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Hoover HF9 (Pet) review: Hoover’s cordless stick vacuum

Our Rating :
£244.95 from
Price when reviewed : £260
inc. VAT

Hoover’s flagship cordless vacuum cleaner is solidly built, easy to use and particularly effective on carpet


  • Anti-tangle
  • Impressive cleaning
  • Stands upright without support


  • No economy power mode
  • Lacks soft roller for hard floor

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The Hoover HF9 (full name Hoover Cordless Stick with Anti-Twist HF9 Pet Model) is the flagship of Hoover’s current range of cordless sticks. This relatively inexpensive device is loaded with the kinds of features we’ve come to expect from much pricier cordless stick vacuum cleaners and it builds on the design of the Hoover HF500.

While the HF500 is best suited to smaller homes, the HF9 is more versatile and capable of working through larger properties. Despite that, it comes at an affordable price. It’s clearly aimed at those who baulk at spending north of £500 on a new cleaner but who still want a decent model with a good variety of features. For that kind of purchaser, the HF9 hits something of a sweet spot.

Hoover HF9 (Pet) review: What do you get for the money?

There are three HF9 models. The version we’ve reviewed is the Pet Edition, which has a suggested price of £399 but is available for £260 at the time of writing. This is essentially the same as the basic Home Edition (suggested price £379, currently available for £249), except that it costs a little more and comes with a motorised upholstery attachment designed to lift problematic pet hair from furniture. There’s also a Twin Battery Edition (suggested £499 but £433 at the time of writing), which has all the attachments of the Pet Edition, but includes a second battery.

Unlike the pared-back Hoover HF500, which came with only a crevice tool, the basic HF9 is better equipped. The crevice tool is still present but there’s also a combination soft dusting brush and upholstery tool. This is a wide, oval-shaped funnel, with a brush that slides over the end when you require a more delicate touch.

The more expensive models also include the motorised tool I’ve already mentioned, which looks like a miniaturised floor head with its own spinning roller inside. This is undoubtedly more effective on upholstery covered in pet hair than the standard oval funnel but it’s also useful for those without pets when tackling smaller areas such as stairs or car carpets.

The main floor head is the same across all models. This houses a single roller, loaded with both brushes and fins, arranged in a chevron. It rotates at high speed on carpet, to flick dirt out of the pile and into the path of the suction tube. On hard floor it dials the rotation speed back so it isn’t so aggressive.

In terms of size, the device is fairly standard, standing upright at 260 x 210 x 1,110mm (WDH). It weighs 3.4kg: the handheld unit is around 2kg, with the floor head and wand making up the remainder.

At 0.7l the collection bin isn’t enormous but it’s a significantly more useful size than the 0.45l bin that comes with the Hoover HF500. This should be enough to clean a house without having to empty part way through, unless your house is particularly large or filthy.

The battery is a 4,000mAh unit, which takes around 3hrs 30mins to charge. It’s easily removable, so can be swapped with a second device if you have the dual battery model, and it can be charged either in situ when installed in the vacuum or separately.

The vacuum comes with a wall-mounting holster, which safely holds the vacuum out of the way. Unfortunately this lacks an integrated charging cable, although you can still plug in the vacuum if you want it to recharge when you put the cleaner away.

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Hoover HF9 review: What’s it like to use?

I found the Hoover Cordless Stick with Anti-Twist HF9 Pet Model to be simple and straight-forward to use. The unit feels solid and well made, with all of the components clipping together with a reassuring click. The release buttons are easy to press and everything comes apart smoothly.

The main unit is comfortable to hold. All the controls are located on top of the handle near your thumb: the main central button is used to switch the device on and off; the Mode button switches between carpet and hard floor modes, essentially controlling the speed of the brush bar; finally, there’s a Turbo button, which increases suction if you find yourself cleaning a particularly difficult spillage that’s not shifting on the standard setting.

Above the buttons is a simple screen with icons showing what mode you’re in (carpet or hard-floor) and whether Turbo is engaged. The rest of the display shows the number of minutes of cleaning left on the device before the battery runs out. If the vacuum is plugged in, it will display the percentage of charge the battery has available instead.

In use, the system is clear, informative and simple to use. It doesn’t detect carpet or switch power modes automatically but it’s easy enough to do this manually.

Emptying the collection bin is straightforward, too. It’s positioned to the side of the extension wand, so can be removed without having to take off any attachments. It unclips with a button at the top, while a second button at the bottom releases the door and lets the dust, dirt and debris fall out.

I found it needed a bit of a poke and prod to free some of the collected fluff and compacted hair that got in there on my test cleans but this isn’t particularly unusual in a cordless stick. For a completely dirt free empty you need a cordless vacuum that uses bags, such as the Henry Quick.

The side-loading of the suction pipe has its pros and cons. Yes, you can empty it without removing attachments, but it means fluff and dirt needs to pass through a tight u-bend as it transitions from the upward pipe to the bottom of the collection bin.

This didn’t cause problems for the vacuum in our tests but during a whole house clean I did get a blockage that threw up an error code on the screen. It was a simple fluff block and easy to clear but, again, required getting my fingers into the vacuum’s dusty internal crevices.

What you won’t have to do on a regular basis, however, is clean the roller bar. The vacuum has an anti-tangle mechanism that stops hair from getting wrapped around the roller and it works well. I cleaned all around the vanity stations of my long-haired family members and didn’t find a single strand of hair caught around the roller, so I’d put this down as a big success for Hoover’s system.

If there’s one thing that’s slightly disappointing, it’s the battery life. As you can see from the chart below, some vacuum cleaners at this kind of price come with enough power to clean for an hour on their lightest settings. With no Economy setting on this vacuum, there’s no option to reduce the suction down to eke out a few more minutes.

The 31 minutes it lasted in our test is an improvement over the Hoover HF500 and the Vax Blade 5 but it falls behind models from Shark and the super long-lasting Henry Quick.

There’s one last thing that’s worth mentioning: a feature Hoover is calling “Quick Park & Go”. As with the HF500 before it, this is a latch in the ankle joint of the vacuum that’s strong enough to hold the extension wand and vacuum unit upright if you want to walk away from it. When you return, you can place your foot on the floor head and pull back on the stick to unclip it again. It’s a simple trick but one that ends the constant hunt for places to lean your vacuum while you’re cleaning.

Hoover HF9 (Pet) review: How well does it clean?

In terms of pure suction, the Hoover Cordless Stick with Anti-Twist HF9 holds its own. I measured marginally less suction in turbo mode in the Hoover HF500 than our current favourite Shark cordless stick, the cumbersomely named Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins, Flexology & TruePet (or IZ300UKT for short), but it’s not a huge difference. However, it has a more powerful suction than both the Vax Blade 5 and the Henry Quick, as you can see in the graph, below.

Suction power is only one of a suite of factors that make a decent vacuum cleaner, so I also tested it with our usual barrage of cleaning tasks. We test vacuum cleaners by spilling measured quantities of both flour and Cheerios onto hard floor and short-pile carpet. By weighing the collection bin before and after a single pass over the spillage, we can tell exactly how good a vacuum is at picking up in each situation.

I didn’t have particularly high hopes for the hard floor Cheerio test. The HF9 doesn’t have a soft roller, which is the usual path to performing well in this test. However, to its credit, Hoover’s floor head designers have built two funnels into the front of the head, which allowed the suction to capture some of the Cheerios and let them pass underneath.

The end result wasn’t perfect but 65% of the Cheerios were captured on a single pass, while the rest were caught in front and pushed ahead like a snow plough. It’s a vastly better result than the Henry Quick managed, but the soft roller models perform much better. Still, with 65% collected in a single pass, I was left with no doubt that it was capable of capturing the remainder without having to make too many more passes.

On carpet, the shape of the floor head’s nose allowed it to lift over the cereal, compressing it down into the pile and then picking most of it up on the first pass. In this test, only two Cheerios remained, which were easily gathered on a subsequent pass.

Flour was less of a challenge. On hard floor, it collected 98% of my measured spillage, with only the odd particle remaining. I did see some left in tiny cracks between the laminate tiles, but the crevice tool finished the job.

Finally, there’s the flour on carpet test. Here, the Hoover HF9 also performed magnificently. It collected the entire spill in terms of weight, and I couldn’t see any remaining particles when I inspected it, either.

Across all the tests, this is an excellent result. As you can see from the chart below, the results, including the Cheerios on hard floor, are better than the Hoover HF500, and some margin ahead of the Henry Quick. It lags behind the soft rollers of the Shark and Vax models, though, which both tackle Cheerios well.

Take the Cheerios on hard floor test out of the equation, however, and the rest of the results are technically perfect. There were some elements left behind on a single pass, but not enough to register more than 1g of weight on my kitchen scales.

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Hoover HF9 (Pet) review: Should I buy it?

The Hoover Cordless Stick with Anti-Twist HF9 Pet Model is a good antidote to the limitations we found on the Hoover HF500. With its larger capacity and extra accessories, it’s much better suited to larger homes and more demanding jobs. Its cleaning ability is superb, and it’s great value for money, particularly if you can catch it at a discount.

It isn’t perfect, though. Without a soft roller, it’s never going to be the best hard floor cleaner, even though it gives it a good try. Emptying is straightforward but you still get a bit of dusty blowback and you may sometimes need to poke around inside to get some of the contents out. I also miss the HF500’s ability to break down and hang lower on its extension wand, for more compact storage, although that might not be such an issue in a larger home.

For a cleaner emptying experience, the Henry Quick’s bagged system keeps all the dirt contained as it’s jettisoned into your dustbin. This is a more pleasant experience but it means purchasing consumables and sending them to landfill with the rest of your rubbish. It also didn’t perform as well in our tests.

Better overall performance can be achieved with a stick that includes a soft roller. For this kind of price, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car is a good option, particularly because it comes with two batteries, so you can be charging one while using the other.

But, if you’re happy to spend a little more money I’d recommend considering the Shark IZ300UKT. This has an impressive cleaning ability, a soft roller that’s brilliant on hard floor, and it can be folded up and put away in a small space, such as an under-stairs cupboard.

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