The PowerForce models are flagships of the Bissell brand. Available in standard and bagless versions, the makers of the upright vacuums promise that they make house-cleaning a snap. Do they deliver?
Standard vs. Bagless
Bissell’s PowerForce brand offers options to consumers with varying cleaning needs. The bagless version allows for great versatility over multiple surfaces; in homes where carpeting gives way to tile and then wood, this is a definite plus. The standard model shines on standard as well as low-pile carpeting and also upholstery.
Both vacuums operate at 10 amps, feature 20-foot power cords, 13.5-inch cleaning paths and utilize cyclonic cleaning systems. It is noteworthy that both models feature identical specialty tools, such as crevice- and upholstery tools as well as dusting brushes. Whereas the bagless weighs in at 15 pounds and offers three-stage filtration, the standard Bissell only weighs 12 pounds but offers no filtration.
The Verdict: Homeowners with multi-surface floors — and those who prefer to clean the appliance frequently in between uses — will experience better results with the bagless Bissell PowerForce.
Assembly and Operation
Standard and bagless models both assemble quickly out of the box. Handle base and vacuum body connect with click-in-place grooves and secure with supplied screws. Following the directions is simple and all the pieces are made to logically fit together.
Both models feature three handle positions: upright, normal and low. In the same vein, both models allow for three height adjustments: “low” for bare floors, “medium” for short pile and “high” for plush pile.
The Verdict: Have a screwdriver handy for assembly. Once put together, the mechanics of operating the Bissell PowerForce vacuum — standard or bagless — are similar.
Keeping the vacuum cleaner sanitary and in tip top shape is easy — as long as the consumer follows the directions. Replacing the dust bag in the standard model needs to take place as soon as the Bissell’s sucking capacity seems to be compromised. Depending on the quantity of fine particles in the carpeting, this may be once every two to three weeks, or once every other month. The pre- and post-motor filters can be removed easily for cleaning or replacement.
With the bagless version, the consumer needs to keep an eye on the dust collection container. When the content reaches the preprinted “full” demarcation on the side of the container, it is time to empty it. While the post-motor filter should be cleaned or replaced every three to six months, the other filters need more frequent cleaning; usually once per month.
The Verdict: The standard Bissell PowerForce vacuum keeps a bag between the consumer and the dust. Filters only need sporadic cleaning. The bagless model is slightly messier to clean and needs more frequent filter maintenance.
I am a big fan of bagless models, simply because I like to clean out my vacuum more frequently. Rather than emptying the container into the household trash, as suggested by the Bissell instructions, I would opt for the outside trash can — especially if you are a pet owner and live in an area where fleas are a problem. The other selling point in favor of the bagless model is the ease with which it covers different surfaces; this is a level of versatility that the standard model simply cannot imitate.
Bissell: “PowerForce Vacuum”
Bissell: “PowerForce Bagless Vacuum”