- Effective carpet cleaning
- Good-sized bin
- Washable filters
- Overly aggressive brush bar
- Very noisy
- Difficult to move on carpet
- Truly woeful dust emissions
- Poor for stair-cleaning
- Static dust attraction
- Ineffective tools
- Review Price: £65.00
- Compact upright bagless vacuum cleaner
- 700W motor
- 2-litre dust bin
- Pivoting head
What is the Russell Hobbs RHUV3002?
Bagless upright cleaners don’t come too much more affordable than Russell Hobbs’ funky RHUV3002. At well below £100, this bright white-and-purple cleaner sports a 700W motor with A-rated energy efficiency, pivoting floor head with rotating brush bar, and a decent 2-litre dust bin.
For dusting and detail cleaning the hose provides good reach for its 3-in-1 multi-tool. The RHUV3002 is light, compact and comes with washable filters, too. But sadly, good basic cleaning performance is all this budget bagless cleaner can offer. In every other regard, it falls short.
Russell Hobbs RHUV3002 – Design and Features
Russell Hobbs’ floor-care range is bristling with inexpensive bagless cylinder cleaners and stick vacuum models – but only a couple of uprights. The RHUV3002 is the least expensive in this compact range, coming in at well under £100 RRP – and far cheaper in reality.
Despite this, the spec sheet has some highlights, including A-rated energy efficiency and respectable C-rated carpet cleaning performance. It’s probably best to gloss over the D-rated hard-floor cleaning and the truly woeful G rating for exhaust dust emissions. HEPA-rated this cleaner is not.
Out of the box, the chrome handle clips into the main body and you’re pretty much ready to clean. Even with the cable, hose and the on-board 3-in-1 tool attached, the RHUV3002 weighs a respectably svelte 4.7kg, so is easy to carry around or up and down stairs.
That said, the obvious handle on top of the dustbin has a warning sticker saying its handle is not to be used to carry the cleaner. Presumably lest it departs from the main body mid-manoeuvre.
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The main hose wraps around the top of the cleaner and is ridiculously stretchy, reaching close to 2.5m from the body. Its straight handle doesn’t have a suction release switch, but pushes straight into the three in one multi-tool with ease.
We’ve seen this tool a number of times before on inexpensive cleaners. It combines a chunky crevice tool with a sliding upholstery tool on one end and reversible dusting brush on the other. The dusting brush isn’t huge, but it’s at least better than some of the toothbrushes we have seen on other budget cleaners.
The good-sized bin easily unclips from the front of the unit, unloads from the bottom, and the top splits open to reveal the two-part foam filter. Both parts are washable. A motor filter is also washable and accessed by a little panel above the floor head. The three together aren’t particularly effective, though, as a G rating on the energy label suggests – be sure to open a few windows while your vacuum.
The floor head itself is a reasonable size. It has a standard-looking rotating brush bar with stiff bristles that reach very close to either end, promising decent edge cleaning. Chunky rubber wheels at the back should protect floors and make it easy to manoeuvre, while small rollers just behind the brush bar should help avoid stick-down on hard floors. The head tilts and pivots from the body to aid manoeuvrability.
Unusually, the power switch is down by the floor head and foot-operated. There’s no way of adjusting the power or switching the brush bar on and off. This might be of concern if you have soft-wood floors that could be scratched if some grit is picked up by the brush.
Thankfully, a small plastic bar lifts the floor head off the surface when the handle is upright, allowing you to use the hose and tool without the brush bar beating a hole in your carpet.
Russell Hobbs RHUV3002 – Cleaning
While this Russell Hobbs cleaner has only a 700W motor, what it lacks in watts it certainly makes up for in both suction power and noise. In the latter case, a whopping 84dB vacuuming over carpet. It produced a frankly staggering 89dB on hard floors thanks to the sound of the brushes hammering against the surface. This is one very noisy cleaner.
While you won’t be vacuuming with stealth, you’ll be vacuuming fairly effectively. The combination of decent suction power, a motor that sounds like it’s giving its absolute all, and the rotating brush bar make for no-nonsense cleaning.
It made a very good job of our carpet-cleaning test in just one sweep, and the edge-cleaning results were far better than most other budget cleaners we’ve tested. It also pulled up quite a lot of carpet fibre fluff that other cleaners left behind. This has more to do with the very aggressive brush bar action than suction power alone, however.
Despite its light weight and pivoting head, don’t expect an easy cruise around the house with the RHUV3002. That high suction power and basic head design result in plenty of stick-down, particularly on short-pile carpets. That turns an otherwise lightweight cleaner into a real heavyweight and handful to move around.
In fact, the pivoting head doesn’t really work on carpet at all. The amount of effort you need to move the cleaner on carpet simply pushes it forward irrespective of which way the head is pointing.
The effect is much lessened over hard floors, where the pivoting head and rubber rear wheels move around far easier. Again, the combination of good suction power and a very aggressive brush bar meant our hard-floor test – sweeping up spilled porridge oats – was a breeze for this Russell Hobbs.
However, the brush bar managed to squish some of the oats into the rough tile surface, leaving a noticeable trail in its wake. Repeatedly going over the area did eventually clean up this “stain”, but we certainly wouldn’t recommend doing that on anything but the hardest of tile floors as surface damage will almost certainly occur.
Releasing and emptying the bin proved simple and easy, and unlike some budget models, we didn’t end with dust up to our elbows. The filters looked quite grubby after a quick test, so keeping these clean will be essential to retain a decent level of suction.
Like many budget cleaners this Russell Hobbs also suffered a bit of a static attraction issue, picking up carpet fibres and dust all over the body.
Russell Hobbs RHUV3002 – Stairs
The RHUV3002 isn’t the best cleaner to choose for cleaning stairs. While it’s nicely light at well under 5kg, simply using it as an upright on carpeted stairs is almost impossible. The pivoting head makes it unwieldy and its propensity to stick down makes it very hard work indeed.
The 6m cable didn’t get close to the foot of our stairs, but the 2m long stretchy hose certainly helped to get to a few steps with the multi-tool. Only the upholstery part of the tool is really any use on carpeted steps, and that’s too small. Don’t expect to be covering flights and flights of steps with speed. Overall, this Russell Hobbs really isn’t suitable for homes with stairs.
Russell Hobbs RHUV3002 – Pet Hair
While we have plenty of reservations about the aggressive brush bar action – blimey, it does pick up pet hair well. On carpeted floors, both short pile and shaggier, the RHUV3002 did a very effective job of picking up dog hairs, pulling them from the carpet pile with ease. This cleaner cleared our 30cm test patch of mixed dog hair in well under 10 seconds, which would qualify for pet-specific cleaner status on these results alone.
Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said when using the tools. The upholstery tool is only marginally effective at picking up pet hair due to its small size, plus the suction makes it stick to soft furnishings – such as the sofa or dog’s bed – like glue.
With no power adjustment or suction-release slider on the handle, the only option is to physically pull the head away or turn off the cleaner. While the RHUV300 can certainly handle pet hair on open carpet and hard-floor surfaces, it’s of no use if you’re fluffy friends get anywhere else.
Should I buy the Russell Hobbs RHUV3002?
The Russell Hobbs RHUV3002 came to the test bench with a decent specification, large-capacity bin and high hopes.
However, it’s noisy, difficult to move around and, while it does clean carpets effectively, the aggressive brush-bar action will do your carpets no favours at all. This was even more of a concern on hard floors, where the brush bar scuffed dirt into the surface.
Add to this a problem with static dust attraction, non-switchable brush bar, ineffective tools and truly appalling dust emissions, and this model really does disappoint.
Good basic cleaning performance is all this budget bagless cleaner can offer. In every other regard it falls short.