A cordless vacuum cleaner is only as good as the battery enclosed. The moment the battery dies, you basically have to toss it. For this reason, i don’t really want to buy an expensive cordless vacuum cleaner, and to me, anything above S$100 is expensive.
While i buy just about everything from Taobao, i feel hesitant when it comes to a cordless vacuum cleaner. For one thing, it is a sensitive item, since it packs a battery, and that means shipping costs more. It may still be cheaper to ship from Taobao rather than buy the exact same item from a local seller, but it just seems like a hassle. Anyway, it’s surprising to learn that the typical battery capacity of a cordless vacuum cleaner is no more than your phone battery!
For anything that i don’t get from Taobao, Qoo10 is my second choice. As you would probably anticipate, a lot of the items sold on Taobao are also found on Qoo10, albeit at higher prices. Dibea is one of the more popular Chinese brands for vacuum cleaners, and none of their cordless vacuum cleaners sold on Qoo10 are below S$100. Besides Dibea, the other plausible choice is to go for Korean branded cordless vacuum cleaners.
The main difference between the Chinese and the Korean products is that the Chinese ones use Lithium ion battery (instead of NiMH), which is considered more advanced and allows higher power output. In terms of numbers, the sub S$60 Chinese cordless vacuum cleaners have power output of up to 100W, generating 5-7k Pa suction power and have claimed runtime of 20-25 minutes, whereas the Korean ones have power output of up to 80W and suction power of 4k Pa and typical runtime of only up to 15 minutes.
Specs and price wise, the Korean ones definitely lose out. But the Koreans started making cordless vacuum cleaners much earlier than the Chinese did, so there’s still a case for their products. Well, after looking around on Qoo10, i settled on the Fouring NZ835.
The main standout feature of the Fouring (a reputable brand in Korea by the way) is the 3800mAh battery, which affords up to 30 minutes of runtime. What the 30 minutes means to me is, when the battery starts degrading (and they surely will after hundreds of cycles of recharging), the runtime will be reduced, and the vacuum cleaner may still be usable if it still affords me say 10 minutes of use per charge. In comparison, the Chinese vacuum cleaners have only 2000-2200mAh batteries, which makes me wonder how they manage to last 20 minutes at higher power output, unless, well, they overstate their claim.
Another nice feature of the Fouring is the permanent stainless steel filter. This is where the Chinese ones lose out – they use paper/cloth based filter. After some time, the filter becomes less effective and may have to be replaced, which means you need to buy extra filters upfront to avoid the hassle later on. For me, a cordless vacuum cleaner is something that i would toss away rather than try to fix (replace filter or battery) when it breaks down. And the Fouring falls within the pricing at which i am willing to do so (i.e. toss).
A vacuum cleaner is always better at picking up fine dust than a broom, and in that sense, i don’t really mind the lower suction power of a cordless vacuum cleaner. It allows me to remove dust from all corners of the house much easier than a conventional corded vacuum cleaner does. The Fouring is a tad heavy, but serves its purpose just fine. I bought it at S$72, which became S$60 after a S$12 cart coupon discount. The S$19 delivery charge is expensive, but then shipping one from Taobao will probably cost more than S$10 also, since it is a sensitive item. Overall, it is good for the price.