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When I was growing up we pretty much always had a Dyson as did my Nan. However, as my Nan is now in her 80s money does seem to be a bit more of a key concern when buying new household appliances so the last time she needed a new hoover she opted for the Vax model shown above. She thought that by buying a Vax although she was saving herself some money she was also getting a decent brand. She cannot remember exactly what she paid for this but it was somewhere around the £60-70 mark.
So why am I reviewing it you may ask? As my Nan is now in her twilight years she does find it difficult to do household chores, especially the vacuuming because it is a fairly active sort of cleaning and she is a little Dot so most cleaners are too heavy for her. Therefore I go over once a week to do a good clean and then she just does 'top up cleans' throughout the week.
So on first appearance I thought that the cleaner looked ok but possibly a little bulky. I have a cylinder at home and my Mum has a Dyson ball so I do think that I am used to these smaller and more slimline designs. It is very basic in design with most of it being white with orange detailing. There is a large dust bin on the front of the cleaner which is see through meaning that it is easy to see when it needs to be emptied.
==Using the cleaner==
My Nan keeps her cleaner in the cupboard under the stairs so the first encounter I had with it was lifting it out. Firstly, it is very heavy compared to other vacuums I have used. Looking online it is supposedly weighing in at 6.6kgs but it feels much heavier than this! It is also quite difficult to lift as theres not really a handle to grab hold of. There is a handle at the back but this doubles as a cord tidy which makes it difficult.
To turn the cleaner on you need to use the power button which is located on the bottom left hand side of the cleaner so you will need to push it with your foot. Next to this is also the control to drop down the front of the cleaner, both of these are relatively easy to push but I tend to be barefoot at my Nans, I imagine if you were wearing footwear it would be a lot more difficult!
So obviously to use it you will need to push it and I was amazed at how difficult it was to push! It requires a lot of effort to push it forwards and it is definitely not one that can be used with ease. I found it difficult to push it and even more difficult to steer! The wheels are fixed circles which will only go forwards and backwards and because the vacuum cleaner is so heavy and bulky it is very difficult to go at an angle, infact in order to change direction I actually find myself having to lift up the vacuum in order to get it to go the way I would like it to.
The cleaner is very loud. I hate the sound of vacuum cleaners because in my opinion it is just loud and annoying noise but this one is particularly noisy! Even if my Nan is stood right next to me when I am cleaning if she says anything I need to turn it off and ask her to repeat what she said because there is no way I can hear her.
Now comes my number one cause of hate towards this cleaner: the dust bin is falling out/off of the body of the cleaner all of the time. It needs to click into place but for some reason it never seems to secure itself so you will be trying to vacuum and the dust bin will just fall off meaning therefore that the vacuum obviously isnt picking up any dust!
The cord is a good length (7.5m). My Nan lives in a large 3 bedroomed semi and this does each floor by just plugging it into one socket either on the landing or in the hallway. The hose claims to be 2.5m. Whilst this does seem right in my opinion it is too short. When vacuuming her stairs I will put the cleaner right at the bottom and will manage to get about a third of the way up, I will then carry the cleaner upstairs and will need to pull the hose back down but I can never reach the middle of the stairs and I am always worried that the hose will pull too tight and I will end up being pushed down the stairs by a mammoth vacuum cleaner! My poor Nan is always left with 2 or 3 stairs in the middle which never get a clean because the hose just simply will not reach.
The hose is relatively easy to use, you will need to twist it off of its base and then connect it to another section of the cleaner which is fine if you are completely mobile albeit rather a pain however for anyone with back problems or elderly people I imagine this would prove to be extremely difficult.
There arent really any wonderful attachments to speak of, just a hose pole. The cleaner is supposed to provide special pet cleaning. My Nan has an elderly but beautiful white Westie, Ben. He isnt a particular 'malter' and he is not at all smelly but everytime I start this vacuum cleaner up I do get a scent of dog which is very strange because my Nans house has never smelled of dog at all, even when she had her old labrador. This suggests to me it is harbouring aromas and germs! Yuck!
==How well does it do the job?==
To sum it up in one word: terribly! My Nan has not had this cleaner long, definitely less than 2 years and it has minimal use - once or twice a week maximum. However, it just does not pick anything up. Thankfully for some reason my Nans home always seems to be clean but if vacuuming a particular mess it is extremely difficult to get the cleaner to pick up.
I had said to her in a polite way that I thought her vacuum cleaner was absolutely terrible but when I went up with my Mum the other day I managed to convince my Mum to do it - I couldnt be bothered to drag and shove the huge heap of plastic around and my Mum took it upon herself to tell her exactly what she thought of the vacuum cleaner! My Aunt was also there at the time and it was decided then and there that my Nan was having a dyson as an early Christmas present. This arrived at the weekend and my sister went over on Sunday and said that the amount that the dyson picked out of the carpet was astounding which just goes to show what an awful job the Vax was doing!
==Emptying the cleaner==
Emptying the cleaner is easy, if the dust bin has decided to stay in place (lets face it, thats very unlikely) then you just need to press the catch and then twist the top of the bin and empty it. My Nan finds it very simple to empty this and she usually gives the filter a little whack at the same time and it is easy to put back together although of course its not easy to click it back into place and within minutes it will have fallen out again!
I can see why people would be likely to buy this vacuum - it is a very good price for an upright and bagless vacuum cleaner and it is coming from what most people would consider to be a reputable brand. However, the vacuum cleaner is extremely big and bulky and it does look quite outdated in my opinion. It has quite a cheap look too and I wouldnt really be happy to have it in my hallway.
It is heavy and difficult to navigate. I am only in my 20s and usually find the vacuuming a relatively simple job. I imagine that if you did have mobility problems then this would be practically impossible to use. The vacuum can only be steered forwards and backwards, the wheels are wobbly and squeak and if you require a change in direction you will actually have to lift the entire cleaner up and turn it.
The hose is not long enough and the design of the cleaner has a number of flaws - namely the dust bin which does not stay in place. The cleaner doesnt really clean which defies the entire point in my opinion. It fails to pick up dust and dirt and it is an absolute nightmare to use, it was the one job I used to hate when doing my Nan's cleaning but now she has a nice new shiny Dyson I guarantee I wont mind half as much!
As you can probably tell from my review I wholeheartedly do NOT recommend this cleaner. It is heavy, bulky, difficult to steer and doesnt do its job. Avoid at all costs!
REASON FOR PURCHASE
A strange title you may think, but I chose it simply because when carrying out online research for a vacuum cleaner I found so many reviewers describing their vacuum cleaners as hoovers despite them being manufactured by every other brand other than Hoover. I already own a Dyson, which has served its purpose well over the years although over recent months it has decided to intermittently cut out. In addition, due to an old back injury I was struggling to carry it up the stairs, so I wanted one that I could permanently store upstairs.
I had a few requirements for my purchase although weight was not one of them, particularly as I wouldn't be lifting it. The vacuum cleaner needed to be an upright bagless model with a high level of suction power and be accompanied with the necessary attachments to enable me to easily access corners together with the top and lower side of skirting boards. However, before I had chance to carry out any further research and make a decision, my parents, who had got wind of the fact that I wanted an additional vacuum cleaner, turned up on the doorstep a few months ago with a Vax Bagless Essentials Upright, model number VEU-102 and this review discusses my experience.
THE VACUUM CLEANER
The 1800 watt product is quite aesthetically pleasing as far as vacuum cleaners go with its dominant colour being white with touches of bright orange to match the familiar Vax logo. It is of a sturdy built and feels of a high quality with its dimensions being very similar to the Dyson that my husband and I own. Its weight of 6.7 kg makes it much easier to lift although as previously stated, this is not an issue for me, as it is stored and solely used in the upstairs of my home on both carpet and wooden flooring. The vacuum cleaner was presented in a sturdy cardboard box in a three pieces, so it needed to be assembled prior to use, which was an easy and quick task.
The first point I noticed is that the 7.5 metre power lead is far too short, so unlike the Dyson where I am easily able to vacuum the entire upstairs of our home, I need to keep unplugging the Vax, which I find a bit of a pain. The second grumble is that in order to adjust the angle of the main body I need to push my foot on the release pedal, which is located on the lower left hand side of the cleaner. However, I find this difficult when wearing shoes or slippers, so I have no choice but to do this barefooted or to crouch down and use my hand. There are three position choices with the first almost being upright and the third at a 90 degree angle.
The on/off switch is positioned to the lower rear side of the cleaner and can be a little hit and miss when trying to press it with my foot when wearing slippers or shoes identical to that of the height adjuster, so again, I frequently need to remove my footwear to switch on the cleaner. Located on the lower front of the cleaner is the carpet height adjuster dial with the lowest position being suitable for wooden or laminate floors and the mid range position to the highest being suitable for carpets. However, I experience major difficulties with pushing the cleaner over our carpets and despite positioning the adjuster to the highest level, as per the 11 page pretty useless accompanying instruction booklet, it is extremely tough going as the carpet partially lifts as I'm vacuuming. The vacuum is loud when in operation, but I cannot really expect anything else, particularly as it offers a highly effective level of suction power and rapidly cleans the floors and carpets.
The cleaner uses a HEPA filter, which must be in place when in operation and it is advisable to wash it once a month and air dry for 24 hours in order to obtain maximum performance. The transparent dirt container with its capacity of 2.5 litres, is almost identical to a Dyson, so I am able to see all of the dirt and fluff whizzing around inside; the majority of which is my hair! This is a handy feature, as I know when it needs to be emptied and this is an easy task where it is gripped and turned in an anti-clockwise direction. I was expecting a number of on board tools, such as a brush, stair attachment and crevice tool, but unfortunately, we are solely provided with a crevice tool, which neatly fits onto the 2.5 metre hose. I found this bitterly disappointing, as whilst I do not use the cleaner for the stairs, I prefer to use a brush on the bathroom floor tiles so not to scratch them and I feel that Vax have skimped on the important every day accessories.
For those consumers who suffer with bad backs such as myself, the power cable storage is somewhat of a nuisance, particularly as it is too low on the rear of the cleaner although on a positive note, it tightly clips into place when not being used. There is a little information towards the end of the instruction booklet in relation to maintaining the cleaner although this is not something I've yet needed to address. Whilst my husband and I are extremely grateful to my parents, this is not something we would have purchased ourselves as it does not meet all of our requirements. Consequently, due to the reasons discussed above, I would not recommend the Vax Bagless Upright Essentials Vacuum Cleaner, which receives only 2 stars from me. However, I cannot deny its vacuuming power, which is first class and if you are simply looking for an affordable model for general vacuuming it would probably suit your needs.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The cleaner comes with a 2 year guarantee and my parents paid £49.99 from a local family business. There are several online retailers selling this cleaner with a starting price of £71.99, but I am not naming them in my review as I have no experience of using them. The cleaner can also be purchased at Argos and Amazon although my online research informs me that they are both currently awaiting stocks.
I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.
We did not buy this, our landlord bought this. Poor quality.At first, it was very very good, just noisy.After two to three months, the main one block for unknown reasons, does not pick up anythings. Wetried to fix but did not success.Then, I had to use the one on the back. Unfortunately, the appliances just almost fell into parts. I had to use tape stick them back together. I would not recommend anyone to buy this.
Short name: Vax VEU-102