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Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I do not like you, Henry, 15 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Numatic HVR200A Henry A1 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner plus Kit A1, Red/Black (Misc.)
I bought this to replace my trusty Miele, upon its giving off a sinister burning smell and expiring after several years of devoted service. The Henry is cheaper than the Miele. And that is an advantage. (Who wants to spend hundreds of pounds on a vacuum cleaner, after all?) But I have found it more difficult and tiring to use, and it certainly does not give a better result.

So, taking it bit by bit:

Assembly: it comes in a box, and you have to put together the sucky bits (sorry, I don't know how else to describe them - hose and head?) and fix them onto the body. The instructions are minimal but it is not a difficult task. (Of course, with some vacuums, it is all put together for you...)

Bag use: the bag is vast and lasts a long time. (By the way, I bought this version of it, and it came with 2 bags in the box. Useful.)

Suction: I was disappointed by this after reading the rave reviews here. There are two settings: normal and high power. Neither can be adjusted: there's no question of having a wider variety of settings than these two. On the normal setting, I would say the suction is acceptable, but clearly lower than the Miele. For instance when I hoover coir matting with the Henry, I have to go over it several times to get up the small pebbles/gravel that I used to be able to deal with very quickly, in just one going over, with the Miele. That seems to me to be a clear sign of weaker suction. After weeks of using the Henry, my carpets look ok, but the point is that I have to do more work to get this ok result with the Henry, because the suction is weaker. I don't use the high suction setting, because I've found that, with it on, the vacuum head sucks so hard on the carpet that it is absolutely back breaking trying to push it along - really, very uncomfortable. So for all intents and purposes the lower suction setting is all there is. (This may be slightly different, though, if your carpet has a short pile - I suspect the difficulties may be exacerbated by the fact that ours is quite long.)

Noise: it's very quiet. If you want to hoover late at night after the kids are in bed (what better way to spend an evening?) then this is the one for you.

Comfort and ease of use: this is my big beef with it. It is heavier than any vacuum I have had before. Carrying it up and down stairs is a pain. The hose is very long. If you're vacuuming a long corridor, this would be useful. But I don't have a long corridor, I have a normal house with things like rooms and stairs, and I find when I'm moving from room to room the long hose continually gets muddled up with the electric cord, or somehow wraps itself around the Henry and topples it over. I think the electric cord, meanwhile, is meant to spool out automatically as you move along with the Henry, away from the plug. But the only way I can manage to get it to do this is if I pick up the Henry and carry it along in a straight line, pulling away from the plug. It won't spool out if I just pull Henry along as I vacuum. Then I can't just press a button to retract the cord: I have to bend over and twist a handle. Overall I find it more tiring to use than I would like.

Storage: the long hose and fairly big body means it takes up quite a bit of storage space.

Hard flooring (wood/tiles): It's good on this.

Would I recommend this? Yes, if you have a strong back, and are looking for a long lasting reliable vacuum for cleaning a large flat area, with a high proportion of hard flooring, and if you're not too picky about the result on carpet - if acceptable is ok. (For instance, if you've got the contract for cleaning a university hall of residence, and are looking for vacuums.) I really would not recommend it to anyone who is older and fragile, and so will have difficulty lugging it around, or who has limited storage, or who needs to move from room to room, and go up and down stairs with it. (I've spoken to a couple of people who really like the Henry, but notably both of them used the Henry in an institutional setting - cleaning a commercial workshop, and in a church hall. I suspect this is what it is meant for.)

I'd say, if you buy it despite having stairs and needing to move it from room to room, just be aware that it arguably has its shortcomings, and that you're possibly saving money at the cost of convenience. At least, that's what I say crossly to myself every time I use it.
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