* Prices may differ from that shown
It was a sad day for me a couple of weeks ago when a friend of mine who had borrowed my beloved Numatic James came to me to report that James had had a rather nasty accident. Whilst he is repairable but having to shell out £156 for a new motor and body casing due to the stupidity of my part time work colleague, the cleaning company have given me a nice fat cheque to get another vacuum that I can use at work. Oh the joy of being given loads of money to spend on my favourite "toy." I dare say I could have gone for another Numatic James, or even a Henry, or even if I was so lazy, one of those fangled Roomba robotic vacs that could do the rooms whilst I sit and have a cup of tea and a natter. No, I like putting the work in, cleaning for me is a good exercise routine and I like to think the job I get paid for is worth the time and energy I put in. After all, my "other job" of teaching has been restricted to part time since there are no permanent jobs in Scotland.
This is how the SEBO D2 Storm has come to be. Initially though, I nearly bought the D series' predecessor, the heavier and shorter cord fitted SEBO C series but with prices at £180 to £200 for the C series, the SEBO D2 Storm has a lot more power and more modern features compared to the older model and although this one will be used by the cleaning company and the bosses in their own homes before they think about ruining my old James again, it has provided relief for many of the workers already where vacuuming takes up most of their day. Where power is concerned, the new Sebo D2 Storm model dances rings around the Numatic James by offering almost twice as much power at 2100 watts compared to the 1100 watts on James and at last, a button to rewind lots of cable in, 12 metres compared to James' 7 metre cord that has to be lasso'd and then heaped on top of his handle. Although the maximum power is 2100 watts, the D2 can provide 1600 watts minimum, which means it isn't as power sapping when there's a variable suction controller built in.
The truth about the SEBO D2 Storm is that it is a relatively new large expensively priced cylinder vacuum on the market with lots of automatically retracting 12 metre cable on board, quiet motor and endless power available. It isn't a compact vacuum by any means, nor is it fit for commercial cleaning in a large industrial way since it is not marketed as yet on the commercial market, but in theory could be used with small, private companies or if you are self-employed! It offers the same kind of dimensions to a Miele S5 with a slightly elevated round bezel at the front to accommodate the large high filtration 4-layer 6-litre dust bag and a relief not to wind up longer cable on a Numatic Henry when the SEBO D2 does it automatically. The D2 Storm is a large vacuum that weighs 6.5kg and has bags that are available to buy, 7 in a box at a cost of £11-95. Like the D2 Total, there are two filters on this model, one that fits right behind the hose fixing as you lift the lid and another filter around the back that looks like a Star Trek Voyager engineering panel that unlocks with its own grab handle bringing a huge hospital grade filter out, often dark grey by the air that the vacuum sucks in, leaving rooms smelling clean and fresh. Fitting both filters is easy as is dropping a dust bag in over a metal clip before lowering the large bin door down to lock to the body of the vacuum. Priced at £219 the SEBO D2 Storm is quite an expensive vacuum but it breezes through cleaning tasks despite its huge size, made more obvious by its red painted body and grey Airbelt bumpers.
In use the D2 Storms through tasks fairly easily and it is a befitting name to the model itself even though it lacks a moving brush. The standard 2 way suction head supplied is a large well made thick PVC plastic 14" size similar to Miele's S5 floorhead and it has a similar pivotal action going up and down making it easy to adjust to different floors without lifting the floor head off the floors. A soft pedal also ensures it is just as easy when cleaning hard floors and there are twin edge corners on the floor head to get right up to the skirting boards. Thanks to the massive amount of suction available though, there is no need to consider another floor head such as SEBO's turbo brush for cleaning up pet hair or stubborn dust, even though this is one aspect of the SEBO company that is greatly appreciated; you can buy a larger turbo brush for this model that also fits all of SEBO's cylinder ranges as well as other small cleaning tools.
Where wear and tear is concerned during use I was initially worried that the machine may get scratched or the corners of doors may get scuffed with this vacuum, but like the similarly kitted out D2 Total, SEBO's thick Airbelt bumper protects furnishings and panels softly thanks to the velvety-smooth Airbelt that also allows diffuses exhaust air out to the sides of the vacuum when in use. The bumper also provides good protection to the vacuum itself, literally allowing the vacuum to bounce gently off corners - because even at its large size, the D2 Storm isn't a little baby pull along.
Quality wise, the hose is very well made, adopting a cone shape where it is thicker and wider from the body tapering up to a smaller and more manageable size as it meets the back of the properly tapered upright like handle. This means less clogging in practical situations even if the handle can be taken off the hose independently if a clog occurs. I've been cleaning a couple of residential homes for example and when a tissue has clogged the hose on a Hoover or Vax, the tissues just get whisked up by the SEBO with no clogging or no problems getting stuck on the "bent" part of the handle. The reason for this is simple - there is no "bent" handle on ANY Sebo cylinder vacuum and the larger tapering of the hose as it locks to the main bin means larger dust is accommodated better. Dust is therefore transported normally as it should be through the floorhead, through the pipes and passed through the hose as the design intends. Then there are the two height adjustable brushed stainless steel suction tubes and the floorhead, which are not dissimilar to Miele. The difference is that the pipes can be adjusted for height by a release button to the front, which can be pushed upwards, or downwards corresponding to the way you want to change the height. With Miele there is only one way of the lock release and a component I've broken on pipes before from this company when it gets loses its soft movement.
Coupled with the handle, all of them lock firmly and can be unlocked by the touch of a button release. But it is the effortless approach to this vacuum cleaner that makes all the difference thanks to its design. I find that I don't have to heighten the pipes to their total height to get the best reach, no stooping is involved because of the excess 2.5 metre hose and when all is finished, the D2 Storm isn't as bulky as it appears because the floor head and pipes store centrally at the back of the vacuum. Suction, power and lack of noise are equally effortless in their approach; and thanks to the way the large black rotary combo "i-button," has a soft-engineered feel to push on and off whilst offering variable suction from the way it moves clockwise to adjust suction from the tinniest movement means one-control controls all. The noise level is just as impressive, with a quiet whoosh rather than whine and like few modern vacs on the market, the D2 Storm has a soft-start function to prolong the motors life. The D2 Storm just powers up when needed instantly and likewise powers down instantly when switched off. During its performance, the workers have noted for example there is no need to shout at each other when the SEBO is working - and that's a relief when usually I'm having to switch off the vacuum just to hear someone talking!
One of its most appealing space saving features is the fact that the hose mount on the body rotates in a 360° rotational axis. This means that with the long 2.5 metre stretch hose on board, the D2 Storm actually doesn't have to go anywhere much since the hose and the pipes with its suction only floor head can travel without moving. This is very handy when cleaning places that are small in their surface area for example, or on stairs if the D2 Storm is made to go upright. Despite the bumper being so prominent the D2 Storm has an able function to go upright without ever feeling like it's going to fall over; something that Henry or James can only dream about thanks to their rotund, circular shapes.
When travelling long distance the D2 Storm also travels well thanks to 4 soft castors on the base of the body. It makes cleaning a bit of a pleasure when the castors can jump over the long power cord or carpet frames unlike James or Henry who can often topple over when pulled roughly. Use of smaller cleaning tools come in three different components such as a short noise free crevice tool, a T shaped upholstery brush with a stiff line of fine brushes for cleaning lint or hairs, and a small stubby 360° long bristled upholstery brush that is ideal of getting in between washing machines and tumble dryers to get rid of any escaping dust or lint. This brush tool is an all-new design and is similar to Miele's round brush although SEBO have put a triangular shape on it to get into corners more efficiently. It is most ideal for cleaning picture frames, for example. All of them fit around the back of the cleaner, easy to take out and put slide back into their "open" accessible areas when required.
So the downsides to the D2 Storm are that although it has a massive dust capacity, the size of the machine can be off putting. This is more apparent when carrying the vacuum because of the round partition at the front. But for larger homes that have suffered for years with round canister vacuums such as Henry or the old Vax canister design used to just sucking up dirt where buyers actually need a larger capacity dust bag, lots of power cable to hand and tools that are well made without a screaming motor, the D2 Storm is a wise buy. One aspect I wish the D2 Storm could have is a LED bag fill indicator like SEBO's smaller cylinder vacuums. The bag fill indicator is precise, there is no denying that but aside from a pleasing blue LED light to show that the machine is switched on, it keeps the design simple on this rather premium priced vacuum cleaner and a mechanical dust indicator is a bit of a rip off!
With a large dust capacity bag on board that can last up to 3 to 4 months per bag and filters that don't require changing until 16 dust bags have been used, the D2 Storm remains to be as cost effective long term as many of its counterparts in the rest of the SEBO vacuum range. Granted it isn't cheap but when you need a long power cord and acres of power without having to deal with dusty filters and have a time limit on your hands, the D2 Storm has sufficient power to deal with dust instantly. It isn't a commercial vacuum however by trade and from SEBO who deal with this industry very well, the design and practical element that the D2 offers seems to blend industrial and domestic cleaning versatility into one very powerful vacuum. As such although it is a replacement machine, it isn't being used for a lot of commercial applications other than cleaning carpets, hard floors and ceilings.
Over cheaper tub vacuums like Karcher who offer lower power, less cost price and difficult to find bags, SEBO'S D2 Storm is fairly efficient at what it does but being better made. The bonus here is the longer automatic rewind able power cord and powerful motor that isn't noisy and up until now in larger cleaning aspects, the power and overall design is a bit of fresh air making it easier for the user rather than appearing bulky and topple over-inducing! Given time the D2 may well lower in price due to popularity, and I've a feeling that the Sebo D2 Storm may well provide a hit in small private cleaning establishments and professional cleaners who pride ease of use over anything else on the market that claims to deal with large dust pick up. It is expensive to buy but not to maintain and when bags and filters are readily available, the Sebo D2 Storm starts to make a lot of sense! Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2010
John Lewis refuse to bring the D series cylinders into their stores - what makes it worse is that their excuse is a "limited quota," of products. So, you'd have to buy the model online at Johnlewis.com FIRST, try it in store and if you didn't like it, you'd have to get a refund. Poor poor show on John Lewis' part!