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TO THE TEST: Hand-held vacuums.


Pivot Dustbuster PV1805N, pounds 69.99 (, 01753 511234)

SMALL 350ml dust capacity with a unique "nose" that pivots 200deg with 10 settings. At 18 volts it's the second most powerful, but on top setting it's pretty noisy. Weighs 1.6kg and has long running time of 19 minutes after intial 16 hour charge. Built-in extendable crevice tool is good but bulky, side emptying is easy and there's a smart little wheel which lets you empty it without getting your hands dirty.


Dyson DC16 Root 6, pounds 83 (, or call Dyson 0870 527 5104)

POWERFUL 21.6V has great suction on both hard flooring and carpets. Extra-long crevice tools gets into nooks and crannies but bulky body gets in the way. Debris nozzle works well on stairs and converts into a brush tool for excellent dusting. Quieter and lighter than the Dustbuster at 1.5kg, its three hour charging time a bonus, but six minute running time is pathetic. Onetouch emptying works well, but requires strong thumbs.


Dirt Devil DRC001, pounds 42.99 (, 0800 525089)

FIVE-hour charge gives an 18- minute running time and although only 12V provides good, quiet suction, but 0.3 litre dust capacity disappointing. Motorised rotating brush was a clever extra that was particularly effective on fabric and rugs. Crevice tool too shor t, and plasticky wall-mounted charger was hard to release. Flip button opens canister easily. Heavy at 2.1kg, but not uncomfortable to use.


Jovis SJ144WSR, pounds 59.99 (, 01685 721222)

POWERFUL 14.4 volts but quiet and its NiMH "green" batteries give a 18-20 minute running time after less than the required 24 hours charging. Integrated brush is difficult to push out and poor at dusting, while crevice tool could be longer. Push buttons either side of the handle make getting the dustbin off a cinch, and the main filter has a useful pull handle. Filter is fiddly to clean, but is washable for lasting performance. Weighs 1.4kg.

* 9/10

ProAction 12V pets hand-held cleaner, pounds 29.99 (, 0870 600 8784)

12V gave good suction and it offers a larger capacity than most at 0.75 litres, while the 1.8 kg didn't weigh too heavily in the hand. 16 hour initial charge promised 12 minutes running time, but gave more. Had a slightly annoying high-pitched whine, but not overly noisy. Good set of tools, including a rotating turbo brush, and it also has a washable filter. Sleek looking in plain white. Great price for a good machine.


Mini Vac FC6091/01, pounds 50 (, 0845 601 0354)

6V NiMH "green" battery gives 10 minutes running time, after 16-18 hours charge. First hand-held that has a special HEPA filter to trap fine dust, with its own cleaner. The handy bendable crevice tool could be longer, but the brush for dusting also works well. You can wash the nozzle in dishwasher, but the tools are difficult to pull out. Really quiet, it has a 0.5 litre capacity and weighs 1.4kg. Fairly easy to empty.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 4, 2009
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