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I bought a Vax vacumn cleaner around twelve months ago now which I reviewed previously. Sadly I started to have massive problems with the machine with various things going wrong with it and whilst it was still in warranty I would contact Vax who would say the same things....Have you emptied the bin? Have you checked the filters? Which were all things that of course I had done when realising the machine had little to no suction. When my emails were continually ignored I got a little bit miffed off and found an email address for the CEO of Vax and sent a really frustrated email over to him and guess what? I got a very quick reply from someone in his office who was more than happy to assist me and apologise for the issues with the staff at Vax customer service. The woman at the CEO office arranged me a new model of vacumn cleaner to be sent out to me because of my continual problems with the old model and the one I was sent was the Vax U89-MA-PF. This is my review of that machine.
The cleaner came packed in a good sized cardboard box which had a picture of the machine on the front as well as some product information. I was shocked at how light the box actually felt considering it had a vacumn cleaner in there but upon closer inspection I noted that the cleaner is actually just 5.3kg and Vax claim it is the lightest full size, multi cyclonic upright vacumn cleaner in the world.
This cleaner is called the mach air pets and family machine and boasts full size power, full size capacity, the removal of stubborn pet hair and reduction of allergens and bacteria as well. For a machine that felt so light in the box I have to say I was wondering how powerful it would actually be though!
==Building the machine and first impressions==
The cleaner comes with a set of instructions on how to build it but there aren't all that many steps as it is pretty much all built inside the box anyway! All I needed to do was pop the handle in the top of the machine and the filters in to place. It was such an easy process in comparison to that of my last Vax machine which needed screwdrivers and all sorts and I was pleased it was so easy to do. What is great with this machine is it actually has a telescopic handle which is adjustable in the unit and there are eight different heights that you can have the handle at meaning there are no excuses for anyone not to vacumn on the premise that the handle is too short or too tall! Adjusting the handle is so simple and you just lift a section on the handle which frees it to be adjusted and then sliding the section back down locks it again.
When I had built the machine I was impressed with the look of it. It was much sleeker than other machines that I have had previously and although it is full size it doesn't seem as wide and bulky as others and so it fits nicely in a corner out of the way when not being used. It is mainly a silver colour but with some small parts of white as well. The orange Vax logo is on the front of the machine but doesn't detract from the look of the machine in general I don't think. I did wonder if the capacity of the machine would be less as the bin looked a bit smaller than in my last cleaner but I haven't found this to be the case at all.
This cleaner is actually really simple to use in general. The buttons are up near the handle for switching it on and for switching the brush bar on or off depending on the surface you are cleaning. I find that this cleaner, which has a 1200 watt power is incredibly strong and it has brilliant suction. As I clean my carpeted areas the the Vax really sucks on the carpet and picks up anything that may be on my carpets. You can actually see where you have cleaned with this machine which is always a good sign I think. When I use this machine on my laminate floors though it can be a bit tricky! The suction is again incredible but so much so that it can be hard to push it around in certain points which I am guessing is something to do how the laminate is raised or something like that. Sometimes I have to physically pick up the machine and move it along as it is sucking the laminate so much!
I have to say the weight of this machine is such a massive bonus for me. At just 5.3kg I can easily lift it with one hand and carry it up the stairs. Sometimes I am even carrying the Vax in one hand and my laptop in my other as I go up the stairs because I feel that confident carrying it. It really is so much lighter than any machine I have used before and I love that it is so light and easy to transport.
One little issue with this machine is the cord is just ten metres and with my last Vax I could plug it in in either the kitchen or the living room and then clean the whole of downstairs in one go. With this one I have to do the living room and hall with it plugged in in the living room and then plug it in in the kitchen to do in there. Upstairs randomly I can plug it in on the landing and do both bedrooms, the bathroom and the landing in one go though which is good.
Another issue I have had with this machine was when I was using the hose to clean around the skirting boards in my son's room prior to decorating. Now the hose is just 1.5 metres and whilst cleaning in his room the hose just snapped off the machine! It wasn't even massively extended and apparently the glue had just come off. I contacted the same lady at the CEO office who arranged for me to have a new hose posted and she also included an extension hose as a complimentary addition. You can buy this from Vax direct for £19.99 and this extra long hose gives you an additional 1.9metres of hose to work with which is perfect for cleaning the stairs as you don't need to overstretch the hose or have the issue of the cleaner tipping at the bottom of the stairs or anything. What I don't like is how this costs you another twenty quid on top of the machine! If they know the hose isn't a great length they really should be including this with the machines as a complimentary accessory I think. The hose is easy to use and clips off the bottom of the machine with just one squeeze of a button and can be done with one hand and then the extension clips on to the hose in the same way so it is really simple.
Should you want to clean cobwebs off the ceiling or get stuck in to corners you are going to need to use the telescopic handle along side the hose. Again the handle is so easy to remove and attach to the hose and it is quite long so I have no complaints there. You also get accessories for upholstery, crevices and a turbo tool which really spins fast and is my preferred way of cleaning the stairs personally as it really picks up all the bits. The tools are all really easy to slot on to the telescopic handle and once they are on there you can hold the handle using it's own little handle for secure and well managed cleaning.
The bin in which all the dust and dirt collects is as I said earlier a little smaller than on my last machine but I find it still only needs emtpying every few days or so and even then I only do this to keep on top of it and to avoid it clogging up. The bin is removed by pressing a button on the front of the machine and then it just lifts off where you can then twist the top and shake the dirt out or where you can press a button on the bottom of the bin which opens the bottom and all the dirt falls out. It really is a very simple process and clicking it back on the machine is just as easy. You are advised to clean the filters from time to time as they obviously affect the machines performance massively. Instructions on how to do this are included in the instruction manual or can be viewed on the Vax website as well.
The only place I can find this cleaner is on the Currys website for £249.99 which I think is expensive to be honest. Yes I think it is a pretty good cleaner. It is powerful and light weight but it also has issues such as the short cord and the fact that really you do need the extension hose if you want to tackle your stairs effectively which will set you back another £20. Amazon say it is not currenty available and I don't know if it is likely to come back in to stock. I think a fair price for this cleaner would be around the £150 mark personally though.
I do like this cleaner when you take everything in to consideration but as I said there are a few issues with it such as the hose coming off after perhaps a month of ownership, the short cord and the fact the hose isn't really long enough to be functional for stairs and things. Despite this I would still recommend this cleaner because it is strong and powerful and really does pick up all kinds of bits off the floor. My carpets always look as though they've had a bit of a deep clean with this one and there have been no issues with loss of suction with this cleaner either.
Thank you for reading my review!
Despite being generally happy with my Samsung cylinder vacuum cleaner, I decided I wanted an upright vacuum with a rotating brush bar to groom the pile of my carpeted areas, as that is the one thing the Samsung lacks. We don't have a huge amount of storage space, so something light and compact was essential. I really wanted a Dyson DC24, but couldn't justify the cost, so decided to get the similar looking Vax U89-MA-PF for a much cheaper price, with the bonus that it has a larger bin capacity.
Upon unpacking the Vax, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and solidity of the unit - it is advertised as being a lightweight vacuum, "the lightest full size multi cyclonic upright in the world", in fact - and it is quite lightweight compared to others at 4.9kg, but it still feels solid and not flimsy. All the parts fit together with a satisfying click and everything has a nice finish, in gunmetal grey and white. It certainly looks and feels just as good as a Dyson in terms of build quality.
The package comes with 3 tools - a turbo brush for pet hair, stairs etc. A "fluff and fur" tool, which is like a lint brush attachment which attracts hair from upholstery, and a 3-in-1 tool which is used as a concentrator nozzle and brush etc. I have to say in all honesty, the turbo brush is the only tool I really use on a regular basis - mainly on the stairs.
The Vax uses 1200w of power and has 200 air watts, which doesn't sound a lot compared to other models with 2400w and 300+ air watts - but I have found the Vax still has incredibly good suction, yet doesn't sound like a jet plane or use as much electricity which is a great thing! I used it for the first time on my carpet straight after vacuuming with my cylinder (so it looked clean to the naked eye), and I was amazed by how much additional fluff came up - almost half a canister full!
The power button is conveniently located on the top of the unit at the base of the telescopic handle, which means I don't have to bend down or use my foot to kick it on/off. Next to the power button is another button which turns the brush bar on or off. One good design feature is that the brush bar won't start spinning until you recline the unit to start pushing it, which means it won't scratch your hard floor if you accidently turn the machine on when it's standing. The power cord is 6m in length, which isn't overly long but fine for me as I have a small house. The cord has to be manually wound on to the machine after use, so any longer and I would find it getting in the way.
The unit has reasonable manoeuvrability, but not as good as my cylinder and certainly not a patch on the Dyson ball. It has a fairly low profile and I was surprised how far under the furniture I could reach before having to swap over to the hose function. It's really easy to swap from using the main floor bar to the hose - you simply press a button and pull the handle out, then detach the hose from the base and clip it to the handle. Everything clicks nicely into place.
Unfortunately, using the hose is made difficult by the fact it's clipped to the unit very low down, and the hose is pretty short - which means any slight pulling on it and the whole unit topples over. Also the tools have to be attached to the handle which is quite long even at it's shortest setting, which makes it feel quite unwieldy. It would be far better if you could clip the tools directly to the hose, without having the use the main handle.
Emptying the 1.5l canister is simple, with a button at the top to release it from the main unit, and another button at the base which makes the bottom of the canister flip open. However I do find the cloud of dust often travels upwards and covers the outside of the canister, so I need to wipe it before replacing - though this is a problem for most bagless vacuums. There is a washable filter in the top of the canister, which is a bit more tricky to access than the one on my cylinder. I also find it gets pet hair stuck in the mesh much more than on my cylinder.
Other downsides is that hair gets wound around the brush bar and turbo brush, and the main floor head bar isn't easy to remove so I have to turn it upside down and use scissors. Also there is no variable suction power, so for example I couldn't vacuum the dust on my computer keyboard without losing most of the keys! Having said that, the fabulous suction is brilliant on my carpets and does well on hard floors too, so despite the downsides I still enjoy using it and think it's a very good vacuum cleaner.
Meet the Vax U89-MA-PF Mach Air Bagless Vacuum Cleaner / Featuring a powerful 200W of air power, this vacuum cleaner has plenty of suction, perfect for families with pets that will leave your home clean and dust-free / A HEPA H12 filter with anti-bacterial protection ensures that fine dust particles, pollens and other allergens stay in the cleaner, making your home a much better place to live if you suffer from allergies / This compact cleaner is ideal for those with limited space but who still want a reliable cleaner / The Vax U89-MA-PF Mach Air Bagless Vacuum Cleaner also comes with a turbo brush to easily clear pet hair from upholstery and furniture / Finally the 6 metre cable and 4.9kg weight mean this cleaner is easy to use and manoeuvre around the home / Characteristics Type Bagless multicyclonic vacuum cleaner Power (Watts) 1200 Appropriate power (Watts) 200W Bag volume or reservoir (litre) 1.5 litres Filter type HEPA anti-bacterial filter Indicator for bag content Visible transparent collector capacity level Ergonomy Parking position Yes Telescopic tube Yes Cable length 6 Others Colours Graphite, White Included accessories 3 in 1 tool, Turbo brush Weight (Kg) 4.9kg / Short name: Vax U89-MA-PF