Although it sits firmly towards the budget end of the cordless vacuum cleaner pricing scale, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 punches way above its weight. This cleaner is exceptionally quiet in use and does an excellent job on all surfaces. The base model ships with few accessories, but order direct and you get a useful accessory kit that improves the cleaner's flexibility. Throw in the replaceable batteries and this is a cordless cleaner equipped to handle all jobs and size of house.
- Excellent price
- Swappable batteries
- Base model has few accessories
- Doesn't stand up by itself
- Review Price: £219.99
- 0.6l bin
- Cordless vacuum cleaner
- 1140 x 240 x 185mm, 3kg
- 45min standard, 12min turbo run-time
- Motorised floor head, crevice tool, brush
- Optional toolkit includes upholstery tool with stiff brush, extendible crevice tool and a flexible extension hose
Although this vacuum cleaner is called the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4, it’s more of an upgraded Blade 2 Max. For this model, Vax has integrated the cordless vacuum into its ONEPWR range of tools, all of which share the same battery technology.
This vacuum cleaner is the company’s top-of-the-line cordless stick cleaner, and it ships with the largest battery in the range – a 4Ah unit – and the most powerful suction in the line thanks to the brushless motor.
Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 – What you need to know
- General vacuuming – Simple and powerful to use, although you’ll really want the accessory kit to make this vacuum as flexible as possible
- Carpet test – Standard mode picks up most mess easily enough, but edge performance could be a touch better
- Hard floor test – Makes short work of mess on hard floors
- Pet hair pick up – With turbo mode, pet hair is effortlessly sucked out of carpet
Related: Best cordless vacuum cleaner
Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 design – Neat and light, with an easy-to-remove bin
The Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 looks like every other model in the range, including the older Blade 2 Max. Like the latter, the Blade 4 is a stick cleaner, with the innards of the vacuum sitting in a handheld unit. This holds the 0.6l bin in place horizontally, and the entire assembly can be removed for emptying.
There’s a flap at the bottom that swings open, and it’s from here that you empty the bin. Opening up the other end of the unit allows access to the washable filter and the internal filter, which you can remove and wash. It’s a neat and effective way to clean everything out.
The handheld unit is also where you’ll find the main controls. There’s a power button to turn the vacuum on and off; this means this vac doesn’t require you to hold down a trigger to keep it operational. A separate button turns the motorised brush head on and off; turn it on and it initiates spin to agitate dust from the carpet, but you can turn it off when tackling hard floors. There’s also a button to toggle the vacuum cleaner between standard and turbo modes.
Below the controls are three LED lights that display the current charge status. The battery has four lights that do the same – it’s just a shame that Vax hasn’t synchronised the displays for this model.
With the floor head attached, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 operates much like all other stick vacuum cleaners. There’s a decent amount of movement in the floor head, although a bit more flexibility in the angled joint would have made it easier to get around furniture such as chair legs. Without the brush on, pulling back on a hard floor is a touch more difficult than moving forwards – but that’s really a very minor complaint.
Turn the brush bar on the floor head and an LED turns on to show you what you’re cleaning. It’s useful, but it’s a shame it doesn’t work when the brush bar is turned off.
Inside the box, you don’t get much in the way of accessories, with only a crevice tool and dusting brush included. You can put one of these into the clip that attaches to the wand, letting you carry around your favourite accessory. Otherwise, there’s no storage provided.
A good reason to buy this vacuum cleaner direct from Vax is that the Cordless ProKit 2 comes included. Worth £49.99, this kit adds an upholstery tool with a clip-on stiff brush, a flexible and extendible crevice tool for reaching down the backs of radiators and the like, and a flexible extension hose that makes it easy to get to hard-to-reach areas. It ships with a fabric bag for storage.
The lack of a motorised mini-tool for dealing with carpeted stairs is disappointing – although I found that the regular brush and crevice tool worked well for my hard stairs.
Weighing just 3kg, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 is super-light. As such, it’s easy to use up high, say, for cleaning away cobwebs that have accumulated on the ceiling.
Although the floor head locks into place, there’s too much weight in the vacuum cleaner to enable it to stand upright by itself. It’s even quite precarious when leaning against the wall. As a result, I’d recommend laying the vacuum down flat when it isn’t in use to prevent any accidents.
For storage, Vax provides a wall mount into which the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 clips. This doesn’t provide a means of charging – but that isn’t a problem here. The battery is removable and can therefore be charged in the supplied dock. Once fully charged, the battery can also be used in any other ONEPWR device, plus additional batteries are available to increase run-time.
Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 performance – Efficient and quiet, a great vacuum cleaner for the price
To see how well the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 coped with mess, I put it through my usual set of tests. I started with the carpet test, spreading a teaspoon of flour against the skirting board. A single pass of the Vax through the mess – on standard power with the motorised brush bar turned on – picked up most of the flour, although a clump of dirt remained by the skirting board.
Carpet test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
Switching to high power mode, and turning the vacuum around to hit the skirting board perpendicular to the vacuum, was sufficient to see pickup of most of the edge mess. The trace amount remaining was removed with the use of the crevice tool. This is better performance over the cheaper Vax ONEPWR Blade 3.
Next, I moved to the hard floor, spreading a teaspoon of rice. I left the motorised brush bar turned off for this test and started on the standard power setting. A single sweep through the mess picked up the rice cleanly, even those grains that were lodged in the grouting. When I turned the vacuum cleaner off, a couple of grains fell back out of the unit, but this was a vast improvement on the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3 where the majority of grains were expelled. A quick burst on the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4’s turbo mode at the end of cleaning proved to be more than good enough.
Hard floor test: Dirty hard floor (left) vs Clean hard floor (right) – move slider to compare
Finally, I combed cat hair into some carpet and ran the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 through the mess on turbo power with the brush turned on. A single sweep through was sufficient to pull out all hair, leaving the area clean.
Pet hair test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
In terms of noise, the fact that this model has a brushless motor means it’s quieter (and more high pitched) than the Vax ONEPWR Blade 3. On the standard power setting on carpet, running with the brush bar turned on, I measured the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 at 78.8dB. Upping to turbo power this increased to 83.1dB. That’s the same lower sound level as the Blade 3, although this vacuum cleaner is more powerful, and its motor sound is less intrusive overall.
Thanks to the 4Ah battery, the Blade 4 lasts up to 45 minutes on the lowest power setting; you’ll get around 12 minutes in turbo mode. Fortunately, turbo mode won’t be required too often, so you should get at least 30 minutes of actual use from a single charge. The benefit of this model over the Blade 2 Max is the swappable battery: you can either buy additional batteries to extend run-time, or grab a unit from any other ONEPWR product you may have.
Should you buy the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4?
The Dyson V11 offers better suction power and a special floor head for soft floors, but it’s more expensive. To give the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 its dues, this is an absolute bargain for a vacuum cleaner offering this amount of power. Just buy it direct, as the add-on kit of accessories makes the cleaner even more useful.