I choose this model because I was looking for an innovative product that would address a variety of purposes: a lightweight, cordless vacuum that I could use for carpeted/wood floors on multiple levels and on stairs; a compact, yet powerful vac to clean the car; and a versatile tool that could clean hard to reach places both inside the house and outside on a porch/deck. I have found that this product not only does an excellent job of meeting my diverse needs but it more than fulfills my expectations.
Unboxing the vacuum:
Opening up the box, every part is packaged compactly and separately. I looked for a Quick Start guide and was surprised not to find one…until I realized I didn’t need one. The Multi Reach piece can be used straight out of the box! I didn’t get to use it long, however, before the residual charge was used up.
The user guide is short and easy to read. The font is large enough for aging people like me to read, with some color to make the directions comprehensible. The charger plug in the multi reach is unobtrusive, so much so that I had to read the user guide in order to locate it. It is tucked in the backside, near the bottom of the Multi Reach. That is a good location as the plug stays out of the way of the extension wand when charging.
Take a minute to write down your model number, purchase date and staple your original sales receipt to the last page of the user guide. If you choose to register the product, you will get rewards points, product support reminders and alerts, special promotions, etc. I think it is worth the time to do this as the vacuum has a two-year limited warranty for any defective or malfunctioning part. There is a phone number for customer service with the times to call as well as a website for support on a flap on the box itself. Either write it down and tear it off and keep it with the user guide for future reference.
Charging the vac:
There is a lithium-ion battery (22 volt) that takes 4 hours to a full charge. I suggest doing that overnight so it isn’t in your way as you go about the house during the day. If you don’t have four hours for a full charge, but need to use the unit immediately, you can charge for just one hour for a “burst of cleaning”. This is me when I forget to charge the unit after the last time I use it. When I go to take it out of the closet, there typically isn’t much charge left.
There are four green bars that light up/blink one at a time as the unit recharges. Once the unit is full charged, all four LED lights are a solid green. Each time the battery level drops down 25%, one less green LED will be lit. For example, if you only have half capacity (50%), then only 2 green lights will show. What I really like about that is it shows me how much time I have left; there are 20 minutes of power total, so each light indicates 5 minutes of power.
If the brushroll is jammed, you will see 4 solid red lights. To fix it, remove the battery in the handheld, remove the brushroll and clean it. Once done, replace the brushroll and battery. It may take 10 seconds to turn from red to green, so give it some time before you repeat the steps to unjam the brushroll.
Using the vac:
This vac is very simple to use. Just hit the power button and you are in business!
It is easy to clean large, flat areas. What is challenging is cleaning hard to reach places, such as under/behind/next to furniture you can’t move. The smaller, flatter powered floor head with the awesome swivel steering got into more places than my Hoover cordless Linx. The auditory clicking indicates when it exits from swivel steering and is back in upright mode.
To attach the extension wand or powered floor head, just line up the white dots and you will hear them click into place. To disconnect these, gently and evenly pull back on the green locking ring until the nozzle comes free.
The extension wand is great for cleaning in both ceiling corners, floor/wall corners behind furniture, in between immoveable objects (i.e. bookcases). You can exchange the tools at the end (crevice, dusting brush, deep cleaning tool) or you can hook on the powered floor head. The deep cleaning tool and the crevice tool were great to interchange based on the job that needed to be done.
I like that I can store the crevice tool inside the handheld. That makes it so convenient to pull it out when needed and tuck it away without wasting time searching for it.
One aspect I really like about this Bissell vacuum is the multi reach and the powered floor head both have LED lights so you can see what you are cleaning, and if the vac is picking it up or if you have to do another pass by. Though it particularly helps in a darkened closet or under the bed, it is not easy to light up at a distance such as when using the extension wand.
Because the weight of the vac is in multi reach handheld, it makes it easy to control. However, I was nervous that it wouldn’t have the weight to hold the floor head to the floor, thus not having sufficient pick up power. That was not the case. The multi-surface brushroll helps it to clean effectively whether on a hardwood or carpeted surface and the suction kept it in place.
This is also great for cleaning cars with floor mats, bucket seats, and dog hair that has blown all over the place. My husband used this to clean my car and was pleasantly surprised about the good job it did, and how convenient the crevice tool was to get into small spaces.
The handle is very comfortable with its grip, making it natural to hold. You may find men willingly to use this vac without prompting as it handles like a leaf blower or trimmer. Joking aside, I seriously wonder if there was a psychological study done on this and if the results were utilized when creating the product design. Hmm…
Cleaning the vac after use:
Since I keep very busy and have a lot of other things that demand my attention, I love the fact that this vacuum doesn’t need much maintenance. All you need to do is keep the washable filter clean, remove hair from the brushbar and charge the battery after use. If the vacuum handle or parts get dusty/dirty, you can quickly wipe down with a dry cloth.
The dirt bin is very easy to disconnect from the multi reach handle. What I like is there is no way to accidentally to spill anything from the dirt bin once disconnected. To empty it, you have to pull the release latch to open the dirt bin. The filter is located at the top of the bin and can be removed in order to wash as needed (**only use warm water to wash filter. Do NOT use detergents or soaps to clean). I haven’t had to buy vacuum bags in a while, but if you have, a bagless vac is a wonderful feature.
**Watch out that you don’t put your hand on the bin while vacuuming. It is inclined to pop off. Luckily it pops back on without opening up and spilling all that has been collected.
The brush bar is easily removed from the powered floor head by rotating the latch on the side of the floor head. It can be cleaned and replaced as needed.
If you are like me and don’t typically read the safety instruction, let me share some good tips with you: 1) Store the appliance laying on the ground, not leaning up on the wall as it can easily fall and break; 2) Don’t wrap the cord around the charger when storing; 3) Turn the power off before changing tools; 4) Never use the vacuum without the filter inside or it can damage the motor.
I would have loved a pouch to store the charger, dusting brush and deep cleaning tool as these items can get lost pretty quickly.
I highly recommend this vacuum. I know our older vacuums continue to work and it may be hard to justify replacing them, but when newer models have such convenient features, it becomes a no brainer when they save you time and effort. This is a vac where little effort needed, yet makes such a big difference.