* Prices may differ from that shown
** Quick Skip Product Features for LG VUP245NB/ Slimax model VU5545NBS **
1400 Watt rating. 190 air watts suction.
HEPA 5 Stage filtration fitted as standard.
Additional 2 stage washable clean filter fitted as standard.
15lbs in weight/6.8kg or 6kg without tools.
Optional Tool Caddy can be placed or taken off.
Telescopic extension tubes with crevice tool and 2 way upholstery tool.
5 litre dust bag.
9 Metre cord.
Auto Height Adjustment.
2 Bags come supplied with version from Argos including one bag already fitted for immediate use as well as a spare drive belt. Changing the bag is easy.
Minimal assembly required.
£38-99 from Argos. £47-99 from Comet.
Thanks to Ciao, I was actually recommended by a Ciao member to consider LG if I was looking for a bargain upright vacuum cleaner. My cousin and other family members had treated vacuums with utter abuse which is probably why I ended up fixing them and adding them to my collection. So when it came to actual purchase I did not buy the same Slimax silver model as shown here on Dooyoo but rather a dark burgundy red version which cost me an unbelievably cheap price of £39-99 (as opposed to Comets more elevated price of nearly £50) and before Argos took it off their books, it went out with a price of £38-50. Back then even the LG took its rivals by surprise particularly Hoover and Electrolux whose similarly featured bagged uprights were £40 more nearer the £100 mark rather than half. Now there have been a few other company products which have now taken over the LGs place since LG have discontinued it but from time to time this model still pops up on eBay and Im glad my model since 2004 has yet to give up the ghost. Crucially both models by LG whether they show the Slimax name are exactly the same model and are only differentiated by the 1500 watt Blue model from Woolworths which has a washable HEPA filter as opposed to replaceable paper pleated filter.
** Setting Up **
Out of the box, the LG is always simple to set up since it only needs the buyer/owner or consumer to just screw the handle to the main body (cross head/Philips screw) of the vacuum and away you go. If bought flat packed brand new then the odds are that the vacuum does come with two or three extra paper bags, one of which is always fitted to the vacuum so you can just plug in and go. However there are a few things in the box before you switch on.
Firstly LG include a clip on tool caddy which is a very neat idea. It sits and juts out slightly at the back of the upright which you just clip into place or not put on at all, and without it takes the LG to 6kg total weight as opposed to 6.8kg with the caddy on. Now the caddy holds a crevice tool, a plastic extension pipe and a flat upholstery brush in place and luckily the brush can be snapped off for an additional tool without the brushes for upholstery uses. However the weight of the caddy is quite light without the tools and there is also a pull down flap door which reveals the home of the spare drive belt why other manufacturers cant do this Ill never know as it keeps everything together aside from storing a spare paper bag which the LG sadly cant carry on the machine.
So once this is clipped on, the LGs long power cord of 9 metres can be unravelled via the quick release cord point at the top of the handle and plugged in.
** In use **
One of the miracles of a plastic bodied vacuum isnt just the way it has been made but how it has been made thoughtfully with the user and their home in question. Normally there is little regard to the actual owner or consumer who chooses to buy the cheapest on the market, but not here! One of the beauties early on about any Slimax upright is the simple fact that it has a looped handle to ease hand fatigue and thanks to the auto adjusting head the Slimax glides lightly across carpets, leaving the fibres lightly groomed. This doesnt mean that pick up gets left behind as the LG has no beater bars, the roller bar consists entirely of brushes and gobbles up dirt as much as it can in use which with the edge brushes makes it ideal to be used on hard flooring without fear of actual damage.
Once the handle is released, the main pivots push the rear wheels via the pedal release pedal which then allows the floor head to drop to the floor. If you need to get under furniture, you can again press on the pedal release to further extend the handle towards the ground but if the tool caddy has been fitted the LG wont lay its floor head flat to the floor. Once the caddy is removed by simply unclipping it, the LG will lie better on floors if the intention is to clean flat to the floor.
The noise of the motor is average, not too loud and not quiet but it certainly has a lot of suction even with a half bag of normal household dirt and with the bags being 5 litre in capacity I find that I go through paper bags every 3 months if the LG is used once a week for huge clear ups.
Unfortunately due to its budget design the hose has to be taken out from the bottom of the upright even though the hose comes from the middle of the upright at the rear, it doesnt topple over when the hose is pulled roughly which is a good idea. The use of the extension pipe however reveals a secondary pipe inside which gives the hose and the extension pipe good reach up to curtains and the top of doors cleaning above the floor. In terms of the actual hose length however it not long enough to clean up a full flight of stairs but with the two extension pipes and crevice or upholstery brush added, a total of seven average stairs can be reached if the LG is left at the bottom.
** Extra Consumables **
The paper bags for LGs Slimax come in around £7 or £9 depending on where you purchase the bags from and Ive yet to find a Comet store which doesnt stock these bags. LGs own branded box has 5 paper bags and a 4 stage layer foam filter free in place of the HEPA cartridge which has to be changed yearly. The cost replacement for an LG HEPA filter comes in at £7-95 to £9 depending on where you shop. I always order directly from LG and they have a plentiful supply of HEPA filters for the upright in stock.
** Filtration Levels **
Being a budget marketed cleaner, you would be hard pushed to get HEPA filters these days, but this model comes with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filter which means that it will block out 99.97% of microns of dust in the air. I haven't used a HEPA filter of this type before, because the filter that comes as standard is of a throwaway pleated paper type of HEPA ("True HEPA" filters, are so called because usually they are washable) filter cartridge. The manual states that the filter should be replaced when it becomes dirty or a yearly replacement to be on the safe side. I was interested what this cleaner would do with this filter, so I popped an air freshener pod into the bag and I couldn't detect any scent at all in the room I was cleaning. The filter that comes with the replacement bags from Argos however (part number TV-U55) is a sponge type filter and as soon as I fitted that in lieu of the HEPA filter the scent of air freshener came into the room very easily. Can this be proof that the HEPA filter does indeed withhold the smell of dust in the air? I think it does.
Getting to the filters and bag are very easy since they have been designed to be accessed in the same area. The bin door just needs a slight tug to open the door and as soon as that is done the whole bin door comes off revealing the bin chamber area; a 2 stage washable foam motor filter (which must be dried after it has been washed) which slides into its own housing directly located under the paper bag, and below this filter, the HEPA filter which has it's own cartridge and fixing entrance to the Exhaust area of the cleaner. In any case, the HEPA filter fitted is a 5 stage layer affair and coupled with the 2 stage washable foam filter in the bin chamber, this totals 7 stages of filtration. This is quite impressive for a machine at this price of under £40.00 whilst the paper bags themselves have cardboard collars which push into the main dirt channel easily and lock into place once the bin door has been pushed back into the front of the LG.
** Level of Power/Quality **
The air watts for this LG model is rated from 180 to 190 air watts and with the hose used (when the upright is always in the upright position) the suction is very quick and efficient.
Although the LG is cheaply priced, the plastics on the body are good and my LG has received a lot of abuse from family members. The back of the upright is black as opposed to the same colour of gleaming burgundy red whilst there is a huge black bumper on the sides and at the front of the floor head which withstands knocks, bumps and scrapes. For all that it has been coloured in a mix of burgundy and black with silver decals for the model name and features, the LG Slimax isnt a pretty upright but it does look functional and purposeful which is all you need when you want a complete all in one upright at a good price.
** Downsides **
A viewable design element to this cleaner which is lacking is the absence of a mechanical bag full indicator. Put simply there is none, either on the red, blue or silver Slimax model. It does however have a valve that rises whenever the suction is reduced set into the bin chamber lid, but this isn't as recognisable as a little window you usually find set into the bin lids of many an upright vacuum cleaner these days. The manual states that if there is no blockage (either through the floor head or the hose or tubes) then reduced suction could well mean that the bag needs replacing.
The hinge which pivots the floor head to the floor is height dependent on the owner but when actually holding onto the cleaner in use, the LG will push its floor head onto the floor without the owner having to stoop. I know because Im 6ft and I often have to stoop with uprights to ensure the floor head meets the floor and not above it.
** Drive Belt Change **
Another splendid characteristic of the LG Slimax is its sole plate design. Say you need to change the drive belt or clean the brush roller because of threads and hair which has wrapped around the roller. Normally with any upright you have a total of 5 to 9 screws to undo to take the sole plate off and struggle to get access but not on the LG; the sole plate only has a maximum of three Phillips/cross head screws and one of them locks a safety lock catch in place. Once all of them are done access to the roller is better than Hoover and putting a new belt on is a lot easier.
The LG also has a thermal cut out facility of 30 minutes waiting time until everything has cooled down. Its not the best time for a thermal cut out but it can be used once a clog or blockage has occurred, and thanks to the fact that the dirt channels, hose and tools are all removable clearing a blockage is easy and fast to do.
** More Surprises/LG Support **
Seme who are LGs after sales division quoted me a replacement hose at the cost of £70 which is outrageous after the hose on my LG inadvertently came off one day. Looking at the actual hose revealed a coiled spring at the end of the rubber hose which had simply unwound itself from its fixing. So with a little bit of patience I applied some UHU glue to the coil end and screwed the hose back in. That was back in 2005 and since then the hose has not come back off again!
** Conclusion **
In defence of the LG Slimax it's no surprise that it won Best Budget Buy from Which? Consumer magazine in 2002 and that is surprising from a company who are not famed for making vacuum cleaners. Sadly although the model is no longer on sale Electrolux licensed the design and have a current model based on LG componentry and the design can now be seen in Electroluxs Powerlite white bagged upright which uses a high filtration material bag and LGs identical HEPA filter. It too is priced below £50.00 currently at Argos but has a manual height adjustment dial as opposed to the LG's super automatic adjustment.
But if you see the Slimax on eBay consider it if you are looking for a bargain bagged upright cleaner. It may not be perfect but it ticks most of the boxes for outright performance, versatility and day to day cleaning. It also does a far better job than Hoover's Purepower bagged upright at a fraction of the price. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2007.
LG Electronics U.K Ltd.
Customer Information Centre Tel: 0870 607 5544.
Short name: LG VU 5545 NBS