Product Type: Sebo vacuums
Newest Review: ... each pack. The instructions are quite specific, there are two lights which alternate when you first switch it on, these display whether ... more
The Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner In The World?
Sebo X1 Automatic
Member Name: Nar2
Sebo X1 Automatic
Date: 21/12/06, updated on 13/11/11 (5047 review reads)
Advantages: Professionally designed - just keeps going.
Disadvantages: Uses a bag.
** Nar's Quick Skip Product Spec **
* No external drive belt to replace
* 10 metre power cord, 9kg weight. 5 to 6 kg when gliding/pushing and pulling across the floor.
* Automatic Electronic "clever" height adjustment
* 1000 watts (X1.1 has 1150 watts, X4 has 1300 watts)
* S Class filtration (similar to HEPA)
* Large 5.5/6 litre dirt capacity with sealed bags.
* Hoister tube and hose assembly.
* Flat upholstery tool and crevice tool included.
* Stepped pedal position facility.
* Thermal cut out facility & Double Insulated.
* Bag full/Blockage LED indication.
* Brush removal switch.
* Fits flush to the ground under low furniture.
* Carbon filter
* Additional cost option tools boost cleaning capacity and ability. (Can be changed into a cylinder style with extension hose and floor attachments)
* Available online at varying and cheaper prices; complete design with higher motors upgraded in the X1.1, X4 and X5 range.
**** The Price & The Initial Package Promise ****
Sebo upright vacuum cleaners have always commanded a high price but simply it is for the engineering, thinking and sheer ease of professional use to why the model is highly inflated. I thought they were pricey until I tried one and now I know why they are more expensive and sit in Dyson price territory. The reason is simply for its ease of use, lightweight compatibility, versatility and no drive belt - which is unheard of amongst other upright vacuums which still use drive belts you need to replace eventually.
Get past the claims of the British Allergy Foundation who have awarded ALL of Sebo's vacuum cleaners and you realise that the purchase of one may well be the last one you will ever need. It is a large claim to make but this is also a large review!
All Sebo's including the X1 treat the carpet textures kinder than standard floor roller brushes because of the unique electronic brain which is central to the X1's design and the fact that the roller brush has no beater bars and can be taken out to clean at the push of a button. All these design features have come from Sebo's BS30/40 series - commercial vacuum cleaners which just keep going.
**** Colours ****
Over time brighter colours have been applied to the models to gain colour interest from customers. Our Sebo X1 is hardly the first word in fashion, my model being predominantly a mix of dark grey and light grey. Sebo aren't interested in making their cleaners as handsome as possible, because their first port of interest is reliability.
**** Initial Set Up Features and Use ****
From flat pack it only takes a matter of seconds to fit everything together. A handy 3 page user manual (A4) also comes supplied with the machine whilst the diagrams are clearly labelled and drawn. Setting up the X1 is a bit like building blocks here; the handle snap locks into a hinge which hides the electricity power point on top of the main hard bin box, and bin box slides into two hinges which then locks everything together.
When the machine is switched on (rocker switch located on the handle), you just push the pedal release which is located at the bottom right hand part of the machine and start cleaning. The noise from the motor on this machine isn't very noisy compared to other uprights I've used and you can hear the brushes hit the floor once the floorhead has rested.
**** The Electronics of Sebo - A Main Reason of its Cost Price ****
When the handle of the cleaner swings down, the floor head lowers itself gently until it meets the floor and lets you know this by a Green LED light on the main part of the floor head. This is currently viewable on Sebo's main webpage on the video of the X4 which replaces our old model.
In use the X1 Automatic moves over carpets and varying thick and thin carpet textures as if it is almost floating on a cushion of air - there is an apparent lightness which is caused by the central electronic wheel which continues to sense the floor texture unlike other uprights which don't sport this kind of technology. Whilst it's fun to watch the lights going on and off at times, I find that when I vacuum the house with our old Sebo, it cuts cleaning time in half compared to other cheaply made uprights I have had in the past. The electronic "brain" also adjusts the floor head to decrease brush wear.
The difference between Hoover uprights (and others) with a manual adjustment is that the X1 never ploughs; it just glides with sufficient bristle levels hitting and grooming the carpet as it goes. Carrying the upright upstairs reveals the total weight of the cleaner but thanks to its gliding action; it feels as if the weight is cut in half.
Unlike most uprights on the market, there are only three wheels on the Sebo; two soft wheels at the back so not to damage delicate floor coverings and the main central wheel. Compared to other cleaners which have a supposed Auto Carpet adjuster the Sebo floor head remains and glued to the carpet surface but doesn't lay flat heavy on the carpet so that pushing becomes a chore. It still leaves a beautiful grooming effect however which is viewable on many carpet textures.
*** What's The Advantages? ***
The electronics on the Sebo save the owner from bending down constantly to change the height of the floor head so that the brushes can regain control and sufficiently clean the carpet. With Sebo, the machine does this FOR you.
Two red LED lights also show when there is a blockage in the roller brush or when the bag is full. If the red light shows constant on the bag full indication, and as the manual suggests it could well be a blockage. Even Dysons have an inspection tube these days when something large and bulky gets clogged.
The bonus with Sebo's X model is that additionally if the red LED remains constant, the Sebo will activate its thermal cut out function and automatically switch off. Even when the power switch is OFF, (but the mains cord is still plugged in with the electricity still flowing through) the bag full light will flash repeatedly to let the owner know that there is a problem; now that is particularly a very neat idea here given that you can switch it on and off immediately after then cut out has taken place. You won't find that with Hoover, Electrolux and Panasonic and a lot of other models by other companies, where their products which on average take 30 to 45 minutes to cool down before activating or sometimes never again!
** Height **
The overall height of the machine is slightly taller than standard uprights on the market and that improves the actual use of the machine coupled with the known weight of 9kg. That's the quality of thought for you but you do have to try the cleaner compared to other uprights to see the difference in weight. My mother thought that the upright was surging ahead when she first used it, not knowing the quality of the hydraulic assisted electronics. In some ways then, if you are used to manually pushing an upright around, the Sebo surges ahead almost as if it has a self propelled mechanism.
**** Power ****
For a machine that only has an 850 to 1000 watt motor, the performance is excellent and suction is good. This upright cleans remarkably well despite its low power. When the bag starts to fill up, suction does waver but it doesn't fail - its always there to take up more dirt unless the bag is filled straight to the top with general household dust. DIY dust however is a different matter as the bag is a three layered bag which adds to the S Class/HEPA levels of filtration, so DIY dust tends to block up the bag more than general household dust.
**** Where's The Drive Belt? ****
Gone are the days where you will need to buy a drive belt because none of Sebo's X uprights use a replaceable drive belt. Instead, there is a flywheel which is permanently fitted to the right hand side of the floor head. SEBO fit a toothed drive belt inside the machine by the motor which is guaranteed to last the life of the machine.
Sebo also produced this machine to incorporate a button release for the main roller head. This means that if the brush bar needs to be taken out, there are no screws to undo, no sole plate to take off gently - a push down button which fits flush on the floor head releases the brush bar through a small side opening which reveals the whole bar. Once the brush slides off the flywheel easily (just by pulling it) inspection and cleaning it off with wrapped threads etc is a lot easier and quicker, which speeds up my own cleaning tasks. Then you just fit the brush back onto the flywheel pin, turn to lock, put the side door back on and the button lock pops up to show the owner that the brush has been installed correctly.
In other words it takes seconds to release, clean and fit the brush back into the upright against other companies which still get the consumer to faff about with a screwdriver!
*** Using The Hose ***
The hose has its own hoister handle and additional tube which fits into the side of the machine at the rear. When you pull this hoister tube out, the main ribbed hose that travels from the hoister pulls out somewhat to give the user considerable stretch - but it won't stretch as far as stair cleaning. You will need to buy an additional extension hose, measuring 3 metres (6 metres total added to the Sebo hose on the machine) to clean stairs.
Since the hose snap fits into the hoister, you can use the hose independently with the long crevice tool or flat upholstery brush with its own removable brush section. Both these tools, like the hose and hoister tube fit flush into the back of the machine, thus adding to the patented lie flat factor, which again compared to other uprights I have used, the Sebo always lies flat because everything has been designed to fit flush. Moving under low furniture and "open space" beds is a marvel!
**** Changing and Fitting The Bag ****
Sebo's genuine bags are multi layered to add to the filtration aspect on the X range. The bags also come with spare caps which once fitted to the top of the bag, are extremely difficult to take off. You have the option as the owner to seal the bag or not and again it's an excellent design thought; one that pushes out the need to consider bagless and cyclonic even if the Sebo uses a bag against Dyson's famed 100% suction principles.
Putting a paper bag in is just as easy and much lighter when you replace a very full brick like bag of dirt! This is where these excellent caps come into their own. Once they are fitted, no dirt is released and the bag can be disposed of safely.
How much dirt can the bags hold? The maximum amount of dirt the bag can hold is between 5 and 5.5 litres. In use however our X1 seems to be able to take up far much more than the statistical data provides.
**** Main Filtration ****
There are two types of filters available.
The standard filter is a micro filter and then there is the Pet filter which is a carbon and charcoal mix. Indeed if you grip the filter you can feel the charcoal beads that are contained in the white felt mix of this filter. The standard filter does without the charcoal beads but nevertheless copes well with retaining most household odour, even after the bag is full. Sebo do not make washable filters and as the manual suggests the filters must be replaced after every 10 bags. By my reckoning this means for us that our 10 bag box which comes with a standard micro filter and by the 3 month per bag equates to this filter lasting for more than 2 years. Even without the Pet filter, the standard micro filter and the carbon exhaust filter layers add up to an overall S-Class and HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) level.
Another filter can be found above the motor. This is the carbon filter and this takes up all the dangerous carbon that the motor and the brushes emit every time you use the cleaner. Upright machines in general do produce a lot of carbon which usually gets chucked back into the room unless there is a motor filter equipped to deal with this horrible black stuff! Indeed on the filter you can see the black carbon clinging to it. It should be replaced when it has completely turned black on both sides. Unlike most uprights on the market too, this machine doesn't put out any hot air from the back of the cleaner, so you won't burn your legs with motor air.
**** Removing Blockages ****
As with the hose that can be taken off the machine via a lock by the top of the bin, and the hoister handle and its corresponding tube, you can additionally check through the floor head and the previously mentioned release button to release the main floor roller brush. If you tip the machine over just below the main brush roll there is an orange or beige trapdoor. This is suitably sprung and by picking this open, you can slide a few fingers to inspect if there is a blockage. Even if you have the brush already out of the machine, this trapdoor effectively allows access to the main dirt channel that takes the dirt from the floor through the pipes.
*** Any Other Helpful Positive Design Elements? ***
The power cord is thankfully longer than the standard 7 metres you usually get with mass market uprights. On Sebo, you get 10 metres of cord. With the additional helpful cord wrap hooks, you can choose the amount of cord you can have. Located under the bottom cord is the main handle to the machine. On later models, and not the X1 Automatic, there is also an additional handle fitted flush at the bottom of the main bin at the front of the cleaner to aid lifting.
The handle has the usual pedal, step once to release, step a second time to allow the handle to go lower with this machine. But, if you look closely at the pedal there is a switch slide bar that is coloured in orange. If you flick the slider along, the handle will not need to be pressed twice if you want to put the handle all the way down.
**** Buying the Bags- The Options ****
There are several ways that owners can buy Sebo paper dirt bags. Firstly you can buy ten bags in one box from Sebo which include the sealed caps. This is known as the "Service Box," and for £15-95 you get an additional micro filter, exhaust filter, 10 bags and the caps to seal the bags once they are full. The exhaust filter, main filters and a set of 8 bags are available to buy singularly though without considering the "Service box." The single box of bags for example can be bought for £7-99 and upwards. I find EBay a great source for genuine EBay bags but Argos also sell the bags too as they sell the X1.1 (has lower motor than X4).
***** Any Disadvantages? *****
A downside with this machine that I have found is the fact that it topples over if you pull the hose roughly at the back. This fault is a con current fault with most upright vacuum cleaners on the market. In the Sebo's defence and because the hose can be swung around, I usually put the upright against a flat surface such as a wall and use the wand and hose then.
Secondly, it uses a paper bag.
Well in my mind I'm happy with a paper bag because paper bags keep all the nasties out and you don't faff about with cleaning filters on bagless/cyclonic uprights that carry any other name but Dyson. Dyson owners can feel particularly smug with their models' lifetime filter but eventually it has to be replaced and if it's not washable, the replacement can be hard to find or expensive. Also, many Dyson consumers tend to state that they put the dirt in a bag before transporting to their main refuse bin - what is the point in that? You're still using a bag aren't you?
Thirdly, only one side of the Sebo's floorhead can edge brush up to the skirting board. This doesn't mean that the other side fails completely but in general use, the side channels on the Sebo attract viewable dirt into its path. No other upright I have owned can do this!
***** Final Advantages *****
Sebo also make a whole long list of attachments for the X1 which also fits the X1.1 and X4 uprights in the entire range from mattress cleaning attachments to radiator brushes. But Sebo also produce an excellent dry cleaning powder called "Duo-P."
With the use of the X1 upright you can unhook the main hose from the bag which allows the X1 to rotate its double chevron brushes into the carpet and roll the powder into the carpet. Wait 20 to 30 minutes, lock the hose back on and then vacuum the carpet. The results are astounding although really heavy carpet stains must be repeated over and over with powder until the stain disappears. I have to say that I'm bowled over with the powder as it does work well and leaves a coat of stain protection to the carpet once it has been applied to carpets. The scent of the powder is also very fresh smelling and non-solvent and environmentally friendly. Infact if there is anything to add to the benefit of the Sebo range then it could be termed environmentally friendly from its filter design right down to the fact that the motors are not the highest in the upright cleaner market where wattage is concerned - but this is not important as the suction is extremely good thanks to the air tight design.
***** Final Costs *****
Cost of Sebo X1 Automatic = £150-00
Cost of filters and bags for the whole year = £15.95:
Cost option extendable hose = £9.99
Total cost: £175
**** Final Conclusion of Sebo's X series ****
When you see the ease and thinking that has gone into this machine, then you'll realise why the machine is costly to buy. Remember the Sebo is primarily a commercial product so its design is built on areas where the machine cleans and remains efficient; I advise friends to try a Sebo before they plummet money again on a Dyson, or simply if they want an upright vacuum cleaner which is highly efficient, easy and quick to use. Argos and Comet now sell Sebo whilst John Lewis who is Sebo's largest suppliers on the high street allows you to test an X4 before buying.
All newer Sebo uprights which carry the "X" emblem (X1.1, X4, X5 Extra) are in effect the same model with higher motors and in the X5 Extra's case, an even bigger floorhead for larger homes. New models also come with a lengthy guarantee policy and they are individually tested before they arrive on shop floors.
So if you see the old X1 Automatic on EBay or even in a second hand electrical outlet I'd say definitely consider it! Our Sebo has remained in our family for 11 years; for 7 years it has had to cope with three large dogs and a cat before I got my hands on it and it just refuses to die. İNar05/İNar2 06
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2008
An online help video which also shows the features of the U.S version of the X1 Automatic, known as the "Windsor Sensor" can be viewed on You Tube:
Summary: Buy it to clean not to show off with!
|Ease of use:|
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