It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Bissell’s Big Green line. The Big Green 86T3 is one of our team’s most frequently chosen tools when cleaning everything from hotels to apartments to everyday homes. Over the years, the word has spread among people who don’t clean carpets for a living (i.e., most normal people) that it’s also a great machine to own for keeping personal carpets clean. However, something a lot of people don’t know that the BigGreen BG10 and the Big Green 86T3 are more or less the same machine. Once you’ve read our review of the 86T3, you’ll know pretty much what to expect from the BG10, and vice-versa.
You read that correctly. They’re basically the same machine. Only a few features set them apart. For us, those features generally tip the scale toward getting the 86T3. What are they?
What’s the difference between the Big Green 86T3 and the BigGreen BG10?
There are a few slight differences, yes–the power cord in the 86T3 is black, while the BG10‘s is yellow. The 86T3 includes a 5-year warranty while you only get a 1-year warranty with the BG10 (you’re unlikely to need it in either case, but it’s important to know if you’re prone to breaking things as we are). The BG10’s cord is detachable while the 86T3’s is fixed to the machine.
Additionally, the accessory kit comes with the 86T3 but you’ll need to buy it separately if you buy the BG10. Besides these points, you’re basically buying the same carpet cleaner. If anyone tells you that one machine is simply better or offers a higher level of build quality or anything else than the other, the odds are good that they aren’t actually familiar with both machines, because they come from the same factory and are built to the same specifications.
Why choose the BG10 over the 86T3?
Keeping this in mind, you might wonder why anyone would want to buy the BG10 over the 86T3. Frankly, we were wondering this too when we found out people were regularly paying more for the BG10 than they were for the 86T3. However, there are a few reasons you might want to choose the BG10 over the 86T3. For example, if you need the flexibility of the detachable cord (so you can plug in much longer cords without fishing for extension cords, or so you don’t have to take it in for service if you cut or otherwise damage the power cord, as would be the case if you damaged the 86T3’s cord), you’ll want the BG10 instead.
Some of our team members explicitly gave this as a reason for buying the BG10 over the 86T3. Similarly, if you already have an accessory kit from a previous Big Green or have the means to acquire one for much less than retail price, the fact that you’d have to buy a separate one with the BG10 might not matter to you. And finally, if you’re able to find the BG10 for a cheaper price than the 86T3, you might also be convinced to buy it over the 86T3 (this was also the case for a couple of team members).
Why choose the 86T3 over the BG10?
For the majority of people reading this comparison, though, it makes more sense to buy the 86T3 over the BG10. For starters, it’s typically cheaper. We’re not exactly sure why, but would attribute it to the BG10 being marketed as a commercial machine instead of a professional one, even though, as already noted, they’re almost exactly the same on the inside. Knowing this, it makes sense to get the cheaper machine.
Secondly, if you get the 86T3, you’ll get the accessory kit for free instead of having to shell out a few extra dollars for it. Third, if you get the 86T3, you’ll also get 4 extra years of warranty coverage. Ironically, this is more likely to matter to people buying the Big Green for paid work instead of for personal home use. However, it’s a significant advantage that we wouldn’t advise passing up unless you had a particularly strong reason to.
What do the 86T3 and the BG10 have in common?
They’re both great machines, and each provides enough cleaning power, functionality, and reliability to be the only carpet cleaner you ever need. Reading their reviews makes it clear owners of both tend to be, by far and large, highly pleased with either cleaner; it’s really just a question of which you prefer, since you’ll be happy with either. You can buy the Big Green 86T3 here on Amazon, and you can buy the BG10 here.
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