Author: Tracey McAlpine Category: Around the Home, Lifestyle, Gadgets

We put the new multi 2-in-1cordless vacuum cleaner to the test

Vax has always been known for pushing the boundaries in vacuuming technology.  In 1979 it launched the iconic Vax 111 affectionately known as the ‘Orange Tub’.  The first ever wet and dry vacuum cleaner.  Vax founder, Alan Brazier used his experience of industrial carpet cleaning to bring this innovative appliance into our homes.  Now, almost forty years later, we are demanding even more from our vacuum cleaners.  We want multi-use appliances, with easy maneuverability, cordless, lightweight, and with long run times. 

Vax Blade 2 MAX – Powerful and Practical

Once again, Vax has risen to the challenge and produced the Blade 2 MAX, a vacuum that is seeing off its rivals with better power, run time, charging time, and with no loss of suction as the battery runs down.  Impressive!

Using an advanced microprocessor called Vax Core, the Blade 2 MAX checks the state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery up to 1000 times a second.  This clever new process ensures that Vax Core and the dynamic brushless motor work in complete synergy.  This means you have the same amount of suction when the battery is fully charged to when it’s starting to run flat.

Charging time from flat is just three hours and if you use the Vax Blade 2 MAX on its lowest setting you can expect 45 minutes runtime, enough to vacuum the average house.  Switch to boost mode when you need additional power and Vax claim that you will remove 91.5% of ground in dirt from your carpets.

Weighing in at a little over 3kg when fully assembled, and only 2kg when used as a handheld, the Blade 2 Max is a versatile vacuum for all over the house.  It simply converts from a 2-in-1 handstick to a handheld in seconds, and the stick and accessories are easy to locate and secure. 

What’s in the box

Vax Blade 2 MAX what's in the box Fighting Fifty review

The outer box measures 75 x 28 x 21cms and has a useful handle.  It will easily fit into the boot of the car or across the back seat.  I brought mine home on the London Underground without any problems.  The box is also fully recyclable.  Within the box you have the main body of the Vax Blade 2 Max, dirt bin, the stick which is metal, dusttracker brush head, crevice tool and dust brush, wall mount and power charging unit.  There is also a user guide.

Using the Vax Blade 2 MAX

Using the Vax Blade 2 Max - Fighting Fifty review

My house is arranged over four floors.  Mostly carpeted but also limestone, granite and ceramic floors.  The Blade 2 Max was really simple to assemble, and I didn’t need to open the user guide to know how to operate it.  I’m impressed at how quiet the vacuum is, I can still hear the radio and the doorbell while vacuuming.  The Blade 2 MAX feels lightweight when fully assembled and at 5’.10” I don’t feel like I have to stoop to use it.  On normal suction the Blade 2 MAX does a good job all around the house and is particularly good on hard surfaces.  The fact you don’t need to alter anything to move from carpet to tiled floors works for me.  On boost it really does feel like the Blade 2 MAX is dragging everything out of the carpet, and looking down at the dirtbox makes me feel elated and repulsed at the same time – how can carpets get so dirty?

The dusttracker head moves effortlessly and cleans right up to the skirting board.  The LED lights in the head are effective but I would really like them on in all modes, and not just when you have the motorised brushbar working.  I know this would have a detrimental effect on battery life, so I understand why Vax haven’t made this option available.  The Blade 2 MAX is super-efficient at removing hair from carpet, we don’t have a dog, but I moult just as much.  If you have a dog, then you need this, just picking up hair so easily makes this vacuum a winner.


Vax Blade 2 MAX review - Fighting Fifty

Using the handheld on the stairs I found more awkward than the Gtech Multi, I have less control over the swivelling head.  I’ve often resorted to using the vacuum with the stick still in place, lazy but effective!  The crevice tool is by far the best I have ever used on any vacuum.  It’s the perfect size for getting into all the tight spaces and a dream for cleaning edges and window sills.  And comes into its own in the car, you really can get to all those hard to reach places.  I even managed to dust the tops of the curtains and easily vacuum cobwebs from the walls and ceilings, without my arms aching.  Something I’ve never been able to achieve before.  The Blade 2 MAX is light enough to manoeuvre even at arm’s length.

Emptying the dirtbox is never pleasant, in some ways I miss the convenience of a bag but appreciate the cost saving.  Dropping dust into the bin does make a mess, but the dirtbox is lightweight and easy to open.  Cleaning the filter is also easy but removing the brush was a complete pain.  First of all, you need a coin or large flat screwdriver to unlock the disc on the side of the brushhead.  The brush slips out easily and you have a groove to follow to cut away the hair and fluff.  And then you have to put it back together.  I have no idea how long this took me, but it was so fiddly, I am sure this was operator failure because it looks simple enough, but it infuriated the hell out of me.  I’ve resorted to removing the hair without removing the brush, far less frustrating.

Why buy the Vax Blade 2 MAX

Vax Blade 2 Max Charging - review - Fighting Fifty

The Vax Blade 2 MAX is a super versatile vacuum that efficiently cleans the entire house and car.  It quickly converts from an upright to a handheld appliance and out performs any vacuum I’ve used in the past.  The controls are clear and the runtime long enough to clean the entire house on one charge.  I particularly like the fact the handheld can sit on the counter top to charge, no idea why this makes me happy, but it does.  And if you have space, the wall hanging bracket means you can store the vacuum out of sight.  As far as design goes, the Blade 2 MAX ticks all the boxes, no garish colours (sorry Orange Tub), subtle branding and the highest quality materials used throughout.

Technical specifications of the Vax Blade 2 MAX

  • Voltage 40V
  • Airwatts 70AW
  • Hand stick upright
  • Detachable handheld
  • Boost mode
  • Standard Runtime – 45 mins
  • Handheld Runtime – 45 mins
  • Deep Clean Boost Runtime – 12 mins
  • On/Off  Motorised brushbar 
  • Charge time 3 hours
  • Weight – complete handstick unit 3.1kg
  • Weight – handheld 2.0kg
  • Removable dirt bin
  • Dirt bin capacity 0.6 litre
  • Filtration Dustvault filtration system
  • Battery type Lithium-ion
  • Steerable
  • Dusttracker LED headlights
  • Constant suction – no loss of suction from full charge to finish
  • Accessories – dusting brush and crevice tool

I am sure I should be telling you more about the brushless motor which has been developed to provide the highest levels of performance, for longer, and is more durable and quieter.  The Vax Blade 2 MAX out performs all of its competitors and costs less.  But, at the end of the day, what you really want to know is, does it do the job?  Yes, the Vax Blade 2 MAX does the job extremely well and in my view it’s worth every penny.

The Vax Blade 2 MAX is £249.00 and comes with a 2-year guarantee.  Available from Vax (with a free tool kit worth over £50) and John Lewis