Electrolux Precision Brushroll Clean review: This sturdy upright vac has a lot to offer

Cheerios, 1 oz. (percentage picked up)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Hardwood
Midpile
Low pile
Oreck
92
97
95
Dyson DC41
92
97
93
Shark
73
88
97
Electrolux
93
88
92
Dyson DC50
80
83

The Electrolux picked up nearly all of the Cheerios for every test. That's a score of 88 percent or better on low-pile, mid-pile, and hardwood. Both the Oreck and the Dyson DC41 outperformed the Electrolux, with the Shark coming in fourth, and the Dyson DC50 coming in last.

Megan Wollerton/CNET

Sawdust/sand

Sand/sawdust, 2.5 oz. (percentage picked up)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Hardwood
Midpile
Low pile
Electrolux
97
80
91
Dyson DC50
98
68
77
Oreck
97
61
67
Dyson DC41
98
68
60
Shark
92
86
59

The Electrolux performed the best out of all five vacuums on this test. The mid-pile carpet presented the most trouble and the Electrolux still picked up 80 percent of the sand and sawdust I put down. It also did a great job collecting the mixture from the hardwood -- no brush-roll clean tech needed. Both Dysons and the Oreck struggled on mid-pile and hardwood, and the Shark only managed to pick up 59 percent of the mixture on low-pile carpeting.

Pet hair

Pet hair, 0.2 oz. (percentage picked up)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Hardwood
Midpile
Low pile
Dyson DC41
100
100
100
Dyson DC50
100
100
100
Oreck
92
100
100
Electrolux
75
100
100
Shark
100
100

Pet hair was an interesting test. It performed perfectly on both carpeted surfaces, but when it came time to test out hardwood, nearly all of the pet hair got stuck inside the brush well. For larger particles, you really need a brush to propel the hair into the bin.

That's where the brush-roll clean tech made a big difference. I pressed down the lever and almost everything that got stuck in and around the brush dutifully zipped up into the bin. The Dyson DC41, the DC50 and the Oreck excelled at this test, the Electrolux came in third, only picking up 75 percent of the pet hair from the hardwood (which would have been 0 without brush-roll clean). The Shark picked up no pet hair on the hardwood floor. However, if you go against the rules and turn the brush feature on for the Electrolux or Shark, it will pick up all of pet hair -- the brush might scratch your floors, though.

Human hair

Every vacuum picked up most, if not all of the human hair on all three surfaces. However, some always got stuck around the brush. In the case of the Electrolux, not even the brush-roll clean feature could remove the hair. I had to manually pull it from the brush, but it came out fairly easily.

Nuts, washers, bobby pins

Megan Wollerton/CNET

The Oreck did the best on this test overall, picking up about a third of the nuts, washers, and bobby pins. The DC41 came in second, and the DC50, the Electrolux, and the Shark all barely picked up anything. None of the vacuums were destroyed during this test, but I wouldn't suggest doing this at home.

Conclusion
The Electrolux is a capable machine with the features and performance of a more expensive vacuum cleaner. It even outperformed a $650 Dyson on the sand-and-sawdust test. That's an impressive feat for a $310 vac, don't you think? Couple that with its nice design and sturdy components and you've got one great sweeper on your hands. No, it doesn't have a swivel function and no, it doesn't have the versatility of the Shark. So, if you have a lot of furniture to navigate and want your vacuum to whip around corners simply by turning your wrist, this isn't the best model for you. But, the Electrolux is a consistent performer. Throw in different types of flooring and dirt of all shapes and sizes and the Electrolux will get the job done.

If you're looking for a midprice vacuum that just works, the Electrolux is a great option. Don't rule out the Shark, though. It's nearly 2 pounds lighter, offers better maneuverability and it's the most multipurpose model of the bunch.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Cleaner Type upright
  • Exterior Color tangerine/silver
About The Author

Megan writes reviews in CNET's Louisville, KY office.