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Lately I've found I've needed a cylinder vacuum with a long cord to help me out in my part time long time job as a cleaner. Cylinder vacs by design are better and more compact to carry around with but there are so many on the market like Numatic's famous Henry or Karcher tub cylinder vacuums that both have much needed long cords such as 8 or 9 metres of cord that then have to be rewound by hand. It is often a painful and hand wrenching experience! When it comes to cleaning, changing plugs is the bane of my life when it comes to vacuuming in large homes with pull along vacuums. I'm fine with small flats - I have SEBO'S K series to hand or the recently purchased Miele S4212 in a flat I own and let out to tenants. I find I do more leg work returning to the plug than the cords that rewind back into the vacuums in larger homes compared to small flats! Against Miele's stingy 6.5 metre cord length on their supposedly "large" S5 vacuum, 4.5 litre dust bags for four in a box and a hose that is supposed to outdo Henry, the biggest threat now to both Henry and Miele's S5 is the new SEBO D series.
The SEBO D2 Total or "Arty D2," as I've affectionately called it, has 12 metres of cord for example and presently holds the biggest amount of cord compared to the industry standard of 9 metres. ALL of it also rewinds back into the rear of the vacuum via a rewind button. Why has it taken so many years for any brand let alone SEBO to give customers what they want?!
When I switched the SEBO D2 Total on the first time around for example, I was delighted to find a very quiet motor and unlike Miele, very little whine but certainly more whoosh! The D2 also has a soft start function to lengthen the motors life but the biggest delight is not receiving a hot air facial when I bend down to change the suction setting either - Unlike the Miele S5. Also the D2 has an "i-Power," suction control dial which means a continuous electronic infinitely adjustable suction that I want, not taking the silly decals for suction suggestions that Miele provide. SEBO leave it up to you to choose what suction you'd like and a quick turn of the fingers around the dial lets you get on with cleaning. The "i-Power," dial also has a double function copied from Sebo's K series; when pushed in or out the dial acts as the power activation and a light blue LED light comes on to show that the machine is activated. Two simple buttons on the smooth, clean surface is all you'll get on the SEBO D2 and that makes life simpler. What comes across immediately with the D2 Total isn't just its stylish keyhole design thanks to a German art house, but more to the point it feels well made for the price I've paid and has simple controls. It oozes excellent engineering and fit/finish with a thickly made bin lid that comes up easily and wide enough for access to the bag. Unlike rivals, the new dust bags can simply be dropped in over two lugs and the bin lid closed over. With Henry, it's always an effort. No cartridge to worry about like Miele and no need to ensure the bag has been pushed in far enough. SEBO have also added the seal cap from the Felix upright that can be pushed over to seal the dust bag indefinitely when it comes the time to lift and dispose of.
When it comes to cleaning carpets, the D2 Total fires into action instantly and without high whine noise. It has a decibel rating of between 61 to 67 from low to high making it very quiet against rivals from Hoover, Miele and other brands. Of course I've noticed it because it means I can vacuum around people without bothering them at any time in the day or night. The main turbo brush is quite a shocker for the fact that the 2100 watt motor on board makes the brushes spin so fast it sounds like its about to take off and is noisier than the actual D2 Total alone! Turn the dial down for a slower rate of suction and the brush still picks up first time with pet hair in particularly being able to instantly disappear. A slider on the main turbo brush allows you to further glide lighter on carpets. Or, if you have hard flooring with thin carpeting you can also pick the suction-only 2 way standard floor head which has also been re-designed for the D2 and has a well made action to it with all round perimeter stiff brushes for hard floors whilst also retaining a nice light weight factor.
When it comes to cleaning stairs for example, I often have to add on another extension hose on top of the existing vacuum's hose on board and with Henry it often means having to juggle precariously with vac in one hand and hose in the other or leaving the vac at the bottom of the stairs and then finding I don't have enough reach. Well, not anymore! The D2 Total has a 2.1 metre stretch wide hose, so in this respect you're getting the same kind of width as you would with Henry (but Henry has a longer hose that whacks off doors and makes the paint flake off) but 0.4 metres longer than Miele's S5 series. If the hose isn't long enough, don't forget I have oodles of cord to take benefit of and the D2 sits on stairs quite the thing! The D2 Total feels like it is made for buyers who need many cleaning tools and a vacuum that is stress free whilst also offering that long power cable rewound back into the machine via a cord rewind button as well as being compact enough to be safely deposited on a step. There! Two boxes already ticked that Henry can't seem to do safely or easily, in my experience!
Life with the D2 Total is extremely lightweight compared to rivals. Take the handle on the hose for example; it mimics an upright vacuum handle so it is long, tapered and easy to hold. The handle alone also weighs nigh of 200g, which is less than Miele's S5 similarly SEBO copied handle at 280grams. There are two telescopic height adjustable stainless steel suction tubes finished in a brushed steel finish - those weigh 504grams against Miele's similarly fitted pipes that weigh close to 600g. The SEBO D2 Total weighs a total of 6.5 kg against Miele's S5 at 7kg and is 1.5kg lighter than the previous SEBO C series vacuum that the D replaces. The 4 layer high filtration dust bags retains a larger dust capacity of 6 litres, 1 litre more than Bosch's current offering and Miele's long standing S5 series and 1 litre less than "good old Henry." The D2 also retains four elevated soft castors for minimum travel, jumping over the cord and carpet frames without getting the cord tangled. The D2 also has two park positions making it easy to store away when not in use, one at the back and one at the rear in the centre. For all that the Miele S5 has set premium standards, SEBO have answered the critics well bringing a large bagged expensive cylinder vacuum cleaner that is easier, yet similarly sized than Miele's S5 and there is acres of strong power thanks to its quiet 2100 watt motor and a fantastic easy to locate 2 part filter system that goes with the same kind of thinking SEBO have been experts at for years. Yet the vacuum is light to use on carpets and hard floors, light to pull after me and easy to carry without much strain whilst most of the time the main unit sits stationary with just the hose and pipes being used when it comes to cleaning stairs.
The "Total" name on the D2 means extra tools. This translates to a light gliding main turbo brush floor head and extra mini turbo brush, plus a standard 2 way suction only floor heads ideal on hard floors. Then, the D2 alone offers three standard smaller cleaning tools that are all easy to locate at the rear such as crevice tool, 360 degree neck pivotal dust brush or T shaped upholstery tool (ideal by the way for clearing dust off curtains). The SEBO D2 has a wonderful rotating hose that allows the hose of the vacuum to get the use whilst the main unit sits stationary. Where does the fresh air come from? Clean air blast from a SEBO cylinder happens through the multi-versatile Airbelt, a Lycra cloth belt that permanently (but removable and easy to remove for cleaning or replacing) acts as an air diffuser providing clean motor air into rooms aswell as protecting furniture and corners and the machine itself, so the air the machine expels is out to the sides of the vacuum and not in any way directed to the owner, something that Miele fails at with its exhaust at the top of their machines.
The downside to the SEBO D2 Total is cost price, yet it seems to be cheaper than Miele's S5 Titanium flagship model comparing specs by specs and for what you get. Priced at £279-95 then it is a premium vacuum cleaner that sits in a market with likewise brands such as Miele, Bosch, AEG and Dyson. Unlike Miele and other companies, SEBO still retain an excellent 5-year guarantee when bought new and for domestic use only.
Size wise, the D2 Total measures 50cm length by 30 cm diameter with a height of roughly 23cm putting it into direct size comparisons with Miele's S5 model. Infact, per cost Miele's S5 "Titanium," comes with a lot of smaller features such as dust bag, hose and lacks the mini turbo pet hair brush that comes with this SEBO as standard, not to mention the HEPA/S-Class filtration system which Miele have conveniently forlorn with their basic Super Air Clean filter that pongs after clearing up pets. Oh yes, SEBO won't fit anything less than Hospital grade S-Class filtration, either and the filters on this model can last up to twice the amount of dust bags whilst one box of bags can last a year and a half depending on use. The Hospital grade basket filter on board the D2 looks like a mini doggy bowl and gives me greater peace of mine judged by its larger size, fitting it and its ability to keep back dust smells. That filter and its secondary filter which fits at the top of the bin lid lasts for 16 bags before they need to be replaced. Replacement filters cost £19-99. Dust bags cost £11-95 for 8 bags in a box compared to 4 in a Miele box and I've so far found one SEBO bag lasts up to three months on board the D2 Total, but this very much depends on what you are picking up! Ideal for pet owners based on its floor head choices, hospital grade filtration and long lasting dust bags, SEBO's D2 Total is well worth considering which offers great value for money matched by its impeachable performance.
There is nothing wrong with the Miele S5 though. It is still a premium priced well made vacuum that does most tasks well. However in larger homes, the SEBO D2 Total offers a vast and better amount of features for the same price and has lighter components to make life easy when it comes to cleaning and use. If you have a long stair case for example or large rooms with long travelling hallways, the SEBO D2 Total is the perfect vacuum for the job. Long gone are the days for finding plugs and carrying vacuums in my hand on stairs, whilst all the while powerful suction on board that is reliable, quiet and long lasting. Thanks for reading. (c)Nar 2010.
BUILD QUALITY: 10/10
EASE OF USE: 10/10
COST OF CONSUMABLES: 9/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 10/10
User video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMgjzfLj7Uc
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!
Buying from SEBO UK direct is slightly cheaper and does away with the above nonsense - it's just a pity that you don't get to run the machine first as John Lewis stores would give you that instant advantage.