Cyclonic vacuum cleaners use cyclonic separation principle to separate dirt from the air flow – centrifugal forces in the air flow 'force' dirt particles to the edge of cylindrical container and away from the main air flow. This sounds complicated, but in real life, it is achieved rather easily, without using any additional moving parts that would eventually complicate construction and lead to lower reliability and costlier maintenance. Small vortexes are created in shaped hollows of some cyclonic models and can achieve incredible rotational speeds and centrifugal forces.
In fact, cyclonic separation is used from handheld, battery operated vacuum cleaners to large and expensive, high-end models, powered by mains power.
To achieve even better separation, cyclonic vacuum cleaners also use a number of successively finer filters.
The filters must be regularly cleaned or replaced. Dirt and dust are collected in a dust bin, with or without a dust bag - bagless vacuums are most common type of cyclonic vacuum cleaners.
Bag vs Bagless Vacuum Cleaners
Are bagless vacuum cleaners better than ones with bags? Great advantage of cyclonic vacuum cleaners is that they don't lose suction power until collection bin is almost full. This is in great contrast to filter-bag systems which lose suction power significantly as filter-bag gets fuller and fuller.
On the other hand, filter-bags provide additional level of dirt separation and air-flow filtration. Also, have in mind that bagless cyclonic vacuum cleaners also have filters that, as mentioned before, must be regularly cleaned and/or replaced in order to achieve desired air flow filtration levels.
In order to achieve really high level of air purification, some models include UV lamp in order to disinfect and remove even the smallest particles from exhausted air.
Cyclonic vacuums are usually upright or even stick vacuums, but there are also other models. Although upright and stick cyclonic vacuum cleaners don't have flexible hose (or have it as special attachment), they can reach tight spaces, but not very tight. Their reach can be extended with flexible hoses equipped with crevice or any other tools according to the type of cleaning surface.
Noise levels and weight of these vacuums vary from model to model, but with good sound insulation, they can be very quiet, literally like a whisper, although there are small tornadoes swirling inside.
Using additional attachments, cyclonic vacuum cleaners can be adapted for any type of dirt and for any type of cleaning surface.