Customer Review

311 of 330 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Electrolux v. Hoover canister, February 20, 2011
This review is from: Electrolux Ergospace Green Canister Vacuum, EL 4101A (Kitchen)
Since I've spent the past 24 hours (or more) researching vacuums -- and bought two to try out at home, side by side -- I thought I should share my findings with the rest of you.

First off, my 23-year-old Hoover canister finally died on me a few weeks ago. I'd had the thing at the shop maybe once for some work, but other than that, it still worked like a charm til the very end. It had a self-propelling power head that roared like a elephant and scared small children and pets, but it but really sucked the dirt in its heyday. It was sort of scary on hardwood, but I made do. After all, it was practically a member of the family -- the same age as my oldest son.

So when it died, I knew it would be a hard act to follow. I knew I wanted a canister. To tell you the truth, what I like most are the long wands that I use to clean everything from ceiling fans to air vents to baseboards. The little attachment hoses on the uprights just didn't seem like they'd do the trick. I liked the idea of bagless, though I'd never tried one. The guy who cleans my carpet once a year recommended Dyson. After looking at Dysons, reading reviews and seeing the prices, I decided I didn't want to spend that kind of money.

In the end, I decided to test-drive two vacuums: the Electrolux 4101A Ergospace Green Canister ($149 at Costco) and the Hoover MultiCyclonic SH40060 ($149 at Target.) Both sounded great online, so I decided to buy them both, assemble them and do a side-by-side comparison.

Bottom line: The Electrolux, cute and "green" as it is, is going back. The Hoover is staying.

The Hoover isn't as well made as my 23-year-old dearly departed - that's obvious. But it seems far more solid than the Electrolux. I nearly broke the Electrolux simply trying to unsnap and resnap the filter compartment -- the plastic seems thin (yes, I know it's recycled) and flimsy. I can't imagine it holding up a year -- I'm not sure it will last a month. Same thing with the plastic hose, which also seems flimsy compared to the Hoover. Even the power nozzle-heads (two of them, which I can't imagine wanting to swap out very often) seem sort of cheap. On the plus side, the telescoping wand works very well and is nice and long, the 3-in-1 crevice tool is sort of ingenious once you figure it out (no help from the manual there!) and the motor has variable speeds, which is neat. Another negative: The hot air "exhaust" blows out straight up at you -- I felt like I was in a wind tunnel (a hot wind tunnel) if I got too near the canister.

The Hoover, on the other hand, snaps together neatly with lots of clever, well-designed little latches. The bagless design seems very easy to use, and economical. Two filters, both washable. The wand telescopes, not quite as smoothly as the Electrolux, but it's fine (much better than the two-part wand in my old Hoover.) The tools (just two and admittedly not great) store neatly in the rather heavy hose handle. The handle has to be heavy, I guess, because it contains the power switch - which is another big improvement over my old Hoover (and the Electrolux), where the power switch is in the canister, which may be some feet away away from you just when you want it most.

But in the end I wanted a vacuum that could clean. So I decided to run each through its paces on my hardwood floor. Fairly dirty and dusty, since as I said, my old Hoover died "a few weeks ago."

The Electrolux was first up. It wasn't bad, though the blowing hot air was a bit bothersome. It was quiet and it moved easily along the floor. It's lightweight and easy to pull. But there was one stubborn Christmas tree needle stuck in the baseboard that just wouldn't budge, even though I went over it again and again. Christmas tree needles are my litmus test.

So out comes the Hoover, to see what it can do. It's a bit heavy, but feels solid and sturdy in a reassuring way. It's much quieter than my old vacuum. I can actually carry on a conversation while I'm cleaning. I can hear the doorbell ring.

And when it gets to the Christmas tree needle -- wooooosh! Gone. Just like that.

What was I thinking? Momentarily swayed by a cute green bungee-cord (what's that for, anyway?) and the promise of being green and environmentally correct, I nearly forgot the most important rule of vacuum purchasing. A vacuum needs to vacuum well. I think the Hoover MultiCyclonic and I will have a beautiful life together. And it's sturdy little blue body is growing on me.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 10, 2011 3:01:34 AM PDT
Pythagorus says:
So far, the most useful and helpful vacuum cleaner review I've read. Thanks for your very intelligent analysis.

Posted on Jun 25, 2012 8:59:23 PM PDT
MK says:
Great review, thank you for posting!

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 12:39:06 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 29, 2012 12:39:21 PM PDT]

Posted on Dec 4, 2012 8:20:34 PM PST
kwingylee says:
Thanks for the very thoughtful review!

Posted on Jan 5, 2013 9:03:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2013 9:04:16 PM PST
Dennis says:
This does indeed appear to be a very thoughtful review. The trouble is, the Hoover recommended instead has a large number of terrible reviews. I have discovered that vacuum cleaners have more contradictory reviews than computer products!!

Posted on Jan 20, 2013 8:38:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 20, 2013 8:40:38 AM PST
S. Henderson says:
I have the Electrolux and while it's not perfect, it's lightweight and the quietest vacuum I've ever owned and handles pethair just fine. Who vacuums tree needles all year around? Your test, for me, doesn't balance out the positives and negatives. Mine is 3 years old and I vacuum 1-2 times a week, no problems yet. I must add, however, that it's better on hardwood or tile surfaces than rugs. The adjustable suction slider on the canister is helpful when vacuuming lightshades or furniture you don't want sticking to the nozzle and unless you straddle the thing while you're vacuuming, the straight-up exhaust shouldn't bother you.

Posted on Mar 25, 2013 5:59:17 PM PDT
Thank you for the review, which was so well written, it was a joy to read!
Kate L
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