The Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 is an easy to use, mid-range cordless vacuum cleaner. It doesn't ship with many accessories, but buy direct from Vax and you'll receive a quality accessory pack. This model would score higher, but the more powerful Blade 4 costs only a little more and delivers that extra cleaning oomph to make it the better buy.
- Easy to use
- Swappable batteries
- Decent dirt pick-up for the price
- Outperformed by the Blade 4
- Doesn't stand up by itself
- Standard model has few accessories
- Review Price: £179.99
- 0.6l bin
- Cordless vacuum cleaner
- 1140 x 240 x 185mm, 3kg
- 11 min turbo battery life
- 40 min standard battery life
- Motorised floor head, crevice tool and brush
- Optional toolkit with upholstery tool, clip-on stiff brush, extendible crevice tool and flexible extension hose
Vax has been delivering cordless vacuum cleaners for some time, but this year the company’s focus has been to move its products over to its ONEPWR battery system, creating a suite of tools that all use the same replaceable battery. Here, we have Vax’s entry-level cordless stick cleaner, the ONEPWR Blade 3.
Visibly similar to the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4, this model lacks a brushless motor and ships with a smaller 3Ah battery – but you can buy additional batteries if you want to boost its run-time.
Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 design – Neat and easy to use, but it doesn’t stand up by itself
- Lightweight and easy to use, this is nice cordless vacuum cleaner to use
- Excellent range of accessories, especially if you buy direct and get the bonus pack
- Doesn’t stand up by itself so be careful where you place it when cleaning
The Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 adheres to the same cordless vacuum cleaner design blueprint that Vax has followed for some time. This model is notable for the 0.6l bin, which sits horizontally across the front of the vacuum cleaner.
Unclip it from the front, and the bin lifts out, so you can open the flap beneath and empty the contents directly into the bin. At the other end of the bin, you’ll find a secondary flap that covers the washable filter. Once the filter is out, the entire internal assembly can be pulled apart – this makes it easy to wash the unit, or empty any dust that has become stubbornly stuck to the inside of the bin.
This vacuum cleaner has a similar set of controls to the other models in the range, with a power button to turn the cleaner on and off. This helps to avoid the fatigue associated with having to hold in a trigger, making this vacuum cleaner more suitable for people who struggle to hold their grip.
There’s also a button that turns on the boost function, to provide greater suction power when required. Finally, there’s a button to engage the motorised roller on the floor brush, whose bristles are designed to agitate dust. On hard floors, it may be helpful to turn this latter function off and rely on suction power alone.
With the motorised brush clipped into the wand, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 operates as a regular vacuum cleaner. It’s a fairly nimble unit, letting you get low to the floor. However, a little more movement on the joint would make it easier to move around chair legs and the like; twist a bit too hard, and you’ll end up removing the head’s contact with the floor.
Neatly, the motorised brush head has an LED on the front, helping you spot any dust that you might otherwise miss. Just note that the LED only lights up if the motorised brush is turned on.
Weighing just 3kg, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 is light enough to use where you need it. This includes lifting it high to clean around ceilings and the tops of cupboards.
You won’t find much by way of accompaniments to the vacuum cleaner. In the box are a basic crevice tool and dusting brush. An accessory clip attaches to the vacuum’s wand, enabling you to carry around your most-used accessory – but there’s no other storage provided.
If you buy from Vax, you get a Cordless ProKit 2 included. This nets you an upholstery brush with a stiff brush attachment, an extending, flexible crevice tool that’s perfect for getting down the back of radiators, and an extendible tube, which lets you get into hard-to-reach areas. A drawstring bag for storage is also included –and is a great reason to buy direct. This kit would normally set you back £49.99.
A smaller, motorised tool for dealing with stairs would have been welcome, particularly if you have carpet. I found the standard brush or crevice tool fine for dealing with my hard-floor staircase, though.
Note that this vacuum cleaner can’t stand up by itself; the weight of the main vacuum and battery make it rather unstable. It isn’t any better when propped up against a wall, either. In fact, when you’re not cleaning, I’d advise that you lay the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 flat on the floor.
For storage, there’s a wall mount into which the vacuum cleaner’s wand clips to help it stand upright. The version supplied with the Blade 2 Max didn’t provide charging, so you had to fumble around for the charging cable for the integrated battery. There are no such concerns here; the battery pops out of the back and plugs directly into the charging dock, ready to be used with the Blade 3 or any other ONEPWR accessory.
A battery charge meter on the back of the unit features four lights the provide a rough indicator to the vacuum’s current charge level. Once the battery is in the vacuum cleaner, there’s a secondary charge level display on the handle – although, confusingly, this is made up of only three lights.
Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 performance – A decent cleaner, but the more powerful Blade 4 just edges it
- Decent overall performance on hard floors and carpets
- The slightly-more expensive Blade 4 is much better, though
- Decent with pet hair, but the Blade 4 Pet is a better choice, again
The main difference with the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 and the Blade 4 is that this model doesn’t have a brushless motor, which makes the Blade 3 a touch less powerful and slightly noisier, too. To review its cleaning prowess, I put the ONEPWR Blade 3 through my usual set of tests.
Starting with the carpet test, I sprinkled a teaspoon of flour right up against the skirting board and drove the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 in a single pass through the mess. I used it on standard power and turned on the motorised brush bar. The single pass picked up a clean line through the dust, although edge performance wasn’t as good, leaving behind a clump of flour.
Carpet test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
Switching to Turbo power, I attempted a second pass through but the mess; however, the dust remained, showing this vacuum can’t quite get close to the edge. This remained true even when turning the vacuum cleaner’s head perpendicular to the skirting board. In the end, I had to resort to using the crevice tool.
Next, I threw a teaspoon of rice onto a hard floor. I used the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 in standard mode to begin. Although the vacuum manoeuvred through the mess, leaving a relatively clean trail, turning the power off resulted in several rice grains falling onto the floor. I had to repeat this test on maximum power, which produced better results – although there were still one or two rice grains stuck in the grouting.
Hard floor test: Dirty hard floor (left) vs Clean hard floor (right) – move slider to compare
Finally, I tested the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3’s ability to deal with pet hair. Combing hair from my four cats into the carpet, I used the vacuum cleaner on maximum power with the motorised brush turned on. Sweeping through, the vacuum managed to pick up the hair, leaving a clean carpet behind.
Pet hair test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
In terms of noise, standard power on carpet with the brush head turned resulted in a reading of 78.8db. Upping the power to Turbo, the sound increased to 82.6dB. The ONEPWR Blade 3 makes quite a low mechanical rumble when turned on, so it’s difficult to hear above it. The Blade 4 with its brushless motor is a little quieter.
The Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 ships with a 3Ah battery, which gives a run-time of 40 minutes on standard power (11 minutes on Turbo), and takes 2.5 hours to charge. This should be sufficient to cover most areas in your home, although I recommend a more powerful plug-in cleaner for a deeper weekly clean. To increase run-time, you can buy additional batteries.
Should you buy the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3?
There’s no doubt that the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 is a decent vacuum cleaner and a handy add-on to an existing plug-in model. I love the removable battery, which brings flexibility – particularly if you have other Vax ONEPWR tools, such as the ONEPWR Glide hard floor cleaner.
For all that, there’s one very good reason not to buy the Blade 3 – the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 is better and costs only £50 more. Given that you get the bigger battery with the Blade 4 and better pick-up, I’d spend the extra and buy that vacuum instead, or choose something even more powerful from my round-up of the top cordless vacuums.