When our old vacuum cleaner died recently I had a good look to find something suitable to replace it. I didn't want anything too big or heavy and preferably one that was bagged. More importantly, it needed to be effective at removing pet hairs from carpets and furniture. We have cats that shed hair regularly and our previous one really wasn't up to the job.
Anyway, I finally went for this one and I have been really impressed with it. It is a small machine and not too heavy so easy when cleaning stairs etc. The suction on it is great and it comes with a variety of tools such as a crevice tool, dusting brush and upholstery brush that suit every sort of job. The best one is the turbo head, which is fantastic at removing hairs and cleans deep down into carpets. Now we don't have so much of a problem with pet hairs!
The dustbags are easy to change and they have 3.1 litre capacity. Three spare bags are included in the price.
The colour is white with black trim and I love the fact that this cleaner has spots! We have christened ours Pongo, after the dog in 101 Dalmations!
On the technical side, this vacuum cleaner is 2400 watts and has a variable power, so you can select just how much suction you need. It has an indicator that tells you when the bag needs changing. There is also a washable filter, foot-operated cord rewind and on-off control. It is suitable for all floor types and has 5m of cord. The weight of the cleaner is 4.9kg.
We paid £74.99 from Argos and it really has turned out to be a good buy.
How do pet owners clean up after their pets effectively without having to touch the hair and spreading allergens back into the room? It is a scenario that seems to have hit a snag lately with many Dooyoo members who have messaged me asking for advice, because largely most of the vacuums on the market specifically geared for pets are above £200. Normally the cheapest brand new vacuum cleaner on the high street apt for sealing the pet hair in and comes with a pet hair turbo brush as standard is the Electrolux Powerlite Pet Lover upright and at around £60 it isn't that expensive even though it uses high filtration material disposable bags. For cylinder vac fans however there haven't been much available unless you're prepared to go over £100 and what use is Henry when you have to manually rewind the cable, particularly all ten metres? Over the Miele S5 "Cat and Dog," cylinder which is the pinnacle of oiled engineering, fantastic performance matched by a quiet motor and flexible tools with a hefty price to match, buyers are left scratching their heads. Move over Miele, there's a new Pooch in Paradise and it offers a lot in terms of its cost price of just £70! Introducing the Russell Hobbs Pet Turbobag cylinder vacuum...
I've used a another model by this company before and it was a horrendous, messy and time consuming experience mainly because the bagless vacuum was noisy, cheaply made and carried the trait that because the filter wasn't like Dyson, it had to be emptied and cleaned each time the vacuum was used. The good news now is that despite the same company name, this model is a breath of fresh air thanks partly to the HEPA filter on board, but also on the fact that the dust and dander sits in a rather large disposable 5-litre dust bag and of which you get five spare bags as well. I'm at two minds at the masses of tools you get with it as some of the tools are sadly just as cheep feeling as the last Russell Hobbs I used. Included in the box you get a large full size turbo brush for thread and deep cleaning whilst a standard 2 way suction only floorhead is included and three smaller cleaning tools. It really begs the question to why Miele's own S5 is so expensive when the Turbobag is very similar on spec! But the look of the Turbobag vacuum is quite fun in its own way even though it may lack the smile of Henry, or the red staidness of the Miele Cat and Dog model - here black and white contrasts are the order of the day with a suitable "Dalmatian," dog colour scheme that Russell Hobbs seems to have adorned on their latest of household appliances, and if you like a novel and unusual look to your electrical appliances, you won't go wrong with this polka dot dog running after you!
In most applications the Russell Hobbs vacuum is quite a powerful and fast vacuum to consider even if it does have a slight familiar Bosch design to it from the fact that there are three recessed wheels on the under base that assist for smooth gliding from room to room and makes stair cleaning very easy as a result due to its slightly taller height and the wheels not sticking out as much. The hose is also longer at 2 metres than Miele's standard 1.5 metres, so it can go for quite a long distance without using all the 6 metres of cable and with height adjustable metal tubes, it is clear that Russell Hobbs have tried to do a Miele copy here on the general features.
For the money there are also some surprising but welcome extras. Unlike latest Hoover vacuums, there is a pop up hiding storer to put three smaller cleaning tools in. Again this is just a copy of what Miele also offer here and whilst the long round furniture brush smacks of Miele originality, a flat upholstery tool and smaller crevice tool are all included and hide away easily under the pick up tool door. Pity however that it doesn't as rise as efficiently or with that "Miele" oiled precision but for most intents and purposes, Russell Hobbs have thought about certain design elements to include here and possibly snatch the buyers who are interested in the Miele S5. The smaller cleaning tools all fit onto the hose or height adjustable metal extension tubes by friction fit although their plastic quality isn't particularly durable in feeling, Russell Hobbs have worked hard to produce something different from their usual quality and all the tools bar the short crevice pipe are relatively quiet in use. The HEPA filter is also washable as well as being suitable just to be tapped clean when, as Russell Hobbs state in their user manual "it gets mucky." Infact the user manual isn't much cop and has sensible do's and don't laid out in lists with only two pages of diagrams as to the parts of the vacuum. What I do like about the user manual however is that it is very easy to read and understand. Salton, the home company have also paid attention to making the user manual as friendly as possible but it is a pity that they haven't included how to take apart the roller brush for cleaning.
The downsides are down to the plastic build quality and some lack of thought. The main suction turbo floor head needs four screws to undo if you want to clean the roller from pet hair and that can be a downside here - Miele's version is better thought out in this respect. In less than a month the tool door/flap to the Russell Hobbs snapped off and one of the mounts for the suction only floorhead also came off. Although no stranger to soft pedals on vacuums like this, my particular model had the knack of only turning on if the pedal function was stamped on - it certainly doesn't feel as if the pedals are well made despite their soft action. Whilst it looks like it can deal with day to day vacuuming, the build quality on the Russell Hobbs should be better for the price.
The powerful motor can be too noisy from start up right up to the full 2200 watts of power when the variable suction control dial is raised all the way and certainly if you want a back breaking exercise try the model on the highest power with a fresh, empty disposable bag and you could well put your back out! Like Miele, the Russell Hobbs offers full variable suction control on the main body of the cylinder and although it seems like a cheapened copy, it also suffers like Miele's S5 to have air pumping out the top thanks to its motor exhaust. Another downside is the apparent lack of bags to buy on the high street after you get through the five bags Russell Hobbs have included already unless you continually shop from Argos where I bought this vacuum from and they cost £5-99 for 5. There are also a couple of pet hair air freshener capsules for the bags to minimise on the smell of rotting pet hair as it sits in the bag. This in other words isn't as hygienic as Miele and this is where the German company do better in terms of hygienic air and offering more layers of filtration with their material/fleece type bags long-term. With Russell Hobbs, brown paper 2 ply filter bags are the order of the day, here and they don't have seal caps either.
Moving through rooms the Turbobag is thankfully very lightweight so it is relatively easy to carry, just weighing 5kg. Sometimes the overall size can come across as being a large cylinder vacuum cleaner even though it does possess some very good gliding characteristics and maintaining a relatively easy procedure to pull along. However there is no bumper protection and when the long 6 metre power cord whips back into the back of the machine via the auto cord rewind pedal you might have to duck out of the way as the plug smacks off the side of the machine or your ankles when all of the cord is reeled in. Protection from scrapes is also not evident and the Pets Turbobag looses its sheen and matt look very easily. Even with two park positions when storing away, the bigger hose can get in the way too so it's better to consider this vacuum as being difficult for storage thanks to oodles of hose.
Granted it's not in the same quality as a Miele S5 Cat and Dog but despite its features and lack of bags in the long term, for the short term, Russell Hobbs' Pets Turbobag vacuum is surprisingly capable and well worth considering. Salton just need to improve the overall quality. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2009.
Short name: Russell Hobbs 13947