech sweeper has to be used every day, then yes, the dustpan may require to be emptied more often. The dust tray can be washed out with a damp cloth to remove any excess dust, too.
Since purchasing the Gtech SW02 sweeper in April, my vacuum cleaner usage hasn't been as high as it normally is - and that is saying something from a collector and from someone who prides in hygiene, loves to clean, and lives with a pet. If you have pets that run around the home freely, the Gtech SW02 is worth its weight in gold alone and if you have carpets that require daily cleaning, the cordless Gtech reaches gold status in record time. You don't have to pay out expensively to keep your home clean and the Gtech SW02 proves this as well as offering low maintenance in a small package and offers great efficiency, reliability and most of all, ease of cleaning. There really isn't a better way to clean floors in record time before the troops arrive! Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2012
I have had this fantastic little sweeper for over 2 years now. I bought it from Lakeland for £49.99, and it has been worth every penny!
The Gtech is nicely designed. The telescopic handle has a nice ergonomic grip and the height is easily adjustable. On the left of the sweeper base is a suitably sized tray which collects the muck. This is easy to empty. You just slide it out, tip the contents into the bin and slide it back in. The on/off switch is on the base, allowing you to activate it with your foot. It is a good sized button so there is no difficulty in doing this. The Gtech comes with a plug which you connect into the back of the sweeper. It is recommended in the instructions that you do not charge the unit for more than 16 hours and that you run the battery down completely regularly (I think it said once a month, but cannot be 100% sure!).
I bought this because I wanted something that was quick and easy to nip around with. At the time of purchase my daughter had just started crawling, so my usual relaxed attitude to the state of our carpets was changing! We have a long haired cat, so between him depositing bits of dried leaves/twigs around the house and my daughter examing each bit of muck in great detail, usually before popping it in her mouth I was having to vacuum at least twice a day...which is just not my style!!
Don't get me wrong, I am actually quite house proud. But not in an obsessive way! Which is why I love the Gtech sweeper so much! I can get this out, quickly run it round the house and it looks like I've vacuumed! It is cordless so there is no messing around with removing plug socket safety covers and dealing with wires getting wrapped round chair legs, etc. It is incredibly light so you can easily nip upstairs with it. It is easy to push and 'steers' well. The telescopic handle is removable, leaving you with a hand held sweeper to do the stairs with! The front panel of the sweeper is also detachable which means it can give the stairs a really thorough clean!
I use the sweeper most days. With two children under my feet I don't always have time to get the vacuum out. But thanks to the Gtech my carpets always look clean. It is great for quickly whizzing round before guests arrive, clean carpets really do make a different to the appearance of your house! It picks up most things as well as our Bosch vacuum. It copes very well with cat hair, though it is perhaps not quite as thorough in this department as our vacuum. We have both deep and short pile carpets, and a laminate floor and it works equally well with all three. If the sweeper does struggle to pick something up, I follow a tip that was in the instructions and lift the handle of the unit up so the sweeper is at a 45 degree angle to the floor and the problem is usually solved! I still like to vacuum once a week, I find if I don't the edges get quite dusty and although the Gtech gives the appearance of having vacuumed, I imagine that it doesn't pick up as much of the 'invisible' dust and muck that lurks in the carpet!
I am finding I need to charge the Gtech more frequently lately. I have followed the guidelines and only ever charged if for a maximum of 16 hours and have run it flat regularly so I am quite disappointed that this is the case already. However, as it makes my daily chores so much easier and my house look like I do regular housework (when I don't!) I will be looking into getting a replacement battery for it!
All in all this is a fantastic sweeper. It is the perfect solution for keeping your house clean between 'proper' cleans and it would be perfect for those unable to manouvre a heavy vacuum cleaner.
I purchased this Gtech Cordless Sweeper just under a year ago for my wife who had just had surgery and being crazy about cleaning I decided to buy this cordless floor sweeper so that she could continue to vacuum around the house using this, instead of our heavy Dyson DC25 which she would have had difficulty moving around. This Gtech Sweeper however was very light and cordless and it meant she could easily vacuum around the house. This was by no means a replacement for our Dyson, instead it was just so my wife could give the rooms a quick vacuum here and there rather than vacuuming with a heavy vacuum cleaner. I had decided to choose between this and a similar cordless Dyson, the Dyson DC35. I chose this instead because it was £150 cheaper compared to the Dyson and it had a longer battery life and could be used for a longer period of time. I bought this for £49.99 at Argos, but I am sure with a little shopping around you can get this for around £40.
First Impressions and Overall Appearance
On first impressions the Gtech is extremely light it, it only weighs around 1.6kg, which is perfect for any elderly people who don't want to push huge vacuum cleaners around everyday. The main unit itself has a low profile, which means it's pretty easy to vacuum under your beds and other furniture, without you having to strain yourself. It has a very sleek and simple design, I purchased the Gtech SW08 which has a silver and purple colour scheme which looks appealing. It only has 2 different buttons on the main unit, which increases the simplicity of it. One button is to turn it on and off, whilst the other lets you adjust the speed depending on whether you are using it on carpets or on hard floors. There are 2 telescopic tubes, which let you adjust the height of the handle. Furthermore, it's extremely easy to assemble and takes no more than a few minutes, as the instructions are very helpful with diagrams on each page. The dust tray located on the main unit is a simple sliding tray that is easy to remove and put back in. Finally the Gtech runs on a 6.0v battery, which is located inside the main unit, which takes around 16 hours to fully charge using the charging adaptor that is provided.
Cleaning ability and Operation and Features
As I use this almost everyday I've had the chance to see how good it cleans and picks up dirt on a day to day basis. To start it you just push the on button with your foot and you're off, it's as simple as that. The power button will illuminate red to let you know the unit is turned on and the Speed Control LED will illuminate green telling you which option you have selected for cleaning, either for use on carpets or on laminate floors and tiles. You can push the speed control button if you wish to switch between the two and the Gtech will change its speed accordingly. There is a small visor at the front of it so you can see what is going into it. For everyday use this is great, i.e when the kids drop cereal or crisps around the house, small hairs and even in the kitchen to pick up small pieces of litter. If you have pets this vacuum cleaner is ideal. However, as you would expect with this type of vacuum cleaner it won't pick up bigger pieces of rubbish. The rubberized wheels and maneuverable base mean it easily glides over the kitchen tiles and laminate flooring, but even when being used on the carpet it moves around easily and quickly and doesn't require too much strength. The dirt tray being quite big does take time to fill up so you needn't worry about having to empty it every day or week and it does often surprise you about how much dirt there is on your carpet! There is also a Furniture guard at the front of it so it won't cause any scratches or bumps on you furniture if you accidentally hit it against or table or chair, whilst cleaning. Even though the manufacturer's claim it is good for edge cleaning, it does tend to struggle sometimes in corners where a small connecting thin hose would be useful to be able to reach in such areas. It is great however though for cleaning stairs, as the front part of it is detachable so the fibres clean around the edges saves having to haul a heavy hoover up the stairs. You can remove the main upper handle leaving you with the basic unit and you can steer around using the top base handle, which is great for cleaning specific areas and on the stairs. The Gtech is also surprisingly quite compared to other vacuum cleaners and only produces around 80db and you can easily hear other people over it without a problem.
Battery Life and Recharging
The 6.0v battery which powers the Gtech takes around 16 hours to charge fully and will give you up to around 1 hour of usage, however I've found that I will charge this on a Monday, use it throughout the weekdays and charge it again on a Sunday as I only spend around 5 minutes vacuuming one room as it is so quick and light. Considering other similar cordless vacuum cleaners, this one has probably the longest running time. The Dyson DC35 which I also considered buying only has a run time of 15 minutes compared to this Gtech which has a run time 4 times longer than the Dyson. When you do plug it into charge the power LED light will illuminate to let you know it has started charging. Unfortunately, this LED light doesn't turn off to let you know it has fully charged, which I thought was a bit of a let down. It's extremely important to bear in mind with this cordless vacuum cleaner as with all other cordless Gtech cleaners, that if the cleaner is left to charge for more than 16 hours the battery could be damaged and not operate again. This is where it would be ideal if the LED would turn off or flash to let you know it has fully charged.
Ease of Use
Being very lightweight and cordless the Gtech is very simple to use and the pivoting head makes it very easy to move around. Emptying the dirt tray is quick to do as it just slides out and then back when you have emptied it. However, it is important that you when you do pick it make sure the main unit is horizontal otherwise if it is carried with the 'nose down' dirt will spill from the dust tray which can often be quite annoying when you have just cleaned the tiles and dirt is falling out. Because it is very well ergonomically designed it will fit any individual well and be a delight to use and it is very well built. As I mentioned it will pick up small items of rubbish and any loose dirt, but because of its small 6.0v it will struggle to pick up larger or harder bits. If this is the case I would consider you look at the Dyson DC35 which has a huge 22.0v battery, but has a poor battery in comparison to this Gtech.
Overall this is great product and there are very little negative points that I can find about it. It will ideally suit the elderly, anyone who struggles with vacuuming or for anyone who wants to use it here and there instead of using their big vacuum cleaner. Being lightweight, small and easy to move around makes this vacuum cleaner ideal for these types of people. Clearly this Gtech isn't designed to pick up every piece of dirt and rubbish of the floor, but it's ideal to use daily and when you just want to pick up loose dirt. It is reasonably well priced too and compared to other similar products it doesn't break the bank either and you can be sure you will get what you pay for.
My mother bought me this little sweeper as she has always been pleased with hers. I have trouble carrying a heavy vacuum up and down stairs so this is really handy for those quick whiz round cleans inbetween struggling with the big vac. this is a rechargeable model, I am not sure how long it takes to reach full charge as I just tend to plug it in when I have finished what I am doing and then unplug when I remember.
On a full charge it is supposed to clean a 5 bed house but mine isn't quite that big so it always managed my hall,lounge,study,dining room and stairs and landing with no problem. The sweeper is not very noisy either, the children don't grumble too much if I am trying to clean and they are watching telly!
The sweeper is exceptionally light and so very easy to manouevre. The model I have is silver and purple so looks neat and stylish, not like the old fashion sweepers I remember from my childhood! The main handle is extendable and also removable. Once removed the brush(supplied) can be added to the handle and is great for reaching cobwebs and dusting high shelves and door surrounds. Also without the handle the sweeper is very easy to use on stairs as a hand sweeper- there is a smaller handle that stays attached to the base.
The standard of cleaning is very good, I have two cats and it seems to cope with picking up cat hair off carpet very well. The sweeper has a rotating brush and also at edge brush. If it doesn't pick up more stubbord dirt you can tip it forward slightly and it then picks up. It works ok on hard floors and doesn't scratch although i still tend to opt for a broom, maybe I'm old fashioned! The dust and dirt is collected in a slide out cannister in the base which is very easy to get at and to empty and there are no messy bags.
I have now had this about two and a half years and I am not sure how much it cost. I have suddenly started to notice that it is not holding its charge very long. I now have to leave it plugged in and it will manage only about one room. I know that this can be a problem with rechargeable batteries so i think I will have to look in to seeing if it is possible to replace the battery otherwise I will have to buy a new one. I can't manage without it now!
I bought this sweeper for my mother who stuggles to lift a heavy vacuum cleaner around the home - and it brilliant for her! It picks up debris on all surfaces, has never gone wrong in over 2 years and has loads of useful little features like a removable handle for stair cleaning and an edge wheel for cleaning close up to skirting boards. Plus it runs for so long on one charge she only ahs to charge it once a month- which does take 10 hours to achieve, but she just leaves it overnight and then is ready to use in the morning. She is really happy with it, lightweight, easy to use and empty it is exactly what was required - i really cannot fault it - good to see from a british product when we so often see a range of second rate products from China on every shop shelf.
Gtech's latest addition, the SW02 Rechargeable Upright Sweeper shares many features with the million-selling SW01: Rechargeable battery pack giving a 60 minute running time / Powered "edge-to-edge" cleaning / Hand-held operation for cleaning stairs and upholstery / Easy-empty, large capacity dust tray / The Gtech SW02 Rechargeable Upright Sweeper is the "crème de la crème" of the sweeper world and winner of the "Best New Product" category at the British Housewares Federation Awards 2004 / Characteristics Type Rechargeable upright sweeper Power (Watts) 25 Sound level (dBA) 75 Power regulator No Ergonomy Telescopic tube No Cable length Wireless Others Colours Grey Weight (Kg) 1.6 / Short name: Gtech SW02