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Can the new Vax Blade 2 Max cordless vacuum rival Dyson?

Vax claims that its new arrival has three times more power than any other Vax cordless vacuum, but how does it compare with big name rivals?

Can the new Vax Blade 2 Max cordless vacuum rival Dyson?

Update for 9 November 2018: We have now fully tested this vacuum cleaner. Get the official verdict on its cleaning power compared to rivals in the full Vax Blade 2 Max cordless vacuum review.

Vax today unveiled its latest cordless vacuum: the Vax Blade 2 Max. But coming hot on the heals of 2018 launches from a host of rivals including Dyson, Bosch and Hoover, does it have what it takes to stand out from the crowd?

At £249, the Vax Blade 2 Max is significantly cheaper than the recently launched Dyson V10 and Bosch Unlimited.

Vax claims it will fully charge in around three hours, and will then see you through 12 minutes of cleaning on full power. While that may not sound like much, we’ve seen other models that peter out after just six minutes on the highest setting.

But if you have allergies it may not be the smartest choice, as the relatively small 0.6 litre capacity means you’ll be emptying it more often, getting up close and personal with dust and debris in the process. It’s also not the lightest vacuum around, so could well make its presence felt if you need to take it up steep flights of stairs.

Test and rated by Which?: best cordless vacuums for 2018 

Vax Blade 2 Max: how it compares

Here’s how the new Vax’s headline specifications shape up to those of recently launched cordless vacuums from big name rivals.

 Price Charge time  Run time (minimum power)  Run time (maximum power) Capacity Weight
Vax Blade 2 Max*  £249 3 hours 45 minutes 12 minutes 0.6 litres 3.1kg
Dyson V10  £385-£500 2 hours 17 minutes 43 minutes 8 minutes 0.8 litres 2.6kg
Hoover H-Free HF18RH*  £140 6 hours 25 minutes 20 minutes 0.8 litres 2.2kg
Bosch Unlimited  £400 0 hours 51 minutes 60 minutes 9 minutes 0.7 litres 3kg

*Based on claimed manufacturer specifications.

Discover the models which made it into the coveted ranks of our Best Buy cordless vacuum cleaners, and the ones to avoid: Don’t Buy these cordless vacuums.

Should you buy the Vax Blade 2 Max?

Vax claims that this newest addition to the Blade family has three times more power than any other Vax cordless vacuum.

Like many other cordless vacuums, it can also convert into a handheld vacuum, helping you to clean in hard-to-reach crevices or vacuum upholstery more easily. There are two accessories included – one to reach crevices and the other for dusting.

The Blade 2 Max’s brushless motor is designed to be quieter and more durable than a standard motor. Its motorised brushbar can be turned on and off, with the on setting claimed to be better at lifting out ground-in dirt.

Vax says that it should make short work of 91.5% of dirt in carpets on its ‘boost’ mode. Our previous tests of other cordless vacuums have shown that many do a bad job on carpet, so we’ll be testing its credentials in the Which? test lab to see if this model really has what it takes to break the mould.

Find out if this cheaper cordless vacuum can clean effectively without the cord in the full Vax Blade 2 Max review.

Cordless vacuum cleaner features explained

Top of the range cordless vacuum cleaners can cost up to a staggering £500, with fancy features and added extras to justify the high price. But which really make life easier and which can you do without?

Swappable batteries

This year has seen the rise of swappable batteries, as sported by the Bosch Unlimited. Vacuums such as this one come with a second battery so you can switch between two, charging one while you use the other. When the lithium ion battery eventually comes to the end of its life, you should be able to replace it more easily without needing to replace your whole vacuum.

Auto suction

The recently launched AEG Pure F9 offers auto suction, a feature which enables the vacuum to assess the floor type and adjust its suction power automatically. We’ve yet to test this feature, but it has the potential to help make vacuuming easier if the technology takes off.

LED lights

Lights on the floorhead are designed to help you see what you’re doing when vacuuming in tight spots or particularly dark rooms. The feature is not just reserved for high-end vacuums, as you can find LED lights on the £150 Hoover H-Free HF18RH.

Choose your cordless vacuum cleaner carefully

Our tests of the latest cordless vacuums have shown there’s a huge difference in performance between the different brands and models. In fact, we’ve assessed more models that have earned our Don’t Buy cordless vacuum warning than we have top-class models to recommend as Best Buys.

2018 has seen a record number of models pass through our test lab that are noisy, awkward to use and leave a trail of dust and dirt in their wake. Usually, scores tend to climb with price, but some of the pricier Don’t Buys show that you can’t always rely on a high price or a trusted brand to deliver great results.

The average test score for all cordless vacuum cleaners is a very disappointing 54%, versus a respectable 67% for their corded counterparts. So, if you’re set on a cordless model, make sure you do your research to find one that won’t let you down. Our cordless vacuum cleaner reviews are a great place to start.

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