Product Type: Miele vacuums
Newest Review: ... all the vacuum cleaners I've ever bought id recommend the miele s211o. It's very powerful and the suction is great. It picks up cat and dog... more
The Miele S2 - A Star Vac for Budgeters?
Member Name: Nar2
Date: 16/06/09, updated on 20/06/11 (4406 review reads)
Advantages: Big bag, quiet, smooth easy to use design, lightweight, eco friendly motor, neat.
Disadvantages: Expensive prices, cheap floor head, lacks quality, short power cord, cheap plastics.
Out of the many vacuums I own not to mention the classic ones that have been restored and never see the light of day, I'm often asked what my "daily driver," is and in terms of living at my home which is a big house, there are two models in question which I use all the time. One of them is Sebo's Felix and another German, my old Miele S571 cylinder vacuum. Although no longer made (replaced in 2006 by the current S5 range) the S571 is by far one of the best Miele cylinder vacuums I've bought, even though it is around 7 kg, this vacuum has been a god send largely because it is very quiet, has all the tools I need hidden in a flap on the main body, a long hose, a long power cord, has great quality and parts/spares are relatively easy to get. In short, it's difficult to find a cylinder vacuum cleaner that can better it; even Sebo's older C series is heavier. Using Miele's F/J/M 4 litre bags (currently used by the new S4/S4000 range) the S571 still has a lot of life left to give.
However despite the S571's great advantages, my S4 model (given to my mum because it is lighter) is a fantastic all rounder, although it has a smaller bag capacity and doesn't get around so well due to its short power cord in a big home. The new S2110 however has a larger bag capacity and on the basis that I've moved back to Edinburgh, the S2110 had taken up the place of my old Sebo K model that has now been sold and was previously the vacuum of choice for a small to medium sized 2 bedroom flat.
Confusingly despite the model name, Miele's new S2110 basic cylinder vacuum weighs 4.5 kg that is 1kg lighter than the older but much more compact S4; a finger on the handle can still suspend both! Price wise the cost of the S2 comes in at £144-00 although I managed to buy one off EBay in May at £119 and £15 on top for postage and packaging. The retail price for the S2 however is around £144-00 making the EBay purchase that somewhat cheaper. When buying the HyClean bags (costing £6-95 to £8-95) you'll get replacement basic filters to change over and fitment is as easy to install and take out. Naturally this is also mirrored with taking out or putting in Miele's new 7 layered filtration HyClean dust bags of which one is already fitted to the S2110 when taken out of the box.
Despite using the same G/N bag like the current S5000 series, the S2110 has a few surprising details that make the purchase of this vacuum questionable. For a start you'll still get the Miele standard of three smaller cleaning tools such as short crevice tool, flat upholstery brush and the round 360 ° brush. But unlike the S5000 series and indeed upon my own older S571, the tools sit on a hose clip known as the "Vario Clip." This clip was re-designed recently for the later S4 series which means the clip can be mounted and locked onto the main hose that connects to the main body of the vacuum cleaner or anywhere on the telescopic brushed metal extension pipes. In theory this versatile clip should be versatile and it should be able to keep the tools on board. However some of my carpets have bolted frames on the entrances to the rooms meaning the slightest knock from the wheels underneath has meant one or two tools falling off in use when the clip has been added to the pipes. This is a problem which my mum's old S4210 has without the Vario clip idea to the hose (and just uses Miele's old tube clip park idea) and Miele have been stingy here in not providing a proper hiding place for the tools to store into on the vacuum cleaner. Lock it onto the hose and it means that no tools fall off but there should be a partition on the holder itself to ensure tools can be locked in without fear of falling off. Telescopic height adjustable suction tubes are not an option for this vacuum unless you pay out an extra £45. Here you get two fixed height pipes which aren't as desirable, even if they lock on with two button press releases when they are locked together.
Quality isn't as good as other Miele vacuums though and this is very surprising even though it has a soft and clean appearance with good to see controls and general plastics. There's a closer arrangement of pedals to whip the cord back in and the power up pedal but my model suffered from not putting the machine on a couple of times and having to give the activation pedal a hefty kick sometimes! Like the S4 range, there is a variable suction control dial and in a stepped manner gives you precise speed settings to lower or increase the suction power you need at the time of cleaning. As with my older S4 model its clear to see where Miele have been studying design and durability; whilst the painted red body is easy to keep clean, the underside mirrors the Bosch range of cylinder vacuums in providing a smooth, grainy grey underside and protection is given to the all round bumper that slightly protrudes from its organic, soft design. Three soft rubber coated castors on the underside allow great 360° manoeuvrability, which is ideal for small flats in confined spaces.
Miele however have done things a little differently to what has gone on before however! Judged by its bag capacity this could be judged as a cut down priced S5000 in another body that uses the same larger dust bag. Given that most of their ranges start off with a minimum of 1800 watts, the S2 has a minimum of 1400 watts, which steadily increases to 1600 watts thus coveting the "Eco friendly," aspirations that other manufacturers have gone to. Clearly Miele have been looking at the older Sebo K series in this respect where power and emissions are concerned but sadly, the performance isn't as good as I thought it would be.
The performance isn't startling on carpets and that was my initial disappointment. After the bag had been a quarter full, I thought it could be the bag and decided to change it to a new one. Putting a bag in is easy as well as taking it out. Onto the second bag and the suction from the machine was no better. The strength of the 1600 watt motor on board sadly means carpet performance suffers and dust pick up doesn't occur the first time. It follows the natural Miele trait of being able to vacuum at any time in the day due to its low noise but dust pick up on the high setting should be better than it is, saddled because of the cheap floor head Miele have added to the S2. It often needs more than a couple of sweeps from the lightweight suction floor head to get the dirt up instantly. Miele have also re-designed the standard suction only floor head. It is slightly longer than the one fitted to the S4 but its new fibreglass construction means that it is lighter to move over carpet surfaces whilst on floors the new head flies around very easily and steadily grabbing in dirt at the sides and front with better ease. Thanks to its all-plastic design despite its pedal to put down brushes on hard flooring, I find that the new floor head minimizes scratching both to itself and to the floors I clean with. The downside is that it is poorly made! Unbelievably it has sharp edges to it and it doesn't evoke the same kind of Miele quality I expected.
Naturally with all this cost cutting, the weight of the S2 is good with three soft castors to get around on. Since it has the same lock on the tubes and hose handle, the S2110 can be used with any existing Miele spare part such as turbo brushes or any other floor head you may need. There are further downsides to all this weight saving however. For travel, the Miele S2110 has a short power cord; an instant aspect I noticed over my bigger S571 but the hose copes well in use, flexible and coil free, it is (like all Miele hoses) infinitely crush proof and I find it just as easy to keep one hand on the handle and another on the hose to travel around with. An accessory that comes as standard with the S2 however is the more recently reviewed Flexhose extension (SFS10) that locks onto the existing hose and the back of the handle. This then gives another 1.5 metres onto the existing hose for optimum reach, which is a great accessory to include because the power cord on this model is short at 5 metres. It does however add weight to the back of the handle and in my mind doesn't justify extra reach when a longer power cord would be simpler.
For filtration the S2110 comes with Miele starter "Super Air Clean" filters; in use they cope well with the thicker filtration HyClean dust bags. This means less cost in the long run given that they last after four bags have been used and two come free in a box of Miele bags. Since owning the S2110 for a month so far, the bag is hardly heavy given its larger capacity and I'm confident given its bigger capacity that the bag will last for around three months. This makes the S2110 an ideal money saver as well as being relatively healthier than other vacuums on the market. On the basis that it can be fitted with a higher filtration cost optional cartridge such as the "Active Air Clean" charcoal filter or HEPA filter (£9 or £15) once again like all Miele cylinder vacuums, you can custom build your Miele S2110 in any way you need.
So if you live in a small home or a flat and you don't need that much room to get around, the S2 should be a great vacuum cleaner to consider but its lack of power on the top end means its not really that good when the bag starts to fill nearing the end. Great for environmentalists' wishes on paper, by statistic the Miele S2110 is environmentally friendly but Miele have put a lot of trust into building a lightweight vacuum with a large bag but then lumbering it with cheap plastics. In that respect it is not a good all rounder for a small flat, unless you happen to live with hard flooring only and don't need the high suction control for carpets. For small flats with both types of surfaces, there are other vacuums that are better designed. Thanks for reading İNar2 2009
Summary: Best vacuum for hard floors only. Lack of power lets it down for both surfaces; Sebo K1 is the one!
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