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on 23 April 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Vax U91-P1 upright vacuum cleaner is rather like a Citroen which has received the Max Power treatment: brash, loud, cheap and plasticy, but by jove it gets the job done!

It arrives in a small box, which initially got me thinking that it was some sort of miniature thing I had ordered accidentally! But after some fairly straightforward assembly, it all slotted together nicely. One word of advice - you have to really push the main upright part on to the motor base in order to locate the screws properly.

The build quality isn't brilliant - the handle is click, cheap plastic with no grip on it whatso ever, the mains lead is too short and badly placed at the bottom of the unit, and the dust containment unit is a bit fiddly to remove and replace. Its also quite large and ugly, though it is pleasingly lightweight, certainly compared to Dyson's of similar size which tend to be much much heavier. I was displeased that there are none of the usual brush tools you normally get, just a couple of pipes to go on the end of the hose. But then, how often do you actually used those tools anyway?? I luckily kept the 'Turbo Brush' from my old Hoover and it fits on to the end of the Vax's pipe, so that was a pleasant surprise.

When you start it up, the Vax sounds like it could suck up the entire Earth in to a black hole for the amount of racket it makes! Luckily I don;t have much carpet, because if I had to use this thing for more than about 15 minutes I'd be worried about developing tinnitus! However, I'm not sure that its a great deal louder than most other cleaners at this price.

The big question is - how's the suction? Well - I'd only just vacummed the carpets with my old Hoover the day before, but I thought I'd give the Vax a quick test drive after I'd assembled it. It picked up an astonishing amount of dust and hair from my 'clean' carpets. I was shocked! The Vax also made my Turbo Tool spin at a much faster rate than the old Alyx Hoover, and it was sucking up cat hairs from all over. I really can't fault it. Whether it will maintain this performance is to be seen, but having used it around 6 times so far I haven't noticed any sort of drop off in suction power, so fingers crossed. My only final comment is that the filter in this is very large so requires much longer to clean, though it is somewhat easier to clean than the much smaller ones too.

I'm pleased with my Vax!!

UPDATE: 19th June 2009 - For no discernible reason the suction of the main hose (i.e. the flat bit that runs along the floor) has stopped working - the bar won't go around and there's virtually no suction. This is quite strange as the hose attachement still works perfectly fine! I'm a bit annoyed if the drive belt has broken already, after just 2 months' use. I will check for blockages as the Vax website suggests, but this is a bit disappointing, especially as I have been quite meticulous on cleaning the filter. I will update if/when I get the situation fixed.

FURTHER UPDATE: It turns out the drive belt on the brushes had broken for some reason, and these apparently are very important in terms of picking up more debris. So I eventually managed to find a replacement on the Vax website (hint - email them, cos its a nightmare finding the right part) and managed to fix it, though it took me a while to get the thing open. It worked perfectly again, but then I sucked up the edge of a rug and the belt melted again! Luckily they send the belts out in packs of two, so here's hoping that its 3rd time lucky!
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've used various versions of both cylinder and upright cleaners, removable bag and fixed-filter types.

This vacuum cleaner is an upright-type and has a permanent washable filter.

The machine needs to be assembled before use which was fairly straightforward but did require some physical force and a screwdriver (which the manufacturer elected not to include in the package for some reason).

The user guide has more disclaimers and warnings than useful information and as such isn't particularly helpful. It contradicts itself regarding use on hard floors: "Not suitable for hard floors.. For hard floors use this setting.."! Vax seem to worry about the rotating brush at the front of the machine. The manual makes for tiring reading as it is full of 'WARNING' 'CAUTION' and 'IMPORTANT' messages. The recommended method for cleaning stairs is a joke. I took these with a pinch of salt, preferring to rely on my real-world experiences.

At first glance, the cleaner looks all shiny and futuristic, like the robot from Forbidden Planet. But having gone through the guide, you'll soon realise that the machine's functions vary very little from it's 50-year old ancestors. Yes, it beats as it sweeps as it cleans! The functions are, in a word, 'basic'.

There's the familiar foot pedal at the rear left corner which releases the handle from the upright (storage) position. And there's the (harder to find) latching on/off power footswitch also at the back. The only other 'control' is a very rudimentary blue knob on the front which adjusts the brush height; there are 3 settings to choose from. This is not easy to use as you need to bend down and lift the front of the cleaner whilst adjusting; very awkward. It has not been designed at all well. It should (obviously) be adjustable via a second footswitch at the rear right of the base, which is how the 50-year old models worked, if I remember my recent visit to the Science Museum correctly.

I tried the machine on my (cheap) vinyl kitchen floor and left it running for a bit in one position. Contrary to the manual, I can't say I could detect any scuffing or damage.

And I managed my carpeted stairs very well, thank you... I go from the side edge to the middle, stair by stair, and then do the other side. No problem.

A wand attachment is included which could have been useful for carpet edges, tight spaces etc. But the only attachment supplied is the smallest slot-type which is ok for going down the back of the sofa but not much else. It seems bizarre that, having solved THE major drawback over a cylinder model, this feature is not capitalised upon. Fortunately, my old cylinder cleaner attachments fit this Vax perfectly, so I will be able to do the nooks after all. But not the curtains, unfortunately -it would just eat them up...

The cleaner is fiercely powerful and similarly noisy. -Quite a din! There is no power adjustment, it's all or nothing! My living room lampshade was swirling around like something out of Close Encounters due to the turbo air exhaust from this thing. And thinner carpets were pulled off the floor and hindered horizontal movement as they were sucked hard against the underside of the machine. Adjusting the brush height knob gave the option of beating the grit out of them instead. Oh, for a power control.

Dirt visibly swirls around the clear canister at the front when in use. My girlfriend does not like to see the dirt and I know she would want to clean it out and wash it after every use(!) I must say that a cylinder full of muck does make an uneasy contrast to the sterile-looking shiny finish.

Emptying the canister is ok. But it is also suggested that occasionally you repeatedly bang the permanent filter over the bin to dislodge dust. You know this is going to cause a big dust cloud. Not something you would want to do inside. The permanent filter should be washed with water monthly and then left for 24 hours to dry before replacing. This wouldn't be so bad if they supplied 2 filters but they don't. If you have a washing machine with a removable filter, ask yourself when you last removed and cleaned the filter. This could be a guide as to how likely you would be to clean this vacuum's HEPA filter regularly.

On the plus side, I was surprised at the amount of dirt this machine lifted. I vacuum weekly with a powerful cylinder cleaner and still this machine managed to collect a lot of dirt. Much more than usual. Mine are hard-wearing but also hard-worn carpets! I would be cautious using this on a 'fluffy' carpet.

If you have a large area of the same carpet thickness to clean, want something that can clean deeply and empty to an outside bin, then this could be ideal for you. As long as you're disciplined enough to manually clean the filter on a regular basis.

Personally, I didn't feel it fitted my needs particularly well. Adjusting the brush height and cleaning the filter require too much thought/effort for me. And I have rugs and thin carpet which ideally require an adjustable power control. It also loses points for lack of brush attachments. My three star rating is actually being quite generous.

The fundamental cleaning function of this machine is very good indeed but the severe inflexibility of its design really holds it back. This is a real shame, as a power control plus more brush fittings would make this a great machine. As for the height adjustment knob, I just leave it permanently on medium. Who knows, perhaps I'll ruin my carpets.
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VINE VOICEon 21 May 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This vacuum is such a joy to use and im amazed how cheap it is!! It is the best value vacuum i have ever seen, especially for a Vax! in my opnion after owning many vax's over the years, i have found, however expensive, the amazing suction is always the same, so you dont need a high end one, this model is perfect, i used it after previously vacuuming with my old one and still found the barrel full of dust! and fluffed my carpets up beautifully like new! It's very satisfying!

The weight is relatively light, and compact, initially there is a fair bit of simple assembly, the usual attaching the handle and adding the barrel and you do need a phillips screwdriver for a couple of little screws - but it is all simple and takes 5 minutes, then you're ready to go and comes with all the usual attachments.

The only difficulty was actually locating the power button initially! It's down the bottom and i was used to my old vacuum being up the top and on my first few go's i did hit the foot-release instead of the power and vice versa, but it's easily overcome with practice! Also the cord is long for most standard rooms but we do seem to have an overlly long living room so we did have to change sockets half way through, but all over rooms it is fine, so if you have a more square than long rectangular room you should be fine and it probably won't be a problem!

Fantastic hoover! amazed at the bargain price, i'd of happily paid double for it! Highly recommended to everyone!
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on 16 November 2009
I purchased this cleaner because I needed a lighter one
it cleans better than my big one its easy to empty
the only fault no brush was supplied for doing smaller area,s
like stairs otherwise I am happy with it
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on 31 January 2010
Ok so I am not the kind of person that writes a review on products and certainly not on a vacuum cleaner but I had to on this one!!

I had previously had a dirt devil which I hated, I have a white cat with brown carpets that came with the flat and between his hair and his cat litter traipsing through the flat I found myself having to vacuum on a regular basis and hating every minute of it.

The dirt devil seemed to take at least 10 back and forth movements over the litter by his box to lift it, the hair on the brown carpet would usually find me on my hands and knees with the hose going over and over the carpet to get the hair up, and there always seemed to be some left that just seemed to not want to move!!

Then one happy day the dirt devil died on me!!! Best thing to happen to it I say!! So I came to amazon and found the Vax U91-P1 Power 1 and decided to get it.

It arrived and sat in the box for a week till I finally put it together, it went together really well and was amazingly lighter than the dirt devil, but how would it cope with the litter and white hair!!!

I turned it on and am sure the neighbors in my apartment building thought there was a 747 taking off as it is very noisy, but the litter and the hair just disappeared before my eyes with one run over the top of it.

Yippee no more taking 20 minutes to vacuum my small 2 bedroom flat, no more on my hands and knees vowing that this was the week that I shaved the cat!! For once I enjoyed vacuuming and believe me that is the last thing on my list of likes.

But this by far is the best vacuum I have ever owned. Do yourself a favor and buy it, don't be put off by the tacky cheap look of it, or the sound of a plane taking off as you start it up, just be amazed at how great it picks up every little bit of stuff off your floors.

A MUST BUY FOR ANYONE WITH CATS OR DOGS
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on 14 November 2012
I had had a similar cleaner before, which eventually 'died', and its replacement is just as good, and a bargain at the price. Powerful suction for a machine of this price. It's made of tough plastic which has survived falling downstairs!
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VINE VOICEon 21 April 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Fairly impressed with this light weight bagless vacuum cleaner. It came with crevice tool, extension wand (?) and instruction manual, so no brush, although the next model up (P2) you get a turbo tool which is a great little device. The instructions are brief and take a little working out, but if you ignore them, it is not too difficult to work out where all the bits go.

Although the vacuum does exactly what you want, from a practical point of view my main gripes are; very noisy; no brush (would make cleaning the stairs easier); fitting the dirt container (after emptying it) is a bit fiddly; cable is not long enough; extendible hose is also too short. It is, however, fairly light and manoeuvrable and for the price it is not a bad buy, but there are a few short comings.
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on 1 April 2012
Afer 1 year of using this product, we noticed that there appeared to be damage to several carpets.
We got advice from a supplier, who said that the vacuum cleaner, was "pulling" the carpet threads.(on medium setting) He inspected the product and his advice was to buy a different type. That we have done.
The VAX sounded like a jet engine and the air blowing from the side, blew newspapers/cards etc, all over. Please do not buy this model.
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on 7 March 2010
We bought this because it was cheap within a month we threw it away and bought a second hand Dyson for £20 which was infinitely better. This piece of cheap rubbish blows your dirt around and makes no attempt to pick it up. I found it incredibly frustrating and will never buy anything made by Vax again. My kids battery driven toy Dyson picks up more than this piece of rubbish.
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on 26 August 2013
This product was bought by our landlord for a flat I moved into 6 months ago. I have tried to use this over this period and been continually disappointed. Does it work? Just about, but I doubt it performs even aswell as the cheapest supermarket own brand jobs. It is a bagless cyclone cleaner which I don't understand the hype about, there is a reason why commercial cleaning companies still use bagged cleaners... This is quite an old model, but I would say it is safe to assume that the same fundamental flaws remain in newer modesl. Tread with caution.

Good Points (at a stretch);

- It feels solid, I don't fear parts will just snap off,
- Not prohibitively expensive compared to other naff bagless cleaners (I have used several, all mediocre).

Bad Points;

- It's loud. Really loud. The noise has a quite high pitched whine to it. I get ringing in my ears after use.
- Suction on carpets is very poor. Carpets only cleaned when on 'hard floor mode'.
- Suction on tool could be better.
- Vent from the motor is low down, pushing dirt and dust away from the hoover before it can be picked up.
- Emptying the filter/hopper every use gives marginal gain (I thought it was supposed to be an improvement over bags?).#
- All of the above mean it takes ages to hoover a small flat. Probably the reason for the ears ringing (see above).
- So many more.

Do yourself a favour, don't believe the hype of cheap, plasticcy bagless cleaners. Buy a Numatic Henry Hoover, bought my second one to relegate this to the back of the cupboard (first one was gifted to a family member) - it's simple, works and tried+tested.
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