Let’s be honest. Vacuuming your home isn’t exactly an exciting activity. And buying a new vacuum is a necessity, not a pleasure. Buying a new game console or monitor is a truly exciting experience. You check the tracking information multiple times a day, waiting eagerly for the progress. When you order a new vacuum, odds are you won’t know the tracking progress until it arrives at your door.
Nonetheless, a quality vacuum is an important part of a complete home. Nobody will notice if your floors are impeccably clean – but they will notice if they’re dirty. Not only that, but an inferior vacuum can cause a lot of unnecessary work. You can end up going over the same patch of floor two, three, or four times. Adulting might not necessarily be fun, but it doesn’t need to be a royal pain. A good quality vacuum can make it as painless as possible.
Today, we’re going to review the Onson EV696 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. Onson is a general-purpose electronics manufacturer, producing everything from vacuums to mini projectors. The EV696 is a compact stick vacuum, with many of the features you expect from a stick vac. It sports a pistol grip, along with an extension tube and several attachments. It even has a wall-mounted charger for easy, convenient storage. But does it stack up well to other similar vacuums? Or should you pass it up for a different model from another manufacturer? We’re about to take a deep dive into all the EV696’s features. We’ll look at the battery life, the design, and the vacuum power, among other things. Let’s take a closer look, and see how well it does!
The Onson EV696 has a similar design to most stick vacuums. It’s an all-in-one unit, and it’s designed to be used with one hand. You hold onto it with a simple pistol grip, similar to the grip on most wireless drills. Also similar to wireless drills, the battery is housed directly underneath the grip. This provides excellent balance, since it makes the vacuum bottom-heavy, rather than front-heavy or back-heavy. Further enhancing the balance is the location of the motor. It’s positioned above the grip and slightly behind. This adds a bit of weight to the back, balancing out the front portion of the unit.
The overall dimensions of the vacuum are 29.25 inches long, 11 inches tall, and 6.88 inches wide. This length assumes that you’re using the extension tube, along with the brush attachment. In other configurations, it can be considerably shorter. That said, when you’re using the standard floor brush, you’re looking at a waist-high unit. This is ideal for shorter people, since you can push the vacuum forward and backward easily. If you’re on the north end of six feet tall, you might have to bend over to make wide movements. Whether or not this is a problem will depend on how tall you are and how long your arms are. Either way, the vacuum is fairly heavy. At 8.78 pounds, it’s no lightweight. But this weight is a side effect of high-quality, durable construction.
The main body of the hand grip is an attractive slate grey. Bright red accents add a splash of color to the front and back of the motor. On the back, there’s a simple, rubbery button that allows you to change motor speeds. On the front, the red ring attaches directly to an 0.5-liter dust bin. The dust bin itself is cylindrical in shape, and has a transparent design. This makes it easy to see when you’re about to need to empty it out. Inside, a steel mesh covers the filter, adding another attractive accent. The extension tube is a bright red, matching the accents on the grip. The attachments are the same slate grey as the grip, tying the unit together.
In addition to the vacuum itself, you also get a simple wall mount bracket. It has a simple drop-in design, which makes it easy to stow your vacuum when it’s not in use. The color is slate grey, matching the vacuum and attachments. Installation is simple, with a pair of screws and drywall anchors that are included in the kit. Plug it in, insert your vacuum, and you’ll always have a full charge when you need it.
The EV696 comes with Onson’s 24/7 customer support. Unfortunately, there’s no official warranty period. If it’s damaged, whether or not you get a replacement is up to their discretion.
Cleaning & Accessories
The Onson EV696 Cordless Vacuum sports a powerful 120-watt motor that’s more powerful than most stick vac motors. This motor provides up to 11,000 Pascals (Pa) of suction. By comparison, your average upright vacuum provides 14,000Pa of suction. However, that’s not a fair apples-to-apples comparison. An ordinary upright vacuum can house a much larger motor that provides significantly more power. Considering the small size, 11,000Pa is not bad. For most purposes, it’s more than you need. The motor can also run at a slower, 7,000Pa speed. This is sufficient for everyday cleaning, and saves battery life whenever possible.
The main attachment is a large roller head that measures just over 11 inches in width. It sports a V-shaped brush that guides dirt and dust effortlessly to the bottom of the suction tube. Alternating short and long bristles provide perfect cleaning in just about any length of carpet. Keep in mind, though, that deeper carpets can be harder to clean. If you’ve got a deep pile carpet, consider using the 11,000Pa setting. On shorter carpets, the 7,000Pa speed should be more than good enough. When you’re going under furniture, you’ll be able to see just fine. A set of LEDs on the front of the brush supply more than enough illumination.
Unlike most vacuums, there’s no mini roller attachment. On the one hand, this isn’t a major issue for length. You can simply remove the extension tube and mount the roller directly on the motor. This provides better control than you get with the extension tube. Moreover, the roller can be angled from side to side to make the cleaning angle easier. On the other hand, the roller can be a bit wide for cleaning upholstery. This is a major oversight, since most modern vacuums include a mini roller. But considering how affordable the EV696 is, you’ve got to expect to make some sacrifices.
You do get a small brush attachment. This attachment is ideal for cleaning delicate surfaces like curtains and throw rugs. You don’t get as much suction as you otherwise would, since the brush provides separation. However, you also won’t damage your delicate surfaces. Like the other attachments, the brush attachment can be attached directly to the motor or via the extension tube. This makes it easy to reach even very high curtains or blinds. Cathedral ceilings and stairwell windows are no obstacle to getting your entire home neat and tidy.
In addition to the other attachments, the EV696 also comes with a crevice attachment. This is a slim, plastic extension that’s designed to reach into narrow spaces. You can clean under low furniture without needing to move it every time you vacuum. You can also reach between couch cushions, around molding, and between small gaps. Unlike most vacuums, the crevice attachment isn’t a dedicated tool. Simply remove the brush collar from the brush tool, and you’ve got the crevice attachment. This makes it nifty and easy to store, and also helps save on costs.
Battery & Filter
The Onson EV696 will run for up to 32 minutes on a full charge. This is a bit disappointing. Most modern stick vacuums will run for about 45 minutes to an hour on a charge. Moreover, that 32-minute rating only applies in the 7,000Pa mode. If you have to crank your vacuum up to 11,000Pa, you’ll notice a significant drop in battery life. You can vacuum a single room in this mode, but that’s about it. Even worse, the battery takes up to four to five hours to charge. This wouldn’t be disappointing if you got a significant amount of life out of it. But given the limited power cycle, there’s no reason it shouldn’t charge in two or three hours.
On the other hand, the EV696’s filtration system is very effective. It removes 99 percent of particles from the air before expelling it. That’s not quite a HEPA rating, so you’re not looking at a medical-grade vacuum. Still, it’s very effective, far more so than your average paper filter. The first stage of the filtration system is the cyclonic action of the dust bin. As the air swirls around, dirt and dust get trapped at the outside, removing most particles. After that, the air gets sucked through a cylindrical filter. The filter is shrouded under a stainless steel mesh cover, and looks like an automotive filter. The kit even includes a cleaning brush, so you can sweep out the grooves in the filter for easy cleaning.
The Onson EV696 is a bit of a mixed bag. Let’s start with the negatives. The most obvious is the short battery life. With a maximum of 32 minutes of operation, it’s not suitable for cleaning your whole house. At best, you’ll be able to vacuum one or two rooms before you need to recharge. On the other hand, for some people, that’s all you need. If you live in a small apartment, 32 minutes will be more than enough to get the place clean. Secondly, there’s no mini roller. This may not be an issue for many folks. But if you need to clean a lot of upholstery, you’ll definitely miss this feature.
That said, there’s a lot to like about the EV696. For one thing, it’s relatively powerful, at least for a stick vacuum. For another thing, it has a highly effective filter and an easy-to-empty dust bin. Finally, it comes at a very reasonable price. If you’re buying your first vacuum and you’re on a budget, it’s a solid choice.