Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Tool I Can't Live Without: The Dirt Devil Extreme Power Hand Vacuum

About.com's Franny Syufy has great list of Top 7 Products for Managing a Cat-Owned Home. She suggests a couple of vacuums and a steamer as essential products for cat guardians. While I agree that regular vacuuming is a huge part of life now that we have cats, I'd like to recommend one addition to her list -- the Dirt Devil Extreme Power Hand Vacuum.

I bought the Dirt Devil Extreme Power back in November, just a couple of weeks after we adopted the boys. My goal in getting the Extreme Power was simple: to have a cordless hand vacuum that I could whip out quickly and easily whenever I found granules of litter, crumbs, nail sheaths, little pieces of hair, or any of the other little things our boys leave around.

The litter problem really overshadows all others. The boys are constantly kicking pieces of litter out of the box and carrying pieces of litter with them all over the apartment. We even find litter under furniture and closet doors where the boys could not possibly have gone. As soon as I see litter on the floor, I want to vacuum it up. But who wants to go to the closet, pull out a heavy upright vacuum, plug it in and roll it out over the floor, every time you see a piece of litter. You'd be opening the closet and lifting the heavy vacuum a dozen times a day.

I rarely make impulse purchases so before I bought the Dirt Devil, I did a lot of research online. I went to a few stores and looked at competing models from Black and Decker and from Shark. I wanted the most powerful cordless hand vacuum I could buy, because I remember using an early model Dustbuster when I was a teenager and being really frustrated by its lack of suction. I also wanted something that could reach into small crevices and something that was relatively easy to empty and clean.

I chose the Dirt Devil Extreme Power over competing products for two main reasons:

  • It has a powerful 14.4 Volt motor
  • It has an awesome crevice tool that is built into the vacuum and flips out. There are no detachable plastic tools to lose.

Since buying the Extreme Power, I have not been disappointed. I keep it charging in the kitchen and yank it out several times a day to pick up pieces of litter from the floor. The crevice tool (shown in action below) reaches into small spaces such as the space between the appliances (dishwasher, fridge) and the floor and allows me to pick up litter granules that get wedged against the wall or stuck just under the molding.

Is the 14.4-volt Extreme Power powerful enough? You bet. This isn't your mother's cordless hand vac. It sucks up not only the large pieces of litter, but also erases some of the stickier little clumps that find their way out of the litterbox way and onto the floor.

Is it easy to clean? It could be easier, but it's not bad at all. You just open it up, pull out the cup inside and dump the contents in the trash. Pieces of dust and hair tend to stick to the cup so you may have to use your hand (with gloves, I hope) to pull some of the crud off of the cup periodically. The cup does tend to get cruddy so periodically you will want to toss it out and put in a new one. Replacement cups for the Dirt Devil Extreme Power are sold in two packs that cost around $5.

Bottom line: Without this vac, I'd either be living in a pile of litter or I'd be in traction from dragging around a heavy upright vacuum twelve times a day.


Peggy said...

I recently bought a corded Dirt Devil Scorpion to suck the cat hair out of the computer keyboard, the CPU tower fan, etc. It has awesome suction power, too; in fact, I unintentionally sucked up a pom-pom cat toy within seconds of turning it on the first time! I also have an old Dustbuster that I consider useless, but this baby really grabs everything in sight.

Muse said...

i HAVE AN OLD dustbuster - i need more suction. My cat kicks up litter too, even with one of those catch all litter mats underneath. Of course - having one of those about 2 feet from the box DOES help considerably or else all that litter would be rolling arond on the floor.