Please note: this information was current as of August 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
Model: Dirt Dog 130
Distributor: Salton Australia
Weight: 2.6 kg
Warranty: 1 year
* Price and availability checked June 2008.
From the same stable as the iRobot Roomba robot vacuum comes the Dirt Dog. It’s marketed as a workshop cleaner, suitable for picking up dust, debris and dirt — even small nuts and bolts — from hard floors (including industrial carpets), patios and decks. Unlike the Roomba, the Dirt Dog has no built-in vacuum. Instead, it has large rotating brushes to sweep up the dirt and a bigger collection bin.
We put the Dirt Dog to the test on a workshop floor scattered with sawdust, small nails, screws, nuts and washers. We also tried it in a paved courtyard containing leaves, small twigs and loose dirt.
- Very easy to use. We just had to charge the battery, push the start button and let it go.
- Picked up 84% of the sawdust and other litter from the workshop floor.
- Picked up nearly all the leaves, twigs and dirt from the courtyard (but the bin had to be emptied once while doing this).
- Navigated all obstacles successfully.
- Ran for at least 40 minutes on a full charge.
- Some debris, such as screws, twigs and long leaves of grass, became stuck or tangled in the brushes and had to be manually removed.
- Not very good at picking up flat items like washers.
- About as noisy as a loud vacuum cleaner.
- Takes a long time to clean an area, compared to doing the job yourself with a broom.
The CHOICE verdict
The Dirt Dog is quite capable of cleaning a moderately messy hard floor. It’s rather slow and noisy, but if you really hate sweeping your workshop or patio floor — and you can close the door to muffle the noise — the Dirt Dog could be worth considering. Otherwise, a broom will be cheaper and quicker.