Dan Carr

By: Dan Carr on June 1st, 2020

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9 Best Commercial Vacuums of 2020: Identifying the Best For Your Business

The average commercial cleaning worker uses a vacuum for 1-3 hours a day. Vacuums are a critical component of any facility maintenance program. They are used daily to remove soils, keep your floors looking great, and to protect them from damage.

As one of the most used pieces of floor equipment, it is important to select the best type or types for your facility. In some cases, you may need more than one type of vacuum.

There are several different types of vacuum cleaners and each is available with several different features to tackle different problems like spot cleaning or wet residue pick-up.

The right commercial vacuum for various cleaning applications or areas will allow your staff to enjoy increased productivity and better results.

For example, using a backpack vacuum in place of an upright can help your staff increase productivity by as much as 230%. It can also increase safety in certain areas, like stairs.

Below, we’ll review the best vacuum cleaners of 2020 based on type and some key features like power source, cleaning capacity, air flow, and static lift.

Power Source

Yellow CordCommercial vacuums are either battery operated or cord-electric.

Cord-electric machines can allow the user to clean for extended periods of time, because they are not limited to the life of a battery.

However, the operator must manage the power cord throughout the cleaning procedure, making sure they are always within reach of an outlet.

Battery powered vacuums can increase worker productivity by 30% when compared to corded electric vacuums. Cord-free vacuums eliminate the risk of running over the vacuum cord which can cause cord damage.

Cleaning Capacity

The cleaning capacity refers to how much the filter bag can hold before having to change it and how wide the vacuum’s cleaning path is.

The larger the filter bag, the longer staff will be able to vacuum without having to change the bag(s). A smaller filter bag will require staff to stop and empty the filter bag reducing the amount they can get done in one shift.

Similar to the filter bag size, the cleaning path can help determine how productive your staff will be. The larger the cleaning path, the more area it will cover.

Path size will vary based on the type of vacuum you are using. On backpack and canister vacuums there are tools which can be used to increase or decrease the cleaning path size depending on the area you are working in. On an upright, the machine will be limited to the brush size.

Static Lift

Static lift measures the strength or how much soil the vacuum can pull from the surface. The higher the static lift, the more dirt and debris the vacuum will be able to remove. Static lift is typically between 60 and 100 inches.

Airflow

Airflow is commonly listed as CFM. CFM or cubic feet per minute measures the amount of air the vacuum takes through the hose per minute. This feature is what moves the dirt and soils through the vacuum hose to the tank.

Airflow generally ranges between 95 and 150 CFM.

Pro Tip: Air flow and static lift work together. Static lift removes the soil from the surface and air flow helps the dirt and debris travel down the vacuum hose to the tank. Selecting a vacuum with a high airflow and static lift will be important for increased removal of soil.

 

If you are interested in a specific type of commercial vacuum, click on the link below to drop to the respective section.

Backpack Vacuums

  1. ProTeam® Backpack Vac Supercoach Pro 6
  2. ProTeam® Gofree Flex Pro II
  3. ProTeam® Super Halfvac Pro

Upright Vacuums

  1. Clarke CarpetMaster 115 & 215
  2. ProTeam® Proforce 1500XP
  3. NSS Pacer 12
  4. ProTeam® Battery Upright FreeFlex
  5. Advance Carpetriever 28

Canister Vacuums

  1. NSS® Model M-1 “Pig”® Vacuum

The Best Backpack Vacuums

Backpack vacuums are carried on the back of the operator and allow for unrestricted movement in confined or congested areas. When compared to upright machines they can be as much as 230% more productive.

Newer backpack models are lightweight and ergonomic, reducing user fatigue and increasing efficiency and productivity. Backpack vacuums can be battery operated or cord-electric.

Backpack vacuums are extremely portable, making them the best choice when dealing with high traffic areas, stairs or landings. They can also be a great choice for carpeted or hard floor surfaces.

Below we’ll review the 3 best backpack vacuums of 2020.

1. ProTeam® Backpack Vac 6qt Supercoach Pro 6

What makes the ProTeam® Backpack Vac 6qt Supercoach Pro 6 one of the best vacuums of 2020?

ProTeam Super Coach Pro 6qt Backpack VacuumThe ProTeam® Backpack Vac 6qt Supercoach Pro 6 offers exceptional maneuverability and efficiency. At just 11.6 pounds, the machine evenly distributes weight on the user’s back ensuring reduced fatigue and improved comfort.

This backpack vacuum goes where the user goes, allowing the user to move more naturally, freely, and quickly. The user doesn’t have to worry about pulling the canister into furniture and fixtures or bumping into objects as they would with an upright.

Power Source

With a 50ft power cord, this vacuum allows the operator to clean farther before having to worry about managing the cord between outlets.

Cleaning Capacity

This backpack vacuum comes standard with a 6 quart tank. This is the same tank size as the other backpacks on our list.

Static Lift and Airflow

The ProTeam® Backpack Vac 6qt Supercoach Pro 6 offers the highest airflow on our list at 153 CFM and a static lift of 91 inches.

2. ProTeam® Gofree Flex Pro II

What makes the ProTeam® Gofree Flex II one of the best vacuums of 2020?

ProTeam GoFree Flex Pro II Cordless Backpack VacuumThe ProTeam® GoFree Flex Pro II is the only battery powered backpack on our list.

This machine cleans 30% faster than the corded Supercoach Pro 6 above, and 5 times faster than any upright vacuum, helping to save your staff time and save you labor costs.

Powered by a lithium ion battery, this machine provides long run times so that the operator can be as efficient as possible. This 17.5 pound backpack is also equipped with a large 6 quart collection bag, helping to minimize the amount of times the operator will have to stop and empty dirt and debris.

Power Source

This is a battery-powered backpack vacuum cleaner.

Working without cord restrictions means your staff can quickly and easily go wherever they need to go to get the job done. Additionally, eliminating the cord from backpack vacuums allows staff to work more safely in certain areas, like on elevated surfaces or on stairs.

This battery powered backpack provides long run times on both high and low power settings. This vacuum offers approximately 101 minutes of run time on low and approximately 73 minutes on high. To reach a full charge, it takes about 3 hours to charge.

Cleaning Capacity

Similar to the other backpack vacuums on this list, this backpack vacuum is equipped with a 6 quart filter bag.

Static Lift and Airflow

This backpack vacuum has two cleaning modes: high and low. Lower power should be used for routine cleaning and has a max lift of 67 inches. High power is for deep cleaning and can provide a lift up to 81 inches.

When used on low, this backpack vacuum has an airflow of 58 CFM. If operated on high, it has an increased airflow of 81 CFM.

3. ProTeam® Super Halfvac Pro

What makes the ProTeam® Super Halfvac Pro one of the best vacuums of 2020?

ProTeam Super HalfVac Pro 6qt Hipstyle Backpack VacuumAlso manufactured by ProTeam®, this vacuum is the smallest and most compact backpack on this list. It is cord-electric and provides the same cleaning capacity as the larger models above.

Additionally, unlike the ProTeam® GoFree Flex Pro II and the ProTeam® Backpack Vac 6qt Supercoach Pro 6, the Halfvac Pro is worn on the lower back/hip of the user instead of the center back. This is a great backpack to introduce reluctant users to the comfort and enhanced productivity of backpack vacuums.

Finally, this is the lightest backpack on our list at 10.5 lbs.

Power Source

This is a cord electric vacuum, and it is equipped with a 50 foot power cord.

Cleaning Capacity

Although smaller is size and weight, this vacuum also has a 6 quart tank like the other backpack vacuums on our list.

Static Lift and Airflow

Providing a lift up to 97 inches, this is the highest of all backpack vacuums. The high lift paired with an airflow of 106 makes this machine effective for picking up light to medium soils.

The Best Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Upright vacuums are vertical standing machines with wheels and a brush roll on the bottom and a bag for soil collection on top.

They are typically cord-electric, but can be battery powered. They are primarily used on carpeted floors, however some have the ability to switch back and forth between both hard and carpeted floors.

To help you identify the best upright vacuums, we’ll review the top 5 of 2020.

1. Clarke CarpetMaster 115 and 215

What makes the Clarke Carpetmaster 115 and 215 some of the best vacuums of 2020?

Clarke CarpetMaster 215 Upright VacuumThe upright Carpetmaster 115 and 215 vacuums are extremely similar, offering many of the same features.

However, the Carpetmaster 215 is equipped with a dual motor instead of a single motor.

With a dual motor, one motor runs the brush and one runs the motor. Dual motors provide more power and increased efficiency. They are better for deeper cleaning and heavy soil removal in entry ways.

A single motor design runs both the brush and the motor, reducing the efficiency of the machine but it is cheaper.

These uprights allow for touch-free access to the brush and hose for easy removal and cleaning.

Power Source

Both of these upright vacuums come standard with a 50 foot yellow power cord.

Cleaning Capacity

The Carpetmaster 115 and 215 have a 4.2 quart bag capacity to trap and contain dirt and debris.

Static Lift and Airflow

These machines both have an airflow of 93 CFM and static lift of 92 inches.

2. ProTeam® Proforce 1500XP

What makes the ProTeam® Proforce 1500XP one of the best vacuums of 2020?

ProTeam ProForce 1500XP Upright VacuumThe Proforce has a 15 inch wide cleaning path and can easily toggle between hard and carpeted floors. The head of the machine is L-shaped and protrudes to the right for enhanced cleaning under and around furniture.

Additionally, the Proforce is equipped with a 3 stage filter that captures and removes about 98.73% of allergens to help you improve indoor air quality.

Power Source

The ProTeam Proforce 1500XP is a cord-electric vacuum equipped with the standard 50 foot cord.

Cleaning Capacity

This vacuum offers the smallest bag capacity at 3.25 quarts. The smaller the bag, the quicker it will fill up and the more frequently your staff will have to stop and replace the bag.

Static Lift and Airflow

With an airflow of 96 CFM and 85 inch static lift, this machine can easily remove soils from hard floors and carpets.

3. NSS Pacer 12

What makes the NSS Pacer 12 one of the best vacuums of 2020?

NSS Pacer 12UE Upright VacuumThe NSS Pacer 12 is a powerful upright, equipped with the second largest bag capacity out of all the uprights on this list.

In addition to a large bag capacity, this vacuum has a dial on the base which allows the user to change the brush height for the height of the carpet pile or for use on hard floors.

Power Source

This upright is cord electric, and comes standard with a 40 foot power cord.

Cleaning Capacity

This vacuum is equipped with a 5 quart bag and has a 12 inch cleaning path. As mentioned earlier, cleaning capacity directly affects how much your staff can get done. The larger the bag and cleaning path, the more productive staff can be.

Static Lift and Airflow

The NSS Pacer has a maximum airflow of 100 CFM and a static lift of 92 inches.

4. ProTeam® Battery Upright FreeFlex

What makes the ProTeam® Battery Upright FreeFlex one of the best vacuums of 2020?

ProTeam FreeFleax Battery Upright VacuumThe ProTeam® Battery Upright FreeFlex is one of the best vacuums because of its ability to be used as either a battery operated or cord electric machine.

Power Source

This is the only upright vacuum on our list that can be operated as a battery powered or cord electric machine.

Ensuring your staff can work for as long as possible, this vacuum is paired with a lithium-ion battery and offers 72 minutes of continuous cleaning time.

With this upright, your staff can work efficiently with no cord management or wall outlet restrictions. Should your cleaning extend beyond the charge of a battery, this machine also comes equipped with an electric cord so your staff can continue cleaning procedures.

Cleaning Capacity

This upright has the smallest bag and cleaning path of all the vacuums on this list. It has a cleaning path of 11.75 inches and a bag capacity of 3.25 quarts.

Static Lift and Airflow

The static lift and airflow on this machine are impacted by the machine’s ability to be operated as either a battery powered or cord eclectic machine. When used with the battery, it has an airflow of 53 CFM and 14 in static lift.

However, the corded version is slightly more powerful, providing an airflow of 68 CFM and 25 inches static lift.

5. Advance CarpeTriever™ 28

What makes the Advance CarpeTriever™ 28 one of the best vacuums of 2020?

Advance CP CarpeTriever 28 Wide Area VacuumThis is a wide-area vacuum that has the largest cleaning path and bag capacity of any of the upright vacuums on our list. 

This is the perfect upright for facilities that need to clean large open areas.

Power Source

The power cord on this machine is 75 feet long, which is the longest cord of any of the vacuums on our list.

Cleaning Capacity

In just one single pass this vacuum can clean 28 inches. To help lower the amount of times an operator has to replace a filter bag, the CarpeTriever has a bag capacity of 36 quarts.

Static Lift and Airflow

The static lift and airflow on the Advance CarpeTriever™ 28 will depend on the setting. Powerful dual vacuum motors like this create a max airflow of 224 CFM and 63" static lift.

The Best Canister Vacuum

Canister vacuums are great for cleaning hard floors, carpeted floors, fixtures, and drapes.

They are also useful when dealing with multiple cleaning tasks that require specialized attachments, like extended length hoses and wands. They can easily remove large soils.

In this review, only one canister vacuum made our list. Most canister vacuums can be replaced by more productive upright or backpack vacuums, however, this canister, the NSS® Model M-1 “Pig”®, provides unique features that make it one of the most versatile on the market.

1. NSS® Model M-1 “Pig”® Vacuum

What makes the NSS® Model M-1 “Pig”® one of the best vacuums of 2020?

NSS Model M-1 PIG Canister VacuumDiversifying itself from traditional canister vacuums, the NSS Model M-1 Pig is extremely versatile and effectively removes dust and dirt from drapes, hanging signs, and other above-the-floor fixtures without sticking to surfaces.

The NSS® M-1 “Pig”® canister vacuum offers a faster, easier, and safer way to dust surfaces up to 25 feet in the air without using a ladder or a lift.

Power Source

This is a cord-electric machine with a 35-foot power cord.

Cleaning Capacity

The NSS® Pig® vacuum cleaner has a large 12-gal filter bag. The bag holds up to 5x more dirt and debris than the standard upright. The large bag allows the staff to clean a greater amount of area before having to stop and empty the bag.

Static Lift and Airflow

The Model M-1 pig is equipped with a special suction system that balances high airflow and low lift to prevent the vacuum from sticking to surfaces. It has a lift of 37 inches.

An airflow of 146 cubic feet per minute paired with the low lift, enables this machine to be used to vacuum unique surfaces like hanging banners without pulling them off the wall.


Final Thoughts

Vacuuming is an important part of facility maintenance, often completed daily to remove abrasive soils, and protect floors from damage.

Depending on your facility you may benefit from more than one type of vacuum cleaner.

Upright vacuums can tackle a variety of different procedures and offer the strongest dirt removal. When choosing an upright you will need to choose which has the right cleaning capacity and strength for your facility.

The Advance CarpeTriever will be most productive in large open areas, whereas the ProTeam Battery Upright Pro or the ProTeam Proforce will be more productive in smaller tighter areas.

For facilities interested in a basic, reliable upright vacuum, the Carpetmaster series will likely be the best choice. Keep in mind, choosing between the Carpetmaster 115 and 215 may ultimately come down to price.

Backpack vacuums are the most productive and versatile. They can allow the user to easily transition from different floor types like commercial wood flooring to carpets or even stairways. If your staff has never used a backpack vacuum before, you may want to start with the ProTeam Halfvac. However, if you are looking for the most productive, you will want the battery powered ProTeam® GoFree Flex Pro II.

Finally, if your facility does a lot of specialty cleaning on high walls or pipes, the NSS M-1 Pig will be most effective.

No matter your situation, EBP can help match you to the best commercial vacuum cleaner for your facility.

EBP has been the leading provider of commercial cleaning products and janitorial cleaning equipment for over 100 years. EBP has an unrivaled selection of commercial cleaning products and janitorial cleaning equipment to help you build the most effective floor care program.

If you are still not sure about which vacuum is the best option for your facility or have a question about commercial vacuum cleaners, let an EBP Account Executive help.

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About Dan Carr

Dan Carr is the Equipment Program Manager for EBP Supply Solutions and a Trainer for the EBP Training Academy, which offers CMI-certified and other training courses for supervisory and front-line cleaning professionals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. He holds the ISSA CMI Basic certification and has over 35 years of experience in the janitorial and sanitation industry.