Looking for a vacuum that’s small but still strong enough to tackle household messes? So was our Ecommerce Writer, Louise. Having put up with a cheap vacuum that verged on being as powerful as a lint roller, testing the VAX Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner was a satisfying experience.
She’s been testing it all around the house, and car, to review whether it’s worth its £450 price tag. Its hard floor and carpet suction settings worked better than expected, picking-up dirt and debris you didn't even know was there – until illuminated thanks to its front light.
Small flats and rented homes can reserve their limited storage space for other things too, since this slim cordless vacuum does the job of a handheld in the car too. You can simply slot it onto its handy wall bracket station or dismantle it to put it away (renters with house rules, you may need to opt for the latter). With a cute carry tote to keep all of the (many) attachments, it’s easy to take the vacuum anywhere. Being 1kg heavier than the previous VAX blade 4, you can feel the difference, mind.
It features the same ONEPWR lithium-ion battery technology, which means it takes only three hours to charge completely and can work with the rest of Vax's cordless range. And with an additional battery included, you’ll never run out of power mid-clean. The upgrade? The LED screen that tracks performance, run-time and capacity. There’s no reason why you can’t get the job done and dusted.
Its predecessor has the top spot as best cordless vacuum cleaner, so read on to find out whether the VAX Blade 5 cleans up to expectation.
VAX Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner specifications
- Model number: CLBN-B5DCT
- Battery run time: 90 mins (2 x 45 minutes)
- Charge time: 3 hours
- Settings: 2– hard-floor and carpet
- Bin capacity: 0.6L / 0.52 qts
- Bagged or Bagless?: Bagless
- Weight: 3kg/8.5lbs total,
- Accessories: Power hose, 2-in1 cervice tool and brush, wall mount and mini motorised pet tool
Louise is the Ecommerce writer at Real Homes, and has her hands on a fair share of products, from bedding to BBQs, to coffee machines and vacuum cleaners. Living in a newly-rented three-bedroom flat with two friends, she’s a great port-of-call when it comes to buys renters and small home owners will love – including this VAX Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner.
Unboxing the vacuum cleaner
As a renter with little space to store a huge appliance, I was pleased by first impressions of the box. Sure, you can check the sizing of the product before you buy, but you only get an exact representation when it arrives in front of you. And as first thoughts go, this was great – a slim rectangular box hinting at a compact vacuum inside. I lifted the first layer of cardboard packaging to find all (eight) smaller compartments.
VAX Pro Kit 3
This model came with a free Pro Kit of premium tools which includes a stretch hose, flexi crevice tool and a 2-in-1 tough dirt and textile tool attachment. Oh and with a handy tote bag too, which I appreciated when having to carry down to the basement car park where I cleaned the car.
I checked for all the pieces required – since there’s a lot and one missing piece could easily go amiss – and laid them out in front of me. The vacuum cleaner itself comes in three parts, or four if you include the battery. There’s the wand, floorhead and handheld with a battery dock that the battery slots into. The handheld hosts the dirt container too, as well as an LED screen and buttons for control. Working out which part goes where and putting the vac together was more than easy, without need for the instructions.
To remove or change each part is equally as simple. Press in the release latches where each section has previously been slotted together and take apart. Swap for the powered hose, mini motorised pet tool or crevice and dusting brush depending on what you’re wanting to clean.
If you are a manual lover and like to take note of the instructions, the VAX user guide is super easy to follow. It labels each of the parts, including buttons and pieces on larger items like the filters and internal brushes you can’t quite see. This makes the abundance of parts less overwhelming and easier to understand.
But it’s the second step of the set-up process, that whilst uncomplicated, does take a while – charging the battery. We decided to put our docking station neatly tucked away by an available socket in the corner, and slotted in a battery to charge.
As expected with any cordless vacuum, it does need a full charge before use, especially if you’re wanting to cover more than one room. Much to our disappointment, as (embarrassingly) eager renters with floors that could do with a clean, it did take four hours to fully charge. This was longer than the three hours it claims but with any first-time charge, a longer wait time is to be expected. Plus, Vax have helpfully considered wait time by including a second battery, which we charged up immediately after the first. We didn't find ourselves waiting for the vacuum to charge up after this set-up stage.
What's the VAX Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner like to use?
In comparison to an upright or plug-in vacuum, this cordless vacuum is a dream whether you’re wanting a quick run around the house or need to deep clean the car. I gave this vacuum a good go more than a few times, over various surfaces for different cleaning needs. Performance-wise, there’s nothing I can fault. As you’ll find in the reviews below it works great for hard-floors, carpets and cars, as it claims. My only complaint – I found it to be slightly heavy. And after a thorough vacuuming session, I must say my arm ached (a little).
On hard floors:
My three bed flat consists of a spacious open-plan kitchen-diner and living room layout with laminate flooring. The corridors are also laminate and my bathroom is vinyl. So bar the bedrooms, the whole of the flat has hard-flooring. Thanks to the VersaClean double brush design (comprising a soft roller brush and bristled bar brush), this is where this vac really excels.
I deliberately didn't sweep or vac for a good two weeks (gross, I know). For the purpose of this test, I wanted to see whether it would live-up to its high-performance pick-up design. And, as a three-person household, we aren't as busy, or dirty, as a larger family might be. Cleaning less was my way of mimicking this.
The vacuum performed perfectly, from kitchen to bathroom, picking up all the pieces as it went along. Thanks to its soft roller front and full-sized floor head it moves easily across the hardwood floor, lifting large debris as well as smaller pieces you didn't even know were there. How could I tell? From the somewhat satisfying sound of crumbs and other bits being captured. Other than this sound, the hard-floor mode is pretty quiet as it cleans using less battery power.
The bedrooms of my flat have mid-grey carpets that are relatively new. In the past, they have been quite difficult to keep clean with cheaper vacuums struggling to suck up larger pieces of fluff. With three girls occupying the rooms too, hair had become somewhat of an issue. We were pleased to hear this Vax vac has a bristle brush bar designed to get deep into carpet fibres to lift stubborn dirt and pet hair. And to our satisfaction, it cleaned like a dream. No need to get the lint roller out or go around collecting things from the carpet, anymore. We don’t have pets, no, but based on our experience we don’t doubt it’ll be just as great at picking up pet hair too.
The carpet mode was definitely louder than the hard-floor one, but it’s not anything to write home about. In fact, I was surprised at how great the suction was, despite it not being that noisy. Usually the louder the vac, the stronger the suction it seems.
With the multi-use tools:
The several attachments at first seemed a little unnecessary to me. I don’t have a large space to clean nor many hard to reach spaces or corners with large dirt build-up. Or so I thought..
Firstly the 2-in-1 crevice tool with the powered hose was brilliant at dusting the skirting boards and edges of the ceiling we don’t clean on a regular basis. Secondly, the bristles of the dusting brush worked great for surfaces like the TV stand, coffee table and chest of drawers. Then, the tech tool tucked neatly into corners and got even the tiniest pieces of dirt.
But what I loved most about these game-changing tools was that it cleaned my velvet sofa the best I’ve seen. My sofas are a mid-green in color, meaning whilst beautiful, you can see every speck of dust and debris on them. We have fluffy white cushions too, which probably doesn't help there, mind. I did use the boost mode when vaccing the backs and sides of the sofa as velvet can be quite stubborn. After a few swipes in neat lines, the sofa was spotless.
As a hand-held:
This vacuum is designed for banishing pet hair and for cleaning your car. Used as a handheld with varying attachments, it’s perfect. I have a car and admittedly take it to get valeted rather than cleaning it myself. Yet, since money is tight at the moment (given the cost of living crisis), doing it myself has proven quite the penny saver. As mentioned, I live in a high-rise, so the thought of having to carry down a bucket of water and a vac to the basement car park is more effort than I’d like to endure. But the size and weight of this Vax model as a handheld has taken one problem off my hands. And with the carry case tote bag that holds all the attachments I need, there are no more excuses.
My car is small and getting into all the small spaces like around the handbrake and deep into the footwell is tricky. The powered hose that bends to where I need it paired with the mini power head, interchanged with the tough dirt attachment and textile tool has made vacuuming a three-door car easier than I could have imagined. Car mats can often be difficult to clean, especially. But the Vax Blade 5 did a job good enough it could have passed as professional.
Cleaning the vacuum
The Vax needs a clean, as well as it’s regular emptying of the bin every so often. But in line with the rest of using this vac, it’s a relatively simple task. To note: I did find the bin filled up quicker than expected after a thorough clean of the flat. Considering I don’t have a huge home, cleaning a bigger place with more rooms may mean a mid-vacuum empty of the bin is needed. It’s easy to do though by pressing the lever and tipping in the bin. What’s also useful is the LED screen flashes to tell you when the bin is full and needs emptying before use again. Not many vacuums have this feature, but this regular maintenance will help your vacuum last longer and prevent you pushing that bin and filter too far.
For a more in-depth clean you can push the button that sits below the buttons to disassemble each piece for a separate clean. This lets you remove any hair built-up around the brushroll and brushbar, as well as any dirt or bigger pieces that are stuck in the nozzle or wand (we’ve all sucked up hair grips or even coins without thinking). The user manual has in-depth instructions on how to detach and cleaner properly for maximum efficiency.
Storing the Vax Blade 5
The main selling point to the vacuum for me is its slim design that’s easy to store. We have one cupboard that houses all cleaning supplies, including the washing machine. So, as you can imagine, there’s not a lot of room left around the mop bucket and bottles of detergents.
This vacuum comes with a wall mount and screws to hold it even more out of the way. This was a little tricky, as a renter, since I don't have total free rein to drill holes in the wall. Luckily, we were granted permission to put-up the mount inside the cupboard, which was a nice feature. Otherwise, to stand up, it can be a bit fiddly. It doesn't balance well and you have to find the right point for it to keep upright without falling over. This can also be a bit annoying mid-clean, too.
Who will the VAX Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner suit?
I’ve found the VAX Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner ideal for me and my home needs. So, the Vax Blade 5 would suit anyone else who lives in a smaller space with less floor to vacuum and limited storage to keep an appliance. Otherwise, as the name of the vacuum suggests, it’s great for those with pets, or cars and furniture to clean. It is a good enough clean to be the main vac for a small home, but also would be a great buy for bigger households who like to clean little and often.
To get to the nitty gritty, this vacuum is great for homes that tend to get dustier than most. High-rise flats like mine tend to get dustier than other home types, since having a smaller space and lack of air circulation can lead to big dust build up. What I love most about this vacuum is the light at the front that helps you see as you clean. It brings to light the dust in the corners and along the corridors that can often go unnoticed.
Plus, this model has a three-stage filtration technology that ensures even the smallest of dust particles are contained in the dirt bin. Vax claims up to 99.8% of particles that can be 0.3 microns in size are sucked up.
How does it rate online?
The VAX Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is rated well online - though it’s worth noting there aren't an overall abundance of reviews. For each site, there tends to be around 25 reviews on average as this is a fairly new model:
At Vax itself, customers rate the Blade 5 at 4.7 out of 5. There are 22 reviews, and most say the LED display screen is an upgrade from the previous Blade 4 they ‘LOVE’. Most are pet cleaners and car owners who appreciate the additional tools, in particular the power hose that works great on hard-to-suck surfaces like car mats and pet beds.
Amazon gives the VAX Blade 5 4.5 stars, with 30 reviews being unsurprisingly positive. Happy reviewers mostly comment on the handy lights that allows for a more precise clean and the two batteries provided that mean vacuum time does not have to be cut short after one runs out. A common con commented by the Amazon reviewers is its weight – proving heavier than previous models they’ve used.
Customers at Argos are particularly impressed with its pick-up, giving it an overall 4.7 out of 5. Though comments confirm it sucks up all dust and debris from carpets and hard-floors very well, they also say it struggles on shaggy rugs as the strands get tangled in the roller brush. This is something we haven't had a chance to test ourselves, since we don’t have a rug to try it on. But once we do, we’ll update you on our verdict.
Curry’s rate their products from 1-10. The VAX Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless Vacuum is given an 8.6. Their reviews are less descriptive and offer customers to give one pro and one con. In line with other retailer reviews, the cons focus on the weight of the Vax, and it’s difficulty working on thicker, long pile carpets or rugs. Many give an overall comment as ‘a great buy’ or ‘easy to use’ as the pro.
How does it compare to its previous models?
The VAX Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is an upgrade from the Vax Onepwr Blade 4. Using our Vax Onepwr blade 4 vacuum cleaner review we can see how it compares.
Whereas similar to this updated model, in that it’s a stick, handheld cordless cleaner, the 5 has significant updates when it comes to performance for pet-hair and car use. It has additional accessories and a second brush bar, creating what is called VersaClean technology. So, as well as a brush bar for carpet, there is a soft brush bar that is great for hard flooring, and working in tandem you get a superb clean.
While the previous model has a light on the floorhead, the added LED light and display screen helps keeping track of your chores much easier, which based on reviews, is the biggest benefit when compared to the previous design. The battery time is the same, since the Blade 4 also comes with two batteries with 45 minute run times.
The Vax Blade 4 Pet & Car model with two batteries comes in at £369, though is often on promotion. The 5 costs £449, so you have to decide if the display screen, improved lighting and VersaClean tech make is worth the extra £80. For the results on hard floors, we think it is.
Should you buy the VAX Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner?
If you’re a renter or a small house owner with pets and a car too, then this cordless vacuum is an ideal buy. On the other hand, if you’re wanting something to clean to a professional standard in a big home with much more surface space, you may be left wanting by the small capacity dust drum. You’ll end up emptying it more than you’d like to. Storage size is also a key consideration when it comes to buying. Small homes usually don’t have a place to put an upright or corded vacuum, so this slim stick design is better suited.
With its additional tools and clever kit for cleaning your car, it’s a great buy if looking after your vehicle or any other special areas in your home, like a velvet sofa or soft-pile rug. We think these add-ons justify the price too. Otherwise, it would be on the expensive side. If you have lots of hard flooring, the VersaClean tech makes it even more worthwhile.
To round-up why you should buy it: ask yourself whether you have a small or large home, a need for tools to take care of cleaning your car or pet-hair riddled surfaces and the budget to justify it. This vacuum gets the job done and dusted, and is definitely well-loved in our three-bed rented flat, that needs a quick clean more often than not. The only thing we really want that we see on vacuums of this price and more – anti-tangle tech for that brush. Nobody wants to be sucking up all that hair to just have to remove it from the brush.
About this review, and our reviewer
On to how we test… Louise has been using this vacuum for two months at the time of writing this review, testing it across the hard-wood floors of her open-plan living room and kitchen area, the carpets of her (and her flatmates’) bedrooms, and their new rug too. Not forgetting taking the handheld part down to her car ever now and again. It sits in her storage cupboard that homes all of her cleaning supplies and things she’d rather not have on show, which is great as her previous upright vac barely fit since the storage space is relatively small. But while the VAX blade 5 comes with a handy wall attachment to hang up the vac, they’ve decided to keep it standing up as they could then keep it neatly in one corner.
Having previously owned a cheap vacuum that was rubbish (we won't name which), trying out the VAX came as a pleasant surprise since they found it easy to use and quick to charge. Between one flatmate working from home, herself and one other being in the office, and friends frequently visiting their house gets pretty crowded, without a lot of time left to clean. As addressed, dust is a particular issue in high-rises too, and so she’s always happy to try something that’s simple to use and will clean-up their home in no time.