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Stick vacuums are becoming a regular fixture in the home thanks to their handy features and ease of use. We put stick vacuums through many tough tests to find out if they are suitable substitutes for your regular vacuum. Still wondering if a stick vac is for you? See our buying guide.
New stick vacuum designs and technologies mean improved dirt pick-up and running times, so they're also a much better buy than past models. Our tests show you which stick vacuums are:
Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which brands pick up dirt best; and where available we also rate the performance of any handheld tools. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.
List of brands we tested in this review.
Recommended retail as at June 2015.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 39 and 899
We recommend stick vacs that score at least 70% overall.
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enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0
We embed sand evenly into a section of carpet, then vacuum. The sand is weighed and recorded; this is done twice for each model and the results averaged.
We measure how easy it is to manoeuvre the cleaner; empty and clean the dirt receptacle; operate the controls; and use and store the supplied accessories.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 1.8 and 5.3
Noise is measured at the user's position at maximum power setting. Some models emit a high-pitched whistle that can be irritating, even though they may not be louder than others.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 2 and 24
For those models that separate from the stick into a handheld vacuum, we disperse pebbles and sand throughout the front and rear floor of a car and evaluate how well they pick up these materials. This is not counted towards the final score, as not all vacs are 2-in-1 products.
To test pet hair removal, we embed cat hair in the carpet and, as with the dirt pick-up test, vacuum it to a set pattern and speed. We rate the results based on how much cat hair is left behind after the test. Where supplied, the turbo brush or power head is used for this test; otherwise, we use the standard cleaning head. Pet hair for testing supplied by Woof Cat & Dog Grooming, Bondi, NSW.
We've recently introduced a new quick clean test to simulate typical everyday cleaning. We measure the dirt removal from carpet as above, but after just four passes over the carpet rather than the full 10. The score is shown in the table for recently tested models, but as we didn't do this test for previously tested models that are still available, we haven't yet incorporated it into the overall score.
Sand is spread into a right-angled corner and vacuumed to see how far into the corner each cleaner is able to pick up dirt, using the standard cleaning head.
We used the information received from members in our 2015 reliability survey to rate the most popular brands for reliability.
Note: These reliability scores are for all vacuum cleaners, except for robot vacuum cleaners.
na No/not enough responses were received for these brands.
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
A Discontinued model cannot be found in retailers or online and is no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites or in second hand dealers.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
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