Top critical review
15 people found this helpful
on 2 September 2011
In June or July, 2011, the Hoover I bought in 1987 finally gave up. I bought one of these to replace it. In some respects it is better than the old one - as one might expect - but in some ways it is not so good.
First of all the improvements. The new Hoover sounds better, especially when it is started. It does a better job at cleaning the carpet, and it does so without lifting the carpet - I can clean kitchen mats now without having to move them on to a larger mat or a carpet. It is easier to push across a carpet while it is cleaning. It is no noisier than the old one. Its bag is concealed behind a not unattractive plastic cover. Using this new Hoover to clean is a more pleasurable experience as a consequence of all these things.
Now for the curious changes for the worse. As others have written, the electric lead is shorter - too short, in my opinion: some regular tasks cannot be performed as easily because the lead will not stretch the necessary distance.
The hose on the old machine emerged from the its base, and so one could use it without its toppling over. On the new machine the hose comes out about halfway up, which means that the Hoover topples over very easily, even when the hose is attached to the safety catch at the bottom. An additional reason for this instability is that the hose is too compressed, too elastic: one has to pull on it to stretch it to its full length. I now turn the machine on its side when I want to use the hose!
Others have written about the foot-operated pedal which changes the angle of the handle. On the 1987 model it stood well above the body of the machine, and could be operated easily even with a bare foot. The new model's pedal needs to be pressed below the level of the body before it will operate, making it difficult to operate unless one is wearing shoes. As I invariably use the machine wearing slippers, I find this regression most irritating.
The on-off switch on the 1987 model was beneath one's index finger as one moved the machine over a carpet, easy to switch on and off. The switch today is farther down the handle, so that one has to take one's hand off the handle to turn the machine on or off. This is not as serious a disadvantage as the foot pedal's intransigence, but it is as equally absurd.
The reader will wish to decide for himself whether to buy a machine with these virtues and deficiencies. I think it is good value for the price: many other vacuum cleaners are much more expensive, and I cannot see how they can be that much better. I wonder, however, why my new machine, produced almost a quarter of a century after the other, should be inferior in the ways I have stated. Perhaps it tells us something about the idea of progress and the cult of change.
My final comment refers to the hose being permanently attached to the machine. As I use the hose about once in every 30 times that I use the Hoover, I think poorly of this arrangement. On my old machine the (much better) hose stayed in a cupboard, out of harm's way. Now it comes with me, wherever I go! There are even places to keep the tools on the machine, but I do not use these. I had thought that I would be able to disconnect the hose, too; but this is not the case: the hose is an integral part of the Hoover. One is stuck with it; and, should it be damaged, the Hoover will not work!
Should I need to buy a vacuum cleaner again, I think I would look for a machine that does not have a hose attached, even if it should cost more. It is a shame that Hoover have leapt on to this particular bandwagon. It is a shame, too, that they seem to have gone for change rather than consolidation and progress.