I’m really curious how vacuum cleaner companies come up with the letter designations for different vacuums – take Eureka’s 96JZ. The “J” and the “Z” don’t indicate that this is a two-in-one vacuum, both stick and handheld, that comes with an extra battery pack; they make me think of a famous rapper. Let’s see if Eureka can make me think of their vacuum first the next time I hear those two letters.
The 96JZ runs on six volts of power. That doesn’t exactly excite me; it might work well enough for the handheld part, I suppose, but I’m doubtful about it doing floors well.
As it turns out, it kind of does well and doesn’t do well in equal turns. It’s not even really a question of one surface or mess or another – it just seems to work really well in most moments, but every so often it just struggles to pick even up even easy debris. In any case, it doesn’t do well on any sort of carpet, understandably for only having six volts.
Ease of Use
Speaking of carpet, I find it a little odd that this vacuum has a brushroll, and one you can turn on and off no less – if it doesn’t have the power to do carpet in the first place, a brushroll simply won’t help that much. But, that is a feature it has. Of course, you can also pop out the handheld part of the vacuum, which is much more useful. The vacuum head is nicely wide at ten inches, but isn’t as mobile or swivel-y as most modern vacuums.
Battery Life and Charging Time
As with performance, the 96JZ’s battery is hit or miss. Hits include a great fifteen minute runtime and an extra battery pack, which will come in handy if you don’t want to wait for the (here’s the miss) twenty-four hour charging time since we’re talking about NiCad batteries.
There’s two ways to look at this vacuum’s four pound weight: in one sense, that’s pretty light for something that is two vacuums in one. In another sense, it doesn’t feel too sturdy and feels too light to really do floors well.
The fabric-y, papery filter that comes with the 96JZ makes sense for its price range – it’s better than having no filter at all, but not by much.
I will give this vacuum that it appears to have a fairly large dust bin. I haven’t noted the actual exact size listed anywhere, which usually isn’t a good sign, but I think it might just be an oversight in this case.
Sadly, even though the 96JZ has a handheld vacuum, it doesn’t come with any accessories. Unless you count the extra battery pack as one, but that’s a bit of a stretch.
I will give Eureka this: while the vacuum might not feel sturdy, it seems to hold up well. Simple construction can win out in this qualifier, I suppose.
The 96JZ only comes with a one year warranty. I’m not super happy about that, but having an extra battery backup does make me feel a lot better.
I am glad, however, that Eureka does seem to be pricing this vacuum appropriately – it’s a great price for two vacuums together, as long as they’re working well when you go to actually use them.
- two vacuums in one
- extra battery pack
- wide vacuum head
- low power
- NiCad batteries
The 96JZ is probably honestly not going to stick in my memory for its letter designation or otherwise – it just doesn’t stand out in any way except coming with an extra battery. That said, a vacuum in this price range that is a pretty functional two-in-one doesn’t have to stick in your memory to work well while not hurting your bank account, so if that’s what you’re looking for, take a serious look at the 96JZ.