- Light and easy to handle
- Decent suction power
- Works well on hard floors and great for dusting
- Not too noisy
- Super-low price
- Poor on carpets
- Small bin that's messy to empty
- Poor dust emission
- Review Price: £49.99
- Handheld and stick cleaner
- 450W mains power motor
- Bagless design
- Telescopic tubes
- 2-in1 crevice brush
- 7m power cable
What is the Russell Hobbs Turbo Lite RHCHS1001?
Russell Hobbs is known for offering great value, and for less than £50, the Turbo Lite RHCHS1001 promises plenty: mains power, lightweight design, bagless cleaning and 2-in1 handheld and stick-vac convenience.
It delivers, too! While its performance on carpet is disappointing, it’s great on hard floors and around-the-house dusting thanks to decent suction and useful tools. Not a serious whole-house cleaner then but as a second vac for quick clean-ups it packs way more punch than cordless models at this price.
Related: Best cordless vacuum cleaners
Russell Hobbs Turbo Lite RHCHS1001 – Accessories
Having seen the Russell Hobbs Turbo Lite cleaner on sale for forty-something quid, we had to give it a try. It promises handheld and stick-vac cleaning, is bagless and offers a near half-kilowatt mains powered motor. Okay, that does mean you’ll have a cable to drag around, but it’s lighter than most similar-sized handhelds since there’s no battery.
On the downside, the energy label reports something of a mixed bag. While the Turbo Lite is A-rated for energy efficiency, hard floor cleaning receives a C-rating, dust emissions an F, and carpet cleaning a seriously awful G. It does promises to be fairly quiet at 73dB, though…
The main motor assembly and dustbin part company with a single button press, plus a large flap at the bottom of the bin opens up for emptying. Twisting off the top reveals the cleaners only filter – a washable foam circle. Two clips remove a plastic frame from the bin, which allows it to be cleaned out thoroughly.
You attach the supplied floorhead or combined crevice brush directly to the handheld unit by simple push-fit. For greater reach there’s a telescopic tube that uses a solid bayonet clip to attach to the main cleaner. Despite being made of plastic, the tubes feel robust and the clip-action for length adjustment is very easy.
Neither the 2-in-1 tool or floorhead will win any design awards, save perhaps ‘the most decadent use of purple’ in the latter’s case. The floorhead is quite small and is a multipurpose design for use on carpets and hard floors. Four rollers should keep things moving and there’s a soft brush at the rear to help sweep up on hard floors. The neck tilts and pivots with ease and it’s very light.
The 2-in-1 tool has a rather fat nozzle so will only get into fairly larger crevices, and the dusting brush is on the small side, although it does clip solidly into place. The mains lead is a reasonable length at 7m.
Russell Hobbs markets this combined handheld/stick vacuum cleaner as a 3-in-1 model… but we’re flummoxed over the third cleaning method.
Russell Hobbs Turbo Lite RHCHS1001 – How does it clean carpets and hard floors?
The first thing you notice about the Turbo Lite is, in fact, how light it is. At 1.1kg without tools or the cable, this is one super-light handheld cleaner. The plastic tools and tubes keep the weight down, making the whole ensemble easy to wield in either handheld or stick vacuum cleaning mode.
The single-level power switch is engaged with a gentle press of the thumb and the motor whirrs into life with some gusto. It’s reasonably quiet, measuring just over 70dB in our tests, and packs quite a suction punch. Only the very best cordless handheld cleaners can deliver quite this much suction.
The above traits make this an outstanding cleaner for dusting jobs when using the small brush tool. The brushes are soft, so won’t damage surfaces, and pickup of even quite chunky debris is very good indeed. The fully extended tube will add over a metre to your reach without adding much weight, making it excellent for getting to those high-up cobwebs.
The low-profile floorhead works fairly well on hard floors too. There’s enough power to pick up light debris, if not clean out deeper cracks, and the tilt/pivot neck makes it manoeuvrable around the room. That rear sweeping brush certainly helps on the forward stroke, but don’t be tempted to cover new areas of floor on the backstroke. If you do, the brush simply sweeps debris out of the way, depositing it in a line when you push forward again.
Just as we were starting to really like this budget bargain cleaner, things went somewhat awry on the carpet test. While the floorhead moved easily and happily picked up surface dust on carpet, heavier particles such as our carpet cleaning test powder proved too much of a challenge for the little 450W motor.
The front rollers lift the floorhead a little too far off the surface of the carpet, so it didn’t clean well where the carpet drops down near the skirting. As such, edge cleaning results were pretty woeful – as can be seen from the pictures.
The small bin proved a little challenging in use too. It filled up quickly and debris such as pet hair would hang in the bin even when the flap was opened. This necessitated digging in there with your fingers to pull out dirt, or simply taking the bin apart for a full clean-out. This isn’t overly onerous, though.
Russell Hobbs Turbo Lite RHCHS1001 – How easy is it to use on the stairs
Super-light weight and a reasonably powerful mains motor are always going to make for decent stair-cleaning results. Sure enough, with the main floorhead attached directly to the handheld unit we gave our stairs a good cleaning quite a way up, limited only by the length of the cable and location of our plug sockets.
While there’s nowhere to store the 2-in-1 tool on the cleaner, if you have it to hand you can easily swap to the crevice tool to do the edges of each step.
Ultimately, stair-cleaning results are going to be surface dependent. This cleaner clearly prefers hard surfaces over carpets, so don’t expect a really deep clean on carpeted stairs. However, for a quick spruce-up you can charge up or down your stairs with the Turbo Lite with ease.
Russell Hobbs Turbo Lite RHCHS1001 – How does it cope with pet hair?
On carpet, the Turbo Lite RHCHS1001 didn’t cope with pet hair at all. Our mixed Collie and Labrador fur balls clung to the carpet tenaciously, and no amount of going backwards and forwards with the Turbo Lite’s floorhead was going to unravel them from the pile.
On hard floors, the reasonably powerful motor and good airflow meant loose, rolling hairballs were sucked in with ease. There are no nylon bristles for the hair to get caught around, and the front rollers ensured the head was high enough not to simply sweep hair out of the way.
Spot cleaning and tumbleweed hairball chasing was made easy with the crevice tool and extension tubes. It sucks up hairs with ease and the concentration of airflow into the crevice tool even pulled some more stubbornly wound-in hairs from carpet.
Overall, the Turbo Lite is quite animal-friendly if you have hard floors but it isn’t much use for removing hairs from carpets. The lack of an upholstery tool meant the dogs’ beds and sofa were left rather fluffy too.
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Should I buy the Russell Hobbs Turbo Lite RHCHS1001?
Flexible, lightweight and quite powerful, the Russell Hobbs Turbo Lite is a great little tool for quick clean-ups on hard floors and dusting around the house. However, it struggles to clean carpets of anything more than surface debris, dust emissions are poor, and you will always be tied to a mains socket. If you regularly clean these types of surfaces the Dyson V6 is a better, albeit more expensive, option
Yet the basic design is sound and the build quality is remarkably solid for the price. Given that price is ridiculously low, the Turbo Lite just scrapes itself a 4-star rating and is well worth considering as a budget secondary cleaner for homes with hard floors.
Super-light and great value, the Turbo Lite is ideal for dusting and quick clean-ups on hard floors.
Score in detail
Cleaning performance 7