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We needed a reasonably priced vacuum cleaner for our joint office, and the choice landed on this one, a funky looking, yet not that good vacuum cleaner from Tesco... We paid only 22.99 for this vacuum cleaner, and it turned out to be anything but money well spent...
The first negative aspect that came to mind when trying this vacuum cleaner for the first time, was the insane ammount of noise it was able to create! I mean, we were kind of puzzled such a little thing could sound like the Armageddon heading our way... It does make a lot of noise, and all though I try to ignore it, that has proven to be impossible to manage! On the bright side, the cord for this vacuum is five meters long, allowing you to move around nicely, but with only a 2.5 litre capacity in the dustbags, the bliss was over before it had begun... Now, I also have to say that manuevering this vacuum cleaner is anything but easy, it`s somewhat clumsy to move around and weighs quite a lot, so I always end up irritated with it and kind of tired in the arms... We needed a vacuum cleaner that would clean thoroughly and efficient, but this vacuum cleaner fails doing so... It leaves both sand, hair and other stuff on floors and carpet, it doesn`t have a good capacity to clean well, and that`s really what such a product is about!
It does come across looking like an expensive vacuum cleaner, but the poor quality soon gives it away! This is a product I wouldn`t recommend under any circumstances, and though it`s cheap, the quality is low, and therefore there`s really no point to it costing so little anyway, is there?
A one star product.
==A Brief History==
Despite the fact that my wife and I are the only human occupants of our home which we share with a small dog and hamster we have managed to work our way through several vacuum cleaners over the years. Our trusty and much-loved Dyson lasted the longest at around 4-5 years and the Samsung which replaced it stood no chance deciding to give up the ghost after only 6 months of use. Taking advantage of the Christmas sales we bought a hugely expensive but heavily discounted Vax Mach 7 last boxing day and at the time I wrote a glowing review recommending it to everyone. Typically for us and coming as not much of a surprise our Vax died last week, the motor packed up and we are left with a lifeless device which is now stood in our shed. Luckily the 6 year warranty which comes as standard with a top-of-the-range Vax means that the cleaner is covered on a repair-or-replace basis and we are currently waiting for a courier to come and collect it. Now this is all well and good and we know that _eventually_ we will get a working Vax back but what do we do in the meantime with all the bits and dust that have accumulated in our home? Buy _another_ vacuum cleaner of course.
==The Cheaper the better==
Deciding that there was no way in hell that I was prepared to spend more than I needed to I scoured the internet looking for vacuum cleaning bargains, Asda, Argos and Tesco all offered low price options and as Tesco is the closest to us vicinity wise I ended up parting with £22.37 (on sale from £27.37) and bought this, the "Tesco VC108 Bagged Vacuum Cleaner". Now this wasn't the cheapest option I have to say, there was a 'value' cleaner available for £16.99 but even I decided that that was _too_ cheap, so I paid the extra fiver whilst bemoaning to anyone who would listen my story of woe about the crappy Vax and where I would like to shove it given half the chance.
==Out of the Box and Using the cleaner==
New vacuum cleaner in tow and weighing in at just under 6 kilograms I lugged the latest addition to our household back home and set about removing it from its cardboard confines. The cleaner is (as you can see from the picture) a cylinder type (made from plastic and comes in one colour - black) rather than an upright and there wasn't that much to do to get it put together with just a long hose to insert into the cylinder itself with the plastic brush head fitting into a metal rod at the end of the hose completing the set-up. Handily Tesco included 2 spare dustbags with the instructions along with one already in place in the cleaner itself so it was just a case of plugging in the cleaner and switching it on.
On start up the first thing I noticed was the noise. When compared to the Vax this is like an aircraft taking off and it startled the hamster and dog, oops! Then again, at least it _did_ switch on so mustn't grumble really there were bits ready to pick up so we were willing to put up with what was sounding like a cacophony of _very_ angry wasps in a biscuit tin who had been whacked with a stick several hundred times whist buzzing into a microphone...anyway, moving on...
Being used to an upright where you simply shove in the direction you want to vacuum it did take some time getting used to holding onto a long tube whilst mastering the art of directing the head and the 1600 watts of power give for a surprisingly strong suck (no comments please). We have laminate flooring throughout our home with a few rugs scattered around and on the rugs the head-brush gripped like a vice with all its might and wouldn't let go without some hefty muscle power. On the flat, wooden surfaces there was absolutely no problem whatsoever with any bits or dust being collected up but the transition from laminate to rug does make for somewhat of a challenge and the resulting effort makes you rue the day you ever decided to switch from carpeting. What usually took a few minutes with an upright vacuum can easily take double the amount of time with this cleaner and you end up with quite a sweat on and muscles like Popeye. Saying that though, at least it did work - Fair enough maybe a little too well on rugs but when compared to a lifeless and useless Vax it is worth its weight in gold at the moment.
For a cheap-end cleaner there are a few features that you might not necessarily expect to find; the cord rewind mechanism seems to be well made and easily copes with what is expected of it and at 5 meters long the cord itself is ample long enough for what we need it for. The included pole is made from metal rather than plastic and there is a 'dust full indicator' on the cylinder itself which turns red when the dust bag needs changing. The dust bags themselves have a 2.5 litre capacity which easily sees quite a few rounds of vacuuming before needs changing and the removal and insertion of a new bag is easy and straightforward enough. There are a couple of filters although they are not the HEPA ones you can expect to find on higher price counterparts but they are easy to remove to clean when the urge takes you. It obviously isn't comparable to our Vax in terms of quality either, the finish of the machine can only be described as cheap and you know just by looking at it that you're not going to get years of faithful service out of it and if you have a large house or lots of carpets or rugs then you will struggle to move this around without being left feeling flustered and frustrated.
Our intention when our Vax is repaired is to use this as a car vacuum and for this purpose I think it will probably be very good and certainly better than the handheld 'dustbuster' we are currently using. I would also imagine that this would also be ideal if you wanted a cleaner specifically for stairs as it is quite lightweight and the cable should reach from top to bottom without any problems, the cleaner itself is very portable and the fact that it doesn't take up that much space means that it is easily stored away. As far as an everyday family using this though I honestly think you would struggle and even though it is cheap you would be better off looking at other alternatives as the negative aspects would far outweigh the positives and it is on that basis that I really wouldn't recommend it.
This was a necessity buy for us rather than being a wanted one and fair play to Tesco for offering a cheap price cleaner in the first place, the truth of the matter though is overall it just isn't comparable to higher priced cleaners as its durability and longevity are questionable. It is noisy, plasticy and frustratingly difficult to move around but it does pick up dust and bits on flat surfaces and the short time in which we will have to put up with it means that for us it was worth the £22.37 we spent. I wouldn't, however like to imagine us still using this in 2 months time and when the Vax makes a triumphant return from the dead then I will have no hesitation in putting the VC108 back into its box and storing it in the shed ready for infrequent use in our car.
==Conclusion and Rating==
In conclusion then you should know for the price what you are letting yourself in for with the VC108, in an emergency it serves its purpose but other than that I would recommend you splash a little extra cash if you are looking to buy a full time vacuum cleaner for long term use. A 2/5 star rating from me for all the reasons mentioned in this review, information as to the specs and features that are included can be viewed on Tesco's website here:
Thanks for reading my review. Please note that this originally appeared on ciao under my username.
Short name: Tesco VC108