Best Vacuum Cleaner 2018
Vax Blade 2 Max
The Vax Blade 2 Max is a light, versatile and efficient cordless vacuum that's great at dealing with dirt and debris on all floors types, and will keep your home effortlessly spotless. We think it’s the best choice for most households.
Verdict in 10 seconds
- Powerful and light with enough charge to clean the entire house
- Versatile – it has the ability to deal with dirt and debris on any floor type
- It makes vacuuming a quick and easy job, which is especially useful in a busy household
Watch our video review
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Incredibly light which means almost effortless cleaning
- Simple to change tools
- Great suction
- Press a button to activate the brush bar – no need to change heads for different floor types
- Bagless so a little messy to empty
- Need to wash and air dry filter
- Need to buy direct from Vax to get extra tools
- Quite noisy – especially if using turbo mode
Key features of the Vax Blade 2 Max
- 45-minute runtime – enough to vacuum your whole home. If you use the boost mode, this does reduce running time. Continuous boost mode runtime is only 12 minutes, but the suction on normal mode is great, so it shouldn’t be necessary to vacuum continuously in boost mode.
- Lightweight – only 3.1kg when using it as a stick vacuum, and only 2kg when using as a handheld.
- Steerable, so a breeze to get round furniture.
- LED headlights so you can see the dust. Delightful.
What’s in the box?
- Vacuum cleaner, charger, crevice tool, dusting brush, wall mount.
- Cordless pro kit (if you buy direct from Vax): flexible crevice tool, tough dirt tool, dust brush, textile tool, stretch hose and storage bag.
What are the Vax Blade 2 Max’s specs?
- Complete handstick unit – 3.1kg
- Handheld – 2kg
- 0.6l capacity
- 45-minute runtime
- Three-year guarantee
- One-year battery guarantee
The Vax Blade 2 Max is powerful, light and easy to use. What our tester loved was that it was easy to vacuum the whole house, moving between different floor surfaces without needing to change heads or use lots of different tools. It makes vacuuming a quick and easy job – what more could you ask for?
What's the difference between the Vax Blade 2 Max and the Vax Blade 32V?
While the Vax Blade 32V was our original Mumsnet Best vacuum cleaner winner, we think Vax's new model is even better.
The Vax Blade 2 Max is more powerful and does a better, speedier job than the Vax Blade 32V. The new model scored 84% in independent dust removal testing, compared to 72.5% for the 32V model. This difference was apparent to our tester in both day-to-day and specific testing. While impressed by the original model, which is great on both hard floors and carpets, our tester could definitely see a difference in the new model – there was no loss of suction at all, vacuuming was quicker and easier, the heads and tools were much easier to connect and remove, and it was a breeze to vacuum the whole house quickly in one go.
While it’s more expensive than the 32V model, the Vax Blade 2 Max is definitely worth the extra expense.
That said, the 32V still offers excellent value for money, and if your budget won’t stretch to the Vax Blade 2 Max, then the 32V is a great alternative.
How good is the Vax Blade 2 Max on carpets?
Simply press a button on the main unit to activate the brush bar which then rotates to trap and lift dirt from the carpet fibres. During day-to-day cleaning, it’s amazing how much dirt and hair the cleaner picks up. The manufacturers say that in boost mode the vacuum will remove 91.5% of ground-in dirt from carpets and our tester’s carpets did look clean and fresh after vacuuming. The head gets right to the edges, pulling out ingrained hair and dirt, and works well on rugs too.
In specific tests, it quickly and efficiently picked up larger debris, sucking up Rice Krispies, crisps and seeds with ease. Baking powder, washing powder and coffee granules all vanished in one or two sweeps. It was more of an effort on longer pile rugs, but still very efficient.
How good is the Vax Blade 2 Max on hard floors?
The Vax Blade 2 Max is unbelievably good on hard floors. It makes short work of day-to-day cleaning, and in our tests it picked a variety of large and small debris in one sweep – including Rice Krispies, seeds, toast crumbs, crisps, washing powder, baking powder and coffee granules. Even on tiled floors, with deep grouting between tiles, debris was picked up thoroughly and quickly.
The LED lights only come on if you use the brush bar, which you shouldn’t use for hard floors. This is a real shame, as they work so well to highlight debris in carpets – it would be great to have them for hard floors too.
How effective is the Vax Blade 2 Max on pet hair?
You can use the vacuum as a handheld on upholstery, vacuuming with the main head, and there is a crevice tool to get into corners. Our tester was surprised at how much pet hair the main head picked up, as evidenced by the very full bin.
It’s easy work to vacuum pet bedding using without needing to bend down as the main head picks up so much hair – no need to use an additional tool.
On carpets, the turbo boost helps to really pull out embedded hair, and any hair missed from edges are easily sucked out using the crevice tool. On hard floors, the vacuum sucks in clumps of hair lurking in corners and under furniture. Hardly any effort required either.
How easy is it to vacuum the stairs with the Vax Blade 2 Max?
As it’s a cordless, there’s nothing to lug up behind you, and no cord to trip over. Easy, simple, quick, light, and efficient. You can easily attach the crevice tool to tackle edges, skirting boards, and hard to reach places. It picks up effortlessly, and the turbo boost helps to pull out anything deep in carpet fibres.
How loud is the Vax Blade 2 Max?
While there is no official noise regulation for cordless vacuums, so there’s no independently tested figure, our tester found the Vax Blade 2 Max noisier than some models tested, especially in turbo mode. However, on the whole, she didn’t find the noise level to be an issue.
How easy is it to clean?
Capacity is only 0.6l, but this means the vacuum is very light. And it’s simple to empty so it isn’t a problem to do this frequently; simply press the dirt release button, allowing everything to fall straight into the bin. As with most bagless vacuums, there is some dirt left and this can be quite messy to get out – something to bear in mind if you have allergies.
To access the filter, simply press a button at the top of the dirt bin to unlock, and pull the filter out. You can also get to the separator this way and can give the bin a thorough clean.
You need to wash the filter and the separator and leave to air dry. If you vacuum every day, cleaning the filter means having your vacuum out of action for one or two days – not great if you have pets.
You can remove the rotating brush bar with a coin (a 10p piece is best) to get at any threads or hair caught in the bristles. To remove any threads or hair, slide the blade of a pair of scissors into the groove and cut along the brush bar. It’s easier than it sounds!
Are there any other features?
- The crevice tool is great for skirting boards, sucking up dust and pet hair quickly and easily.
- The vacuum is fully charged from flat in three hours.
- Low-profile head means it’s easy to clean under furniture.
- One of the issues our tester had with other cordless vacuums was that it was quite difficult to remove and attach heads and tools. This isn’t the case with the Vax Blade 2 Max – the head, the wand and the tools can all be attached and removed easily.
Is the Vax Blade 2 Max good value for money?
The Vax Blade 2 Max is currently £249, including the free pro tool kit (if bought directly from Vax). It’s not the cheapest vacuum on the market, but it’s by no means the most expensive. Considering performance and ease of use, and the fact that it takes a lot of the hard work out of vacuuming, we think it’s great value for money.
About Mumsnet Reviews
All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage. Read our How We Test page to find out more.
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