Written on: 30/06/2012 by steersk (4 reviews written)
Everyone I know who has ever owned a Sebo seems to rave about their performance and ease of use. I will tell you why this is not true of the commercial uprights in this review.
Firstly, I do like the fact that the cleaner head is so wide (18 inches) It makes cleaning large areas of carpet easy. However, this also means that it cannot fit into narrow spaces. You should consider this if you are currently wanting a commercial Sebo.
I also like the fact that you don't have to replace the whole brush roller, just the brush strips. This is substantially cheaper and is, in my opinion, a good design.
I also like the computer controlled bag full/clog light, which will turn bright orange if either of these faults is detected, and shut off the machine. This is good for commercial origins, where cleaning ladies/men often do not replace the paper bag until it splits, or continue to run the machine while it is clogged until the motor burns up. This would also be good for people who don't necessarily maintain their vacuum properly (my grandmother springs to mind here)
It is nice to have the computer controlled height sensor that will let you know if the brush roller is at the wrong height. However, why they couldn't add the auto height-adjust to the BS46 is beyond me, especially considering its hefty price tag. The dial for adjusting the height is on the side of the head, so you have to bend down even further/lean across the machine to reach it if you are right handed (like me) Another thing that makes no sense is that the height adjuster is coded with numbers. Yes, really. It would make far more sense to have it on top of the power head, and also write the height that it is suitable for. t would be nice to have more height settings too - there are only 4.
The brush roll is independently powered - a very good thing. This means that the main motor can concentrate on suction alone, rather than having to drive the brush roller too.
And full suction is something you will need with the Sebo BS46. The suction is powered by a very poor 1000w motor. It does not produce enough suction to draw in all the dirt from the large power head - so it is pointless having the big head anyway. Despite its low power consumption, it still manages to make more noise than my 1800w Miele S7.
Another good point is that the brush roll automatically shuts off when the machine is in the upright position - very useful!
The machine is also very difficult to maneuver - being over 9 kilograms and having such a huge floor head doesn't help - it would be easier to move a lawnmower than this beastie! Yow will also notice that if you remove the power head that a substantial amount of weight disappears - perhaps the independent brush motor adds to the weight more than you think!
Now onto the dust bags and filters. The bags are large - being almost 6l. They are paper though, which makes them flimsier than random-spun fiber bags like Miele uses. Using them would also mean you could increase the pathetic suction - something that would be useful here. A commercial machine should have more power than a domestic one, so it can pick up on the extremely short carpet that seems to be standard in offices and schools. A soft start motor would be useful too - it would prolong the life of the machine. The bags also last a long time, but the BS46 really doesn't pick much up unless you hold the hose straight to the floor - which would take a long time, cleaning an office block with the crevice tool!
The filters are very effective and filter out everything you suck up, and are cheap to replace. However, given its commercial origins it would be useful to have a filter change indicator - those cleaners don't ever seem to change them by themselves you know! This would be useful so that you can prevent over use of the filters, and again prolong the life of the machine. The filter wash indicator on the Dyson Constant max was an excellent idea from Dyson!
The BS46 has the same silly hose that the domestic X series has, but the BS46 doesn't come with any tools. This is terrible for a machine of this price, and the fact that it has no tools also means - no tool storage. If you buy the optional tools, you will have to but clips so you can clip them to the handle of the machine. They often fall off when clipped on like this though, and it remains a major design flaw.
The cleaner also, like every Sebo upright, falls over when using that silly hose (for more info, see my review of the X4)
The final thing that I dislike about the BS46 is the price. At £500, this machine is really poor value for money!
If you need a wide-path machine, consider a Sebo Automatic X5. This remedies nearly all the flaws in the Sebo BS46. If you want bagless, look for a refurbished Dyson constant max. These are truly better than the Sebo in every way, but they don't have a massive cleaner head.
If you like Cylinder Vacuums, try the Excellent Sebo D2 - 15m of cleaning range and included accessories, and larger bags make it the better choice. The other suggestion I would make is a Numatic Henry/ one of the Numatic CleanCare range.
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