Vax Gator H85-GA-B10 review 2022

This cheap and cheerful vac is a good option for the occasional dust clean-up around the house or car. But it was a letdown with crevices and isn’t the best for pet hair.

  • Great for light debris
  • Long charge time, short run time
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Capacity (litres)0.3
AccessoriesCrevice tool, Motorised tool
Warranty (years)1
Surface typeSofas, Dry debris, Floors
Run time (minutes)15
Charge time (hours)12
Washable filter
Performance ★★★★★
Run time★★★★★
Overall Finder score★★★★★

Vax Gator 10.8V handheld vacuum review

How well does the Vax Gator H85-GA-B10 handheld vacuum clean?

We tested this Vax on carpet to see how well it fared tackling Cheerios, rice and biscuit crumbs.
It has a standard power mode; no turbo features.

There are a couple of ways to clean with this model. One is by using its naked head and the other is by using its extendable crevice tool.

Using the crevice tool, in 3 sweeps it sucked up all the rice off the carpet with no blow-away, clogging or pushing any grains away (which other budget models, such as the Beldray Revo, did). It felt smooth to use.
Picking up biscuit and cereal meant retracting the plastic tool so it could pick up bigger pieces. In 2 sweeps, it tore through the cereal without any clogging and picked up more than 80% of the biscuit in 3 sweeps. The crevice tool helped with the crumbs and cleaned the lot in 3 more sweeps.

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The Gator picked up most of the crumbs off the carpet in 3 sweeps, leaving the smaller specks behind. But it was prone to clogging with larger pieces. Finder

It fared similarly when cleaning the same mess off hard floors, although trying to pick up larger clumps isn’t the best as they won’t pass through the narrow head.

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It swept up all the cereal in 3 strokes on this hard surface, without clogging.Finder

Because of this, and the fact you need to apply some pressure to clean a stickier mess, it ranks mid-table out of 11 of the handhelds we’ve reviewed in terms of its floor cleaning.

Another test we conducted was how well it would clean narrow areas like ridges in a sofa. Here’s where the Vax lagged behind, blowing some crumbs about and not doing a great job on the velvet sofa where the crumbs weren’t as compliant. The crevice tool isn’t as long as ones we’ve seen on other handheld vacs so couldn’t stretch into the sofa cushions. There are better models for this task including any Shark Wandvac, Dyson V7 or BLACK+DECKER Flexi.

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Without an elongated crevice tool, the Vax couldn’t reach into the deeper recesses of the sofa in 3 sweeps. Finder

Can the Gator clean pet hair?

This Vax is not designed to clean pet hair, although it did quite well on carpet, picking up all the loose tufts and strands easily. But it struggled to get the hair buried deeper in the carpet – even using the crevice tool to scratch them out was a waste of time. Around 10% of the hair remained on the carpet, making it one of the lowest-scorers on this aspect. The Gator also tied for last place when we tried it with pet hair on a sofa. Again it picked up the loose hairs easily but left around 40% after 3 sweeps. It couldn’t get all the hair out despite further sweeping, and disappointingly there isn’t a pet tool to dislodge or brush them off.

Better vacs for tackling pet hair include the Shark CH950UKT or the Gtech MK2 K9.

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In 3 sweeps, the Vax left a lot of pet hair stuck to our lovely velvet sofa, especially the smaller strands. Finder

What’s the run time of the Vax Gator H85-GA-B10 handheld vacuum?

The run time for this model is 15 minutes after a full 12 hours of charge. This is the longest charge time of the models we’ve tested, with a slightly below average run time. If you don’t want to turn grey waiting for a full charge, and need to clean multiple rooms, the Dyson V7 Trigger with 30 minutes of run time is a better bet.

How convenient is the Vax Gator H85-GA-B10 handheld vacuum?

This Vax scores well for convenience. It’s a small handheld, but has a 0.3 litre capacity, which is more than Shark’s WandVacs and the Beldray Revo. When cleaning, we didn’t have to go to the bin often to empty the Gator, and when we did, the automatic release button was easy to locate and use. You can shake most of the rubbish from the chamber, and it isn’t tricky to clean either. Although be careful not to detach the filter by mistake, as this’ll send all the dust flying.

The major chink in its armour is that Vax doesn’t supply replacement batteries – if your battery goes, the vac is gone for good (after the warranty).

Is this model easy to use?

At 1.3kg this model is a little heavy, especially as it doesn’t have any additional attachments. The average weight of the vacs we reviewed is 1.17kg. That said, it’s easy to hold and will shimmy around corners and table legs quite smoothly.

It’s not the best for high areas or reaching behind units given its lack of longer attachments. Plus, the extendable nozzle is hard to push back at times.

Vax Gator H85-GA-B10 handheld vacuum customer reviews

On Amazon, this model scored 4 stars with nearly 5,000 reviews but more than 20% of those were critical. Some love it for quickly dusting up corners of their house, while others criticised short battery life and disappointing suction. Some found it easy to handle, while others said it was uncomfortable to hold. There are also gripes about the blast of air the Gator releases when cleaning (although most models do this). (Last updated May 2022.)

Pros and cons


  • Cheap
  • Good for light cleaning on hard floor and carpet
  • Decent capacity
  • Hardly any clogging
  • Easy to use and empty


  • Left pet hair in the carpet
  • No attachments
  • Long charge time
  • Short run time
  • 1 year warranty is relatively short
  • No replacement batteries

Our verdict: Is the Vax Gator H85-GA-B10 handheld vacuum any good?

This isn’t the best model if you have pets, but it will do a decent job of light cleaning tasks. Clearing up crumbs is easy but snagging hairs from a carpet or blitzing trodden-in dirt in a car mat is much tougher for the Gator. It’s fine if you’re doing a quick touch-up of the floors before the in-laws come round – but they won’t be impressed when they sit on a nest of dog hair.

Frequently asked questions

Finder handheld vacuum cleaners scores

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
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Review by

Reemul is a writer at Finder, specialising in product reviews and news. He's a qualified journalist having worked at local papers in the UK covering breaking news, food and restaurant reviews. He has an MA in Film from UCL and a BA in History and French from Durham University.

Expert review

The Vax Gator is a decent budget handheld vac. It’ll do the basics well, like mopping up rice off hard surfaces and carpet, and has a convenient dust-release button and good capacity to boot.
But Vax’s 18V version is a better option for stubborn debris as it comes with a motorised tool; unfortunately the model we tested doesn’t come with any extras meaning it’s not the best for cleaning heights, very narrow crevices or pet hair.
The biggest downside is its eye-watering charge time of 12 hours. That’s half a day of juicing up this little machine, so it’s not great if cleaning multiple rooms in your house is on the cards.

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