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At last - a Hoover that you almost want to get out the cupboard (Er "did I really write that?"). But is so nearly too true. The background _____________ Ok so I can hear some of you asking yourselves - a bloke what does he know about vacuum cleaners? Well I don't put a pinny on, but I do try and do my share of domestic chores. Now, we had a Dyson DC02 and that seemed OK when new - but over the last year it seems to have lost the urge to suck dust with any enthusiasm. Despite others who claim they are superb - it was only ever better than average for us. So the mission was to find a better performing machine that would:- a) last a tad longer b) deal well with a few thick carpets c) not damage but thoroughly clean our solid wood and laminate floors d) be light enough to lug up stairs and so on e) might handle the finest pet hair should another house rabbit materialise Why the detailed strategy and requirements? Simple - time spent hoovering is at best mildly therapeutic (I'm told), but I don't know anyone who would not want to sue a thoroughly efficient machine that seemed to take less time on this tedious task. And also, I could not face doing this again in another 2 years. One final pre-decision we made. Cylinder or Upright? We have a variety of stairs and furniture that seems to make a cylinder much easier - it also means you can do the car more easily - plus al the reviews seemed to suggest the cylinders beat the uprights every time. Don't get upset if you disagree - just review your own hoover please? The research ___________ Well I am not sure if there is such a things as "What Vacuum Cleaner" but I certainly am far too shy to reach for that on the top shelf at the local newsagent or to order it specially - I have a shred of reputation to keep.! We asked a few friends who gave their views on the respective dust s uckers. The thing we all realised as that - you only know what your machine is like as compared to the previous model you owned. Unless you go round asking you friend to try theirs out - but that's not our thing. So you can get an opinion on one or two models - but it is likely that only one if any are still being made and sold. So I took to trawling the web for advice and to the usually trusty consumers groups for any tests they might have done. I found much the same issue online - people clearly only knew about their own model. One CA had done a test recently and as ever this concentrated on a handful of models. So armed with few target models -from the reviews, we headed of to John Lewis for a thorough face to face examination. Our philosophy was simple - if a vacuum sucks up dust poorly, it doesn't matter how easy it is to use. And vice-versa. - if it sucks it up but pushes is straight back out then there is little point. And it's bad for allergy sufferers - if it misses the small stuff - there is NO point The Choice ___________ We considered 2 in the end - the Dyson Animal and the Miele Hepa. We found some written evidence that Dysons have a very poor reliability record -and our DC02 did have to revisit its maker within one month. Miele seemed to be significantly better regarded as far as this goes. The Dyson seemed likely to be an improvement on our previous model - but at £270 it certainly ought to be. But the Dyson could not win this contest. Let me tell you about this Miele model:-. The Miele is a stylish cylinder hoover - not tiny but then it packs an 1800 watt motor. It offers a wealth of features - but does that basic job superbly. The specification is as follows:- >> They are designed and tested for 1000 working hours ? an average life of 20 years they claim -so I shall not be doing another Op on these for a good while. >> That 1800W motor - that sound like very subdued jet engine starting up powerful. It is so so quiet. >> An electronic suction power control via a rotary control allows you to adjust the suck - as the full power is such that you cannot lift the brush from some surfaces. This is not a downside- you just find the level of suck needed.- but like good car there is always something extra for when you need it. >> It comes with Active HEPA filter which you should replace every year (about £25 I think). Not cheap but you can "downgrade to their less stringent Active Air Clean filter and Super Air Clean filters for much less. >> The cable gives a 10 metre operating radius which is 1-2 metres up on some models - letting you reach further before unplugging again. >> They supply a Turbobrush (which rotates to drag up hairs and the like leaving a brushed carpet look), Parquet Floorbrush and smooth running floorhead with retractable brushes for edge to edge cleaning of carpets and hard floors and 360 º swivel joint. >> For closer and finer jobs there are 3 onboard accessories: dusting brush, upholstery brush, crevice nozzle. These are easy to access via the top panel - push and click latch. >> Unlike the Dyson you do need bags - around 3.65 got us 5 x 4 litre capacity, self-sealing dustbag >> You get told when to change the dustbag >> The height adjustable telescopic suction tube seems to fit my 6 foot 3" frame and anyone shorter. >> Aaah heaven - an automatic cable rewind that pulls back all of the cable willingly - our Dyson needed several pauses for breath and eventually some manual intervention. >> When you stop for that cup of tea, the Park system with on / off switch and side bracket let's you rest and provides for neat tidy storage >> Should you overdo it, there is a Thermal cut-out on overheating with an indicator light >> Fed up with sucki ng and need to Blower facility (additional connection available as optional extra) Socket for Miele Electrobrush >> Currently they come in a very snazzy Velvet blue We have tried all the gadgets on our various flooring and cannot fault any of them yet. Perhaps the only real fault is the fact that you need to find £169 in the first place. It is not that it does not merit the price tag given it's predicted lifespan - just that I could spend some of that on something much less useful. Summary _______ There are cheaper cleaners and there are more expensive - but I would not swap this for any other we looked at. It seems to offer the kind of quality and performance that you might expect from a luxury German Sports car. The fuel bills for bags and filters cannot be ignored but are a small price for such luxury. No I wonder like Porsche do clothing, will Miele do a matching tabard?
Short name: Miele S734