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Popular hand vacuum could be hazardous

October 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many small vacuums work great cleaning dirt and small debris. But a new test has found one of the most popular hand held vacuums could be dangerous. Portable vacuums come in handy when you need to clean up a mess in a hurry.

But, when we teamed up with Consumer Reports, we found that with some models, instead of sucking up debris, they kick it back out.

Dirt Devil's Kone is the best-selling hand vacuum on the market. More than 400,000 have been sold so far.

Consumer Reports just evaluated the Kone, along with other widely available hand vacuums. Testers put fine, uniform sand on carpets as well as floors to see how well they will pick up dirt.

Testers discovered a safety hazard with some Dirt Devil Kones.

"All six of the Kone hand vacs tested threw some sand particles out their exhaust ports towards testers' faces and eyes. We also vacuumed up a broken light bulb , another common cleaning task and again particles flew out the exhaust ports. That can be dangerous," said Bob Markovich, Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports found the problem with two Kone models, the M-Zero-213 and the similar M-Zero-212. All have an L-code on the vacuum, as well as on the box.

"We contacted the manufacturer TTI Floor Care. The company then performed its own sand tests and said it saw what it called 'blow-by' on some of the same models Consumer Reports tested," said Markovich.

The manufacturer says the "blow-by" is linked to an undersized filter adapter on some L-coded Kones. But it says newer vacuums with a J-code have a better-sealing adapter.

"We tested Kones with the newer part and they did not spew particles," said Markovich.

Consumer Reports tests show there are plenty of good hand vacuums to choose from, including the top-rated Black and Decker model PHV-1800. It goes for $60.


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