Rotovac ShearDry review

Old Coastie

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Several weeks ago I won the ShearDry clear upholstery tool donated for a raffle here on Mikey’s Board.

Now, I have at least six upholstery tools: two stainless steel tools with external jets, two plastic tools (one on a spotter and one on a Rug Doctor at home), a Sapphire Scientific and now this Rotovac ShearDry. I think I have basis to compare the relative merits.

The ShearDry can be compared to the Sapphire in that it has a central bar which sprays multiple streams that are whisked right back into two vacuum slots, so you can work forward and backwards. The water flow is adjustable by a brass valve which is concealed and protected by a padded bag affixed to the water line. Vacuum force is adjustable by a sliding bar on the back of the tool, so between the two you can control the rinse very precisely.

The head of the ShearDry is wider and a bit thinner than the Sapphire, which let me shove it more easily between cushions, while speeding up the work on each stroke. One interesting feature is that the ShearDry spray bar has a bit of a ridge, which gives some agitation to the upholstery fiber as you go acrosss it. I found that the scrubbing helped me break up bits of crust on one family’s sofa. One drawback is that you have to get used to the trigger handle being close to the fabric, a bit lower than the Sapphire.

Recovery is excellent and being able to see the slops being flushed is extremely useful. You will have no doubt about your progress or whether you got it all. The jets are coarser and fewer than the Sapphire, so you might think the recovery would not be as thorough. However, it seems to work beautifully, perhaps because fatter streams also flush laterally. In any case, recovery leaves the upholstery almost dry and visibly cleaner, with no question that you got all of the soil.

The ShearDry feels solid and sturdy. There is nothing flimsy about this heavy duty lexan tool. The 1 1/2” hose connects to your whip with a stainless tube, which is never going to break. It is easy and intuitive to learn and use.

I do have a couple of gripes: I did not like the short cuff which attaches the ShearDry to its own hose. It has come off twice, perhaps by unscrewing as I work. I think the cuff threads should be an inch longer. I do not like the padded bag, which is square and about the size of a small purse. It has a drawstring which does not actually do anything and you cannot close it around the connecter and valve (although they are well covered and padded). I prefer the Sapphire pad, which wraps arount the QC and brass valve with a velcro closure.

In use, I adjusted the suction and jet flow, then set to work. One thing I really like with the ShearDry is that you must trigger the flow; there is no provision for leaving it on. While this may seem like a flaw, it prevents any accidental soaking if you set the tool face down, or if you have to use the cuff to vacuum up a suddenly discovered cracker. My part time helper took to it like a duck to water and within minutes had the rhythm and touch to clean, dry stroke and move on. Piping on the cushion edges mashes down under the spray bar and is easily cleaned, while rounded edges just need a sort of repeated kissing combined with a sideways crabbing and they are done. Even though the head is wide, I have no issues with using it on small areas, padded armrests or curves.

For the money, this is a well made, easy and productive tool. It beats thunder out of the standard Stainless tools, and does not overspray things like they do. I really like that. I like that I didn’t have to worry about it clonking into things by accident. I liked that I could see what was happening. I liked that my helper was able to do an excellent job right out out of the gate and I appreciate Rotovac donating it for raffle and another for auction at the RMHC Mikeyfest.

Five stars for value, quality and performance!
 

JohnHawkP

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Informative review.

How many points out of 10 would you give it?

And how many points out of 10 would you give the SS?
 

GeeeAus

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Several weeks ago I won the ShearDry clear upholstery tool donated for a raffle here on Mikey’s Board.

Now, I have at least six upholstery tools: two stainless steel tools with external jets, two plastic tools (one on a spotter and one on a Rug Doctor at home), a Sapphire Scientific and now this Rotovac ShearDry. I think I have basis to compare the relative merits.

The ShearDry can be compared to the Sapphire in that it has a central bar which sprays multiple streams that are whisked right back into two vacuum slots, so you can work forward and backwards. The water flow is adjustable by a brass valve which is concealed and protected by a padded bag affixed to the water line. Vacuum force is adjustable by a sliding bar on the back of the tool, so between the two you can control the rinse very precisely.

The head of the ShearDry is wider and a bit thinner than the Sapphire, which let me shove it more easily between cushions, while speeding up the work on each stroke. One interesting feature is that the ShearDry spray bar has a bit of a ridge, which gives some agitation to the upholstery fiber as you go acrosss it. I found that the scrubbing helped me break up bits of crust on one family’s sofa. One drawback is that you have to get used to the trigger handle being close to the fabric, a bit lower than the Sapphire.

Recovery is excellent and being able to see the slops being flushed is extremely useful. You will have no doubt about your progress or whether you got it all. The jets are coarser and fewer than the Sapphire, so you might think the recovery would not be as thorough. However, it seems to work beautifully, perhaps because fatter streams also flush laterally. In any case, recovery leaves the upholstery almost dry and visibly cleaner, with no question that you got all of the soil.

The ShearDry feels solid and sturdy. There is nothing flimsy about this heavy duty lexan tool. The 1 1/2” hose connects to your whip with a stainless tube, which is never going to break. It is easy and intuitive to learn and use.

I do have a couple of gripes: I did not like the short cuff which attaches the ShearDry to its own hose. It has come off twice, perhaps by unscrewing as I work. I think the cuff threads should be an inch longer. I do not like the padded bag, which is square and about the size of a small purse. It has a drawstring which does not actually do anything and you cannot close it around the connecter and valve (although they are well covered and padded). I prefer the Sapphire pad, which wraps arount the QC and brass valve with a velcro closure.

In use, I adjusted the suction and jet flow, then set to work. One thing I really like with the ShearDry is that you must trigger the flow; there is no provision for leaving it on. While this may seem like a flaw, it prevents any accidental soaking if you set the tool face down, or if you have to use the cuff to vacuum up a suddenly discovered cracker. My part time helper took to it like a duck to water and within minutes had the rhythm and touch to clean, dry stroke and move on. Piping on the cushion edges mashes down under the spray bar and is easily cleaned, while rounded edges just need a sort of repeated kissing combined with a sideways crabbing and they are done. Even though the head is wide, I have no issues with using it on small areas, padded armrests or curves.

For the money, this is a well made, easy and productive tool. It beats thunder out of the standard Stainless tools, and does not overspray things like they do. I really like that. I like that I didn’t have to worry about it clonking into things by accident. I liked that I could see what was happening. I liked that my helper was able to do an excellent job right out out of the gate and I appreciate Rotovac donating it for raffle and another for auction at the RMHC Mikeyfest.

Five stars for value, quality and performance!
Best review I've read.

I love the tool as well. I think @Rotovac has nailed the choice of material. Very durable, same feel as the previous tool. Servicing is very simple now too. You can see everything and see when a clean out is required.

That little black vacuum shoe with the water channel is the business.
 

Jimmy L

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I found it informative but still did not convince me to buy.
 
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My rotovac clear tool caused a problem. The lady asked if I could clean a large foot stool. It was very dirty that's were her dogs hang out. So I treated it and extracted with my clear tool and WOW nothing but white foam filling the tool. If I was using a porty it would have shut down but the truckmount kept running. Now the wife is yelling at her husband for using two bottles of resolve on the stool . The original tool cleaned the same but hid the soap but I like the clear unit better for me. I had no what was going to happen, The stool cleaned ok and the dogs will be happy but not sure about the husband. The rotovac is a pleasure to use as long as no one is watching. jz
 

Cleanworks

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My rotovac clear tool caused a problem. The lady asked if I could clean a large foot stool. It was very dirty that's were her dogs hang out. So I treated it and extracted with my clear tool and WOW nothing but white foam filling the tool. If I was using a porty it would have shut down but the truckmount kept running. Now the wife is yelling at her husband for using two bottles of resolve on the stool . The original tool cleaned the same but hid the soap but I like the clear unit better for me. I had no what was going to happen, The stool cleaned ok and the dogs will be happy but not sure about the husband. The rotovac is a pleasure to use as long as no one is watching. jz
Not really designed to clean large stools.
 
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