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So-called “stick vacuum” cleaners are increasingly popular as THE go-to cleaning tool for most any cleaning chore. By combining the virtues of a handheld vacuum cleaner with a full-length tube (the stick part) sporting a motorized brush head at its end, you have a 2-in-1 upright/handheld, similar to the Ehoyal 2-in-1 computer vacuum, that can tackle everything from vacuuming whole rooms to vacuuming car interiors, and is great for those hard to clean places like stairs –perhaps the trickiest place to vacuum whether carpeted or not. The Dibea F20 Max is just such a cordless stick vacuum with a high-efficiency motor and an advanced filtration system. The design and appearance of the F20 Max look very much like the Dyson V11 (hard to say who was first or who copied who), but at about half the price, and even still it’s not cheap. GR’s Best Vacuum for Stairs buyer’s guide is a good resource when evaluating the Dibea F20 Max and comparing it to other alternative solutions. If you want more great upright vacuums, check out this review of the best vacuum cleaner.
Dibea F20 Max
The Dibea F20 Max is a cordless “stick vacuum” design that doubles as a handheld vacuum, with 3 power modes, a motorized and lighted brush head, and a highly efficient filtration system. Good for vacuuming stairs, furniture, floors, cars, and wherever else you need to clean.
The Dibea F20 Max is powered by a 29.6V lithium-ion battery driving a 400W digital motor, which is much stronger than the Dirt Devil SD20000red. And, the Dibea F20 Max has 3 selectable speed settings providing strong fade-free power. The F20 Max uses a brushless motor which is efficient and lasts longer than a regular DC motor. At 28kPa the suction power of the F20 is strong at maximum speed. There are 2 recognized ways of measuring suction power –AW (Air Watt) and kPa (kilopascal)– with kPa being the lesser-used specification.
Comparisons are challenging when one brand uses AW and another kPa, and converting a kPa value to AW is too much math for a review, and anyway, both measurements are a somewhat imprecise reflection of true performance. A cordless stick vacuum will usually always have more suction power than a smaller handheld vacuum. The aforementioned Dyson V11 claims suction power of 185 AW (in boost mode) whereas a Black+Decker Max Flex has a suction power of 24 AW, which is definitely stronger than the Handyvac handheld computer vacuum. What’s it all mean? The F20 produces equivalent suction to other stick vacuums (with a slight edge to the Dyson).
Related: Check out the DeWalt vacuum review
Some users of the Dibea F20 Max complain in reviews that the lower speeds reduced the efficiency of the F20 so much that they’d have to vacuum an area over and over to get it clean. Hence always running the F20 on its highest speed was required, but that ate up battery life. The motorized brush head of the F20 has LED lights to illuminate the floor area that you’re vacuuming. The F20 also has a motorized mini brush head (without lights), a crevice tool, and a 2-in-1 bristle brush. The mini motorized brush is good for stairs and such –running the F20 as a handheld (instead of as a cordless stick vacuum). The larger motorized brush head is more like a foam brush than a bristle brush, which some users find problematic depending on what they’re cleaning. The F20 has a cyclone filtration system that claims to remove dust particles as small as 0.3 microns using a washable filter. That’s pretty small and complies with the HEPA standard, although the F20 has no official certification and may therefore not provide sufficient allergen protection if you’re an allergy sufferer.
The Dibea F20 Max has a 17 oz. bagless bin capacity which sounds small, but is comparable to other stick vacuums, and big enough for most jobs without having to stop and empty it. The bin is translucent so you can see the contents and empty it when it becomes full. Keeping the bin from becoming too full is key to optimizing the F20’s performance, but emptying it isn’t as easy as other cordless vacuum cleaners, and while the bin is removable for washing, putting the F20 all back together is kind of challenging. Thoroughly cleaning the upper section of the canister requires using tools (screwdriver or stick to dislodge crud). The charger for the F20 is a “wall wort” style that plugs into an AC outlet, and then connects via a wire to the battery of the F20. The battery can be removed from the F20 when it’s charging, e.g., if you have 2 batteries you could round-robin using one while the other one is charging. The F20 comes with a wall mount for easier storage, however, the wall mount does not have an integrated charger.
Related: Read our Dirt Devil Endura Reach review
Like the Bosch BCS122GB, the Dibea F20 Max is made of durable materials, but the build quality isn’t bulletproof. Some users noted their F20 suffered from shortened battery life after some period of use (experiences varied from weeks to months to years). Others reported the F20 motor overheating and shutting down when using the highest speed. There is no apparent single point of failure or chronic problem based upon user comments. While Dibea backs the F20 Max with a 12-month warranty, access to customer support via email was cumbersome according to some users.
The Dibea F20 Max is representative of several new technology cordless stick vacuum cleaners that are similar to, and patterned after Dyson models. The Tineco A11 and the Tineco Pure ONE S12 are a couple of other examples. Some might call these ‘knock offs’ but they’re definitely not inexpensive copies, yet nevertheless certainly not as much $ as the Dyson. To give this some perspective the Dibea is maybe equal to a car payment, whereas the Dyson is equal to a month’s rent. If you’ve got the dough you’ll likely get more durability and longer life the more you spend. If on the other hand you’re more budget conscious, then the Dibea F20 is a reasonable alternative despite some downsides.
The Dibea F20 Max is a general purpose cordless vacuum cleaner that’s convertible into a handheld cordless vacuum that’s good for vacuuming difficult to clean places such as stairs. The familiar 2-in-1 stick vacuum design at a more affordable price point.