Kobold VK7 Review : The “Thermomix” Of Cordless Vacuum Cleaners | Tech Reviews
What does the Thermomix have to be the most popular kitchen robot despite not being sold on conventional channels or being cheap? Word of mouth, quality, durability, a large community around it, a bit of all of them… What is clear is that Vorwerk, the German company behind it, has a different way of understanding the business : not here there are annual renewals, different families to reach the more people, the better or low cost versions.
Under this premise comes the Kobold VK7 , an ambitious upright vacuum cleaner with a peculiar design, modularity by flag, a certain “intelligence” and a considerable price. We have tested the Kobold VK7 and this has been our experience.
|BATTERY||up to 60 minutes|
|LOADING TIME||about 2 hours|
|FILTERS||Made with 4 absorption layers that retain 99.9% of fine dust particles. Indicated for allergy sufferers|
|WHAT IS IN THE BOX||Kobold VK7 vacuum cleaner, HD7 corner accessories, charger, set of brushes + Duster + non-electric extension tube, pack x6 FP7 filter bags, pack x6 dovinas and shoulder strap|
|PRICE||From 695 euros|
Design: Original, modern and with a classic touch
Let’s start at the beginning: the pack we have tested is the complete Kobold VK7 comprehensive cleaning system , which includes the HD7 vacuum cleaner and corner accessory module (Kobold Essential) + EB7 Multi-floor & Carpet module (Kobold Duo 1) + Vacuum & Carpet module Scrub SP7 (Kobold Duo 2) + Textiles & Mattresses module PB7, MR7, MP7 (Kobold Duo 3). However, you could always buy the essential kit and then purchase the different accessories, yes, at 500 euros each.
In times when the vast majority of wireless vacuum cleaners opt for aluminum tubes and plastic heads that are inevitably reminiscent of the Dyson, the benchmark in the sector, Vorwerk goes free with a somewhat anachronistic aesthetic that evokes the original broom vacuum cleaners but with nods to modernity. And it is that in fact, as we will explain in this article, the Kobold VK7 is full of innovation.
Vorwerk goes it alone with a somewhat anachronistic aesthetic that evokes the original broom vacuum cleaners… but full of innovation
When you take it out of the box, the initial temptation is to look for the classic extension tube so as not to use it bent over, but the tricks begin: the rubber-coated handle is released from the bottom to, once rotated 180 degrees, become a comfortable handle with a good grip .
In this position you will have at hand the power button and the buttons to raise or lower the power, placed above and below it. Right at the bottom, the turbo button to press in a timely manner when necessary. Although the arrangement of the buttons is comfortable, it is not the first or the second time that I accidentally activate them by moving the vacuum cleaner.
By rotating the handle we discover a practical rotating screen (which automatically rotates the information depending on whether we have it with the handle deployed or retracted) where we can see the battery % (it goes from 10 to 10), the power level, the water dosing, filter bag status, warnings and errors. Right on the other side, at the rear, the charging socket with a pin system.
Another difference from the standard has to do with the filtering and storage of dirt. While most opt for a tank and a filter, the Kobold VK7 works with filter bags that, according to the brand, have been made with four layers and are capable of retaining up to 99.99% of fine dust particles (of According to Vorwerk, the filtered air while vacuuming is 850 times cleaner than the ambient air, so this vacuum cleaner will be interesting for allergy sufferers). Just above the screen there is a lever that allows access to the bags.
Higher up there is a green lever that we will turn to release the module that we will place in the lower part to vacuum. In this sense, the lace is perfect, without a doubt or looseness .
Let’s talk ergonomics . The body of the Kobold VK7 weighs 2.5 kg, is cone-shaped and made entirely of high-quality, robust matt plastic. When we rotate the handle and place an accessory, the weight is concentrated in the central area, making it moderately comfortable, although the sensation is not extremely agile. In its favor, the wheels of the modules and the ball joint are very smooth, so it is easy to slide it across the floor.
But there is also another option : leave the handle in place and place other accessories that allow it to be used as a handheld vacuum cleaner. In this case, my experience from an ergonomic point of view has been somewhat worse, finding it heavy and a bit big.
There are two determining factors for a manual vacuum cleaner to stand out in this section: quality accessories (brushes) that are effective for different use scenarios and sufficient power to trap dirt, not just basic ones such as dust, crumbs or sand that we can find on the ground, if not also dirt of a larger diameter or simply that it is encrusted. In this sense, we can say that the Kobold VK7 shines in cleanliness .
According to the manufacturer, the maximum suction power is 28l/s , a fairly high figure for a wireless model that, although we have not been able to verify quantitatively, has been qualitatively enough to deal with dirt on the floor and in textiles such as carpets or mattresses.
Although the power of the Kobold VK7 can be regulated manually from the remote control, a point in its favor is that the EB7 Multifloor & Carpet module (not included in the essential kit) includes sensors capable of detecting the type of surface to adapt the speed , thus optimizes its operation and the battery. In this sense, our house is entirely made of tile, but as soon as it detects the carpet, it is heard that the motor works with more force.
Here are some of the most interesting user experiences:
- With the 2/4 power mode it is enough to clean the floor of the usual dirt. In approximately 10 – 12 minutes we have vacuumed our entire apartment (55 square meters) moving bedside tables and reaching corners.
- Its suction capacity with the ground with a high concentration of small solids or solids of about 2 cm in diameter is amazing , even without the need to tighten the Turbo. Beyond the standard dirt, we have tested in different situations, for example when you take off your shoes and socks after playing paddle tennis (if you are not careful, you can make a small beach) or shaking the tablecloth with crumbs after a meal and even with small remains of plaster the size of a 2 cent coin.
- Even though we only have one rug and this one is small, the results are comparable to our corded sled vacuum using just a few passes. Plus, it’s more convenient than relying on the length of the cable. For this purpose we have used the EB7 multi-floor & carpet module, which has increased the suction speed when it is detected.
- The kit that we have tested includes some Lavenia powders with a lavender scent with a special allergen reduction function for cleaning mattresses . Thus, you have to spread them over the surface, spread them with the Kobold MP7 mattress cleaner accessory and, after letting it work, vacuum it using the Kobold MR7 mattress vacuum accessory. Although it is true that in the process it is easy to spill the dust on the floor and that in hand format it is not the most comfortable thing in the world, the results are good, leaving the mattress visually clean and with a good smell.
In terms of suction power and cleaning techniques, the Kobold VK7 is the most complete and effective cordless vacuum cleaner (that we have tested).
- Scrubbing with the Kobold SP7 Vacuum & Scrub module has surprised us a lot. It is bulky and heavy, but the results are on par with the mop thanks to the dosing action of the water, the cleaning product that is included, the quality of the mop (thick and textured) and above all, how it vibrates in contact with the ground by rubbing it . It is able to remove dry stains without much trouble.
In short, it is not the lightest and most comfortable wireless vacuum cleaner we have tested, but in terms of suction capacity and cleaning techniques, it is indeed the most complete and effective . Of course, for this versatile experience you will need all the accessories and that you do not lack their consumables.
The weak point of a cordless vacuum cleaner is the combination between power and battery : it is difficult for them to have as much suction capacity as a corded model and, in case of betting on integrating an ambitious motor, its battery will be significantly hampered by it.
This is what happens with the Kobold VK7: if you choose to activate the maximum power mode (4/4), in just 11 minutes you will have consumed all of it . Of course, if you place the HD7 corner accessory and opt for the minimum power, it can last approximately one hour.
In any case, the reality is that there are few scenarios in which you need to use maximum power or that the device itself detects that everything is so dirty that it has to work at full speed. But maybe you take it to clean the inside of a trunk where your pet travels and it happens. In that case, the good thing is that in about 2 hours you have it back to 100% .
In other more common household cleaning scenarios, power levels 1 and 2 will normally be sufficient . Without going any further, in my test days I have used it daily to vacuum and scrub the entire house and, sticking to replacing the broom and mop, it has lasted me about four days. (In fact, if you are working with the “smart” head with sensors, the battery is slightly higher).
With other tasks such as the deep vacuuming of the mattress or the three-seater sofa, I have consumed approximately half of the battery , more than enough considering that it is a cleaning that I do from time to time.
A curiosity: unlike other models with a screen, such as the Dyson V15 or the Dyson V12 , which offer battery life in real time in minutes and seconds, the Kobold VK7 shows how the battery percentages drop by 10%. More of an orientation than a precision data (however, in the app it offers the data in minutes)
How is the application
It is normal for connectivity and the consequent application to be a desired feature in robot vacuum cleaners due to their autonomous condition when it comes to cleaning, but with MyKobold, Vorwerk makes the most of the customization options of its vacuum cleaner .
As is usual in this type of application, we can find functions as useful as the manual (ideal in case you lose it/throw it away), the deterioration of the different components and consumables so that you can schedule their replacement, and practical usage statistics.
But the best thing about this application is that you can configure cleaning settings for its EB7 and SP7 modules, for example to configure the power with which it vacuums carpets with long hair, delicates or doormats, or the power with which it vacuums when it is scrubbing. Fortunately, it comes factory-configured and allows you to keep those default settings (and return to them whenever you want), although that customization is appreciated. Who knows when you are going to clean a valuable Persian rug or have to leave the doormat in your village house like gold?
MyKobold stands out for its smooth operation and clear interface and it is not easy when there are so many options.
We want to highlight the smooth operation and clarity of the interface . It’s not easy when there are so many options to find the key to achieve a clean and agile look. Thus, the images and the lines are optimized, the menus are configured to be functional and the adjustments are solved simply by sliding a finger. Thumbs up.
The manual and the application show the basic maintenance operations to optimize the useful life of the Kobold VK7, such as cleaning and replacing the brushes, cleaning and replacing the mop support, cleaning the filter and the suction channel. . In this sense, it is very useful that the app has a usage counter . These operations do not present any particular difficulty, especially considering the good fit of the different pieces and their modular vocation.
As we detailed in the anatomy section, the endemic evil of wireless vacuum cleaners is the duration of their battery and its eventual degradation. Fortunately, if you opt for this vacuum cleaner, its battery is removable so you can replace it when the time comes. How to know? Well, either because your experience is already traumatic or simply by resorting to the app. In debit, that the battery and the screen are a single piece whose PVP is 250 euros ). Good for Vorwerk in the face of planned obsolescence … but at what a price.
There is a differential point in this vacuum cleaner that gives it an “anachronistic” and dependent touch : dirt does not accumulate in a filter, but ends up in bags. The status of the bag can also be viewed from the application and its replacement couldn’t be easier: pull the tab to open the compartment and then pull the gray tab.
Yes, it’s easy, but we must bear in mind that this leads us to have to buy more bags in the medium term, since there are six in the box. The good thing is that Vorwerk is a brand that is committed to longevity in the face of the hegemonic culture of using and throwing away and the bad thing is that we will be “tied” to its availability and periodic purchase. And each pack of six costs 30 euros .
Vorwerk is a brand that is committed to longevity in the face of the hegemonic culture of using and throwing away
If you buy the complete version that we have analyzed or other more basic kits or directly buy separate modules, on the web you will also find spare parts for their consumables : mops of various types, Dovina air fresheners (which you can place next to the bag), cleaners for different types of soil, mattress powders…
Buying the Kobold VK7 thanks to its careful maintenance program, spare parts and consumables, means that you have a vacuum cleaner for a while. In this sense, durability is not only seen in the quality of construction, materials and modularity, but also here. It is also a consolation to find spare parts for other previous models and that the German firm does not have an extensive chain of products in constant renewal, but rather the life of these is long. But it comes at a price: regularly buy consumables to continue squeezing it thoroughly.
Kobold VK7 Review: Fadvices opinion
Probably the appliance that has been in my in-laws’ house the longest is a corded Vorwerk vacuum cleaner from the early 2000s. Approximately 15 years later, in 2016, they bought the Thermomix. If you ask them how much it cost, they don’t remember, but it was a lot . Both devices are used almost daily.
It’s time to do an exercise in honesty with the Kobold VK7. It’s built quality, it works well, and it’s easy to operate, though you can probably pretty much master the app’s textile cleaning settings (there’s even an option to set up yoga mats!). It is not the lightest. It is not the most comfortable in hand either. It is by no means the cheapest. But it is the cordless vacuum cleaner that cleans the best that I have tried . Here both power (although this is difficult to compare and quantify in practice) and accessories are to blame.
It is true that its operation through bags increases dependency, but it is a vacuum cleaner designed to last . You can buy modules separately later, for example when you buy a large rug for your living room. Or you can get the special mattress powder when it’s time for the big seasonal cleaning spree. Of course, when the battery degrades, you can buy a new one.
Cheap and expensive is a relative concept. We can compare the price of a product with its peers or we can also analyze how much we have used it, how long it has lasted or, ultimately, if we have amortized it throughout its useful life. The Kobold VK7 is a vacuum cleaner that starts at 695 euros and goes up to 1,695 euros if we want it completely. It costs its own, no doubt, and that will act as a barrier to entry for (quite a few) potential buyers, but if you decide, the Kobold VK7 aims to be a vacuum cleaner for life .