Vax Gator H85-GA-B10 10.8v Handheld Vacuum – UK Review

Vax Gator H85-GA-B10 10.8v Handheld Vacuum - UK Review

Imagine setting up a dinner date at home, and just before your guest arrives you realize there is dirt on the carpet.

Now you must haul your vacuum cleaner out and find a socket before being able to tend to the spot.

Or in the morning, everyone is ready to leave the house and one of the kids drops their toast on the floor. There are crumbs everywhere and you don’t have time to pull the vacuum out, but you don’t want to leave the crumbs on the carpet all day.

The Vax H85-GA-B10 Gator Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner was designed with exactly these situations in mind. Read this Vax Gator review to find out how it can help you with your daily cleaning tasks.


  • Built in crevice tools for cleaning difficult, hard to reach areas
  • Powered turbo head cleans upholstery and pet hair effortlessly
  • Gator mouth technology makes it easier to empty without any mess


  • Hair tends to get tangled in the brush bar
  • Heavier than other handheld vacuums

Vax Gator Review: Overview

Alan Brazier, who was knowledgeable in industrial carpet cleaning, founded Vax in 1977. He developed a prototype of a machine that could wash carpets and handle accidental spills on floors.

Intended for households, the “orange tub” (or Vax 101) released in 1979 was a world first and did just that. In less than 8 years, this machine became the bestselling vacuum cleaner in the UK.

Now, they continue to innovate new technology and the Gator keeps up with tradition – both in colour and purpose. While it can’t wash carpets, the Vax Gator is in the budget range of handheld vacuum cleaners designed for practical cleaning in all areas.

Need to suck up some spilt cat litter? Done.

Sand in your vehicle? Cleared.

Half of your child’s breakfast ended up on the floor? No problem.

Read More: Best handheld vacuums – find out what tops the list here


It’s best to see the Gator as an addition to your main vacuum, or as an entry-level handheld. You won’t even need to look at the manual because it’s that simple to operate.

Intended for quick cleaning jobs like spills, window sills, or stairs – it’s not meant for vacuuming every single square foot of floor space in your home. That said, how does it perform when faced with said quick cleaning jobs?

This Vax vacuum cleaner features 10.8V of suction power, which is more than most in its price range but still not the most powerful ever. Whether it’s enough for you will depend on your needs. It performs well on all types of flooring and the suction is enough to clean most spills in one go.

More than adept at handling all kinds of dry spills, it’s even able to clean that muddy spot on your carpet. As it is so light in weight, it’s perfect for tackling stairs, since you won’t have to lug a heavy machine after you and attempt to balance it on a narrow step.

Read More: Vax Air Reach upright vacuum review

When faced with pet hair, the Gator, unfortunately, won’t meet everyone’s expectations. It has enough power to clear short or lighter hair but struggles to work its way through masses of thick hair.

If you’re looking for a handheld with the ability to pick up hair quickly and efficiently, the Gator has a sibling called the Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet for just this purpose, or you could look at one of the Dyson Handheld models.

Features Of The Vax H85-GA-B10



Handheld vacuum cleaners must be cordless to completely realize their purpose. The Vax Gator is no different. Its cordless capabilities will allow you to give your car a thorough clean or reach the backs of cupboards that haven’t seen a vacuum in ages.

Walking around with such small cleaning instrument could even be an immense amount of fun—just think about the childlike humour behind the Gator munching stray cheerios after breakfast spills.


At only 1.3kg, this is one of the lighter models out there. It’s lightweight, comfortable to hold, and easy to use.

The weight ensures effortless cleaning, and your arm or wrist won’t tire after a few minutes and end up turning your cleaning expedition into an unexpected trip to the gym. The Vax Gator actually makes cleaning seem like less of a chore than it really is.

Built-in Crevice Tool

This is perfect for reaching every crack and crevice and reaching between sofa cushions. It’s perfect for deep-cleaning your car because you’ll be able to reach under the seats and other storage nooks—like those in the doors.

When not in use, the tool is able to retract into the vacuum to provide a flat “mouth” for cleaning level surfaces like floors, counters, and stairs.

No Bag & Easy Empty

No bag and easy empty

The Gator’s dirt storage system is brilliant. When dirt is sucked up, it’s moved to the top of the dust receptacle before being dropped. While this sounds rather unexciting, it prevents the dust and debris from dropping back out of the cleaner while in use.

Emptying the 0.3-litre container is as easy as flipping open the Gator’s mouth and pouring dust into a bin—none of that getting dirt on your hands nonsense. In addition, the filter is washable, so you won’t have the extra expense of having to replace it every now and again.

15 Minutes of Run Time

These kinds of cleaners are designed specifically for short cleaning sessions, and when compared to similar vacuums 15 minutes is a decent run time.

From a proper vehicle cleaning to a quick clear after breakfast, to vacuuming the mess after your toddler gained access to the spice rack and got creative, 15 minutes is enough time to get the job done.

For recharging, the Gator comes with a standard charging cable. One of the only downsides to this vacuum is that it takes 12 hours to charge fully. Therefore, it’s recommended to charge it overnight, so it’s good to go if you need it the next morning since a quick top-up midway through a cleaning session won’t be possible.


The built-in crevice tool makes other accessories unnecessary, so the Gator only comes with a charger cable and user manual.

What I Liked About The Vax Handheld

  • Built-in and retractable crevice tool
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • 15 Minutes run time is enough to get most jobs done
  • Performs well on both carpets and hard floors
  • Effortless to empty and clean

What I Didn’t Like

  • Takes 12 hours to charge fully
  • Isn’t great at picking up pet hair

Read More: Is the Vax Dual Power carpet cleaner any good?

Vax Gator Review: Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an entry-level spill and spot cleaner for everyday use, the Vax H85-GA-B10 Gator Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is a great option.

Although it’s not designed for masses of pet hair, it displays fantastic suction capabilities when faced with general dirt and spills on all surfaces.

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Vax Gator H85-GA-B10 10.8v Handheld Vacuum - UK Review 1

James Garner

James Garner has been in the vacuum cleaning business for years, first started as a salesman, then became a technician, today he is the proud owner of CleanHomeGuide. With years of experience on his belt, he made this site with one goal, to help you pick the best vacuum cleaner for your home.

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