No Wonder it was On Sale – Dirt Devil Kurv Vacuum Review

kurv_fig_1I 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 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.

Main unit reveals a tiny filter bag

Main unit reveals a tiny filter bag

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:

  1. It is too large considering the lack of power that it provides.
  2. 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.
  3. The dust bag is microscopic and requires frequent emptying.
  4. It is somewhat difficult to get access to the dust bag.
  5. The base and vacuum must be carefully aligned in order for the batteries to get charged.
Takes some getting used to aligning the upper and lower portions for proper charging

Takes some getting used to aligning the upper and lower portions for proper charging

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.

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Cordless vacuums are illusive and good ones, I’m afraid, are illusions. You can find similar items on The-Gadgeteer with similar findings at:

Black & Decker VPX Hand Vac (VPX2102)”>
USB Mini Vacuum Review


Product Information

Price:$49.99 list price; can be found at discounted price
Manufacturer:Dirt Devil
  • Looks nice
  • Too weak
  • Too large
8 comments… add one
  • Ben Udkow September 10, 2009, 1:33 pm

    Thanks! I had always intended to buy one of these but kept forgetting. Now I’ll just forget the whole idea. 🙂 I remember my parents had like one of the original Dust Busters that worked like a champ. It was beige and looked like a brick with a handle, but man that thing could pick up anything we spilled.

  • Jhon September 10, 2009, 3:08 pm

    My “cordless” vac is a mini 12v wet-dry shop vac — plugged in to a portable car-starter battery pack. Its about the size of a hat box plugged in to something the size of smallish briefcase.

    Not scary bulky — and great to have while camping (portable power AND a vac which does double duty as mattress inflater/deflater.

    Little tiny vacs are next to useless.

  • Geakz September 10, 2009, 4:04 pm

    It looks like a trumpet that swallowed a cat. Or a lava lamp without a window. Too bad all of the sucking qualities couldn’t be transferred to the wimpy motor.

  • Jesseeka September 10, 2009, 4:44 pm

    I got one even cheaper than that. I paid 3.24 for mine at Target. I quickly realized why it was so cheap.

  • Andy Chen September 10, 2009, 9:10 pm

    There is no replacement for displacement, it seems!

    One of the best reviews I’ve read in a while! Great job!

  • Hai Vu September 12, 2009, 12:29 pm

    Think of it as a $20 room decoration item 🙂

  • Mr Lin March 13, 2013, 11:06 am

    Where can i buy F17 filter and the filter adapter Kurv in Hong Kong ?
    Do you have any agents in Hong Kong ?
    Please send their phones to me, thanks you!

    • Julie March 13, 2013, 12:02 pm

      @Mr Lin we do not sell products on this site. We’re just a news / review site. You’ll need to contact the manufacturer.

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