Top positive review
13 of 13 people found this helpful
Good bagged vac for the money
on August 14, 2012
Bissell Powerforce 71Y7W Black
I purchased the Bissell to replace an old Hoover Encore. The Hoover
(made in USA) still runs just fine but despite being field stripped and
cleaned, it still produced a puff of dust when first powered on. The
Hoover lacks any kind of pre/post-motor filters so dust gets in the
motor housing, the one part you can't disassemble and clean. It was
also used in an old house with lots of plaster dust.
I first looked at bagless vacuums since they dominate the market. I
decided against them for several reasons:
* I didn't want to handle the dirt the vacuum just picked up.
* I didn't want the airbourne cloud when I empty the dirt cup.
* Bagless vacs have to many parts to leak and filters to clean.
Bagged vacuums are difficult to find these days. I looked at several
other brands (Hoover, Dirt Devil) before choosing the Bissell.
Unfortunately we live in a throw-away world and everything is cheaply
made (in China) these days. The cheaper they make it, the shorter life
expectancy of the produce and the sooner you'll have to replace it. It's
all about getting you to spend your money.
The Bissell seemed to be the best constructed bagged vacuum for under
$100 US. If it lasts a year I think it will have paid for itself.
+ Cheap; $39 at the local Walmart (Jan 2012 price);
Walmart offers a 1 yr replacement plan for $3 that kicks in after
the 1 yr manufacturer's warranty.
SAVE THE ORIGINAL BOX (in case you need to return it).
+ Bagged; all dirt collected in the bag, easy to change, no mess.
+ Bags have a rubber seal in the cardboard sleeve where bag attaches;
this seems to provide a better seal than just the cardboard alone.
+ Fast, easy assembly; just 3 screws.
+ Great suction, does a really good job cleaning. As others have noted,
after the first use, check the bag. I was surprised at how full the
bag was after first running it. It picks up a lot of dirt.
+ Five floor height levels, easy to adjust.
+ Handle adjusts to completely flat to get under furniture.
+ Good cord wrap and cord clip in handle to keep cord out from under
+ Rocker style power switch; easy to use, good location.
+ Only 10 Amps so uses less power.
+ Very light weight.
+ Has both pre- and post-motor filters. Use a can of compressed air
to clean them. If they're really dirty, wash with soap and water and
let them dry completely before re-installing.
+ It is not too loud for those that prefer a quieter vacuum.
+ Easy belt replacement, just 4 screws on bottom cover.
+ Easy carry handle on back of unit.
+ Comes with a bag already installed and a coupon for 12 bags for $9.99
and free shipping (bissell.com/bags)
- Initially it ran REALLY HOT; motor area and cord were very hot
after only brief use. It still runs hot but doesn't seem as bad as
it was when first new, maybe I'm justed used to it now.
- It also produced a smell when new, almost like the belt was burning
up but it wasn't (at least not yet).
- Motor probably won't last a year given excessive heat produced.
How do you get 12 amps of power out of a 10 amp motor? You drive it
faster, and it probably won't last as long.
- Made in China.
- Post-motor filter area will hold a HEPA filter but not recommended.
The thicker HEPA filter will probably cause the motor to burn up
faster as it prevents heat from exiting the motor housing.
- Cord is only 20 ft long but I think that's a safety feature. Since
you have to unplug the vacuum to move it, it allows time for the
motor to briefly cool down. The vacuum would probably burn up if you
ran it non-stop to clean every room in even a small apartment.
- Hose is short; you need to lift the entire vac body to clean anything
up high. This is typical for upright vacuums.
- Bag door lacks a rubber gasket. It would probably give the vacuum
even better suction and would help contain any dirt that passed
through the bag in the bag area. Using the thicker allergen filter
bags and changing the bag often will keep the bag area clean.
- Short bristles on the dusting brush attachment. It works but would
do a better job with longer softer bristles.
I've used the vac for about 8 months since purchasing. After about
4 months of occassional use (about once/week in an apartment), it
started making a sound is if the roller is dragging when you shut it
off. Tipping the vac on it's wheels so the front end is off the ground
before shutting it off eliminates the noise. The vacuum seems to
operate normally otherwise. I use the allergen filter bag and change
it about once/month just to keep the dust to a minimum.
The Bissell is a good bagged vacuum without spending a lot of money.