The handstick vacuum market is becoming a very crowded place, and LG is keen to give Dyson a run for its money with its range of CordZero A9 Kompressor vacuum cleaners. Other than the base model in the A9 Kompressor series, all the other models come with a mopping attachment – something you’re not going to get with any Dyson vacuum cleaner.
Should I buy?
The convenience of having a handstick that can both vacuum and mop is immense, and the best part about LG’s Power Drive Mop attachment is it allows you to do both at the same time – it sucks in from the front and spits out water from the back. And while some hard, caked-in dirt might require some elbow grease to get them off your hard floors, we found the LG A9 Kompressor capable of handling most tasks except for the hardiest of grime.
Another thing that’s quite impressive about the A9 Kompressor is the battery life: while LG promises that you’ll get up to 60 minutes of power per charge per battery (it ships with two in the box) in normal mode, we actually squeezed out about 75 minutes from one battery and a little over 70 minutes from the second. Even on Turbo Mode (where the suction power is higher), we got an impressive 27 minutes of battery life from a full charge.
Conveniently, LG’s handsticks have a free-standing charging base (unlike Dyson’s wall mount-only option), which means you don’t need to drill holes in your wall to store the vacuum. The stand also has space for your regularly-used attachments (up to three), including any Power Drive head and the mop pads.
Another big convenience is the Kompressor technology that the handsticks are named after. Push down on a lever on the outside of the bin and it can compact dirt and debris, allowing you to fit 2.4 times as much into the 0.44L bin.
Like the older CordZero A9 range of handsticks, LG has integrated its ThinQ technology into the A9 Kompressor range as well. This allows you to keep tabs on the health of the device, including its filter, the life of the attachments and a cleaning history via a companion app. While this information may be useful to some, we found it quite unnecessary and didn’t use the app once after the initial setup.
The only thing that made us dock that half star in this review is the overall weight distribution of the A9 Kompressor. The handheld main unit feels heavier than a Dyson handstick and the LG can feel quite unbalanced when you’re maneuvering it around the house, and it’s difficult to hold the unit up for more than a few minutes at a time if you’re clearing cobwebs from the ceiling. Moreover, the rotating mop pads also generate some force, which can push the handstick at angles instead of a steady, straight path. It requires a relatively tight grip that can be tiring on the arm muscles, and a little time to get used to.
LG CordZero A9 Kompressor: price and availability
- Not available in all markets
There are four models in the LG CordZero A9 Kompressor range and the main difference between them are the attachments they ship with and the color scheme used in the design. They range from $699 / AU$1,099 for the base model (called A9K Core in Australia) and $799 / AU$1,299 for the Ultra model. The base model is the only one that doesn’t have mopping capabilities.
That’s in no way cheap, especially since there are Shark and Bissell vacuum mops that are cheaper, but they’re not available widely. Similarly, LG hasn’t taken its handstick range to all markets – they’re currently available to buy in the US and Australia, but aren’t listed on LG’s UK website.
- Free-standing charging station
- Dustbin compacts dirt
- Very useful mop attachment
Cordless handsticks aren’t new and LG has stuck to a familiar design that most people would be instantly familiar with. What sets the CordZero A9 Kompressor apart from is main rival, Dyson, is the free-standing charging station. It comes in several pieces that you’ll need to assemble (and might need to consult the manual to get that done), but what we really liked about the charging station is the cable management option at the rear of the vertical piece and the spots available to store your regularly used tools. The charging station can also be wall mounted, but good to know you have a choice.
As we mentioned, the A9 Kompressor handsticks come with two batteries, and the dock has been designed to top up the spare battery while you’re using the vacuum with the other one. Below the clips for storing the handstick is a niche with charging plates for the second battery pack.
All four A9 Kompressor models ship with the Multi-Surface Power Drive Nozzle, plus the Combination and Crevice tools, and there’s space to store these on the charging station itself. Beyond that, each A9 Kompressor model has a different combination of additional tools and Power Drive cleaning heads – the easiest way to distinguish between them all is the color of the handstick.
We were sent the purple model (Vintage Wine as LG calls it) in the A9 Kompressor series, which comes with an additional Hard Floor Power Drive Nozzle, the Power Drive Mop and two additional tools for hard dirt and upholstery. That’s a pretty versatile kit, allowing you to clean pretty much any surface, with the additional benefit of being able to mop the floor as well.
So let’s dive right into the Power Drive Mop. This is the largest cleaning head in the box – on top is a transparent, grey ‘tank’ and on the underside is a pair of rotating discs with Velcro. The top tank pops right off with the push of a button, and can be filled through an opening on the side. The clamp for the tank seemed to be drip-proof during our testing. Two pairs of round mops come in the box – one soft, the other a little rough for ‘polishing’ the floor. All you have to do is choose a matching pair, wet them, wring them out and stick ‘em onto the Velcro discs. With water in the tank, you’re ready to go.
The good thing about the Power Drive Mop is there’s a suction hole in the front as well. If you just need to mop, then normal power is what you need, but if you’d like to vacuum and mop as you go – like we did as it saved us a huge amount of time every time we used the handstick – then bump up to Turbo power and dirt, debris and stains are gone in the one cleaning run.
You can even choose how often you want water to be sprayed during mopping, with two settings to choose from – a spray every eight seconds or a spray every six seconds.
Another interesting thing about the A9 Kompressor range is the amount of dirt it can hold in the relatively small 0.44L bin. There’s a compressor inside the bin that can be pushed down via a lever on the outside. If the bin is full, just press down on the lever a few times and the dirt and hair inside will be compacted, freeing up more space. That means you empty the bin less often and that’s perfect for large spaces.
There are three different filters that are removable and washable, making the A9 Kompressor less expensive to maintain in the long run. In fact, an extra pre-filter (accessible by removing the front panel of the main handheld unit) is available in the box.
Everything else on the LG handstick is self-explanatory, with all the controls within easy reach of your thumb. And here, again, LG has done one better than Dyson – instead of holding down a power button (trigger in the case of Dyson) through the duration of the cleaning process, you only need to switch the power button on and leave it be. It was our main complaint with Dyson handsticks as it can cause pain in the wrist.
If you need to increase suction power, pressing the Turbo button once ups it from Normal to Power mode, and another press takes it from Power to Turbo mode and the maximum suction.
You can connect the handstick to your home’s Wi-Fi network with just a press of a button on the front of the handle but we found it quite unnecessary. You’ll only need it if you’d like to use the app, which is handy to keep tabs on when you should wash the filter and how much cleaning you’ve done. We did set up the app but never felt the need to use it.
- Feels unbalanced
- Power Drive Mop pulls handstick in angles
This is where we have our one and only complaint with the LG A9 Kompressor handstick – it feels heavy. Weighing in at 2.7kg with the telescopic tube and Multi-Surface Power Drive Nozzle attached, it’s 100g heavier than a Dyson V10 and lighter than the 3.5kg Dyson V11 Outsize, but the weight distribution feels wrong.
Where a Dyson feels well balanced, the A9 Kompressor doesn’t. All the weight feels concentrated on the main handheld unit and puts a little pressure on the arm muscles. It also makes it difficult to hold aloft if you’d like to get to cobwebs in the ceiling.
Added to that, there’s additional gruntwork needed when using the Power Drive Mop. The two mop discs rotate in opposite directions, but the force they produce doesn’t ‘drive’ the vacuum straight ahead, instead directing it at slight angles. While mopping you’ll occasionally feel the handstick getting away from you the moment you loosen your grip, and that will instinctively make you tighten your hold on the handle and potentially cause muscle tiredness. It’s not debilitating in any way, but it will take some getting used to.
- Powerful suction
- Excellent mopping capabilities
- Very versatile
Despite the heft to the handstick, the LG A9 Kompressor is an excellent investment, especially the models that come with the mopping attachment. The Multi-Surface cleaning head hardly ever gets hair tangled with its bristles, and the Hard Floor Nozzle does a very good job on, well, hard floors. It’s far better at handling larger debris than the Multi-Surface Nozzle, but it did have a little trouble with some cornflakes on the floor.
A half-inch piece of a plastic bag needed a few tries to get sucked up with either nozzle, but some perseverance paid off. So, while the A9 Kompressor might struggle a little with larger debris, its everyday cleaning prowess is excellent.
In Normal suction mode, carpets are hair free in a couple of sweeps, while the Turbo mode will definitely see it in tip-top shape. Impressively, it’s one of the few cordless vacuum cleaners we’ve tested that gave us a whopping 70 minutes of fade-free suction in Normal mode and a very admirable 27 minutes in Turbo. That’s far more than what LG advertises. And given there’s two batteries at your disposal, you can easily get a large family home cleaned, and then some!
Mopping hard floors occasionally requires some elbow grease, especially if you’ve got little kids or pets. Since we had neither to determine whether the A9 Kompressor’s mop could handle tough jobs, we let our test space get as messy as possible over a two-week period after our initial vacuuming tests. There was caked-in stains on the kitchen floor, footprints in the bathroom and plenty of hair and dust in the rest of the house. And, boy, were we impressed.
Instead of running a quick vacuum-only session before the mop, we dived straight into a vacuum+mop run (by setting the power mode to Turbo) over this dirty floor and the A9 handled it well. Admittedly we needed to go over some spots a few times but, at the end, our floor was practically spotless. Just one little grimy spot refused to budge on our kitchen floor, and this was with the softer mops.
The rougher ones do a better job on caked-in stains but, again, there are some things that will always require you to go down on your hands and knees. It should be noted that the rough mops are smaller and you’ll find a dry strip at the center of each sweep. So you will need to go over each stretch of room a couple of times (or more), but the results are quite good.
And the A9 Kompressor does all this without making too much noise. We found that in Normal mode, the A9 Kompressor was a little quieter than the Dyson V7 and V8 handsticks, and when just mopping, there’s only a low hum.
Should I buy a LG CordZero A9 Kompressor handstick
Buy it if…
You need a vacuum mop
Use it as a regular handstick vacuum cleaner, a handheld one or even as a mop (heck, use it as a vacuum+mop), the A9 Kompressor is versatile. It will be a little hard to get to ceiling corners because of the weight distribution, but if the job is a small, quick one, you should be able to manage just fine.
You live in a large family home
With two battery packs in the box – something Dyson doesn’t yet offer with its handsticks – you can clean a large space and, possibly, still have some power left over. You can charge one battery while using the other, meaning no job needs to be incomplete – just briefly interrupted if you need to swap out the batteries.
You need a vacuum cleaner with a large-capacity bin
Admittedly the A9 Kompressor’s bin capacity is nothing to write home about, but that 0.44L barrel can fit 2.4 times the amount, thanks to a compactor inside that will compress the dirt and hair inside.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re on a budget
We’ve seen it with Dyson and LG isn’t any different – versatile handsticks like the A9 Kompressor aren’t cheap. It’s possible to find a Shark or Bissell vacuum mop for lesser, but if you do have the cash to spare, then the A9 Kompressors are good investments.
You don’t need a vacuum mop
While the A9 Kompressor series has one model that’s not designed for a mop, there are equally good handsticks available for a lower price. In fact, for just as good a clean, you could get an older Dyson V7 or V8 for far less, or even snap up a discounted Dyson V10.