- Great turbo tool
- Easy to use on stairs
- Outstanding dust filtration and good upholstery cleaning
- Handle-mounted tool clip
- Affordable price
- Howling noise
- Flimsy build quality
- Average suction and poor pet hair cleaning
- Short reach
- Review Price: £79.99
- 800W bagless cleaner
- A-rated HEPA filtration
- 2-litre bin capacity
- Turbobrush tool
- On-handle tool storage
- Variable power control
- 5m cord length
What is the Russell Hobbs Turbo Cyclonic Plus?
Looking like a homage to the singer Prince in all its glorious purpleness, the Russell Hobbs Turbo Cyclonic Plus is the brand’s compact-sized, fully featured bagless cylinder cleaner. It’s small, light and boasts an 800W motor, turbo brush tool and A-rated HEPA class dust filtration.
The spec sheet is a fair bit more impressive than the reality, though: average suction power, howling air-noise through the cyclone, and flimsily build don’t do this vac any favours. Yet for its affordable asking price it has features, performance and tools that will suit many homes.
Just be gentle with it. We weren’t…
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Russell Hobbs Turbo Cyclonic Plus – Design and features
Packed inside its equally compact box, the Russell Hobbs Turbo Cyclonic Plus bagless cylinder vacuum cleaner is suitably bijou and light weight. Weighing in at just 4.5kg naked, and just over 5kg with the hose and a small tool attached, this is a cleaner for nipping around smaller homes.
Yet it’s designed to pack a cleaning punch. The 800W motor, multiple cyclone bagless suction and capacious 2-litre bin are all good news. There’s a rotary control for power level, offering some flexibility between full suction and delicate cleaning.
Even better news for allergy sufferers is that Russell Hobbs has really gone to town with the filtration on this model. Achieving the highest A rating on the energy label for dust emissions, this model has three large washable filters. A folded material filter and foam filter are sandwiched together on top of the bin, while the third filter is easily accessed behind a twist-off wheel cover.
The cyclone assembly itself can be removed from the bin for deep cleaning, although that’s quite a challenge. The cyclone’s rubber seals are quite tight in the bin and the only purchase you’ll get on the cyclone is a fingertip pinch either side of the top rim. We found it easiest to hold the bin between your knees to pull out the cyclone, although with a dusty, dirty bin that’s YouTube gold waiting to happen.
A full-size flap at the bottom of the bin offers easy unloading and is large enough to get your hand in to remove any cleaning debris such as hairballs. The release clip from the bin really doesn’t look like it’s up to much abuse, so a gentle touch will be required to keep it from breaking off over time.
Build quality throughout – with the exception of the chrome tubes – is basic, and no part fills us with confidence about its longevity if you’re inclined towards cleaner abuse. Yet at a relatively affordable price, the specification, tools and excellent A-rated dust filtration are all up to the mark.
Russell Hobbs Turbo Cyclonic Plus – Accessories
The supplied hose is fairly flexible, but it’s relatively short and doesn’t stretch much. It attaches to the body with pinch clips so is easy to remove for storage. At the business end of the hose, a curved plastic handle is fitted with a thumb-operated air-release slider and fittings for the detail tool clip. This holster sits neatly under the handle and holds the crevice tool and dusting brush, keeping them close to hand.
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The metal telescopic tube is perhaps the best built accessory supplied with the cleaner. It feels solid and the telescopic clip mechanism works well. Unfortunately, the metal tube connects by a simple push fit onto the fairly soft plastic of the handle. You’ll need to push this on fairly firmly to stop the handle pulling out of the tube on the cleaning backstroke. Suitably jammed on, it was then quite a pain to disassemble for storage.
The tool count is good for such an affordable machine. The main dual-purpose carpet and hard floor head is a good size, has a tilt and rotating neck for steerage, and drop-down bristles and rubber blade for hard floors. The crevice tool is a rather short and chunky affair, while the dusting brush is a reasonable size with removable bristles turning it into an upholstery tool.
However, the hero tool is Russell Hobbs small turbo brush. We’ve seen this two-part clam-shell-designed tool on a number of affordable cleaners and it actually works well. It offers two rows of fairly soft bristles on a brush that spins in the airflow from the cleaner. It can be cleaned out with ease by rotating the collar at the neck and opening it right up.
The cleaner body has a good-sized top handle to carry it around – although since the handle is on the bin assembly, be careful not to press the release button when you carry it. General cleaning reach is pretty limited given the cable is only just 5m long, however. Interestingly, there was no instruction manual supplied in the box. We haven’t got to the bottom of whether this was an anomaly with our sample or general policy.
Russell Hobbs Turbo Cyclonic Plus – How well does it clean carpets and hard floors?
While the energy label claims a very reasonable 75dB for noise output, our Turbo Cyclonic Plus proved to be much, much noisier when we first started it up. Air rushing through the multiple cyclones created an incredible howling noise, much like an animal in pain, which tipped our sound pressure meter to a whopping 92dB. That is loud.
We persevered with the cleaner and, sure enough, as soon as the filters started to get a little dusty, the air-rush noise subsided. After a while, all you could hear was traditional cleaner noises, measuring around 78dB in our tests. However, the howling noise would return briefly when you’d start up the motor – and again, briefly, when you power off and the motor is slowing down.
Despite all that noise, suction power is about average for a budget cleaner with an 800W motor. That translates into reasonable hard floor cleaning for general dust, debris and pet hair, as indicated by this cleaners A rating for hard floor performance. Yet our spilled dry oats test proved a challenge too far for the little Russell Hobbs on our tiled floor.
With no wheels at the front of the main floor head, it sticks down to the surface with some gumption. That’s not a major problem pushing forward, as the wheels at the rear of the head help it to move along. Yet pull back and the tilt mechanism then lifts the rear wheels off the ground, allowing the head to stick down like a limpet and making it very difficult to pull back.
At which point the main metal tubes detached from the handle.
We put everything back together, solidly, and tried again. Unfortunately, the poor design of the floor head and the amount of suck down meant that the front brush simply pushed our spilled oats in front of the head. Pull back and they were simply left behind in a neat little row. Far from an A-rated result in our opinion.
Ironically, we’d score this Russell Hobbs slightly better on carpet, despite the fact the energy label gives it a D rating. The main floor head’s rear wheels certainly help to move the head around, and reducing suction power a little stops the floor head sticking down so hard that the tube and handle come apart.
Yet giving the floor head a serious push against full-power suction, the soft plastic handle simply folded clean out of the telescopic tubes and once again parted company. Like most push-fit unions on vacuum cleaners it will wear to a better shape over time, but the design and quality of this fitting is well below par.
All that said, the carpet cleaning results weren’t too shoddy. Our mix of talcum powder and carpet cleaning powder was picked up reasonably well in open space, although close-to-edge cleaning was mediocre. Subsequent tests on shorter- and longer-pile carpets produced fairly acceptable results given the budget price of this cleaner.
Russell Hobbs Turbo Cyclonic Plus – How easy is it to use on stairs?
With its super lightweight body, large carry handle and the miniature turbo tool, this Russell Hobbs is quite a star when it comes to stair cleaning. It’s easy enough to carry in one hand and clean with the other, and its footprint is small enough to rest on a single step if you want to put it down. Its ultimate reach is limited by the 5m cable, but as long as your plug sockets are fairly close to the foot of your stairs, you should make the entire flight.
The turbo tool itself spins up with ease and is nicely light to manoeuvre around stairs – even our oddly shaped spiral steps. The cleaner’s suction concentrated into a much smaller head gives far better pickup than with the full-sized head, and the rotating bristles did a good job of beating the carpet and picking up tricky debris such as pet hair.
By turning the handle on its side we found it reasonably easy to clean carpets on the step uprights as well – an area that often gets overlooked. Cleaning performance was very good with the super light weight of this outfit, making the whole stair-cleaning operation quite a joy.
One small caveat is that the rotating collar that unclips the two halves of the turbo brush tool also doubles as the push-fit connection to the handle. As such, if you twist the handle while the brush is firmly against the surface, the collar unlocks the clam-shell halves. It won’t fall apart unless you physically pull it away from the handle, but it’s something to be aware of.
Russell Hobbs Turbo Cyclonic Plus – How does it cope with pet hair?
Pet hair cleaning with the Russell Hobbs Turbo Cyclonic Plus offered a real mongrel of results. In particular, the average suction power and basic main floor head aren’t a great combination for pet hairs on carpet. The suck down means you must reduce suction power further still, and the head simply runs over pet hairs rolling them into clumps that stay put on your carpet.
Similarly, on hard floors, while the suction does indeed pull in loose hairs, the row of front bristles does a very effective job at trapping these hairs on the floor head itself. Arguably, they’re picked up off the floor – but you’ll need to clean the floor head manually afterwards.
Stick on the turbo brush tool and approach stairs, sofas, upholstery or the dog’s bed, however, and this Russell Hobbs turns in a pedigree performance. The additional suction afforded by being able to use full power concentrated into the smaller tool, combined with the surface agitation of the brush bar, makes for exceptionally good pet hair cleaning. The variable power also allows you to reduce suction if you’re cleaning loose materials such as throws and rugs.
Should I buy the Russell Hobbs Turbo Cyclonic Plus?
At its affordable asking price, and even better when discounted, the Russell Hobbs Turbo cyclonic plus offers reasonable cleaning performance, superb filtration for allergy sufferers and decent value. Hero of the package is the small turbo tool, which is ideal for stairs or cleaning pet hairs from sofas, rugs and pet beds. Main floor cleaning performance is hamstrung by a poorly designed main floor head, and the handle to tube fitting gave us some real problems in staying together.
Overall, this isn’t a bad cleaner for the money, but it has stiff competition from less well-known brands at this price.
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A reasonable-value, lightweight bagless cleaner with a great turbo tool, but it’s limited by a poor main floor head design and flimsy-looking build.
Score in detail
Cleaning performance 6