Our In-Depth Review
The Dirt Devil Gator BD10125 is a simple, cordless, inexpensive handheld vacuum that packs a punch when it comes to cleaning. We found the Gator does a great job “chomping” up dirt on carpet, stairs, and in automobiles.
However, it let the debris on hard surface flooring get away. It is also incapable of cleaning pet-hair from upholstered furniture.
The machine is light, but it’s back heavy design causes strain on the wrist with prolonged use. Despite the machine’s shortcomings, we felt it was a fair price for the quality and features.
Performance: Using the Dirt Devil Gator BD10125
Performance on Hard Surface Flooring
Less impressive was the vacuum’s performance on our hard surface flooring. Beginning our test by again using flour, the vacuum gathered about half of the small particles smearing the other half across the cleaning path and leaving unsightly streaks.
The Gator didn’t struggle with cleaning up our medium rice particles and we thought that it showed the same ease in picking up our large bean particles.
However, once we hit the off switch, all of the beans fell back out of the vacuum, rendering our cleaning efforts futile. After the stellar performance on our carpet, we were surprised that the Gator struggled so much with our hard floors.
Performance on Carpets
We tested the Gator’s performance on carpets by spreading fine, medium and large particles on our medium pile carpet. Using flour as our fine particles, we found that the vacuum easily sucked up the flour without effort.
Second we put rice on the floor. Again, the vacuum cleaned up the rice without incident. Lastly we put white beans on the floor and were pleased to see that the gator chomped up the large particles with ease. Overall, we felt this machine did a good job cleaning small messes from our carpet.
Performance on Automobiles
There were a few extra long pieces of grass and a tooth pick that it wasn’t able to capture, but as long as you remove the larger debris we found the Gator does a pretty good job.
With a shorter, wider crevice tool, you will be limited in the places you are able to clean. It didn’t work well for getting between our seats.
Performance on Pet-hair
Many types of pet-hair have a tendency to cling to upholstery and we have found that handhelds that have a motorized brush work best on pet-hair.
Dirt Devil does offer a model of this machine that comes with a motorized brush, but without it, the Gator fell short in it’s ability to perform in this area.
We were impressed to see that the particle count not only went down, it reduced by over half the particles in the air.
The filter on this machine can be rinsed, allowed to dry thoroughly and reused. New filters for the Gator can be purchased for under five dollars.
Ease of Use
This is longer than other handhelds we have tested that require only a three to six hour initial charge time.
The Gator is sleek with a tapered nozzle. Unfortunately, the majority of the weight sits at the back of the machine which causes you to use extra strength to keep the vacuum tilted forward during cleaning.
We found this caused extra strain on the wrist and becomes tiresome if using the machine for extended periods of time.
Averaging seventy-eight decibels, this machine fell into the low end of our moderately noised vacuums. It was a comfortable noise level while cleaning.
Ease of Use on Stairs
When it comes to cleaning stairs, a battery powered, handheld vacuum is always our first choice. The lightweight, cordless Dirt Devil Gator BD10125 allowed us to safely move on the stairs unencumbered.
Because our stairs are carpeted, we experienced the same performance as we did with our carpet test. We also liked using the attached crevice tool to clean the creases and tight spots.
The Gator has a Nickle Cadmium battery and requires twenty-four hours to charge. There is a little red light that indicates the battery is charging when plugged in, but it remains red even after the charge is complete. The charge is a simple cord that plugs into the wall and into the back of the vacuum.
With only the vacuum and the power cord to store, finding a spot for this machine is simple. We appreciated that there weren’t a lot of a loose pieces to contend with.
The unique design of the dirt container emptying system is why this machine is named the Gator. A button at front of the nozzle on either side of the machine releases the “jaw.”
Opening like the mouth of an alligator, the dirt container design is meant to allow the debris to empty out of the machine without having to use your hands to remove a dirt cup.
While we appreciated the concept, we did find that some debris got stuck around the filtration system causing us to need to use our hands to pull the stuck debris from the machine.
Value For Money
Retailing for around forty dollars, we felt this was a fair price to pay for this machine. Even though it failed two out of three of our tests on hard surface flooring, we found that it performed better than vacuums twice the price in areas like automobiles and filtration.
Final Vacuum Verdict
The Dirt Devil Gator BD10125 won’t do it all, but as long as your cleaning needs are this vacuums strengths, we feel this would be a good, inexpensive purchase. We recommend this machine to someone with limited storage space who is looking for a very economical option and plans to use it on carpet, rugs and in their car.