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When it comes to vacuum cleaners the one thing that matter is whether it sucks. In this respect Vax vacuum cleaners seem to always do the job. These days vacuum cleaners do not last too long, and I have used about 3 or 4 vacuum cleaners in the last decade. So is the Power7 up to the job? Read on...
--- the BASICS ---
The Vax Power7 is a bagless cylinder vacuum cleaner, which basically means it sits down rather than stands up. When I first received the box it was a bit bigger than I expected, and the weight was heavier than what I had in mind too. However I believe this adds to the perception of "Power" that the machine can deliver, which means the increased weight is no bad thing (unless there are stairs in your house, which I do!).
The specifications of the vacuum cleaner are also up there with the best, at 2200W converting to 380 air watts [An air watt is a standard measuring the power of vacuum cleaners. The electric or "raw" wattage of a vacuum cleaner is, in comparison, a less reliable measure. Clearly the higher the "raw" wattage the more powerful it is (or more power it consumes), but the output of a vacuum cleaner is still best measured in terms of the air watt. In addition, air watts are calculated by an immensely complicated formula, so it must be more accurate.]. In comparison, a £300 Dyson DC39 Multifloor Bagless Cylinder rated at 1900W produces 290 air watts, so this Vax Power7 is by no means a weakling!
To complement the high power of the vacuum cleaner, a HEPA 12 (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filter is fitted. This high-end feature is usually standard in more expensive cleaners, meaning all small particles are removed from the air. Other useful implementations are a 4 litre capacity dust bin and a variable power switch (more on that later).
--- the MACHINE ---
They said you can't judge a book by its cover, but who doesn't rely on first impressions? The Vax Power7 vacuum cleaner looks the part, from the minute the box is opened. The transparent orange buttons on the machine gives it a much higher-class look, even though it is bordering on a toy-ish appearance. Three switches are found on the back of the cleaner - a cord retraction switch, a round circular dial, and the power button. The 1st and 3rd buttons need no explanation, but the round circular dial does need some introduction. In simple terms, it is the analogue control to the power of the machine. This feature comes into play many times during the vacuuming process and I will explain in further details later.
The accessories are many and varied, but are also found on similar machines. This includes a 2.5 metre long hose, a metal piece to connect to the floor head.
--- the POWER ---
What can I say, the power is immense, and it certain blew me away (!). By default the power switch is set to the "Minimum" setting, which I think it about 40-50% of the full power. Even at this level, the vacuum cleaner is perfectly workable; the floor head glides effortlessly over my dirty and long-overdue-a-vacuuming carpet. Dial the switch to "Maximum", however, is when the Power7 really sucks. The floor head becomes at one with the carpet and literally is stuck to it. Luckily I do have the strength of a bull and managed to move the floor head against the (by this time, less dirty and less overdue-a-vacuuming) carpet. If one removes the floor head and uses just the hose, however, the power is there to be appreciated.
I tried the oldest trick in the vacuum cleaning book, the "sucking my hand" trick. It did work - and boy was it painful, the vacuum cleaner sucking my skin as hard as it could, struggling against the powerful motor. I then switched my attention to the cobwebs attached to the four corners of the ceiling - and proved once again the 380 air watts Vax quoted was indeed very high. An arm length was all that was required for the spiders' home to enter the oblivion of the 4-litre dust bin of the machine. Sorry spiders.
--- MAINTENANCE ---
So it is powerful, very powerful. But how is it maintained, you ask? Well it doesn't require you to hire a team of engineers and cleaners. After about 2 hours' usage the dustbin was about a quarter full and I decided to call it a day. The bin was easily removed at the touch of a button on the top of the machine (again orange colour). Instructions were easy to read (found on the bin), and emptying it was easy and painless.
Maintenance-wise there was little to be done - a cloth-like filter (pre-motor filter?) and a plastic filter were the only things that need to be washed. Again simple instructions were stickered on the machine - 40C water, soak for some time, leave out to dry for 24 hours, and Bob's your uncle.
--- CONCLUSION ---
Is my house tidy yet? Not by a country mile. Is it free of dust? Absolutely not. However the Vax Power7 has enabled me to make that small step towards the holy grail of an allergy-proof clean glistening house by sucking in every particle that is larger than 0.3 microns thanks to its HEPA 12 filter, and more importantly the 380 air watts, 2200 watts motor. It may look like a child's plaything, but believe me, once you pressed that big orange button and dialled that round switch to the "Maximum" setting, it is anything but!
The silver and red Vax C89-P7N-T Power 7 Total Home Bagless Vacuum Cleaner provides great cyclonic cleaning within a lightweight vacuum cleaner, easy to carry around your house / The bagless technology means you wont have to waste time replacing bags / The 4 litre capacity of the Vax C89-P7N-T lets you do plenty of cleaning before you need to empty your vacuum cleaner, and it comes equipped with plenty of onboard tools such as a crevice tool, dusting tool and upholstery tool / It also has H12 and Anti-bac filters which help to trap allergens to stop them coming back out of the vacuum cleaner / The anti-bacterial coating on the filter helps to stop growth of bacteria, and these are great for people that suffer from allergies, such as athsma sufferers / As well as great cleaning, the Vax C89-P7N-T Power 7 Total Home Bagless Vacuum Cleaner also helps you save energy; the cord rewind saves you the effort of reeling in the cord! Characteristics Type Bagless cylinder vacuum cleaner Power (Watts) 2400W Appropriate power (Watts) 400 Airwatts Bag volume or reservoir (litre) 4 litres Filter type H12 and Anti-bac Indicator for bag content No Ergonomy Telescopic tube Yes Others Colours Silver and red Included accessories Crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool, turbo tool and turbo brush Weight (Kg) 6.5kg / / Short name: Vax C89-P7N-T 7