Vax Blade 4 Pet and Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner review

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If you’re looking for one of the best vacuum cleaners for lightweight and agile cleaning, you’ll find plenty that claim to out-clean the competition. But, when a brand like Vax comes along with its Blade 4 Pet and Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner for less than £300, we had to put it to the test. Sporting a 45-minute battery life, it also offers to make light work of two of the most challenging household cleaning jobs: pet hair and car cleaning.

Expert rating:


  • Tools are non-abrasive for surfaces like wood
  • Comes with a motorised pet tool that removes hair and crumbs easily
  • 30 minutes of cleaning time with the boost power setting and motorised brush
  • Comes with antimicrobial treatment on the brush bar and an odour-free filter


  • It isn’t quite lightweight enough for those with mobility issues
  • Needs its crevice tools to catch crumbs and dust in tight corners
Dimensions:‎24 x 18.5 x 114 cm
Run time:‎45 minutes
Weight:3.1 kg
Capacity:‎0.6 litres
Charge time:3 hours

Its bagless design and sturdy build only add up to around 3.1kg – heavier than some, but most people will still be able to lift this for curtains and other high-reach areas. Vax provides a great range of attachments, too. We love the addition of a Blade Toolkit, normally sold for over £50, which makes this a super-practical model for a whole household. The flexible hose and tough carpet tool claim to make short work of car fabrics, plus a crevice tool with an innovative flexible extension for those tight spaces. Aside from the Blade 4’s standard attachments, it’s the two motorised brush tools and their promise to lift dust and pet hair from your carpets that caught our eye.

Typically for Vax, it’s also quite a looker, with an attractive royal blue finish on the reach wand and easy-to-see controls and latches. Read on to see how Chris Duffill, Senior Writer and household tech reviewer at What’s The Best, got on with the Vax Blade 4 – did it cope with the dog, or is it in the doghouse with some other cordless vacuums?

How we tested the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 Pet and Car Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

I used this vacuum cleaner for three weeks to clean my car and a range of floor types and fabrics in my two-bedroom bungalow. My dog, Rosie, is a rescue dog (possibly with Husky or German Shepherd breeds in the mix) so she sheds more than most short-haired breeds throughout the year. I have tiled floors, deep-pile carpets, carpet tiles and a range of fabrics in my home, all of which attract and trap pet hair in slightly different ways. My current vacuum is an older Dyson DC39 Animal that sometimes struggles to do a good job with pet hair and thicker carpet, so I was keen to see how the Vax would compare.

As you might expect, despite being fitted with a bench seat cover in the back, dog hair finds its way all over the interior of my Ford Fiesta after just one or two trips. I was especially keen to see if using the Blade 4 would make for a more comprehensive cleaning of both my home and car while sparing me from the dreaded back pain.

Setting up the Vax Blade 4 Pet and Car

Although the Blade 4 does come in a non-pet version that doesn’t have the anti-odour filter and mini motorised brush tool, my one does – plus the full complement of accessories to tackle both pet hair and cars. In terms of reach, it comes with a long reach wand and a flexible hose – both of which can pass power to either of the motorised brush bars. I was particularly happy to see a clip for attaching the crevice tool to the wand for ease of use and a dusting brush for skirting boards and surfaces. Thanks to a substantial clip, you could wall mount the vacuum too – handy for neatly storing inside tall cupboards.

As for the extra cleaning toolkit, this includes a slightly more industrial-looking flexible stretch hose, a touch dirt tool with clip-on brush, and that flexible crevice tool I mentioned earlier.

The vacuum itself is a neat little unit and the removable bagless dirt container is simple and intuitive to attach and remove. Thankfully, the same is true for all of the attachments like the reach wand. I don’t like catches that seem to have been designed to hurt your fingers, so the large and easily found buttons on all of them were a welcome relief. I was, though, hoping to find two batteries in the box for extra flexibility. Vax do sell a ‘Duo’ version which has just that, but for now, I was hoping one battery would deliver a full 45 minutes of cleaning time. With the Blade 4 assembled with the brushbar, I charged the battery and set about vacuuming.

Testing the Vax Blade 4 Pet and Car on carpet

As a pet owner, this was my biggest challenge thanks to a wide range of carpet types and fabrics. Whereas my trusty Dyson did a decent enough job, on a deep pile lounge carpet it would take two slow passes with a non-motorised brushbar to do it right. With the Blade 4 switched on, but the motorised bar off, I immediately noticed the vacuum power which almost lifted one of the carpet tiles in my entrance hall. With the brush function turned on, any hair trapped in the tight weave of the tiles didn’t stand a chance. In part thanks to the large light on the front of it,  I could see that the brushbar was a serious step up from my Dyson.

Likewise, when I reached the lounge carpet I went in at full power (‘Boost’) with the brushbar motor on and this is where I was equally impressed and surprised by the Blade 4. It was actually too powerful for the deeper pile at times, so I turned the power to the lower setting and it removed hair, crumbs and fluff with ease. And I hadn’t even used the special mini motorised brush tool yet.

Swapping the larger brushbar for the smaller one was easy, as was replacing the reach wand with the flexi-hose. Together, they allowed me to quickly vacuum pet hair from the side of my sofa and from cushions that Rosie had clearly used as a pillow at some point. On hard floors, like the bathroom tiles, using the brushbars without the motor was simple and easy and I particularly like how manoeuvrable they are in tight spaces when attached to the wand.

However, one shortcoming of the brushbars compared to my other vacuum is its power to reach right into corners. Whereas my Dyson will actually pick up crumbs from right next to the skirting board, the Blade 4 definitely needs its crevice tools for this final touch. I appreciated the oval shape of the dusting brush attachment though, which seemed to be easier to use on skirting boards than the usual circular ones.

While I was thankful for the sheer power of the motorised brush heads, if you have any loose carpet threads I recommend trimming them with scissors first – the bars do such a good job they will need regular maintenance to free them from long threads or hair. A coin is needed to remove the brush from the bar, though, and it was a little stiff to get open at first.

Lastly, having vacuumed all of the carpets and other fabrics, I checked the dirt container. With my other bag-based model, a Henry, I’m used to feeling that slow loss of power as the bag filled. As a bagless cleaner, I found I had actually forgotten to see how full it was. It had clearly collected (and compacted) a great deal of dog hair in a short amount of time without losing power. Impressive, and also a reminder that I should check it more often. Emptying was just a couple of clicks away, and being able to place the whole container inside a bin bag before opening it was a real bonus. That does, however, quickly coat the outside of it with dust thanks to static.

Testing the Vax Blade 4 Pet and Car on hard floors

Although all of the hard floors in my house are ceramic tiles, I can tell from the design of the tools that they’re non-abrasive for surfaces like wood. On hard floors, although Dyson advises turning the motorised brush off, I think that having them powered on is optional depending on the task. I found that both did a great job of getting hair and fibres from tight corners. If you find small pieces of gravel or a piece of Lego on any surface though, the spinning brush will either refuse to take it or make a noise and spit it out.

Turning the brush motor off is simple, thanks to the button on the handle next to the others, and I found that’s the best way to deal with small pieces of paper or small objects. The dusting brush tool and standard crevice tool were ideal for the smallest corners and skirting, and the flexible hose was handy here too as I could reach more easily underneath units and so on, especially in smaller rooms where the Reach Wand would have been cumbersome.

Testing the Blade 4’s motorised pet hair tool

I wanted to really tackle one of the worst areas for pet hair by using just the motorised pet tool. It’s really a miniature version of the standard brushbar tool but with the addition of a sliding base plate that helps you guide the tool over and around contours. Rosie’s bed was the ideal test for this, and I found that I could remove hair and other debris like biscuit crumbs quickly and easily with the flexible hose attached. I only had to resort to the crevice tool for the deep corners.

Cleaning a car with the Vax Blade 4

I hate to say it, but my car is a dog taxi in need of a proper clean. Not only are the carpets excellent at trapping hair, but there are those tell-tale signs of many a-walk – mud, sand and the odd leaf or two. I was dreading this job because my Dyson is so heavy and its tools are cumbersome. I always end up with a bad back, bruised elbows and a substandard clean. I grabbed the Blade 4, removed the Reach Wand and attached the stretch hose. Taking the tough dirt tool, extendable crevice tool and motorised pet brush with me, I set about cleaning the car.

Ford Fiestas aren’t the most accessible of cars when it comes to nooks and crannies, especially around the seats, but here the flexible crevice tool was a Godsend. I found I could slide the extension around the footwell and each side of the seatbelts to clear them of debris.

The Tough Dirt tool has two modes – the main section is a small flat-head with lint and hair fabric on it, but a tough brush can be attached to this. I found that this was ideal for the seats and the brush could be used to almost scrub stubborn and trapped areas of dirt on the carpet.

Next came the motorised pet hair tool, which was the most useful of the lot. It did much the same job as it did indoors, but this time I had to use the Blade 4 on full power with the brush powered on to do the job. It was also harder than the lounge carpet as car mats seem to love holding onto dog hair. Best of all, that angled plate on the brush made cleaning hair from footwells in the back a lot easier, as it could move from the floor to the sidewalls in one go. Battery-wise, I was glad I recharged the Vax before this job, as the combination of the Boost power setting and motorised brush meant I had around 30 minutes of cleaning time instead of the usual 45.

Battery life and charging

All in all, I found Vax’s claims of a 3-hour charge time and a 45-minute runtime accurate. The only real variation in cleaning time on one charge is, of course, whether you’re running it in Boost mode with the brush motors on. In practice, I found that turning both of these on at once would instantly knock one bar off the four-bar charge indicator and the overall runtime was reduced by over a third. Not totally unexpected but if your house needs that kind of cleaning power, I think you should consider the ‘Duo’ version which comes with two batteries.

Lastly, if you own any of Vax’s other ONEPWR devices, the battery packs are interchangeable. Best of all, the Blade 4 doesn’t lose any suction power over time. It keeps going right up until the battery is empty.

Hidden extras

Right out of the box, the Vax Blade 4 Pet and Car is a highly usable machine. But, even with a dog that doesn’t create a bad pet odour in the house, I’m grateful for the addition of antimicrobial treatment on the brush bar and an odour-free filter that’s easy to remove. As an asthmatic, I’m also very happy to report that this has a 3-stage filtration system that Vax say removes up to 99.8% of particles from the air, down to 0.3 microns in size.

Final verdict

This being my first cordless vacuum, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the Vax Blade 4 Pet and Car. Any concerns I had about the runtime on one charge disappeared on day one. I found it well-designed and solidly built, with attachments that do what they’re designed to do. While its 3.1kg weight isn’t quite lightweight enough for those with mobility issues, I found it easy to use for the full 45 minutes without aches and strains. It is a little heavy if you’re lifting it to vacuum higher areas, but the extendable hose is long enough to allow you to place the business end on the floor.

For me, the motorised brushes are the star of the show, with both the Reach Wand and car hose able to deliver power to them. That meant a lot of flexibility with cleaning –  from replacing my normal household upright for carpets to fitting it into small spaces like the car with ease.

The bagless design (and the battery’s power delivery) really did deliver on the suction power front, and the same for easy emptying. The only downsides for me were minor. The fact that being able to put the whole dirt container inside the bin bag led to the whole thing being covered with a fine layer of dust is one nitpick. You will have to clean the vacuum cleaner when you’re done.

Also, although Boost mode is excellent and standard more than adequate, I would have liked a couple more power settings to choose from at the lower end. Using Boost mode plus the brush motors reduces the battery life drastically, so I recommend setting the Blade 4 to the right settings for each room rather than just sticking to max power throughout.

Overall, this is a well-designed and engineered vacuum cleaner with more flexibility than most. It did a stunning job of removing pet hair from my home and did a good job (although it took a bit longer) removing hair, sand and dirt from my car. I was thankful for the extra tools included in this Pet and Car package and I would recommend the Vax Blade 4 to anyone who wants serious power from a flexible and portable cleaner.

Chris Duffill is a tech specialist and senior writer for What's The Best at Bauer Media. He has extensive experience in technology and media, having worked in areas such as video production, digital design, marketing, and publishing.

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