I recently purchased the Eureka 4870 and it has proven to be an excellent choice. Just about all cleaning tasks are done easily and efficiently and the Eureka Boss vacuum cleaner costs about half as much as some of its competitors. But nothing is perfect, and the Eureka Boss Smartvac does have some faults, but these are minor.
When you take delivery of the 4870 from Eureka you do have to some minor assembly. This is an easy matter of attaching the handle onto the unit with screws. A bag and filters are already installed. The vacuum ships with a user’s manual, which is well illustrated and very easy to follow. The hose, tools and wands are stored on the back of the vacuum.
The cord length is extremely generous at 30 feet, so you can easily clean one or more rooms without having to unplug. The cord doesn’t have automatic retraction – it’s housed by winding it on the back of the cleaner. The instructions show the cord wound in a circle around the hooks on the back of the unit but I find its better to wind it around the hooks in a figure 8 pattern to keep the cord from twisting.
I really like the shape of the handle – its feels very comfortable to hold. I would be nice if the power switch was mounted on the handle rather than on the unit, this would make it a little easier to use. Also the cord hook should be higher on the handle so as to reduce the tendency of running over the cord when you pull the unit backwards. Not only does the handle feel comfortable, its loop design makes it easy to pull the cleaner – a nice feature because this is not a self-propelled model. The spinning brushes makes pushing the cleaner quite easy however because of the spinning brushes pulling it back required more effort. The curved handle also makes picking up and carrying the 22 lb cleaner a lot easier.
When I used it for the first time I was pleasantly surprised at just how quiet the Boss is – it’s even possible to carry on a conversation while vacuuming. Carpet cleaning is first-rate – many vacuum cleaner reviews rate the Boss Smartvac to be as good as any other vacuum in its class. From the base of the unit the dirt runs up through a clear plastic tube that can be easily removed to clear blockages.
For hard floor surfaces, you flip a lever to turn off the beater brush, and then set the cleaning height to the hard floor setting. One gripe though; the lever to turn off the brush takes about 10 lbs of force to set to the hard floor setting. And whilst we’re on the subject of hard levers; the footswitch that releases the handle from the upright position is also hard to push. Who was responsible for lever design at Eureka?
The 15-inch wide brush head width speeds up vacuuming a room, but because of this generous width, it can prevent you from getting between spaces that a narrower brush would fit. You can also press the handle release foot switch while lowering the handle so that you can drop the unit to full horizontal, allowing the cleaner to roll under areas as low as 9″ high – great for cleaning under furniture.
As well as floor cleaning, you can switch the suction to the onboard hose and use the tools to clean any surface. The suction from the hose is very strong. Unlike many other vacuum cleaners, when the 4870’s handle is placed in the upright position, the beater brush turns off. This feature lets you use the hose while the unit remains in one place – no worrying about a spinning brush abrading the floor. There is an onboard set of nested wands that can be assembled and placed on the end of the hose; however the symbols to assist you in assembling it are hard to see. You can buy a 15-ft extension hose from the Eureka web site. This allows you to place the cleaner in the center of a large room, or at the bottom of stairs, and accomplish your cleaning without having to move the unit.
Though the cord, hose, wands, crevice tool and dusting brush can all be easily removed from and replaced in their mountings, the upholstery tool cannot. For some reason the upholstery tool needs a lot of positioning and pressing to get it to click into place. If you don’t do it right the tool can pop off.
What sets the Eureka Boss Smartvac 4870 apart from many other cleaners is the fact that it has a fully-sealed “True HEPA” vacuum. The HEPA filter is also replaceable; the unit should be replaced after every 6 bag changes. The replaceable filters aren’t cheap so it’s worthwhile investing in the washable HEPA filter from Eureka.