A couple of years ago, I asked readers for boat vacuum recommendations. (See that post here.)
One that had several recommendations was the Ryobi Cordless from Home Depot – it uses the same battery as other Ryobi tools and readers said that it worked well, particularly with the lithium battery packs.
Since we have a number of other Ryobi tools and battery packs (and really like them), we got one of their cordless vacuums. That was about a year and a half ago. It worked well around our house. Consequently, last January we bought a second one for the boat.
We used it until May 1, when the boat went into storage while we sold the house. We returned to the boat in early July and around July 20, the vacuum died. Simply wouldn’t turn on (and yes, we tried it with numerous known good batteries that were fully charged and worked in all our other Ryobi tools).
These vacuums have a two-year warranty, but due to problems in getting warranty service (detailed below), it didn’t work for us to make a warranty claim. Still, considering that our other Ryobi tools had worked well, the one at the house had worked well right up until we sold the house and we’d liked it – it worked better than any other hand vacuum we’d had while it had worked – we chalked it up to just getting a bad one and bought another.
That was at the end of July. At the beginning of December, it died in almost exactly the same way as the previous one. Less than five months use!
We called Ryobi and they said to take it in for warranty service. Yes, there is a two-year warranty. BUT:
- You have to take not only the vacuum to a Home Depot (some can service on-site; most send it out) but also a battery and charger – the shop doesn’t have them!
- It will take 2 to 3 weeks to get your vacuum, battery and charger back.
Because we use the batteries for numerous tools and have only one charger, this just won’t work. In fact, it’s a serious consideration for us in any future purchases of battery-powered tools. Any Ryobi tool that needs warranty work will have to have a battery and charger sent in with it. We’re thinking that we might just transition away from Ryobi . . . but we’ll have to see what other brands’ policies are.
- I don’t recommend the Ryobi Cordless Handheld Vacuum at all. Two that have lasted less than 6 months tells me there’s a problem in the design or manufacture. I think that the older ones that readers based their recommendation on probably were good and there was some change between when I bought the first and second one.
- If you don’t already have Ryobi tools, I’d be cautious about investing in them with having to supply a battery and charger for any warranty claims.
We bit the bullet and ordered a Dyson on Amazon. They got the highest marks when I wrote my original post and I was too cheap to buy one then. They’ve also gotten nothing but raves on a few Facebook cruiser groups that I’m in. About the only negative is their price. They are expensive but considering that we have spent $60 in less than a year on the Ryobis that don’t work, and haven’t really liked the Sharks and other models we’ve had over the years, we decided that it might be worth it to spend a bit more up front and get one that just works well. We don’t have it yet – I’ll write a review after we’ve had it a while – but here’s the link to what we bought:
NOTE: This is one reason that I generally wait a bit to write a review about a new product that I get. I want to see how it holds up over time and if any problems or quirks develop!