Well, it advertises well, but I'm not that impressed.
The sucking power is decent, but it's not as amazing as what I've read. This thing is brand new, right out of the box, so nothing should be full or in need cleaning/changing.
But our 20 year old, bag vacuum, with one wheel falling off and occasionally caught farting blue lightning bolts out of its butt, picks up dirt just as well.
The outer casing of the Bissell is plastic so it gets a static charge buildup from being run back and forth on carpet. It looks like it's picking up more dirt from having it all stick to the outside of the machine than sucking it up the way it's supposed to. Maybe that's a bit of a hyperbole, but that's the perception.
I was constantly seeing gobs of dust caked onto the wheels, on the top of the foot, on the back, on the handle and all over the machine. I had to turn the knob to the upper tank and use the wand to suck up the crap from the machine itself as I was going along. I had to wipe it down afterwards with a piece of Swiffer cloth to get what was still on it that I couldn't vacuum off.
It also really irks me that I walked by a mirror and saw a thin, even layer of dust on my hair. I didn't touch my hair. If I did, it wouldn't be a nice, evenly sprinkled, blanket layer like that. I really don't think that should be happening...
The fact that the power cord is not retractable is really annoying me.
Hmph. It was free, so I'm not that mad. If I paid for it, I might be fuming about it by now.
Sometime next week, I'll be temporarily swapperoo-ing my Bissell with kat_box's Eureka Whirlwind Lite just so I can compare apples to apples. I'm curious to know if it's just this beast I don't like or if I don't like upright bagless vacuums in general.
To be continued, after I try the Eureka. This'll be a three parter. At least.
[Update - 1854h]
Cleaning the Bissell is not quite a bitch, but it's no picnic either. It was nowhere near full, but I decided to try it anyway. So, the things that need to be cleaned:
- the main dirt container
- two dust screens in the main dirt container
- the upper tank
- the foam filter inside the upper tank
- the foam filter holder
The whole machine plus garbage bag had to be taken outside onto the back deck. I emptied everything outside, then brought everything inside to the laundry room sink. All the individual parts got rinsed with warm water and a sponge cloth. They've been towel dried as much as I could and I've left them on the counter to completely dry.
The Pre-Motor filter didn't look too bad, so I just slid it back in.
The Post-Motor filter is the HEPA filter. It's the last thing the air goes through before returning to the room. This one isn't cleaned, but is replaced after 4 or 5 years of use.