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In our house we have a cat and wherever it sleeps it will leave behind a trail of fur. We were looking for a new hoover and after reading some reviews this seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
The cleaner is stylish and looks good in black with silver wheels and buttons. Once we got it home the first thing I did was test it on a chair in the living room (popular sleeping area for the cat).
The suction power of the cleaner was very impressive and the chair was fur free within a couple of minutes. The cleaner has many different parts, one for wooden floors, carpets and another handy piece for skirting boards and along wall edges.
You can adjust the suction power with a little wheel and I recommend having this up full if you are sucking up pet fur. The cleaner isn't heavy and can be easily lifted round the house and up the stairs.
This is our first Vax product and when the time comes to replace it I would definitely have another.
I too was prejudiced about vax vacuums. Large orange cumbersome machines or so i thought!
I was also seduced by the half price offer i paid £69 at argos.
I figured if it was designed to pick up pet hair it would probably have excellent suction i wasn't disappointed the carpet nearly disappeared the first time i turned it on.
we don't have pets but i find that most vacuums lose suction even a short while after emptying not the case with this one though as it somehow pulls all the debris to the top of the dust collecter and away from the central filter
Emptying is so easy just hold over your dustbin or in our case compost bin press a button and all the muck falls out the bottom!! The only thing bad thing i would say about it is that it's quite heavy so probably not a good idea for the elderly.
It also came with lots of attachments including a special one for laminate flooring which essentially turns it into a broom with suction, also an upholstery tool which has a revolving brush and is fantastic for stairs as well as the usual crevice tool and brush
The unit has an adjustable handle and a long hose which suits me as i am quite tall.
Overall really pleased and i think the price was great
For me Vax conjures up an image of a big orange wet and dry cleaner, that I found awkward to use and never really found the end result of wet cleaning of a carpet really satisfactory. Hence I never looked at Vax products, although they brought out better machines, I never looked at them purely because of my own prejudiced view on anything called Vax.
You can probably imagine my surprise when my better half walked in brandishing a large box with the dreaded word Vax upon it. The only saving grace came when she told me it was on sale (½ price to be exact), the economical side of me often outweighed my prejudiced side.
P is for Pets
The Vax V-091 comes in a few different models, the particular model we got has the letter P attached to the end of the product number. The P stands for Pets, which is just as well as we have plenty of them around our house.
Having looked carefully at all the available models, the only difference is a tool or two and the P has 2400w of power as opposed other models that have 2200w.
Another good thing is it is a bagless cleaner (further on in this review you will see I have strong reservations about emptying this particular cleaner).
The fun with anything new is the unpacking, putting it together and then trying it out.
What is in the box?
The main cleaner, the hose, telescopic tube, 2 in 1 tool, Crevice tool, Combination floor head, Turbo brush, Turbo tool, Hard floor tool and an instruction manual.
What does the cleaner look like?
It is called a cylinder type as opposed to an upright. The Vax V 091 is not really cylindrical in shape, it is more triangular in shape. It is mainly electric blue, with silver highlights and touches of black.
The front is where the hose is attached (this in turn is attached to the telescopic tube and that has the tool/brush/head of your choice attached).
Looking at the top from the front are two switches and between them a dial.
The switch on the left is the power cord rewind (the cord and plug rewinds into the left centre (facing) of the machine (as seems to be the same with all these, the last few inches never seems to go in without being assisted). Just above the power cord is a storage slot (for tools)
The switch on the right is simply the on/off switch. Below this directly opposite the power cord is the cover for what Vax call the post motor filter, it is recommended that this filter is cleaned every 9 to 12 months in warm water (max 40C) then allowed to air dry for 24hrs before replacing in the machine and closing the cover. Vax also say the cleaner should never be operated without this filter. Just above the filter cover is a storage slot (for tools).
The dial in the centre is quite smart, it increases and decreases the power and this is enhanced by five blue lights that progressively switch on and off as the power rises and falls, these lights are on the top towards the rear. I am not sure if the lights are really necessary, but they really do look very impressive.
Behind the lights is a carrying handle that lays flat against the machine when no being used. It has been well located as when carrying the machine it feels well balanced in my hand.
At the rear is the dirt container, it looks like a very large filter coffee jug.
Towards the rear are two large wheels (one on either side), they are fixed in one direction and move freely allowing the cleaner to glide with little pulling effort.
Underneath towards the front are two more wheels, these rotate around, so the cleaner can be pulled in different directions with little effort.
Assembling the cleaner.
This is very simple, first push the hose into the corresponding hole in the cleaner until it clicks into position.
Push the telescopic tube onto the other end of the hose (unless you want to use one of the smaller tools e.g. the crevice tool, in which case you attach this to the hose).
At the other end of the telescopic tube you attach the head/tool of your choice e.g. combination floor head.
Then plug in, switch on and youre ready to clean.
How have we found it?
Having a large house with lots of stairs and different floor surfaces (different types of piled carpets, loose mats, wood, vinyl and laminated wood) add to that a large assortment of pets, this cleaner has really been put through its paces.
Yes it does get everything up, but it does mean constantly changing the tool/brush/head to find the correct one for whatever surface it is being used on. This should not really be a problem, but it can be as any tools that can be stored on the cleaner tend to either fall off very easily (maybe that is just me) or they stick out so far from the body of the cleaner that they make it too awkward to use and as a result we keep them separate from the cleaner and can end up running around the house to change the tool/brush/head as needed.
For a cleaner that has a 2400w motor it is surprisingly quiet, although when the turbo tool is used the noise level goes up.
Emptying the cleaner is very easy. Simply take hold of the handle of the dirt container (which is at the back of the machine. Press the button on the handle and the container pulls away from the rear of the machine. Then place it over a bin, rubbish bag or whatever container your rubbish goes into, on the top of the handle is another button with a safety cover (a bit like you see jet fighter pilots use in films), lift the cover press the button and its bombs away as the bottom of the container opens up releasing its cargo of dust and debris. This can be a bit messy as I have found I need to use my hand to get rid of some of the collected rubbish.
The next stage in the emptying process is equally messy, it is cleaning the filter. On the top of the dirt container is a safety latch, this needs to be held while the filter is removed. The central part of the filter can then be removed from the shroud by rotating anti clockwise. The hair etc can be gently removed, the remaining dust can be removed by gently tapping against the side of the bin (this does however have the disadvantage of releasing quite of volume of dust back into the air).
Vax recommend cleaning the filter every time you empty the dirt container. Although it is a messy horrible task, I have to agree. As far as I can see not doing so will end up with a major reduction in its performance. The reason I think this is the filter really gets very quickly clogged with dust, debris and pet hair.
Vax also advise that the central filter can be washed in warm water without detergents and a maximum temp of 40c. Then it needs to be allowed to air dry before putting it back in the machine. Vax also recommend that the filter is washed every time the dust container is emptied, personally I wash it about every third or so empty and have not found any loss of performance. The main reason I dont wash the filter every time is simply I might want/need to empty the dirt container whilst we are in the middle of cleaning. So the last thing we want is to stop the whole cleaning process while we wait for the filter to air dry.
This is a two part metal tube that can be adjusted to different lengths, it simply clicks up and down when you hold the button in the middle of the two parts of the tube, and it locks at the nearest click to where you want it to (this means some of our children can have a go at vacuuming, as long as the power is turned down and obviously supervised, they enjoy it too).
2 in 1 tool
A fairly standard tool that most cleaners have a variation of, either as a combination tool or separate tools
Dusting tool for delicate surfaces (to be honest I prefer to use a duster, it is normally much easier and quicker than using a vacuum cleaner).
Upholstery tool great for use on upholstered furniture and can be used on carpet stairs and small areas.
Again a common tool with most cleaners, it is a much longer and thinner cleaning head, this has many uses, getting into those hard to reach corners, down the sides of upholstered chairs, underneath furniture etc. Whatever the cleaner this is such an underestimated tool, but it is my favourite.
Combination floor head
This is quite a large tool, one we often use. It has rocker switch that raises and lowers the attached brushes. For carpets, mats and rugs the brushes should be raised. For hard floors the brushes should be lowered.
Smaller than the combination floor head, this little beast has a brush that spins round in the head of the tool, it does this because as the cleaner sucks it draws air through a bit that looks like a fan, this causes the brush to spin. This helps on pet hair on carpeted areas, Vax do not recommend using it on hard floors, so we have not tried it on hard floors. On large carpets it does work quite well although the brush needs attention from time to time as it can stop spinning freely due to hair getting trapped around the brush.
We have nicknamed this tool the dentist drill because it sounds like one when in use. That will give you an idea of how fast the brush rotates. This is a great tool, on stair carpets and carpets in general, especially those with cat hair on them, it really stands out from the crowd. This however also has a downside, that being it clogs up and the brush will slow down quite dramatically. Vax are obviously fully aware of this as in the instruction manual that comes with this cleaner are details of how to take this particular tool apart to clean blockages and debris from this tool. I would suggest you spread out some newspaper before undertaking this task.
Hard floor tool
A large tool for use on surprise surprise, hard floors (this includes parquet and laminate flooring), it does the job adequately although for me on a laminate floor I prefer to use a soft broom.
My overall opinion
When I think back to the days of the orange Vax and think how the company has come along since then, I have to admit they have made amazing changes to the products they make the V 091 is a good case in point.
Its ability to pick up general day to day dirt as well as pet hair is more than adequate.
However I find it does have several disadvantages, firstly I like it being bagless, but I do not like how messy and clumsy it is when it needs emptying. I like how well the turbo tool works but I do not like having to periodically dismantle it to get it working as it should.
Not forgetting how impractical I find the cleaner is when it comes to using the cleaner with spare tools attached to it.
I do think we bought it at a bargain price £75, but I doubt we would have been very interested in paying
the full price of £150.
Not very impressed at all, after 2 months of domestic use the handle broke. Mine may have just been faulty but would leave you to make up your own mind! Very easy to use, but still quite heavy. The extendable hose travels all the way to the top of the stairs with ease but the suction could be improved apon.
The V-091 is a Canister vacuum with 2200 watts power / Short name: Vax V-091