http://www.EZVacuumCleaner.com 720-348-0400 The REAL problem with Leading Consumer Magazine's is simply that they don't use the vacuums long enough to figure out the bad points.
It's really simple: I do believe they buy the machines at retail. I believe they do use the same carpet to test all their vacuums, and the same mixture of 'test dirt'. It's not the method, not the dirt, and not the carpet that's the problem. It's what they NO LONGER do.
See, when They first started, and for forty years thereafter - the vacuums were 'durability tested'. They would run them one hour 'on' and one hour 'off' until 300 hours were reached. Then, they would report on worn out belts, bad bearings, bad commutators, etc. etc. etc. Manufacturers started making their motors better and better, until by the 1950's, durability tests were being 'met' by all vacuums - but Consumer Magazine's was still doing them. It was just the 'occasional' machine that wouldn't pass. But back in the '40's and '30's, many vacuums wouldn't pass (and they used 500 hour tests then). Eventually, The Consumer Magazine's stopped making durability tests - and manufacturers started making machines that were not durable.
Straight out of the box, the Windtunnels and the Progressives and even the Bissell will clean the rug. So will the Eureka "Oh" (as in "Oh hell, I've wasted my money - again"). They will have good suction and will filter well enough to 'pass'. We all know that it's 'down the line' that the problems occur. Yet, for all their soapbox standing on (Consumer Magazine's) on 'greening' the earth and being environmentally friendly, they still won't tell consumers the ONE THING they really want to know - which one will LAST. Simply because Consumer Magazine's doesn't actually know the answer. The vacuums they test only have to run 'during the test'. Once the 'test' is over and the 'winners' are decided, the machines are abandoned. There's more machines to buy and 'test' because they do TWO issues on vacuums per year.
During the 1950's, they did 3 issues for the entire decade. And they still didn't get it right. They just weren't as wrong as they are now.
I think vacuum cleaners are the second most 'reported' upon items in Consumer magazine's. Automobiles surely have to be #1. They are in every issue, plus they do an annual Auto Issue in April completely dedicated to them.
But vacuums have, recently, been reported on twice a year.
In the 1930's, Consumer magazine's did only 3 issues on vacuums for the whole decade.
In the 1940's, they did only 3 issues (1 pre-war, and 2 post war).
In the 1950's, they did only 3 issues on vacuums for the entire decade.
In the 1960's, that jumped to 5 (one every two years). The last 'durability testing' was done in 1968's issue.
In the 1970's, they did 5 for the entire decade, the 1970 issue got it EXACTLY right - the Electrolux 1205 with PN-1 was #1 and the Electrolux model L with PN-1 was #2. Everything else in that issue was also in the correct order - history has proven them to have been exactly right that ONE TIME.
By the late 1970's, they were starting to really mess up: example - they claimed the Rainbow D2 "lost suction more than most as it filled", as well as this one "small bag capacity", which as we all know is impossible for a Rainbow because Rainbow did not use bag, it's a water container. There were other items blatently incorrect in the 1979 issue as well (like claiming the Electrolux Super J - bought in 1978 for the test - had "medium suction").
It wasn't until the 1980's that they really started spewing the 'bull' about vacuums. Because manufacturers in the 1980's didn't change models often, and the magazine started doing a vac issue once every two years, it became obvious that they couldn't do the test twice, with the same vacuums, and get it to come out the same way both times.
The 1990's brought the once a year issues on vacuums, and that's when it really started flying (the 'bull' that is). The Sharp Twin Energy TWT4 debacle comes immediately to mind - it was #1 at $200, then the next year it was #1 at $150, then the next year it was number 11 at $190 and so on.