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We've recently released our Test Bench 1.2 update for vacuum! Read the Airflow R&D Article to learn more.

Test Bench 1.2
Changelog

Updated

See the previous 1.1 changelog.

What's Changed?

With this iteration of the vacuum test bench, we added a new test to measure vacuum airflow and slightly updated our existing 'Suction' test. We've listed the changes made to our test methodology below.

Test Group Change
Airflow
  • New test box to provide airflow data. Measured from the vacuum's hose.
Suction
  • Added new 'Maximum Hose Suction' test
  • Renamed the 'Maximum Suction' test field to 'Maximum Head Suction'.
  • Renamed the 'Normal Suction' test field to 'Normal Head Suction'.

Here, we'll examine these new changes and how they can help you find the right vacuum for your needs. If you want to know more about our research and development process with this update—including investigations into the specifics of airflow measurement, the impact of airflow sensor placement, and how different vacuum types are expected to perform, you can check out our R&D article.

New Tests

Airflow

Here's an example of what the new 'Airflow' test looks like in one of our reviews.

Dyson V15 Airflow Test

 

The new box comprises a single element:

  • Maximum Hose Airflow

Ultimately, this new test is self-explanatory, as it measures how much air a vacuum can move in its most powerful setting, using a customized anemometer and funnel arrangement to create a tight seal against the vacuum. It's an important supplement to our testing methodology, as it helps provide a far more comprehensive overview of system performance compared to measuring suction alone. After all, a vacuum can deliver superb suction but mediocre airflow performance; a clear example of why testing both elements is so important can be seen with a handheld vacuum like the Shark WANDVAC. The narrow suction inlet of this kind of vacuum would fully seal with the testing rig, resulting in a very high reading from our manometer. However, the actual volume of air moving through the system is very low, so naturally, debris pickup falls far behind a full-sized model.

Shark WANDVAC Suction measurementThe 'Suction' test box for the Shark WANDVAC on Test Bench 1.2. Notice the high value for max suction.
Shark WANDVAC AirflowThe 'Airflow' test box for the Shark WANDVAC on Test Bench 1.2. Adding the Airflow measurement gives a more complete picture of the overall vacuum's performance.

It's worth noting that we test airflow differently for robot and non-robot vacuums. Since robovacs don't have a hose to measure from, they're set up on a different testing apparatus, being held aloft by foam padding, with an anemometer measuring airflow from their suction inlet. As such, the airflow measurements between robot and non-robot vacuums aren't directly comparable. If you'd like to read further into our reasoning and methodology for testing airflow differently on robot vacuums, refer to our R&D article.

Suction

We've also updated our suction test to evaluate suction measured directly from the hose, as opposed to only the floorhead. Measuring suction from the hose paints a clearer picture of a vacuum's raw suction power than from measuring from the vacuum head. However, this obviously isn't as applicable to real-world usage. Here's a clear comparison between our previous and current iterations of the 'Suction' test.

 OLD

Miele Complete C3 Suction Test TB 1.1Suction measured for the Miele Complete C3 on Test Bench 1.1.

 NEW

Miele Complete C3 Suction Test TB 1.2Suction measured for the Miele Complete C3 on Test Bench 1.2 - notice the new 'Maximum Hose Suction' field.

Note that we've also renamed the ' Maximum Suction' test field to ' Maximum Head Suction' and the 'Normal Suction' test field to 'Normal Head Suction' to more clearly demonstrate where we're testing suction from.

Let Us Know What You Think

As always, our test methodology is a work in progress, and we depend on your feedback to improve it. Our methodology can always benefit from more meaningful tests. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions about this or any future updates, reach out to us in the forums.

106 Vacuums Updated

We have retested popular models. The test results for the following models have been converted to the new testing methodology. However, the text might be inconsistent with the new results.