on February 26, 2008
In short: I finally have a vacuum that actually does what I need. Read the long review to see what I mean.
I'll be honest. I destroy vacuums. I've had Hoovers, Dirt Devils, Kirby's, Eureka, and a few odd names I can't remember. Why so many? Well, my small house is home to 2 very active adults, 5 dogs (4 are over 85lbs), 3 Parrots, 2 turtles, and other animals I've fostered for a local rescue. I vacuum daily, some times 2x. I just received the Bissell 3920 Pet to replace my good ol' Hoover Fusion. So as a test here's what I did:
Moved everything out of the rooms that have carpet. (2 rooms + hallway.)
Vacuumed with the Hoover in all directions so as to get up as much hair and dirt as I could. Empty the cup and did it again. Didn't get much the second time. OK, carpet clean right?
Assembled the Bissell. Not to hard, just make sure you attach the cord wind area to the handle before putting in the screws.
Lets look at how the design is:
1. It's huge and heavy. It towers over my Hoover. I'm almost 6' and the handle on this beast reaches almost to my chest. Due to it's size, it seems that it's gonna be a pain to maneuver. (But it's not...)
2. Big plus here: The inlet from the rollers (where things get sucked up at) is not way out at one end. This means a more even suction while in use. Great design and it pulls in more junk!
3. If there was 1 thing I would change it would be the cord reel. It's only about 8" apart. This thing has a 35' cord, that's gonna take a long time to wind up.
4. Filters are in easy to get to areas unlike most of the other vacuums I've had.
5. That pet hair attachment on the front folds nicely up out of the way, and stays there.
6. The attachments snap into place and stay out of the way.
7. Noise: Actually, unless you're used to a really, really quiet vac, this thing is not that loud. Then again, I have 2 Macaws, so noise isn't really an issue to me.
Ok, now to use it:
Plug it in, flick the switch, and it took off! Uh, it's not self propelled right? No, the roller is just that strong. OK, re-adjust the height settings and we're good. Just 2 passes and I already saw stuff flying around in the dirt cup. Eh? Remember I thought the size was going to make this hard to use? Well, it rolls so easy it's like a 5lb vac! So I finish all the carpets and well, it filled the cup! As far as getting carpet clean, It works great. Pulled out hair I never even saw, got very close to the walls. Even the carpet by the back door that gets all matted down and tracked in dirt on it looks great.
Hard floors: So I saw some reviews stating this thing does nothing on hard floors. Well, hold on a sec let me try... Ok, now I feel lazy. That was too easy. I use a broom normally, I mean that's what they're made for right? This Bissell picked up all the dog hair, bird seed and those really annoying fluff feathers like it was nothing! Works good enough Mom won't know I didn't scrub it before she visits next time.
Now this critter has a few attachments for furniture and such, lets see how well they work... OK, I just did my sectional couch in about 5 minutes with this turbo brush. I've used these before and usually end up tossing them since they run on nothing but suction to drive the roller. Normally, the roller stops moving once it comes in contact with the fabric on the furniture. Uh, not this one. Yes it's still suction driven, but this Bissell has enough suction that the roller never even slowed down! No joke. Ok, well that's all fine and dandy, but does it pick up 5 different types of dog hair. YES! Long, medium, short, undercoat, and Bulldog! (if you ever had a bull dog you know what I mean. Needle like hair that can't be pulled off.)
Unit is well balanced for as tall as it is. Some have stated it falls over when using the attachments. I didn't seem to have that problem, just make sure you push the handle all the way forward to lock it in place. That also lifts the roller off the floor enough that it's not beating your carpet to death.
Well. I'm impressed, and that takes a lot for me.
All in all, the only 2 things I don't like are the cord reel and the power switch. It's just in an odd place.
Is it worth the $150 I paid? Yeah, and then some. Of course only time will tell how long it will last but while I have it, it looks like it's gonna work great.
---The vac killer---
on November 16, 2007
Admittedly I'm not the purchaser... but I wanted to throw in my two cents anyway after seeing this baby in action.
I have just finished over 4 months of cat-sitting; two cats, one of them long-haired. The amount of cat hair covering and embedded into the carpets, rugs and furniture was ridiculous. I couldn't keep up with it.
The cats' owner bought this vacuum after seeing it on TV, and yesterday she came over to pick up the cats and attempt to clean up the hair. Both of us were stunned as to just how well this thing does what it says it's supposed to do. The entire time, we couldn't stop expressing our amazement.
It was fairly easy to assemble, and the assortment of attachments is very useful. Not to mention that the price is ridiculously reasonable for what you get. Believe the hype, that's all I can say.
on December 13, 2007
I have 5 pets and hair in my home is a constant problem. I've owned bissell before and wanted another vacuum specifically for pet hair. Bissell offers this vacuum at a reaonable price and is quite affordable.
After quickly assembling the vacuum (I believe 3 screws total) and placement of the accessories, I was ready to go. There is an accessory you lower to actually pull up the hair before it is sucked up. Great!
The accessories are very friendly to your staircase (and wood areas) with rubber tips. They have great suction as well.
Only one negative comment, if you leave the vacuum on carpet while you use the attachments with the hose, it is so powerful it will actually LIFT up your carpet, so be careful to mind it.
All in all, one of the best vacuums I've purchased!
on March 24, 2008
Was my carpet REALLY that dirty? Why, yes it was.
The story: My old Hoover Dirtfinder upright, given to me as a gift 10 years ago when my daughter was born, stopped working. The belt needed replacing. I'm pretty handy, so I gave it a whirl. No dice. The old girl apparently has virtually no user-serviceable parts, belts are hard to find, and Hoover no longer offers the manual as a digital download. What to do? Shell out $50+ for a professional fix, or try something new? Since we now have two cats and the aforementioned daughter has long, long hair, we went for the Bissel Pet Hair Eraser.
I have vacuumed once a week, religiously, since we got the cats one year ago. So I thought the carpets in our small apartment were probably not that bad. Boy, was I wrong. I rolled the thing over an area about 4 feet square...and had to empty the canister. On to the next 4 foot square. Empty again. The next square...and empty. I vacuumed our two-bedroom apartment over the course of the first afternoon, and had to empty that canister ten times. Ten.
Was my carpet really that dirty? Apparently, yes.
Only drawback: Be careful what you suck up under that whirling dervish of a cleaning brush. In the first ten minutes, I destroyed the nylon strap of a backpack, obliterated at least one Littlest Pet Shop toy and pulled up the corner of a linoleum kitchen tile. Oh, and be EXTREMELY careful about not running over the unit's own power cord. Yeah, I pulled the insulation off a section of that, too. It's that strong.
Highly, highly recommended. If you can stomach the sight of those first few canisters of yuck, when you were sure your carpet was clean. *shudder*
on February 7, 2008
Edited to add: I had to come back and add that this product is not durable or reliable. The power cord frayed dangerously in normal use/storage conditions, and the motor went after just over 18 months. I definitely would not recommend this vacuum for anyone to purchase, despite its remarkable power at pulling animal fur out of rugs and furniture. I have kept my prior review below, from just after I purchased the machine in 2008.
We have a long-haired cat and two children, and overall we've been happy with the Pet Hair Eraser. The biggest drawback is the frequency of clogs in the upper dirt collection area. I've had to resort to using a plastic chopstick to poke around and dislodge the clogs after each and every use. Having to vacuum the outside of the vacuum cleaner when you're done emptying it is a little disheartening!
That said, the vacuum is incredible on pet hair on carpet. This vacuum literally saved one of my area rugs from the trash. The weave trapped cat fur in a disgusting fashion, and no other vacuum could get rid of it. It was amazing to see how well this product worked.
I would also not recommend this product if you suffer from pet hair or dust mite allergies, due to the mess of emptying the dirt container. A traditional bag vacuum with a true HEPA filter would be a better choice.
on November 11, 2007
I stopped looking for the "One-for-All" vacuum cleaner, and with this bad boy we now approach our cleaning with a two pronged attack. We have two Maltese and a Hyper-Active shedding Golden Retriever. Our Kenmore Elite Canister Vac, albeit awesome for everyday cleaning, just couldn't keep up.
I picked this bad boy up, for the dedicated purpose of collecting pet hair off our carpets, couches, and floors. It's big, it's bulky, it's heavy and a bit awkward, but, it does the job fantastically in regards to pet hair removal.
So, we clean everyday with our very versatile canister vac, and then once a week we wheel "big burtha" out of the closet and do the house a once over. I'm impressed with it's ability to get the pet hair out of the carpets and furniture.
For the current price, you can't beat it. The attachments are more of a novelty with this unit, nothing a good lint brush can't do and easier job of doing it, but for large areas, this is the king.
on December 10, 2007
As someone who has relied solely on hand-me-down cleaners from friends and parents, I have never expected much out of a vacuum. I have always been able to pick up visible pet hair and dirt from the floors (enough to convince house guests and in-laws that I am tidy girl), but until I purchased the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser last week, I had no idea how much dirt was lurking deep within my carpet.
Unwilling to fork over a staggering $400 for a Dyson, I have developed a variety of methods for removing pet hair from my floors and furniture over the years with limited success. The Bissell pet hair eraser comes with a variety of attachments for the job, and to my delight, I was able to lift hair that had been embedded in my upholstery for years with only one pass of the vacuum. The suction power on this bagless vac is just amazing, and lifted so much dirt out of my carpet in a few minutes, it looked like I had paid a service to have my rooms professionally cleaned. With older vacuums, the smell of pet hair often lingered in the air after cleaning. After using the Bissell, my house smelled fresher and cleaner than it has in years.
The assembly and operation of the vacuum are easy and clearly laid out in the manual. I didn't need to bug my husband for assistance getting it all put together. It is heavier than some of the other machines that I've owned. People living in a multi-level home may want to take this into consideration before buying the vacuum. My husband did not like the idea of forking over $150 for a vacuum, but once he saw the amazing results I got with the Bissell, he was blown away. No more hand-me-down vacuums for our family!
on December 11, 2007
*Update to review (12/29/07)
Well, we've now had to de-construct and fix the "turbo brush" almost every time we use it. The unit is only being used to pick up fur belonging to one Jack Russell mix and hair belonging to one med-long haired young woman. Additionally, despite clean filters, hoses and an empty collection bin, the vacuum has lost a considerable bit of it's suction power.
We're cleaning hardwood floors plus one flight of carpeted stairs and two small rooms with basic average pile carpet. Cleaning is once per week and the job to do is really not that big, so we're fairly disappointed in the workmanship.
If I could, I'd change the star rating to 3 since the only tool that makes this vacuum able to clean stairs is a tool that is continually in need of service. Quite a disappointment to a promising beginning. Bissell could have done so much better on this.
We purchased the Pet Hair Eraser after happily parting with a shamefully inadequate Dirt Devil. Needless to say, we were pleasantly surprised at the power of the Pet Hair Eraser, which does actually erase pet hair just like it says! Vacuuming is easier, and the accessories make dog hair pickup much more successful.
The vacuum has been used weekly since late October, so I felt it was a fair time to post a review. Here's what our experience with the Bissell 3920 has been thus far. Hope it helps!
Purchased at Target for around $158 at the end of October 2007. Price to value seems decent thus far.
Definitely doing a good job. In the past, we've had low-performing Dirt Devil vacuums, which could explain the 'ah ha' moment we had when the vacuum actually picked up dog hair on carpet on the first swipe. Additionally, the suction on the hose/attachments is also really quite good. Our Jack Russell mix's stubborn hair was picked up off the floor, carpet and furniture by the Bissell 3920 in no time. No more doggie hair everywhere we go!
While the 3920 is great at picking things up it is also, unfortunately, rather apt to drop and blow dust around. For several reasons, I do not recommend this vacuum for people who need to control allergies.
When using the hose attachment, it must be removed from a dock that is actually another hose. That 'dock' hose spits out air (plus light amounts of dust, of course) while the hose attachments are being used. If you stop up the 'dock' in order to trap the dust, the hose suction power is weakened. There does not seem to be a solution for this issue.
I wish I could say that emptying the dirt was pleasant, but it's not. Cleaning the upper portion of the collection chamber is a mess. Dumping the lower portion of the collection cup isn't so bad. However, you've got to either scoop out the dust stuck to the inside or bang it on something to loosen the dirt. Either way, you're breathing dust.
The Pet TurboBrush is great on stairs and has 'rubber' combs on either side of the brush assembly. The combs pull the dog hair right out of the carpet, into the roller and then into the collection cup. While it's a very useful tool, it needs cleaning every 3rd or 4th use, since hair gets stuck in the unit. Cleaning involves removing the 2 screws to open the casing, then removing another screw to open the belt casing. This is the only way to clear the brush of hair, string, etc. before it will spin freely again. While this is easy to do, it's time consuming and potentially causing additional wear to the holes in the casing. Upon cleaning it out for only the second time (I've used the vacuum once a week since late Oct), I noticed that the belt has loosened and slid partially off the wheel it is meant to turn, which may explain the brush's decreased rotation speed from the first month of use.
Pet Hair Lifter doesn't do anything but stick dog hair and lint to itself. It is, quite simply, a lint brush attached to a piece of plastic.
Contour Tool is meant to help with the stairs but I find the little comb-like extensions on the TurboBrush are more helpful, so I haven't really used this tool much.
Note - The beater brush continues to spin while the hose/attachments are in use. You can raise the brush to the highest carpet setting, but if you have to set the vacuum on carpet to clean the stairs, beware - it can burn your carpet depending on the height of the carpet. Also, beware when you use the hose while the vacuum is on bare floor. As I was cleaning dog hair off of a chair with one of the attachments, the vacuum rolled over (and damaged) the cord, which had become trapped under the beater brush. Now I lay the vacuum on it's side to avoid accidentally trapping the cord beneath the beater brush while I use the hose/attachments.
It's rather heavy to try to use on stairs, so I'm happy the long hose reaches and that TurboBrush seems to be doing a nice job!
Yes, it is a noisy vacuum. It is as noisy as our old Dirt Devil. I wear earplugs and that has always solved the problem.
While we feel the overall value is good, we would like to see some changes:
1) Better engineering/design on the hose assembly (keep the suction, lose the dust spewing), TurboBrush tool (tighter belt, easier maintenance), and collection cup (make cleaning easier/cleaner)
2) Switch to turn off the beater brush when using the hose/attachments
That said, we are pleased with the suction, features and overall performance (to-date) of this reasonably priced vacuum and would recommend it to non-allergic friends with pets.
on December 9, 2007
I love this vacuum! To write a fair review, I vacuumed with my old vacuum yesterday and then with the Pet Hair Eraser today. Yuck! I couldn't believe the stuff this vacuum picked up. As a matter of fact, I keep going over and over the same room, just to see how long it will take before I'm satisfied that the carpets are relatively clean. Not only did it pick up some pet hair (apparently my old vacuum did okay with that aspect), but the dirt and grime that my old vacuum left behind. Love that the dirt cup is easy to empty (my old vacuum has the filter inside the dirt cup and is a royal pain to clean).
Now for the drawback: This vacuum is really heavy, as other reviewers have said. Compared to my lightweight, I really noticed a difference. BUT, in looking at the stuff it picked up, if that's the only drawback I can find, I'm happy :-)
on March 8, 2008
We purchased this vacuum a few months ago when our hoover was giving us problems. We have a 7 month baby crawling around and I was tired of him getting dog hair (australian shepherd/border collie mix) all over his drooling chin. After reading the reviews here, Target.com, and Bestbuy.com, I was sure this vacuum was perfect for our family's home. Right out of the box the Bissell was great. It had major suction and I was amazed at the amount of stuff appearing in the canister - it made me a bit upset to think how much my hoover had been missing. The vacuum was so strong in fact, it was slightly pulling my arm along.
However, this all came at a price. The "easy empty" canister was a huge PITA to empty. When the locking lever is released and I pull the canister out, dust and hair goes flying. While vacuuming, the hair and dust clumps spin like a cyclone inside the container. I'm guessing this builds up static because when I go to empty, it flys and clings to anything within reach (I posted pix here so you could see what I was talking about).
Today, a few months after purchase, I'm still happy with how much the vacuum is sucking up. I've learned to wash off the foam filter and shake off the HEPA filter to keep suction strong. Emptying the canister is still very messy - so much so, my wife refuses to vacuum and it has become my "job."
I'd buy this vacuum again, but I'm not jumping up and down like it's made of gold.
2. tools (including pet hair catcher on the front of vacuum)
Not so Good:
1. the hose is not very flexible or long which leads to the vacuum tipping if stretched (say 3-4 feet / maybe 3-4 stairs)
2. the vacuum's spinning brush doesn't stop when the handle is upright and you're trying to use the tools - if left to long I'm thinking it would pull up my carpet
3. "easy empty" canister is extremely messy
I'd write more, but the baby is waking up and my daughter is begging me for lunch - feel free to email me with questions at: