9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2007
I bought my VAX X5 about 3 months ago. Having grown up in a Kirby world, I reached the point where I had three of them, all with broken vanes in the impeller so it was time to move on for me. I saw a slightly used VAX for sale and without much research bought it for $75. Marching out to the trash can the next day with 3 Kirby's was quite an experience even though I'm sure I could have Ebay'ed them for something...but this was symbolic. I was now armed with a dust-bunny hunting cannon ready for a cleaning renaissance. It worked "ok" at first, mostly I was so impressed with how quiet it was (ever heard a Kirby with a broken vane? A freight train was comparatively quiet!) But, I found it not real impressive with the wand and especially just having vacuum. I read the reviews here and realized perhaps I didn't have the Excaliber that would be the end all to my quest for a great vacuum. Then I read the one review about keeping the upper filter clean, so I figured I'll try a good filter cleaning (remember, it was a used vacuum anyway). I took out the upper filter, blew it out with a compressor and WOW! This was one hot vacuum! What a difference! But, in just a few more uses and it was time to clean the upper filter again. So, I would say if you keep up with the filter cleaning, it's great. Otherwise, you'll be complaining about no suction. I figure if it does not pick the carpet off the floor with the vacuum, it's time to clean it out. You heard me, "pick the carpet off the floor as it vacuums it" and I have a fairly heavy jute backed wall-to-wall carpet. That's how good it CAN suck, if it's working right. Now I know most people would not have access to a compressor, so I suggest to get an extra cartridge and when you remove one, put the other one in and then vacuum out the first one. I'm also remodeling my house so there is a lot of chunky construction "dust" which really clogs up the upper filter fast, so I put a round piece of common window screen in front of the upper filter so now, a lot of the chunky stuff will get caught in the screen while the vacuum is running, then fall into the main cavity after I shut it down. I find this has cut down the cleaning to 1/3 of the frequency as before, so I can honestly say this has been a great vacuum, with modifications, and fairly frequent cleaning of the upper filter, which only takes about 2 minutes about once every three weeks or so. I also took a 6" piece of washing machine exhaust (water) tube and fit it snugly into the end of the wand to give it a bit more concentrated suction area along with not wearing out the plastic head of the wand. This piece will also double as a splice for all the Kirby attachments I kept from the trashman because those outside diameters (as well as any Shop-Vac attachments)are the same as the diameter of the wand end piece so you need to splice them with a slightly smaller diameter piece and the rubber hose fits perfectly and snugly in both wand and attachments. So far as the attachments, the flexible hose is AWESOME! The scented filters should come in micro-beer, burritos or popcorn scent for us guys, and the powered brush is... well, lost because I found it more of an interesting gizmo than a useful tool. It's probably dry-walled behind my bathroom wall or something... left for prosperity to be found by the next guy crazy enough to take on a complete remodel of most everything in the house. Hopefully, he/she will have a vacuum that will be more maintenance free.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2006
I've been a Hoover fan for years, but the last two vacuums seemed to fall apart quickly, so I decided to try something new. Overall this vacuum met my expectations. Suction is very good. Being able to empty the canister from the bottom is great. The retractible cord is a timesaving feature. The entire vacuum seems sturdy and ergonomically well made.
I have a few concerns however. The wand attachment isn't as user friendly as I'd hoped it would be. It fights you a little when you try to retract the hose from the unit, and the end attachment is an odd shape that doesn't work well for baseboards.
But here is my biggest "design flaw": most vacuums tilt all the way back so you can go under tables, etc. - and this one does too. But they typically have at least one or two lock points along the way back, so if you want to tip the vacuum up an inch in the front to go up and over a tall rug, you can. The Vax has no lock point... the handle just freely tips all the way back, making it impossible to lift up the front even a little bit. I have to literally yank the entire vacuum into the air before I can go from a low point to a high point in the floor. I can't believe the designers didn't think about this.
Finally, if you like a vacuum to have different floor heights, this one has only one. So if you want to run it over an area rug, there is no way to raise it up or otherwise reduce the suction.
I'll still give it four stars overall, because the suction and dirt cup design are great, and not having to wind the darn cord as you do on other vacuums is a time saver.
The other person who warned against using the scented filters was right on. Holy cow - we put the lemon filter in, and for an entire day we gagged artificial lemon scent. We were quick to take it out before the next vacuuming!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2006
I can't believe my first review on Amazon, with all the stuff I buy, is for a vacuum cleaner. However, I attempted to research this vacuum before I purchased and couldn't find a thing. I blogged about it, and started getting all sorts of hits on that post. Apparently I wasn't the only one who couldn't find info. With that in mind, I'm pasting in my blog entry on my experiences with the X5, which I bought at Best Buy on Feb 11.
2/11/06: Everyone I tell laughs when I tell them this, but I took my impossible IKEA area rug to Best Buy and vacuumed it with the floor samples. We tried the Dyson DC07 and the Vax X5. I don't know if there was too much of a difference. They both picked up stuff the other had missed. They also both picked up tons of stuff. I've never seen machines with so much suction.
We ended up with the Vax because it seemed to perform as well as the Dyson, but happens to be $100 cheaper.This is a $300 vacuum cleaner. I expect a lot out of it.
We get it home and I'm blown away by how well it's cleaning the carpet. However, I put it on our hardwood floors and nothing. It's not sucking up a thing.
I'm going to try it again today. In fact, I have 30 days in which I can try it before I have to take it back to Best Buy and get the Dyson. It was hard enough spending $300 on a vacuum; it'll be really difficult to drop $400 on the Dyson. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I did something wrong somewhere and that the Vax will work on the hardwood floors today.
Blog Update 2/12/05: Okay - I did the hardwood today, and then the carpets in my office and had no problem whatsoever!! Here's hoping the Vax is a keeper.
Did I mention it has a scented filter as well as the lifetime HEPA filter? When I vacuum, the whole house smells like cinnamon (or whatever scented filter I use). And it comes with 4 of the filters, which only need to be replaced quarterly.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2007
First of all, I read every review that I could find before makeing my new vacuum choice. This is the answer to every vacuum design flaw that I've ever encountered.
1. My first requirement, this has an automatic cord rewinder. I will not spend more time winding it up than vacuuming.
2. There are no impossible to find bags to buy.
3. The dust cup empties from the bottom. No more flipping it over and banging on the cup only to wear half of the dust yourself when it flys back up at you.
4. The most used attachments are really attached. The wand on the front of the vacuum is really handy with the stretch hose stored inside that even and the crevice tool folds up into the vacuum. No more storing all your attachments. Attachments have always fallen off every vacuum I've ever used with little help making the on-board storage a joke.
5. The handle can lower all the way to the ground making it possible to clean under chairs and such. That feature also seems to be hard to find these days.
6. The vacuum has a clip if you use the hose aggresivly so that the vacuum does not tip over. I broke an expensive dirt devil that had a habit of falling over when ever you would use the hose. The last fall was to it's death. It ended up causing the belt to eat itself.
7. To my next plus, this does not have any awful belts to have to replace either.
8. The filters are also lifetime and washable. Buying another one would be of pure convenience for really impatient people that can't wait 24 hours to vacuum again.
9. The appearance is one of the most appealing that I've seen yet. They come in such hip colors too. Now don't be fooled like I was, I really thought this vacuum was going to be blue like every picture that I've seen on many websites. Sometimes lighting makes things look different and sometimes people are just color blind and items are clearly not the color they are marked. This is called purple and silver and to my surprise it really is a great metallic purple. It's a slick looking vacuum and functional as well.
Other Peoples List of Cons:
It's actually not as heavy as everyone made it out to be. I was a bit scared when I read it was 18 pounds. I know many people gripe that this is such a heavy vacuum but for all you are getting it's so worth it, just think your arms will get a work out also.
And the pictures made me wonder if this was going to be obnoxiously huge like the dyson vacuums all seem to be, but it's not. It's just the right size. We don't have a big house and it's size is just perfect.
Alot of people also say that it lost suction after a short time. There is a button above the power button to turn off the brush rolls for bare floors or using attachments. I've accidentally hit that rather than the power button. Could this be the problem??? If you try to vacuum with it off, you clearly see the difference and it does seem like something is wrong. It's wasn't the vacuum, just the operator. I just think that some people didn't read their book.
Amazon.com is the best price by far $146, shipping is also free (and I got it the next day, talk about speedy). Target and Best Buy had this on clearance for $250. The Vax site itself is selling this for $199. Other sites are selling this for up to $400. I even looked on ebay and with the shipping included the price was nowhere near what Amazon sells it for.
Overall this is the best vacuum I've ever owned! I hope I've helped someone out there making their decision.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2007
First off, if you are considering the Dyson, get the Dyson. Vax may have more inital power, but it gets clogged up just like any other bagless vacuum and needs to be cleaned pretty often. Another downside to Vax is the hose assembly, it does fine for picking up dirt on hard floors but not so well on carpeted/fabric areas and the hose extentions are a bit awkward to hold and use in general. Also, the upgrade tools have been sitting in my closet for about a year now. If you don't mind the color, get the X3; same vacuum, just without the upgrade tools.
Now for the good. So long as you clean out the filter assembly (takes all of 3 mins) the Vax does a great job on carpets. Better than our previous Hoover Windtunnel, which was also ~300 and the Vax easier to clean the filter assembly then the hoover. We have a long haired cat, a dog that sheds alot, and children so we get ALOT of dirt and hair in our house.
Cleaning the filter system is easy, all you need is a hard brush (hard like the bristles on a toilet brush) and a sink. Brush the top of the screen filter to removed the dirt from screen (some brushes work better than others, if it doesn work well, try a different brush) and then rinse out the sponge filter in the sink (I've never used soap). Squeeze out all the water you can from the sponge filter by hand, then use a towel to get it a little more dry (just make sure that the sponge filter is moist, not wet). I've been doing this for a year and never had any problems. Put it all back together and you're at 100% power again. Being able to clean the filter system easily it what I like most about the Vax.
Being able to turn off the floor brush to do hardwood floors is also a bonus, not to mention there are no belts to replace. The brushes are directly linked to the second motor and the motor has burnout protection incase something gets stuck in the brushes. Just remove the obect and hit the reset button to get the brushes to spin again.
The hose assembly has its upsides. Once you get used to how to use the hose, its pretty handy in most cases. Its great for the quick little corner here and there. But as most people have commented, it doesnt do so well on carpet and fabrics. The hose assembly is also pretty simple. There is one path from the floor to the dirt cannister. This was a selling point for me since our past hoover constantly got the internal hose system clogged up, requiring me to disassemble the hoover in order to clean it out.
Compared to other vacuumes, it is decently lightweight. Since the hose tools kinda suck, I just pick up the Vax and vacuum the stairs with the floor brush. My wife leaves that chore to me.
In summary, the Vax excels at doing what a vacuum is supposed to do, which is removing dirt and pet hair from carpets. Its better than most other (non-Dyson) bagless vacuums. If you can afford a dyson, get a dyson. Otherwise the Vax is a good choice so long as you have done your homework and know what to expect. I expect the Vax to last us at least 5 years or more of vigorous use. Not bad for the price considering our hoover died after 2.5 years, cost about the same, but was a pain to clean and maintain.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2006
I purchased an x5 because I wanted quality and did not like price of the dyson. I figured I was paying for all the dyson advertising and since I had heard nothing about the Vax co. I thought the underdog would prevail. I gave it 3 stars because when it works, it works great, but, my first one lost suction after only about 3 weeks. I was able to exchange it for a new one. I don't have any bad things to say about attachments or such the vacuum worked fine when it worked and all its quirks were just part of having that particular vac. Well, after about a month the main brush part seized up and it made a horrible noise trying to spin. I don't know what happened but after 2 x5's @ nearly $300, I am done. I broke down and picked up the dyson and it has been woking perfect so far. I am sorry to say because I really wanted to keep the x5, the styling is great, it was very light weight, moved effortlessly and like I said, when it worked it sucked up everything. Funny thing though, the filters seemed to need endless cleaning,(dirty job) I am talking like after every 2 times of use or the suction would be almost non-existent. When I am rolling up the cord to the dyson I miss the quick auto spooling the x5 has, but, the dyson is making a believer out of me. The extra $100 may have been worth it. Maybe I just had a run of bad luck but for vacuums in the $300 to $400 range, they need to be working a whole lot longer than 1 or 2 months before they begin breaking down. I would not buy another Vax.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2006
I bought the Vax X5 (purple) back in Oct. 2005 at Best Buy. I had done quite a bit of research on vacuums that seemed to work well with dog hair. I have a black lab and Sheppard-collie mix and live in an apartment, all carpet except for the kitchen. Every review that I read, lead me to the Dyson. Once at Best Buy the salesman sold me on the Vax. He said that I worked better on carpet and it was $150-200 less. I figured with the warranty that you can buy at best buy and the 30 day return policy, if it didn't do the job I would take it back and spend the extra for the dyson.
It is now March and the Vax has been amazing. It picks up hair that no other vacuum I have ever owned has been able to do. The retractable cord is really nice too.
The only major complaint that I have is the constant cleaning of the inside screen and filter-dust-cover. I am not sure it is more me because of the amount of dog hair that the vacuum picks up that I am forced to reach up inside the canister to remove the hair and debris with my hand to ensure maximum suction. And after each use you must take the canister outside and unlock the top (the piece where the filter is located) and knock out the duster-filter because it for some reason collects a lot of dust/dirt, which is strange because it is located above the screen on the canister.
So, it is a little high maintenance for a $299 vacuum, but it works well and serves its purpose. Just as long as it continues to perform, I don't think the Dyson is worth the extra money.
If anyone has common problems or fixes please post and let us Vax owners know, since there is still very little info out there on these vacuums.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2007
Spend the extra $100 and get the Dyson....you'll be returning this very soon and getting it anyway and asking yourself why you didn't just get the Dyson in the first place. We purchased this vacuum from Best Buy when they had their online "price screw up" for $159 (it was doubled a couple of days later on the site). We thought we were getting a cheaper version of a Dyson and saving some cash...WRONG!!!!!!!! The whole reason I wanted the Dyson in the first place was because I had used my neighbor's after our old vacuum died and I was SO impressed at how my carpets looked. After a VERY short time the VAX deteriorated FAST. If the filters aren't taken out and WASHED (yes with soapy water) and dried for atleast 24 hours (or you risk all of the dust immediately sticking to the filters)after every big vacuum or every other small use the suction and cleaning power goes down to about the level of my grandmother's old electric sweeper. And don't even get me started on the accessories & hose. Let's just say I've been using teh shop vac to vacuum my carpeted stairs.
The only reason I gave it 2 instead of 1 star is that after it's all washed and cleaned out, it does work pretty well for a little while (MAYBE a couple of weeks)....but again, who wants the hassle of always having to clean the thing you bought to clean your house????!!!!
It LOOKS nice BUT overall NOT worth the hassle or money.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2006
The reviews on amazon.com made me nervous about buying the vax x5, but don't take these reviews too seriously. The issues people complain about are petty, the vacuum handled a months worth of dog air from a Lab and a Dalmatian with no problem and made the carpet look almost as clean as the day it was installed. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars was because I don't know if it'll lose suction or not, but I will re-review in about 6 months.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2008
This vacuum is great...Looks awesome, comes with good attachments, and is bagless. Has great suction/cleaning ability (look below)
I love the scented exhaust filters.
A problem - in order to keep suction STRONG (both as a vacuum and using attachments), you must empty the canister AND knock the dust and dirt out of the foam filter and the HEPA filter. Otherwise, the suction is not good. I've done a full washing of my hepa filter/canister/foam filter maybe 3 times in the 3+ years we've had this vacuum...so a full cleaning is pretty much optional. But if you don't beat the dust out of the various filter parts every few cleanings, this vacuum is almost useless.
I should note that I have three children, two cats, and a dog. We live in a place that is in desperate need of a duct cleaning. This vacuum works hard, and has for the past 3 years.