Newest Review: ... to be a member to purchase. When I purchased my Henry there was only him available, they have since introduced Henrietta which is a pink... more
As Happy as a Henry Hoover
Member Name: norton501
Date: 19/01/13, updated on 20/01/13 (301 review reads)
Advantages: He's Part of the Family
Disadvantages: Can lose suction if used for a long time in one go
I have always preferred buying slightly cuter versions of otherwise dull things and as soon as I left home and needed to actually buy a hoover, in the absence of having a 'spare' few hundred pounds to buy an a Dyson, Henry was the 'affordable yet cuter' solution.
Henry is part of a whole range (family) of vacuum cleaners made by Numark. The Henry machine is marketed as a general purpose domestic vacuum, but I know a lot of factories and workplaces use Henry machines too as they have a reputation for longevity and for being a good product.
A Henry vacuum has a round plastic body (2.3 gallon capacity) with two wheels on the underside. The motor/ 'workings' of the machine are housed in the black part that forms Henry's forehead/ top of his head. The motor is a very decent 1200 watt (it used to be lower, but the Henry I have has a 'New 1200w Motor' sticker on). A hose comes out of the main body and a three part pole attaches to the hose. The pole easily comes off as one removable part for storage, but can be dismantled further into three smaller sections just by pushing or pulling at the pole itself. There is an adjustable air vent on the pole to maximise the suction (or to amend to a lower suction if you are vacuuming something light (ie a mat- if you don't want the mat to crumple up with the suction, you can lower it).
Also the end of the pole (the bit you rub along the floor), the head- has two settings that work by pressing your foot on them- one is a stiff brush mechanism (good for wooden floors) and the other is a smoother vacuuming option that I find lots easier for carpets as it takes less effort from me (the brush setting on carpet really works out your arms and stomach though!).
The power lead winds up inside Henry's hat via a wind up handle - this is easy to use and the only thing you have to be careful of is winding this up too fast and the plug hurtling into your leg on route back to the machine! The cord is very very long when fully unwound so you will not need to unplug and re-plug in different rooms if you are working your way around your house- unless your house is super-huge).
Unfortunately my Henry was purchased second hand online and sadly he arrived a little beaten up and scuffed, smelling very unpleasant (as if he had been used to hoover up something unpleasant then imminently sold) and without any of the accessories (bar the nozzle and actual hoover pole/end). I know Henry's are 'supposed' to come with a whole array of accessories- and looking on the Numark official supplier website (www.henryvacs.co.uk) you can buy a whole range of accessory kits that seem to be really expensive selling from £22 for a basic 5 piece brush accessory kit to over £300 for accessories for the more industrial versions of Henry.
When we first received Henry, I had to give him a good wipe with a damp cloth to clean him up a bit and I also took the liberty of tippexing the white bits of his eyes on the beaten up machine I unwittingly bought just so he looked a bit more like a Henry!. I wish I had been able to get a brand new Henry with all the accessories, but at the time funds were tight. Henry sells for £80-£110 new, but you can often pick up a Henry online second hand for £50. Most places such as Asda, Argos and Homebase sell new Henrys (and Hetty's the identical but Pink version of Henry).
Henry takes disposable hoover bags- these can be bought in packs of 5 or 10 for £4-£10 and it does pay to shop around as they are widely available. The bags are easy to fit, and all of the bags I have bought have actually said 'Henry' in the list of which machines they are suitable for (so you do not need to remember a long serial number of a product when you get to the shop to buy the bags). One bag will last me a few months, but I do tend to forget to check the bag.
The only drawbacks I have found using my Henry vacuum have been partially down to user error-- firstly when I hoovered out my car. I went a bit OTT and after hoovering the car, decided to hoover up some leaves and gravel around my front door (to the house) and got a bit carried away and Henry lost suction. I thought I had maybe hoovered up something like a sweet wrapper that might be stuck in his pole, but after waggling the flexible bit of the pole around, Henry was still not sucking properly. I thought I had broken him, so woefully told anyone that would listen that my Henry was ill and unplugged him and left him to one side for a while.
A few days later, I switched Henry on and to my delight, he was fine and working as normal- so if you get really carried away, you may find Henry needs a rest. This does not happen when vacuuming a whole house within normal usage. Just if you decide to hoover your house, then car, then front porch, then bits of the path into your garden....
Also, due to my inability to remember to check Henry's hoover bag, I frequently find Henry has been sick when I take his hat off to check the bag. By this, I mean his bag needed changing and I didn't check it and the bag burst. This is easily remedied- just carry Henry to a large bin and tip the cylinder part and the worn out bag into your bin. This will save you getting dust all over the carpet.
Overall, I would recommend Henry's to anyone. Unless you can spend many hundreds of pounds on an all-singing all-dancing Dyson- but upon reflection, even if I bought a Dyson, I think I would have to paint a face on it as I am accustomed to Henry being part of the family now and I think if he breaks, I would get him repaired rather than buy a new machine! (Unless it is a Hetty maybe...).
Summary: Good Friendly All-Round Vacuum
|Ease of use:|