Father’s Day rapidly approaches, and we’re all on the lookout for the perfect gift for dads with lots of hobbies. A great tool I’ve found is the new Flipout handheld vacuum from Dirt Devil. This is one of my favorite tools, ever. A compact unit (less than one foot long), I keep mine tucked beside my desk. I use it regularly, mostly cleaning up chip crumbs (because who can play video games without Doritos, right?), cat fur, eraser leavings, snipped threads, and pencil shavings. Bonus: It makes me feel like a super hero. See below for details.
Now, as any work-at-home dad can tell you, your desk can become your default location. Because our office is also our home-school classroom, I spend most of my week parked at my desk. I go to the dinner table for eating, and to the library/living room to watch movies and play with the kids, but I do my work, my art, and my gaming all in my corner desk. This means all of my little messes throughout the day build up quickly.
The hardest part, of course, is keeping the surface clean. Cat fur and chip seasonings don’t look so great on drawings, nor sewn into a quilt. I do a lot of “brushing” things off, meaning they build up on the floor under my desk. Snipped threads are a hazard that cats can choke on, or get stuck in their throats like a hairball. Once I took up drawing again, it became clear I needed a solution. The eraser shedding would cover my desk by the time I was done with my sessions, and sweeping them onto the floor wasn’t cutting it any more. Enter the Flipout.
This is the cool part. Opening the Flipout is a bit like the old-school Power Rangers Blade Blaster. It’s even in the red and silver color scheme. It also has three handle settings: Closed, 90 degrees, 180 degrees. Just like the rangers had to flip the blade blaster into blaster position or blade position, I like hitting the switch and securing the tool in the position of my preference. It also has a quick-flip crevice tool that folds out just like the blade part of the Blaster did. I know it’s really dorky to flip out my vacuum and pretend that my four friends are going to make a cheer-tower and blast the foe to bits, but I do it any way. (Btw, I can still hear Kimberly and Trini saying, “We’re in position!” before doing those epic somersaults onto the guys’ shoulders.)
By the way, it’s super light, and easy to use with one hand, even when adjusting the handle. The cup (where the dirt is stored) is easy to remove, and has an efficient filter system to protect the motor. The whole business end comes off with the click of a button, for easy dumping. It’s not nested, or anything weird, so there’s no wrestling it back into place. There’s a small removable filter that can be rinsed clean, too.
The best part is that it sucks. I mean, it works really well. Sorry, couldn’t resist a little pun. Sometimes the “dad joke” stereotype is real. I’m so, so sorry. But back to the vac! It has two handy attachments, one is a duster, and the other is an electrically powered stair fitting. If you don’t want to use an attachment, just flip out the “edging” tool, and click it into place. (Dramatic “Let’s do this,” action moment: Optional)
It has a sturdy recessed charging port in the handle, and I’ve only charged it once. The battery has lasted quite a while. It charged quickly, though, and has an LED indicator to let you know when it’s topped off.
Finally, the Flipout is $49.99 on the Dirt Devil website, with a 4.7 star rating. I can’t argue with that rating, myself. It just plain works, and it’s fun to use, in a dorky way. (I’m sure some of our readers will understand that.) It makes a great gift for Dad, and I’m totally on the same page with my wife about vacuums being a valid gift in any home.
Disclaimer: A unit was provided for review purposes. The geeking out over the Blade Blaster action? That’s totally on me, though.