For the past few years we have had a Panasonic vacuum cleaner (bagged upright, white, 1700w), which was reasonable, light, but a little top-heavy. Earlier this year the plastic hook, onto which the hose attached, broke off and was irrepairable. Last weekend, whilst vacuum cleaning, there was a large click from the Panasonic, a lot of noise and a burning smell: the device for locking the machine into an upright position had broken (and disappeared) renedering the vacuum cleaner unusable!
We did a lot of research over the weekend for a replacement and eventually, went for the Sebo automatic X1.1, based on reviews indicating good reliability and the ease of replacing the parts (there are several videos on Youtube showing how to do this). The next question was then a quick delivery, as we needed the cleaner to do the housework – the Panasonic no longer looked usable! Surprisingly, well at least to me, the Co-op offered next day delivery and the cheapest price, at just under £200 (free delivery). We ordered it very early Wednesday morning (near 1am). The machine arrived promptly, as they said it would, on Thursday around noon and I had it assembled and ready to use within 15 mins! Very impressive!
When I opened the box containing this machine, it was immediately clear how easy this would be to repair, should the need arise, as all of the parts were separate, but easy to assemble, with the only tricky action being locating the hose into the tube that is the main attachment feature. Fitting the bag is easy and I like the “lid for the bag” feature, which means the dust won’t leak out when disposing of it. A spare bag was provided and one already fitted, but I checked how to fit the bag just to make sure I knew how to do it.
So, what about it in use? Well, the most noticeable thing, which was detailed in most of the reviews, is that it is quite heavy, but the weight distribution is interesting, with the Sebo being very bottom heavy. This makes it easy to vacuum a floor, but less easy to manipulate on a staircase. The Sebo, actually, seems to pull itself forward, which makes cleaning on a carpet very easy. It also automatically adjusts the beater bar and height to match the carpet pile, which is strange at first as a light flashes to indicate it moving up or down and then the height changes noticeably. There is a lot less heat output from the Sebo in comparison to the Panasonic, and the filters limit dust. The noise level is very low and seems quiet in comparison – the Sebo noise does change in pitch when in use, but this is not a problem in my view. The attachment hose sits to the right of the handle and can be easily lifted out and used while the machine is still set for vacuuming the floor, this is probably the best feature of the machine, as it is easy to clean around objects and into corners, especially on the stairs. Whereas, the Panasonic required the beater bar to be switched off and using the attachments was a separate exercise. The fact that the Sebo is bottom heavy also means using the attachment is not likely to lead to the cleaner falling over (a common problem with the Panasonic). When using the attachments, perhaps the only major drawback is the lack of supplied tools, there is a narrow tube for cleaning down the sides of chairs and a upholstery cleaner, but that is all and I miss a brush. However, various tools can be purchased if required and a number of accessories are available, another attractive feature.
Over all opinion is that it is a good vacuum cleaner, which is rather heavy, but that is not a major problem.