Although backpacks are typically Walker’s first choice for commercial cleaning applications, he believes that canisters are a great alternative for facilities that want to move away from uprights, and/or those that have experienced problems implementing backpacks — commonly due to improper fit, he says.

“Canisters are one step down from backpacks in terms of productivity,” notes Walker. “Most canister vacuums have a simple wand and an attachment, so there’s not a lot of weight at the end of the wand. If you’re repetitively extending your arm past 90 degrees, a canister vacuum will help reduce fatigue. Upright vacuums tend to have a lot of weight on the end, and people tend to use them with a push-and-pull motion that is really hard on the shoulders and lower back.”

Similarly, Griffin favors canisters for their ergonomic advantages.

“Some people complain about backpacks being hot and heavy,” Griffin says. “Canisters are lightweight, and you don’t have something strapped to your body.”

In addition to lightening the load, canister vacuums are easy to maneuver.

“I’ve found that they do a great job in crowded areas where you have a lot of desks or tables and chairs,” says Griffin. “You can pull or bring the canister to your immediate work area and then move only the wand to get around or under furniture, rather than trying to move the heavy head of an upright vacuum.”

Because the units are lightweight and easier to maneuver, there is less chance of impacting or scuffing table legs, baseboards, walls and corners. Canisters are also less likely to damage carpeting.

“Sometimes carpets have minor installation defects; for example, at elevator thresholds,” notes Griffin. “Canisters don’t necessarily have power heads on them (although some do), so there’s less chance of yarn getting hooked around that spinning head and zippering the carpet, which can cause a lot of damage.”

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Advantages To Canister Vacuums
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