Updated: June 8, 2015

Swivel Sweeper Reviews - Does the Swivel Sweeper Really Work?

By now, everyone has seen the TV infomercials for the famous Swivel Sweeper. If you haven't, here is the basic info. A lightweight little vacuum/sweeper device is moved gently around the floor of a kitchen, quickly picking up all kinds of spills - rice, cereal, bolts, paper scraps, you name it. It maneuvers in between tight spaces around chairs and tables, it picks up along baseboards of cabinets, and it is cordless! Sounds like a dream come true, right? But many people are wary of buying things they see on TV - its too good to be true, that can't be real, it will probably break -- these are things we've all said to ourselves, and often with good reason due to past experience. So this guide is meant to tackle the question: Does the Swivel Sweeper really work like they show it on TV? How good is it? Should I buy one? If you're like most families and need something to clean up stuff around the kitchen and kitchen table, keep reading and see how this product has performed for us.

Using the Swivel Sweeper - How Does the Swivel Sweeper Work?

We've always used a fairly good sized plug-in vacuum for cleaning up around our kitchen area. It works, but the drawbacks are the size and weight, the hassle of unwinding the cord, plugging it in, maneuvering it around tables and chairs and cabinets, unplugging, rewinding, etc. Just all the setup and put-away takes twice as long as the clean-up time. So we opted to try the Swivel Sweeper with the promise of cord-free operation, lightweight, and swiveling maneuverability to get in and around tables and chairs without having to entirely rearrange the furniture. So what you do get when you buy a Swivel Sweeper? First thing to note, as the name implies, the Swivel Sweeper is a sweeper, electric broom-type device, not a vacuum. It has ZERO vacuum power. It is a very lightweight device, weighing just 2 pounds. To assemble it, you slide the various pieces of the metal handle together until they lock into place, attach the bottom sweeper piece to the handle, pop in the battery, and that's it. You need to flip it over to see how it works. It doesn't have wheels - it instead slides around on 4 circular shaped sliders. The rectangular bottom portion has 4 cylindrical sweepers, one on each side. They have little sweeper brushes, and when you turn on the power, they spin and sweep debris up off the floor and into the dirt collector (which occupies the middle portion of the sweeper head). Since the 4 sweepers are along the edges, they allow you to slide the Sweeper right along the base of cabinets to pick up crumbs and garbage very easily. The whole thing is battery powered (which is both good and bad, as we will see below), so that means no cords to get tangled or to wind/unwind. The attachment where the pole meets the sweeper head pivots up and down and in a 360 degree circle, allowing you easily spin the sweeping head with the flick of your wrist to get it positioned around and under chairs, stools, and other obstacles.

So that is how the Swivel Sweeper is designed and supposed to work, but how does it behave in real life? We got it for cleaning hardwood floors, with light duty on some very short pile throw rugs. Since this is a sweeper and not a vacuum, it is designed to work mostly on flat surfaces -- tiles, hardwood, linoleum, very light pile rugs, etc. Just as you wouldn't try to sweep your thick carpets, the Swivel Sweeper is not going to go a great job on thick carpets. In general, it does a really good job of picking up scraps and crumbs around the kitchen floor, and it is very maneuverable. We can move it around a table with 6 chairs and barely even need to move the chairs to allow it access to all the areas underneath. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 passes to pick up some things like paper scraps lying flat on the floor, but for the most part, just moving it back and forth once or twice picks up everything. It works wells along edges of cabinets, getting items right up against the wall. On the short pile rugs, it works decently picking up little food crumbs you can see with 2 or 3 passes, again much easier than vacuuming. And since most cleaning chores in the kitchen only take 1 minute or two, battery life wasn't an issue when we first tried it. You will need to empty the dirt tray after every other use -- this involves pushing two thumb tabs and lifting the base off the dirt tray, then dumping the dirt tray into the garbage can and popping back into place. The whole process takes about 20 seconds and is not very messy or difficult -- you just have to remember to do it, since nothing reminds you when it is full other than it is hard to sweep up anything new since it overflows. So anyways, we used this thing successfully for many months. But after a while, the battery charge would barely last (you'd have to keep the battery constantly charging so you could plug it in quick and get 30 seconds of use). And then the sweeper brushes were so clogged with hair and string, they would barely function. Now it is true that the Swivel Sweeper comes with a little pick/cutting tool for clearing out hair, but I'd never had to do that before and had thrown it away somewhere, so I tried it with a pocket knife and other tools, but it was hard. So we put it aside and bought a hand vac for quick cleanups around the table, which we used for 1 year or so, during which time the old Swivel ended up in the trash. But now a year later, we kind of missed the Swivel, and by God, if we didn't go and buy another. So we are now trying it again, hoping for better battery results though now we don't expect a lifetime battery, and we know to clean out the hair from time to time, and we saved the hair-cleaner tool! And once again, when new at least, it is doing a pretty good job around the kitchen. Oh, and one other thing I almost forgot -- it is kind of noisy with its electric motor and spinning brushes -- you don't really pick that up on the commercials, but this thing is NOT silent. So with all that said, let's summarize the experience: overall, the Swivel Sweeper does work pretty much like they show it on TV; it's a little noisy; it is very lightweight and easy to maneuver around tables and chairs; it works great on flat, hard surfaces, not as well on carpets and rugs; battery life isn't the best and it will eventually conk out on you, requiring $20 replacement; you will have to clean twisted hair off the spinning brushes every month or two. So if you are looking for a lifetime, maintenance free product, this probably will leave you wanting. But if you are looking for a good tool for quickly cleaning up small areas of the house and can handle the battery problem, it really works quite well and does what it is supposed to do.

Complaints about the Swivel Sweeper

The biggest complaint we hear about the Swivel Sweeper is the battery. Many people have problems with the battery quickly losing charge and not lasting very long, then needing to be replaced. As an example, on Amazon.com the Swivel Sweeper shows an average 3 star rating (out of 5) from over 200 customer reviews. And most of those offering poor reviews are battery-related. You can buy replacement batteries, but they cost $21 each inlcuding shipping fees -- that's alot of money for a product that costs less than $40 (just $20 when you buy two units). Battery complaints are nothing new, whether it is for iPods or other electronic devices. It would be nice if you could replace batteries yourself instead of having to buy proprietary formats, but that is pretty much life for most of these devices. Others complain about the not-very-solid construction and its inability to clean up well on carpets and rugs. In our experience, the construction is fine for a lightweight kitchen appliance, and it is not meant to clean heavy rugs. The other big complaint is about hair getting wound around the brushes and clogging them, requiring you to rip and pull the twisted, tangled hair back out -- a messy job, and not much fun. This is a pain, make sure you save the cutting tool they send you for ripping and hacking through these hair snags -- no other way around it, unless everyone in the house shaves their heads!

How much does the Swivel Sweeper cost? Where to buy the Swivel Sweeper?

You can buy the Swivel Sweeper direct at SwivelSweeper.com, their official website, where it sells for $40 plus $15 shipping ($55 total). They also sell supplies like replacement batteries. Many retail store and websites also sell it now. Amazon.com has it listed for $27, Target.com and Walgreens.com offer it for $35. So you may be able to avoid high shipping fees by buying it from a local retailer or an online retailer that offers free or discounted shipping.