durable vacuum cleaner recommendation (and relatively inexpensive)?

So the shedding season is upon us and the fur is flying all over the place. I need to get a good, durable vacuum cleaner that can suck up the pet hair but won't die after a few months use and is easy to clean, especially the brush since the dog hair seems to get caught in it and I don't want to have to cut the hair out all the time. I have limited funds so there's no way I can get the Roomba or the Dyson Animal and would prefer to spend under $150.

Does anyone have any recommendations and how long has your vacuum cleaner lasted?

Thanks! Here's to hoping for a less hairy situation :-)

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Costco... hands down! $150 for the Bissell Lift Off Revolutions for Pets. I vacuumed a corner of the living room and the filter compartment was completely full. It even comes with a pet brush for small corners and couches.
LIke Chester posted...I got the Bissel. MIne is called the "Pet Eraser" and I got it at Target. It was about $120 and has those handy pet hair attachments. The debris bin fills up quickly, but it is easy to empty and I know it is working. I've had it about 4 months...so far so good!

I think it differs from Chester's revolution in that it does not have a removable canister, but other than that it sounds like the attachments and quality are the same
I have the Pet Eraser as well. I got mine from Target for $130, but it came with a $25 gift card! I love Target :o)

The Lift Off is good if you have stairs and don't want to lug the whole vacuum around, but otherwise it is the same machine as the Pet Eraser. And like Geri said, that debris bin fills up with Corgi hair pretty quick!
I think your best bet is on Bissell. I got a Bissell TurboPowerforce and it was $70 at Walmart.
I have had the Dyson Animal. It lasted about 3 years. With 3 shedding dogs (2 corgis) and 2 cats I kill vacuums regularly. Now I have a Bissell (the pet Eraser) and it works fine but I know it will die lke the rest. I have had Hoovers and Eurekas too. No sense spending too much!
I have 3 cats and now a corgi-- My Eureka Canistair has held up pretty well. I think it was 260-- but it really has some sucking power!
hmmm..... a few things to consider.

The roomba is only good as a "supplement", it cuts down on your regular vacuuming, it is not a direct replacement to regular vacuum. The 500 series is the only roomba design to stand against fur.

The Dyson animal and regular dyson only differ in 1 attachment, all main brush are the same. You can now purchase regular remanufactured dyson under $200.

All vacuum are machines and they need regular maintenance, I have owned my dyson for 4 years and I open it up to wash 4 times a year. before I got the Dyson, I killed 2 sub $150 Bisel in 3 years, one bagless and 1 bag upright vacuum. The biggest problem is the design, it traps the fur within the drive belts / brush, eventually lock up and burnt out the motor.

I hope to do a side by side video review on all price level pet vacuum on the market later this year, I think it'll help our members to make good purchasing decisions.
Anybody evaluating/reviewing vacuums, please include info on Noise Level and whether or not it has a HEPA filter to remove fine dust.
I've never had better than an El Cheapo thrift store cannister vac with lots of duct tape on it. Never had one die. Perhaps my secret is to not vacuum too often. I'd think if you're vacuuming often enough to wear out machines, it makes sense to pay top dollar (which you don't have) for a machine worth owning.

Get several sets of good earplugs and use them. Vacuums and most other power tools are loud enough to cause hearing damage. My kid's a musician; I always made her wear them when I vacuumed.

One thing I greatly regret not doing: installing a central vac system in our small house. Quiet, easy, vents exhaust outside.

Our use my method: do yoga on the rug in spandex lycra, then go outside and brush yourself off.
I have a Eureka that I bought for about $90 before I had a dog, and even being that cheap it still works great! You have to empty the dust cup a lot though, or else it'll clog and you'll have to take the whole thing apart and clean it, but we also have brand new carpet, so we were picking up a lot more than just dog hair. It had an attachment on it that you could use for couches, stairs, etc., but that broke not too long ago (I've probably had it for about....2 years?). When it broke, I bought the cordless handheld Shark Pet Perfect vacuum for my couches, and it works great too, and it actually works out better because I can just grab it vacuum off my couches (what, like....4 or 5 times a day? Shedding season is DEFINITELY upon us) without pulling out my big bulky vacuum cleaner. My only complaint about it is that the battery doesn't last very long, but for only cleaning couches it works great for me. Maybe I can use it to vacuum the dog too... :)
I'm looking for a new vacuum too... the "shark" I got years ago in college is on it's last leg and I figured it's about time to upgrade to an grownup vacuum haha! I started looking at the Dyson dc24 (it's the small ball version... we're limited on space in our brooklyn apartment), but after some research online and seeing/handling the Dysons in person... I was more or less sadly un-sold on them.

That said, I started looking at Miele vacuums somehow. First off let me say these vacuums aren't cheap... at all, but from the research I've been doing they fall into the "you get what you pay for" category. These things are seriously sealed and don't re-release what you're vacuuming into the air which is a problem if you live in a dusty city like New York, have a girlfriend who is super sensitive to dust and a shedding corgi. Complete sealing is important because a HEPA filter can't perform if air/dust can escape the vacuum and is not actually all being pushed through the HEPA or other filtration system. They also fall into the "industrial" category since I always see them being used by the cleaning staff in our building as well as other places I've happened to be past working hours.

I'm considering the Miele Pisces (check the comments thread in this link) which is the low end of their current line (only has the important essential features and no extraneous bells and wistles). It costs more than 4x that of a $150 vacuum and almost 2x that of the Dyson dc24... but I say if it lasts that much longer (some say 30+ years to a lifetime!) then it's only a cost difference in the short run and actually cheaper in the long run. Think of it as buying one vacuum now and essentially never having to replace it (though you do have to replace bags/filters which I wanted to avoid in hopes of being greener). It's a ton of $ to drop on a vacuum and replacing bags/filters isn't ideal, but I think I might have researched/talked myself into getting one. Their warranty is supposed to be pretty killer too.

Miele vs. Dyson Demo
Miele Demo

Sorry if this doesn't help those with limited short term budgets (luckily the tax refund gods smiled upon me this year) or different vacuuming needs... just something to think about in general... buying things that will last you a lifetime vs. buying things that will need to be replaced several times throughout your life.
I 2nd this. Great vacuum, albeit rather large, that will gross you out the first time you use it... sucker works!
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is what I bought and I like it. I have never tried a Dyson so can't compare. My Bissell does have the HEPA filter and seems to be made well. I have not had it long so dont know about lasting, but it was inexpensive so that helps. It really scoops up Leo's fur and is real good on dust.


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