Vacuum cleaners are now ubiquitous in American households. As such, they need no introduction. What, however, is more recent and novel are handheld vacuum cleaners? Historically, vacuum cleaners emerged in the 19th century in Chicago, and portable variants followed.
It wasn't until after World War II that vacuum cleaners became commonplace in American homes. The western culture was more in need of vacuum cleaners because their homes typically had a large area of carpet that needed to be cleaned. Since the early years, many more exciting improvements have been made. For instance, the Dyson Cyclone was created by James Dyson in 1985. This model, as well as many following models, used no bags. Instead, there was a detachable canister into which the dirt and debris were contained. Clean air is expelled through a series of filters, and the canisters can be cleaned when they get full.
Lately, there is also a trend in the vacuum industry for robotic vacuum cleaners. Entering the market in 2002, these small vacuums can set on the floor and roam freely while sucking up dirt and dust the entire time. Detectors help these robotic vacuums avoid bumping into things. The most popular model of this type of robotic vacuum cleaner is the Roomba, but there are many other versions of this popular model. Since their introduction, over two million units have been sold.
It seems as though there have been as many improvements in the vacuum industry as there can be. However, something new can continuously improve existing models and technology. This is how many of the world's greatest inventions become so popular.
But the portable vacs of the yesteryears are entirely different from the modern high-tech ones. Just as the car brought convenience to commuting, vacuum cleaners brought more leisure to homes. However, portable and handheld vacuum cleaners fill some unique use cases that other gadgets cannot fulfill. Here, let's dive in, discover them, and see some recommendations without breaking the bank. Given their portability, they also account for a very thoughtful gift during the holiday season. For instance, carving the pumpkin is only half the story on Halloween, but as grownups, we need to clean up after the jolly time. That's where a friend in need becomes a friend in the form of a handheld vacuum cleaner.
What to consider when choosing a vacuum cleaner?
This essentially depends on what kind of vac you are looking for. The parameters vary based on your choice. Here is a brief rundown on what to look for when choosing the right vacuum cleaner. Let’s get the numbers and technical specs out of the way first. When you are buying a vacuum cleaner – be that an upright one for the home or a handheld one for the car - the following parameters are important to watch for.
1. Power: This is crucial. It is usually measured in Pascals (Pa or kPa), the standard pressure metric. You will likely find handheld vacs between 5 and 13 kPa and upright ones above 40 kPa. The higher the value, the more suction power you will get. If it's too low, it can only handle light dust and hairs, etc., whereas one with high power (around 30Wa/12 kPa, which I use now) can suck out visible solid debris, dirt, and chips alongside micro dust, hairs, and other small particles.
2. Capacity: Every vacuum cleaner has a compartment where trash is stored. Upright ones can go above 15 gallons, whereas handheld ones have smaller capacity bins. There is a tradeoff here. Even if you sacrifice some capacity, a handheld cordless one can be taken on the go and off to your car to more challenging corners. Furthermore, having a larger dustbin means you need to empty them less frequently and spend more time and attention on the real task. It would save time and hassle.
3. Power/Motor Type: The motor in vacuum cleaners is the machine's engine. What you want is one that works more effortlessly as possible. You will likely see two variants – brushed and brushless motors. Brushed ones use carbon brush with a lower lifespan, weaker speeds, and a bigger profile. In contrast, brushless motors do not use carbon brushes, have almost triple the lifespan of brushed ones, are more portable and work more effortlessly.
4. Weight and single-handed use: When it comes to usage in cars and remote work, the lighter gadget you can get, the better. Since this will be used on the go, try to find one that weighs under 5 lbs. Even that is on the heavier side. The present one I use is a mere 2.24 lbs, perfect for single-handed use.
5. Relevant attachments for proper reach: Regardless of which one you pick up, it will come with an assortment of accessories and attachments. However, this can be deceiving. You should look closely for the attachments that are right for you. In my estimation, the longer the crevice tool is, the better reach I get in hard-to-access parts of the car.
6. Price: Well, this is trivial! You want the best bang for the buck. Remember one thing I have learned from decades of experience – "The new $200 gadget used to be the old $1,000+ ones". Even with inflation, this can be attributed to better and more efficient engineering. So, watch out for deals and do not shy away from younger brands, as that's where the most novel engineering marvel takes place.
Which one do I recommend?
After going through multiple pet accessories over the years, I found vacuum cleaners indispensable for a household with pets. As such, I will recommend one that won't break the bank without making any compromises. The one I use now is the Ofuzzi H8 Apex. It is a perfect bang for the buck pet and the one I recommend as my best pick up on a great sale during Black Friday. I must disclaim that I am indeed affiliated with Ofuzzi, but I will only present facts here. If there is any doubt about the veracity, I warmly welcome you to check out the Verified customer reviews on Amazon and the inter-webs (and the customer reviews section below).
What do you get after buying H8 Apex, and what are they for?
When you get the H8 Apex, the myriad of accessories gives a shine through to its versatility. It comes with the following.
1. Crevice Nozzle/Tool: This is the (not so secret) weapon that makes it stand out to me. It is essentially why I keep it with me even in the car, even while I own a more expensive upright vac. Given the super long attachments and crevice tool, it can reach the depths of the abyss (well, it never hurts to be dramatic) under furniture, carpets, and up on the attic.
2. Pet Hairbrush and Multi-surface Brush: Trivially, it speaks to the fact that it can be your comprehensive companion at home and also on the go. You can be a cat person, a dog person, or even a furniture person. In my view, this thing is so versatile that it oozes the vibe.
3. Type-C Charging Cable: A great signal that this is a 2022 gadget is its versatility in charging (via any cellphone charger)
4. Storage Bag: As always, convenience is key: It comes with a handy storage bag that I can use to neatly store the gadget and its accessories away in a drawer.
And of course, there's a user manual.
What makes the H8 Apex stand out?
Here is a brief rundown on an objective evaluation of why I am so feature-wise enamored by it and have bought it for multiple family members already. You can match this with the checklist with the parameters presented above in the "what to look for in a vacuum cleaner" section for a comprehensive evaluation.
1. Thoughtfully Engineered Accessories: I can switch between four accessories to get the most effective cleaning. Includes a crevice nozzle for narrow spaces, two for surfaces like sofas which is a blessing for removing pet hair off my carpets, and one for general use alongside the car. Besides, the crevice nozzle can be used with other accessories.
2. Ultra-Lightweight: At only 1.2lbs (540g), it's a single-handed gadget. The lock on the dust canister prevents accidental opening, so I can empty it seconds after cleaning. Moreover, dust and fur removal is a breeze.
3. Powerful Suction: It uses an M1 brushless motor (which in layman's terms offers a longer lifespan) and delivers a surging 30WA/12kPa of suction – which, if you are into engineering like me, you will know a heavy suction power for this use case. It effortlessly picks up stubborn fur, dust, and fluff.
4. Dual-Layer Filtration System: This is one of the primary reasons for me to pick it (besides the value for money). According to the literature, its stainless-steel filter and HEPA filter are washable and reusable, and the combination can filter out 99.95% of particles.
5. Easy Storage: As always, convenience is key: It comes with a handy storage bag which I can use to neatly store the gadget and its accessories away in a drawer. Moreover, it charges USB-C so that I can use any phone charger.
As is natural, there are hundreds of verified customer reviews on Amazon. I recommend you check them out though I am sharing a few excerpts here. Still, reading the complete ones make sense to be sure I am not cherry-picking here.
Verified user "My two cents" (must be their internet name) wrote, "Love this handheld vacuum! I use it in the laundry room to quickly clean up the dryer lint that manages to accumulate on the various surfaces & baseboards, as well as the kitty litter that my cat is constantly tracking out of her litter robot. The attachments are smart & useful, and the little storage bag makes it easy for me to store on the hooks I've got on the wall. This whole setup felt more expensive - the weight & feel of it seemed of a higher manufacturing standard than one might typically see with items like this. It's super easy to clean out the dust bin & filters, and it also goes a long time between charges! This has made my laundry room & floors so much cleaner. I highly recommend it!"
Signer Sean. wrote in their review, "Just got this today to get all the lil crevices in my semi truck that have filled up with dirt. Surprising power for this product, I must say. Nice attachments and extremely well made. My dog's hairs also are a breeze nowadays."
Pet-lover aquaholic wrote, "I use this daily as part of my bedtime routine. I have a cat and dog and OCD regarding clean sheets. I take this and it quickly sucks up all the hair, dirt from paws, and everything else. I use it to vacuum my desk, chair, and everything. It has powerful suction. I don't even use the brush attachment because it can pull the pet hair right out. I use it on high power, so it doesn't last as long, but I don't need it to. It charges super fast. The best part is how easy it is to empty. You can push the bottom while holding over the trash bin or you can easily twist it off and it'll release all the dirt and hair sucked into the filter. I also have the Ofuzzi cordless stick vacuum. They are very powerful machines."
“It is so nice to clean everywhere. I would like to buy one more.”, wrote Nasuo on Amazon briefly.
"This vacuum is perfect for me! My kitty tracks litter which this vac picks up very well. Now I don't have to drag my larger vac out just for light cleaning. It's great for cat hair, even on furniture. This has made my life so much easier. I can't believe how light it is and nice the power is. I'm thrilled! Highly recommend", wrote Amazon user sauci1, who seems to be a pet lover like myself.
Where to buy
Get your H8 Apex now!
With the ubiquitous development in thoughtful engineering, value for money has skyrocketed. Now, you can get a handheld portable vacuum cleaner for your pets around the house or cars for around $100, which would have cost you tenfold even several years ago. The Ofuzzi H8 Apex is a prime example of this. I really feel it is an excellent testament to the thoughtful engineers who made all the right decisions in making such a fantastic product while keeping the price within reach of the American middle class. So, if you are in the market for something like this, it is the best time of the year to avail the biggest sales and value for your money.