When looking to invest in major household appliances, I find Consumer Reports to be helpful as well as consumer reviews on sites such as Amazon. I always wonder when I read consumer reviews if they were written by a paid hack (for positive reviews) or by the competition (for negative reviews). I find if I put the two together I can get the clearest picture of what a product can and can not do for me.
I wanted a lightweight vacuum for quick cleaning hard surfaces that was still a powerhouse that could get the job done, so I looked vacuums up on Consumer Reports. CS pegged this vacuum as the best performing vac in its class.
It has a larger than average motor for more suction power and having a cord instead of a battery pack means it's lightweight but does not lose its power over time the way all rechargeable models can. The cord is also able to support the afore mentioned larger motor.
The problem reported by users of this vacuum's predecessor was that the positioning of the exit vents had a tendency to blow dust bunnies around. They must have fixed that problem on this model because while using it over the past year, I have had no such trouble with dust bunnies or their demonic cousins the large dust jackrabbits.
The suction is excellent. Basically when it comes to vacuums, you actually *want* yours to suck. Some make the complaint this vacuum is it's noisy. Yeah . . . news flash, it's a vacuum. It makes almost the same amount of noise as a full size vacuum because the motor is almost the same size as a regular vacuum. More suction means more noise but more suction also means less time going back and forth to pick up dirt. When it comes to noise vs time spent, I will choose less time spent cleaning every time. If you want something quiet, my granny had this little push thing that silently picked up crumbs. As a child, I could never figure out where those crumbs went. Perhaps to another dimension?
As a side note, I had major renovations done on my house recently. The contractor brought his industrial vacuum with him but all the workers preferred my little stick vac. Sucks great, empties easily, lightweight to easily carry from place to place. Even after that huge workout my little stick vac still works great! I don't want to say I'm in love with a vacuum but this stick vac and I are definitely in a very happy relationship.
If you're looking for a quick rating of the Dirt Devil's performance, it gets five stars. But as they say, the devil is in the details. Below is a brief overview, with discussion to follow.
* Very powerful suction
* Assembles quickly
* Large dirt cup capacity
* Removal of dirt cup is fast
* Fairly quiet
* Electric cord length is about 20'
* Sturdy wheels
* Low-profile cleaning head
* Capable of hanging storage
* Replacement of dirt cup requires precision
* Weight of vacuum a factor in some cases
* Plastic casing
If you are accustomed to a battery powered stick vacuum, you will be pleasantly surprised at the performance of this electric powered, lightweight, stick vacuum. It has the ability to pick up small and larger pieces of dirt on both hard floors and those with carpeting. (It performed beautifully on tile floors, oriental rugs, and thickly padded, dense carpeting.) And this is despite not having a vacuum's traditional beater bar with bristles. It does have a toothed, small, rubber strip that may assist in lifting dirt to be sucked into the unit.
To assemble, simply attach the cleaning head to the unit. The handle (stick) clicks into place and is attached to the vacuum. Depending on your proficiency, this can take from one to three minutes.
The dirt cup is located on the front of the unit. That makes it very easy to remove and empty. However, replacing it is not so easy and fast. I couldn't align the cup to the unit by bending over the vacuum. To do it, I had two choices. I could put the vacuum on the kitchen counter (not hygienic) or, put the stick under my arm with the unit resting against my body. In that position, I could see how to align the two pieces. Being short, this may be a problem only for me and not for most consumers.
Four plastic wheels move this vacuum; two tiny ones at the front of the cleaning head and two much larger ones in the rear. Not having rubber wheels means no residue peeling off as you vacuum--a definite plus.
The cleaning head is 1 ½" in height. This low profile means that getting under a low sitting piece of furniture is possible. The center of the head is higher so, only one-half of the head will fit. That gives you several inches of clearance to clean. Beyond that, you would have to move the piece of furniture. If you've ever thoroughly vacuumed, leaving a visible dust line just under a hard-to-reach item, you'll appreciate this feature.
The electric cord length is ample for cleaning a generously-sized area. Of course, it needs to be relocated as you move from space to space. The cord probably won't stretch up a flight of stairs, but the unit's weight (about seven pounds) might discourage you from using it there. The cord stores neatly when wrapped in the place provided.
Storage should not be a problem. It stands upright on its own. Its size makes it an excellent choice for those with little storage capacity. Additionally, the manufacturer has thoughtfully provided a very large `O' at the top of the stick, for storing the vacuum in a hanging position.
A possible negative feature may be the vacuum's plastic casing. It doesn't appear to be very strong. For example, hanging it on my garage wall with heavier items, means that I have to be very careful to not let them touch one another, for fear of cracking the vacuum's casing. Or, if I hang it and it falls, will it still be useable? Think of where you store bikes, carriages, strollers, suitcases, sports equipment, etc. and try to keep them from your Dirt Devil.
Overall, this stick vacuum is devilishly good.
on January 2, 2013
I have owned a couple of Dirt Devil vacuums in the past but this is the first corded stick style I have experienced from this brand. I had issues in the past with the Dirt Devils losing suction after only a few months. Not so with this model after almost 3 months of constant use.
My home has laminate wood flooring all throughout. I have 2 furry Papillon dogs and one cat who is always shedding. I have to do major vacuuming with my Electrolux full sized vacuum at least once a week but have been using the Dirt Devil every other day to manage the pet hair as well as all the litter the cat tracks out of her box.
The Power Air does a good job of sucking up even large tufts of fur. It has an 11 inch head but actual suction area is only 4" centered in the middle of the head. I am not sure why the action suction area is only 4". There is a rubber flap edge to help move along the debris toward the 4" opening. I guess that does its job but it is already starting to show some wear and I am not sure it would really affect the overall performance of the vacuum if it was completely gone.
There is no roller brush mechanism in the head so I don't have to clean hair or string off it like I do with my full sized Electrolux. I do have to pull fur and things off the little plastic wheels however, pretty much every time I use it. Since there is no roller brush mechanism I would not recommend this for use on carpets (in fact, it clearly states on the vacuum that it is designed for hard floor surfaces). The Power Air fits under my cabinets and gets all the debris right along the edges well. It also fits under most of my furniture.
I keep the Power Air in a utility closet upstairs closest to where the cat's litter box is located and use it daily there. The handle has an eye at the end so I can store it on a hook and it rests FLAT against the wall. I think that was a good design feature.
The debris canister is simple to remove and empty. Sometimes it requires a quick wipe out with a paper towel, depending on how much litter got vacuumed up that day.
Some people have mentioned that it seemed heavy. It doesn't to me. I have no problem cleaning my stairs with it (even with one hand). Some fellow reviewers have mentioned that the vacuum is quiet. I don't know if I am just auditory sensitive but I think it is fairly loud but that is something I just expect from a vacuum. If I had any complaint it would be that the cord is too short.
I see that the price has come down here on Amazon. I am seriously considering buying a second one to store by the kitchen to use in place of a broom and dustpan for nightly kitchen cleanups.
on July 11, 2012
Since I have a house on the Oregon Coast with hardwood floors I spend a great deal of my time sweeping up sand dragged in from the beach. Not anymore. I finally found a quick and eficient way to get my floors sparking clean without having to bend over every few seconds to use the dustpan. The Dirt Devil Power Air Lightweight Stick Vac lives up to its name. It is lightweight, not much heavier than the broom I had been using for the past 20 years. And boy does it suck up the sand. Sand, dirt and dust don't stand a chance against this powerful little devil.
My neighbor came over and I did a demonstration for her, ala' the door to door vacuum cleaner salesman from days gone by, and she was so impressed she immediately ordered one for herself! It easily scooted under the chairs and couch picking up anything that dared to cross its path. And it is small enough to fit in the pantry corner where I used to keep my broom. I don't know how I lived without such a great item all these years, but I'm certainly glad I finally discovered an easier way to de-sand my hardwood floors. I couldn't be more happy with this wonderful product.
on June 28, 2012
I already have a large upright Dirt Devil vacuum, but I also have a lot of hard flooring, so I thought this little vacuum would work well for quick vacuuming. This is my first small stick vacuum so I wasn't sure what to expect. Although the suction works great on this vacuum and it's perfectly acceptable in picking up dirt, there are enough small design flaws that I had to take a couple of stars off.
The pros of this vacuum:
It's lightweight and not too big, so it can be stored in a corner or small area.
It's very strong for its size and picks up a lot of dirt.
Although the suction is strong, I noticed a lot of dust flying around the sides of the vacuum as it worked, I don't know if it was dust being sucked in or kicked up, but it was very noticeable.
It's very loud! It has a high-pitched, whining sound. I think it's louder than my regular upright.
The dirt cup feels somewhat flimsy and I bet it will be the first thing to break. It's also a little messy to empty.
The cord is very flimsy.
This isn't really a design flaw, but I really would have liked it to have a swivel head to reach into corners better.
I can't see myself using this vacuum very often because I have pets and need a hose attachment to reach into little nooks and crannies that harbor pet hair, and this vacuum just doesn't reach into those areas. Also, for the light duty that it would be needed for, I really could do just as well with a broom and dustpan instead of dragging this thing out. If you don't have pets and have a very open, spare area to vacuum, it will work great, but if you need to get into little areas, I would try something else.
on March 11, 2016
I'll try and talk about what I like most about the SD20505. I've included a picture of the filter assembly which is completely detachable from the "body" of the vacuum cleaner and can be taken apart individually to clean. Why this was so important to me is because my previous vacuum(s) all had difficult to clean dust bin / filter(s) that would eventually hamper the effectiveness of the vacuum over time. The design of this particular vacuum allows easy access to the dust bin to not only empty dust through the trap door at the bottom, but to completely remove the individual components that make up the assembly for deep cleaning. That means after a few sessions of running the vacuum I can simply take apart everything and give it a through clean with hot water without having any nastiness stuck in between the little grooves and crevices. Anyone who's had a foul smelling vacuum in the past knows that a hard to clean dust bin / filter can develop mold or bacteria growth if left unchecked. Pre-filter(s) are also cheap and plentiful here on Amazon and the recommended life change of one is 6 months.
Other than that I will echo the other statements made by reviewers here that the vacuum is indeed very strong and quite loud. Definitely not something you can use very early in the morning if you don't want to wake everyone up. I also see no reason why this vacuum could not power though stiff "cut pile" carpets; just keep in mind it has no roller brush on the bottom for hair but should work well enough for general dirt and dust.
I'm really happy with my purchase so far; I'll update my review down the road if any mechanical issues arise.
Let me get this right out of the way, if you need a stick vac and will absolutely only ever be using it for hardwood floors, and your budget caps out at this price, this is a great choice. Its light and manuverable and does a great job. It does an ok job on carpeting too.
But compared to might slightly more expensive multi floor stick vac it falls short. Thats to be expected since this is for hardwood floors, but for usually $10-$20 more you can get a lot more versatility in the same package. This will not compare to a full size vac in terms of suction or capacity. (I did get my whole studio done without having to empty it, but thats a studio thats cleaned at least twice a month.) For quick touchups or a small flat thats all hardwood floors and maybe very short pile carpet its pretty darn good. And its bagless so thats a plus. I didnt measure the cord but it got all the way across my room no problem. Since this is a stick vac, there are of course no attachments or hoses. It does an ok job at corners and walls, but either because of the nozzle thickness or the suction pattern I found it easier just to sweep the dust away from there. As I mentioned earlier, compared to moving around my dyson this thing is a dream to carry and roll and fits smartly in my cupboard.
on April 21, 2016
This is a pretty powerful little vacuum. I like it for my bare floors. It really cleans very well. But it is a little too powerful to vacuum my area rugs. It sucks them up, especially my bathroom mats. And it is a short little thing. I am not quite 4'10" tall and I hang on to the very end of the handle. I would think anyone taller would find it very uncomfortable. Also, because the "cup" part sits so low on the vacuum, you really can't get it under the edge of cabinets. I like the long cord and the power.
on July 12, 2013
Our old upright finally died so I decided to give this thing a go. We've always had good luck with DD products. Our house is mostly hardwood floors, with one carpeted room, two sets of carpeted stairs and a small carpeted hallway. I didn't want a traditional "beater bar" upright, because on hardwood floors they tend to fling dust and dirt - at least the ones we've had.
So, having used this DD "superstick" for awhile now here's my assessment.
1) Tremendous suction! This this is like a tractor beam for dust bunnies. We have 3 cats, so we have fur everywhere, and this vacuum really does an excellent job of pulling it in.
2) Long cord - I think we all can always say "I wish the cord was longer" on vacuums, but I've got no complaints about this one.
3) Large enough opening: having kids, I need to vacuum up cereal, crumbs, dirt, sand, etc. Pretty much everything will fit into the large opening. This also means that we'll probably be throwing away some lego pieces inadvertantly caught in the process.
4) Well balanced & maneuverable: the large dirt cup can make this thing a bit tippy at times, but in general it balances well and it's easy to move around.
5) Large dirt cup, and is easy to dump: I've used other bagless vacuums that were harder to dump or which caused a bit of a dust cloud when emptying. WIth this one you just hold it over the trash can, push a button and the dirt drops out the bottom. Or you can pull the whole cannister off with the touch of another button, then you can empty the dirt and bang out the filter, as well. It holds plenty and it's remarkable how much crud is on our floors. (or used to be on our floors, I guess)
6) You can vacuum right up to edges and in general it works pretty well. On hardwood or tile floors it will pull in most dirt or debris. On carpet it might not get all of the accumulated cat fur tucked into the edge of the carpet. A brush or my shoe run along the edge will generally pull it up enough to allow the DD to work.
7) Works great on hardwood floors and very well on carpets. Does it work as well on carpets as a traditional "beater bar" upright? Probably not, but who knows. I did't want to deal with a belt that would have to be replaced and a brush that would get clogged, so for me it's good enough.
1) As others have mentioned the whole idea of this being a "low profile to fit under furniture" vacuum is kind of negated by the large cannister on the front. Sure, you can get under the edge a few inches, but that's about it.
2) The handle feels sturdy enough, but I wish it was a bit longer and thicker. It feels a bit awkward at times because you have this large cannister and motor sitting at the end of this thin handle. Kind of like a marshmallow on a toothpick. A thicker handle would've made it easier to maneuver. I'll be looking into some way of modifying this to better suit my needs.
Overall this is a great vacuum. It's small and easily portable, and has a great amount of suction to get the job done. It only loses a star for the "cons" mentioned above - it's probably a 4.5 star item to me.
on April 5, 2016
For the price, this model IS a good deal: genuinely lightweight; compact; powerful motor; simple controls and very easy to assemble, use and empty. It does work well on hardwood or tile floors, but only what you're trying to pick up has some heft to it (think spilled cereal or dry cat food, like in all the stick vacuum demos). But if you're after mainly dog fur, dust bunnies, your everyday lightweight debris and you have hardwood floors, AVOID this model: the exhaust (which is forceful, given the 10 amp motor) vents downwards and from the FRONT of the canister. This means (yup, you guessed it) fur and dust gets blown clear of the vacuum as you approach. After a few tries of comically chasing Siberian Husky fur across hardwood floors, sucking up perhaps half of it through repeated chasing, we remembered why we never buy Dirt Devil cheapies in the first place.