on 15 July 2010
A remarkable cleaner
Over the years I have owned many vacuum cleaners and in fairness all have done the job one way or the other upright and and cylinder. I have just replaced my Dyson upright with a Vax Mach Air Reach; this is without a doubt the best cleaner I have ever owned. Firstly it is very lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, The Mach Air Reach comes complete with integral hose that reached very easily to the top of the stairs it also comes with a very good motorised head I was able to clean the stairs easily and quickly you will be amazed at the suction, the motorised head was also perfect in removing cat hairs from cushions something my Dyson was not able to do, I have two Main Coons cats. The long reach wand cleaned my curtains and pelmets something I have found difficult in the past on board tools was great. I tried an experiment firstly I cleaned my carpets with my Dyson cleaner then I went over the same carpets with the new Vax, you must try this yourself the Vax was lifting a lot more from the same carpets.
When it comes to using this machine as an upright cleaner it will not disappoint either, the motorised bar is efficient and easy to turn off for use on solid floors, the head is very responsive going round furniture with ease. I must also mention the cleaning of the brush roller bar instead of having to turn the vacuum cleaner over you can get to any blockage from the top of the roller bar by just unclipping the top roller bar cover. Emptying was very easy just one button and you are done, Vax also provides you with a very long cable with will almost cover your entire house from one socket!
I have been trying very hard to say something negative about this cleaner it is very difficult as Vax obviously have listened to the customer.
This is without a doubt a fantastic cleaner with a six year guarantee you can't go wrong highly recommend
Vax U90 Mach Air Reach
Ergonomic, Powerful, Lightweight - a few flaws though
The timing of this device's arrival could not have been more perfect. Our venerable "Henry" was well into it's twilight years with masking tape holding the cracks in the hose together and more disturbingly, sparks would occasionally fly from the side vent.
Despite Henry being quite small in footprint, it's actually a bit awkward to store, so we'd decided that an upright was probably the way forward. My mum has 2x Dyson vacuum cleaners (one for upstairs, one for downstairs....) and they are both the more traditional larger upright. She swears by them for their great suction power, but our house is smaller than hers, so finding a home for a larger upright would be a problem.
This Vax MA-R by comparison to the overall space taken by Henry and by my mum's Dysons is comparatively small. It's an improvement over the Dysons by being shorter and having a height adjustable handle, so it goes into our under-stairs cupboard with ease (which has a half-height door) so it's bob-on convenient for us.
The cable length on this model is brilliant, able to get all around our 3-bedroom detached house with ease, and it has a length of hose extension clipped onto the side that can be used for the attachments to help you go up the stairs, and again there is plenty of it so this is no trouble at all.
The profile of the main cleaning head is nice and low (unlike mum's Dysons) so it can slide under our bed easier without butting it's head. The motorised brush bar can be activated and de-activated by pressing a button on the unit, which makes a dramatic improvement to the cleaning of carpets. We tested it out in the shop my partner works in (which is normally serviced by a Henry), and in a 1 square metre space of floor it picked up about half an inch of dust and fluff that the shop Henry had clearly not managed. Shocking really, but there you go.
There is a light on the front of the unit that comes on when you are using the motorised brush bar, and a red light will come on if the bar is jammed (which we are yet to see - and unlikely to ever see, as our house is cleaned regularly), but we've pulled all the bits apart to see how to clean everything, and it's all pretty idiot-proof.
The bagless removal system is simple as to be expected in these days of convenience. A simple button click to detach the container from the unit, then once over the bin, another button releases the bottom catch of the container to let your dirt drop out. You can then detach the top half of the container if you wish to be more thorough with your cleaning of it. It all fits together nicely.
There are a couple of caveats we have with this device though, which I'd hope to see improved on in future models.
As mentioned in other reviews, the bottom hose attachment to the unit takes a rather abrupt angle, which may cause deterioration of the hose over time. You have to be careful to sort of tease the angle of the hose out a bit for peace-of-mind.
When you have the Vax at the bottom of the stairs with the hose detached for cleaning the stair treads, because the unit is so lightweight, you have to be careful that it doesn't topple over. Not sure how to design this issue out, perhaps have a pop-out stabilising foot for when it's parked like that?
Also, there isn't any control over the level of suction, and for a device that is quite powerful such as this, it grabs hold of rugs and not-very-well-secured vinyl flooring and won't let go. On Henry it was a simple case of opening the vent on the wand, or on the newer ones I think there is a Green button to reduce power. It would have been handy to have a suction power control (and have it on the handle for added convenience?). It's something to go on the wish list, but not a show-stopper.
We had originally toyed with going for the Dyson Ball, but to be honest, after trying one in a shop and trying this Vax, the manouvreability of them both was pretty similar. The fact that they are both lightweight means you're not struggling either way, and the Vax was a slightly better price.
Overall then, very pleased with this product. A couple of minor foibles which some people might consider of more importance, but it's lightweight, relatively compact and does what it's supposed to do and does it well.
on 14 June 2011
Having had a Dyson for 13 years and finally decided it had bitten the dust I purchased a replacement. I tried a Panasonic which was terrible! Not only was it too heavy but also the head of the vac was so wide it would not fit in-between the dinning chairs, etc. It also was so loud I hated using it. Amazon were brilliant in Returns and a refund. So the replacement became the VAX U90. A huge relief!
The Vax is brilliant at its job (as you should be able to expect from a machine made for a purpose) and it is light weight. The head of the Vax goes in-between small gaps, dinning chairs, further underneath furniture. Its suction goes closer to the wall/skirting board than any other vacuum I have ever had. Being so light to use it makes the job faster and is no problem popping it upstairs. The suction is huge.
The only draw back to it is that I can't use it on my lino as even with the brushes off it is too strong. But then I wash the lino each week and never relied on a vac to clean it so no big deal for me. Some people may find it vaguely amusing that to do the stairs or edges with the pipe: the pipe has to be unclipped from the bottom of the machine and clipped onto another piece of pipe on the left. If Vax are going to make this the best machine ever then as far as I am concerned the only thing they would have to do is to provide an easier way of using the tube. I don't personally mind as it is still such a relief to have the Vax over the Panasonic.
The height of the handle is versatile and the noise of the machine is low. Easy to store in odd storage places as it is so light to lift. The price is good too.
on 26 July 2010
I have had my Mach Air Reach now 2 weeks and there are things I love about it and some things that I would change. I am in the middle of moving house so I have put the machine to a good test.
I love the size of the machine as it stores away very easily and the length of cable allows me to plug in 1 room and vacuum through to the next. Although I wish there was a way the cable automatically retracted as there is a lot of cable to wrap round at the back of the machine.
I love the switch that allows me swap between carpets and hard floors. My previous vacuum cleaner only did carpets so I think this is a big plus for this machine.
The extension hose is another plus for this version of the Vax Mach Air which allows you to clean stairs top to bottom easily. The machine is so light weight you can carry it up the stairs no problem unlike my Dyson which was so heavy I used to bang it up the stairs.
I do find the hose attached to the machine a bit fiddly where you pull it out from the back. It is supported by a clip that does not come off so I was forever stretching the hose from under this clip. The clip is designed to stabilise the machine so when you pull it along it does not tip over like my Dyson did so it is good in this way. The hose fittings do fit/clip together easily.
The Handle to the machine does act as a telescopic wand type so you can pull it out completely and attach the hose too it and use the various tools. I would have liked the handle to have been a little longer.
I like the extra tools it comes with which are handy for stairs and adding the extra little brush allows me to do skirtings and corners of the ceilings. There is a turbo tool which is handy for pet hair but the machine does a fairly good job at pet hairs anyway. It is a shame that all the tools can not fit on the machine but I guess they are trying to keep the overall weight down.
The power of the machine is good as in my first time of vacuuming I filled the cylinder with dirt and hair etc. and my house is vacuumed every other day. So it seemed to get the dirt and hair that my Dyson did not get and it was much quieter too. This was strange as my Dyson seemed to have more power as it used to pull the carpet up where the Mach Air did not.
Emptying the machine was different story as when I came to empty it into my wheelie bin the whole thing fell into my bin. I and the machine ended up covered in dust so just be careful. I did prefer my Dyson that while holding the handle you pulled the lever and it emptied with this machine you have to unclip at the bottom. I do wish it could hold a bit more dirt etc. as my Dyson does hold more in its cylinder.
Overall the Vax Mach Air does tick more boxes than my Dyson. It is lighter and quieter. It will travel further and with the extra hose reach further. It is brilliant to go from carpet to hard floors with the touch of a button. It is a practical and user friendly machine.
The vacuuming power of the Vax U90-MA-R Mach Air is brilliant, whether on hard floors or carpet/rugs. A simple press of a button allows one to smoothly glide between the two major surfaces with no problems, enabling ou to clean the floor easily and quickly.
The only draw-back I can see with this machine is the lack of secure places for the additions. One of them comes with no space at all and the other two - whilst they fit nicely into each other - do not fit securely on to the cleaner.
Fitting the extension to each other can be a tad convoluted to begin with, but quickly becomes second nature. The handle can be removed from the vacuum to be attached to the main suction hose, and when extended with the extension hose (funnily enough!) enables the user to clean the stairs with ease, without having to lift the machine up and down the stairs, precareously balancing it half-way up. Coupled with the very long flex and this enables one to be able to clean several rooms - in our case the living room, kitchen, hall and stairs - with no need to unplug the cleaner and move it to a more central socket.
Very lightweight and easy to pick and move, this vacuum cleaner is to be very much recommended. We moved to this machine from a Dyson 04, and I would say that this is at least the equal of that one, and in certain cases the superior cleaner.
With the added brushes/extensions and the suction power and manouverability, overall this Vax is a welciome addition to the family of cleaners they provide.
Only 1 starr off for the lack of space for the additions. Otherwise - Brilliant!
on 25 July 2010
I have used this vacuum cleaner for just over a week now and I am extremely pleased with it. When I first took it out of the box I had my doubts as to whether it would be any good as it is a lot lighter and smaller than uprights I have used previously. BUT, I needn't have worried - this is a real powerhouse of a machine.
Its suction power is second to none and my carpets have come up much better than I hope they would. I love the fact that I can see the brush bar through the clear cover and am able to switch it on and off, via a button on the top of the vacuum, to suit carpets and hard floors. No more having to tip the vacuum up to remove debris from the brush bar - it is remarkably easy to access the brush bar and a flashing red light warns you if it is still jammed - brilliant!
This vacuum is ideal for a household that has stairs and pets. The extension flexi hose makes cleaning the stairs a doddle and the turbo tool is fabulous at removing pet hairs of my sofas. Also the longer power cord means I can vacuum more rooms without having to unplug/plug it in all the time - I can even clean all the way up the stairs with the flexi hose then take the VAX MACH AIR REACH upstairs and vacuum most of the rooms before I need to unplug the cable and bring that upstairs too. Overall this vacuum is fabulous and I can't imagine using anything better.
on 1 March 2011
The wife thought this vac was really good, light but powerful and picked up the bits, unfortunately after a couple of weeks the motor burnt out. I did not return to Amazon as help was not at hand and according to the web site I had to have it packed so called vax and I got a helpful human being who sorted it all out. Vax was picked up and returned no problem and is working fine. I had to give it 3 stars because of reliability but I may have just been unlucky, time will tell. The plus side is the vax customer service is very good --- important if you have a 6 year guarantee and want to know if it is of value.
on 30 May 2014
Time will tell. Dyson provide an excellent home engineering service and their guarantee is to be trusted absolutely. However, we had our upright die outside guarantee (nothing to do with my son trying to suck up wet cement dust...) and the repair costs exceeded the price of this by a margin. So, we've given this a try. It is lightweight - something you could not accuse Dyson of - and makes vacuuming so much less effort. It sucks up just about everything with ease. One niggle is that it doesn't have any way of adjusting the power or suck when you want to do a rug or floor-mat. However, the hose really does reach the top of the stairs, the little tool jobbie is very effective and doesn't take up space, the filter is easy to get to and easy to clean, the canister empties easily. As I have said, it is lighter than the Dyson and evidently quite considerably less robust in structure. However, that is a conscious decision on my part: arthritis and age have left me less inclined to lug heavy cleaning machines around the house, and this Vax is just what I need. It performs brilliantly (as well as any Dyson I've had) and copes with Black Labrador hairs wonderfully. What's not to recommend?
on 19 July 2014
UPDATED 1st of October 2015
As you can see from my original review I really did like this Vax machine. In the last two weeks, however it has not lived up to my previous hype.
Here are the bad points about this hoover:
1) it is a nuisance for cleaning stairs. The hose it comes with does not expand very well. You might be able to stand the appliance on the floor and hoover one step and then another, but you are unlikely to be able to reach the third. Therefore you have to lug it up the stairs and try to balance it whilst. Cleaning. I did buy a second extension hose to make cleaning the arm chairs and so on easy, but it was a fudge at best, the cleaner kept falling onto me.
2) Isn't it nice to see all the dust you've hoovered up? I couldn't care less really as long at the stuff I can see on the carpet isn't there later, and that's the issue I have with these bagless contrivances - there is simply no easy way of disposing of the stuff. Especially on this thing. If you leave it till its full to empty - and why would you empty it when it is only at 25% capacity? - you have to poke about pulling out bits of fluff cat fur and anything else in there to dispose of it. I'm going back to a bag.
3) The noise is incredible. Especially if you use the turbo facility which uses a rotary brush to sweep bits into its craw.
4) It gets incredibly hot
Finally. Having used it for a few months it became evident it would only work if the turbo doodah is switched on which sounds like a jack-hammer. Now it doesn't suck at all when used as an upright - there are no blockages. Everything is fit together correctly. Its vacuum valve blow-out continuously unless used with a hose and cannot even cope with fluff on wooden floors. I'm going over to a different appliance.
Over the last 12 years I have had about 6 or 7 different vacuum cleaners and to be honest I've found them all to be pretty much of a muchness. The three most recent vacuum cleaners I've had - I'm going to use the word "hoover" from now on to indicate the appliance, not the brand - have been two Vax machines and a Dyson. I had the Vax that looks like a Dalek and shampoos which was a drag-behind hoover and the other two were a Vax for pet hair and a Dyson drag-behind. All three were hateful.
Now this little darling is super-sweet. It is very light so can be pushed around and carried up and down stairs by ladies and gentlemen of both sexes without the need to loosen either collar or girdle, and comes in a rather attractive purple colour which clashes with everything. So if you want a hoover that is agile, easy to manoeuvre and which teams with an interior design theme don't buy this one.
If you are buying a hoover for a man, you cannot go wrong with here. I am a member of that sex which refuses to ask for directions and does not read instructions in the belief that "I know what I'm doing" and uses every pan in the cupboard to boil an egg. Some men have fragile egos and tempers that leave them quivering with rage when the instructions that have been ignored are incomprehensible or the finer details of what goes where are lost to the descending red mist of impatience. Save yourself, and him, the aggravation and buy this hoover. All you need do is open the box and attach the handle. Job done. You don't need the instructions. Unless of course you want to do some hoovering in which case you are required to plug it in. Two points of slight contention - it IS easy to detach the dust container and to open it at both and and drop the contents everywhere, so do open it over the bin. I had to help the contents out as most of it was cat fur and was tightly packed. Without the instructions it isn't clear what the little button for the turbo-brush ignition is for, but any naturally inquisitive male will press the button and thereby readily discover its function with a HUGE grin. I was quite enchanted when I heard the tone change from Peugeot 107 to Bugatti Veyron as the turbo-brush bar began to spin and agitate the pile accompanied by the glow of a green light which indicates that something special is happening. Even the mechanism for opening and cleaning the turbo- brush is so obvious it cannot fail to delight!
We have all done it haven't we - whilst hoovering we have come across that bit of thread or fluff that holds on to the shag for dear life. You pass over it one, twice, three times, but you still cannot dislodge it, so you bend down pick the thread or fluff from the carpet yourself (this is the digital method) and then drop it back on the carpet to allow the hoover one more chance. Well if you like that game, don't bother with this product, it will spoil your fun. Also, if you like getting halfway up the stairs before needing to balance the hoover on the tread, running back down stairs and rushing to unplug the hoover before it throws itself down the stairs at you don't bother buying this appliance; you will loathe and detest the generous length of cable that allows you to clean the entire flight without changing power points.
The noise this makes isn't bad either, I wouldn't recommend using it when the other half is nursing a hang-over, but at the same time it isn't going to leave you with ringing ears or annoy your neighbour with supernatural audition if you use it at 7 in the morning or 9 at night. In fact for such a powerful little machine is it amazingly quiet (by comparison with the Vax 6131T 3-in-1 Multivax Dry Vacuum and Carpet Washer, for example). I could still hear the radio whilst hoovering.
I received my U90 etc this morning having decided earlier in the week that I cannot stand the dyson drag-behind one moment longer. I hate the fact that it gets stuck on door frames and cannot negotiate corners and that it will turn base over apex if you pull it over its own cable. Unlike my drag behind model this upright is quite pretty, it is feminine in proportion and has the agility of fleeing rat. I can get it right under desks and tables, up close to the skirting boards and the divans with ease and precision, and because it doesn't have a massive cleaning head it can be insinuated into fairly close spaces without too much trouble and without masses of hose coiling round your legs or knocking vases off shelves behind you.
I hoovered two days ago using the D-Word instrument, today straight out of the box I gave the living-room a once over with this and was shocked and amazed and several-other-superlatives to discover that I had actually chosen a hoover that works! Instantly its totally-transparent but prosaically-named "dirt bin" began to collect the fluff, fur and dust of ages that had hitherto lain undisturbed the twisted pile of the carpet. Cat hair that would torment the perfectionist hooverer with its powers of adhesion yielded instantly to the irresistible power of suction created by this wonder of engineering.
Then came the real test - the cats rug. My cats have their own rug which is infrequently vacuumed given that it is their usual place of safety and refuge when the noise monsters is on the prowl, but today they would have to suffer in the name of science.
What would usually take at least ten minutes to clean with the Dyson drag behind (pet- hair specific model) using every tool and lots of swearing took but a moment of calm passes over the rug with the aid of the V8 powered brush-bar switched on! Honest! This products works!
Now I am 6 feet and 1 inch tall in height and have a dodgy back (sacra-illiac joint trauma) which would normally be displaced, subluxed, or what-have-you and generally aggravated by the scrubbing motion required to get fur off the carpet with the drag behind models I have previously suffered. I can tell you that this appliance it tall enough to be comfortably used by a person of my height and has a handle that can be adjusted for the comfort of the less-looming - and all without giving you a bad-back.
I could have bought a less expensive vacuum cleaner, and one more powerful, but I'm glad I didn't this sapphire coloured gem has restored my faith in Vax to design and build machine that does simply what you bought it for. Hurrah!
The Mach Air Reach is an upright bagless vacuum cleaner made by Vax, the UK's best-selling floorcare brand. Vax have three different ranges of upright vacuum cleaners: Power, Mach, and LiFE. The selling point of the Mach range, which comprises seven different models, is that they use "powerful multi cyclonic suction" so that the "filters don't get blocked and your machine cleans as good as the first time, every time."
The Mach Air Reach was added to the Mach range in 2010, touted as "the lightest full size multi-cyclonic upright in the world." The Reach part of the name refers to two unique features:
1. The extra-long power cord, which unwinds to an impressive 10 metres in length; almost 33 feet. The cord is very practical because it enables you to keep cleaning, going from room to room, without repeatedly unplugging the unit.
2. The 4.2 metre stretch hose, which enables you to clean the top of the stairs, while the unit sits at the bottom.
Combine these two together and the Mach Air Reach gives you a total reach of up to 15 metres!
The physical appearance of the Mach Air Reach is interesting. With its two large diameter wheels, it looks somewhat toy like. It's primarily made of dark grey glossy plastic, with purple plastic used to highlight the various buttons, clips and adjustable parts. Clear plastic is used on the dirt bin and on the brushbar cover, to make it easy to see what's going on without taking the unit apart.
When you first pick up the Mach Air Reach, using its convenient carry handle, the first thing you'll notice is how light it is. It's a super lightweight 5.30 kg, weighing a third less than a full-size upright! What this means is, it's much easier to carry from room to room, and up and down stairs, without hurting your back. It's also really easy to manoeuvre around objects and rotate on the spot, without the heft and resistance of other uprights.
In addition to the carry handle, the Mach Air Reach obviously has a regular handle for pushing it around. But what's great is that the height of this handle can be quickly adjusted, approximately 18 cm up or down. Simply slide down the purple handle height adjuster, and the handle can be pulled up or down, clicking and stopping at eight different positions. Choose whichever is the most comfortable for you.
Unlike a lot of vacuum cleaners, the rotating brushbar of the Mach Air Reach operates at a fixed height, which doesn't change automatically to suit different carpet thicknesses. However, there's a purple button which allows you to switch the brushbar either on or off. For carpets, turn the brushbar on. For hard floors, turn the brushbar off. It's easy. Just remember that switching the brushbar on, whilst you're actually cleaning a hard floor, may damage it. So be careful on those tiles and laminates.
The problem with brushbars is that they inevitably get jammed with threads and hairs, and stop rotating. But the designers of the Mach Air Reach have some solutions. Unlike a lot of vacuum cleaners, the brushbar isn't hidden. Thanks to its clear plastic cover, it's completely exposed at all times, which means you can see when it's rotating and when it's not. In addition, if the brushbar does get jammed, an LED performance indicator will flash red, quickly alerting you. Cleaning the brushbar couldn't be easier, because it can be accessed from above, without having to lay the unit down on its side. Just release the two purple brushbar access clips and the clear plastic cover lifts off, giving you direct access to the brushes.
So what about attachments? The Mach Air Reach actually comes with three: a 3-in-1 tool, a TurboTool and a stretch hose. The 3-in-1 tool is really quite cleverly designed. It's basically two separate pieces that slide along each other, detach and reconfigure, to become a crevice tool, an upholstery brush and a dusting brush. As for the TurboTool, it's basically a rotating brush for picking up stubborn pet hair, in addition to cleaning stairs and upholstery. It can get blocked, but it's easy to take apart and clean.
Overall I think the Mach Air Reach is a great product. It's lightweight yet powerful, and it has lots of nice little touches which make it easy to use. The only thing I don't like about it is that the power cord doesn't automatically retract, so you have to wind it back on to the cord wrap by hand. But other than that, I strongly recommend it, particuarly since it comes with a generous six year guarantee.