You're probably guilty of quickly cleaning up messes with a vacuum that you probably should have tackled by hand. But the one place you definitely don't want most vacuums to tread is in the workshop. That's the domain of burly shop vacs, which Milkwaukee has finally managed to shrink into a debris-sucking handheld package.
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Robots have been cleaning our floors ever since the first Roomba arrived 14 years ago, but it's not a completely hands-off chore yet. You still have to occasionally clean out your robovac's dirt bin, which Black+Decker is making a little easier with its new Smartech Robotic Vacuum that compresses debris into discs that are easy to dispose of.
If you looked at buying a new cordless vacuum any time in the last couple of years, chances are you considered Dyson's V6 handstick — a gadget that we absolutely love, and regularly use, for keeping small apartments and living spaces clean without the hassle of a power cord. A few months after launching the same model internationally, the brand new Dyson V8 has hit Australia, and it makes some pretty damn useful improvements on an already good design.
You'd think that the first robot vacuum from a company like Dyson, who reinvented the vacuum, fan, and hair dryer, would rival R2-D2 when it came to functionality. But with the 360 Eye, Dyson instead focused on creating a robovac that did one thing very well: cleaning. It delivers as promised, but is that worth $US1,000?
Even the most advanced robotic vacuums are only designed to deal with dust, light dirt and the occasional food scraps. Try to put them to work on the sawdust covered floors in your workshop and you'll quickly find them clogged and in need of rescue. What you need instead is a robo-vac from a toolmaker like Makita.
We called Dyson's cordless DC59 Motorhead the first genuine replacement for a full-sized vacuum, even with a few annoying design quirks and limited battery life. It has taken the company almost two years to design a follow-up, but the new Dyson V8 appears to fix most of the complaints we had with the original.
iRobot's Roomba vacuum cleaners are about the closest thing you can get to having a real Star Wars droid at home. In fact, many Roomba owners are happy to pretend their robovac is just a shorter version of R2-D2 while it works away, and this decal set will help make that even more believable.
They normally sell for $100 and up, but Dremel has found a way to make its rotary multi-tools a lot cheaper for anyone who already has a workshop full of equipment. Instead of having its own motor inside, the company's new VRT1 is powered by the suction from a vacuum.