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The Vax Power Midi Pet Cylinder is a brilliant little vacuum. My Dyson DC24 recently kicked it, so I was in need of a new one, and a cheap one as I was broke. I found this one on half price when I bought it, and I'm glad that I did.
This vacuum is easy to store, it is not bulky, and you can remove the hose, which makes it even easier to store.
The suction is brilliant on this vacuum cleaner. It has a power slider to adjust the power and suction. On the highest suction, the vacuum actually pulls up the carpet a little bit. So you only really need it on half way to three quarters of the way. Unless you have some stubborn dirt. An advantage of the power scale, is if you have a bit of a spill when it's late at night and you don't want to create too much noise, the lower ends of the power scale makes the vacuum quieter, though it would take a little longer to pick up the dirt properly.
This vacuum cleaner is a pet version, so it comes with a turbo brush head. If you have dogs and cats and any other animal that sheds fur, this is brilliant. The turbo brush head works on the higher setting of the power scale, and with that active, it will easily pick up hairs. I have a parrot at home, and she sheds a lot of feathers and down. With my Dyson, I always found it difficult to pick up down that stuck to the carpet, but with the Vax Midi 2 Pet, it's extremely easy, and I don't have to bend over with the hand tools to pick it up.
This vacuum can be used on hard flooring too, such as wood, lino and tiles. It comes with a second, standard, head, which is ideal for the kitchen and bathroom floors, as the turbo brush head could damage tiling a bit. You can switch the standard head to either flat, or a rubbery bit, which helps to pull up stubborn dirt on tiling and hard floors. It also comes with a crevice tool and a duster tool. Both work brilliantly with this vacuum. You can use it on the end of the hose and metal hose to reach up high, or you can use it just on the end of the hose, which gives you a lot more suction. The duster tool has a swivelling head, so you can turn it so it is the right shape to dust on top of shelves etc.
Emptying the vacuum is very easy. You just press a button and lift off the container, where you can just hold it over a bit and press a button for it to open. You can easily get to the filter inside by unscrewing it out of the container. So cleaning the vacuum cleaner itself is very easy.
The vacuum has a decent length hose, and the metal hose (or Wand) you can extend to suit your own height. The plug and cord fits nicely inside the vacuum. You just pull it out when you need it, and when stored, you just press the retractor button and it pulls it all back inside neatly. The cord is a good length, and it has coloured marks on the wire so you know when to stop pulling it out (this is a safety thing).
The only downside for this vacuum, is that there is nowhere on the vacuum that you can store the accessories. But the performance of the vacuum makes up for this.
But for a vacuum cleaner on a budget, you really can't go wrong with this one. As I mentioned, I got this as a temporary vacuum until I could afford a better one, but after using, I feel I don't need to splash out on a new Dyson or something similar.
To sum it up, brilliant. Good suction, good size, good performance.
==Price and Features==
We received this vacuum cleaner as a replacement when our previous vacuum cleaner broke and was still under warranty. The previous one we owned was the Vax C90-PMV-B, and unfortunately this felt the strain of being used during our house renovation, and after about nine months it stopped working. Luckily, it came with a two year warranty, so we sent it back and as they couldn't repair our machine, they replaced it with this instead, the Vax C89-PM2-B Power Midi 2 (I love the convoluted names they come up with for these devices!).
The cheapest I've seen this vacuum cleaner is £48.50 online at Amazon. It has an orange cylinder and either comes in grey or black bodywork. We didn't get any choice in colour as it was received as a replacement, and ours is grey. The grey one looks a bit cheap and nasty to be perfectly honest, but the black one looks really smart. It also comes with a two year warranty.
This vacuum cleaner comes with the usual pick-up attachment, and a couple of useful additional ones including a round one with a brush for pet hair and upholstery, and a crevice style attachment which is long and thin to get into all those corners and under tables. It has a HEPA filter system, which basically means it traps dust particles and allergens which are disturbed when you start vacuuming, and so this ensures the vacuum isn't blowing dust round the room. This is ideal for allergy sufferers, or anyone with mild breathing difficulties such as asthma.
==Why do I like this vacuum cleaner?==
This vacuum cleaner is a really handy size for moving around the house as you're cleaning, and also for storing. I much prefer this type of vacuum to the upright types, as they are easier to clean specific areas, and also lightweight which makes them more mobile. The vacuum cleaner weighs around 5kg, which is a good weight considering you're only really wheeling it around. It has two large wheels on the bottom which make it easy to move around as you're dodging the furniture. I tend to just pull mine along by the pipe like it's a pet and it moves really easily so it's not like I'm having to drag it around. It also has a little carry handle on top of the body of the vacuum, which makes it easy to pick up and move around, for example when you're tackling the stairs.
The cylinder on this vacuum cleaner is transparent, so you can easily see when it needs emptying. Not only is this a practical feature, but I also find it quite satisfying after I've done the vacuuming to see how much dust I've removed from the house, it keeps me motivated to keep on top of the housework! The fact it is bagless makes life a lot easier too, as it makes it very easy to empty the cylinder. You simply press a button to release it from the vacuum cleaner, and then another button actually releases the bottom part of the cylinder, I would advise doing this outside if you can, as it gets a bit dusty and will undo your hard work if you attempt it inside the house.
Storing the cleaner is easy, as the body of the vacuum isn't too bulky, and the lead is retractable so it just tucks away inside the body without getting your cupboard into a tangled mess. The retractable lead is a useful feature in itself. At 5 metres long, it allows you to reach a good couple of rooms before having to unplug and plug in elsewhere. This is particularly useful on the stairs, as it means you're not stranded halfway up the stairs with the vacuum reaching no further, yelling at your other half to "unplug you" and climb over you on the stairs to find an upstairs socket. It is also easy to balance on the stairs due to the size of the machine.
The capacity of the bagless cylinder on this vacuum is 1.5 litres, meaning it doesn't get full too quickly, although I tend to empty it after each vacuuming session as I don't like storing it with dirt and stuff in the cylinder. Practically speaking though, I reckon you could vacuum an average sized house without having to stop to empty the vacuum, not that this is something I have done as I tend to do our vacuuming a couple of rooms at a time then get distracted by something a bit more fun.
The most important feature of any vacuum cleaner is probably the suction ability. This is one area I have absolutely no complaints about, as this little fella will have no problems picking up almost anything you throw at it. It has an adjustable power slider on the top of the body, which at first I thought was pointless because why would you ever want a vacuum not working to full power? When it started sucking up rugs and pulling the edges of our carpets away from the wall, however, these are times I have reduced the suction power. The power of this vacuum is 2000 watts, making it one of the most powerful you can get in the vacuum world.
The vacuum cleaner makes less noise the lower down the power slider you set it, however even at full power it isn't too noisy, at least in comparison to previous ones I've owned. My cat has never been a big fan of vacuum cleaners, but with this one he hides in the same room rather than running as far away as possible. I take that to mean that either my cat is getting braver, or the vacuum cleaner is quieter than most.
==Cleaning and Maintenance==
Cleaning of this machine is very straight forward. The bagless cylinder is easy to empty (as described earlier), and just slots back onto the body of the machine until you hear it clicking into place. The filters are easy to clean, we just take ours out (one is at the bottom of the machine, and the other is contained within the cylinder) and soak them in water followed by a good rinse, and obviously wait until they are completely dry before using them again.
==Are there any negatives?==
The only thing this vacuum cleaner isn't the best at, is removing dust from laminates or tiles. Although I use the crevice attachment for this, and this is good at picking up clumps such as cat hair, any dust which is just lying on the surface doesn't get picked up particularly well. For this reason, I tend to use this vacuum mainly for carpets and the corners of laminated/tiled rooms, and then use a mop with static powers to get the rest of the dirt up.
The other slightly annoying thing about the machine is that the buttons for the retractable lead and on/off button, although they are labelled are quite easy to mix up because they look identical and are either side of the body of the vacuum cleaner. This could just be me not paying attention, but sometimes in a hurry if I'm reaching across to turn the vacuum cleaner off, occasionally I have been known to start retracting the lead by accident...not good when it's still plugged in!
At the back of my mind, I'm a bit wary that the previous version of this vacuum cleaner didn't last very long, but in all honesty I think this was because of the extreme work we had going on in the house at the time. Now that this vacuum is dealing with everyday "normal" levels of cleaning, I have a bit more confidence that it will last a bit longer.
In conclusion, this is a very powerful but lightweight vacuum cleaner, which performs best on carpet but has some useful attachments for reaching into crevices. Storage and usage is made easy by the retractable lead, and it's very easy to empty and clean the cylinder and filters. The warranty gives peace of mind that if anything should go wrong with this vacuum, you will either have it repaired, or receive a replacement. With our previous vacuum cleaner, the support service we received from Vax was excellent, and they replaced our broken vacuum without hesitation.
In terms of value for money, it is worth the cost, but having owned another version of this machine and not really noticing any difference in performance, I'd be inclined to try getting your hands on a prior release if you don't want to pay full price for this one.
This review is also posted on Ciao under the username Gingerkitty. Thanks for reading.
Short name: Vax C89-PM2-B