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Bissell Bolt Review

By Derek Hales | Updated August 7, 2018

Home » Vacuum Reviews » Bissell Bolt Vacuum Review

Are you a fan of 2-in-1 vacuums? Well then it may be time to say hello to the Bissell Bolt.

This Bissell vacuum is a lightweight, 2-in-1 vacuum designed to give users the option of convenient vacuuming through both a stick or a handheld vacuum.

The choice is always up to the user, but the performance is up the Bolt. It’s time to find out how the Bissell Bolt will perform during our tests.

Continue reading below to discover if the Bissell Bolt is the best stick vacuum for you.

%

Score

  • Design 90% 90%
  • Performance 66% 66%
  • Quality 85% 85%
  • Usability 90% 90%
  • Value 80% 80%

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Pros

  • The Bolt offers a 2-in-1 design, creating a high level of overall versatility for users.
  • This Bissell has a good degree of maneuverability.

Cons

  • Suction power isn’t tremendously strong (more notable issue on higher pile carpets).
  • Brushroll has a tendency to fling lighter debris.

Bissell Bolt vacuum

The Bottom Line

2-in-1 design, cordless, 15 minute run time. Cleaning performance on hard floors and low pile carpet was good for most debris types, however, cereal on hardwoods and sugar on low pile did struggle. Given the price point, this could be an okay sweeper style vacuum for quick cleans on hard surfaces and low carpet. However, we wouldn’t recommend it for high carpets and rugs.

Bissell Bolt Design

The Bissell Bolt has a unique design, offering a 2-in-1 build with the ability to break down and fold in half for convenient storage as well. Designed with a foldable handle, this Bissell vacuum is able to maneuver quite well. In addition, being both lightweight and cordless is an added benefit in terms of design.

Ultra close up shot of the Bissell Bolt's logo

Ultra close up shot of the Bissell Bolt’s logo

Along the main handle is the power button as well as the motorized brushroll button. When using the unit as a stick vacuum, the brushroll will not turn on unless the brushroll button is pressed.

As you move down the vacuum, the handheld portion can be pulled away from the stick with a simple tug. There is not a button that releases the handheld.

On the handheld is another power button. This allows users to power on the handheld unit without having to power on the stick vacuum.

Bissell Bolt 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner

Bissell Bolt 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner

With regard to color schemes, the Bissell Bolt is available in a couple of different colors. We had the purple and white version for our review.

How It Cleans

The Bolt can clean in a couple of different ways, but the process is the same for each method. A 12V Nickel-metal hydride battery powers the unit. When turned on in stick mode, the Bissell Bolt uses straight suction to as it rolls over dirt and debris.

If needed, users can power on the motorized brushroll, which helps agitate dirt as it cleans a specific area.

Motorized brushroll cleaning head included with the Bissell Bolt

Motorized brushroll cleaning head included with the Bissell Bolt

If the handheld portion of the vacuum is removed, users have the option of cleaning with or without inserting the combo crevice / dusting brush tool, or with it. Both styles use straight suction, just like when in stick configuration.

Size & Dimensions

The Bissell Bolt has a total height of 44″ when configured as a stick vacuum. Additionally, it is 10″ wide and 6″ deep.

  • Height – 44″
  • Width – 10″
  • Depth – 6″
  • Weight – 5.8 pounds

Bissell Bolt stick vacuum size and dimensions

Accessories & Parts

The Bissell Bolt is a fairly inexpensive vacuum. As a result, it only includes barebones accessories.

The Bissell Bolt includes the following:

  1. Motorized brushroll
  2. Charger
  3. Crevice tool / dusting brush

Parts and accessories included with the Bissell Bolt

As expected, this Bissell vacuum does not include a lot of extra parts and accessories. Bissell does sell more advanced models in their Bolt line that include a few extras.

The Bissell Bolt Pet (1954 series) includes a crevice tool with dusting brush, pet hair nozzle, sweep and scoop tool, and advanced pet hair brushroll.

Also check out the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser upright and Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum for other pet hair removal vacuums.

The Bissell Bolt ION XRT (1311 series) includes a crevice tool with dusting brush, 6 in wide tool, and multi surface brush roll.

Cleaning Tests

The following vacuum cleaner tests are designed to show how the Bissell Bolt performs on different surfaces, picking up a variety of debris types.

We test on three different floor types, including hardwood floors, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet.

%

Cleaning Score

  • Hardwood Floors 72% 72%
  • Low Pile Carpet 77% 77%
  • High Pile Carpet 50% 50%
  • Rice – 3 ounces
  • Dry Cereal – 1 ounce
  • Kitty Litter – 3 ounces
  • Sugar – 3 ounces

Each of the aforementioned debris types was spread across our testing lane. The base surface of our testing lane is an engineered hardwood floor. For our carpet tests, we slide in a low pile and high pile carpet insert on top of the hardwood floor.

Cleaning test debris types

Testing Debris – From left to right: Rice (3 oz.), Kitty Litter (3 oz), Cereal (1 oz), Sugar (3 oz)

Our vacuum cleaning process strives to be as consistent, fair, and true to real world use as possible. Our tests utilize the following procedure:

  1. Measure the weight of the testing debris and the weight of the empty vacuum debris container.
  2. Spread the respective debris type evenly across the central portion of the testing lane.
  3. Run the vacuum cleaner over the testing lane.
  4. Measure the weight of the now filled container and take notes on the cleaning performance.

Hardwood Floor Cleaning

The Bissell Bolt performed well for the most part on our hardwood floor tests. Although the suction power did not feel too strong, the vacuum was able to suck up three out of the four debris types without much of an issue.

Cereal was the main problem area for the Bolt. The unit was only able to suck up 14% of the debris type. The cleaning head was simply too close to the ground, meaning the vacuum was not able to drive over the cereal in order to pick it up.

RELATED: What’s the best vacuum for hardwood floors?

As we moved on, both kitty litter and sugar were cleaned up to a level of 91% or higher. That said, rice had a tendency to be flung around our testing lane, which resulted in less being sucked up by this Bissell vacuum.

  • Hardwood – Rice 82% 82%
  • Hardwood – Cereal 14% 14%
  • Hardwood – Kitty Litter 91% 91%
  • Hardwood – Sugar 99% 99%
Bissell Bolt hardwood cleaning tests

Bissell Bolt hardwood cleaning tests

Low Pile Carpet Cleaning

Rice posed more of a problem for the vacuum, as the debris dropped from 82% cleaned up to 76%. Although the difference is small, I would’ve liked to see the number stay the same or increase a tad.

RELATED – What’s the best vacuum for carpets? Find out here.

Cereal was much easier for the Bolt to handle on the low pile carpet. The friction between the cereal and the carpet allowed the vacuum to roll over the debris and suck it up as it passed. The increase in the amount cleaned up was drastic, going from 14% to 96%.

Last but not least, kitty litter and sugar. Both of these debris types saw a decrease in the amount cleaned up. From what we saw during our tests, the vacuum has a hard time sucking each of these up. Instead, the Bissell Bolt seemed to push and drag each of these debris types, leaving a hefty amount on the low pile carpet.

  • Low Carpet – Rice 76% 76%
  • Low Carpet – Cereal 96% 96%
  • Low Carpet – Kitty Litter 90% 90%
  • Low Carpet – Sugar 42% 42%

Bissell Bolt low pile carpet cleaning tests

High Pile Carpet Cleaning

High pile carpet was the biggest problem area for the Bissell Bolt. The thicker and longer yarn of the carpet allowed some debris to sink down into the carpet and the suction power of the Bolt was not strong enough to lift it up.

Between rice, kitty litter, and sugar, rice was cleaned up the most. That said, it was only cleaned up to a level of 44%.

The Bolt did have another strong showing with the cereal, as it cleaned up 92% of the debris type.

  • High Carpet – Rice 44% 44%
  • High Carpet – Cereal 92% 92%
  • High Carpet – Kitty Litter 33% 33%
  • High Carpet – Sugar 30% 30%

Bissell Bolt high pile carpet cleaning tests

Is it Easy to Use?

Using the Bissell Bolt is rather easy. Charge it, decide which configuration you’d like to use (stick or handheld), and turn it on for cleaning. There is not much to this vacuum, as it is a simple unit all together.

The handheld portion of the Bolt can be separated from the stick quite easily

The handheld portion of the Bolt can be separated from the stick quite easily

Setting it up is just as easy. The Bolt comes more or less assembled. Users have to snap in the motorized brushroll cleaning head and charge the vacuum, that is all. There is no real assembly required with this Bissell vacuum cleaner.

After the Bolt has been fully charged, cleaning can be completed by pressing the power button and maneuvering the vacuum to the area that needs to be cleaned.

Maneuverability

Maneuverability of the Bissell Bolt vacuum is certainly one of its strong suits. The head of the vacuum sits on a ball, allowing the head to swivel 180°. Therefore, turning around furniture or corners is not an issue for this Bissell vacuum.

Weight

5.8 pounds

Battery

12V

Height

44″

Turning

180°

Unlike most upright vacuums, the Bissell Bolt is a lightweight vacuum that has the ability to maneuver both on and above the ground. As a 2-in-1 vacuum, users can use the Bolt as a stick vacuum to clean up messes located on the floor. From there, they also have the option of removing the handheld portion of the unit to clean areas that are above the ground.

The Bissell Bolt includes a combo crevice tool / dusting brush that slides directly into the suction slot

The Bissell Bolt includes a combo crevice tool / dusting brush that slides directly into the suction slot

This level of maneuverability is hard to come by with most vacuums. There are some other stick vacuums that offer a similar design, but this Bissell does offer levels of maneuverability that I have not seen with all stick vacuums.

MORE: Like the idea of a stick vacuum, but want better performance? Check out the the Electrolux Ergorapido and our Dyson V6 vs. V7 vs. V8 vs. 10.

The Bolt, when in stick configuration, is able to bend in half, allowing you to get under and into those hard-to-reach places. This is a major benefit of the Bolt’s design. The pivot point in the middle of the unit gives users a lot more flexibility with how they use the vacuum cleaner, with regard to maneuvering around the home.

The Bolt is able to turn 180° due to its swivel head

The Bolt is able to turn 180° due to its swivel head

Maintenance Tasks & Costs

The following table indicates the frequency at which you will likely want to replace the various parts and components of the vacuum. However, your individual experiences may vary

Accessory / PartReplacement FrequencyReplacement Cost
FilterAs neededCheck Price

Maintaining the Bissell Bolt is a simple task. The areas to focus on are the filter, brushroll, dust bin, and battery:

  • Filter – The filter can be removed from its washable cup and wiped off. This should be done after every major cleaning cycle or after every few cleaning sessions, depending on the extent of use.
  • Brushroll – The brushroll has the chance to get tangled from hair or strings and should therefore be cleared and reset if this occurs.
  • Dust Bin – The dust bin needs to be emptied when full to ensure strong suction.
  • Battery – Maintaining the battery means going through the correct charging methods recommended by Bisssell. Unfortunately, we were not able to locate a replacement battery, which means once the battery dies, the unit may be dead for good.
Emptying dust bin and cleaning filter on Bissell Bolt

Emptying dust bin and cleaning filter on Bissell Bolt

Annual costs to maintain the Bissell Bolt vacuum can vary depending on use, but should land around $13 per year. This is the cost of replacing the filter twice a year.

How Noisy is the Bissell Bolt?

All vacuum cleaner reviews on Modern Castle are put through our standard noise test. For this test, we use a sound meter to measure noise in terms of decibel level approximately 3′ away from the vacuum.

Bissell Bolt noise test

Battery

All cordless vacuums on Modern Castle are put through a standard assessment of battery size, run time, life, and replacement cost.

BatteryDetails
Size12V
Charging Time8 hours
Run Time~15 minutes
Replacement CostUnknown

The battery that comes with the Bissell Bolt 2-in-1 vacuum is a 12V Nickel-metal hydride battery. On a full charge, which takes about 8 hours, the vacuum can run for up to 15 minutes.

When the vacuum is converted from a stick to a handheld, the run time of the battery does not change.

BATTERY: Like the idea of a stick vacuum with a run time of up to 60 minutes? Check out the brand new Dyson V10.

Unfortunately, during our research we were unable to find a replacement battery. This is a definite negative when it comes to long term maintenance of the vacuum.

Is it a Good Value?

The Bissell Bolt offers an okay value. To be honest, I was a little disappointed with the overall cleaning performance.

It really seems to be one of the “you get what you pay for” vacuum cleaners. During all of our cleaning tests, the Bolt had a hard time cleaning up each of our debris types on all three of our floor types.

Bissell Bolt configured in handheld mode

On the bright side, the maneuverability of this Bissell is impressive. The 2-in-1 design allows for more options as a user.

Maintenance is another pro for the Bolt. The cost to maintain this vacuum on an annual basis is low.

Warranty and returns seem to be in line with the industry standard. Bissell offers a 1-year warranty and a 3–day return period.

Specifications

Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the Bissell Bolt:

Specifications 
TypeStick
ManufacturerBissell
ModelBolt
Length44"
Width10'
Weight5.8 lbs.
Floor TypeAll (indoor)
Dust Bin Capacity0.4 L
CordlessYes
BaglessYes
Returns30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
BuyBuy

Who Should Buy the Bissell Bolt Vacuum?

The Bissell Bolt is a versatile 2-in-1 vacuum with a lightweight design and okay cleaning performance. The Bolt is best for users who are in need of a lightweight, mobile, 2-in-1 vacuum, and primarily intend to use it as a sweeper.

I would recommend the Bissell Bolt if you’re looking for the following features in a stick vacuum:

  • Need a sweeper style vacuum – this vacuum is ideally used as a sweeper style; cleaning up lighter messes on hardwood floors, tile, and low pile carpet. We wouldn’t recommend it for deep cleaning, especially on higher pile carpets.
  • Want a 2-in-1 vacuum – The Bissell Bolt primarily functions as a stick vacuum, but also has a handheld that can be removed from the stick. Therefore, this Bissell has the ability to serve as both a stick and handheld vacuum, depending on the users preference.
  • Want a lightweight vacuum – Weighing in just under 6 pounds, the Bolt is a lightweight vacuum that can be maneuvered around your home with ease.
  • Need an inexpensive unit – If you’re restricted by a budget or simply don’t want to spend a lot on a vacuum, then the Bissell Bolt 2-in-1 could be a fine choice. The overall cleaning performance and quality of this vacuum offers a decent value for the price you pay.

For more information on the Bissell Bolt visit Amazon.com.

Last Updated - August 7, 2018

The following logs all major updates and changes made to this page.

  • August 7, 2018 – Updated the review score as part of our site-wide 1.0 scoring overhaul. Score decreased from 84% to 82%.
  • 90%
    Design - 90%
  • 66%
    Performance - 66%
  • 85%
    Quality - 85%
  • 90%
    Usability - 90%
  • 80%
    Value - 80%
82%

Summary

The Bissell Bolt is a 2-in-1 vacuum designed to give users more versatility when cleaning. The unit is powered by a 12V battery and is capable of cleaning for up to 15 minutes. As an inexpensive vacuum, there are not many extra parts or accessories, but the overall maneuverability and versatility of this unit is solid. If you’re look for a cheap sweeper-style vacuum and don’t plan on using on high pile carpets, this would be an option.

Derek Hales

Derek Hales

Editor-in-Chief

Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, son, and poodle, Tibbers.