Vax Blade Review
- Good design
- Charges quickly
- Good for pet hair
- Great price point
- Suction not as powerful as upright
- Short battery life
Vax is a household name since they released their large drum vacuum back in the 70s and 80s. No synonymous with the strong orange brand, but Vax has kept up-to-date on the market with their cordless vacuum range.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Vax Blade cordless vacuum is that it isn’t an upright. Much like the Dyson V8 and Dyson V6 the Vax is actually a handheld that can work as an upright. This unique (or not so unique now) design tries to give homeowners the best of both worlds in terms of an upright and a handheld.
We spent a lot of time with the Vax Blade and put it through its paces to see if it can keep up with its competitors. Clearly the main competitor to this cordless is the Dyson range, and that’s a tough title to try and take. Let’s see how they got on.
Most important of all cordless vacuums is performance. Our tests with the Blade included picking up various amounts of debris from lots of different types of surfaces in order to ascertain how suitable it is for all of the different environments our homes have.
Vax claims that the Blade cordless delivers “performance as good as an upright”. This claim comes from what Vax are calling “DIRECT HELIX TECHNOLOGY”. Well that all sounds very high-tech, but how did it actually perform?
Our initial tests were positive. Suction was good and there was very little let up from the vacuum across the various surfaces and debris that we were working with.
There were several tests that we run that the Vax did struggle with slightly, mostly ones with troublesome substances on difficult materials; very close to a thick layer of pet hair in a high-pile rug or carpet. However, the Vax Blade has a ‘Boost mode’, which is a temporary mode you can pop the vacuum into to increase suction and speed up the powered brush bar. There are quite a few different vacuums on the market that have a Boost mode, but we were really impressed with Vax’s and it made light work of the various troublesome tests.
Design and Features
The design of the Vax Blade is very similar to Dyson’s cordless range. The entire vacuum is effectively a handheld that can be used as an upright with the help of an attachment.
Many believe this new design is the future of vacuuming. Many households currently have an upright and a handheld, so if the two can be combined into one then the cost of purchase will be slashed.
The vacuum itself looks quite stylish. There is a handy battery indicator on the top of the device to show you how much battery is left, whether the powered brush bar is spinning and whether the device is in ‘boost mode’.
Boost mode is there the motor works extra hard. Putting the motor under this extra load does work well in picking up stubborn dirt from carpets, but it also saps the battery very quickly.
Weighing in at just 2KG the Vax Blade is one of the lightest in its category. When you look at the device carefully you can see that Vax engineers have worked very hard to make sure this weight is kept to a minimum.
Usually when weight is shed it can often lead to a lack of quality – normally it is plastic parts instead of metal wherever possible. This makes little difference to the aesthetics, but quite a big difference to the longevity of the device, as well as the feel of quality you get from a solid product. Because of all this we all had preconceptions about the Vax Blade before we used it and expected that cheap feel.
Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised. There are plastic parts, but they don’t seem to be on parts that are likely to break easily. Hats off to Vax on this one, they have managed to keep a solid product.
Due to the fact the Vax Blade is actually a handheld with an upright extension it is, by its very nature, extremely maneuverable. Check out the advert below.
Notice how easily the Vax moves across surfaces. In our tests this did perform in the same way.
The neck of the Blade pivots too. On the video, where the stairs are being cleaned, you may notice the way it drops down in a fluid motion to give the head the ability to clean more easily.
The clear benefit though is the ability to move the vacuum wherever you need to. It’s cordless, so that’s one big movement issue removed. Beyond that you can also see how you can easily clean all corners of a room – not sure the floors, but the ceiling corners too.
The advertising battery live of the Vax Blade is 35 minutes from a 5 hour charge time. In our tests we got ever so slightly less than this, but there are a lot of things that can effect battery life (temperature, for example) so we’re confident the advertised battery life is correct.
One thing to note is that with boost mode on you’ll get nowhere near the 35 minute run time. This isn’t a surprise – boost mode is designed for short bursts to get something troublesome out of your carpets, so you aren’t expected to leave it on for more than a few seconds.
All in all, the battery fairs well. Throughout this review we have compared the Vax Blade against the Dyson V6 and V8 range of cordless vacuums, which may or may not be fair given the price difference. However, the Vax wins in terms of battery life.
There is also a 32V edition of the Vax Blade that has a 45 minute runtime. Very impressive.
There are two models available for the Vax Blade.
Vax Blade 24V
- 4 hours charge time
- 35 minute run time
The 24V model is pretty much identical to the 32V model with the exception of the battery.
Vax Blade 32V
- 5 hours charge time
- 45 minute run time
The 32V model is ever so slightly heavier than the 24V model.
Both models come with a 2 year manufacturer guarantee for the device, and a 1 year guarantee for the battery.
|Battery Run Time||35 Minutes|
|Charge Time||5 Hours|
|Good for Pets?|
The resemblance the Vax Blade has to the Dyson V8 (and V6) cannot be disputed, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing for consumers. In our tests we definitely found that the Dyson was better in nearly every aspect, but don’t let that put you off. The margin that Dyson beat the Vax Blade wasn’t, in our opinion, worth the extra money.
If you’re at all concerned about splashing out the cash for a cordless vacuum then the Vax Blade is definitely a safe choice and it gets the thumbs up from us.