Luckily, it can usually be found on sale for a lot less than its $399 MSRP. We've found it on sale for as low as $199, which makes this vacuum a fairly good value.

The Nimble lives up to its name.

Unlike most vacuums we’ve tested, the Electrolux Nimble is actually pretty attractive. The main cleaner body swivels from left to right where it connects to the brushhead, which makes it easy to maneuver around obstacles. Though it weighs just over 17 pounds, it’s very well balanced and doesn’t feel as awkward to move as other light-weight vacuums.

The 32-foot cord (yay!) must be wound by hand (boo).

Cleaning attachments—an upholstery brush and a combination crevice tool/floor brush—are stored on board, and the hose disconnects to become an extension wand. Curiously, the detachable handle won’t have suction power unless the extension wand is also released, since removing the extension wand releases a baffle that deflects air through the hose instead of through the cleaner head. All pieces easily click into place, though we found the floor brush hard to use. The brush is spring-loaded, so it kept snapping shut. All controls are on the top of the cleaner. We wish that there were power controls on the vacuum handle, but it’s not too difficult to reach down to the cleaner body. Missing from the list of controls? A cord retract button. The 32-foot cord (yay!) must be wound by hand (boo!).

The Electrolux Nimble EL8602A 3-in-1’s dirt holder is one of the easiest to use we’ve ever tested. It slides in at an angle and pleasantly clicks into place. Press a lever at the base of the holder and the bottom opens like a trap door. Or, take the top off and really get all that hidden dirt out. It’s easy to reassemble once you’ve got the hang of it. Inside, it features a sealed HEPA exhaust filter and a removable, washable precleaner.

Better with hardwood floors than with large debris or tall carpets

If you have plush wall-to-wall, you might want to buy a more powerful cleaner.

The Electrolux Nimble might be a good fit for pet owners with hardwood floors, as it excelled at those two tests. Overall, it had average performance for an upright, cleaning most dirt from short carpets and hardwood floors. It didn’t do so well vacuuming large debris or lifting dirt from deep pile carpets, though. If you wear shoes in the house and have plush wall-to-wall, you might want to buy a more powerful cleaner.

Though the Nimble is quiet, emitting mostly a "whoosh" sound, it also uses quite a bit of electricity while cleaning. You may blow a fuse if you plug it in to the same outlet as another high-draw small appliance.

Well-built and easy to use, though cleaning isn't top-notch

The Electrolux Nimble EL8602A 3-in-1 offers acceptable performance on hardwood floors and pet hair in a user-friendly package. It’s a great vacuum for households without thick carpet, and you should have no trouble finding it for far less than it’s $399 MSRP.

As long as you don't pay full price or try to use it on shag, this is a good value.

Though it left behind a lot of dirt in high pile carpet, the Electrolux Nimble EL8602A 3-in-1 had no problem with berber or hardwood. Pet hair and light debris also disappeared after a pass from the Nimble.

Best on hard surfaces

In our long carpet test, this vacuum left almost 80% of the dirt behind, mostly sucking up the finest grade of dirt in our text mixture. If you wear shoes in the house, you may want to choose a vacuum with more robust carpet performance. It did better on short carpet, cleaning up more than 75% of the dirt we put down. There’s no height adjuster on this vacuum, but the brushroll still seemed to stay in contact with lower material.

In comparison, very little dirt remained on our hardwood testing surface after a pass from the Electrolux, cleaning 98% of our test dirt. In our pet hair tests, not a bit of Fluffy’s fur was left behind, with only a small amount of hair getting caught on the brushroll. However, in our debris tests, on all surfaces proved to be troublesome when it came to heavy items like coins; that said, it had no trouble at all vacuuming spilled pasta and rice.

Not an unpleasant-sounding vacuum

We measured the Electrolux’s sound output at 73.7 decibels, which is fairly low for a high-powered vacuum. Most of the sound it emitted was the “whoosh” of rushing air, which was less annoying than the whine of many other vacuums.

Topping 1300 watts, it also proved to be a rather thirsty machine. Keep that in mind if you’re using other appliances while cleaning, as you may blow a fuse.

Meet the tester

Keith Barry

Keith Barry

Former Editor in Chief, Reviewed Home

@itskeithbarry

Keith was the Editor in Chief of Reviewed's appliance and automotive sites. His work has appeared in publications such as Wired, Car & Driver, and CityLab.

See all of Keith Barry's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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