When you think of the latest technology, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s a new game console. Maybe it’s that upgraded MacBook you’ve been eyeing. Maybe it’s even something practical, like a 4K dash cam or a fitness tracker. But whatever it is, we’re willing to be it’s not a vacuum cleaner. Sure, most people are vaguely aware that vacuums get better over time. But how much can really change?
As it turns out, a whole lot. For one thing, motors have gotten lighter and more powerful. This means that handheld vacuums can now perform as well as an old-school upright vacuum. It’s a huge improvement over the old days, where handheld vacuums were notoriously underpowered. Now, you don’t have to decide between portability and suction power.
Along the same lines, battery technology has also improved significantly. A few years back, battery-powered vacuums were only useful as novelty items. You couldn’t provide enough power for long enough to do anything useful. Very light duty machines did exist. But it’s only in the past few years that we’ve started to see really good battery-operated shop vacs, for example. Combine a modern, high-capacity battery with an efficient modern motor, and you can do more. This allows for stick vacuums that you can use the same way you’d use an upright vacuum.
Today, we’re going to review the Redkey F10 Foldable Cordless Vacuum. This is a battery-powered stick vacuum with a powerful, 23,000Pa motor. It also has a hinged extension tube, which makes it easy to reach under furniture. But what else makes it stand out from the pack? And are there any issues you should be aware about before you decide to own one? To find out, we need to take a closer look at each of its features, as well as its drawbacks. At that point, we’ll be able to make a more fair assessment. Let’s take a closer look!
The Redkey F10 Foldable Cordless Vacuum is a modular vacuum with several different components. We’ll talk about the attachments in the next section. For now, let’s focus on the motor and canister assembly. This is the heart and soul of the F10, and it weighs just under 10 pounds. The entire vacuum, including attachments, weighs less than 13 pounds, so most of it is in the motor and housing. This is a good thing, since it makes the vacuum back-heavy when you’re working overhead. You don’t have to worry about it being difficult to control when you’re cleaning your curtains, for example.
The pistol grip is angled slightly forwards, which makes it ergonomic and easy to grip. Underneath, you’ll find the battery, which can be removed and replaced as needed. Otherwise, it sits neatly in place, with three LEDs that illuminate while it’s charging. It charges whenever it’s sitting in the wall mount, which is easy to install. You plug the wall mount in, and it keeps the battery charged for whenever you need it. It also has storage for all the F10’s accessories. This is an improvement over many battery-operated vacuums, which often don’t provide accessory storage.
Just forward of the battery, you’ll find the vacuum’s dust bin. This is a cylindrical, 0.6-liter cup that’s 20 percent larger than your standard stick vacuum. It’s semi-transparent, so you can see the current dust level and empty it when it’s starting to get full. There’s a single button for opening the lid, and it pops open easily. You hold it over the trash, press the button, and shake it out. You don’t have to manually remove the cap and get dust all over your hands.
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The controls are located on top of the housing, and are easy to understand. There are three buttons. The “+” and “-“ buttons adjust the motor speed, and the auto button toggles auto mode. We’ll talk more about those modes in a moment. Just in front of the buttons, there are two vertical rows of LED bars. These bars indicate the current resistance and the suction power respectively. In theory, you want the suction level to always be higher than the resistance level. So if the resistance bar goes up, you should adjust your suction upwards. In practice, you can probably figure things out yourself.
To actually use the vacuum, you need to squeeze the trigger on the handgrip. This is normal for handheld vacuums, and it’s a straightforward method of operation. However, it can be problematic if you suffer from arthritis or other issues that affect your grip. In that case, the Dreametech T30 might be worth considering. It has a locking trigger, so you don’t have to maintain constant pressure. That said, it’s also a bit pricier than the F10.
Cleaning & Accessories
The vacuum motor has five speed settings. On the one hand, this is impressive. Most battery-powered vacuums only have three settings, so you get more control. On the other hand, how many speed settings do you really need? The more important thing is the total strength of the motor. At full power, the F10 has a suction power of 23KPa. This compares favorably to the average 14KPa upright vacuum. But as we’ll see, you won’t want to run on this setting for very long. Normally, you’ll be running at medium power, which is normal upright vacuum strength. The lowest setting is less useful, but works well enough to save power on lighter jobs. Alternatively, you can just set the vacuum on auto mode and let it do its thing. It does a good job at getting your floor clean without wasting too much power.
This is one of the stronger stick vacuums we’ve looked at. But if you want an even stronger option, the Bagotte BS900 has got you covered. It provides up to 25KPa of suction, which is a slight improvement, if not an enormous leap.
The F10’s most innovative teacher is its hinged extension tube. This tube flexes in the middle, so you can reach under furniture without bending over as far. That alone would be pretty cool, but it actually transfers power as well. This means it can be used with the main roller attachment without any loss of function.
Speaking of the carpet roller, it’s very well-engineered. We see a lot of vacuums that claim to be “tangle-free,” with varying levels of success. But even the best ones will inevitably get tangled at some point, particularly if you have long hair. Instead of fighting the inevitable, Redkey opted to make the F10 easy to detangle. The roller drum can actually be popped out the side of the housing and cleaned separately. Instead of fighting with it to remove long strands of hair, everything slides off easily. Moreover, the front of the roller has bright LED lights. So when you’re cleaning under the aforementioned furniture, you can see what you’re doing.
The F10 comes with a brush tool for cleaning delicate surfaces. This can be used for keyboards, curtains, and other areas where you don’t want maximum suction. It lets you do some light dusting without damaging anything in your home. In addition, the kit includes a crevice tool for cleaning in hard-to-reach places. You can use it for your sofa, other upholstery, or automotive purposes. It’s also great for baseboards or reaching behind furniture. All of the attachments click in and out easily, without a ton of effort. They’re easy to swap out whenever you need to.
On the downside, the F10 doesn’t have a mini roller. As a result, it can be tough to clean car floors and other tighter areas. If you need one, consider the Proscenic P10. It comes with a mini roller as well as a wet mopping attachment for hardwoods and tiles. On the other hand, it’s also a bit heavier, so it’s not as easy to handle.
Battery & Filter
Battery life is a bit difficult to judge for this kind of vacuum, because so much depends on your settings. Redkey advertises a maximum of 60 minutes, which is a major benchmark for a handheld vacuum. However, that means it performs for 60 minutes at minimum power. Unless you’re running on the lowest setting all the time, it will never last a full 60 minutes. At moderate power, you’ll get around 30 minutes. In auto mode, you’ll get about 30 to 45 minutes. This is a rough estimate, because it depends on the mixture of floors and carpets. The more carpet you have, the shorter your battery life in auto mode.
On the highest setting, you’ll get less than 10 minutes. This is very short, and it’s a bit disappointing. That said, the F10 isn’t a shop vac, and it’s not meant for massive, heavy-duty jobs. Think of the top setting as a “turbo mode” you can use for tackling nasty spills.
The filtration system consists of two main stages. The first is the dust bin itself. The air swirls around, and larger particles drop to the bottom. As it’s sucked out, it passes through a metal mesh filter. This can be twisted and removed, and washed under your faucet. Unless you were to damage it in some bizarre manner, it should last you more or less inevitably. After that, the air passes through a HEPA filter in the back of the housing. This is a cylindrical, accordion-style filter that you can hold in the palm of your hand. It’s easy to change, too. You twist off the back of the housing and take out your filter. Then you put in your replacement, and twist the housing back together.
The Redkey F10 is an innovative stick vacuum that’s powerful enough to meet any needs. The battery life in full power is a bit short, but it’s what we expect from a cordless vac. More to the point, the flexible extension and quality construction are a great value for the price. All in all, we were very pleased.