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Caravan Talk's Review Of The Merlin 2 In 1 Mini Vacuum Cleaner

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The Merlin 2 in 1 Mini Vacuum Cleaner



Following a couple of reviews of some great niche products for the caravanning market, we were approached recently and asked if we would consider writing another one for a vacuum cleaner.


This seemingly odd request was first met with a furrowed brow and somewhat vacant expression. However, a short conversation pertaining to the prowess of the machine in question was enough to spark interest and, once again, I’m pleased to report that the decision to review was a good one.


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Practicality and cost


The light but incessant trumpeting you can hear is the small elephant in the room which we may as well deal with first and foremost. The Merlin 2 in 1 Mini Vacuum Cleaner requires a mains input of 230v, rather than being battery powered (as many portable vacuum cleaners are), and also cannot be run off a leisure battery. There. We said it.


So, you won’t be using your Merlin when you hie off into the wilds with no EHU access, but you’ll probably be far too busy drawing water, building fires and fending off bobcats or badgers to worry about such domestic touches.


My review will therefore be based on the assumption that electrical supply is of no issue. Those without EHU access can always use the Merlin in their ‘vans upon return to base, as all the practicality and usage issues below will still apply.


The cost of the Merlin is £49. 95, onto which you can add £2. 95 for postage and packaging (and why, incidentally, is that phrase not the other way round - how many of us post our goods before packaging them?).


I must admit that the cost seemed rather high to me, before I did a spot of research into full-size vacuum cleaner costs by which I was and am invariably appalled. Considering that the Merlin has 1000w of power, compared to an average of, say, 1200-1300-ish Watts of power for the standard leading full size vacuum cleaners, the difference in price for the difference in power and ease of use is remarkable. Yes, £50 is a sizeable outlay for most people, but in terms of quality and value for money, the step up to the next tier of vacuum could mean up to 3 or 4 times the cost. You’ll also have the added peace of mind of a 2 year guarantee with the Merlin 2 in 1.


Looks


As these things go, the Merlin is a rather attractive machine. Sleek, compact, ergonomically sensitive and available in a range of vibrant colours, it has the pleasingly contemporary look I believe all such appliances should have. Our model is in Caravan Talk blue - whether by accident or design I cannot say - and as you will see, has been used as both review subject and mild-crisis-saviour since acquisition.


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Assembly


I have recently moved home, and had more dealings in recent months with preposterous self-assembly furniture than anyone should have to face in a lifetime - the next time I am presented with an allen key, parts numbering in the low trillions and instructions written in haste and with evident apathy I will shriek [Hmm, time to pay a visit to Ikea - Ben].


Imagine my delight then, when the Merlin 2 in 1 Mini Vacuum Cleaner arrived in my life with essentially no assembly required, and an instruction manual that could be disposed of* with a knowing chuckle, both manly and worldly, and the various parts easily combined to create the finished article.


* Only to be reclaimed from the box shortly afterwards to confirm power input requirements.


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Size and weight


The whole point of the Merlin 2 in 1 is that it serves as both a handheld and upright vacuum cleaner, and its aforementioned power means that it performs admirably as both.


The Merlin measures approximately 50cm in handheld mode without the long handle attached, and in upright mode with the handle attached measures approximately 115cm in length (which is a convenient vacuuming height).


merlin-4-jpg.jpg


Weighing in at just under 2kg, the Merlin really is decidedly undemanding to wield as a handheld vacuum cleaner. It can be comfortably used to clean ceilings, light-fittings or nearby colleagues with the long handle attached, or used at closer quarters with the handle removed. Used as an upright vacuum cleaner, for standard floors or stairs, it is effortless.


The Caravan Talk test. ..


One of the key selling points for the wizards behind the Merlin (sorry) is the power. It really sucks. It sucks with 1000 watts of power which, as you will see if you fast forward to around 1m 30 seconds into the promotional video, is enough suck to lift some surprising objects.


So, on paper, very impressive. On the ground, it has to be said, equally impressive. Our office-based test involved a thorough, general clean of the carpet and sofas; no bits of grit or detritus were left behind, and the carpet had the satisfying look of having been cleaned down to depths of its piles.


In terms of functionality, the Merlin is bagless, and the container is very easy to detach, empty and reattach. The dust / dirt compartment is rather small, so if you’re planning on vacuuming the house with it in one sitting you’ll probably need to empty the thing a few times, but doing so won’t exactly put you out.


It comes with the standard vacuuming appendages - the small brush-like one for cleaning soft furnishings and the long snout-like one for vacuuming narrow crevasses.


merlin-5-jpg.jpg


Following our vacuum-lite test, we went a little further, and ground a custard cream deep into the carpet with the sole of a boot [You wasted a biscuit!!! - Ben]. I wanted to see if the absence of a beater-bar would have an impact on performance. ..by the way I’m not sure if ‘beater-bar’ is a widely recognised term or a colloquialism unique to particular brands (or possibly just my house whilst growing up); what I mean is the bar of rotating bristles on big vacuum cleaners that thoroughly beats into carpets and generally leaves them looking immaculate.


I was pleasantly surprised that the Merlin had no trouble removing the ground-in biscuit, not least because I had no other way of removing it had it not done. Although you won’t get quite the deep, pile-pummeling clean you’d get from a large, multi-cyclonic, bristle-rotating behemoth, the carpet cleaning ability of the Merlin is excellent and, given its size, all the more pleasant because it is unexpected.


Onto the aforementioned mild crisis. Being something of an early riser, I’m almost always the first into the office, and one of my self-appointed chores is the transferring of our delivered milk bottles from doorstep to fridge. This is a task I usually perform with competence and aplomb. However, the other day my fingers decided, for the sake of variety, to play a waggish prank and abort operational procedure with bottle in hand. Glass bottle.


So, as milk and broken glass dispersed entrancingly around the (carpeted) kitchen and I attempted to carefully blot the worst of it with kitchen towel and self-reprimand, my thoughts sprung to our newly acquired Merlin 2 in 1 Mini Vacuum Cleaner. What better way to safely dispose of the broken glass once the milk had been soaked up?


Well, I was right. It was a great way to pick up the broken glass. It was also a great way to suck milk out of the seemingly dry carpet; an impressive display of power bordering on overkill. I’m no expert, but my rudimentary scientific understanding has led me to believe that milk and electricity would be lively if ill-advised companions, so I turned the Merlin off, cautiously emptied the milk out and slunk away in shame.


n. b. The vacuuming of milk or any other liquid is highly foolish, frowned upon by Caravan Talk, and should not be undertaken by anyone, ever.


Summary


In conclusion then, the Merlin is a happy compromise between handheld and upright. It’s reasonably expensive for a ‘mini’ vacuum cleaner, but has a lot of power, is dead easy to use and has proven very effective. It’s small and light, and can be compacted down to a small and easy-to-store size.


In terms of performance, it isn’t quite in the league of the uber-vacuums with slightly higher Wattage and rotating bristles, but it blows the mini 6 or 12v handheld vacuum cleaners out of the water. However, it does require 230v mains input. In short, it’s fantastic for cleaning vehicles as long as the vehicle is adjacent to a power socket. The balance, factoring in cost and performance, is therefore just about spot on for my money.


From the caravanner’s point of view then, the fact that it can’t be used without EHU input could put it out of contention for trips away; however, it’s weight and size make it an ideal caravan vacuum cleaner upon returning home or to an internal storage site. And if you do have EHU access, you’re laughing. Just be careful with your milk bottles.


----------------------------------------------------------


Shortly before posting this review to the CT forum, we were contacted by the Merlin folks and offered a 10% discounted rate for Caravan Talk members wishing to purchase a Merlin 2 in 1 Mini Vacuum Cleaner.


As a brief disclaimer (one that we hope our loyal hordes won’t need but we’ll say it anyway), the discount was offered after the review was written and had no impact upon our critique of the product.


We hope the review proves useful for you all; if anyone does go for a Merlin 2 in 1, feel free to post your thoughts here when you’ve given it a try. To claim your 10% Caravan Talk member discount, just send an email to george@merlinminivacuumcleaner. com with your request.

Nick

Marketing Assistant | Caravan Talk

 

nick@caravantalk. co. uk

CaravanTalk on Facebook

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Hi Nick. The name of Arnica is associated by me as being a very very effective bruise reduction cream. It works by breaking down the blood in the bruised area and returning it back to the 'products' that it consists of and allowing reabsorbtion back into the body.

Now if this product is half as efficient & half as effective for what it was designed and developed for as the Arnica Cream is for what it was developed for then it could well be a worthwhile investment.

Edited by TheTravellingRooster

Life in general can be a journey of chance with some winners and sadly some losers. Your outfit can never be left to chance. A short-while carrying out essential checks can ensure a long-time of happy & safe caravanning for all concerned.
Ignorance can often be bliss but is certainly not an excuse and when continually disregarded they can be totally disastrous for oneself and the innocent parties.

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Hi Nick. The name of Arnica is associated by me as being a very very effective bruise reduction cream.

 

Y'know that's exactly what I thought when I saw the name :lol: I grew up with both the cream and the tablets before I discovered a fantastic Taiwanese linseed oil that I find far more effective.

 

As for comparison to the Merlin - you'll have to buy one and see for yourself :) Not sure how clever a vacuum cleaner will be at bruise reduction though. ..


Nick

Marketing Assistant | Caravan Talk

 

nick@caravantalk. co. uk

CaravanTalk on Facebook

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Y'know that's exactly what I thought when I saw the name :lol: I grew up with both the cream and the tablets before I discovered a fantastic Taiwanese linseed oil that I find far more effective.

 

As for comparison to the Merlin - you'll have to buy one and see for yourself :) Not sure how clever a vacuum cleaner will be at bruise reduction though. ..

 

Hi Nick. Yes,but perhaps if one tripped over it whilst working with it then it could well-be productive in the creation of bruises ;) .

It might be worthwhile putting a suggestion forward to the company that a complimentary tube of Arnica Cream is inserted into every box with a cleaner that is sold B):ph34r:.


Life in general can be a journey of chance with some winners and sadly some losers. Your outfit can never be left to chance. A short-while carrying out essential checks can ensure a long-time of happy & safe caravanning for all concerned.
Ignorance can often be bliss but is certainly not an excuse and when continually disregarded they can be totally disastrous for oneself and the innocent parties.

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Tch. Tch. I dunno Nick. ........... vacuum cleaners! What next? washing machines, cookery books???? :D:D


2011 Land Rover Freelander 2, Lago grey 2013 Freelander Dynamic Black, followed by a 2013 Elddis 574 Magnum GT white

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What next? washing machines, cookery books???? :D:D

Er. .. Caravans?

Sorry. I'll get my coat :blush:

 

I do like your writing style though Nick, otherwise I doubt if I would have read your entire review of what is, after all, not the most captivating subject in the world.

On the other hand, you may say there's nothing to it - vacuum - get it - nothing to it - OK I'm going :ph34r:


A researcher will reason, while the ignorant argue.

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Hi Nick

I have been looking for a Stick type cleaner for some time, found the Merlin 2in 1 and it ticked all the boxes, but I could find no reveues, still like the look of it. Have one on the way from Amazon. I am away soon so will repert on the cleaner on my return

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Er. .. Caravans?

Sorry. I'll get my coat :blush:

 

You could be onto something there. ..they're a little tricker to fit into the office though :blink: And I'm not sure MrF could afford me the time to go gallivanting. Plus, with our shiny new reviews section you don't need us to review any vans or towcars ^_^

 

I do like your writing style though Nick, otherwise I doubt if I would have read your entire review of what is, after all, not the most captivating subject in the world.

 

 

Why thank-you :) I do hope people enjoy the reviews; they're good fun to do and I hope this comes across when I go off on one for the write-up.

 

Hi Nick

I have been looking for a Stick type cleaner for some time, found the Merlin 2in 1 and it ticked all the boxes, but I could find no reveues, still like the look of it. Have one on the way from Amazon. I am away soon so will repert on the cleaner on my return

 

Hooray! I hope you like it, let us know how you get on with it :)


Nick

Marketing Assistant | Caravan Talk

 

nick@caravantalk. co. uk

CaravanTalk on Facebook

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Nick

 

I have now had my first run with The Merlin 2 in1.

 

Really it does what it says on the box, once assembled I found the parts needed a firm push otherwise they dropped off. Having used the van for 16 nights it was in need of a good clean, I found the Merlin was really good at its job, I was suppressed just how much dirt was collected, ran the small brush head over the upholstery and you would be amazed how much dirt was removed front the buttons and creases, all looks like new. Well pleased, only one small comment as it was a hot day I found the motor felt warm to hot very quickly, the van is small two berth so I was not running it for long spells I would not have been happy to use it for long spells IE 15 minutes at a time. Major problem number 2 is having made such a good job as told by Herself I now have the cleaning added to my duty list. Buyer beware.

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Hi David,

 

Thanks very much for letting us know what you made of the Merlin - handy to know about the motor.

 

I suppose for a 'mini' vacuum with so much power it's not all that surprising that it gets warm reasonably quickly. I guess you wouldn't expect to do a particularly long stint of vacuuming with a mini, so perhaps 10-15 minute bursts is the optimum.

 

Sorry to hear about your newly acquired cleaning obligations :lol:


Nick

Marketing Assistant | Caravan Talk

 

nick@caravantalk. co. uk

CaravanTalk on Facebook

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What's up folks,

 

I just moved to a new flat and there was a Merlin vacuum cleaner.

 

I used it three or four times (not sure how much it was used before that) and it suddenly stopped working during usage. I noticed it was quite hot (but it didn't smell like burnt). I then opened it and remove some dust from inside (it didn't seem to be filled to capacity though) and that did nothing. I can't remember vacuuming any object or anything that could have potentially damaged it, I was just using vacuuming dust from a wooden floor. I tried to turn it on after a few days and it looks dead.

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks

Isaac

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Welcome but this is a caravan forum and I suggest you seek out a forum more in tune with vacuum cleaners. 

This thread is 7 years old. And I have never heard of Merlin but you'll find a local company will help you with servicing and getting it working. 


Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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