- Page 1 Vorwerk Kobold VB100 Review
- Page 2 Vacuuming Review
If you want the usability of an upright cleaner combined with the ease of a cordless model, you've come to the right place with the Vorwerk Kobold VB100. This bagged model stands by itself and effortlessly glides around floors, picking up dirt brilliantly on hard floors and carpet alike. Things start to get a bit more annoying when trying to use crevice tool or soft brush, as you have to hold the entire vacuum with two hands, making delicate jobs that bit harder, and it's tricky to cover stairs. It's also an expensive cleaner, but it will suit if you need a battery-powered replacement for a traditional vacuum.
- Excellent manoeuvrability
- Great carpet and hard floor performance
- Stands upright by itself
- Fiddly to use handheld
- Review Price: £749
- Cordless upright vacuum
- 1000 x 110 x 110mm
- Motorised floor head, 2-in-1 nozzle
- 0.8-litres bag capacity
- 30 minutes runtime
Bagged vacuum cleaners can be extremely useful, particularly if you have allergy sufferers in the house and want to dispose of your dust without it spilling out. Surprisingly, there are few cordless models that take a bag, but the Vorwerk Kobold VB100 is one.
Built to the same exacting standards as the company’s powerful, plug-in Vorwerk Kobold VK200, the VB100 is a robust and powerful vacuum that’s great for hard floors and carpet. Its inflexible design makes this vacuum less good for upholstery and stairs, and there’s no getting away from the price. But, for those who want the usability of a traditional vacuum with the convenience of a battery-powered model, there’s plenty to like.
Vorwerk Kobold VB100 – What you need to know
- General vacuuming: An easy vacuum to push around, it can get under furniture and around chair legs with ease, however, the design doesn’t lend itself well to picking up smaller spills, reaching up high or covering stairs
- Carpet test: An excellent performer, this vacuum picked up our test spill with a single sweep, and didn’t leave a trace of dust behind
- Hard floor test: Another excellent performance, sweeping through our rice and sucking it up without pushing the debris around
- Pet hair pick up: Excellent pick-up on carpet, but the VB100 is harder to use on stairs and furniture as it’s unwieldy
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The Vorwerk Kobold VB100 is well made and great for floors, but it’s a bit fiddly for smaller jobs
Many cordless vacuum cleaners, such as the Dyson V11 Absolute, are built differently to their plug-in counterparts – with a small handheld unit that you clip a pole and attachments into. This puts all of the weight into the handle, so you can lose some of the ease and convenience that a traditional vacuum delivers. The Vorwerk Kobold VB100 is different, as this cordless model mimics an upright vacuum.
Decked out in Vorwerk’s standard glossy white plastic, the VB100 manages to pull off the look without looking cheap. Standing on the provided EBB100 motorised floor brush, the VB100 can stand upright by itself without any support.
When you’re ready to go, you tap on the power button, fold the handle down and push the VB100 around like a traditional vacuum cleaner. The VB100 weighs 3.3kg with the brush head, but the main body is a lighter 2.1kg and the weight is evenly distributed. The result is a cordless cleaner that’s effortless to push around on the floor, with the manoeuvrability of a traditional upright cleaner.
Vorwerk has carefully thought out the design, and the VB100 is easy to get in everywhere – you can even place the handle pretty much flat with the floor to get under sofas and other low bits of furniture.
As good as this design is for floors, the VB100 becomes fiddly to use for other areas. Try and tackle stairs, for example, and the EBB100 brush is a little bit too big to comfortably use on treads.
Vorwerk provides a 2-in-1 tool, which acts as a crevice tool and has a sliding soft brush to tackle blinds and the like. This clips onto the end of the vacuum cleaner, and is fine for the odd job, but tricky to use elsewhere thanks to the long vacuum cleaner body (1m).
Try and use the brush to, say, clean up a spill on a counter and you have to awkwardly hold the entire vacuum cleaner two-handed. Trying to reach up in the air, to clean cobwebs from around the ceiling is hard too, thanks to the size and weight of the vacuum. You can forget about using this vacuum for cleaning your car. A pull out-hose would have helped, and handheld cordless vacuum cleaners are more versatile.
Related: Best vacuum cleaner
Vorwerk Kobold VB100 uses a bag, which is easy to change
Open the back of the VB100 and you can see the 0.8-litre filter bag. When you remove the bag, a plastic cover snaps into place, capturing all the captured dust for easy disposal. If you have a household with allergy sufferers, the bag both catches and retains fine particles and prevents them from escaping during emptying. Emptying the VB100 into a bin, I found that no dust got out.
New bags are easy to fit, sliding into place. You have to have a bag in place to fit the plastic cover, and the VB100 won’t turn on if a bag isn’t in place for protection.
There’s a single motor filter above the bag, which you can remove to clean. Vorwerk says that the filter should be tapped to remove dust or vacuumed to clean it out. The latter sounds like a good idea, but raises the problem that you can’t do this with the VB100 as it shouldn’t be operated without this filter in place. You’ll either need another vacuum cleaner or will need to have a spare that you can swap to in order to clean the original.
The Vorwerk Kobold VB100 has lots of power modes to choose from, which can be a bit confusing, but its swappable batteries are convenient
The Vorwerk Kobold VB100 has two controls. The main power button lets you choose the suction mode, either soft (30W), medium (80W) or max (230W). The EBB100 brush has its own button, which gives you three modes: normal (the default option for hard floors), turbo (for carpets and very dirty areas) and off (for delicate areas or deep pile carpet – you have to press and hold the button).
That’s nine potential combinations of power settings, all of which give you varying amounts of runtime from the battery, going between 11 minutes (turbo mode on max power) to 80 minutes (soft suction with the EBB100 turned off or using the 2-in-1 nozzle). For most people, the normal combination is likely to be medium power with the EBB100 in normal or turbo mode, giving between 25 and 30 minutes of use. That’s not really enough to get through most homes, so you’ll probably need a charge or two to do a house.
A full charge takes around three hours. You can charge the battery inside the VB100, but you can also remove it and charge externally, giving you the option of having a spare battery to double your runtime, although that will set you back another £80.
Cleaning performance from the Vorwerk Kobold VB100 is excellent on carpet and hard floors
If there’s one thing that I expect from Vorwerk, it’s powerful cleaning, and I’m pleased to say that the VB100 delivers this. A single sweep on carpet or hard floors picked up our test spills, leaving a floor as clean as when using the most powerful of plug-in vacuum cleaners.
It’s worth repeating how easy the vacuum cleaner is to manoeuvre, and I found it as convenient to use as a traditional upright vacuum for floors.
The problems are with smaller areas, such as trying to clean stairs, where the VB100 is hard to hold and the EBB100 brush wouldn’t fit onto the small treads of the stairs in my Victorian home. Even so, the 2-in-1 brush did a good job here, getting to the back of the treads and pulling out the cat hair that tends to accumulate there.
Should I buy the Vorwerk Kobold VB100?
The Vorwerk Kobold VB100 isn’t an all-rounder in the way that the Dyson V11 Absolute is. Dyson’s vacuum has longer battery life and a huge array of accessories that means it can tackle hard floors, carpet, stairs, upholstery, cars and, well, pretty much anything that you like.
The Vorwerk Kobold VB100’s design means that much of the flexibility of cordless cleaner has been taken away. What you lose in flexibility, you gain in ease of use for floor cleaning. With the upright design that locks into place, the VB100 can be pushed around on floors in much the same way as a traditional plug-in vacuum cleaner. If you struggle to hold a handheld cleaner for long periods of time, the VB100 might be right for you.
The use of a bag is nice to see, giving an option for cordless cleaning to those that suffer from allergies, and want a sure-fire way of being able to dispose neatly of the dust that they collect. And, the option of a second battery is handy to extend the runtime of this cleaner.
It’s hard to escape the price, and at £749, the Vorwerk Kobold VB100 is the most expensive cordless vacuum cleaner that I’ve tested, making the £599 Dyson V11 Absolute look like a bargain. On reflection, the Dyson V11 is the more suitable cleaner for most people, but if you need a cordless cleaner that’s designed particularly for floor use and you want a bagged option, the VB100 is a powerful and effective vacuum.
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