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This Sebo's a super sucker!
Sebo X1.1 Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Member Name: MelissaRuth
Sebo X1.1 Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Date: 10/02/12, updated on 10/02/12 (186 review reads)
Advantages: Robust. Cleans well. Dirt is hidden from view. Lasts a long time.
Disadvantages: Pipe attachment can come unclipped.
The fact that it is still on the market ten years on speaks for itself, but I am hoping that this review will also testify that buying a SEBO vacuum cleaner will be a sound investment.
The X 1.1 is an upright vacuum cleaner. This is my preferred type as I feel that it enables me to clean with my back in a much better posture, preventing strain, and I find it easier to use and more energy efficient. When I was at college we had one of the cylindrical drag along ones and I hated it; it always used to get stuck around corners and I had to put lots of effort into pulling it along. The SEBO is even easier to push as when in forwards motion it glides gently on its own and you just need to push to increase speed and guide direction changes. Pulling back is not assisted but it doesn't require a huge amount of effort.
The base of the vacuum measures 30cm x 30cm which seems a good size to me as it fits into most gaps that I need it to but also covers an average sized room in not too much time. For those gaps where it won't fit, like down the side of out TV cabinet I use the attachments that it comes with. A flexible hose is attached to the top of the vacuum and stretches to 1.2 metres. This has a plastic tube with a handle attached of 54cm length into which two cleaning attachments slot. These are a long thin crevice nozzle which I use to fit in the smallest of gaps and when reaching up to cobwebs and the upholstery nozzle which gives a cleaning surface area of 12cm. This is the attachment that I use the most and I use it to clean under things like our bedside tables and the sides of the toilet where the main vacuum cleaner won't fit and also for my stairs. You can also purchase an additional kit of other attachments of various shapes and sizes but I've never felt the need to do this as I can reach everywhere I want with what I already have. The attachments have recessed slots into which they sit securely in the main frame of the vacuum while not in use, so I have fortunately not lost them. When not using the attachments the main tube is placed back into a slot and the dust sucked up when cleaning regularly travels up this to reach the bag. It's therefore really important to make sure it is securely in place otherwise the dust will just blow back out into the room. My one quibble with my SEBO is that on odd occasions when I try to stretch the hose too far it will pull out of the connection point in its handle, which can be annoying but it is easy to replace and clicks back in. The hose easily retracts back within the handle for storage.
Other features are a long power cable of about 10metres. I find that if I plug in, in my upstairs hall I can reach all four bedrooms, down the stairs and into most downstairs rooms, but annoyingly I have to unplug and move it to reach the furthest parts of my living room. For a smaller house it should reach everywhere needed. The cable coils around 2 strong hooks, one near the top of the push handle and one on the main frame. On a previous vacuum cleaner these were quite weak and it was totally frustrating when one snapped off and I couldn't neatly fold the cable away, so I'm glad this has been built robustly. The handle to lift the machine if also robust and relatively comfortable to hold with a semi circular notch that I hook four fingers into. I'm able to lift the cleaner up and down stairs without too much difficulty, although of course any vacuum cleaner will be cumbersome to a certain extent. It weighs 8kgs, if my scales are accurate.
One feature I really like is the foot operated push down leaver that releases the vacuum from the upright position when in use. It allows the body of the machine to lie completely flat, at 180 degrees to the base. My previous models didn't do this and it was great when I was first able to lower it flat to clean under the beds without having to use attachments. This tilt feature can also be used to ensure that the handle is at the optimum height for each user. I find the angle of the handle comfortable to hold as well.
Bags are probably the next thing to consider and I'm hearing some groans from lovers of the dyson type of appliance. Personally I'd go with a vacuum cleaner with bags any day over one with a see through cylinder. I can't bear seeing the contents of other peoples vacuum cleaners when they're stored in an area where I can see them, and I know for sure that I don't want to be able to see my own gray hair tangled mess! A light will display to alert that the bag needs changing but I can often get away with waiting a few days before doing this. A lever on the front of the machine is raised to remove the outer cover on which the triple layer brown paper bags are mounted. I like these particular bags as they have a green plastic framework at the top which slides onto the fixing points of the cover. Each bag comes with a green cap that securely fits onto the bag to close it when emptying so that you don't have a dusty mess flying everywhere. I do occasionally find it a little confusing to work out how to fit the bag on, as it will only work if the outer release lever is still raised causing me a couple of frustrating episodes before I remembered this.
I buy the bags in a service pack for £21.99 which contains 10 bags and a replacement for each of the filters. The bags seem to last me ages, about six weeks each, so it is rare occurrence to need to buy this pack. I've just brought my latest pack and after using 10 bags my filters well and truly look like they need replacing - they're quite clogged with dust. The main filter, a micro hygiene one, sits alongside the bag and a secondary small exhaust filter lies in its own compartment on the top of the base. They are easy to replace, but it's hard for me to comment on their effectiveness, other than knowing that they trap dust. When buying the latest service kit I checked with the shop owner that nothing had changed as these are for all SEBO models and was told that 'they're still the same as ever'.
We've just needed the one repair. If I remember right it was a replacement roller brush, which we were able to buy from the same shop and my husband refitted. I do find that with two daughters with long hair the brush clogs quite quickly and every month or so I need to get out the scissors and cut the hairs off to free the brush - it was probably not doing this regularly enough that caused the part failure. Looks like a job for now and I notice there's a plimsoll lace wrapped round there too! It does suck very powerfully and will happily try and suck up the bath mat if I get too close and recently chewed off the handle loop from my umbrella that was lying on the floor. So be warned - it can misbehave!
SEBO supply a concise and informative manual with instructions in English and German. I just opened mine for the first time when writing this review, so it obviously has been simple for us to use the product even without written instructions.
Over all I have to say that this is by far the best vacuum cleaner that we have owned. It reliable sucks up everything that I ask of it, although suction power does reduce as the bag becomes fuller. I always notice how much more freely it moves when empty and I can feel a greater strength of suction. We do challenge our machine quite a bit. My daughter regularly leaves a trail of hay and sawdust behind as she carries her guinea pigs through the house, so I do put it to use at least once every day, if not more. It's also had excursions outside to assist with cleaning the cars using the attachments. All this and despite a few scratches to the blue bodywork, it's still working as well as the day it first came to live with us. Long may it continue, but if it does reach the end of its life one day we would only consider replacing it with another SEBO.
Summary: A vacuum cleaner that will last a long time and clean effectively.
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