Spoiler Alert: You Still Have To Empty This Self-Emptying Vacuum Cleaner

Spoiler Alert: You Still Have To Empty This Self-Emptying Vacuum Cleaner
Image: LG
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When I first heard about LG’s new vacuum cleaner with an “all-in-one tower that cleans up, then cleans itself”, I immediately assumed it was witchcraft.

I live in a good-sized, carpeted and pet-friendly apartment. We have a little ragdoll cat who sheds white fluff everywhere, especially during the summer months. As a result, I have to vacuum every day. That’s why I jumped when I heard about this LG vacuum cleaner that can empty itself.

Before we get started, I need to clarify that “self-emptying” isn’t entirely accurate. To clear up any confusion, when the LG CordZero A9 stick vacuum is placed in its all-in-one tower, all of the dust is sucked out of its body and stored inside a disposable dust bag within the charging station.

LG CordZero A9 stick vacuum

WHAT IS IT?

A stick vacuum which automatically empties dirt into a dust bag hidden inside the tower when placed in its charging station.

PRICE

$1,919.

LIKE

Next-level suction capabilities, removes the task of emptying the body after each use, smooth and compact design, up to two hours of battery life thanks to the dual battery pack, bonus storage, lots of accessories.

NO LIKE

Expensive with additional costs over time, heavy, mop nozzle ineffective, and loud self-emptying system.

First impressions

What does it come with?

Upon its delivery, what I quickly realised was that the box was immensely heavy. If you decide to go to your nearest electronics store to pick up your model — I cannot stress this enough — make sure you bring a friend or at the very least, get it delivered. The box itself isn’t huge but it is long. I struggled on my own to push the box into my apartment, despite the delivery guy kindly carrying it up the stairs and leaving it at my front door.

When I opened the box, I discovered that the all-in-one tower was the source of all this heavy-lifting. Thankfully, the LG stick vacuum itself is nowhere near as heavy. Inside, you’ll find an assortment of bits and bobs including the stick vacuum (which you need to assemble), four different nozzles, dual battery pack, a mop kit and a number of other accessories to reach those hard to get crevices.

Putting together the LG stick vacuum itself is quite straightforward. In fact, I didn’t even need to look at the instruction manual for guidance. It is separated into four parts: the product body which needs the battery installed, the extension pipe and the nozzle (which is one of four found in the box). Each part clicks into each other but if you would prefer to work with a shorter vacuum cleaner, you don’t have to attach the extension pipe. This is great because it means you can take the LG CordZero A9 into your garage and suck up any dust in your car (like I did).

The charging station

Image: Gizmodo Australia

Next up is the auto empty charging station and thankfully, it doesn’t need any assembly. Ideally, place it somewhere with ample space of about a 20cm radius so that you can open its side doors to store some of its tools and accessories.

The side doors act like a secret compartment, since the design is quite seamless, you wouldn’t even guess it opens up unless you checked the manual. There is an anti-tip kit included in the box, however, I didn’t end up using it despite placing my tower on the carpet. I found that it’s so weighted that it doesn’t need to be secured.

Once you’re all set up, you can gently place the LG CordZero A9 into the charging station. It may take you a few goes to figure out the exact placement so that your vacuum charges properly. Lucky for you, the charging station will chime a little song to let you know that you’ve placed the CordZero in properly.

This is also very important for the self-emptying function because if it isn’t placed properly, then the dirt and dust you’ve just sucked up won’t be cleaned out by the tower.

Does it suck?

Suction

Image: Gizmodo Australia

The short answer is yes, it’s excellent. I’m currently equipped with this $399 Electrolux one and there is a huge difference in the quality of suction and cleanliness.

When in use, it does feel a little off-balance because the head is disproportionately heavier compared to the extension pipe and nozzle. However, it is still comfortable to grip and easy to wheel around the floors.

I found I had little use for the power mode on my carpet as its normal suction mode was more than sufficient. However, the power and turbo modes are a phenomenal boost if you want to suction deeper into your carpet. Keep in mind that the more power you use, the faster your battery will deplete.

Battery life

Image: LG

Battery life didn’t once concern me. That said, if you’re diligent about placing the LG vacuum back in its charging station after every use, you won’t have much to worry about. I never had to find out if two hours was enough since I was able to thoroughly tackle all of my rooms in about 15-30 minutes.

While the extra-long battery life is a welcome feature, if you have a large home you won’t be able to get far without emptying your LG cordless vacuum after a few rooms. Especially, if you have pets. While the tower does eliminate the task of manually emptying the bag, you still need to shuffle back to the charging station, prop it in place then wait for the tower to suck out all the dust before you can continue.

Now, this wasn’t an issue for me with my apartment, since I could use the handy LG Kompressor to push back the cat fur and dirt in order to fit more in. But if you were hoping that not emptying the bag would save you time, you’ll be sorely mistaken.

The tower

LG cordless vacuum
Image: LG

When you’re all done expunging the dirt from your floors, you get to witness the fun part. By returning the LG CordZero to its tower, wait for the beep and then listen as a hurricane starts to ramp up inside the charging station. In other words, the self-cleaning process is very loud (and very frightening for my poor kitty).

Although, it is fun to watch as the dust bunnies vanish. Watch out if you’ve filled the vacuum to the brim, as you may need to re-activate the emptying function to fully empty it.

How good is the mop?

The LG CordZero vacuum's mop nozzle
Image: Gizmodo Australia

Meanwhile, the mop nozzle is quite handy if you’re looking for a quick-drying job. Easy to assemble, all you need to do is switch the nozzles, wet two of the velcro mop heads and stick them onto the nozzle.

I did find that the mop function wasn’t as effective at removing stains on the ground, primarily due to the low rotation speed of the mop nuzzle. Even if you give it a boost with the turbo mode, it takes a bit of hovering in one spot to effectively remove any stains off your tiles.

Emptying the tower

The LG CordZero features an all-in-one tower with a disposable bag
Image: Gizmodo Australia

While the manual suggests that you can replace the dustbag around every three months, I found that after using the LG CordZero A9 that my bag was due to be replaced in about a month. The bag itself is quite small for such a tall tower, and I honestly expected it’d be bigger.

It does mean you’ll have to buy replacement dust bags every so often. Taking into consideration that a three-pack bundle for the tower costs $59, if you need to change your dust bag every month it will get costly for those on a budget. However, you can go to your local Domayne or Joyce Mayne who stock the three-packs much cheaper at $35.

Though, the convenient part about having a dust bag is that you don’t have to carefully tip your LG stick vacuum over the bin while hoping that every dust bunny falls inside and isn’t sniffed up your nose.

The final verdict

The LG CordZero with the resident house cat
The cat in question. Image: Gizmodo Australia

Okay, let’s talk price. Now that the LG CordZero A9 is out in the world, it is currently selling for an eye-watering RRP of $1,919. Do I love the LG cordless vacuum? Yes. Would I get one? Yes, but not for that price tag. My cat? She’s on the fence.

Overall, this is a fantastic vacuum cleaner and my carpet looks professionally cleaned every time I use it. In fact, I would argue it rivals most Dysons. Personally, I don’t think I could justify spending just over $1,900 on it. You’ll also need to take into consideration if buying replacement dust bags is part of your budget. The reason most people turn to a stick vacuum in the first place is because of its portability and the affordability that comes from forgoing the dust bags that traditional vacuums use.

But hey, if you’ve got the spare cash and you’re tired of emptying your stick vacuum every time you use it, then go ahead and drop your dollars.