Kärcher VC7 Cordless yourMax – tough little stick vac for home or office (cleaning review)
The Kärcher VC7 Cordless yourMax builds Kärcher’s legendary rugged quality into a stick vacuum. Suitable for home or office use.
Cordless stick vacs have taken over from the main-power traditional barrel/bag/canister types. Godfrey’s “everything vacuums’ lists 24 brands/models from $129 to $1199. This does not include offerings from LG (CordZero), Samsung (Bespoke Jet), Dyson (Gen5), Robot My Life (Ultentic), and many more. Some have cleaning stations and a vast range of accessories.
So how does Kärcher VC7 Cordless yourMax compete in a veritable cornucopia of choices?
Our test panel put it through the paces and, not surprisingly, were very impressed at this $799, reasonably rugged stick vac. It had some features that you pay a lot more for.
Australian Review: Kärcher VC7 Cordless yourMax stick vacuum
|Website||Product Page |
|Price||$799 includes free shipping|
|From||Kärcher online, Harvey Norman, and authorised Kärcher Centers|
|Country of origin||Italy|
|Company||Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG is a German family-owned company that operates worldwide. It is known for its high-pressure cleaners, floor care equipment, parts cleaning systems, wash water treatment, military decontamination equipment and window vacuum cleaners.|
|More||CyberShack Karcher news and reviews|
We use Fail (below expectations), Passable (meets low expectations), Pass (meets expectations), Pass+ (near Exceed but not class-leading) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. You can click on most images for an enlargement.
First Impression – Kärcher yellow – Pass+
A stick vac doesn’t need to be a fashion accessory. It needs to be placed out of sight, preferably in a cupboard with mains power where it can charge. I am not one for these massive self-empty stations that might be convenient but should never take pride of place.
It is safety yellow (like all Kärcher products) with black handle highlights. Like most, it uses a bottom-opening dustbin that critics say can spread dust – I don’t have any issues, and most won’t pay $1500 to get a lever-operated Dyson!
There are a few features that stand out.
- Removable 22.5V lithium-ion battery (meaning it is user-replaceable).
- Dust sensor that automatically varies power depending on the dust flow and shows power via an LED bar.
- Filter clean warning LED
- Boost button on the top rear that is quite addictive.
- Soft grip trigger handle with a lever to keep it on or off (Dyson ditched the trigger, but the lever fixes that).
- Oversized inlet throat to reduce clogging (an issue with many stick vacs)
- A very easy-to-clean, pull-out, primary and secondary HEPA filter and a natty filter cleaner attachment.
Tech Specs – Kärcher VC7 Cordless yourMax
- Dustbin: 800ml – average size
- Battery: 25.2V/2.5/62.5W battery – typically 60 minutes and 8 minutes boost mode.
- 235 x 266 x 1130mm (with wand and head) – average
- Metal extension tube (many are plastic)
- Accessories: 2 secondary filters, one secondary filter cleaner, 1 HEPA filter, large soft brush, crevasse tool, smaller bristle/Velcro, charger, and wall mount dock
Battery – Claim 60 minutes – Pass
There are three things I like about this battery. First, it is 25V and offers more ‘punch’ to power a DC motor than the typical 14V stick vacs.
Second, it can be recharged directly from the 30V/6A/180W adapter. You can hide the vac in a cupboard and charge it separately.
Third, it is user-replaceable. The website does not list it as a spare yet but expect $300ish (typical of all brands). This should be a 500-full recharge cycle battery lasting ten years at one weekly charge.
Charge time is claimed at 220 minutes (3.66 hours), and the test was 3.47 hours.
Noise – 78dB – Pass
Noise varies from 60dB to 78dB on Boost with the power head.
Cleaning efficiency – Pass+
It has a 350W BLDC (Brushless DC) electric motor. This is more resistant to failure due to dust being sucked up into the motor, is smaller, more energy efficient, and has a higher rotation speed. No Air watts specifications are given.
The ultrasonic dust density sensor in the pipe head adapter selects the right suction for the dirt stream. A small caveat – do not get this wet. Or you can push the boost button as necessary.
We tested in five homes, and without fail, none needed to use Boost. Four of those homes needed the weekly clean, and the test panel variously owns LG, Dyson and Samsung for comparison. But here is the rub – it is not a Dyson, LG, or Samsung (it is nearly half the price), and we had to ban the terms Dyson-killer, etc. Our cleaning efficiency is based on what a Dyson Gen5 finds after.
The panel found the following:
- Short pile carpet (motorised head) – excellent clean (Dyson found a few grams more)
- Long Pile carpet (motorised head) – good clean (Dyson found more deep-down dirt)
- Hard floor – excellent clean (motorised head – Dyson found very little extra)
- Edges (motorise head) – too close to call.
- Stairs (stiff brush) – too close to call.
- Dusting (soft brush) – too close to call.
- Pet Hair (motorised head) – Both picked up similar amounts of pet hair. Dyson has a unique ‘Archimedes screw attachment that is better for cleaning pet hair off upholstery. Kärcher also has a mini-turbo brush (not tested).
Ergonomics – Pass+
Compared to the Dyson, it felt lighter, a little more manoeuvrable, and the LED front lights were useful to illuminate the area (Dyson uses an LED beam to illuminate floor dust).
The soft grip handle and trigger (with a lever to keep it on) were appreciated, although concern was expressed at its durability.
The test panel felt that a telescopic flexible hose to attach the accessory brushes was necessary for its use as a hand cleaner. It is available as a $99.90 accessory pack with a wide upholstery nozzle, flexible extension hose, and a long, flexible crevice nozzle that reaches tight spaces. There is also a $114.90 car accessory pack that has extra brushes. Dyson and LG offer similar hose options.
Bin Empty – Pass
Most stick vacs use a vertical dustbin with a bottom opening plate. The alternative is Dyson with its Red Lever, which costs much more. So we must discount any comments on emptying – it is what it is, so take care.
Maintenance – Pass+
Our grumpy engineer tester always points out how hard it is to remove dust and detritus from any vacuum. While he is right to expect to clean it to the ‘nth’ degree, that is not what maintenance is all about. The majority of parts disassemble without tools.
- Metal pre-filter – dust and wipe over or wash.
- Secondary Air inlet filter – wash and dry ($19.90 to replace) and has an attachment to clean.
- HEPA filter – wash and dry ($29.90 to replace).
- Power brush – brush lifts out for wipe clean and allows access to the vacuum throat.
- Brush accessories – can be washed.
- Body – wipe over and inside with a slightly damp ‘Chux’.
Commercial use – Maybe
While the warranty is for domestic use as a dry vacuum, we think it is tough enough for shops.
CyberShack’s view – Kärcher VC7 Cordless yourMac is a good alternative to the usual suspects
The fact that we are mentioning Dyson in the same breath as Kärcher says spades. If you have $799, this is the one to buy. If you have twice that and are not a brand snob, it offers a lower-cost, slightly more basic experience.
Its top features are the variable sensor power and Kärcher quality.
Rating – as a $799 stick vac
- Features: 85 – It has everything you need, and you can buy accessory packs to get hose extensions and other brushes. But some more expensive vacs have more accessories, so watch the upsell.
- Value: 95 – it is excellent value for the features and price.
- Performance: 90 – It does carpet and hard floors very well. Dyson is slightly ahead on dirt-sucking!
- Ease of Use: 85 – it is easy to use, reasonably lightweight, has a swivelling motorised head and enough brushes.
- Design: 85 – I like Kärcher Yellow. It has kind of a serious industrial look.
Note: This video shows the white version for the UK market.
Kärcher VC7 Cordless yourMax stick vacuum$799
- The variable dust sensor works well
- The Boost button is addictive but seldom necessary
- The power trigger and lever on are excellent
- Simple readout – power and battery levels and warning LED
- Kärcher reputation for service and long availability of parts and accessories
- None really for a $799 device
- Really needs the flexible telescopic hose
- Treat the power-on lever gently
- Does not stand up by itself