Vax Blade 2 Max cordless cleaner
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The unit is grey and black in colour while the dust collecting portions are in clear plastic so it is easy to see the amount of dust that it collects and so know when to empty the machine. Supplied with a wall-mounted docking station it consists of the handheld unit itself, the motorised power head, and the dismountable stick that links the two, together with the crevice and brush additional tools. As a stick machine it weighs 3.1kg and so is easy to use in one hand. Alternatively, when the stick is removed it becomes a handheld machine.
The brushless motor and lithium-ion battery are built into the carrying handle which also incorporates the On/Off, Brush-bar On/Off and Boost push-button switches together with the battery level lights. The (trademarked but not patented) Direct Helix Technology with Dual Cyclone with its removable dirt container then clips into the handle. It is a straightforward task to release the catch holding the container in place, hold it over a rubbish bin, release the lid, and then empty the collected dust.
When one presses the On button there is a slight delay, to enable the electronics to operate, before the motor starts. In operation, the machine emits a high pitched whine which is totally different from that of any other vacuum cleaner that I have used. The brush unit is 24cm wide and is of a suitable width for steering around furniture. If required, and one is cleaning a carpet rather than a hard floor one can press the brush button to set the brush bar rotating. One’s path, by the way, is then lit by two LEDs. The instructions warn that the user not to leave the cleaner in one spot with the brush powered as it may damage the floor surface. Should there be heavily ingrained dirt; one can press the Boost button to increase the machine’s suction. This did appear effective in removing ingrained dirt.
To use the Vax on chairs or stairs the machine is used without the stick (which is, by the way, described as the “reach wand” in the machine’s user guide) and the head unit plugged directly into the handheld unit. The supplied crevice tool and dusting brush can be used on the machine either with or without the stick.
The makers apparently commissioned independent tests, in accordance with the international standard for measuring vacuum cleaner performance, to see how the Blade Max 2 compared with other products on the market in terms of the removal of dust. These demonstrated that, under the test conditions, its dust-removing capability was greater than that of its 20 best-selling cordless vacuum competitors. In addition, their test reported that the normal and boost mode times of 45 and 12 minutes were longer than those of the competition while recharging time of 3 hours was similarly also better. The results of these tests seem to be borne out in practice.
While performance is very important there are other factors that are obviously significant. The ability to just grab the Blade 2 and speedily deal with the crumbs that were spilt on the carpet was equally useful. The only downside being that, just like other stick vacuum cleaners, it will not stand up on its own and has to be returned to docking station or parked somewhere against a chair or on the floor where, if one is not careful, there is the risk that someone might trip over it. Hence, the docking station must be located in a convenient position so that the machine is always ready to hand. In addition, it needs to be near a power point so that the machine can be plugged in and charged whenever necessary.
Although there are many lower priced vacuum cleaners, the Vax Blade 2 Max is competitively priced at £249 in the higher performance end of the market. It is easy to use, delivers high power and does not take up a lot of space when not in use and clipped into its docking station so it could well be the only vacuum cleaner that a family with the smaller home will need.
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