If you’ve heard good things about the power of the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 cordless vacuum, you might be wondering if this is the model to keep carpet and hard flooring spotless in your home? Our Vax Blade review of this cordless stick and handheld will let you assess whether this is the cleaner for you.
I tested a wide selection of the best vacuum cleaners on carpet, parquet, tiles, stairs and upholstery, and challenged them with mud, fluff, light debris and pet hair to give you the lowdown on how efficiently they’ll do the job, how easy they are to use, and how much space they’ll take up in your cupboard.
Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 specifications
- Maximum power: 12V
- Cable length: Not applicable
- Dimensions: H114 x W24 x D18.5cm
- Weight: 3kg
- Noise: not available
- Energy rating: no ratings for cordless vacuums
- Dustbag capacity: 0.6 litres
Who will the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 suit?
Homes of all sizes that major in carpet. If one battery charge doesn’t take you far enough, you can have a second battery on standby.
What is the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 like to use?
This cordless vacuum is straightforward to operate and use on floors, stairs and other surfaces whether you operate it as a stick or handheld.
Hard flooring, carpet and stairs
The Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 was effective on both carpet and hard flooring in my home. It had the edge on carpet in my testing, pulling up a rather impressive (or frightening) combination of hair, pet fur, and dust from even a deep pile carpet.
When it came to parquet and laminate, it was no slouch either, though. It got effective results quickly, and moved into the edges of rooms well, too.
And, although the suction is powerful, even on boost the machine isn’t hard to push across the floor surface.
Stairs were easy to clean as well. I found using the handheld teamed with the stretch hose was the easiest way to get up and down a flight. Bear in mind, however, that you do need to invest in the extra kit of attachments (see below) to avail yourself of this hose.
Go for this model and you’ll get the basics of a crevice tool and dusting brush. There’s an on-machine caddy for the crevice tool, which means you don’t have to go back to the cupboard to swap to it on your journey round the house. If you want other attachments, you’ll need to invest in the ProKit 2 – which is compatible with other Vax Blade models. Buy direct from Vax and it comes free, though.
The attachments in this kit are a flexi crevice tool, which extends and bends so you clean in gaps; a textile tool for the sofa and the rest of your upholstery; and a tough dirt tool that attaches to the latter so if a person or pet has put a muddy footprint on your floor, for example, you can use bristles as well as the vac’s suction power to remove it. Finally, a stretch hose means you can get the vac’s tools where they’re needed easily as it’s flexible.
To be able to do every job I expect to be able to with my vac, I’d say that the ProKit 2 is pretty much an essential. After all, upholstery needs vacuuming, and extra reach is always welcome. Mud’s a fact of life in my household, too, so any extra help in dealing with the inevitable is great.
Power and debris removal
And talking of mud, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 was definitely machine enough to pick up this muck from both carpet and hard flooring. It was most effective on carpet in that it picked up thoroughly with each single pass of the floorhead, making it quick to achieve good results. On hard flooring, there was a little scatter of the mess, meaning a tad more work for me in picking it all up, but put the emphasis on a tad: it’s no flop.
The Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 sucked up light debris and dust beautifully from carpet, too, passing my spilled Rise Krispies test with aplomb. Once again, when it came to hard flooring there was a bit of scatter either side of the floorhead when I tackled light debris, but it didn’t cause me a whole lot more work.
You can boost the power of the model when you’re vacuuming if you need to, but the machine packs plenty of power even without it, and I didn’t have the need to use this feature much – and thus drain the battery quicker – to remove a rather outstanding combination of undesirable matter (see ‘Hard flooring, carpet and stairs’, above). Once the battery’s charged (which takes two and a half hours), you can get 40 minutes vacuuming done before you need to recharge or swap to a freshly charged battery (see ‘Handy features’, below).
The power boost button is located near the on/off switch on the handle, and you can also put the brushbar on – for carpet – or turn it off – for hard flooring – here. The display made things obvious, so I didn’t have a learning curve with this machine.
Got pets? This cordless vacuum had no trouble lifting the fur left on the upholstery after some serious slumbering, plus it removed it from the carpet successfully, too, (and who’d have thought so much was there?)
Emptying the dust tank
The dust container was both simple to take off the cordless vacuum and to empty over the bin, and fitting it back in place easy. The filter also needs to be tapped over a bin after every four to six vacuuming sessions, and washed every three months. Bear in mind that Vax recommends that the filter should be replaced every six to nine months depending on the action it’s seeing.
The battery for this Vax cordless vacuum is the company’s new ONEPWR design. It’s interchangeable between this machine, the Vax Blade 4, carpet and upholstery cleaner the Vax SpotlessGo and hard floor cleaner the Vax Glide. In other words, if you already have a Vax machine from this new range, you can save by buying a model without the battery and share the battery you already have between machines.
What is the difference between the Vax Blade 3 and Vax Blade 4?
The Vax Blade 3 comes with a 3.0Ah battery and the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 has a 4.0Ah. The unit Ah stands for amp hours so it is the amount of amperage the battery can pack per hour – the Vax Blade 4 therefore has more power for a longer time.
On the other hand, you may want to get yourself a second battery even if the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 is all you own. That way, if the 40 minutes running time isn’t enough you can simply swap in another battery and keep going while the first one’s charging.
The Vax ONEPWR battery has another major plus point. Once it comes to the end of its life – which lithium-ion rechargeable batteries do – it can be replaced. The result? You won’t have to ditch your vac simply because the battery has done its time as has been, and still is, the case with some cordless machines. If your machine stops working, Vax can also run diagnostics to see if the battery is the issue.
Another useful feature? The Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 has LED headlights that proved genuinely handy in illuminating areas that need attention and which, without the extra light, could appear clean when they aren’t.
It’s worth mentioning, too, that this machine was easy to build from the box and the sections slotted together simply and with an audible click so I knew they were firmly in place, and it was the same with the battery. This easy building definitely made me appreciate the thoughtful design of the machine.
Storing the Vax Blade 3
Cordless vacuum cleaners are a boon to those with small homes or a lack of cupboard space, and this one is no exception. I’d definitely advise making use of the wall mount included when you buy so you don’t have to prop it up.
The floorhead of this cordless vacuum moved just where I wanted it to, and it was good at getting close to the edges of my rooms. The machine itself wasn’t a burden to carry round either in terms of its weight, or its balance. The position of controls and dust container can make some machines awkward to carry up and down stairs, but the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 had good equilibrium.
The handheld vacuum cleaner was easy to hold and carry as well, and detaching it from the stick was a piece of cake.
How does it rate online?
This new machine has already won plaudits on the Vax site with an average score of 4.2 out of five. Customers were delighted by its light weight and effective pick-up, and appreciated the lights on the floorhead. Drawbacks for some of these reviewers included the run time of battery on the boost setting, and weight proved a divisive issue – there were reviewers who thought it too heavy.
How does it rate against similar vacuum cleaners?
The Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 comes in at a competitive price point in the cordless vacuum category, where there are a significant number of models that’ll make more of a dent in your spending, and vacs can cost as much as three times more.
The running time before a recharge is required isn’t the longest on the market, but with a 40 minute maximum the cordless vacuum is no part-timer compared to many other models.
- Prefer an older model? Head over to our Vax Blade 2 Max vacuum cleaner review, if you fancy.
About our review – and our reviewer
Sarah Warwick has specialised in homes and interiors for over 20 years. She was Executive Editor of Ideal Home magazine, and has written for nationals, magazines and websites including Real Homes, Homebuilding & Renovating, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, Houzz, The Guardian, House Beautiful and Country Homes & Interiors.
She put the vacuums through their paces all round the house, on all sorts of dirt and debris, and a variety of flooring and surfaces.