The roller. The stick with hairs sticking out. That thing that rolls around on the bottom of your vacuum, winding up all the hair possible into a big ball, causing most people to not look under their vacuum. For a long time you have not understood exactly what the purpose of that thing actually does. Is it actually important? Does it just wind up hair because your vacuum can’t pick it up? And how’s it roll so fast…
Well, for those of you who have already saw the video, some of these questions are already answered. But what else is there to know about this misunderstood item?
The purpose of the roller is actually to kick up anything it comes in contact with. No matter how much suction you have on a vacuum, sometimes you need something to kick up the dust, and then it gets sucked up. This process is called agitation (cool word right?). This is especially true when vacuuming carpets, because sometimes carpets tend to grip dust, lint, and other things. Unfortunately, sometimes the roller grips your hair too... more on this later.
Even with hardwood floors, it helps to have something to agitate it. However, there have been rare reports of rollers scratching up floors. To address these issues, most rollers now only have bristles that do not damage floors. Most of them are made from nylon or horsehair. It’s the rollers with an extra metal piece that you want to stay away from.
How does the roller roll? Well the motor makes it roll, most of the time. This is important to find out when purchasing a vacuum. Your standard roller will be moved by the motor on the machine. This is ideal, and is the case in most upright. Some cheaper ones will roll by suction, and that’s not what you want. Most canister vacuums don’t have a motor on the end of the vacuum head, and so it’s rolled by suction.
If you’re looking for a really high end vacuum, look for aluminum rollers. These rollers are more lightweight, so they spin faster with less fear of breaking. The material itself makes it more heavy duty, and so most commercial vacuums have rollers made of aluminum or another type of metal.
Also, high end vacuum rollers will have a "ditch" that runs horizontally along the roller. This is for you to take a razor and cut all the threads and hair that gets tangled there! Doing this once a month will prolong the life of your roller, and also your belt, tenfold.
That's pretty much all I know about rollers. Hope this was an interesting read, and if people request it I'll try to post some pictures up.