Worx WX030 Cubevac review: compact but clever

Can a battery-powered vacuum be as useful at car cleaning as a mains-powered machine?

WORX WX030 18V (20V MAX) CUBEVAC Cordless Compact Vacuum Cleaner in a car

by Tom Wiltshire |

Having a vacuum cleaner for the car always seems a bit of a decadent move – after all, we’ve all got vacuum cleaners already, and with a bit of kludging almost all of them can be put to use getting sand out of floor mats or dog hair from the boot.

But using a bulky, heavy household vacuum in the car can be a real pain, especially if it’s an upright model or one without conveniently attached accessories. And there’s no reason that you can’t take the car vacuum indoors for quick clean-ups elsewhere, either.

Also read: Best car vacuums

The Worx Cubevac doesn’t claim to be specifically for car use but with its cordless form factor, useful extendable hose and swappable battery pack, it lends itself perfectly to such use. But how does it stack up against our current favourite portable cleaner, the Hoover H-Handy?

What is the Worx Cubevac?

As the name suggests, this boxy device is a vacuum cleaner with a cuboid form factor. Its construction is pretty simple – you’ve got a battery pack on the back, a dust compartment underneath, storage for two tools on the top and an L-shaped handle and a flexible stretch hose that wrap around the carry handle when not in use.

The handle secures via magnets to the side of the unit so it doesn’t flop about in transit and the whole affair is very tidy to look at. The two tools consist of a clever extendable crevice tool and an all-purpose nozzle with dusting brushes – but with the use of an easily-purchased adaptor, you could substitute the attachments from your household vac, too.

The controls are very simple, too. The Cubevac has two power settings accessed via one button on the handle – press once for low power, press again for high, and again to turn it off. Also on the top of the unit you’ll find a release button for the underslung dirt container, so you can hold the unit inside the opening of a bin before you press to empty, minimising the dust cloud you so often get when disposing of the contents of a bagless vacuum.

WORX WX030 18V (20V MAX) CUBEVAC Cordless Compact Vacuum Cleaner top
©Photo: Parkers/Richard Kilpatrick

Inside the dust compartment, you’ll find a mesh shroud over a pleated paper filter, both of which twist out as one unit for cleaning. There’s no post-motor filter.

How did you test the Cubevac?

How else? Cleaning the car. I’m not obsessive, but I do like the inside of my car to be clean – so getting stray grit and fluff from the floor mats is the bare minimum I expect from a car vacuum.

We also tested how good the Cubevac’s supplied attachments are on more stubborn dirt, or in more awkward areas such as down the side of seats or inside cupholders.

What’s good about the Worx Cubevac?

Being cordless is always a boon for a car vac – it’s not always convenient to drag a mains-powered machine out onto the driveway, and if you have to street park you’re limited by whether you can get a space outside your own house.

This isn’t a problem for the Cubevac, which uses the same swappable battery packs as many of Worx’s cordless power tools (like the Worx Hydroshot pressure cleaner we tested). If you’ve built up a collection you could even have two or three spare packs charged up and ready to extend the Cubevac’s 20-minute (ish) runtime.

WORX WX030 18V (20V MAX) CUBEVAC Cordless Compact Vacuum Cleaner battery
©Photo: Parkers/Richard Kilpatrick

Not that we think you’ll need it, as 20 minutes is more than enough to give even a fairly large car a good once-over. And if you’re planning a real deep-clean, you’ll probably be using a mains-powered machine.

The real pleasure comes from its extendable hose, which makes using the Cubevac so much more convenient than a typical handheld vacuum. Instead of holding up the whole motor and dustbin unit, you just have a compact handle to move about the car while the rest of the vacuum can sit in a footwell or on a seat.

Another plus is the crevice tool, which extends out to a good length and has a flexible tip to curve into the smallest nooks and crannies. We found it ideal for getting errant crumbs out from in between the seat and the centre console. It’s also great for sofa cushions in the home.

WORX WX030 18V (20V MAX) CUBEVAC Cordless Compact Vacuum Cleaner vacuuming
©Photo: Parkers/Richard Kilpatrick

Finally, there’s the build quality – this thing feels very solid and really pleasant to use, with a reassuring weight to it and a nice positive click to the dustbin closure.

What's bad about it?

The Cubevac isn’t especially powerful, and it showed this when we tried to extract sand from a looped-pile car mat. We had to use the top power setting and go over the mat several times to get the last bit out.

The supplied all-purpose nozzle has a very small cleaning path, which means cleaning larger areas, like the boot floor, takes a lot longer than it should. And unlike some full-sized cordless vacuums, there’s no option for a powered turbo tool, which means you’ll need to manually agitate stubborn dirt like pet hair.

Emptying and cleanup wasn’t as effortless as it should be, either. The Cubevac’s filter does tend to cling on to fibrous dirt, which means to empty it out fully you’ll need to put your hand into the dustbin to pull it out. We found the simplest solution was simply to use a mains-powered vacuum to empty the Cubevac, but this isn’t especially elegant.

WORX WX030 18V (20V MAX) CUBEVAC Cordless Compact Vacuum Cleaner filters
©Photo: Parkers/Richard Kilpatrick

It’s also necessary to clean the filter at least every couple of uses if you don’t want to impact the already meagre suction, running it under a cold tap and letting dry for at least 24 hours.

A proper household cordless vacuum employs more sophisticated dirt separation to keep its filters clean.

Verdict

If you’re a ‘little and often’ type of car cleaner the Worx Cubevac will be perfect for you. It couldn’t be easier to use and is great for tight spaces and small cars. It feels solid and high-quality and like it will stand up to a lot of dirty work.

Having the tools store onboard is a masterstroke, as it’s all too easy to lose the attachments for a cordless vacuum, while we really like having the stretch hose to make it easier to manoeuvre around the interior.

Its rudimentary filtration and lack of power means you won’t want this for heavier car cleaning, though. That’s a criticism that you can level at most cheap cordless vacuum cleaners, though – and suggests that anybody with a particularly messy car would be better off spending some more money for a pricier, more sophisticated cordless cleaner or simply lugging their mains vacuum out to the kerb.

3/5

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