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The Bissell FeatherWeight is a full size, lightweight vacuum cleaner that's much lighter than a traditional upright but better suited for carpets than a handheld. It has a long handle which, I find, means less bending down or fiddling with tubular attachments. It's lighter to use around the house than traditional vacuums, and far easier to carry upstairs for a quick clean up. At under £40, the current asking price seems quite reasonable too, compared with some other products.
As this appliance is mains powered, no charging is required and there is no need for a separate charger. It can be a handy tool for lightweight cleaning, but it does have to be plugged in and the mains lead has to be wound manually. I'm no expert but I have found this a useful addition to our household cleaning arsenal, if not a complete substitute for existing tools. It's certainly better suited to family members who now struggle with heavier appliances.
~~About this review~~
I wouldn't normally review anything that I hadn't acquired new, but I was sufficiently impressed with this to make an exception. It was no longer required by elderly relatives who had moved from a two storey house to a bungalow and now have help with the cleaning. So the lightweight Bissell was actually more use to us now - hence this brief review.
Our specific model number appears to be '3105J'.
~~A hybrid design~~
When I first saw this appliance, it struck me as slightly odd: a kind of 'dustbuster' on a stick, or a cross between a carpet sweeper and a 'hoover'. But it actually makes sense, at least for us. I always associated Bissell with manual carpet sweepers, but in fact they produce quite a few lightweight sweepers nowadays, both manual and electrically operated. These seem to have various specialised features, including dry and wet, steam and other functions. But this model seems relatively simple and inexpensive.
Although this comes with a crevice tool and will convert to a handheld, in practice we mainly use it in upright mode, as we already own a cordless 'dustbuster'. Others may find this versatility more useful.
~~Performance & Usability~~
The cleaning performance seemed a little disappointing initially but was significantly improved once the filter had been thoroughly cleaned. Clearly this is no Dyson but then neither is the price! The power consumption seems low too, at just 150 watts. For a machine with a fixed bristle attachment, it picks up reasonably well from hard surfaces (e.g. kitchen and bathroom) and carpets. The long cable copes well with stairs too.
This is in practice quite a good all-rounder. It's handy for upholstery as well as floors, though for a very quick clean up I still tend to prefer our cordless as there's no cable to complicate matters. I also still use the main 'hoover' for heavier duty cleaning.
The FeatherWeight controls are clear and simple enough to use. While the slider switch is situated quite low down, this presents no real difficulty as the whole appliance is so light and easy to lift. There's a simple latch to release the handle and transform the tool to a handheld. This may also be used to allow adjustment to the length of the handle, though we've kept this at its maximum for our purposes. This vacuum is bagless and easy enough to empty too. It must be easy enough to use as it never even occurred to me to ask about a user guide and I've had no problems at all, so far.
~~No more lugging or bending : weights and measures~~
At under 1.6kg, the FeatherWeight is said to be 'Up to eight times lighter than most upright vacuums'. A quick comparison of specifications listed on other manufacturers' websites appears broadly to support this claim.
The full height of 118cm is roughly comparable with other upright vacuum cleaners.
~~Availability and price~~
Currently available direct from Bissell for £39.99 with free delivery option (see address below).
~~Brief technical specifications~~
From Bissell website:
Dimensions: 118 x 11 x 24 cm
For full details, please refer to manufacturer's website.
Potentially useful for anyone struggling to cope with a heavy vacuum, this is an inexpensive lightweight appliance that's full height but can also be a hand vac. It can also save some time and effort more generally.
* Bissell website : www.bisselldirect.co.uk
* Product details : www.bisselldirect.co.uk/featherweight-1
[© SteveS001 2013. A version of this original review may appear on other review sites]
This useful vacuum was bought a few years ago specifically to help my Mum and Dad who are both in their eighties, to clean the upstairs of their house. Last month I was with them for two weeks to help out with various things (new cooker hob, new lawn mower) and gave this vacuum a lot of use. It has many good qualities not least that we call it the broomstick as their village emblem is a witch on a broomstick!
Here are some of the features that I like.
The weight, - at just under 4lbs it is great for doing the stairs and does not wear Mum and Dad out unlike the Hoover beast that lurks in the downstairs cupboard.
The length of the cable - at a long 4.75m you can do all the upstairs only being plugged in to one socket and wraps easily around the two large cable hooks, one on the hanle and one on the body.
It is not a battery powered vac - no tricky charger to try and put it in. Mum is partially sighted so this would be difficult. Also no need to have a charger permanently plugged in so reducing power consumption and "Have I plugged the charger in?" moments. It is always ready for use.
It is bagless - easy to empty (although the first time I did empty it onto the carpet, duh!) No trying different shops to find bags.
The handle is adjustable in length and very easy to grip. and has at its base a sturdy easy to use clip with which you can change the length or remove the handle completly giving you a hand vac, great for doing the car, the curtains or inside the loft. (I seem to clean the loft everytime I am there , why I don´t know, it never gets dirty?).
It comes with two head fittings, a normal one for carpets etc and a crevice tool for the corners and the spiders and cobwebs. The long handle helps makes short work of them, none can escape me!
Our Bissell is a natty dark blue with the easy to see, and use, switches in grey. The top one releases the handle. The middle one is the slide on/off switch and the bottom one releases the dust cup. Both the dust cup and the filter can be washed. On the back of the body it gives it´s detail 220-240v 50/60 Hz 140watt and that it is made in China. If I have one complaint it is that it could be a bit more powerful but this weighed agaist all the other good features is a bit harsh . Particularly if you consider the price tag of around 31pounds.
A great little vacuum which does the job at a good price. We think we got it from the local furniryre store but more info is available on www.Bissell.com . (It also comes with a good hand book)
Thank you for reading my review which may also be posted on Ciao under splishsplash
This vac has great suction and can be used as a stick vac on bare floors or lightweight carpet cleaning. The wife and I use it as a hand vac in the home, in our autos, for vacuuming upholstered chairs and other furniture, and for drapes and curtains with the floor nozzle tool removed. The other brands of similar lightweight vacs we saw in stores have floor nozzle tools that cannot be detached. We certainly believe that this powerful vac is the most versatile model among any of the other brands we found on the market today. This Bissell has an crevice attachment for hard to reach cleaning places, a quick-release handle upon which the 16 foot power cord can be neatly wound, and an easy to empty dirt cup. It weighs only 4 pounds and is an excellent buy! The only negative comment we can make about this product is that it is a bit noisey. We bought our first Bissell FeatherWeight vac some 13 years ago and it's still working well and we've have not found it necessary to replace the washable filter that originally came with it. Being quite sold on this product we bought another one this past week for our summer home. This new white-coloured model has a new handle that's more comfortable to grip. The Bissell quality is such that we also have a ClearView bagless vacuum cleaner for our home and also their cordless hand vac which we bought over ten years ago.
I bought myself a Bissell Featherweight vacuum cleaner at the weekend it cost me £29.95 and it really is handy. It doesn’t need a dust bag which is good because they are so dear to buy nowadays, you just empty the little cup after each use and pop it back in. It weighs less than four pounds so great for an elderly person and it can be used as an upright or as a handheld cleaner. When I first got it out of the box I was a bit dubious because it looks so small only five inches wide but it picks up great, I am really impressed. There are two different cleaning heads and a handy crevice head to get into those small corners, I found this ideal for getting behind the television and cleaning the mountain of dust from around all the yards of wires. Actually I was disgusted with myself when I saw what was behind that television cabinet, even a Christmas card that had fallen down during the December festivities and a few bits of tinsel. The vacuum cleaner didn’t suck the card up, it isn’t that good, but it did suck it onto the end just long enough for me to grab it. I had to empty the little dust cup after that corner of the room was de-loused, but lets be fair there was a lot of muck. Great for the stairs and running over the curtains, I hear some of my Dooyoo friends muttering here, ‘What a liar! She leaves six inches of dust behind the television cabinet but vacuums her curtains!!!!!!!’ Of course I do every-one can see the curtains but who looks behind your TV? I have got myself a bargain and it is so much easier than my big vacuum cleaner.