Vacuum cleaner
December 13, 2007 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Need a cheap, industrial strength vacuum cleaner!

As I am a poor graduate student, I am asking for a vacuum cleaner for xmas from my parents. Thing is, my roommate and I have killed three vacuum cleaners over the years because we have two cats that shed like some serious mother f*ckers. We prefer cheap (because I'm pretty sure my parents don't want to spend a lot) and bagless. Has anyone purchased a good solid cheap vacuum cleaner that has lasted through big-time cleanups over the years? Please help!
posted by greta simone to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
By cheap I mean less than $200. Thanks.
posted by greta simone at 10:35 AM on December 13, 2007

I have the green Optima style Eureka vacuum. It is about 60 dollars, last time I checked. I have a cat that also sheds like a bandit, and, while I need to empty the canister after every vacuuming, it has never yet failed me after 2.5 years of use.

It sucks a LOT for a tiny, inexpensive vacuum.
posted by at 10:38 AM on December 13, 2007

I was just at the Home Despot looking a shop-vacs. These things are tough, can suck up spilled fluids and will be much harder to kill. Best part is, they are all under $200, even the big one that's the size of R2D2 and could kill.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:39 AM on December 13, 2007

Shop vacs are powerful and rugged but they tend to be harder to move around and very loud. Also a vac with a rotating head and beater bar will get more stuff out of rugs. I would go with a real house vac.
posted by d4nj450n at 11:19 AM on December 13, 2007

Read this thread about Dyson clones at (Non-printable paged version). Pay special attention to comments from cycloneman (do a in-browser search) who appears to be VERY familiar with vacuum technology and suggests that the Hoover Mach 3 is a reasonable low-cose Dyson clone. He even makes a few suggestions about adding a couple DIY touches which can boost the performance of the machine even more, and gives a review of most of the clones on the market (he gives highest marks to the Bissell cyclonic vacuums, but I believe these are more around $200). The following is a good wrap-up of his recommendations:
If I did not want to clean bare floors or use the attachments often, I would buy the Hoover Mach 3. If I wanted to quicly clean bare floors and I did want to use the tools, I would buy the Hoover Mach 5. Both machines clean very well (the Mach 5 even uses Windtunnel technology to keep the dust from scattering back on the carpet during cleaning). If I wanted a canister, I would buy the Kenmore Iridium from Sears.

If I wanted a cleaner that was built to last for the long, long haul, I would buy the Bissell Healthy-Home (although it is heavier and bulkier than the rest). It doesn't use replaceable belts and filters as well as a Dyson. It cleans as well if not better than the Dyson at one half the price. Just be sure it is something you won't mind pushing around the house for an hour. If it feels too heavy and bulky, go for the Mach 3 or Mach 5 instead.
Hoover Mach 3 vacuums can be had for about $100 at Walmart.

If you have a few minutes and are into 'industry insider' info, read ALL of cycloneman's comments -- there are some VERY interesting tidbits about the vacuum industry in there -- and about how Dyson worked for Hoover and took his technology to them and they turned him down (didn't want to create it to his exacting quality, if I recall correctly), so he started his own company.
posted by fishfucker at 12:43 PM on December 13, 2007

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