Hoover H-Free HF18CPT Cordless Stick Vacuum Review – 4 weeks of testing
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Hoover claims that the HF18CPT cordless vacuum cleaner is as powerful as a corded vacuum. Find out in this Hoover HF18CPT Stick Vacuum review how it performs and if you should consider this budget cordless cleaner.
There were days when Hoover was such a big name in the vacuum cleaners industry, but these days you are more likely to think of Dyson or Henry when looking for your next vacuum. The brand is still out there and the Hoover HF18CPT Vacuum is a decent offering that may not be packed with innovation, but still does a solid job at a much lower price. In short, this model represents Hoover’s attempt to bring a five-star cordless vacuum to a pocket-friendly price point. They got it right, though with a few annoyances but for the price, we don't think you will a better cordless stick vacuum. Read our full review to learn why. We wanted to thank Hoover for sending this vacuum for review. Please not this did not effect our review and the rating we give it. if something is not good, we say its not and explain why. With that out that out the way, let's get on, with the review.
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Hoover HF18CPT Stick Vacuum Review
Design and Build
Regarding the design, the HF18CPT cordless vacuum isn’t far from the designs of most competitor cordless vacuums. The main body includes the handle part with a curved, black body that integrates the dust collector and the necessary buttons you need to use the cleaner.
This particular model comes in black/turquoise and includes a handy pet hair remover which found found for brilliant for cleaning the carpet on the stairs, much better than using the crevice tool. The second colour is most notable on the main shaft otherwise the top and bottom sections have black components.
A quick release button allows the shaft to attach and detach and so does the main brush head and pet hair removal tool, this it does really well and it's clearly been well though out and is very easy to do. The other tools on the other hand which include the crevice tool and 2-in-1 furniture and dusting head are just simple push fit design, however, this is where it's a little disappointing. The tools are fairly tight and can be a little difficult to attach and remove as they are so tight, that being said, I suppose this is much better than them being too loose and falling off all the time when in use. The whole thing weighs a mere 2.2kg, making it easy to carry around your home as well as use it to effortlessly clean high ceilings and other vacuuming jobs. The light weight design is one of the areas it really excels.
Additionally, there is a simple wall mount included for you to store your vacuum neatly and out of the way along with its accessories. We never attached this to the wall during our testing we can see how it would be an excellent idea to use it. It's worth noting that this would need to be mounted next to a plug socket so it can be charging while not in use.
Overall, the design is similar to most other stick vacuums and the build quality is pretty impressive, just a shame the attachments are not a little easier to attach and remove, other wise this would be 5 out of 5 stars for design, as it stands we would probably give it 4.5 stars for design.
How is it to use?
3 working modes
First and foremost, there are a few basic modes of operation; temporary, continuous, and carpet/turbo. Temporary is the mode you’ll be used to with any other cordless model; you hold down the trigger and the vacuum cleaner does its thing for as long as you keep pressing it. The problem with this is that some of us can feel muscle strain keeping the trigger pulled, to be honest, the trigger in this model would not be described as stiff and is fairly easy to hold down, still there is a much easier way,
That brings us to the continuous mode. There is a small lever near the trigger which when pulled towards you, it allows the vacuum to keep operating by holding the trigger in, saving you the energy of having to keep hold on the trigger. It’s such a welcome relief, but there is another minor issue when using the smaller tools such as the pet hair remover motorised brush; it’s so easy to accidentally flick the lever back off, we found this happened a fair bit when using it on the stairs. You may find yourself switching the machine on and off by mistake more regularly than desired.
Lastly, the carpet/turbo mode is the most powerful of all the modes and we found ourselves using this model most of the time as it seems to give the best results as we expected on carpet which was also going to be the case but it much better on hard floors for picking up larger pieces of debris.
This mode is activated by a blue switch, labelled carpet, on the top of the main body, this mode increases the suction power for vacuuming thick carpets and stubborn spots. It additionally activates LED lights on the main cleaning head to give you a better view of the area you are cleaning, this also confirms the brushes are rotating and that it is in its highest setting for suction. These lights are also particularly handy for illuminating dark spaces such as under the sofas or bed, making sure that no dirt is left behind.
The main cleaning head picks up long hair very well as shown in the picture above, the problem is, its gets wrapped around the rotating brush, however, this happens with most hoovers and it's how easy it is to remove the hair that really matters.
We found on this model, its very easy to remove, the rotating brush simply clicks out from the side and it has a groove along the brush bar to cut along to remove the hair. This is a great idea and it works very well, we have 4 girls with long hair in our home so we got to test this out a fair few times.
On the main cleaning head there is also a blue LED light that lights when in carpet model, we noticed this also turns red if the bushed get snagged on something such as carpet tassels which is a nice little feature.
Now this is where the Hoover HF18CPT Vacuum scores high marks. It can be used as a handheld tool for cleaning upholstery or the inside of your car, stairs, or for cleaning floors, ceilings and hard-to-reach areas with the long-reach pole and the main cleaning head or crevice/brush nozzles are attached. It also weighs only 1.5kg in its handheld design, thus less tiresome.
The main cleaning head, the one you use on carpets and hard floors, in particular, is able to swivel from side to side 180 degrees, allowing you to steer around objects like table legs with ease. The pole itself can recline flat 90 degrees for cleaning underneath tables and seats. In this position, the nozzle stays flush with the floor for maximum dust pick up.
Note that when the brush head is on, it agitates carpet fibres to relax dirt and debris for easy suction. But when you want to glide smoothly across delicate surfaces or hard floors, you can always switch the brush bar off to avoid scratching the surface, we used the brushed mode on wood floors and seen no evidence of scratched which would be the main worry.
Special pet hair brush
The box includes a powerful motorised mini turbo brush specifically intended for removing pet hair. Built-in bristles rotate at high speed to loosen and lift embedded pet hairs from carpets and cushions. This feature is a huge plus of this model and could be handy for anyone plagued by pet hair. As we have already mentioned, we used this attach on carpet stairs and it did a fantastic job, we also tried in on carpets in cars and it also preformed well well picking up nearly everything we tried it on.
Decent battery runtime
With 25 minutes of runtime, the Hoover HF18CPT is top there with some of the longest running vacuum cleaners which was a surprise for such an affordable model, we expected lower run times but this simply is not the case. It’s even printed on the body for some perplexing reason. 25 minutes is beyond great for the price you pay, we also expected to see a big decrease in run time if we used it in turbo mode continuously, we found that it ran for almost 20 minutes which was more than enough time to clean every room in the house during testing so this was very impressive. this vacuum cleaner runs off an 18V Li-Ion battery which is why the longer run times are possible.
Charging is where this model gives an indication for its cheaper price tag, it takes around five and half hours to fully charge the battery which is much longer the the 60 minutes it takes some vacuum cleaners to re-charge. We think this however can be accepted as it does have such a long running time. Just remember, you won't find your self vacuuming an hour later if you run out of battery. We found that to get around this possible problem was to put it back on charge every-time you use it, even if you just did a quick 5-10 minutes of vacuuming, this will keep it fully charged.
Large dust collection container
The dust collect container boasts a capacity of 0.7 litres, which is impressive compared to many other rival models as most are slightly smaller. It lets you do plenty of vacuuming before you think of visiting your outdoor bin for emptying. A single press of a button opens the dust collector, meaning no struggling with the lid. Emptying is a breeze and hassle-free.
How it coped with our test on wooden floor and carpet
First, we tested its ability to clean hard floors, as you can see from the picture below we put a mixture of flour, followed by rice and them cereal to do our test just see see how it coped. It's worth mentioning that we did all our test with the vacuum in power mode with the rotating brush. We had fairly good results doing general cleaning on low power with no rotating brush but using the power brush gave much better results and was the only setting that could even begin to tackle the mess shown below.
As you can see, from one pass ,it left some flour, however it did manage to vacuum up all the rice and cereal with just one pass which was pretty impressive.
With just one more pass it was able to pick up all the flour, so first impressions are very good, its worth noting that it came with two blades which you can insert at the front and back of the cleaner which Hoover say gives a deeper clean in impressions suction, however, we only had the back blade fitted as it seems to just sweet the bigger debris around the floor when we had the front blade fitted.
Continuing on to carpet we did the same test again with flour, rice and cereal using the most powerful mode with the rotating brush, also known as carpet mode.
From a single pass, you can see from the picture below it did a pretty good job, it picked up all the cereal and rice and most of the flour so we proceed to go along with another pass.
This time, you see a big difference with it collecting nearly all the debris and cleaning deep into the carpet.
Overall, the cleaning results were fantastic, specially when you consider the price, in reality, you wouldn't be vacuuming such are large amount of debris so its probably not a true test for everyday vacuum cleaning, however, it does give you a good idea of whats it capable of.
We tested this model in a home with 2 adults and 2 children for over 4 weeks to see how it coped in the real world, all I can say is that it was brilliant for day to day cleaning, and did an excellent job for all types of vacuuming. One thing we did love was how light weight it was making it easy to carry up and down the stairs and it was great for reaching under the bed and into tight corners.
The not so good!
The Hoover HF18CPT does have a few irritations relating to performance and construction. One, the temporary mode takes a few seconds longer to kick into action every-time you press the trigger. Since you have to keep pressing the trigger in this mode, powering it on/off regularly for spot vacuuming gets quite annoying over time. We found it was just easier to use continuous mode.
Second, the push fit connections are probably a little too stiff, we would prefer a clip on design like the ones on the main brush head, these work very well and are easy to attach and detach, however this is probably a small price to pay when you consider the price. Don't get me wrong, there not extremely difficult to attach but i'm sure they could come up with an easier way. That being said, it's probably better for the attachments to be stiff than fall off when in use.
As mentioned the five and half hours charge time seems much longer than it needs to be, most cordless tools now can be recharged in 1 hour so i'm not sure why hoover are not able to achieve this, that being said, it all comes down to price. Maybe it would be double the price if it charged in 60 minutes and had quick clip connects for all the attachments.
The Hoover HF18CPT Stick Vacuum is a decent buy for slightly under £150 as of the time we reviewed it. It has some handy features found on more expensive models such as LED lights for illuminating stray dirt, on/off brush bar to protect your hard floors, and a generous dust collect compartment which is easy to empty and its worth mentioning the filters are also very easy to change and clean, not forgetting the small air filter pictured below on the top of the main body where its sucks in the air, we originally didn't even notice this.
The small catch that can be flicked across to hold down the power button is such a great feature as well as well as how the main bush head rotates around 90 degrees, we found it great for hoovering around furniture.
This model is perfect for anyone who wants the ability to clean floors, upholstery, ceilings, and cars, without buying several tools to do so and without shelling out hundreds of pounds on a Dyson or Shark Hoover. This vacuum cleaner is versatile and highly manoeuvrable. If you are troubled with pet hair, the supplied pets turbo brush is particularly good but if you don't have pets we think its worth using on the stairs or in your car, its basically a mini version of the main motorised cleaning head you use on your carpets and hard floors. Most importantly, these benefits come at an exceptionally good price.
Overall, a very impressive hoover which comes with some great features, lots of tools and cleans very well. If you'r looking for a cordless hoover that doesn't cost hundreds of pounds, we highly recommend this model.
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