Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Our New Vacuum, The Eureka Maxima 4700, Works Remarkably Well At Our Home!

The Good: Inexpensive, Decent sucking power for an upright, Easy to assemble
The Bad: Problematic canister cleaning aspects, A little louder than I’d like.
The Basics: A pretty wonderful vacuum, the Eureka Maxima 4700 vacuum is very inexpensive, easy-to-assemble and easy-to-use, even if it is a little loud.

Back in January, my wife lured me into A Store I NEVER Shop At and it’s hard to imagine now that she didn’t do it with an ulterior motive. After all, it seems unlikely that it would be coincidence that led us right to the vacuum cleaners and lo and behold! there’s one which is only twenty-five dollars on sale. I can smell a setup a mile away and after treating me to a lunch at our local Chinese buffet, my wife just wanted me to lug the appliance out of the store. Grumble. Even so, with months of pretty vigorous cleaning behind us, it left me with plenty to write about. Our new vacuum is a Eureka Maxima 4700 upright vacuum.

Immediately, it is worth noting that the Maxima 4700 model number is the number for the entire line. As a result, the last two digits vary with each color of the vacuum cleaner. So, for example, my partner and I have the 4707, which is a beautiful dark blue color (which my mother went out and bought hours later at the same place when she saw how nice ours was). The same store had the 4704 which was a deep purple and a hideous neon pink model with the last two digits that I didn’t even bother to take down. My point is, despite the colors of the plastic shells on the bottom of the upright vacuum, all model numbers of the 4700 series Eureka Maxima upright vacuum operate identically. They are made from the same molds and they vary only in the color.

The Eureka Maxima 4700 is a very simple canister-style vacuum and the 4700 was actually my first experience with a canister-style vacuum cleaner. My partner was quite excited by the prospect of a vacuum cleaner which did not require any bags and where the filter could be easily cleaned (she had one before and loved it). The fourteen pound Maxima 4700 came in a pretty big box which is more bulky than heavy. The Maxima 4700 came unassembled, so our first task was to get it out of the box and put it all together. Fortunately, this is a ridiculously easy process and one that only required the use of directions for the correct placement of two of the six screws. Anyone with a Phillips head screwdriver can put this together, probably without even looking at the directions. It is that simple to assemble and the base, handle assembly and hose truly have only one way they may all fit together. The handle has two pieces which snap into the base and screw together to form the solid drive shaft of the vacuum. On all of the 4700 Maximas, the handle assembly is comprised of hard black plastic, which seems both very durable (and because I got a handful of dust all over it, is very easy to clean off with just a wet cloth).

Properly assembled, the Maxima 4700 is 43" tall by 13” wide by 12 1/2" deep at the base. This is a very standard canister vacuum cleaner in terms of appearance with the handle in back extending upward from a hinge. The handle holds the tube which actually transports the sucked up matter from the ground to the canister. The 4700 has the belt and motor assembly in the base of the vacuum, which is where it sucks from. The canister is attached to the front of the handle assembly and snaps in easily. The tube winds around the back of the handle assembly, so the motor has a lot of work to do to push dirt and other vacuumed matter up into the canister and through the filter. Still, it is hard to argue with results and when this was activated, it sucked up cat hair I didn’t even see!

Once the Maxima 4700 was assembled, we plugged it in – the cord is attached to the base, but winds organically up the back of the unit – and set it on its way. Instantly, it seemed very loud. I’m not a fan of loud noises and the Maxima 4700 is clearly not a vacuum trading on stealth. Oddly, both my partner and I noticed that after about a minute of use, it began to quiet down. Still, this is a fairly loud vacuum cleaner. Because the transport tube comes in the right side of the base, the right side has stronger suction than the left side on this vacuum cleaner. Suction on the Eureka Maxima 4700 is the best I’ve ever seen out of an upright vacuum. In fact, it was so good that we ran into a problem on a rug we did not realize was frayed at the edge. Running the Maxima over the edge of carpet, the spinning brushes tore apart the edge and sucked a whole row of carpeting into the machine, or more accurately, around the rotating bar with the brushes in the base! The incredible aspect of this is not that it tore up the loose threads at the edge of the carpet, but rather that the Maxima continued to work without any delay or apparent stress on the motor or belt. It was only when we went to empty the canister that my partner tipped the vacuum and noticed that the bar below was wrapped! Removing the carpet pieces was easy; we unplugged the vacuum and gently pulled the threads back, rotating the bar the opposite way, unwinding the carpet from the bar.

The vacuum easily removes dirt and hair and every other form of solid matter I’ve been able to find so far from carpets and walls. Because the hose may be detached from the base, this vacuum has a little more versatility than most uprights and it may be used to get cobwebs as well . . . assuming the cobwebs are within five feet of the base of the vacuum, as that is about the length of the vacuum’s hose. In fact, the only thing the vacuum did not seem powerful enough to suck up was the dust that was caked onto the fan in my computer (believe me, anything that might relieve my poor computer’s fan I’ll try, including vacuuming out my computer). Even so, the Maxima 4700 is easy to move over any level of carpet or hardwood, which makes it a pleasure to clean with.

Use of the assembled Maxima is exceptionally easy. There is the standard release lever on the base of the unit which allows the handle to be unlocked. This allows one to push or pull the vacuum at an angle, as opposed to perpendicular with the floor. Just to the right of that on the base is a red lever which may be depressed (and locked into place) to activate the vacuum. From there, the vacuum does almost all the work. It sucks up anything on the floor and it is powerful and has great cleaning power. In fact, as an objective test, my mother took her old Dirt Devil over an area of carpet downstairs and then used the Maxima on the same area and the Maxima still found dirt, dust and hair to pull out of the carpet! It was actually quite impressive. The Maxima may be used on low carpets (or bare floors), medium pile carpets or even longer carpets, with the height of the base being adjusted by a simple knob on the front of the base.

As the canister gets filled up – easily visible as it is at the front and transparent – the vacuum continues to vacuum with astonishing force, making this an impressive, as well as inexpensive, vacuum option. When the canister is filled, simply unlatch the canister from the handle assembly and empty the canister. The top of the canister twists off and the canister may then be dumped into a garbage bag. Here is where I had a bit of a problem with the Maxima 4700. The canister has two holes in it, the top and the hole through which the dust and dirt and everything else enters the vacuum. Ideally, one wants to put a bag over the canister and empty it so everything comes out of the canister without kicking up a huge dust cloud, but this is seldom possible. You can even wash the filter and canister out, but that just puts dirt and dust down the sink. Either way, it is exceptionally difficult to get the crap one vacuums up out of the canister without putting it back in the air! This is annoying and can be a lot more time consuming (tipping the canister over in a bag and waiting while the contents settle out of the air) than simply pulling a bag out of the vacuum. As annoying is what happens to the bag afterward. If you empty the canister into a bag and simply place that in your garbage can, the next time anything is thrown in the garbage, a cloud of dust will be kicked up!

Even so, the cleaning power of the Maxima should not be underestimated and my partner, who is allergic to my cats, has shown a noticeable improvement in health since we started using the vacuum. It gets up so much deep-down crap in rugs and from the air that her allergies are acting up less than they were before, which is pretty extraordinary results after only a weekend of use! Of course, while we were cleaning, it was nightmarish for her, but even then, the Maxima 4700 was sucking up far more than it was kicking up into the air. The Maxima comes with a pair of attachments: a solid tube which extends the hose an additional two feet and a little brush which attaches to that or to the hose itself. I’m not wild about attachments, but both my partner and I used the attachments and found them easy to use, though the sucking power was diminished some using the extension. Far more often, we found the vacuum worked great on the floors and for sucking up matter through the hose directly when we detached it from the base.

As a result, this can be a great vacuum for anyone who has serious traffic in their house, despite how noisy it may be to operate. It is easy to use and the filter is easy to wash out, making this a value for improving the cleanliness of one’s house and potentially the health of those who live there!

For other home appliances, please check out my reviews of:
Dyson Air Multiplier fan
Whirlpool WGD5200 Gas Dryer
Samsung Stainless Steel microwave


For other home and garden product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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