Top positive review
365 people found this helpful
Actually does what a vacuum should do
on 12 February 2010
I have never written one of these reviews before, but I have read other people's and find them very useful - and this product impressed me enough to make it worth the effort. In a nutshell: The Miele 5211 has few bells-and-whistles, but is a well-made, functional product and genuinely does what it should do.
As an ex-engineer and for the past 3 years, house-husband - I have become aware of a distinct bifurcation in the quality of household appliances. Sadly, the Cheap-and-"cheerful" (but not for long, if you're the user) seems to be increasingly dominate the market.
We had a Philips cylinder vacuum for 20 years, which was exceptionally reliable - though not popular, so it was hard to get bags for. By mistake, a part of the vacuum was thrown away, so we had to buy another one.
In our naivety, we glibly bought a mid-priced product which seemed to be very popular. Mistake! It's performance was simply inadequate (even with an empty bag), it was flimsy, and the ill-fitting tubes leaked.
We took it back and up-graded to a top-of-the-line Morphy Richards. This had much more suction - although it was extremely noisy. However, the build quality was poor and in 3 months the rewind stopped working properly. Over the next 18 months, the tubes split, rendering it useless.
Determined not to be "fooled again", this time I took great care to study the available information. Sadly, there is not a central resource for independent reviews. The "Which?" reviews are fine except that their detailed tests can only be of selections from current models, not the entire range and long-term reliability information is patchy, partly because a year later that model is replaced with another. This is actually an important (to the manufacturers) aspect of modern marketing - keep changing the models, then no one can determine how bad the product is. Rather sadly, it is also an error made by firms with very good products - presumably in the misguided (?) belief that the market wants the word "New" in their purchases.
Miele's reputation was good internationally (and the US consumer sites can be pretty damning of inadequacies), and while some models were less good than others, overall it seemed a good choice. It was.
We've now had it for a month - and I can't find anything to criticise. (You may have noticed, I'm a normally a pretty critical chap)
We have it set below half power, and it is very quiet indeed - but still offers the same suction as its predecessor. At full power, the suction is incredible. (As a sidenote - the power rating is no higher than the Morphy Richards)
In all the things that matter, it works and works well. The designers of the 5211 clearly included people who actually used a vacuum cleaner - something I am not convinced about with many other makes.
We also have an upright Dyson - which used to be essential for the carpets. Now it is hardly ever used.