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Hands-on Gear Review
Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik ReviewPrice: $30 List | $14.88 at Amazon
Cons: Poor carpet cleaning ability, harder to use, less convenient
Bottom line: This low-cost vacuum may be the most inexpensive of the bunch, but don’t expect much in terms of performance
The lowest priced — and lowest performing vacuum of the bunch — the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik failed to earn any accolades, scoring average or below in every rating metric. It doesn't really justify its cost — no matter how low it is — with its substandard performance, especially when much better vacuums can be procured for a relatively small increase in price.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Dirt Devil did a decent job at cleaning the hard floor, earning an average score. However, this was the only component of our test where this model gave an acceptable showing. This vacuum actually earned the lowest score of the entire group in the rest of our metrics, as it was the hardest to use, the least convenient to clean with, and the worst in our tests when it came to collecting debris from the carpet. Keep reading below to see why the Dirt Devil scored so low and the few tests that it delivered an alright performance in.
To rank these products and determine which stick vacuums are our top picks, we put each product through a comprehensive series of side-by-side evaluations and scoring them against their peers. These tests were grouped into four weighted rating metrics, each weighted based on their significance. These metric were Hard Surface Cleaning, Convenience, Ease of Use, and Carpet Cleaning, with the following sections giving more information about how the Dirt-Devil did and why it wasn't our favorite.
Ranking at the top in terms of significance, our Convenience metric, comprising 35% of the overall score for each stick vacuum. We compared the ability of each model to clean parts of your home other than the floor, how much each product weighed, how long the battery lasted or how far the cord could reach, whether it was corded or cordless, as well as how the vacuum could be stored — whether it was stable enough to be freestanding or if it needed a wall mount. The Dirt Devil delivered a below average performance, earning it a 4 out of 10 for this metric and tying for the last place with the VonHaus 600W 2-in-1.
The Dirt Devil transforms into a handheld vacuum with an edging tool to clean non-floor parts of your home. We found that it was a little difficult to remove or attach the brush head while standing, requiring you to pick up the vacuum and fiddle with it to transform the vacuum. This model did earn some points back for being one of the lightest models of the group, weighing in at a paltry 3.4 lbs, as shown in the chart below.
This model is a corded one, with one of the shortest reaches of the group, only able to clean about 16' from where it is plugged in.
This model can be freestanding, but it is quite unstable and prone to being knocked over inadvertently.
Hard Surface Cleaning
Next up in our testing process was evaluating the ability of the Dirt Devil to clean up debris from hard surfaces. We used flour, rice, oats, pet hair, and Cheerios as our sample messes on a section of hardwood floor, rating this model on how much debris it collected and how long it took. The Dirt Devil didn't do particularly well, earning a 5 out of 10 for its mediocre performance.
This model started off the test with an alright performance in our rice collection test, doing a decent job and collecting all the rice in a single pass. However, this model would leak when the collection bin was full, though not as much as the BLACK+DECKER. This model delivered an abysmal performance in the flour test, taking over 20 passes in each section to clean up the flour satisfactorily.
The Dirt Devil boosted its performance slightly in our Cheerio collection test, doing an alright job for the most part, but becoming clogged after a while. It did a solid job at picking up pet hair, but performance fell off again in our final test, oat collection. This vacuum piled up the oats, but usually would eventually collect them in a timely manner.
Ease of Use
Our next set of tests composed our Ease of Use metric, which made up 20% of the total score. We based this on how many cleaning modes and options each model had, how well it cleaned in close to edges and under furniture, as well as the level of noise emitted by each vacuum. The Dirt Devil wasn't the easiest to use, earning a 4 out of 10 for its relatively below average performance.
This model doesn't have any different cleaning modes available and lacks a rotating brush. The Dirt Devil didn't do terribly well at cleaning close to edges, leaving a decently sized strip of rice behind.
It did about average when it came to cleaning under furniture, reaching about 15" under our simulated sofa.
This model is one of the quietest of the group, as shown in the chart below.
However, this model lacks swivel steering, making it a bit more difficult to maneuver.
Accounting for the remaining 15% of the total score, Carpet Cleaning was our final evaluation metric for rating these products. We used the same sample messes from our hard floor evaluation — oats, flour, cereal, pet hair, and rice — conducting tests on both flat, low-pile carpet and fluffy, medium-pile carpet. The Dirt Devil delivered a poor performance, meriting a 3 out of 10 for its efforts.
This vacuum did an ok job at picking up rice on the flat carpet, though it took multiple passes and left behind plenty of residual rice dust. It did much, much worse on the fluffy carpet, barely picking anything up and leaving a fair amount of residual debris behind. It didn't do any better at picking up flour, leaving plenty of leftover mess behind.
This model did about average at collecting Cheerios on both flat and fluffy carpet. It took some maneuvering to get the vacuum to actually collect them, rather than pushing them around, but it didn't become clogged and was substantially easier to clean up Cheerios with than the BLACK+DECKER.
This boost didn't last long, with the Dirt Devil doing an absolutely awful job at collecting pet hair and oats. It took a multitude of passes to collect the oats, with tons of debris left behind and it barely picked up any of the pet hair.
While the Dirt Devil is a very inexpensive product, it isn't very good, making it a poor value pick.
This discount vacuum borders on cheap, with performance to match. It didn't score particularly well in any test and didn't really distinguish itself to us as something that most people would benefit. It might be alright for a tiny apartment with light messes if you are shopping on a tight budget, but that's about it.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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