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Consumer Reports: Quick Pick-Up Vacuums

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Consumer Reports tested hand vacs and stick vacs to see how well they clean up everyday messes. (Published Thursday, Jul 18, 2013)

    For big cleanup jobs, you need to haul out your regular vacuum. But you can give your vacuum cleaner and yourself a break by considering a hand vac or stick vac to clean up everyday messes.

    A hand vac is a good choice for upholstery, hard-to-reach spots, and of course, your car. Stick vacs don’t require bending and can clean beneath furniture, where a hand-vac may not fit.

    To test, Consumer Reports used a mixture of sand, rice, and cereal to challenge 21 hand and stick vacs. In a second test, measured amounts of cat fur were pressed into the carpet to size up pet-hair removal. Some vacuums stood out from the rest, but not always in a good way.

    The Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik #SD20000 stick vac scored lowest of all the small vacuums. The model has a small opening and no brush, so it takes more passes to clean up dirt or pet hair. And it didn't do a good job on carpets or bare floors, or along edges.

    NBC 5 contacted the makers of Dirt Devil for comment, this was the statement:

    "We think the Simplistik probably ended up on the wrong list.

    We create vacuums for many different purposes. The Simplistik is intended for quick, fast pickups. It's meant to be versatile and effective for little spills and messes. And it works great for that purpose, and for a phenomenal price.

    All but one other vacuum on that list have motorized brush rolls. They will undoubtedly perform better for the bigger spills. And we certainly have models that do the same.

    If you want to see a Dirt Devil that should stack up to your test, try out our Vibe, Accucharge 15.6v or the Power Air. You'll be impressed."

    Andy Netzel
    TTI Floor Care North America

    A far more impressive cleaner is the top-rated Hoover Flair S2220. The $60 stick vac easily pivots around furniture, and the cord has an easy-release holder. As for hand vacs, the $80 Shark Perfect Pet II SV780 did equally well with cleanup. The cordless vac’s powered brush and large opening helped it devour dirt on carpets and bare floors. And it inhales pet hair.

    Either of those small vacs can save you time and the hassle of hauling out your regular vacuum for quick cleanup jobs.

    Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website