A considerable upgrade on the previous model, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car introduces a new floor head that’s built to work on hard floors and carpets. With its anti-microbial coating, the floor head is great for homes with pets and children.
Long battery life, split across two batteries, plus powerful cleaning on its regular power mode make this a cordless cleaner that can replace a regular plug-in model. I would like to see anti-tangle technology on this vacuum’s floor head, and slightly better edge performance would be good.
- Lots of accessories
- Dual batteries
- Clever LCD shows battery life in minutes
- Edge performance could be better
- Accessories aren’t anti-tangle
- TypeThis is an upright cordless stick vacuum cleaner.
- Battery lifeIn my tests, each battery lasted around 27-minutes, giving just shy of an hour of cleaning time with the two batteries.
- PowerThis vacuum cleaner topped out at 122AW in my tests.
The Vax Blade line of cordless vacuum cleaners has been one of my favourites: well-priced, powerful cleaning and a great range of accessories across all of the models. With the Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car, the company takes its biggest stride forward, with a real-time battery display and a new floor head.
This vacuum cleans brilliantly, although it’s a chunk more expensive than previous models.
Design and features
- LCD screen gives real-time battery life
- Simple controls
- Lots of accessories
Externally, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual & Car doesn’t look too different to its predecessor, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4. Both have a similar control layout, and the bin is orientated in the same way.
Part of the reason for this is that both products are part of the ONEPWR line-up, which means they run on the same batteries.
Batteries are swappable between different ONEPWR devices, such as the Vax ONEPWR Glide. If you’ve got existing ONEPWR devices, you can swap the batteries around to extend runtime.
Here, Vax provides two of its largest 4.0Ah batteries, with a single external charger. That’s the same load-out as with the Vax ONEPWR Edge Dual Pet & Car upright cordless vacuum cleaner.
Another reason that Vax hasn’t changed the design too much is that it doesn’t need to. Roughly the same shape has been used since the Vax Blade 2 Max: the design was comfortable to hold and use back then and remains so today.
At 3.85kg, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car falls into the lighter category for cordless cleaners. I found it easy to pick up and move around, and comfortable to hold for jobs such as cleaning around the ceiling.
Look carefully, and the improvements in the design can be seen. First, when the vacuum cleaner is turned on using the thumb controls on the top, the LCD springs to life. This gives a live countdown, in minutes, of charge remaining. It’s a trick that Dyson vacuum cleaners do, such as with the Dyson V15 Detect, and it’s a feature that I really like: knowing exactly how long you’ve got left on a charge makes it easy to know whether or not to start a new job or not.
This display also shows the mode the vacuum cleaner is in: hard floor or carpet. These modes don’t change the power of the vacuum cleaner, but adjust the speed of the floor head. Oddly, it’s possible to change between hard floor and carpet mode when the floor head’s not attached and the standard tools are. It would be neater if these buttons were disabled until the floor head was attached.
Turning the vacuum cleaner on starts it up in regular mode with the floor lights turned on, but there’s also a high-power boost mode available. Two modes make sense: one for regular cleaning and one for when there’s more dirt. That makes this vacuum cleaner very simple to use.
There’s a 0.7-litre bin in this cleaner, which is enough for tackling an entire house. As with previous Blade vacuum cleaners, the bin lifts out, with the flap at the bottom opening to dump mess into a bin. The top flap opens up to reveal the filter, plus the central cone can be pulled out for full bin cleaning.
There’s a brand-new VersaClean floor head with this vacuum cleaner. While the older Blade 4 had a single brush bar designed for carpets, the Blade 5’s floor head has a soft roller for hard floors and a brush roll for carpets. The VersaClean floor head is similar to Shark’s DuoClean head. I like a floor head like this, as you can move from hard floor to carpet effortlessly without having to change head.
Here, Vax hasn’t built an anti-tangle head, so you’ll have to resort to cutting away hair that gets tangled around the brushes. Fortunately, these can be removed easily enough, but I prefer anti-tangle tech.
Also in the box is a long 2-in-1 crevice tool and brush, a tech tool (for cleaning screens and gadgets), plus a mini motorised pet tool for sofas, stairs and pet beds. There’s an extension hose, too, which makes it easier to reach into restrictive areas, such as in small gaps or the footwell of a car.
All motorised tools have an antimicrobial coating to prevent odours and anything unpleasant growing on the tools.
The new wall bracket has space for two of the tools, but it’s slightly frustrating that Vax no longer provides a wand clip so that you can carry around your favourite tool or two.
- Cleans well on standard power
- Could cope with edge cleaning better
- Decent battery life across the two batteries
I put the Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car through my normal tests to see how well it performed. First, I measured its raw power in AirWatts. In standard mode, the vacuum cleaner came in at 36AW, which is a little higher than I measured on the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 and not far behind the Dyson V12 Detect’s medium setting.
On boost, the Blade 5 came in at 122AW, which is actually a little lower than the Blade 4. I’m assuming that this is because the redesigned floor head needs less suction power to clean as well, so Vax is balancing suction power off against battery life. The Dyson V12 Detect is far ahead in terms of maximum performance.
I then moved to my real-world tests. First, I sprinkled a teaspoon of flour onto the carpet to see how well the vacuum cleaner could pick this mess up with a swipe backwards and forwards. On its standard setting, the cleaner did well, with just a tiny trace amount of dust on the sides of the sweep.
I managed to finish cleaning the carpet on its regular power setting, removing all of the mess without having to resort to the boost mode.
Next, I sprinkled flour right up to the skirting board on the carpet tiles. Running the Blade 5 down the skirting board on regular power got most of the mess, but you can see that the edge isn’t fully clean.
Repeating the task on Boost mode managed to get most of the mess, but there was a trace amount of dirt left that needed the crevice tool for the final clean.
I then moved to the pet hair test, combing cat hair into the carpet fibres. Here, the Blade 5 easily removed the mess without leaving anything behind.
Finally, I moved to the hard floor test, sprinkling a teaspoon of rice onto the floor. I used the Blade 5 in its standard power mode and swept over the rice grains: they were all collected without any falling back onto the floor.
In most cases, I found that standard power mode was enough for cleaning most messes. That’s good news for battery life. Vax quotes battery life at up to 45 minutes per battery, although this assumes that there are no motorised floor heads.
Using standard mode with the floor head in carpet mode, battery life was 27m, dropping to 11m on Boost. Realistically, that means just shy of an hour of in-depth cleaning with the floor head in carpet mode, which is enough to cover an average-sized house.
I measured sound at 73.3dB on standard mode and up to a loud 79.3dB on Turbo. Both modes see the motor emit quite a high-pitched sound, and I found this cordless vacuum cleaner a little louder than the competition.
Should you buy it?
If you want whole home cleaning, this vacuum cleaner is powerful and its dual batteries last a long time.
If you don’t want to cut away hair tangled around a floor brush, then look for an alternative vacuum cleaner with anti-tangle technology.
A chunk more expensive than its predecessor, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car adds some needed improvements including a new floor head and a smart LCD screen. At this price, the main competition comes from the Dyson V12 Detect. Dyson’s vacuum cleaner has an automatic mode and cleans slightly better on the first swipe, plus its laser floor head highlights dirt. Battery life isn’t as good, though. If you want to fully clean your house with the batteries available, then the Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 makes more sense; if you have a smaller home or want a companion cordless, go with the V12 Detect or something else from my list of the best cordless vacuum cleaners.
How we test
We test every vacuum cleaner we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Used as our main vacuum cleaner for the review period
Tested for at least a week
Tested using tools to measure actual suction performance
Tested with real-world dirt in real-world situations for fair comparisons with other vacuum cleaners
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Yes, the batteries here will work in any other ONEPWR device.
I tested the batteries at around 27-minutes each, giving 54-minutes of runtime with both batteries.
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