* Prices may differ from that shown
With having pets in the home, it can be a nightmare trying to hoover as it feels like no matter how many times you use the vacuum it seems to be covered in hairs just days later and is back to looking dirty again. I have always used my normal vacuum up until about a couple of months ago when a friend mentioned to me that there was a deal going on the Russell Hobbs vacuum cleaners. I then realised that they did this pet model but looking at the size of the vacuum it looked really small and I was a bit weary about it being powerful enough to pick up all of the dog hairs. Now, this vacuum is specifically for pet hairs but I had never heard much about Russell Hobbs and vacuum cleaners so wasn't sure if this would do the trick in making my carpet spotless.
The nice thing about this vacuum is the design of it, it weighs 10kg when boxed but it isn't heavy at all to move around because of the size of it. It is a round shape which is nice and it is on wheels with a dalmation print on it which makes it stand out. It has the product name and Russell Hobbs logo on it and it comes with extension tubes to help with cleaning in tight corners. The hoover does move around quite easily with its wheels and it also doesn't take up too much room when not in use which I like as it keeps it out of the way. The vacuum also has a 5m cord which is good, it is kept out of the way when not in use and I find this is the ideal length as it manages to stretch easily across the room without me having to keep unplugging it and putting it into different sockets.
RUSSELL HOBBS PET CYCLONIC VACUUM CLEANER
So, to start with this has a few features on it which are worth mentioning, one of the first is the2400w power on it, it is quite a powerful little vacuum cleaner for the size of it and it has 350w suction power as well. This comes with a turbo brush for picking up hairs that will not be sucked up and it also has a 3 litre dust capacity which does sound quite good. It has five stage HEPA filtration and washable filters as well as low noise at just <73db. Really, this is the majority of the features that it comes with but for what I paid for it, it seemed to be enough for me to want to buy it. This also has an extension tube which is good for overall cleaning and then getting into corners that might not be as easy to get into without the flat brush head.
Now that I have mentioned all of the features that this pet vacuum comes with, I now want to explain my experiences with these added features. First of all the suction on this vacuum which is one of the most important things you need to know before buying a pet vacuum. I have one dog in my house with dark short hairs and I find after using this it does pick up ok but it isn't as great as I had hoped it would be and it doesn't pick up all of the hairs. I have to go over it a good few times to make sure it fully cleans the carpet. I thought being a pet vacuum it would be much more impressive, my dog being short haired is bad enough but if you have an animal with even longer hair then this probably wouldn't do you any good at all at cleaning flooring.
While on the subject of it not being the best at picking up hairs, I find one of the worst problems with this which other reviews have also stated is the 3 litre dust capacity. I find that when vacuuming with this that it clogs up so easily and I am having to pick hairs off the brush to make sure it doesn't keep getting blocked up. It can be very tiring and more time consuming especially if you have an allergy and cannot face picking up hairs. The warning light does come on to warn you that it is getting full but I don't even use this for that long to find it is full which shouldn't be the case. Also, the more full it gets then the less hairs it will pick up from the carpet really which is even more frustrating as you feel you are getting nowhere with it.
Next on the list of things to bring up, the noise level is just <73db it wasn't as loud as some vacuum cleaners I have used but it was still quite loud. The longer I have had this machine the noisier it has gotten but I don't let this get to me as no vacuum is quiet and of all of the faults, this is probably the least of my worries. The cord is fine with this and when moving around the house I find it fine as it moves with me and seems an adequate length for a small vacuum like this one. Now, this does have an easy to remove dust section when it is full which is great as you just need to pick it out and empty it and it is ready to use again. You can also set the power from min to max but I usually use it on max most of the time for the best results possible.
The HEPA filtration is meant to help for allergy sufferers, this seems ok as I don't find myself sneezing while using this and it doesn't bother me so much. One thing I do find this vacuum the most useful for is the extension tubes. I tend not to use this anymore for general carpet cleaning as the hairs don't budge now but to get into the walls and corners, this is great as it is small enough to move with and the narrow tubes pick up all of the bits a bigger vacuum can't. This is about the best positive of this and probably the reason I haven't binned this as otherwise I don't use it for much else. Once ready to stop using, it can all be put together and stored away until it is ready to come out again, I think the look of it is my favourite part.
This is good for a small flat and one that has hardly any carpets in it but for a bigger house, or for pets with long hairs and a house with more than one animal, this definitely is not for you. I will not buy another Russell Hobbs vacuum cleaner as it is not their forte definitely, this is ok for minor cleaning but for picking up hairs I think I will save and invest in a Dyson pet model as it will probably be much more effective. This is cheap for what it is and it does clean somewhat but just not the hairs that it is meant to be picking up. It is good for a temporary vacuum if you need one quick but definitely have this as well as a large vacuum to help out with keeping carpets in the best condition. I wouldn't really recommend this model as it doesn't really do what it promises.
This vacuum can be purchased online from Amazon where they are selling it for £66.99 which is cheap for a vacuum but still too much for what this is. Russell Hobbs' official site also sells this.
The official Russell Hobbs website is http://uk.russellhobbs.com/.
When we moved home way back in May we suddenly found ourselves in need of a vacuum cleaner. It's not that we liked having dirty carpets before moving, it's just our previous flat had laminate flooring while we had our new flat carpeted throughout. So our previous method on sweeping and mopping the floors just wasn't going to cut it anymore. While the first vacuum cleaner we bought was of the bagless and cyclone variety, it was a very cheap and not so cheerful model that really didn't like picking up any dirt. So we decided something had to be done, and looked for a new, hopefully better cleaner. Our requirements weren't really that taxing, we don't have any fur shedding pets, so didn't need a vacuum cleaner that was specifically for pets. What we were looking for was a cylinder cleaner, (as I find upright versions too difficult to push as I have mobility problems), that was bagless and preferring from a reputable manufacturer. What we ended up buying was the Russell Hobbs 15200 Pet Cyclonic Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner (from now on known as the 15200), which we found for half price in Argos, costing just under £60.
Now I normally wouldn't really comment on how a vacuum cleaner looks, after all it does live in the cupboard between uses. But this really is a cute little machine. The main body of the 15200 is white, the trim and wheels are black while the bin is a transparent grey, but what's really cute are the black spots dotted over the body, making it look a little like it's pretending to be a Dalmatian.
While not the lightest vacuum cleaner I've ever owned, it's light enough for me to lift and the wheels make it easy for me to move it from room to room. At 2m the hose is of a good length, I can easily rest it on my shoulder when vacuuming. Rather than being made of plastic, the two extension poles are made of metal, which not only feels more durable but also look far more expensive. Each of these extension poles add another half a meter to the reach and when combined with the 5m power cord the total reach is an impressive 8m (approx 25ft), meaning that I can use the plug in my hall (which is central in my flat) and vacuum the whole flat without needing to change sockets.
There isn't an overabundance of accessories supplied with the 15200, but personally I don't think I really need anymore than supplied. There are two different floor heads, one standard for normal cleaning and a turbo brush for giving the carpet a deep clean. There is also a crevice tool, upholstery tool and small brush but that's it.
==Clean Those Carpets==
Although the Amazon description for the 15200 claims that it is low noise model, that's not something that I would agree with. As soon as the power button is pressed it whirrs into action making a noise that I could only describe as being similar to an aircraft preparing for take-off. After a few seconds this sound intensifies as the motor cranks up a gear and then settles at a level loud enough to drown out the television along with anyone speaking. I certainly can't even hear anyone knocking on the door while this is running, but in a funny way this is quite reassuring as it does give the impression that this is one powerful machine. As well as being easy to push to switch the 15200 on and off with my foot the power button is also adjustable, so that if the full 2000 watts is pulling your carpet up then you can lower the power level.
It's easy to switch the standard head between carpet and hard floor modes and when using the standard head the 15200 does an excellent job of picking up all the dust, dirt and hair on the floor. Although we don't have any fur shedding pets, we do have a budgie that regularly sheds feathers, which this then has no trouble picking up. We also have a baby who is learning to feed himself, and as any parent will tell you, this involves food spread all over the floor. Again the 15200 has now trouble picking this up, whether on hard floors or carpets. Having said self-feeding baby, we do vacuum several times a day, and I find that there is little loss in suction right up to the point when the bin full light comes on.
While the standard head is great for everyday cleaning, the turbo brush is something else. This head can only be used on carpets, and features a deep cleaning brush. It's not recommended that this head is used on every clean, and we tend to use it once a week. Even when used on a carpet that's already been vacuumed with the normal head and looks spotless, the turbo brush still manages to encourage ingrained dirt to surface and be sucked into the bin. The turbo brush also seems to restore the pile in carpets, it really gives the same effect as using a stiff broom, but without all the effort.
The crevice and upholstery tools are pretty standard, the crevice tool fits into most corners and edges without a problem and makes vacuuming spider webs from the ceiling a piece of cake. The upholstery tool, is a reasonable size, being about 10cm in width and the combination of adjustable motor power and standard sliding opening in the elbow means that it can be used on even the most delicate of materials. It really does give even velvet curtains a new lease of life, and the long extension poles mean that even short old me can reach up to the top of the curtains without stretching. As for the small (dusting) brush, I really can't say that I've ever bothered using it, but it's the standard round brush accessory.
I do have a couple of problems with the accessories though, with the first being that if the fit onto the extension tubes can be just a little too firm. I often have trouble changing heads, because my partner has been just a little too enthusiastic in attaching the previous head. My other problem is common to most (but not all) cylinder cleaners, in that there is no onboard storage, meaning that there's a good chance of accessories being lost.
After finishing vacuuming, rather than having to wind the power cord round the cleaner, it's simply a case of pressing in the handle which then causes the lead to self retract at a rate of knots. I will say though that it took me a long time to work out how to get the lead to retract and the instruction manual was rather vague on how it works. So if you're planning to buy this model, remember that all you need to do is push down on the handle, which is something that can be done without even bending, just use your foot. I must say though, that the lead does retract rather fast, which is a good thing as it takes less time, but can also be a bad thing if the plug catches anyone's foot as it whizzes past. What I also like about the power cord is that rather than the only warning that you've pulled out to the fullest being that you can't pull it any further (which is not good for the connections as you try and pull it too far), it has two warning markers on it. A yellow one about a meter from the end and then a red marker about 10cm from the furthest it can be pulled. I find this a great visual aid, but am still trying to convince my partner to keep an eye for them.
The 15200 also features HEPA filtration which should lower the amount of dust that escapes from the cleaner during operation, but to be honest this is a pretty standard feature for most vacuum cleaners nowadays.
==Cleaners Need Cleaning Too==
As with anything, the 15200 does need a little basic maintenance to keep it working efficiently. The most basic of this maintenance is emptying the bin, which is a pretty simple affair, even without referring to the rather basic instruction manual. There's no combination of releasing catches required here, as releasing the bin is as easy as simultaneously pressing two buttons and lifting the bin out. I live in a two bedroom flat, with a medium sized living room and large hall and I find I need to empty the bin once a week. Obviously how often you would need to empty the bin depends on too many factors for me to give you an anywhere need accurate timescale for you. Once the bin is removed all the filters are within easy reach for checking and cleaning if necessary. I find it easy to remove all the filters, they can all washed in soapy water and most importantly are easy to replace once rinsed and dried. The instruction manual didn't really give a time scale for how often this should be done, but we clean the filters once a month and so we've had no problems. Once the filters are replaced and it's been emptied, the bin slides into place even easier than it was removed. So thumbs up for ease of maintenance.
As well as emptying the bin and cleaning the filters there are a couple of other things that do need checking on a regular basis. Until recently I had long hair, used to shed it at a ridiculous rate (a joy of being a new mum that they don't warn you about) and these hairs did get tangled around the brushes in the turbo head. It's actually quite difficult to remove these hairs as although there is a flap to check the head for actual blockages, this doesn't allow access to the actual brushes. Talking of blockages, as with most vacuum cleaners, it's fairly easy to remove blockages from most parts and there's a plastic filter that stops these blockages from getting into the smallest of spaces. The length of the hose does make it hard to remove anything that's managed to get caught in it, but to be honest on the rare occasion that the 15200 has become blocked, we've discovered the culprit in the small plastic filter. (And mostly that problem has been stray hair).
==Price And Availability==
I purchased my 15200 over eight months ago for approximately £60, which was half price at the time. Although this particular model seems to have been superseded by the 18379 (which is identical apart from the power rating which is 2100 Watts), it is still available from Amazon for £89.81 including delivery.
I'm really pleased with the 15200, it may not be a Dyson, but as far I'm concerned it does as good (if not better) a job at keeping my carpets clean. Unlike an upright cleaner, I have no trouble using this to vacuum as the only weight I have to push around is the actual brush. The long extension poles also mean that I do not need to bend, which saves me a lot of backache. Using the standard head, I can vacuum every floor in my two-bed flat in under quarter of an hour, and that's including the stairs leading from my front door. It's also far easier to use on stairs than an upright would be, with the long power cord and hose meaning that it doesn't need to be precariously balanced at the top of the stairs. While using the turbo head does take a little longer, it really does bring my carpets up to like new. Added to this is the fact that it's easy to empty the bin and clean the filters and you have a very reasonable vacuum cleaner for the price. That's not to say it's perfect, because hardly anything is. It is far noisier than any of vacuum that I've owned, and the lack of onboard storage is an inconvenience. But all in all the 15200 deserves a very hearty five stars out of five, simply because it does should a good job of vacuuming my carpets and you don't need to be a genius to work out how to maintain it.
Short name: Russell Hobbs 15200