Stick vacuum cleaners Hoover Freejet SU120RB2
The £70 Hoover Freejet is a super-compact ‘stick’ vacuum cleaner, which folds even smaller for storage. We’ve given it a quick try and, although it’s cheap and easy to use and empty, it’s a little disappointing when it comes to sucking up fluff and fuzz.
The whole vacuum cleaner is made of soft-touch plastic, but the join line running down the centre on the handle means it’s not as comfortable to hold as it could be. The switch on the handle has two settings: floor and carpet. Suction remains the same for both – you won’t hear a change in power. The difference is that in the carpet setting the brush in the head rotates, whereas in the hard floor setting the brush remains static, which should reduce the possibility of the bristles damaging your floor surface.
The slider switch has a yellow section which highlights the setting you’ve selected, but it’s not easy to see when you’re standing above the vac.
Vacuuming with the Hoover Freejet
On carpet we found it a little disappointing – it took a few passes to lift fluff and the bits and pieces we could see from the pile. It’s likely to take longer to clean surfaces than some other stick vacs. We can’t comment on its ability to lift dust and the small particles you can’t see.
As is the case with upright vacuum cleaners, this stick model can stand upright by itself, so if you need to stop vacuuming to move furniture you don’t have to lay it down, find a wall to rest it against or replace it on the charging stand. However, unlike an upright vac you don’t have to put your foot on the brush head to recline it – it’s so light you can just tilt the handle and you're ready to vacuum again.
The handle is hinged on the main body of the vac and clicks quickly and simply into place, so it’s easy to assemble from the box. Pressing the release button allows you to fold the handle down again for compact storage, and there’s a small fabric section on the back of the vac to prevent damage or wear where the top of the handle touches the vac in the folded position.
Before first use the cleaner needs to be charged on the stand for 24 hours. The charging unit has a slightly bigger base than the head of the vac, so it takes up a little more floor space, but you can still fold the handle down while the vac charges up.
The wheels allow the Freejet to roll freely over carpet. To manoeuvre the vac you can twist the handle from your wrist, however the movement has a rather clunky feel – as if you’re going either straight, left or right without any points in between. Even with the handle flipped fully left it doesn’t corner as sharply as you might expect – for tight turns you really have to guide the vac round yourself. You can lower the handle almost flat to the floor while vacuuming, making it easy to get under low furniture.
We didn’t think it sounded outrageously noisy, but due to the lone tone of the motor it seemed louder than some other stick vacs we’ve tried out.
Unclipping the dust container to empty it is easy – you can even do it one-handed. There are two filters in the dust container – the first is easier to remove than the second. That said, emptying and cleaning is a relatively simple process and the filters can be washed, dried and put back – just ensure that they’re straight when you put them in place again or dust may escape. You’ll probably need both hands free to clip the container back into place.
Maintaining the Hoover Freejet
There’s no information in the manual on how to clean the brush, but it would be wise to remove the head from the cleaner if you’re trying to cut hairs and fluff from the brush, to be sure you don’t accidentally turn the vacuum on while you’re cleaning it.
You can get around 15 minutes of vacuuming from a full charge. It uses NiMH batteries, so if you notice vacuuming time becoming short, fully discharge it and then charge on the stand for 24 hours.
The Hoover Freejet is widely available online, priced around £70.
Pros: Freestanding, brush can be switched on and off, folds for storage
Cons: Slow to pick up fluff and debris from carpet, no information on cleaning the brush, no fully charged indicator
Our full vacuum cleaner review has lab test ratings and reviews of more than 100 of the latest vacuum cleaners from brands including Dyson, Hoover, Electrolux and Bosch. You can also find out the best handheld vacs in our handheld vacuum cleaner review.