The humble handheld vacuum can never really shake its image as the backup tool, forever destined to play second fiddle to proper full-size vacuum cleaners.
Some are very effective as vacuums (take the Gtech Multi MK2 as an example of powerful suction from a modest handheld) but there's still that nagging feeling that anything serious needs to either be a cylinder unit or a multipurpose vac with an array of attachments.
And this thought is hammered home even more if you think about wet and dry vacuum cleaners. You're probably imagining a cylinder vacuum with a flexible nozzle and long cable, but the fact is, you can buy cordless, handheld wet and dry vacuum cleaners like this one from Beldray. To see if it's any good we're putting it to the test.
The Beldray Cordless Wet & Dry Handheld Vacuum
See that collection of dust and debris surrounding the Beldray? That's the typical detritus that you may find in the boot of a car. We should know because it is. If the Beldray can clean this boot up without issue then it'll be fine for any domestic car cleaning tasks you can throw at it.
We're also going to be testing the Beldray on liquids. For this, I'll be purposely pouring water onto carpet and hard surfaces to see how effective it is. I didn't pour any water into the boot as it wasn't my car, but by doing it to my rug I'll be able to see how effective it would be for cleaning spills up from a car.
Initial impressions are what you'd expect for a budget wet and dry vacuum cleaner. The plastics feel robust enough, if not brimming with a quality feel. There is only one button (on/off) which makes operating it very simple.
Using the crevice tool we set to work cleaning the boot of the car and the suction was good. It lifted the larger bits of dirt with ease and despite the fact it didn't feature a boost function, it never struggled. The inclusion of only two attachments is limiting, a brush or flexible crevice tool would make all the difference, especially for cleaning the inside of a car.
For cleaning spills you must first empty the storage compartment for the sake of keeping the vacuum cleaner working, a simple enough task but one that again shows a flaw in the Beldray. The clear dust compartment is a clever way of showing when the vacuum needs emptying, but due to the design of the compartment, it's next to impossible to remove all debris. While it may only make the vacuum unsightly, it is rather annoying.
The wet function is actually very impressive for such a small vacuum cleaner. Add the squeegee attachment and it'll quite easily deal with small to medium-sized spillages. While it'll be outclassed if the washing machine decides to become a foam machine for example, for day-to-day spills it is ideal.
It's very easy to dismiss the Beldray if you compare it to a larger wet and dry vacuum cleaner. That's not to say the Beldray is bad in any way, it was good at cleaning both liquid and solids separately. The only issue is that it's rather limited in terms of suction power but for the price, it's ok.
The bottom line is, it's a very good wet and dry vacuum cleaner if you remember both the price and the fact it's only a handheld unit. For small domestic duties, it's an acceptable unit but you'll quickly find its limits up against any larger spillages or messes. Add in the small niggles and it's clear that the Beldray is an acceptable if flawed vacuum cleaner.
For larger jobs you may need a wet and dry vacuum for, it's probably a good idea to look at a cylinder vacuum. But these often start at nearly double the price of the Beldray which is definitely worth remembering.
|Running time||20 minutes|
|• Acceptable on wet liquids and solids||• No good for larger tasks|
|• Good value||• Clear tank is a nightmare to clean|
|• Decent run time|
How we tested it:
No fancy press car polished more than a mirror for us, this vacuum was tested on the boot of a real person's car. The boot was in everyday use and provided the perfect testbed for the Beldray. If it could prove itself here, it would be perfect for domestic use.
To test the wet aspect of the vacuum I recreated several common household spillages to test how good it would be for domestic duties. This included coffee and water on a kitchen table, as well as water spilt on both wooden and carpeted floors. If it could excel with these tasks it would be good for domestic duties here too.
I was looking for suction power, quality feel and ease of use, the main considerations I'd have when looking for a wet and dry vacuum cleaner.