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Picks up hair, clever design
on January 11, 2014
We tried out the Bissell Multi-Cyclonic in the search for the "perfect vacuum" to deal with two messy pets, hard surface, carpet and stairs, and not cost a bundle. This is a good contender with some issues.
1. Removable canister. I prefer uprights--easier than dragging a heavy canister behind you. But uprights have to use an extension hose to go up stairs, as you can't easily carry the unit up with you. This has been the biggest problem with my previous upright, an Oreck. Oreck solves the problem by selling you a canister to go with the upright. Bissell has you remove a canister from the frame. You can then attach any of the tools and carry the central canister around with you. This is a clever design.
2. Multi-surface: There are seven height adjustments, so you can adjust to very low (for hard floors) to higher for pile carpet. However, you have to adjust this as you go, the unit does not automatically adapt to the surface you are on. (some vacuums, notably the Dyson, will adapt to floor as you transition from hard surface to carpet.)
You can also turn off the beaters for use on your hard floors.
3. Bagless: This means the suction stays strong--but the canister also fills up rather quickly. It seems to have superior pickup ability to the Oreck; after a pass with the Oreck, the Bissell still found plenty of dust and cat hair to pick up. But I found I had to empty the unit frequently. This isn't hard to do but it does interrupt you. If you don't empty it frequently, you run the risk of taxing the motor.
4. Febreze(tm) Filter. If you like the scent of Febreze, you'll like it. You have to replace this filter and it's NOT washable, and it's about ten or eleven bucks, so if you vacuum a lot and like this, it's an added expense. Yes, you won't be buying vacuum bags, no, you still will be buying a disposable item for the vacuum--the filter.
5. Hose: it's about eight feet long. I find that too short for convenience. If you are reaching behind a chair or sofa, you can run out of hose. This is my usual complaint with uprights. The hose is bulky to store on the unit and adds weight, so often it is shorter than optimum, in my opinion.
6. Full set of multi-use tools - including Pet TurboEraser Tool which is a hand tool version of a roller-beater to put on the end of the hose. This works well on upholstery to sweep up hairs. Cat and dog hairs (especially those short white hairs that Dalamations shed) stick into the fabric of upholstery and this helps dislodge them. The tools include a crevice tool, a brush and the TurboEraser.
7. Weight: This isn't so light--slightly under 18 pounds.
8. Cord length: 30 feet. Excellent. This is a decent length and much more suitable than a 20 ft cord, which may not take you across a large room. This is not a retractable cord--it winds on the side.
Summary: for the price, excellent suction, somewhat short hose, removable canister to handle stairs. Fills up quickly, so requires frequent emptying. Febreze replacement filters are not inexpensive and the unit is somewhat heavy. However, it's effective at picking up pet hair and it's cyclonic, so the suction is maintained as you fill the waste canister.