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Taken For A Sucker But Pleased About It
Member Name: Nibelung
Date: 06/01/10, updated on 07/01/10 (1402 review reads)
Advantages: Good price. Reasonable array of tools. Powerful
Disadvantages: Not entirely maintenance free or free of running ocsts
Since our house is mainly carpeted with the exception of the kitchen, an upright vacuum cleaner makes all kinds of sense, with its beating action to vibrate the grit free before being sucked into its capacious clear plastic cylinder. When I mentioned the word 'Dyson' to a friend, he grunted and mentioned something about "as good a way as any for redistributing dust around the house as I know" - is this what's meant by a vacuous comment?. When I mentioned changing the filters or checking to see if it was blocked, he looked at me with that 'Filters? Blocked?' expression that indicated he really hadn't fully understood the concept of 'bag-less' cleaners.
You have to bear this in mind with many bag-less vacuum cleaners - they are NOT necessarily maintenance free, and this goes for our new Samsung SC 8442 too.
It isn't that the Dyson had given up on us, but for years I've been less than happy with its extension tool set as supplied, it being inflexible and too short, to name but two of its failings. Vacuuming the car involved standing the cleaner on a spare bit of carpet, and contorting oneself in a very awkward way to get the interior anywhere near clean. Likewise, our stairs prove very unwieldy to complete, half of your time with the Dyson down below, and the other half with it hoisted upstairs first and it's almost but not quite a case of 'no-man's land' halfway. Thus it was that with the January sales in full swing that I decided to add to our arsenal of 'dust-suckers' (as it translates from German, thanks for reminding me, Kate!) rather than replace one. Pensioned off to 'do' only carpets, the Dyson feels like it could last another 10 years, although one wonders what will fall off next! Having said that, there's a wealth of web-sites out there willing to sell you practically everything you need to build another one!
MIND WHERE YOU POINT THAT THING!
The Samsung cleaner is what would be loosely termed a 'cylinder' cleaner, since it sits on the floor and follows you round as you use its various attachments. Unlike the Dyson, it has a much longer flexible hose, which helps greatly with the stair-cleaning exercise. Its main rigid attachment tube is also extendable with a ratchet-action reminiscent of a pump-action shot gun ("Lock and load men, and don't suck till you see the whites of their dust!").
There's also a handy 'bleed valve' that falls neatly to your thumb so you can slacken off its suction in double-quick time if it should start to 'eat' something you don't want it to. In an initial fit of premature spring-cleaning, it sucked down the entire pull cord from the bathroom light switch, so I was glad to be able to release it before any real harm was done!
Having a two kilowatt motor* all given over to suction with no beating action to drive, you really do have to consider where you're poking it (sound advice for life in general, I'd say).
Using its narrowest nozzle, it really does feel like it would "have your finger, or any other appendage off" given half a chance. Indoor naturists: You've been warned.
(*This translates into 360 'air-watts' whatever they are. All I know is that it's a lot more than any of the uprights on show at Currys and probably relates to how much of the power gets to suck dirt)
Other attachments include a narrow head better suited to cleaning edges next to walls, I'd have thought although I think they recommend its use on curtains.
Likewise, there's the customary wider main head which can be altered to suit carpets or hard floors with the touch of a foot-operated lever, and an interesting newcomer to me at least, a beating-action head. This requires no electrical connection as it's only driven by a small turbine in the suction stream but it can be quite useful on carpet for trasing out stubborn deep-seated fluff. Be prepared to unblock it occasionally though, as just the same as upright cleaners, the beater cylinder gets entwined with cotton or embarrassingly long blonde hairs when your wife's a brunette, that kind of thing. It's easy to undo though. The head is made from clear acrylic, so you can see at a glance if it needs attention, and with a flick of an unlocking bar, the lid comes off.
Of course, all that power is no good if it can't be moderated - I've already mentioned the valve on the main attachment, but there's also a foot-slider to alter the motor speed. At full pelt, it does sound very purposeful, and some would say noisy, but a lot of this noise is generated at the nozzle end, especially if using the narrowest accessory.
Slowing it down a tad makes the whole operation a bit less anti-social, and makes the attachments easier to push. Of course, if you overdo it, it doesn't clean either but you still get your exercise!
Next to the foot-operated on/off switch, there's another that reels the cord back in when finished. I'm never too enthusiastic about the life-expectancy of these systems, but so far it's fine.
To ease your path there's a front castor wheel and the main weight of the cleaner is taken by two very large diameter, and therefore very free rolling, wheels, neatly faired-in to the body-shell. The overall effect is that of an electric city car - the sort of thing Clive Sinclair should have designed. A neat foldaway carrying handle completes the cosmetics of the silver and metallic graphite body. It's never fallen over, but I'd notice that at full stretch on the stairs, the front wheel had come up off the ground, not that this affected its ability to work.
Emptying the clear acrylic dust container is easy - it slides out of the front looking like the large jug of a sizeable food processor. Probably best not to mix these up. If I've one criticism, it's that this drum is not very big (2 litre), but then, contained as it is in a small cleaner, that's hardly surprising so you quickly become adept at removing it.
There are two filters, one, a primary which is washable foam and the other, the 'HEPA** 11 filter' is only dustable and later replaceable.
(** High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters, so now you know)
You get a 'check filter' warning light but it would be best to keep at least one spare in hand till you find out just how often you need to change it. I guess, as with car air filters, this depends largely on the environment in which it operates. The manual isn't very informative here, as it refers to dusting out the HEPA filter, but also mentions that replacements are available from Samsung agents, without making any mention of how long merely dusting it out will make it last.
PROS & CONS
I'll leave you to decide whether an upright or a cylinder cleaner is best for you. After all, I've got both now! One thing which dogs the latter is "what the hell do you do with the attachments when stored?" Unlike an upright which carries its arsenal of side arms with it, you have to find a home for these. As you expect, a limp bit of tubing won't stand up of its own accord, and since Viagra doesn't work on inanimate objects, you'll need to find a way of stowing it yourself.
Samsung do provide a bracket which allows the main vacuum head and tube/hose assembly to be clipped vertically to the bodywork without disconnecting it, so that the arrangement stands upright like some enormous paperclip, but where I store mine, this is more trouble than it's worth as it gets in the way of our coat rack.
My own personal solution (no, not Viagra) was to use a variety of drainpipe-clips and hose-clips on the back of the under-stairs cupboard door, making sure that nothing gets caught.
Yes, you can get further up the stairs with it, but not all the way up.
Yes, it's powerful, but unless you rein it in a bit, it makes working on carpets very hard work.
Not, it's not a 'wet'n'dry' job, but then neither is the Dyson.
About £70-odd for the complete kit. The price for a replacement HEPA filter evades me so far. Who knows, I may never need one?
SPECIFICATION (Courtesy of Samsung)
Dust Collection Type - Bagless
Max.Consumption Power (W) - 2000
Suction Power (W) - 360
Noise level (dBA) - 78
Dust Capacity (L) - 2
Filter - Pre-Motor - Foam
Filter - Exhaust - HEPA 11
Indicator - Check filter
Power Cord Length (m) - 7
Action Radius (m) -10.5
Auto Cord Rewinder Yes
Dimensions Net (W*H*D, mm) 283 x 300 x 420
Weight - Unit (kg) - 5.8
Summary: Self-contained bagless cleaner
|Ease of use:|
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