3 Reasons You Should Buy a Stick Vacuum—And 3 Reasons They Suck
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3 Reasons You Should Buy a Stick Vacuum—And 3 Reasons They Suck

Convenient, compact and light, cordless vacuums from companies like Dyson and Samsung have become covetable status symbols for some. But they come with some negatives, too.

By KATE MORGAN
Fri, Dec 8, 2023 10:15amGrey Clock 3 min

JILL KOCH, 39, bought her first cordless vacuum because it was pink. “I didn’t look at the brand, I didn’t look at the price. I saw the colour and was like, ‘I have to have it,’” said the Cincinnati-based home organisation and cleaning blogger. Koch, who owns almost a dozen vacuums, says her newest cordless stick, the Shark Wandvac, gets the most use. She finds its motor powerful enough to handle most tasks. But more important, because of its sleek look, “it’s not even weird to store it in plain sight,” she said. Whenever she sees something that needs cleaning, that vacuum is within reach. She can clear the mess, dump out its dustbin into a trash can, and re-dock the vacuum in a minute or two.

Cordless stick vacuums aren’t new—British manufacturer Dyson released its first cordless stick vacuum in 2010—but the battery-powered, bagless models have become more popular, largely due to their convenience. In 2018, a year after telling Bloomberg that cordless vacuums were driving his namesake company’s growth, James Dyson announced it would no longer bother developing corded models. Convenience, however, isn’t cheap. While you can find excellent corded upright vacuums for under $200, the latest cordless option from Dyson, its Gen 5 Outsize, costs $1,050.

Some experts say ditching your corded model is unwise. Cordless vacuums have a place in your cleaning arsenal, but they aren’t a replacement for a more powerful machine like an upright model with a bag, said Ken Bank, a third-generation vacuum expert and president of Livonia, Mich.-based Bank’s Vacuum Superstores. “The technology has improved a lot,” he said, “but [stick vacuums] aren’t anywhere near as powerful as a vacuum cleaner with a cord and a real motor in it.”

Here’s what to consider before going cordless.

The Pros

Cordless vacuums are light and maneuverable

They are a great choice for folks with strength or mobility issues, or those who just don’t want to push around a heavy vacuum.

Cordless vacuums are supremely versatile

Most vacuums come with multiple heads and attachments, but cordless vacuums make them easier to use. Once you’ve swapped out the long wand for a dust brush, crevice tool or upholstery cleaner, your vacuum easily fits in hand. It’s ideal for cleaning the inside of a car or drawers.

Cordless vacuums let you clean more spontaneously

Since they can be stored on docks or stands, a cordless vacuum is always within reach. If you see a mess, you can have cleaned it before someone with a corded vacuum might have time to locate a plug.

The Cons

Cordless vacuums don’t contain dirt that well

When it comes to filtration and dust containment, nothing beats a classic vacuum with a bag, says Bank, “The cordless ones [are] not sealed up tight,” Bank said. Each time you open your vacuum’s dustbin to dump it out in the trash, he says, you release dust.

Cordless vacuums require you to clean within a time limit

Stick vacuums are battery powered. Batteries die. That means an all-day deep clean might require multiple charging stops. While some cordless vacs can run for up to an hour at a time, estimates shorten when you’re using stronger suction settings.

Cordless vacuums can be tough to fix

Bank doesn’t just sell vacuums; he repairs them, too. He says most stick vacuums are a service nightmare. “They’re hard to maintain, you can’t really take them apart to clean them, and if they break, most companies don’t make parts for them,” he said.

Don’t Get Left In the Dust

For spills, quick pick-ups, and in-between the deep cleans, it’s tough to beat a stick. Two to consider:

A sweeper with storage

Samsung’s Bespoke Jet AI Cordless is not designed to be hidden away in a closet. Its sleek, free-standing docking station doubles as a charger and a canister that auto-empties the vacuum with enough capacity for a few days’ worth of dirt. The company says a battery charge can last for 100 minutes, though that might vary as the vacuum’s software adjusts the suction level based on the floor surface it detects underneath. $US999, Samsung.com

Dust disrupter

Designed by two former Dyson R&D experts, the Pure Cordless by Lupe (pronounced “loop”) has a beefy, 9-cell battery and a 1-litre dust bin. Though one charge lasts around an hour when the vacuum is set on low suction, and just 15 minutes on max, you can buy a second battery ($149) and keep it charged for longer cleaning sessions. Unlike many other models, the Lupe is easily serviceable: You can buy an affordable replacement for basically every component. It also comes with an industry-leading five-year warranty. $US699, LupeTechnology.com

The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.



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Is ‘Rizz’ the Secret to Getting Ahead at Work?

Whether you call it charisma, charm or magnetism, some people seem like naturals. Good news: It can be learned.

By Rachel Feintzeig
Mon, Jul 22, 2024 4 min

Great leaders have it. Gen Z has a new word for it. Can the rest of us learn it?

Charisma—or rizz , as current teenage slang has anointed it—can feel like an ephemeral gift some are just born with. The chosen among us network and chitchat, exuding warmth as they effortlessly hold court. Then there’s everyone else, agonising over exclamation points in email drafts and internally replaying that joke they made in the meeting, wondering if it hit.

“Well, this is awkward,” Mike Rizzo, the head of a community for marketing operations professionals, says of rizz being crowned 2023 word of the year by the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s so close to his last name, but so far from how he sees himself. He sometimes gets sweaty palms before hosting webinars.

Who could blame us for obsessing over charisma, or lack thereof? It can lubricate social interactions, win us friends, and score promotions . It’s also possible to cultivate, assures Charles Duhigg, the author of a book about people he dubs super communicators.

At its heart, charisma isn’t about some grand performance. It’s a state we elicit in other people, Duhigg says. It’s about fostering connection and making our conversation partners feel they’re the charming—or interesting or funny—ones.

The key is to ask deeper, though not prying, questions that invite meaningful and revealing responses, Duhigg says. And match the other person’s vibes. Maybe they want to talk about emotions, the joy they felt watching their kid graduate from high school last weekend. Or maybe they’re just after straight-up logistics and want you to quickly tell them exactly how the team is going to turn around that presentation by tomorrow.

You might be hired into a company for your skill set, Duhigg says, but your ability to communicate and earn people’s trust propels you up the ladder: “That is leadership.”

Approachable and relatable

In reporting this column, I was surprised to hear many executives and professionals I find breezily confident and pleasantly chatty confess it wasn’t something that came naturally. They had to work on it.

Dave MacLennan , who served as chief executive of agricultural giant Cargill for nearly a decade, started by leaning into a nickname: DMac, first bestowed upon him in a C-suite meeting where half the executives were named Dave.

He liked the informality of it. The further he ascended up the corporate hierarchy, the more he strove to be approachable and relatable.

Employees “need a reason to follow you,” he says. “One of the reasons they’re going to follow you is that they feel they know you.”

He makes a point to remember the details and dates of people’s lives, such as colleagues’ birthdays. After making his acquaintance, in a meeting years ago at The Wall Street Journal’s offices, I was shocked to receive an email from his address months later. Subject line: You , a heading so compelling I still recall it. He went on to say he remembered I was due with my first child any day now and just wanted to say good luck.

“So many people say, ‘Oh, I don’t have a good memory for that,’” he says. Prioritise remembering, making notes on your phone if you need, he says.

Now a board member and an executive coach, MacLennan sent hundreds of handwritten notes during his tenure. He’d reach out to midlevel managers who’d just gotten a promotion, or engineers who showed him around meat-processing plants. He’d pen words of thanks or congratulations. And he’d address the envelopes himself.

“Your handwriting is a very personal thing about you,” he says. “Think about it. Twenty seconds. It makes such an impact.”

Everyone’s important

Doling out your charm selectively will backfire, says Carla Harris , a Morgan Stanley executive. She chats up the woman cleaning the office, the receptionist at her doctor’s, the guy waiting alongside her for the elevator.

“Don’t be confused,” she tells young bankers. Executive assistants are often the most powerful people in the building, and you never know how someone can help—or hurt—you down the line.

Harris once spent a year mentoring a junior worker in another department, not expecting anything in return. One day, Harris randomly mentioned she faced an uphill battle in meeting with a new client. Oh!, the 24-year-old said. Turns out, the client was her friend. She made the call right there, setting up Harris for a work win.

In the office, stop staring at your phone, Harris advises, and notice the people around you. Ask for their names. Push yourself to start a conversation with three random people every day.

Charisma for introverts

You can’t will yourself to be a bubbly extrovert, but you can find your own brand of charisma, says Vanessa Van Edwards, a communications trainer and author of a book about charismatic communication.

For introverted clients, she recommends using nonverbal cues. A slow triple nod shows people you’re listening. Placing your hands in the steeple position, together and facing up, denotes that you’re calm and present.

Try coming up with one question you’re known for. Not a canned, hokey ice-breaker, but something casual and simple that reflects your actual interests. One of her clients, a bookish executive struggling with uncomfortable, halting starts to his meetings, began kicking things off by asking “Reading anything good?”

Embracing your stumbles

Charisma starts with confidence. It’s not that captivating people don’t occasionally mispronounce a word or spill their coffee, says Henna Pryor, who wrote a book about embracing awkwardness at work. They just have a faster comeback rate than the rest of us. They call out the stumble instead of trying to hide it, make a small joke, and move on.

Being perfectly polished all the time is not only exhausting, it’s impossible. We know this, which is why appearing flawless can come off as fake. We like people who seem human, Pryor says.

Our most admired colleagues are often the ones who are good at their jobs and can laugh at themselves too, who occasionally trip or flub just like us.

“It creates this little moment of warmth,” she says, “that we actually find almost like a relief.”

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This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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