Kirby Sentria

January 31, 2013

vacuum referral art ready for blog

Make:

Kirby

Model:

Sentria

Upright:

x

Canister:

Weight:

23lbs

Cord length:

25’

Available at:

kirby.com

Sentria

Uses:

Residential: yes     Commercial: yes     Heavy Duty: yes

It’s probably been 15 years or more since I last used a Kirby vacuum cleaner so I was really interested to see what has changed in their machines. The first thing I noticed about the Sentria was that it is a machine that screams, I’m big, I’m tough, and I’m rough enough to take anything you can throw at me. At 23 pounds of practically indestructible metal construction I expected it to be very cumbersome and hard to push around. Well, thanks to a feature called TechDrive power assist that was not the case.  TechDrive power assist,  is sort of a self-propel system that comes standard. It is activated by a foot switch and when engaged it makes the Sentria considerably easier to push around than when not engaged.

Without a doubt Kirby has given this vacuum all the suction power you will ever need. You can actually see it lifting the carpet as you vacuum, which creates better air flow, thus allowing for a more thorough job. I used it on quite a few different carpet styles including commercial, and in wide open areas I really liked the way the Sentria performed. When I had to maneuver around furniture though, the machines bulk did become an issue. Vacuuming around desk legs, chairs, tables, and the like was quite a bit more difficult than with some lighter weight machines.

If you have ever read my reviews before you know I place high marks on how well the attachments on any vacuum cleaner work. On the Sentria I found the attachments to work far better than on most other vacuum cleaners. The downside here was hooking them up. I like to be able to just plug the attachment hose into the machine, maybe flip a switch, and go. With the Kirby it was not quite so easy. You have to go through 4 steps (none of which are hard) that took me probably 60- 90 seconds. So if you only have to do it once, no big deal. If however you are like me and use your machine multiple times a day, and hook up the attachments frequently each time, this gets to be an issue.

There are a whole bunch of other features to the Sentria that I didn’t use so I can’t comment on but they included: hardwood floor cleaner, blower (like in leaf), carpet shampooer, ability to fill up things like air mattresses. One feature I did try was using it to vacuum stairs. The handle comes off and the cleaning head becomes the perfect size for stairs. Again it was a simple process to remove the handle but it did take a minute or so to do.

So, as far as how well the Kirby Sentria picked the dirt up from the carpet, and the fact that it will pretty much never wear out I give it very high marks. On the issue of ease of use though, I’m not quite so impressed. If you only use your vacuum cleaner maybe every couple of weeks, you may find the inconveniences not worth worrying about; but if you use it daily,and ease of use is an important factor, I would recommend trying the Sentria out for a few days before purchasing it.

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Vacuum Review: Roomba

October 17, 2011

 

Make:

iRobot

Model:

Roomba 530

Upright:

Canister:

Weight:

12lbs

Cord length:

none

Available at:

Irobot.com

Or

Department Stores

 

Uses:

 Residential:x      Commercial:      Heavy Duty:

 

 Summary:

Since the first time I saw one of these machines about ten years ago, I’ve thought, what a great idea, the house gets vacuumed and I don’t have to do it; simply brilliant. Now, after all this time, I finally got to try one and I was not disappointed.

For those of you not familiar with the Roomba it is a small round, battery operated, robot vacuum cleaner. You turn it on; it vacuums an entire room, then finds its way back to the charger and parks itself there. It charges overnight and then it’s ready to go again. It doesn’t get much easier. So how good does it work?

As much as I liked the Roomba, it’s not ready to replace my regular upright just yet. What it will do though, is cut down on how often I have to use it. The Roomba does not have the power of my upright, but who cares; it’s a robot and I can turn it on every day. If the soil never gets ground down into the carpet, you don’t need much suction to pick it up. Also if you have hardwood or tile floors, this little machine will do wonders at picking up the dust and pet hair.

The Roomba works just like most vacuums in that it has suction, a counter rotating brush and beater brush, and a debris container. It’s programmed to work its way around the room and it does so very well. I set up a few obstacles and was very surprised when it maneuvered its way around all of them. Its entire circumference is a non marking rubber bumper that compresses when it hits a wall, furniture etc. The machine then turns and keeps on working. There is a spinning brush that sticks out from under and does a good job of getting right up to the wall. My favorite feature though is that the machine is short enough to go under the bed. Yes, it dodges the bed posts and gets up all that dust that you normally leave behind. A few people have also asked me how come it stays in one room and doesn’t fall down the stairs. Magic would be the cool answer; but in reality it comes with two battery operated virtual walls. They put out a beam (kind of like a laser pointer) that the Roomba won’t cross.

Like anything else though, there are upkeep costs and it is up to you to decide whether they are worth it or not. The batteries are NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) and will probably last six months to a year depending on
how often you run the machine. At about $70 to replace; to me it’s worth it. I like the carpets vacuumed and if I don’t have to do it, well, all the better. The brushes (especially the soft one) will also have to be replaced every six months or so in order to keep the machine working its best.

So, all in all I liked the Roomba. On a coolness scale I give it 5 out of 5 stars. On how well it picks the dirt up from the carpet I give it 2 ½ stars. If I can get away with taking out the regular vacuum every three to four weeks instead of every week, then the Roomba is for me!!

Golden Gate Carpet Cleaning

643 Martin Ave. #3Rohnert Park, Ca. 94928 – 707-588-8879

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                            

 


Vacuum Review: Dirt Devil Featherlite

June 15, 2011

Make:

Dirt Devil

Model:

Featherlite

Upright:

x

Canister:

Weight:

12lbs.

Cord length:

25’

Available at:

Danny’s Vacuum Shop

1 Padre Pkwy.

Rohnert Park Ca. 94928

707-584-0225

 

Uses:

Residential: x         Commercial:         Heavy Duty:

 Summary:

 

Over the course of the last few years a number of people have asked me why I never review any vacuums that cost less than $150. My answer has always been the same; “because they don’t make one that works”. As of today I’m glad to say that Dirt Devil has proven me wrong. The 12 pound Featherlite rings the register at less than half of that at a whopping $70. Now, my answer to the sub $150 vacuum is, buy two of these, one for upstairs and one for downstairs. It comes in bagged or bagless models but this review is for the model requiring a bag.

Given the price tag of the Featherlite, this is not a machine with solid metal parts, HEPA filtration, a Xenon headlight, and all the other bells and whistles made to last 30+ years. What it does have though is a 12 amp motor that provides great suction on most common household carpet. I used it on a low pile carpet, and an average cut pile carpet, with very good results on both. Make sure you buy extra bags because the way this machine picks up they fill up fast. It was very easy to push, maneuvered just fine around furniture, and is quite a bit quieter than most real light weight machines. I also liked the way it cleaned right up close to the wall, especially with the front edge. It has on-board attachments that work just fine, although I always recommend getting a 10’ – 12’ hose to use them with.

Basic, simple, and under $100 this is the perfect machine for things like: leaving upstairs, a son or daughter leaving for college, an RV, or even a small office. A very enthusiastic four out of five stars here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                            

 

 

Golden Gate Carpet Cleaning

 643 Martin Ave. #3Rohnert Park, Ca. 94928 – 707-588-8879