In these times we live in, a vacuum cleaner is a basic tool in just about every home and it really makes cleaning the home a lot simpler – and it also does it very well. But you should know that all vacuum cleaners are not similar.
They actually have some differences that you should know about. One of these differences are that not all cleaners have what is called a “beater bar”. Some vacuums are fitted with a brush that rotates, where others do not have one at all.
This then brings us to the question – is a cleaner fitted with a beater bar better compared to one that doesn’t have this component? What is the difference and which one does a better job?
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Let’s see if we can get to the bottom if this.
Before doing a comparison between the two types of cleaners, we have to know what a beater bar is and how it works.
So, What Is A Beater Bar?
Many people do not know what a beater bar is and think it is the brush that rotates on the underside of the cleaner. This is not true, but the mistake could easily be made because it is quite hard to find the old traditional beater bars on the more modern cleaners available to us now.
A beater bar is really a smooth, shaped metal bar that is fixed to the turning brush along with the normal bristles you would normally find on a brush.
Hoover actually developed this beater bar during the 1920’s to help by agitating and lifting soil and dirt from deep inside the carpet. The beater bars turns at speed and vibrates the carpet and loosens the dirt, and the suction would then transfer the dirt to the storage area. The brush bristles would then just basically brush the carpet.
The old Hoover’s slogan reads:
“It beats, as it sweeps, as it cleans”.
Hoover routinely utilized this unique feature when doing sales and marketing, while mentioning that other brands only use a sucking and brushing motion – and only the Hoovers had the extra vibrating activity to clean carpets better.
As mentioned, the beater bar is really just a metal bar on the brush in addition to the bristles.
These days there are not very many (assuming any) vacuums that actually has this bar on the brush. It has to a great extent been changed to a much stiffer rotating brush that would unsettle the dirt and brush the carpet simultaneously.
Basically the design of the rotating brush has changed by making the brushes stiffer, varying lengths of the bristles and thus trying to mimic the action that the original beater bar was doing.
Albeit the mixer bar has been eliminated with time, people still make the mistake by using the term as a name for the brush that rotates at the bottom of the cleaner in the modern cleaners. But then again, just maybe the name has evolved to mean something else.
Indeed, even the English Oxford Dictionary characterizes a beater bar as:
“The rotating brush unit within the powerhead of a vacuum cleaner”.
What Does A Beater Bar Do?
Most of the upright version of vacuum cleaners are produced and fitted with a rotating brush and as mentioned, people mistakenly refer to these as having a beater bar – which is not quite correct. The brush is made to rotate by using a draft of air or otherwise electric power (using a drive belt of some kind).
The better quality upright version utilize a drive belt driven by the electric motor of the unit. The brush is fit for doing about 6500 cycles each minute. The brush is normally turned by the electric motor of the unit, or in some case has its’ own dedicated motor and drive system.
Current brush rolls by and large have four arrangements of bristle strips fixed to the roll. If beater bars are utilized they are fitted alternatively to the roll, in other words every second row would be a row of bristles or a beater bar.
The main reason for fitting beater bars was to give a more prominent vibration to the carpet in order to release the dirt and then have it brushed and sucked into the storage area.
At the point when the beater bars were first used by Hoover, this increased the efficiency by 101% This led Hoover to market this development and label it as “Positive Agitation”.
The other reason and function of the beater bar is to loosen any yarns that have been trapped beneath other dirt in the carpet, enabling the cleaner to brush and suck up these yarns.
Comparison Between Beater Bar And No Beater Bar Vacuum Cleaners
Beater Bars and Fluffy Carpets. Beater bars are actually meant for, and work better on carpets that are nice and fluffy. The brush can then penetrate deeper into the carpet and loosen most dirt to be sucked up.
The beater bar does really well on normal carpets as well, but sometimes you run the risk of a bit of damage to some types of carpets. On normal hard-surfaced floors, it would be better not to vacuum with a beater bar.
Some of the upright version of cleaners has the advantage of being able to switch off the movement of the brush and only use suction to clean the floor.
Some Carpets may be Damaged. Irrespective of the type of carpets you have, you have to be careful when using a cleaner with a rotating brush as it may cause some damage to some carpets. Some of the carpets have more delicate fibres and could damage easily, like Persian-, Oriental- or Berber carpets.
So if you would like to keep your carpets in pristine condition, you need to be aware of the type of carpets you have and if it could damage easily by using the brush and beater bar.
We contacted the Carpet and Rug Institute for advice regarding cleaners with brushes that are explicitly intended for carpets. The Institute actually certifies and recommends specific cleaners that would suit your needs the best. We used this information in selecting certain cleaners for different carpet types.
Replacing Beater Bars. It is only logical that a brush spinning at 6500 RPM will eventually wear out and have to be replaced. When the bristles on the brush have worn down, their efficiency will naturally also decrease. Be sure to inspect this component when you check the rest of the unit on a regular basis, to ensure that the unit functions at the optimum level.
It will likewise also be a good idea to check whether the drive belt has worn and needs attention. If the unit is noisy, be sure to check this!
If you use your vacuum a lot, the chances are good that you would have to replace the brush/beater bar more regularly as well. This would add some cost to the running of the cleaner, but for a unit not fitted with a beater bar would, this expense can be avoided.
Good Uses for a Cleaner with no Beater Bar. These cleaners work well with harder surface floors as well as shaggy carpets and the softer type of rugs that are used.
For cleaning hard- or laminated floors, we would suggest not using a unit with a beater bar. We would suggest getting a good suction-type cleaner. This type of cleaner would also be preferable for Berber carpets as well as laminated-type of flooring. This would do a good job, keep the floor sparkling clean and not cause any damage. People spend lot of money installing wooden floors, and hardwood can be particularly expensive.
Pet-friendly Homes. Beater bar cleaners are essential for homes that also houses pets as they would work very well in removing all kinds of dirt from the floors – especially if there are carpets fitted.
Pets inevitably shed hair, and they will also distribute other kinds of dirt on the floor. For this situation you would need a beater bar type cleaner bar on your vacuum, but recently people have started using a decent and quite stiff brush as well.
The reason for this is that the cleaners that only use suction do not have the capability to do a deep-clean to remove dirt. The best suggestion would be a cleaner with a beater bar in this case.
What Should I Buy?
When discussing cleaners with rotating brushes, with- or without a beater bar there aren’t too many differences between the old traditional beater bar cleaners and “no beater bar” cleaners.
The only choice one would make is probably going to be between a cleaner with a rotating brush or one that depends simply on suction power and does not have a brush at all. That choice would be made depending on the type of floor you have.
On the off-chance that your home essentially has mostly has carpets fitted, you would need to consider a vacuum with a rotating brush, as this would be the best and most efficient choice.
You need to be aware that a beater bar cleaner may cause some damage to certain floor types. For example, you should not utilize this kind of cleaner on your laminated- or hardwood floors and they would also not be the best choice for very delicate carpets or carpets with a high pile.
In the event that you have a combination of floor types in your home, you should consider buying a cleaner that would allow you to switch the beater bar off when cleaning surfaces that you do not want damaged. This would be a very important aspect to consider when buying your vacuum cleaner, as you would be able to protect the floor that needs some protecting.
To summarize, it is essential to comprehend the distinction between beater bar and no beater bar vacuum cleaners so that you can clean your floors adequately and without causing harm. In the event that you need to keep your floors in great condition, you may need a cleaner where you can disable the beater bar. On the other hand, if you have carpets and keep pets, a beater bar cleaner would be the better decision to make. For that reason it would be our recommendation to consider a vacuum cleaner where the beater bar function could be disabled when necessary.