Good all-around vacuum cleaners

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It's time to replace the ancient Electrolux (I think it's a model XXX or model 60. Probably a collectors' item, but the hose has gotten leaky.) I've seen good advice here on a diverse range of subjects, so I thought maybe some of you could clarify the current jumble of over-hyped vacuum cleaners.
Top concerns would be power, reliability, and ease of cleaning. The old Electrolux wasn't so bad, but I figure there must be vast improvements in construction and efficiency by now.
I don't need anything on an industrial scale, but I do volunteer animal rescue work, which does result in way more shredded stuff on the floor than the typical civilized household. And sawdust from building stuff for the critters. Nice to have power and capacity for that. And nice if it's not a nightmare to clean.
I've heard mixed reviews of Dyson, so I'm not sure what the real story is there. Miele seems to be well-regarded but expensive ($300?!). Just heard someone talking about a low-cost brand called "Emer" but I'm not familiar.
Any info would be appreciated.
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I would avoid any bagless vac or canister vac without a motorized head (the kind where the brush is driven by airflow alone). The last vac I bought was a Kenmore canister with a Powermate head and it does quite well. Was about $100 less than retail at a Sears repair center. Sears has stopped the madness of using a different bag number for every model vac they sell and now generally holds to a single bag type for uprights and canisters.
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On 12/30/10 6:28 PM, Eric wrote:

There's a vacuum cleaner sales/repair shop near me.
I'm thinking of replacing my very old Hoover so I stopped by with the model number and asked him what I should replace it with. He said there are basically 3 classes of vacs:
The crap you get at Target & X-Mart for $100 - $200.
The pretty decent stuff in the $250 - $400 range.
The really good stuff at $600 plus.
I told him that I really liked the quality of the old Hoover and that I've tried the crap from Target, etc. He said he had a few uprights between $250 and $300 that I'd probably be happy with. He carries Sanitaire & Eureka, but I don't have any specific model numbers.
As far as bag vs. bagless, I won't ever buy a bagless. I don't care about the extra expense for the bags or even the possible loss of suction as the bag fills up. I can't stand the mess a bagless unit makes when you empty it. I've got 2 dogs and a cat, so there's lots of dust, dander and hair that I don't want to see again once it's been sucked up. We had a bagless min-vac for a while and we threw it out because of the mess it made when we emptied it.
I'm sure I'll get all kinds of responses related to that issue...so be it. We tried a bagless and will never buy another one.
Why not Google around for a sales/repair shop in your area and find out what they recommend?
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Good luck with that. ;-)

Don't count on that either. The newer ones will be lighter, but in all other ways the older ones are likely better.

Sounds like you need more than one vacuum. A shop vac will be much better at sawdust and stuff. An upright better at carpets. It depends on what you need.

...which brings me to the question, what types of floors?

Pretty much how I see things, except that some of the $600 stuff is just $400 class stuff with a lot of advertising (and I may be generous).

Eureka has a wide product line. Some of them are the crap you find in K-Mart.

Funny. SWMBO is exactly the opposite. We have an Orec, but I got an outstanding deal on it and only use it upstairs (only two bedrooms and a hall). Since she got the first bagless she won't go back to a bag. She just empties them out in the garage (into the can). They're *great* for animal hair.

We're tech opposite. Go figure.

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On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 18:19:51 -0600, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Anything is possible, right?

Impressive that the Olde Electrolux has hung in there this long. I think I bought it for $5 at a flea market about 25 years ago, and it looked old then.

It ends up kind of a mixed scenario. The rescue critters are often good at creating sawdust as well. I'd love to find something that would cover both bases, but if not, I'll settle for the more powerful 'shop-vac' type for now.

Again, some hardwood, some rug. No wall-to-wall carpet. Think slightly closer to industrial than ritzy residential.

Great. Well, I probably won't be fitting a $600 vc into the budget anyway. I thought the Miele was on the pricey side at $300-400. (BTW, does anyone know how Miele stacks up against the others? I've heard good comments so far)

I thought it would also have some bearing on reduced suction as the bag fills up, no? It seems to on the Electrolux, but of course that's an old design with a cloth non-disposable bag.

I've started to do that, but most shops here have some brand-affiliation.
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There's always a first time...

A beater bar is really needed for the rugs, unless you can take them out and beat them, or some such. Other than those, an upright is useless. My wife just uses a mop thingy (Swifter?) on the bamboo floors.

*Some* of the $600 stuff is probably worth it. The $2000 stuff? You gotta be kidding. ;-)

She thinks they work better and replacing bags is not as clean as suggested here. Availability of the bags is another issue.

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?

The wet one? I hate ours. It leaves a dull sheen on the floors, both wood and linoleum. Great idea, but poor execution, IMO. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
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Maybe our floors aren't glossy enough for you? I hate glossy floors. They make a house look like a bowling alley.
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?

Matte is fine, but it should not look like it was coated with something. The original finish should be clean and bright, just like new. Looks like the cleaner leaves a residue.
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On Fri 31 Dec 2010 11:20:50a, Ed Pawlowski told us...

Exactly so...
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
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On Fri 31 Dec 2010 09:27:54a, Ed Pawlowski told us...

I have the Swiffer Wet Jet, and while I think it does a decent cleaning job, I agree that it does leave a dull sheen on the floors. I mostly use it for quick cleanups. When I want to do a really good cleaning I use our Italian made cannister-style steam cleaner. It does a remarkable job on floors, windows, mirrors, etc. It also has a special head for cleaning oven racks, BBQ grids, etc.
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
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On 1/1/2011 7:21 PM, Wayne Boatwright wrote:

--
aem sends...

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It's a FLOOR CLEANER! No, it's a VEGITABLE STEAMER!
It's the NEW SKIMMER mop!
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your probably better fixing your old vacuumn which was better made than all the new junk built for a low price.......
provided you can get parts......
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On 12/30/2010 06:28 PM, Eric wrote:

I'm partial to my old Filter Queen, but I don't like their marketing (similar to Kirby) and I would never pay full price for one. However, I haven't used any other vacuum that I liked as much. As much power as a good industrial shop vac but excellent filtration, and doesn't clog the filter due to the cyclonic design. If you see one in a thrift store or used vacuum shop I'd consider picking it up though.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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Nothing sux like a 'lux.
Any sewing machine/vacuum cleaner sales and service shop will install a new hose on your old ends, for very little money.
Stick with what ya got.
Joe
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On 12/30/2010 6:28 PM, Eric wrote:

I fixed a friends Dirt Devil bagless not long ago. It had sucked up a huge piece of styrofoam. It impressed me with how well it picked up and how well it cleaned. I gave it a workout. I've just been reading some reviews and there are a lot of comments on how well it does with pet hair. It's probably not in the price range or commercial quality that you want, but I'm hunting one, and I like my current vac!
Jeff
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wrote:

Not sure what you meant about price range. I'm not -demanding- to pay a lot if I don't have to. The Dirt Devlis that I've seen are around $150 or so, even for the cannister models. That would be great if that would work.
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On 12/31/2010 4:50 AM, Eric wrote:

The floor vacs (which is all I have experience with) are much less. The prices I've seen in this thread are much higher.
That would be great if that

I can tell you that it works great. I can't tell you if it will still work in 15 years, or two. It appears to me to be the top end of the lower end and you are looking for the bottom end (or at least affordable) of the top end.
Jeff
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Dirt Devils are the bottom of the barrel, IMO.
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