In a world dominated by big names like Dyson, the premium vacuum space requires something special. Enter the Kobold VK7 Cordless 2-in-1 Vacuum Mop, a standalone vacuum that gives Dyson a run for its money.
The Kobold VK7 is a very good vacuum cleaner. It’s easy to use; it boasts very good manoeuvrability, and its free-standing design is genuinely helpful. It also offers very good performance capabilities; I have yet to use a 2-in-1 that’s this good at mopping floors.
But it’s held back mainly by its price. Compared to other products in the market, the VK7 is very expensive. The vacuum has a disposable bag system, so you won’t need to empty it traditionally. However, over time, you’ll have to invest in replacement bags. Combine that with costly additional accessories, and the VK7 can quickly become expensive. And when comparing it to something like Dyson’s Gen5Detect, I’m not convinced it’s worth an extra $1,000.
- Functional, easy-to-use design
- Excellent mopping capabilities
- Stands up on its own
- Powerful suction
- Good amount of attachments in the box
- Very expensive
- Have to buy more bags
- Attachments are expensive
The Kobold VK7 2-in-1 Vacuum system is costly, costing $2,500. As a comparison, the Dyson V15s Detect with the Submarine attachment costs $1,599. The Kobold VK7 Vacuum alone is more expensive than that, coming in at $1,799.
The Kobold VK7 looks and feels like a premium vacuum cleaner. It’s made of sturdy materials and has a sleek design.
The VK7 is one of the easiest and best vacuums I’ve used regarding manoeuvrability. Its dual swivel points, both at the handle and the head, allow for easy navigation. I could easily slide it underneath beds and push it into corners or hard-to-reach places, all without having to lift it off the surface.
A significant highlight is the free-standing design, which is handy when taking breaks or moving furniture during cleaning. Click the handle forward, and the VK7 stands up on its own; there is no need to lay it down or rest it against a wall. Additionally, doing this will automatically turn the vacuum off, and when you’re ready to go again, put your foot on the head, pull the handle back, and it turns on by itself. It’s a small but convenient feature.
If you aren’t familiar with Kobold devices, the initial setup process can be complicated. It’s not quite as easy to get going as the Dyson range. But after that initial period, I found it very easy to use. Changing attachments is straightforward. There’s a toggle switch at the top of the handle; all you have to do is push that and pull the vacuum up. This will release it from the attachment, eliminating the need to bend down or awkwardly reach the tip of the nozzle to put a new attachment on.
In the box, you get five attachments: a textile nozzle, a car nozzle, a hose – required to use the textile and car nozzles – an electric brush and the 2-in-1 mop attachment. It’s a good amount. The car and textile nozzles are typical small attachments; however, the electric brush and mop attachments are large and can be challenging to store if space is limited.
For certain attachments, you will have to change the form factor of the vacuum. The handle can be folded down so the device can be carried like a golf bag. At first, I thought this would be a burden, but holding it like this in one hand with the textile or car nozzle – attached to the hose – in the other hand was very easy, and it allowed me to move around the cleaning area without being obstructed by the vacuum itself. It weighs just 2.3kg, so it was effortless, and I can’t see many people having an issue using the vacuum this way, but you can get a $35 shoulder strap if needed.
An LED display on the front provides information such as battery and power levels. The display rotates during vacuuming, making it readable from the user’s angle.
This isn’t a vacuum that you empty. Instead, the bag is designed to be thrown out and replaced. Kobold reports a bag can last six weeks of cleaning. However, I find that hard to believe. Due to the slim profile of the vacuum, the bags are very small. The box has six extra bags, but if you need more, you’ll have to cough up $50 for another six. While $8 for a bag isn’t extortionate, it isn’t a cost you have to consider when using a vacuum like the Dyson Gen5Detect, and it’s a significant drawback here.
The VK7 boasts very good performance. Its high-speed motor can accelerate up to 480km/h, allowing 95,000 rotations per minute. It’s not quite as powerful as the best of what Dyson has to offer, but it managed to easily suck up everything I threw at it, no matter the surface.
You can set the vacuum between four suction levels, and at the highest setting, you can really feel the vacuum grip the surface. It feels like you’re picking everything up; however, at the highest levels, it burns through the battery very quickly. Most of the time, I left it in auto mode, which automatically adjusts the suction level based on what the vacuum is picking up. It works well.
The mopping capabilities are excellent. The mop head uses an oscillating function, which quickly rotates around 1,000 times a minute. The mop isn’t simply pushed along the floor; it’s scrubbing it simultaneously. It’s very effective; however, it does make the vacuum shake quite a lot, more akin to a jackhammer rather than a vacuum cleaner. I didn’t find it challenging to use, but others might.
The mop head doesn’t simply mop, it vacuums as well. Sucking up bits of grime and dust while mopping means you don’t have to constantly change attachments and can clean a hardwood floor in one go, instead of two or three.
You can set the mop for different water flow levels, and it’s important to know you must put mops on the attachment. The box comes with three soft cloth mops, which are machine washable, so you can clean and reuse them.
The mop head contains a small container for water, and you can add some of Kobold’s “Koboclean” mixture, which costs an extra $19 if you like. You do get a pitiful 50 ml sample bottle in the box, which at this price is disappointingly small. But if you don’t want to spend the money on the formula, you can use just water.
The MyKobold app, is relatively barebones. Connect it to the vacuum via Bluetooth, and it will provide you with basic information about the vacuum, like when the bag is full and when it needs to be cleaned.
The vacuum charges via a simple cord; there’s no wall-mounted charger here, and it takes around two hours to charge fully.
It has a 60-minute battery runtime, which changes drastically depending on the power level you use, but for most common uses, it’s enough.
You can also purchase additional attachments for the VK7, and like the base model, these are expensive as well. $500 will get you the Mattress and Upholstery set, the telescopic tube for hard-to-reach areas is $55, and a spare battery costs $329.
The Kobold VK7 2-in-1 Vacuum system is a well-designed device with good performance.
Its manoeuvrability, free-standing design, and mopping capabilities are the highlights here. However, its very high price, combined with the costs of bags and extra attachments, makes it a considerable investment.
If you value design and functionality, the VK7 is a solid choice, but the high initial price and the disposable bag design are hard to look past. There just isn’t enough here to warrant spending $1,000 more when there are excellent, more affordable alternatives.