With a newish allergy to most/venomous arthropods, including the microscopic ones, my vacuum cleaners get put through their paces at least daily. The Opticlean held promise: the size is moderate, manageable. The cord retracts: makes for crazy convenient cord-cleaning, through a surface wipe on its way back onto the reel. The mechanism is pretty flawless. Never failed. You can drag the machine up and down concrete garage stairs by its hose and it will follow happily along. The thing has guts. Thing is, it spills them every time you use it. The dust cup is an obscene design snafu wrought by a team of folks who've never ever cleaned a home before. The dust cups' flaws are many, each fatal. The first emptying may have you consulting the user's manual. Then gawking, muttering, cursing, groaning in disbelief that the crap you just spent money and labor eradicating from your home, at many times an arm's length, allowing for easy-ish removal of, say, tiger moth or carpet beetle larvae from your baseboards and ceilings with not too much risk of [if you're me] eye injury or contact dermatitis, and the loss of pride in the purchase that is about to deny any future business you might have brought to its maker. Emptying the dust up takes something like 6 steps, all require use of both hands, and direct intimate engagement with the [potentially deadly, guaranteed Pigpen-style redistributed] debris. Open the main canister, and find a clear brittle curved-channel-laden other canister. The machine won't run if that canister is not placed just so, and just so is hard to achieve when the thick weatherstrip falls away from its component parts, around use 3... But before that happens, you'll have to lift the canister out, set it on something solid, and apply some force to a latch on its front. It will then fall open to something like a gaping maw, forcing confrontation with the stuff you vacuumed up. Nice. Nicer is the next step: using both hands, you must either fake a hinge opposite that latch or growl a little louder as the cup falls apart into two components;either way, you will now get to wait for the cloud of dust and whatnot to settle. Then you get to use one of those hands to fish out the larger-than-a-mcron debris now trapped in the curved channels. These are not accessible except by probing finger. This is b*llsh%t. I had to ask a friend to empty the dust cup on my third warranty-replaced unit, one day, after sucking up a couple tiger moth caterpillars. They're huge, black, cobra-like when distressed. I cowered in another room while he fumbled with the machine a while, after which he had to o home and shower. It wasn't til the next morningn I realized he'd thrown the dust cup away with the dust. Caterpillars spooked him, too. Outrage at removal of this key component of this critical tool, which I'd paid too much for, turned to gratitude when I altered the main compartment to accomodate vacuum bags. Then I ditched the telescoping, floor-gouging, steel attachment tube with the plastic version from a shop vac, applied btter adhesive and swankier weatherstrip, and figured I was in business. Not so much. I might have compromised on suction to more easily dispose of [vacuum bags vs. debris], but the filters presented their own motor-overclocking suite of problems. The power, maneuverability, and super-useful luxury feautures like adjustanle suction are all out of proportion with each other attribute, and each of those with the ridiculous trials of dust cup emptying. This machine should be a simple elegant implement for success. Instead, it fails miserably to suck. Even with a replacement warranty, the thing can become a burden.
- Would you recommend this to a friend? No