From wood floors to carpet, the 's cleaning performance was inadequate, leaving behind almost as much dirt as we put down to test.
The more we cleaned with the , the more trouble it had vacuuming up dirt. On our first few passes, it picked up around 11 percent of the test dirt, but after two more it decreased to 8.3 percent. After cleaning out the filter, the vacuum once again picked up 12 percent of the dirt we put down.
As dirt can't hide amidst long carpet fibers, vacuums tend to do better in the short carpet test. Not so with the , which only managed to lift 16.1 percent of the test dirt we put down.
On wood floors, the little Devil exhibited a curious behavior. Because the powered brushroll can't be turned off, it kicked up dirt like a storm in the desert. Only 41.2 percent of the test dirt made it into the dust cup.
Pet hair was a tall order for the . Our test cat and dog fur got caught in the Dirt Devil's brush roll, bogging it down until we turned off the vacuum and pulled each clump of furn out by hand.
The did a good job picking up small debris, such as rice, but had a hard time with larger pieces of pasta and heavier coins.
The 's capacity is 0.31 gallons, about average for a bagless vacuum this size.
One would expect such a lightweight vacuum to be easy to push. Unfortunately, that's not the case, as the 's tiny wheels get mired in carpet like it's mud. The fact that the carpet height can't be adjusted only makes it worse.
There's but a single control on this vacuum: A giant foot pedal that turns it on and off. To move the vacuum from the upright stored position, you wrench the handle while holding down the floor brush with your foot.
The comes with two tools: a crevice tool and an upholstery brush.
The 20 foot power cord is short and doesn't automatically retract. You'll have to wind it up on the tabs protruding from the back of the cleaner. At least there's a clip that keeps the cord out of the way of getting run over by the brushroll.
A short hose allows for remote cleaning in the immediate vicinity of this Dirt Devil. It might reach between seat cushions or low-hung curtains.
The Dirt Devil's dirt holder is an average size for a vacuum this small and empties easily. Unlike many other cyclonic vacuums, there aren't any nooks and crannies where stray clumps of dirt hide. Just open the bottom of the dirt cup and it'll all slide out.
The has a washable prefilter and a paper exhaust filter that cannot be washed.
At 10 lbs., this is one of the lightest vacuums we've ever tested.
Most vacuums emit a high-pitched whine or, if equipped with a powered brushroll, a throaty growl. This one makes all kinds of noises, imitating everything from buzzsaw to fire alarm, all depending on whether it's having trouble making its way across thick carpet or running a brush across a bare floor. At its worse, we measured its audible output at 79.33 decibels.
With a compact 7 amp motor, we weren't surprised to see the only consumes a little over 800 watts of electricity while in use.
The Dirt Devil sells for $20 less than its Eureka competitor, but with equally poor performance, both vacuums make the case for a full-size upright.
While neither vacuum picked up a tremendous amount of dirt on carpet, the Eureka did a slightly better job on wood floors. We surmise that's due to a brushroll that turns off while on bare floors, as opposed to the Dirt Devil's always-on setup that blows dirt around instead of sucking it up.
The Eureka is a better designed, better handling vacuum. We prefer its many controls to the Dirt Devil's simple on-off switch.
Though both vacuums are mice that roar, the used less energy, while we found the Eureka's constant whine preferable to the musical stylings of the Dirt Devil.
The pricey Dyson ($299 MSRP) excels at quick, cordless cleanups on hardwood floors. Otherwise, it's as useless as the Eureka on carpets and pet hair.
Neither cleaner did an adequate job cleaning debris, pet hair or dirt embedded in a carpet. However, the DC35 had outstanding hardwood floor performance. If you've got money to burn and tend to spill things in the kitchen, the DC35 is the better choice.
The Dirt Devil may be small, but it can't compete with the 's cordless operation, numerous configurations and six pound weight.
The Dyson DC35 is quieter than the noisy . It's impossible to compare their power consumption, but the cordless Dyson is preferable for quick cleaning.
Though it costs nearly $140 less than the Bissell, the little Dirt Devil is no match for even a weak full-size upright.
Though the Bissell had far from the best cleaning performance we've seen, it still picked up four times more dirt on short-pile carpet than the Dirt Devil. On wood floors, it doubled the Dirt Devil's cleaning ability.
The Bissell's removable canister vacuum, carpet height adjuster and bigger wheels make up for its larger size. It's a better-handling, easier to maneuver cleaner.
Neither vacuum is particularly quiet, though the Bissell at least provided a consistent stream of noise. As a full-size vacuum with a 12 amp motor, the Bissell used more energy than the smaller, 7 amp Dirt Devil.
The may be cheap, but it's no bargain. It handles poorly and struggles to clean any surface.
We tested the on pet hair, bare floors, two kinds of carpet and debris pickup. Across the board, it failed to clean adequately, leaving behind dirt and large debris.
Though it's lightweight, the can't handle being pushed across thick carpet. Its small wheels and fixed height mean it easily gets stuck. A brushroll that can't be turned off and a single on-board control add to the frustratingly simple design.
The is loud, and it gets even louder when the brushroll can't handle thick carpet or stays on while cleaning hardwood floors.
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