Now when you think about product reviews for the fiber industry, you might be thinking about wheels, spindles or fiber from some company, but that isn't really what this feature article will be about. This will be a review of an unusual but useful product, item or improvised tool that can help you with your various fiber arts techniques.
Any fiber artist can tell you that fuzz is wonderful and fluffy, but most of us don't like it in the refrigerator, on the floor and everywhere else in between. So when my vacuum cleaner died a sudden and unexpected death I went out for a new one. I was a mad woman with a purpose.
The one thing I hated about my old vacuum was it's inablility to handle fuzz. It sucked it up fine, but the filter was always hopelessly clogged with all sorts of hairs, wools and unidentifiable fiber-y content. So after banging it against a fence post outside for several minutes I would have to brush it off and fiddle around with it way longer than I wanted. ( The birds around here love that stuff for their nests in spring and summer)
So I wanted a bagless vacuum, with an easy to clean filter, preferably cheap ones, and also easy to empty dirt containers. Most of the ones I looked at met these criteria, but the one I picked was the best value, for the most features, and met all the criteria above. Now here in rural po-dunk MO you only have a few choices, and for a vacuum, I had to go to the dreaded Wheelie Warts (as my Grandpa always called it). There is nowhere else for a poor country girl to get one without driving an hour. All that said, you might have a much better selection where you live than we have here.
I ended up buying the Bissell Powerforce Turbo bagless upright for a very reasonable price of about $65 US. It was really the WASHABLE filter that sold me. It has three stage filtration like all the newer models, but the filters only cost $5 or so each, whereas my last vacuum cost $25 and needed replacing every 6 months. My old vacuum did not handle fluff very well, and was often getting clogged. My other complaint was that the manufacturer claimed it would easily vacuum bare floors, but in reality it just spread the dirt around, shooting it all behind the vacuum. The Bissell Powerforce Turbo is the answer to my preivious vacuum woes.
In my testing, I chose some of the most irritating dirt problems that in the past didn't get vacuumed well. Fluff tends to kind of pack into the corners and along the baseboards. This vacuum removes this pretty easily, but sometimes, I need to use the suction wand for corners. The regular carpeted area gets vacuumed perfectly with just one or two passes, even in this house with 4 kids, and the resulting crunched up crumbs on the carpet, despite the strictly enforced rule against eating in the living room. The Bissell Powerforce Turbo takes it all up quickly, easily and does an excellent job on the fuzz without clogging.
For my bare floor testing, I just vacuumed the floor in the kitchen after picking up the pencils, crayons and various dropped items. I wasn't expecting much out of it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the crumbs, fuzz and other floor debris was vacuumed up completely without slinging it around! It even picks up the elusive ONE cheerio that is inevitably laying around. It also picked up buttons, crumbs, fuzz, dog hair, string and actual dirt / dust. It vacuumed ALL the dirt and stuff up easily and completely, I was really excited. It makes it so easy to keep the fuzz and crumbs under control in the kitchen now, because I can vacuum in about three minutes, no bother with the dust pan, or children tracking through the dirt pile. The best part is, I can vacuum and then it is clean enough to mop afterwards without any extra sweeping. The one down side is that it doesn't get under the overhang of the cupboards, but a quick run of the suction wand takes care of that in a flash.
This vacuum performed very well, and is reasonably priced in the mid-range for a vacuum. Of course there are vacuums with more features and those may very well perform better, but the Bissell Powerforce Turbo is a great buy for the fiber artist, at a great price. The bagless feature is a must for all the fuzz, and the vacuum performed better than any I have ever used. The over all value in the initial purchase price, along with the filters being much cheaper makes this a smart buy for any home.
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