Hand Vacs

Friday, 7 November 2008 | Tags: ,

A hand-held vacuum is sometimes easier to use for smaller spills and messes than a full-sized vacuum. There are different types and strengths, so we examined which ones are best for most messes.

The Basics

  • Cordless vacuums have batteries and are charged when connected to a base unit that is usually in a fixed position plugged into the wall.

  • Many cordless vacs run for about 10 minutes before they begin to lose power; some up to 20 minutes. Be sure to store it on its base so it’s always charged.

  • Corded vacuums are usually stronger and won’t run out of power, though your range is limited to the cord length.

  • A wet/dry hand vacuum allows you to pick up liquid and dry spills, but the liquid must be cleaned out immediately to prevent unpleasant odours arising.

  • There are no bags. Just a collection cup and a filter that protects the motor.


Other Considerations

  • To pick up a lot of pet hair, look for one with a rotating brush.

  • Look for a vacuum with a large collection cup so you don’t have to empty it as often.

  • Test out how easy (or hard) it is to empty the collection cup.

  • Some models come with extra attachments such as a rotating brush, a crevice tool, and squeegee tools for wet spills.


We put these test vacs through some rigorous exercises:

  • Euro-Pro Shark cordless wet/dry: $99.99
  • Dirt Tamer cordless wet/dry with headlight: $79.99
  • Dirt Devil Scorpion corded: $69.99
  • Hoover Sidewinder Corded: $59.99
  • Black & Decker’s DustBuster cordless: $44.99

Our tests and results include:

Suction Strength Test

We tested each product’s ability to remove pet hair from carpet:

  • The Hoover came out on top, no question.

Volume Test

To see which one held the most, we dumped loads of Corn Flakes on the floor and started vacuuming:

  • Euro Pro: 1 cup

  • Dirt Tamer: 1 1/2 cups

  • Dirt Devil Scorpion: 2 cups

  • Hoover Sidewinder: 3 cups

  • DustBuster: 1 1/2 cups

Noise Test

Vacuuming isn’t a peaceful chores, so we brought out the decibel reader to see which was loudest.

  • The Scorpion was off the scale compared to the other models.


The Hoover Sidewinder (corded) did the best job. If you want the added convenience of a cordless then we recommend the Dirt Tamer.



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