What is the Dirt Devil 360 Reach?
It’s a stick vac, it’s a handheld, the Dirt Devil Reach 360 is a vacuum cleaner for those quick clean up jobs and hard to reach places. Despite its diminutive proportions this bagless cleaner packs in an 800W motor, powered brush bar floor head and on-board crevice tool.
As a handheld, it’s light enough to carry around and the 8-metre cord gives good reach. Clip on the tube for extended reach or use the pivoting floor head as a stick vac for carpets and hard floors. That all adds up to a potentially versatile vac and it’s cheap too, but there are issues you need to know about.
Dirt Devil 360 Reach – Accessories
The Dirt Devil Reach 360 is a cleaner of two halves, literally. The handheld part features the motor, bagless bin and filtration, with a handy crevice tool stored inside the handle. You can use this crevice tool or the good size upholstery tool directly connected to the hand held unit or clip on the extension tube for longer reach with these tools.
The motor itself is a solid 800 Watts, which is pretty potent for a handheld, feeding a small cyclone area in the compact bin. The bin is just over half a litre, so will need quite frequent emptying, but that is par for the course for a handheld cleaner.
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Emptying the bin requires unclipping and popping open the lower flap over a bin. The cyclone area that spins out the dust is at right angles to the bin itself and tends to collect dust and fluff, which won’t simply drop out of the bin. On several occasions this required getting your finger into the bin to extract the fluff, which was far from ideal.
On top of the fluff bin are two dust filters that are both washable. These got clogged up spectacularly quickly in our tests, so very frequent cleaning will be required. That isn’t the simplest of operations as you need to carefully remove and replace a rather tricky rubber sealing ring.
There is a third filter behind the motor just before the air is ejected from the rear of the machine. This too got quickly dirty but is also washable. Unfortunately, the three filters and the small single cyclone don’t do the best job in the world of filtering out the dust and the Reach 360 scores an absolute bottom ‘G’ rating for exhaust dust emission on its energy label.
This is made worse by the fact the air is blown straight out of the back of the cleaner onto your hand and arm, and up towards your face if you are pointing the nozzle directly away from you. The exhaust also gets quite hot, so you will end up with a very warm hand too.
Attaching the tube to the handheld unit requires a fair bit of force to clip into place and a fair bit more to remove. There are also some odd plastic protrusions on the clear bin that are just in the right place to catch your hand should you slip while trying to part the cleaner and the tube. Which I did.
With the tube attached, the floor head then clips somewhat more easily onto the end, turning the Reach 360 into a stick vac. This has a good, flexible neck with tilt and pivot action, and a little switch underneath locks off the up/down pivot at about 45 degrees should you prefer the fixed-head feel. Do note, however, unlike traditional upright cleaners it won’t stand up on its own like this, so you will need to lay it down to move furniture while cleaning and it will need taking apart to store.
In such a compact unit, there is little room for sound deadening and you will certainly know when the Reach 360 is running. In handheld mode it went a couple of decibels over the label’s stated 86dB, which is plenty noisy enough to limit conversation in the room to nods and gestures. Add on the powered floor head and the additional noise from this bumped total noise output to over 90dB, which is old-school vacuum cleaner loud.
Dirt Devil 360 Reach – Cleaning
The Dirt Devil’s 800 Watt motor delivers plenty of suction for a handheld, but nothing like the suction power you will get from an 800 Watt upright or cylinder cleaner with a full-size cyclone. Placing your hand over the nozzle feels like good and strong suction against some of the more asthmatic handhelds available, though. The narrow crevice tool focuses the airflow into a really strong cleaning suction. Small spills and debris down the side of the sofa didn’t stand a chance.
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When the suction is translated to the larger upholstery tool or floor head, it’s not as impressive. The upholstery tool looks like it has great potential for quick furniture cleans, but the design features two large cut-outs on the top and side which are designed to stop the head sticking down. They are just too big and let too much air in, which means the upholstery tool itself really struggles to pick up much at all. We found a little bit of tape of the top of the holes worked a treat, but that was hardly an ideal bodge to have to do on your new cleaner.
The floor head fared much better with its dirt and dust pick up thanks ostensibly to the powered brush bar. This can be switched on and off from the handle, making the transitions between carpets and hard floors easy.
Again there was not the huge suction one might expect from an 800 Watt cleaner, especially as the filters blocked quickly, but at least there was no chance of the head sticking down. Yet the combination with the beater bar produced acceptable mid-room carpet cleaning results from a stick vac. Moreover, it turned in a very good performance up close to the skirting boards with admirable edge cleaning. While there were some very minor bits of residual powder left in the deepest carpet edges, the overall edge results were very good with just a single pass. There are very few stick vacs we have said that of!
Switching off the beater bar and moving to hard floors posed a few challenges for the Reach 360. Without the additional beater bar action to pull in debris, the suction spread over the whole head struggled to pick up all our porridge oats particles in a single pass. It was two or three sweeps to clear the area and debris deep in floorboard grooves didn’t get touched. In stick vac terms that is not unusual, with only the Dyson V6 scoring full marks here – albeit it at three times the asking price of the Dirt Devil, of course.
The floor head’s wheels at the back are matched by a very low felt slider at the front meaning the head is very close to the surface on hard floors. This had the effect of pushing larger debris like small stones out of the way, but also running very roughly over heavily textured surfaces. On our deeply riven floor tiles the plastic edge met with raised areas of the tiles, with a bit of a scraping noise. It didn’t do any harm either way, but simply felt rather rough.