Can you really go cordless?

This blog is to help you decide if you are going to get on with cordless, and indeed the things to watch out for.

Cordless has been the trend for a while now and to be honest you don't quite understand how nice it can be till you try it. I remember when Bluetooth headphones came out I was like "Whats wrong with wired headphones when my music device is mostly in my pocket?" and indeed Bluetooth cannot technically match the sound quality of wired headphones- but now I tried them I wouldn't go back! And by the same token- unless someone has actually tried cordless then they can't really pre-judge whether they (or you) would find it better.

But- there are a lot of products around (older models and indeed cheaper current ones) that tarnish the concept a little unfairly.

I would really like to stress that if you want your next vacuum to be cordless you need to spend a decent amount of money on it. The machines around that are $200 or less are just going to be frustrating unless you are using it like a quick spill dust-buster. If that's the budget you have, please take my advice to buy a corded machine, where your budget goes further.

The downsides of cordless are primarily:

1) The battery running out at inconvenient times- which regardless of how long your battery lasts from full- will still happen from time to time. Just needs a little planning and then its not a problem. The associated problem is waiting for the battery to charge when you need it- well that's difficult to get-around without having two batteries. (European brand Bosch did make an 'Unlimited' cordless- where the life of the battery was the same as its charge time, and they sold it with two batteries, so in theory you could use it continuously. However the rest of the machine was merely 'okay'.)

2) They fundamentally have less outright electrical power in their motors than corded machines. The largest cordless vacuums may have a main motor that can handle 500W of power, a corded machine can easily be three times that. (The BIG caveat to this consideration is that whats important is really how that power gets used I discuss this in more detail here but the summary is: most vacuum cleaners waste most of that motor power when being used on floors). A big electrical watts number, or indeed "Airwatts" (as was coined by Dyson), or even open hose flowrate (cfm) are not representative of the cleaning experience other really in that open hose or accessory mode. There is a correlation of course- but its not direct.

I genuinely believe there is no advantage in terms of floor cleaning ability with a corded machine. For those who like to slap their palms on the end of hoses to gauge suction (and that's also whats going on when using hose accessories) there is no substitute for corded power from any manufacturer (yes- I said it. Please don't quote me without the context of the previous sentence).

If you read the section above and my link here I think you are probably in a good position to know whether you maybe are, or simply not, on-board with cordless.

If you are still ready to go cordless, then the other watch-out I have is that most cordless are built light, and that normally means....small. Please make sure you check the bin capacity of what you are considering as most of the cordless stick market have capacities that are just too small.

If you found this page useful- please read my other more-depth page here about the other things to consider when purchasing a vacuum.

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