I picked up two of these Dirt Devil Kurv designer hand vacuums on sale for $19.99 (regular list price $49.99). I had seen them advertised and was enthralled with the concept –a stylish contemporary capsule disguising a vacuum cleaner. But I thought $50 was kind of pricey even though it was a really good idea. When I saw them on sale at Buy.com for less than half the price, instead of thinking “Hmmm what’s up with that?” I instead thought, “Cool I can get one of these now” and quickly ordered two and thought about getting four. How convenient it would be to have quick clutter control without having that ugly iron-looking contraption that I have now.
The Kurv comes in two main parts: a charging base or sheath and the main, hand-held vacuum unit. The latter comes apart (with some coaxing) to reveal a dust bag the size of a hamster’s gall bladder.
The main unit contains a 9.5 volt motor which is roughly double that of the DustBuster model I have. When fully charged the business end of the main unit performs . . . well it performs. Tiny disgusting objects are pulled into its abyss. But it does not pass the true consumer’s vacuum test (a test for both hand-held and corded vacuums, by the way) : cleaning out the debris between the sliding glass patio door. The Kurv actually had trouble even getting out the cobwebs. COBWEBS!
So now I see why they were on sale:
- It is too large considering the lack of power that it provides.
- The base is easily knocked over when retrieving or replacing the main vacuum unit. While the unit looks sleek sitting atop an industrial new-age stainless steel desk or mantel, it still requires an obligatory wall wart and power cable and is too top-heavy for placing it above one’s torso.
- The dust bag is microscopic and requires frequent emptying.
- It is somewhat difficult to get access to the dust bag.
- The base and vacuum must be carefully aligned in order for the batteries to get charged.
The Kurv is a brilliant idea; masquerade a normally ugly tool into an elegant conversation piece. But it works about as well (i.e. as poor) as any hand-held chargeable vacuum I’ve used. It’s just not something I can recommend unless it is at a deep discount. And even then I still think it is much too large for the performance it provides.
Cordless vacuums are illusive and good ones, I’m afraid, are illusions. You can find similar items on The-Gadgeteer with similar findings at: