- Solid, long-lasting build
- Highly manoeuvrable
- Excellent tool design
- Suction release trigger
- Outstanding cleaning reach
- Good edge cleaning
- Stiff catches and clips
- No "bag full" indicator
- Struggles with pet hairs
- Messy cable storage
- Review Price: £110.00
- 900W motor
- 10-litre bag capacity
- 10-metre cable
What is the Nilfisk VP300 ECO?
Nilfisk is actually one of the world’s oldest vacuum cleaner brands – the company dates back over 110 years. Famous for creating arguably the world’s first one-man vacuum cleaner, at a featherweight 17.5kg, the new Nilfisk VP300 is a basic bagged cylinder cleaner that majors on bullet-proof reliability. At 5.5kg, it’s lighter than the original Nilfisk too.
Competing head-to-head with the famous Numatic Henry, the VP300 has a robust 900W motor, beefy metal tubes and a tough hose that the fire service could probably make use of at a push. “Wow” features and comprehensive tools for every occasion are conspicuous by their absence, but if you’re looking for a bullet-proof cleaner that will stand up to commercial-level abuse, the Nilfisk VP300 fits the bill.
Nilfisk VP300 ECO – Accessories
Keeping things simple, the VP300 has a single multipurpose floor-head. It’s smooth for carpets and offers drop-down nylon brushes and a rubber blade for hard floors. It’s a good size, neither too large or too small in my opinion, and is suitably robust with a carpet/hard-floor foot switch that suggest users with heavy boots aren’t going to cause it a problem. Also stored on board is a flexible nozzle for spot cleaning and a good-sized brush tool with stiff bristles.
Inside the main body there is a monster 10-litre dust bag and, similar to the Henry, a simple cloth and foam pre-motor dust filter. Allergy sufferers needn’t apply. There’s no “bag full” indicator, so you’ll need to keep checking. Note that removing the bag is a fair challenge, too: the catch to split the body is of industrial strength and pretty stiff.
The hose is fabulously lengthy at nearly two metres and, while not stretchy, is flexible and more than tough enough in order to drag around the VP300… possibly with somebody riding on it. (Due to Health & Safety, we didn’t test that theory).
Related: Best Vacuum Cleaners
The hose connects to metal tubes that simply push together. Once there’s a bit of dust in that union, getting them apart will become a real challenge. As a result, the VP300 Eco isn’t a good choice if you need to pack away your vacuum between cleans. Yet, the long hose and tubes give this cleaner exceptional reach and they can be stored upright clipped onto the body.
The Nilfisk’s cable is a mixed affair. While superb at 10m long, it’s very much a “manual” cable. There’s no rewind, automatic or otherwise, so you have to loop the cable and hang it on the hook on the cleaner’s body. A week into the test, I was left with a tangled mess of cable that local birds were eyeing up for the winter.
Nilfisk VP300 ECO – Cleaning
Despite its single full-power mode, the VP300 is peacefully quiet in use. This is another strong nod to its commercial pretensions. We measured just 74dB in use, which – while a fair bit louder than Nilfisk’s 67dB claim – is well within HSE noise at work guidelines, so you won’t disturb late-night office workers as you nip around the filing cabinets and water dispenser.
Back at home, the VP300 pulls over 1000W from the wall, translating it into mighty suction power. On carpeted floors, the head sucks down with gusto, saved from being immovable by the floor-head’s smooth base and the suction release trigger on the handle. While the VP300 itself rolls easy on its wheels and front castor, tracking you like a bloodhound, the floor-head takes a firm hand and strong arm to move around on a carpeted floor.
Despite its lack of rotating brush bar, carpets are buffed free of dust and dirt in a single pass, with excellent edge cleaning too. Pet hairs and larger debris on carpets posed more of a challenge for the VP300 though, and several passes were required to pick up spilled Cheerio’s as they tended to get pushed out of the way.
No such issue on hard floors, where the head’s nylon bristles glide with ease and the rear blade helps to increase suction to pull debris from nook and crannies. As the head pivots and tilts, it’s easy to steer and always remains in good contact with the floor too.
Nilfisk VP300 ECO – Stairs
Given the VP300’s marathon-length cable, long hose and dual-extension tubes, the average flight of stairs poses little problem for this cleaner. I could easily get most of the way up our domestic stairs without lifting the machine, and the sturdy, moulded-in handle makes it easy to carry if you do.
The main floor-head is a reasonable size for stair duties and its articulating neck means you can steer it around the most challenging of stair shapes and into corners. The dusting brush attachment is also useful here, since its larger size and stiff bristles offer good, quick cleaning results on stairs.
Nilfisk VP300 ECO – Pet Hair
The lack of a turbo brush head was always going to make pet hairs a challenge for the Nilfisk, yet its solid suction power and well-designed floor-head make it far from a non-starter for pet homes.
It cleaned our test area in around 20 seconds, just on the cut-off time for fluffy failure. The main head does tend to simply push hairs around, particularly on carpeted floors, and after a few passes these fur balls do get sucked up.
Related: 5 Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
Should I buy the Nilfisk VP300 ECO?
The Nilfisk VP300 succeeds in its mission to be a solid-performing and reliable cylinder cleaner that will stand up to daily abuse. It takes Henry head-on, offering better tool design but losing out to the Numatic’s considerably lower power consumption. Its no-frills approach is a winner for heavy-duty cleaning at home or at the office.
On balance, we’d probably recommend the Henry to most people, but the VP300’s extra long cable and hose make it useful for covering large areas.
A robust, effective alternative to the ubiquitous Henry.