We got a broom as a wedding present. Some people might think that’s kind of a strange gift, but I loved it, and I used the heck out of it for several years. Sweeping was a quiet, almost meditative activity, unlike vacuuming, but I would sweep and sweep and the floor would never be completely clean.
About the time that the broom was wearing down to the nibs, a freakishly cold winter storm blew into the area. It snowed, and our pipes froze in a week’s worth of sub-freezing temperatures. We had the wood stove burning constantly, and one dog, two cats, three adults (including Henry’s brother that was helping with the pipes and some other jobs), a toddler, and a baby were all cooped up in less than 500 square feet. Around day three, I was sweeping for the millionth time, watching dust billow up from the floor, when Henry’s brother Trevor (who’s brilliant and highly available *ahem*) piped up, “You know, Makita makes a vacuum.”
No, I didn’t know, but a couple weeks later I had one.
If it is possible for a person to be in love with a vacuum, I am guilty of just such an affair.
The Makita Cordless Vacuum is basically a glorified dust buster. It has an ergonomic handle with an on/off trigger, a canister for storing debris, and a long, rigid hose (so you can use it standing up). The hose is detachable, and you can switch to the crevice nozzle for cracks and such. I use this thing every day in my house, and I even take it out to my car when necessary (which is SO much nicer than using the giant hose vacuum at the car wash). It works great on our hardwood floor, but I imagine it would perform well on carpet, too.
It has a nice, slim profile and can be broken down into smaller pieces if need be. My only complaint is that it doesn’t stand upright very well. I keep mine tucked into a corner, standing on end, but every once in a while, it slips and crashes onto the floor (which speaks to its durability because as much as the thing has been abused, nothing has broken yet).
The vacuum is powered by a rechargeable Makita 18v lithium-ion battery. They are expensive, but they are awesome. A while back, Henry bought a seven-piece set of Makita tools with two batteries, and he was really happy about the quality and versatility of the product. Since then, I also bought a Makita circular saw and a Makita jigsaw, both of which I love. (Yes, we have His and Hers circular saws.) As a female, I’m particularly appreciative of the fact that Makita tools are not oversized or overpowered for me to handle easily.
We’ve been using many of the tools and several of the batteries (we have a total of four) for a couple years now and have not noticed any decrease in efficiency or utility. If you already own Makita tools and batteries, you can purchase the vacuum without the battery at a greatly reduced price.
To empty out the canister of the vacuum, I simply twist it slightly to unlock, and then pull apart the two main pieces. As you can see above, my primary nemesis is dog hair as well as wood chips, sand, hay, and unknown debris. A “normal” person would probably throw this in the garbage, but I just go out on the back porch and pitch it over the edge. It’s organic, right?
After I ditch the main debris cluster, I need to remove the filter.
The filter consists of a mesh screen and a cloth bag. Together they keep fine particles from reaching (and ruining) the motor. I give everything a good shake and blow on it a couple of times, and then I’m ready to reassemble. I throw the baggie into the wash every couple months for extra cleaning.
It takes a matter of seconds to put everything back together.
As someone who lives without cheap, abundant electricity, I think this vacuum is essential. For those of you looking for an extremely lightweight, functional vacuum that doesn’t use (expensive) disposable bags, you should look into this one. It’s fabulous.
I am in no way affiliated with Makita. I simply love their products and wish to spread the gospel of this awesome vacuum.