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When my old vacuum cleaner started leaving more dirt on the carpet than it was collecting I knew it was time to get a new one.
Now, I don't find buying vacuum cleaners the most exciting of purchases, so I actually didn't spend all that much time looking for a new one and so I headed straight for the John Lewis website. My only real criteria were that it was an upright and cost around the £100 mark.
I chose this particular one because it fit into my price range and at the time had a 5 year guarantee and a £35 cashback offer (October 2011). It also had a good rating on the John Lewis website.
- The Technical Details
The Panasonic MC-UL594SP47 is a bagless upright vacuum cleaner that has 2 modes, one for carpets and the other for hard floors.
It measures 110cm x 37cm x 39.1cm, weighs 8.8kg and the capacity of the dust collector is 2.5 litres. The cable length is 7.5m.
For those who know more about vacuum cleaners that I do, it has a 1500W motor with 350W suction power and features a "highly efficient Eco-Max motor" and a HEPA air filter. Although I'm not actually sure what "Eco-Max" means as I can't find a description anywhere even on the Panasonic website!
Like other upright vacuum cleaners it comes with other attachments, specifically a turbo brush, hard floor nozzle, crevice nozzle and dusting brush.
While I didn't know it at the time of purchase, it was also awarded a Which? Best Buy Award in July 2010.
It's currently retailing through John Lewis at £135 with a free 6 year guarantee (via redemption) although the cashback offer that I received is no longer available. You can also buy it from a variety of other stores including Amazon, Currys and Tesco Direct.
- So is it any good?
My first impression of this vacuum cleaner was that it looked really smart with it's predominantly black and silver finish.
My second impression was that it was very heavy. I knew that it wasn't exactly lightweight from the product description, but I wasn't aware how heavy it would feel! I actually don't find it too much of a problem, but if you have difficulty carrying heavy items, or live in a house that's on more than 2 floors I don't think it would be very practical at all. It does feel quite heavy to push around when on, but again this doesn't really bother me.
The cable length is adequate for me to do the whole of my open plan lounge/kitchen/diner, although at 7.5m it's at the shorter end of some of the others I looked at (from looking at other cleaners it seems to range from about 6m - 10m). Personally a longer cable would probably cause me more inconvenience as it would increase the likelihood of me tripping over it.
The one thing I've always found frustrating with bagless vacuum cleaners is that emptying the dust collector often results in some of the dust flying up around the bin rather than going into it. The Panasonic is much better in this regard as you just remove the collector from the cleaner (really easy to do) and then there's a clip on the bottom which flips down so the dust goes downwards into the bin. This seems to be because there is no separation of the filter from the rest of the collector so more of the dust makes it into the bin. It's then really easy to replace the collector back onto the main unit.
One part of the collector that I really like is that there is a rotating dial at the top which you turn to dislodge the dust from the filter. I've only had the cleaner for a few months, so it's too soon to say if it really helps, but as I've suffered from very clogged filters in the past I like the idea that this should help with that problem.
The vacuum cleaner reclines flat so it's easy to get under furniture, although this is only relevant to me to clean under my dining table so flat isn't a necessity. I use the cleaner for my lounge/diner which has carpeted floors and then I move onto my kitchen which has a laminate floor. The power switch slides between the 2 different surface types very easily.
The product description highlights how good this cleaner is for dealing with pet hair, and although I don't have any pets I have long hair which seems to get everywhere in my house. This vacuum cleaner has great suction and picks this up really well and I think it's particularly good at collecting other dust and dirt. Our carpets look significantly cleaner after using it than they did with my previous Hoover, even when it was brand new.
The attachments that it comes with are useful, although I don't have the need to use all of them. I use the hard floor nozzle for the top of skirting boards and the dusting brush to do the stairs. Both of these are just as good as using the main cleaner itself. My only gripe is that one of the attachments, the turbo brush, doesn't seem to slot in/clip onto any part of the vacuum cleaner. This isn't too much of a problem as I just leave it in the cupboard and don't use it, but if you were to use it regularly then I expect this would be more irritating.
- Would I buy it again?
This is a definite yes. I'm so pleased with how clean the carpets look once they've been vacuumed than the minor issues of the weight and the attachment not having a home pale into insignificance. A family member has also bought the same vacuum cleaner and is also pleased with it. I've given it 4 out of 5 as I think that the weight may cause problems for some with bigger houses, and for those who have problems with lifting heavy items.
Short name: Panasonic MCUL594SP47