Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Eureka EasyClean Corded Hand-Held Vacuum, 71B
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on April 24, 2012
'Caveat emptor' should be a caution against not just unscrupulous sellers, but misguided buyers as well, a self-warning of sorts. To that end, I read all ~1600 reviews of the Eureka, paying special heed to the three percent or so that awarded it one star. Call this a meta review. My conclusion after a complex and detailed statistical and psychological analysis of the complaints is that the hand-held vacuum was being misused, abused in some cases. After a few months of use, I agree with all the positives: Eureka is powerful & easy to use, the brush enhances cleaning power, the canister is a snap to empty, and the filter creates a nice, tight seal. As for the complaints...

"Vacuum stopped working after X uses/N years." That was the predominant complaint, sparks and smoke and vacuum broke. Many of the reviewers who sent their Eurekas to the Great Vacuum too soon seemed to be using them as replacements for full-sized vacuum cleaners: three flights of stairs, several area rugs, hotel lobbies, etc. I planned to use mine to clean up the occasional kitchen spill and kitty-litter dusting--no sucking marathons, just little sprints here and there. Could there have been honestly defective units among these? Sure! I mean, the FDA allows for up to 60 insect fragments per 3.5 oz of chocolate, so a defect in three out of every 1000 Eurekas is nothing to get all huffy and litigious about.

"Vacuum is too heavy." Again, an easy-to-dismiss complaint for me. Step 1: read product specs and ascertain that product weighs 7 pounds. Step 2: lift a bag of potatoes to get a feel for what 7 pounds is like. Step 3: conclude that I can hold seven pounds for the thirty seconds or so it will take me to clean up the flour and popcorn that have peppered the kitchen floor. Step 4: be pleasantly surprised that the 7 pounds referred to the shipping weight, and that the Eureka sans box weighs (according to my bathroom scale) a featherlight 5.4 pounds. Step 5: determine that if the Eureka were a bar of chocolate, then the FDA would be OK if it contained up to 1500 insect fragments.

"Vacuum blows dust everywhere." This was perhaps the most serious of the warnings that I read. After all, vacuums need to exhaust all that air somewhere, and I have noticed this issue with some uprights, especially on hardwood & tile floors. I took solace in the overwhelmingly positive reviews, especially those that addressed the suck-and-blow issues. In particular, one reviewer noted that the vacuuming should be done by pushing the Eureka away from you and not towards you since the exhaust was stronger under the Eureka's belly. That's how I vacuum anyway--plus, I identified, since the exhaust is stronger under my belly as well--so I took a chance. So far, there has been no exhaust problem, no blowing stuff around.

"Power cord is hard to store." As I see it, there are four options for power cord management. Option one: get a cordless handheld vacuum, put up with weaker suction, leave unit constantly charging and sucking power, replace batteries every couple of years once they reach the end of their recharge cycle. Option two: get a short-corded handheld vacuum and plan to spill beans only near electrical outlets. Option three: get one of those internal-storage crank widgets that are a pain to operate or else spring-loaded with an angry and temperamental spring. Option four: to store, wrap the long cord around the base in the time that it takes you to say wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap wrap.

"Hose suction is weak." Nope, it's strong. The same motor powers both the hose and the main unit. And the hose is ridiculously easy to use, requiring none of the attach/detach acrobatics of most vacuums.

"Vacuum requires screwdriver to turn on." This must have been written by Edward's younger brother, Johnny Screwdriverhands.

"Vacuum doesn't work in Australia." Well that settles it then: I'm not moving to Australia.
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on October 12, 2005
Two cats and two fabric-covered couches, can you feel my pain? After a while, I was going nuts. I'd go broke buying the adhesive type lint rollers, the rubber ones (search for "sweepa") and the reusable brush type didn't do the job. All I'd heard about was dysons, dysons, dysons, so I started saving. But then I thought, hey, what I want is the little motorized roller brush attachment -- so I got online, started searching, and found this. I figured $40 as opposed to $500 was worth a try, especially with the good reviews.

and it *was*. It gets all the cat hair off my couch, and the nice thing is that the hose just tugs right out and you can also get the little cracks and crevices without missing a beat. The "riser visor" thing, I thought was kinda silly til I started using it -- and it's great. You can vacuum horizontally and vertically, and for furniture, stairs, etc--a great feature.

My only complaint is that it's just a *bit* heavy, especially for longer use. Wears that arm out, but that can be a good thing, too.

I'm still hoping to get a dyson eventually, but for the job I wanted to do, getting pet hair off my furniture -- this is *perfect*.
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on November 16, 2006
I'd planned to get the small Dyson, but the reviews of this vacuum persuaded me to give it a try. It's absolutely excellent. It's the best handheld vacuum I've ever tried, and I've thrown more of these things away than I can remember. Fortunately, I've always saved the attachments. Sometimes they fit another model, sometimes they don't. Since there's no fancy coupling required to attach tools to the hose end of this one, its just friction, most fit it.

This is a solid, powerful vacuum. The filter is heavy-duty and seems very durable. It's easily removed and reattached. I use those over-priced compressed air duster cans to blow all the dust and dog hair off of the filter. Between this and my full-size Dyson, there's probably more of the family dog outside the house than in by now. As for the weight of this machine, it is a little heavy, but then I only have to support its weight when doing vertical surfaces or carrying it around. When it's vacuuming stairs and furniture, I let the horizontal surfaces support most of the weight.

Everything about this machine suggests its maker really put a lot of thought and effort into making an absolutely excellent product. And, I commend them for packaging it in protective plastic that can be easily removed without knives, pliers, bolt cutters, or a chain saw. The engineering on this one was obviously thoughtful and thorough.
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on May 19, 2006
I wish I could give "4 & 1/2" stars for this eureka hand-held, because it really is a great vacuum.

Great:

-has really strong & powerful suction

-long cord (25 feet!)

-super stretchy hose with convieniently located crevice tool attachment

-brushroll on/off control

-riser visor great for those akward places

-holds a good amount of dirt in it's bagless bin

-automatically shuts off if motor is too hot to avoid overheating, (hasn't happened with mine yet, only use it for about 10 minutes at a time.)

Trade-offs:

-pretty dang big and a little heavy for a hand-held vac, but its great power & suction make it an even trade-off.

-it isn't cordless, but most cordless vacs die in a year or two, not a problem with this guy!

Not as great:

-emptying is a bit messy, and you should use a bristle brush to clean off the filter as well as you can when empying.

-the prongs in the plug seem too small, it will fall out of an outlet with the weakest pull.

As you can see- I highly reccomend this Eureka 71AV hand-held vacuum!
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on May 2, 2010
Let's face it, vacuuming stairs is no easy task so we all tend to put it off or avoid it altogether. Even though we vacuum the entire house every 7 days, the stairs are done far less frequently. We have two cats that think the stairway is a series of miniature cat beds and so hair gathers there pretty often. And remember, stairs are one of the most heavily-trafficked ares in the home!

I own the highly-rated Hoover Tempo Widepath Upright Vacuum, Bagged, U5140-900, a Samsung canister vac, two different shop vacs, and a Black & Decker Dustbuster. None of them do an adequate job of cleaning the stairs because they are either too larger/bulky to handle and like to fall down the stairs, or they lack a spinning agitator brush which is needed to properly vacuum carpeting. This Eureka hand-held vac is the best of both worlds, actually THREE worlds: it's small, powerful (because it runs on AC power rather than batteries), and has a spinning agitator brush.

To get an idea of what it does, look at the photo I uploaded that shows the filter after just ONE use. This vac picked-up lots of cat hair that the other vacs left behind. Furthermore, as others have stated, this vac will get the vertical parts of the stairs (the sections you don't actually step on, but still get dirty because cats like to lay against them.) All in all, I'm sold and wish I had bought this years ago!

Even though the box claims it's "featherweight", it does run about 7 pounds and so it may give your arms a pretty good workout (but I see that as a "win-win").

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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on December 12, 2005
I have a cat. The cat has fur.

I bought the Eureka EZ-Kleen to get the fur off the furniture.

Did it ever.

I was slackjawed with amazement to see the sheer amount of cat hair the little machine got up off visually pristine sofas and carpets. While Kitty does not have the Olympic shedding capabilities of my late hound dog, she still produces about an inch of vacuum cleaner fill per day.

This is a great little machine and I will recommend it from the housetops.
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on March 29, 2013
This item sat in my wish list for several months while I searched for the best hand held vacuum for money. I finally purchased the Eureka this week and i'm extremely happy. I have a town house with 2 sets of open stairs. We have 4 cats, 1 dog and a guinea pig so the battle to keep the hair under control is always underway.

Pros:
1) Long cord long enough to go all the way to the top of my stairs
2) Riser Visor - allows you to do the sides and tops of stairs
3) Crevice Tool - Easily stored on device for corners and floor boards
4) Power - My stairs are Animal hair free

Cons:
1) Item is a bit heavy but manageable. Had to use two hands 1/2 way up the stairs. However still so much easier than a full size vacuum that I'll deal
2) Hair clung to the filter making it really hard to clean off. I had to use a paper towel to remove the debris and still couldn't get it as clean as I'd like
3) You can't Wash the filter, or get it wet at all for cleaning. I can see having to replace this filter several times.

Overall, this is a powerful little machine that is strong enough tackle the zoo of animals in my home. Where I wish it was lighter, i'm afraid that would take away from some of the power. Very happy with my purchase.
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on June 1, 2006
We bought this vacuum after reading the rave reviews here. It has both good and bad points.

It works well on stairs. The visor flipping feature does a really good job at cleaning the risers.

We bought it primarily to clean the cars, and there, it's not that great. Most car seats are a little curved for comfort, and the head doesn't reach the parts that dip below it (it's fairly wide). If you use the hose, you will rapidly find it very short - you have to bring the vacuum to about 1' of the area you are cleaning. It does do well in flat areas, such as the trunk, but the nooks and crannies are hard to get with the large head, and a real chore with the short hose/tiny crevice tool combo.

Overall, I am not unhappy with its cleaning power. However, I find the noise level bordering on deafening if I use it for more than 10 or 15 minutes. The last time I cleaned the car, I found myself longing for some earplugs, and I think I'll use some next time. Since the hose is so short, you never can really get away from the noisy vacuum motor, so cleaning will definitely not be as therapeutic as you might wish!
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VINE VOICEon October 13, 2005
We bought this hand vac after our hand held powerhead attachment broke on our Sears canister unit, and our Dirt Devil was relegated to auto use. The old DD was so loud that we used ear plugs, and was just okay in the power dept. We were fairly happy with the old DD, so we bought another. Mistake! We didn't realize that the brush roller was beltless...powered by the incoming air. Any pressure on the roller and it stopped. Returned it promptly to the store.

We did more research at Amazon and bought the Eureka. This one works well. We share our home with 4 cats and so far, this vac handles it well. My wife is not an occasional cleaner. She keeps the house spotless and goes thru poorly made vacs like water. The 71AV vac picks up cat hair well, even on course fabrics. It has impressive suction, even when compared to bigger vacs. Even so, it's much quieter than the Dirt Devil we had. The only thing that prevents a 5 star rating is the weight...5 lbs. Also, we have not proven the durability yet. Time will tell. Summary:

GOOD: Great suction, strong brush roller, convenient cord wrap, quiet.

NOT THAT GOOD: A little heavy, a little hard to clean around the filter, unproven durability (wife WILL test it!)

Update 4/2012: This vac suddenly became afflicted with the dreaded smell of roasted electrical parts, and while it's still working, had to be relegated to outside use because of the smell. We will probably get another just like it. Six and a half years is decent for a vacuum of this price.
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on May 26, 2015
UPDATE: when the belt dies, you gotta throw this thing out. See pictures, ridiculous. $60 down the drain, thanks Eureka! Designed to fail where any other vacuum just puts an access panel to clear or replace the belt.

Have had this vacuum almost a year. It was purchased for cleaning carpeted stairs and around the cat box.

It's heavier than expected, which can be hard for some. The cord is necessarily very long to reach your destination, but with no wrapping or internal storage which can make it cumbersome to store.

I've had it almost a year with light usage. First thing that went was one of the hose parts (seem cheaply made), but to their credit Eureka CS promptly sent me a replacement.

Recently we noticed the belt drive brush wasn't spinning. I went to look for a plate to gain access and there didn't seem to be one. Before I went tearing into it, I called Eureka to find out if I'm just stupid or is this thing not designed to easily access the belt area (which routinely needs replacement or cleaning on vaccums). Oddly, the user manual was barely useful for much, basically telling you a general model number and the certifications, no details on maintenance.

Today I found out that this thing is designed so that you need to tear apart the entire casing (8 screws and godknowswhatelse) in order to get to the belt area. I had to beg them for schematics so I can see if I can fix it. From an engineering standpoint that seems ridiculous and dangerous. From a consumer that paid about $50 for this thing, that's the last Eureka vacuum I buy or recommend. It's obvious to me that that they designed in quick obsolescence, how many consumers want to attempt to tear apart an entire vacuum cleaner just to get access to the belt? Eureka offered to send me a list of "vacuum repair shops" that I can pay to access the belt- ridiculous. Amazon is now selling this brand new for about $35, why would I pay a repair shop maybe $30 to tear down and reassemble this nearly year-old POS?

While I had such reluctance from Eureka's Customer Service getting me schematics, he was quick at the draw to tell me about three other vacuum cleaners he could sell me to replace this garbage one which is still under warranty. That's a page out of Hewlett-Packard's playbook- sell you defective ink then use that failure as an attempt to upsell to a new printer!

I'm not biting, Eureka. I'll tear this thing apart and do my best to fix it. I'll have a long talk with the buying agent at the vendor that sold it to me. And when it finally dies (or maybe before), I'm spending the extra money and buying a Dyson. I love, love, love my full-size canister Dyson and am sure their handhelds are also built with that same level of proper engineering.

Eureka, shame on you.
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