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I think everyone must be somewhat familiar with the little Henry Hoover, manufactured by ‘Numatic‘. It is one of the most used brand of hovers amongst industries and apparently is ;The Best’ hover on the UK market.
Henry’s reputation perhaps stems from the hardwearing, durability of it with hardly any sound but ‘powerful’ suction power. Even more so, Henry is famously characterised by his little face. The hover itself is simply a tub, usually red (though you can get different colours) with a black top that looks a bit like his hat. The top has clips at the sides which you simply slide out, to remove the lid and the top dust bag to empty the contents. Agreed, there’s no faffing about empty and placing in new bags with Henry and the lid is very secure so no dust ever comes back out. It’s just a matter of tipping all the junk out his head and placing his hat back on (though the dust does go all back over the carpet!). Henry also has a long suction pipe in order to get into all the nooks and crannies. The end base is flat and black with little push down/up switches at either end of which, will release a fussy edge to the base so that you don’t scratch your floor. This can be flipped back down for when you do carpets.
Henry toddles along on two wheels and operates by a simple push down power switch. In his ‘hat’/ lid top, there is a extension cable built in which stretches a fair few meters
to save you unplugging and finding a nearer plug socket.
So, what’s Henry like?
- As I said, Henry is more commonly found in work places and is used by nearly all industries for cleaning because it is the most robust. I often use Henry and his companions (Edward - a more manly version of Henry - a bit bigger and bulkier, plus a lot heavier!) but I tend to find him a complete pain.
Firstly, yes, the suction is good. Henry possesses a : ‘Tritex three-stage filtration and Hepaflow dust bag’ which apparently means he can store a large amount of dust ad dirt in his little head before empting. I do agree with this. I hardly ever need to change him however, the suction power lessens as he becomes fuller and emptying him is annoying. You have to unscrew to nozzle tube from the tube and find somewhere well away from where you’ve just hovered to empty him. I still find that dust spills out of his nozzle tube though. He has a 1200 watt twinflo motor which is send to be ‘one of it’s finest features, bigger than many other vacuum motors’. I do admit, he doesn’t make much noise compared to other vacuums.
Secondly, yes, he is hardwearing. There aren’t many hovers that can handle sucking up the endless amount of nails, fire ashes, odd bits of bread crust, glass etc…that I and the housekeepers suck up on a regular basis at work. They don’t usually get stuck in the pipe, proving that the suction is quite powerful and if they do, a simply whack and you’ll hearing a loud sucking sound as the blockage is whisked into Henry’ tummy. However, despite being a little tub. It’s very heavy to lug about, despite the claim that :
‘Other advantages Henry offers include being light, weighing under 7 kilos, making them easy to transport.’
I have broke Henry’s nozzle several times because I constantly tug on the tube in order to move him across the floor because when he gets heavy, the wheel don’t like to follow you. More often than not, Henry will topple over when I tug at him to hover a little further. The extension cable sometimes automatically releases itself if you’re running short but usually it requires manual effort to create a longer lead.
Thirdly, the pipe drive me mad! It’s far to long and windy. It makes it a pain to pick and carry Henry when you’re going upstairs because I nearly break my neck and it tangles around my feet (I swear He’s got it on for me. Must be payback for breaking is nozzle/ ‘nose’. He just looks innocently at me with those big eyes a cheeky smirk). Also, I usually trip over it when I’m hovering or tread on it, which isn’t helpful.. In addition, the flat black nozzle base only has a very small hole for sucking stuff up. Agreed, the suction is powerful enough to get things up through it, but it means that sometimes, bigger bits simply get sucked onto the hole without going up the pipe and I have to physically thrust it through the hole to get it sucked in.
On the newer Henry’s (yes they are still being manufactured after 25 years of sales reaching 6.5 million) you can get additional switches to turn the pressure up or down to suit the task. Also, as I mentioned, Henry has companions. You can get a girly pink version with little eyelashes called ‘Hetty’, the big manly ‘Charles’, the sort of ‘work boy look’ of James hover (yellow) and a dippy green looking ‘George hover’. I’ve even seen ting mini version to hover your desk top with for about £8. ‘Whichever you buy, you’ll be cleaning with a new, smiley friend.’ - But you might not be the one smiling with him.
Overall, yes, the Henry hover range are very efficient at what they do and are very hardwearing and durable and last years. Despite all his tumbles,, knocks and falls down the stairs, the design of a strong plastic tub shaped vacuum means that he doesn’t have anything to break and continues to run as normal (well, glide or suck as normal - he doesn’t have any legs). However, they are a pain when it comes to lugging them about, the nozzle is too long and trips you up and they don’t like to follow where you’re going, preferring to stay in one spot when he gets full. You can pick these up relatively cheaply though they can still be quite expensive because they last so long. About £80 - £100 in most hardware shops or stores like Argos, Curry’s, Dixon’s and the like.