* Prices may differ from that shown
A couple of months ago I wrote about my Vax Mach 7 vacuum and talk about how well it had done. Well it gave up the ghost last week. I phoned Vax who confirmed that the belt on the brush at the front had been stretched and they no longer send out this part. They informed me that they would send me a new vacuum.
It arrived at the weekend, a Vax Air Reach.
I was amazed how small it was after removing the packaging. In all dimensions, it is smaller than what I am used to. You can adjust the handle however so handy if you are tall or very small. Size H102, W31, D31cm. The next thing which amazed me and compared with my old vax, is how much weight they managed to remove from it. This is light, and weighs only 5.1kg and something that my wife can carry up the stairs. It has a handy handle aswell to lift the hoover up.
Another positive: Ok....so the electric cord does not disappear into the hoover, it actually hooks around the back. But the good thing is that they have made the cord longer now and it now reaches 10m. No need for unplugging and re-plugging in.
This is an ideal hoover for pet hair. It comes with a turbo tool which, when plugged in, is powered by the suction and causes the brush to rotate at a high RPM, lifting hairs off easily. This is a great bit of kit and ideal for stairs, sofas etc.
Despite the reduced weight and size, it still packs a punch. To sum it up, we have still been using the old Vax hoover but not been able to use the brush. The next day we unpackaged this hoover and went and did the house. Anyone would think we do not hoover the house (we do however on a daily basis). This hoover was picking up even more hair and dust particles that the old hoover was not. When the hoover was going over the carpet, you can feel the friction and feel the brush almost trying to suck up the carpet. Contained within the dustbin was some very fine dust, almost like I had been at a builders site. Remarkable. There is a button at the top of the hoover which powers the brush. For hard flooring you do not need it on, but for carpets its ideal. A green light means the brush is working, a red light means there is a fault and needs to be looked at.
The wheels have been improved and now have a thicker rubber tread on them so that there is less noise when moving the hoover along the surface.
Now the most annoying part of the hoover. To hoover the stairs or sofa, you need to reach down to the back and bottom of the hoover and unclip the pipe. You can take the extension and clip that to the pipe and then add the brush to it. The brush is not attached to the hoover, you need to keep that stored away in a cupboard. So its not an all in one hoover if that makes sense? A right royal pain in the rear. The old hoover at a pipe which would extend to maybe 10 stairs, but this, you would be lucky to reach three. Its not ideal for doing all the stairs.
Currently priced at £249.99, its rather expensive. Infact on par with a dyson, which seems the peoples favourite. I would not pay the above price, but don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic hoover that has moved on so much over the years and hoovers will keep moving on. But you would not getting me forking out that money.
Noise level. Hard to measure really but more quite than my hold hoover and about the same noise as a dyson I would say.
To sum up:
A fantastic bit of kit with some great suction power. Lightweight to move about and will suck up anything in its way.
I was looking for a new vacuum after my old dyson, which I had used for over 5yrs, broke down. The new vax range looked enticing and they were cheaper than the dysons as well. They also boasted a higher suction power and a larger storage capacity. We have always bought dyson but this time I thought that I might try vax as I seemed a reputable brand. When we first bought it, it worked a treat and seemed to clean the flooring well. Also it had easily detachable hoses to reach all nooks and crannies. The hose also was long reaching this meant I could clean all of the stairs, even when I was standing at the bottom. It also came with a "turbo tool" although i dont see what was so "turbo" about it; it just seemed to suck up things slightly better than the main hose. In our house we have a lot of people with long hair. I thought that this wouldn't be a problem because the vacuum said suitable for pets. It turned out that the long hairs were easily caught up in the brush. This meant that the brush was clogged up and had to be cleaned regularly. This also was a problem for the cylinders, and meant that I had to clean it out every other time I used the vacuum. For a few weeks the vacuum was total broken due to a design fault that it stopped suction. I was however sent a replacement part free of charge because I had registered. A note on the registration: this was quick and effortless and I received good customer service. This made the vacuum work for another few weeks. However in the end I was forced to return it in favour of the reliable dyson. In conclusion this vacuum is not for you if you have many family members with long hair or pets with the same. I am forced to advise you that due to the poor build quiality and overall bad reliability, not to buy ths vacuum.
I recently got rid of what we had always raved about being the Dyson D07 Animal. Friends, family etc, it was the best. But the handle you hold to lift the cleaner broke, and after 7 years it was getting tired and generally not as efficient.
So, we decided on a new vacuum cleaner. My wife found it, the manufacturers description sounded great and we took a gamble on the Vax Mach Air Reach.
And what a result! It is tiny and so light - definitately plus points, and no where near the noise level of a Dyson.
Out of the box, everything is so obvious to put together. Turning on the power, and with the ront rolling brush bar rotating you have a cool green light - which turns red if there is a block to the rolling brush bar. You unclog, and press the trip buttong and you are off again.
The cylinder is as clear and obvious when full as a Dyson, and as easy to simply unclick and take to the bin and tips out clear.
One negative, and this applies to most cleaners, and that is - can someone please invent a retractable cord.
Attachments are cleverly placed on the unit and the hose connects to the extension handle with a simple click.
But suction is where it excells. IT feels like it is glued to the carpet, and I thought Dyson was powerful.
The Mach Air copes well on all surfaces. Dyson also gave it a 6 year guarantee with this machine.
A clever trick is that you can also adjust the height of the handle which deending on your own height, and it ,eans it takes up even less space by lowering it.
My Vax Mach Air Reach bagless upright vacuum cleaner does everything its manufacturer claims that it does: powerful suction leaves carpets looking as though they'd been dry cleaned, lightweight, ease of mobility, emptying dirt cannister is simplicity itself. It's no wonder they offer a 6 year guarantee, they obviously have well placed confidence in their product. Highly recommended. Barbara Kelman, Jerusalem, Israel
I don't like bagless cyclonic large vacuums generally and it was because of Dyson that I was put off by the bagless design despite better filtration capabilities long term and in the short term, motor problems, leaking seals, bits of poor plastic construction and hefty pay out bills after guarantee. I don't mind paying out for bags when they're a heck of a lot cleaner to dispose of and put into machines that run the distance where quality is concerned. Other bagless brands have been on a catch up process with Vax now taking on Dyson with similar suction principles in their "Zero" and later, "Mach" range that lengthen the filters on board and don't need cleaning out each time their vacuums are used. Although I already own the original Vax Mach Air upright vacuum, I was sent the Reach model to try out for two months and to see if the Mach Air Reach irons over the standard model following the problems I had with my first one. I was sceptical at first but certainly if you're in the market for a Dyson upright, this is the one model from Vax that should be on your hit list. Being a Vax also means it comes with a 6-year guarantee when bought brand new although you need to register the machine fairly quickly after purchase to get it and like a lot of brands can be registered online. This is a long review!
In the U.S the Vax Mach Air has also just been launched under the Hoover Windtunnel Air Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Upright Vacuum, UH70400 model and, like the original Vax Mach Air I have, it has suffered comments from users where the floor head keeps flipping upwards and not staying put on floors.
Vax now have three different Mach Air models in their range comprising of the basic orange and silver one usually retailing at £145 to £179, a pet model in silver and burgundy red priced between £135 to £200, and the new Reach model in silver and dark purple priced between £155 and £179, the name in which this model's cleaning intent is given straight away. Prices change for these models due to popularity not just the different specs and the Reach model seems to counteract both the original Mach Air and the Mach Pets model on spec but at reduced prices! Out of the carry box you'll find an already assembled model with only the handle needing to be dropped into the top of the Vax that locks in straight away and the cable unwrapped out of a poly bag to hook onto the back of the upright. A couple of added attachments like a stretch hose are also supplied as well as a clear mini turbo brush pet tool - which makes the Pet model on price alone harder to justify. Like the original, the Mach Air Reach is a space saving upright, mini to look at and mini to store thanks to its handle that can slip up and down by its ratchet lock inside the body of the vacuum.
One of the better aspects that I love about the Vax Mach Air Reach is the fact that it has a much more welcomed stretch distance thanks to a 10 metre cable. No more plug hopping! The vacuum is also beautifully lightweight at around 5.3kg total and the stretch hose clips onto the back of the existing hose when needed and can be stored on the back of the vacuum when not in use. Top marks to Vax for putting a holder on the back of the upright which is far better than the Mach Air model that only has a paltry and in my experience, fairly useless short 1.1 metre hose on board.
Over the question of a Dyson - their baby upright being the machine that Vax would like to think they have conquered, the Mach Reach is simply very easy to use and fairly versatile thanks to its long 10 metre cord on board and the additional attachments. The Pet hair turbo tool has a lock on the side that simply allows the tool attachment to split apart for easy cleaning - no screws to undo unlike Electrolux and it can be used on the hose alone or with the handle taken out of the Vax that has a permanently attached telescopic height adjustable single suction pipe on the end that gives you a lot more reach when cleaning above the floor line.
In use, the Reach is fairly easy and extremely lightweight to use. This is helped by a slim floor head that has the same brush on/off function activated by the simple secondary button located at the top of the machine. Like the Mach Air original model though, the switch has a habit of activating when it likes - a problem that is also evident with the Dyson DC24. However, hard floor cleaning isn't a problem because of Vax's twin dust channel system that allows more dirt and dust to get sucked up also helped along by the softer built in permanent bristles on the main roller which also has edge cleaner brushes on both sides. The clips to the floor head has also been retained where the plastic clear top can be popped off to clean the brush - one of the underlying factors that secured a GHI award for this model where maintenance is concerned.
On carpets and because of a lack of manual height adjustment, the floor head does a great job of pick up with quick and efficient progress, and the upright can clean fairly successfully flat to the floor at an almost flat angle but the round bin gets in the way to get under low beds and when laid flat and the floor head isn't on the carpet due to the cord hooks on the back that get in the way. This is however only a minor issue as getting the dust up is fast and quick with the Mach Air Reach. What a pity though that even if the performance is excellent, Vax persist in fitting the large rear wheels with such a plastic finish that despite their rubber inserts designed to protect hard flooring, they leave horrible trail marks when the vacuum is pushed forwards. Although this model doesn't suffer from a flip up head, I've read recent reviews on this model where it still seems to suffer from inherent problems.
With the use of the 1.1 metre standard hose on board, there's still the problem of having to bend down all the way to bottom of the vacuum to release the hose and like the original model, a permanent ring that holds the hose in place prevents the model from falling over and the 1.1 metre only reaches a couple of stairs. This would be all very well if the Vax Mach Reach had variable suction - but because of the strong force of suction on board (1200 watts)- the standard hose can only reach a step or two before the upright tries to fall over. Adding the 4.2 metre additional stretch hose combats this problem however and gives you a total of 5.3 metres of stretch, which gave me, increased access to about 10 steps. However, the strong suction always wants to retract the hose back into its original shape, so whichever hose you use at the time you may need to keep one hand on the upright and one hand on the hose/handle pipe if attached. Like the original Mach Air, the Mach Reach will not stop its brush roll from moving if the vacuum is lifted up from the floor. Again you have to press the brush stop button to make sure the brush stops moving to ensure no materials dangling on your person get caught up in the brush roll. In terms of movement here, this is where a cylinder vacuum with a longer hose and much more compact body is much more welcomed even if the rubber quality of the Dyson copied hose on the Vax feels much more tactile and flexible.
Emptying and cleaning of the filters is fairly easy on the Mach Air Reach too! The model has an unwashable hospital grade H12 Antibacterial filter designed to last a year, which can be found on the bottom of the upright at the front just below the main dust bin assembly. The filters inside at the top of the bin assembly are washable but it is a pity that Vax don't give you an extra HEPA filter to use whilst the other one is being hand washed as you have to wait 24 hours to let the filter dry naturally. Washing the filter only needs to be done every 6 months or dependent on the model's ability to seal in pet hair smells and other allergy retention although bagged vacuums don't have to suffer from this messy ordeal! Removing the top filter is easy thanks to the same pick out material flap built into the mesh filter and it is fairly easy to reinstall as well as reassemble everything helped by user diagrams on both the bin and in the well worded and clearly diagram drawn user manual.
Emptying only takes an empty refuse bin with a wide mouth and an ability to hold the Vax dust canister over it with one finger on the dust release button on the bottom. However sometimes the button release won't always work - a downside to cheap plastic quality. The bin has a total of 1.2 litres, which is fairly small but can certainly go the distance packed with dust until dust covers the fill line on the clear canister. Then simply carry over to the Mach Air Reach and lock it back into place.
Apart from the hose retracting and rather unpredictable brush roll switch, the Mach Air Reach is built using fairly lightweight plastic materials and there are a couple of other downsides and this is where the quality problems are most felt. The model still suffers from a poor two-in-one crevice dusting brush slide down tool (copied from Dyson) that sits between the top and bottom cord hooks. Even when the tool is clipped in reverse, it can fall out when knocked ever so slightly or when pulling the cord out from the easy-release top cord hook. In use the tool itself is basic but functional - but the additional pet hair tool scratches fairly easily and doesn't have a place on the Vax to store when not in use! Other fairly not improved parts of fragile plastic exist in the main floor head cover, main handle which can get uncomfortable to handle if you need to clean more than one room at a time, despite an inner line of ribbed rubber for comfort and the main carry handle set into the front of the bin at the front of the vacuum made of spaced ridged plastic which can jut into your hand most unexpectedly. If you're prepared to put up with some of these poorly made items on the vacuum, then be prepared to treat this vacuum with kindness rather than abuse. Another maintenance factor is that the protected drive belt - can't be replaced by the owner - but there is a LED that lights up in green to show when the vacuum brush roll is working - and changes to red when there's a problem. A brush reset button is located on the side but if it doesn't power up you'll have to call Vax to have the model picked up for repair.
Lastly there are two issues on this model that seem to blunt the performance and health aspects of the Reach as well as the standard model alone. Firstly, the so-called "Antibacterial," filters that are designed to "trap microscopic dust particles," seems to fail on carpet powders. I tend to sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on carpets, particularly where pets sit for obvious reasons. However I was really surprised to find the bottom of the dust bin outside caked with a little of the bicarbonate of powder. This certainly doesn't give me peace of mind where supposed seals on the vacuum are supposed to keep this kind of dust (certainly bigger than microscopic) in the bin and not on the outside! This is where dust retention on a bagged vacuum is so much better and healthier. Another issue is noise. The Mach Air Reach is fairly noisy and has a high amount of whine associated with the high suction motor. Compared to SEBO or Miele, this isn't a vacuum I could use at any time in the day for fear of waking anyone up!
In all, I can't really fault the Vax Mach Air Reach lightweight upright vacuum for what it is and for what it represents as being better with a longer hose and longer cord length. As a Dyson replacement, or a modern up to the minute mini upright vacuum suitable for a small flat or home, it is up to the job. Certainly if I didn't have allergies to dust I'd happily swap my Sebo Felix or X4, or Miele vacs for the Vax Mach Air Reach - but I'd have to carry ear plugs with me at all times to get over the noise as well as keep an eye out for a wayward unsafe brush roll and escaping dust. If all you want is a vacuum cleaner that can cope with lots of dust pick up from carpets and hard floors with an easy to release dustbin and no bags to buy, the Vax Mach Air Reach is worth looking into but its not without its problems and doesn't quite make the grade for true long lasting peace of mind. For the price, it isn't as well built, quieter or healthier as Miele or Sebo and for the worrying aspect of escaping dust on the outside of the bin where the filters are supposed to keep behind inside, the Vax Mach Reach needs a hike in build quality, dust seals and materials, especially at the asking price. If however, you're prepared to ignore all this, at least it picks up efficiently and due to its smaller dust bin will need frequent emptying in a larger home despite the longer power cord. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2010
** UPDATE JUNE 2011 **
VAX have launched a similar model to the "Reach" called "Total," and features 2 extra tools like a mattress tool and a long flexi crevice tool (similar to the one I purchased from Miele). It has also been featured on the QVC shopping channel - but be warned - whilst there is nowhere to put the additional accessories on the vacuum, QVC only offer a 2 year warranty as opposed to the 6 year warranty you'd get with the entire Vax Mach Air vacuum cleaner line up, when purchased brand new off high street franchises.
I needed a new vacuum cleaner and started looking around and came across the Vax Mach Air Reach. Bagless 'vacs' are becoming more popular and so without spending a small fortune on a Dyson I opted for the Vax. The Mach Air Reach is easy to assemble with few instructions that are straightforward enough for anyone to understand. When you first use the Mach Air it is easy to become familiar with and I could tell the difference in power straight away - this one is very powerful. Not having to purchase new bags or filters was one of the attractions of this vacuum, as the filter can be simply removed and washed and then replaced very easily. The machine is easy to use because it is fairly light but robust, and therefore easy to maneouvre.
Stairs are often an issue for most machines but the Mach Air copes well on all surfaces. The long attachment hose comes in handy and there are 3 attachments in total to cover every area of the house and in the car. Vax give a 6 year guarantee with this machine and I would assume this is the same for all their vacuums. You can also adjust the height of the handle which is very useful for very short and very tall people I would think. The design of the Mach Air allows you to clean right upto the edge of the skirting board and also underneath some furniture aswell without having to move them out of the way or get down on your hands and knees. The dirt collector is not very big but it is very easy to empty and clean out. Also, another advantage of being able to adjust the handle height is that you can store it easily as it can be made into quite a compact vac.